Monthly Archives: March 2017

Looking Back- What A Bleak Ride

As of late I have been reviewing a lot of my old posts, especially from the first few months of blogging. In so doing I have been struck by the differences in what I wrote about, and cared about, back then as compared to now. It has been an interesting experience to see how much change I’ve experienced or gone through since then.

Man, have I become cynical. I had plenty of dark posts in the past, but there were still plenty where I evidenced some hope I might be able to work some change in the future. Those are pretty much gone now. Nowadays I have been given up any notion of actively making a difference in society, and frankly, I am cynical about even making a difference in any particular church.

I don’t cover “Game” or technique, or whatever you want to call it, anymore. It has been ages since I have given it any serious mention. Partly this is because much of the ‘sphere has moved past that. But also partly because I don’t see much point in it in the first place. What good is it to learn such things when it won’t help you?

I also haven’t been doing as much systematic analysis as I used to. A lack of time plays a role here, for sure. But I also think I don’t see it as making any kind of difference.

I could probably go on, but I think I’ve made my point. What I am curious about is what I might be able to discern about myself if I keep going through old posts until I get to my most recent ones. Perhaps there is a pattern to be found there. If I had to guess, it would be a greater trend towards faith and spirituality, and living in an age of wickedness.

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For Old Time’s Sake

Vox’s most recent post caught my eye when he mentioned this:

I noticed a long time ago that while I still have pretty much the same friends that I did in high school, virtually no woman I knew hadn’t changed out her entire set of friends more than once. There are exceptions, of course, but it does seem strange that the supposedly social sex tends to be less inclined to maintain lasting friendships.

That got me thinking about the differences in friendship between men and women. As I thought it over, I came to the realization that I have never heard a woman do something for a past friend “for old time’s sake.” I’ve only ever heard that language, and behavior, from men.

I’m curious if any of my readers have noticed the same as well. Perhaps it is simply my limited experience, and thus limited data set. Or maybe there is something to this.

If it is “a thing”, then I wonder if it might have to do with male notions of honor and obligations. Perhaps for women it might also have to do with their more pragmatic (in theory) natures, especially when it comes to relationships.

So please folks, chime in and let me know what you think.

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Masculine Monday- Defanging The Dragon

Somehow I missed this post by Bonald over at Throne and Alter back in January. In a surprise me (at least to me), Bonald was able to take My Little Pony and create an effective social observation and argument from it. Mind you, with the great name for the title, he had better have.

I encourage everyone to read the whole thing, if only to make sense of the parts I am about to quote:

In the season 2 episode “Dragon Quest”, Spike, finding his alienation from his nature unbearable, sets out to join the Great Dragon Migration and learn “what it means to be a dragon”.  He meets up with a gang of unsupervised male teenage dragons at a volcano.  The gang tease Spike and subject him to a number of difficult and embarrassing tests to prove his worth.  Three of Spike’s pony friends, watching in disguised, are shocked to find Spike responding with enthusiasm.  What’s brilliant about this episode is that it’s shown from the perspective of these girl ponies who can’t understand the psychological forces at play.  Probably most of the little girls watching don’t understand it either.  Spike is getting his first taste of male companionship and camaraderie.  Having to prove himself is important to him, although he is frightened and probably doesn’t understand it himself.  What the ponies don’t recognize, but adult viewers will, is that although the teenage dragons are acting tough with Spike, they’re actually showing quite a bit of restraint and accommodation to this baby.  Belly flopping into lava is not actually impressive, but it lets them give him the sense of having earned membership.  Men being the ritualistic sex, Spike is them put through an initiation ritual, followed by a night of revelry with his new companions.  Again, the ponies are horrified.  How can Spike want to stay with these awful dragons?

It is a disturbing ending, at least to those who understand the episode fully and realize the magnitude of the tragedy.  There is nothing wrong per se with the moral principles the ponies have given Spike.  What the ponies haven’t given him, because they cannot give it to him, is a way to relate these abstract moral imperatives to his own nature, a way to see his own abilities and inclinations in their light.  So it is as well with boys in today’s world, deprived of natural law and traditional culture.

What we are seeing in our society right now is an ongoing process to defang dragons- that is, men. To strip them of their masculinity, with special care and attention given to the male capacity for violence. Which just happens to be the subject for today.

I’ve written about men and violence before, including in this Masculine Monday series. Today’s post is a chance to discuss the subject again, as it has been some time. Back in July of 2013 I wrote The Latent Threat: Male Dominance and the Capacity for Violence. In that post I examined, among other things, the latent male potential for violence and how it intersects with sexual attractiveness. One section of that post:

It is easy for men to forget how much more powerful we are than women. We just take our strength for granted. But because they are the weaker vessel women must approach the world in a very different way. Sometimes they express this consciously, but most of the time subconsciously. Women are fearful because they must be fearful, they can’t defend themselves like a man can. How do women compensate for this?

Well, they act as a herd with other women, for one. You ever notice how oftentimes women will all go to the restroom together? As a group? Myself, I see it all the time. What I’ve never seen is men do the same thing. I suspect the reason for this behavior is because women subconsciously know that when you are relieving yourself you are even more vulnerable than normal, and so for protection women will group up, counting on numbers to protect them. Men, who can both relieve themselves more easily and are more capable of defending themselves, experience no such compulsion.

But the most important way that women compensate for their weakness is by associating with men. But not just men in general. Or any man. No, the Man. The Alpha Male. The big, strong man who can defend her, and her children, from harm. The Man who makes her feel Safe. This is where a man’s capacity for violence is important, even essential. Because a man who has a strong capacity for violence is a man who can keep his woman safe. Of course, sometimes this violence is directed at the woman herself, a perfect example of unintended consequences. Yet even those women who suffer at the hands of their man will often go back to him, perhaps driven by the subconscious belief that while may hurt her, he can also protect her from greater harms at the same time.

In my 13th Masculine Monday post I examined violence in a more limited context:

I suspect that I were to try and create a list of different traits that men “need,” that it would generate a lot of debate. Some would say I am missing traits, while others would argue that I am including some unnecessarily. There is one trait, however, that I would wager very few would disagree with if it were included in such a list.

That trait? A capacity for focused, disciplined and effective violence.

Note that I say a capacity for violence, not a propensity for violence. Those are two very different things.

There is a time and place for all things, including violence and refraining from violence. But I would argue that a man who is incapable of exercising violence when needed isn’t much of a man at all.

Looking at those posts again, and Bonald’s most recent posts, it reaffirms for me again  that violence and masculinity are inextricably linked. Any attempt to separate a capacity for violence from men is to separate them from, and deny, their basic masculinity. And as I think on it, it really isn’t just a capacity for violence. There just is a certain amount of violence that is  natural to masculine behavior. And there is nothing wrong with that.

Something which our society tries vehemently to deny, of course. Violence is wrong. It is EVIL. Period. End of sentence.

But we men know better, or at least, we should. Force and the exertion of force -violence- is part and parcel of being a man. In my opinion, we need to start standing up for that. We need to defend the truth that “boys will be boys” and rough-house each other. And everything else about men which is inherently forceful and turbulent.

And no, I am not defending violence for the sake of violence. There is good violence, and bad violence. But good violence exists, and not only has a right to exist, it needs to exist.

The alternative is a bunch of dragons raised to be ponies.

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Saturday Saints- #124

It has been some time since I have tried to cover the letter “Q” in this series. Understandable, given how few canonized saints have names which begin with that letter. Since there are so few, I will instead do something different with the letter- I will feature a Queen who is also recognized as a saint. Our first saint will thus be Queen Jadwiga of Poland:

Jadwiga ([jadˈvʲiɡa]), also known as Hedwig (Hungarian: Hedvig; 1373/4 – 17 July 1399), reigned as the first female monarch of the Kingdom of Poland from 16 October 1384 until her death. She was the youngest daughter of Louis the Great, King of Hungary and Poland, and his wife, Elizabeth of Bosnia. Jadwiga was a member of the Capetian House of Anjou, but had more close ancestors among the Polish Piasts. She was canonized in the Roman Catholic Church in 1997.

Jadwiga was crowned “king” in Kraków on 16 October 1384. Her crowning either reflected the Polish lords’ opposition to her intended future husband, William, adopting the royal title without a further Act or only emphasized that she was a queen regnant. With her mother’s consent, Jadwiga’s advisors opened negotiations with Jogaila, Grand Duke of Lithuania, who was still a heathen, about his marriage to Jadwiga. Jogaila signed the Union of Krewo, promising to convert to Roman Catholicism and to promote his ‘pagan’ subjects’ conversion. Meanwhile, William of Habsburg hurried to Kraków to demand the consummation of his pre-arranged marriage with Jadwiga, but the Polish lords expelled him in late August 1385. Jogaila, who received the baptismal name Władysław, married Jadwiga on 15 February 1386. Legend says that she had only agreed to marry him after long prayers, seeking divine inspiration.

Władysław-Jogaila was crowned king on 4 March. As her co-ruler, Władysław closely cooperated with his wife. After rebellious lords had imprisoned her mother and sister, she marched into Ruthenia, which had been under Hungarian rule, and persuaded most local inhabitants to become subjects of the Polish Crown without resistance. She acted as mediator between her husband’s quarreling kinsmen, and between Poland and the Teutonic Knights.

Far more can be found out about her at her wiki, located here.

jadwiga_by_bacciarelli

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4 years

Today I happened to be looking through some old posts of mine in order to get ideas on what to write. Imagine my surprise when I saw that my first post dated to March 10, 2013. It has been 4 years since I started this blog. Hard to imagine that much time has passed.

Over time I have become far less prolific in my writing, especially in the last year or so. Some have even expressed concern that I will shut down the blog. I don’t intend to do that, but I cannot promise I will return to previous activity levels any time soon. Perhaps, in time, things will change.

Setting that aside, I would like to thank the readers and commenters who have contributed to my blog. You have helped keep me at it, and many have inspired me to write yet more. Thanks to all of you. Here’s to another year.

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Selected Sunday Scriptures- #127

We have started the period of Lent. This is a period of fasting and repentance- of turning back to the Lord. In that spirit, here are some passages from scripture which I found appropriate:

In the fourth year of King Dari′us, the word of the Lord came to Zechari′ah on the fourth day of the ninth month, which is Chislev. Now the people of Bethel had sent Share′zer and Reg′em-mel′ech and their men, to entreat the favor of the Lord, and to ask the priests of the house of the Lord of hosts and the prophets, “Should I mourn and fast in the fifth month, as I have done for so many years?” Then the word of the Lord of hosts came to me: “Say to all the people of the land and the priests, When you fasted and mourned in the fifth month and in the seventh, for these seventy years, was it for me that you fasted? And when you eat and when you drink, do you not eat for yourselves and drink for yourselves? When Jerusalem was inhabited and in prosperity, with her cities round about her, and the South and the lowland were inhabited, were not these the words which the Lord proclaimed by the former prophets?”

(Zechariah 7:1-7)

A good gospel accompaniment would be this passage:

16 “And when you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have their reward. 17 But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18 that your fasting may not be seen by men but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

(Matthew 6:16-18)

Fasting is of little worth if our hearts are not in the right place. If we fast for God, then our reward will come from God. But if we fast for the sake of men, our reward will come from them- and thus perish in the end. Our actions must mirror our internal state- otherwise we are just stage actors.

A key part of this is turning towards the Lord and repenting.

25 Turn to the Lord and forsake your sins;
    pray in his presence and lessen your offenses.
26 Return to the Most High and turn away from iniquity,
    and hate abominations intensely.
27 Who will sing praises to the Most High in Hades,
    as do those who are alive and give thanks?
28 From the dead, as from one who does not exist, thanksgiving has ceased;
    he who is alive and well sings the Lord’s praises.
29 How great is the mercy of the Lord,
    and his forgiveness for those who turn to him!
30 For all things cannot be in men,
    since a son of man is not immortal.
31 What is brighter than the sun? Yet its light fails.
    So flesh and blood devise evil.
32 He marshals the host of the height of heaven;
    but all men are dust and ashes.

(Sirach 17:24-32)

King David, a man who was all too familiar with sin, understand the importance of repentance well:

Be mindful of thy mercy, O Lord, and of thy steadfast love,
    for they have been from of old.
Remember not the sins of my youth, or my trangressions;
    according to thy steadfast love remember me,
    for thy goodness’ sake, O Lord!

Good and upright is the Lord;
    therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
He leads the humble in what is right,
    and teaches the humble his way.
10 All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness,
    for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.

11 For thy name’s sake, O Lord,
    pardon my guilt, for it is great.

(Psalm 25:6-11)

Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven,
    whose sin is covered.
Blessed is the man to whom the Lord imputes no iniquity,
    and in whose spirit there is no deceit.

When I declared not my sin, my body wasted away
    through my groaning all day long.
For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me;
    my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.

I acknowledged my sin to thee,
    and I did not hide my iniquity;
I said, “I will confess my trangressions to the Lord”;
    then thou didst forgive the guilt of my sin.

Therefore let every one who is godly
    offer prayer to thee;
at a time of distress, in the rush of great waters,
    they shall not reach him.

(Psalm 32:1-6)

And of course, it is important to keep in mind how Jesus opened his ministry after being tempted in the desert:

12 Now when he heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew into Galilee; 13 and leaving Nazareth he went and dwelt in Caper′na-um by the sea, in the territory of Zeb′ulun and Naph′tali, 14 that what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:

15 “The land of Zeb′ulun and the land of Naph′tali,
toward the sea, across the Jordan,
Galilee of the Gentiles—
16 the people who sat in darkness
have seen a great light,
and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death
light has dawned.”

17 From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

(Matthew 4:12-17)

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Set Up To Fail

Today I would like to revisit this comment from “Hungarian Girl,” one which I have addressed already in my post Tissue-Paper Walls. Here is the same money paragraph again:

it’s very difficult to have high self-esteem when you do everything “right” but still have poor luck with the opposite sex, and it creates a very lonely feeling when you follow your values but end up getting victimized for it. Our society is simply set up so that selfish people appear to get ahead–that goes for Chads sleeping with hundreds of women, and the slutty girls having “fun.” Eva is the equivalent of the beta male looking on confused, and just because you can’t imagine a woman sharing that experience with you, doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. In fact, most women are profoundly insecure. The ones who are open about it–like Eva–haven’t learned the lesson that YOU perceive all women to be adept at–hiding their feelings and vulnerabilities.

I have put in bold those parts of the paragraph that I want to go over this round- most of the beginning, as you can see.

Before I go further, let’s break this comment down into its constituent parts:

  • A lack of success with the opposite sex + doing everything right= lack of self-esteem
  • Following your values + being victimized for it= extreme loneliness
  • Society is set up for the selfish folks
  • Women can experience the same kind of confusion that “Betas” feel when the market runs over them

Now to tackle each of those points in order.

The first point is something that many men, especially the young ones, in the sphere completely understand. Anyone who has spent time as a “Beta”, or whatever point in Vox’s model that you think applies, knows the confusion that this system creates. We have been told many things which, when applied, fail utterly. Or when we compare what see with what we have been told, nothing adds up. And over time, that just crushes your confidence and spirits.

The second point is again pretty easy to understand. That is just human nature. We will just naturally feel lonely when we do what we think is right, and get blasted for it.I am sure the Prophet Elijah felt that way after he fled Ahab into the desert.

As for the third point, I think our society goes beyond just being set up for the selfish. It is also set up for the short-sighted and the short-term focused. It benefits those looking for immediate gratification (pretty much always sexual), and punishes those who try to plan or optimize for the long term. Otherwise stated, short term relationships are favored (and the shorter the better), and long term relationships are disfavored. We have set up a SMP/MMP which is an enormous version of the Prisoner’s Dilemma, only this one is far more likely to end in betrayal.

The fourth point is one that I think many, if not most, men in the ‘sphere have trouble with. However, if we look back to the first point here, they can see there is nothing which really restricts the principle of crushed self-esteem to men. Women can experience it too, although the circumstances might be different. Now, their confidence won’t affect their attractiveness like it does for men, but it will impact their desire to play the market. So there is a strong negative effect, even if it is less direct that men feel.

Now that is just self-esteem. There is nothing which makes it so women cannot face a similar kind of confusion that men feel. Do I think it is less common for women to experience that confusion? Yes. But some will no doubt experience it.

So where does all of this take me? It goes back to a simple conclusion that I made in my post Market Failure:

However the Marriage Marketplace worked in the past, one thing is abundantly clear about how it works today: it doesn’t. The current Marriage Marketplace is broken, and is almost completely subsumed into the greater Sexual Marketplace (“SMP”) which has largely taken its place. This process has been a complete and utter disaster, whose consequences will be felt for generations

The present Market does its very best to set up for failure anyone who aims to “do it right.” In fact, it goes even further than that. It attempts to hide what “doing it right” actually is, and also creates confusion about what constitutes “doing it right.”

The end result is that the present Market is really great for short-sighted and selfish people who are only looking for immediate gratification. They benefit while everyone else suffers.

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