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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26 Comments

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26 responses to “Looking Back- What A Bleak Ride

  1. MK

    Man, have I become cynical…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 know exactly what you are talking about. Every guy with depth post 1965 must face it. It’s our cross. No matter if married or single any realist is, by definition, cynical about our future. That’s just reality. Anyone who says otherwise is selling something.

    Four pillars map our “meaning” in life:
    1) Belonging (tribe)
    2) Purpose (work)
    3) Storytelling (path)
    4) Transcendence (religion)

    We are at the end of this era. Once the “culture of death” Boomers have finally perished, it won’t last long. And that’s real soon. So there can be no “Belonging” outside of a defensive crouch. Nor any meaningful “Story” without a tribe that has a future. So expect no help from this dying society; any community/church must suck you dry merely out of self-preservation. So it’s every man for himself unless he can create his own tribe and story.

    But all is not lost. Of these four pillars, Purpose and Transcendence remain accessible for men (married or unmarried). Purpose actually remains incredibly fruitful in today’s wasteland. Never before has it been so easy for a man working alone to achieve so much. And of course Transcendence (by way of the Communion of Saints) is even more powerful and needs no explanation.

    But Purpose is the great equalizer for men today. Any man who stays in great shape and eats right and works his ass off is the wild exception today and can find a very good life in this era. The sky’s the limit.

    [DG: Very true to that last part. With my particular profession, well, lets say that without a family I can either retire quite earlier than most of my peers or live with standard of living enviable to many. An of course Transcendence is always available.]

  2. fuzziewuzziebear

    Donal, It is not just you. Maybe it would help to see virtue rewarded or its reverse. Any way, you deserve better.

    [DG: A lot of people deserve better Fuzzie. Just the world we live in.]

  3. “Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.”

  4. A long term friend has just told me he’s entered a relationship with a woman from another race. She professes Christianity, so that’s a positive. Will be interesting to apply the learning from recent years to viewing his new relationship.

    I think one of the harder elements in learning all these totally new things is retaining a sense of perspective when objective analysis suggests otherwise. Embracing the inherent darkness of red pill philosophy seems to lead eventually to nihilism, ala Brett Stevens Amerika Web site. That’s his choice, of course, but for those of us with faith, I don’t see nihilism as a valid direction, so the challenge is how to incorporate a different world view with our faith.

    Certainly not an easy task.

    [DG: I don’t see it so much as reconciling a different world view but rather as recognizing that our first world view was way off, and needs to be corrected.]

  5. One thing I’ve never understood is how PUA/game blog posts get intermingled with fairly earnest christian posts. You describe yourself as a ‘traditional catholic’. I’m pretty clear what a traditional catholic view of ‘game’ would be.

    For what it’s worth I myself consider that ‘game’ is little more than a conspiracy among the unscrupulous to sell dubious advice to the needy.

    I’m sorry to read your rather downbeat post. I have the impression that the red pill is a rather unhappy medicine – many of it’s advocates seem angry to me, and you can’t be happy and angry at the same time.

    There is a better way. I’m sure you’ll find it.

  6. @ Sean Toddington

    One thing I’ve never understood is how PUA/game blog posts get intermingled with fairly earnest christian posts. You describe yourself as a ‘traditional catholic’. I’m pretty clear what a traditional catholic view of ‘game’ would be.

    For what it’s worth I myself consider that ‘game’ is little more than a conspiracy among the unscrupulous to sell dubious advice to the needy.

    The “debate” has always been about if using “attraction techniques” is moral, amoral, or immoral.

    Since the modern “church” instills the values of “being nice” and “making her happy” and “doing chores” into its Christian men, these Christian men are for the most part unattractive to women and/or wives. Basically, they’re sabotaging their mens’ masculinity.

    The techniques do in fact work (which is part of the draw, so they are not exactly ineffective advice), but generally they can be of overt or dubious moral value.

  7. The scriptures, not the church, promote the ultimate value of doing unto others as you would have them do unto you. It isn’t a gender specific commandment – women are included. It is also a little more far reaching and profound than being nice or doing the chores. Also what’s wrong with making your partner happy? I’m damned if I see how making her unhappy is a good approach to a good relationship.

    The problem with ‘game’ is that it is squarely aimed at fornication – or is pretty much everywhere I look – which the church, and the scriptures, are pretty firmly agin.

  8. @ Sean Toddington

    The scriptures, not the church, promote the ultimate value of doing unto others as you would have them do unto you. It isn’t a gender specific commandment – women are included. It is also a little more far reaching and profound than being nice or doing the chores. Also what’s wrong with making your partner happy? I’m damned if I see how making her unhappy is a good approach to a good relationship.

    I don’t think you understand.

    The whole reason that the “Christian manosphere” started in the first place is that many of us began to see that what the Scriptures taught and what the Church was peddling were antagonistic to each other. In general, the Church in the west has been almost fully corrupted by feminism, except in a few places.

    Church marital advice such such as “women are slow cookers” and “women need help with chores so they aren’t so exhausted to have sex” are wrong. The vast majority of Church blame on men for marital problems are wrong. This is where understanding of the Scriptures and masculinity come into place.

    Doing good unto others doesn’t make you attractive to a woman or make them want to marry you. There are many single Christian men in the Church nowadays that want to get married, but are constantly turned down by their Christian women counterparts because they are “too nice” or “boring” or whatever else you want to call it.

    I’m certainly not a game supporter, but I can see why a lot of Christian men would want go that route to marry and have a family. Some of the men I respect like Dalrock and JoJ use it in the context of the Scriptures.

  9. Novaseeker

    Sean —

    Granted, but the point is that being a good Christian is not, in and of itself, attractive to women sexually. Masculinity is what is sexually attractive to women. Two different things. The crux of the Christian manosphere is trying to find ways for Christian men to be more attractive to women by cultivating and developing an authentic masculinity which is also Christian, rather than the secular forms of Game. That’s always been the point.

    The church has mostly failed here, and perhaps that’s fair enough. Zippy said several years ago that it isn’t the church’s job to find you a girlfriend or a wife, and that’s far enough, but the issue is that the church *does* take an interest in these things and its advice to both men and women is exceptionally unhelpful in this area in profound ways. The Christian manosphere seeks to correct that.

    Donal – it’s kind of normal to become more cynical over time, but it isn’t good. There is always hope, even when the times look otherwise. Yes, things are bleak culturally and it isn’t reasonable to expect that things will change culturally any time soon, but at the same time in our individual lives there remains hope and the possibility for smaller, yet significant (for ourselves), changes becoming a reality.

  10. Novaseeker

    Sean —

    Granted that secular Game runs into difficulty with Christian morals, but the point is that being a good Christian is not, in and of itself, attractive to women sexually. Masculinity is what is sexually attractive to women. Two different things. The crux of the Christian manosphere is trying to find ways for Christian men to be more attractive to women by cultivating and developing an authentic masculinity which is also Christian, rather than the secular forms of Game. That’s always been the point.

    The church has mostly failed here, and perhaps that’s fair enough. Zippy said several years ago that it isn’t the church’s job to find you a girlfriend or a wife, and that’s far enough, but the issue is that the church *does* take an interest in these things and its advice to both men and women is exceptionally unhelpful in this area in profound ways. The Christian manosphere seeks to correct that.

    Donal – it’s kind of normal to become more cynical over time, but it isn’t good. There is always hope, even when the times look otherwise. Yes, things are bleak culturally and it isn’t reasonable to expect that things will change culturally any time soon, but at the same time in our individual lives there remains hope and the possibility for smaller, yet significant (for ourselves), changes becoming a reality.

    [DG: That last part is exactly what I am working on right now. Or trying to, anyways. I am still figuring out where and how to develop. As for the dangers of cynicism, I understand exactly what you mean. It isn’t healthy, and I am working to overcome it, while still remaining a realist. ]

  11. DJ

    I learned a long time ago the only person you can improve is yourself. All the rest leave it to God.

    [DG: Exactly.]

  12. I agree. I think in some ways the idea of Poolside was right even though it received a lot of scorn.

  13. Neguy

    Donal, as Christians we can never lose Hope. Our ultimate hope is eternal, but there’s hope for today too.

    At the beginning of 2015, how many people in the world believed Donald Trump would be the next President of the United States? We have no idea what the future holds.

    I’m actually optimistic in many respects. The old order is looking exhausted. Things are coming apart – including the church. Things may look and be bad for quite some time. It may well be that the seeds we plant bear fruit none of us will ever see. (e.g.,, https://infogalactic.com/info/David_Brainerd). But there’s definitely great reason for hope.

    I can understand your blogging story arc though. In most topical areas like this, there’s a life-cycle to it, both to the genre and to the individual participants. It’s hard to just keep going and going when you don’t see signs of progress.

  14. Pilgrim of the East

    @Donal:
    I don’t cover “Game” or technique, or whatever you want to call it, anymore. … 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?
    Since I don’t remember you writing about getting married (which would be a reason it won’t help you anymore), It seems that you just got really pessimistic and decided to become MGTOW?

    If it’s just your wallowing in disillusion speaking then I would advice strongly against that – it probably isn’t the theology you ascribe to, but Bible talks about power of tongue multiple times, so saying things in line of “I have no chance” (although you said that game won’t help you, which may be true, it had definitely mostly that vibe) it becomes self-fulfilling prophecy, which basically says to God: “sorry, I don’t have a faith in you regarding this topic of my life”

    (if I grossly misrepresented your position/situation here, then consider this offtopic and feel free to delete it)

    [DG: I haven’t gone MGTOW. It is just that there is a dearth of good candidates for directing newfound knowledge towards.]

  15. anonymous_ng

    I always find discussions of game around these parts to be like a blind man describing an elephant. Everyone assumes that they’re talking about the same things, but no one gets specific.

    Is game David De’Angelo’s Double Your Dating? Is it the Mystery Method, peacocking, and the infamous neg? Is it David Shade’s eye contact experience? Is it learning to dress well, and be in shape? Is it Julian LeBlanc from RSD ending up as the most hated man in the Western world?

    IDK.

    After my divorce, I spent a lot of time and money in the pickup world. Some of it was good and helpful. A lot of it seemed to be just mental masturbation.

    If I were to summarize what I saw and did during that time, game is helpful for giving men permission to take action outside of the female empowerment social norms. It pulls women down from the pedastal they’re put on via social scripts, and they help guys get past their one-itis. Whether any of that is helpful in finding a godly wife is up for each man to decide.

    [DG: Yeah, the various nuances of “Game” always made it a poor topic for real thought. Too many different interpretations going on.]

  16. Lost Patrol

    DG – I don’t think I’ve ever known a man that didn’t make the same trip you’ve described in the OP. I took the time to think through the men I’ve known long enough, or well enough to make this assertion and it still seems true for all of them. A few, very few, remain deeply cynical until death, others recognize the cynicism, moderate it, and use it as a tool to assist in evaluating life situations and problems.

    Some men have broader impact than others, but every man can fulfill his task from God. A man may not feel, or no longer feel, that he can make an impact in society, nor even a local church; but perhaps his task is to make an impact on a smaller group of people, or men, or one man.

    No doubt in your case you have already helped some via your blog. It helped me simply to learn that men like you and your commenters actually exist and that I was not on an island. All we can really do is stay the course, which is of course done through Grace. He who endures to the end…

    [DG: Thanks.]

  17. The meme at the top of this post by Scott seems applicable here (I’d attach the picture here to make it easier for readers, but I’m not that technologically savvy):

    https://americandadweb.wordpress.com/2017/03/14/autopilot/

    What I’m trying to say is that things should eventually cycle back around and get better. We’re at the bottom of that meme, so we should get back to the top within a generation or two, I think.

    I was talking with a friend recently about going through times like this where things seem hopeless, and the talk lead to the subject of what’s called “the dark night of the soul.” A lot of known Saints have been known to experience this state of being, and they came out of it with a much stronger faith than they had upon going in. At the risk of sounding like I’m minimizing your thoughts of hopelessness (which I’m not), I’m hoping that this will be encouraging that there is still hope, and that this too shall pass.

    Some men have broader impact than others, but every man can fulfill his task from God. A man may not feel, or no longer feel, that he can make an impact in society, nor even a local church; but perhaps his task is to make an impact on a smaller group of people, or men, or one man.

    No doubt in your case you have already helped some via your blog. It helped me simply to learn that men like you and your commenters actually exist and that I was not on an island. All we can really do is stay the course, which is of course done through Grace. He who endures to the end…

    This is gold. And ditto. The course my life has taken as a result of stumbling upon this blog a few years ago is something that I’m deeply and eternally indebted to you for, and God knows where I would be right now if I hadn’t. It would not be a good place, that I’m certain of. — You might not have made a big difference in society or church on a broad scale, but if you make a big difference to some individual people that God puts in your path “for such a time as this,” then you can still make a difference in the world. A city is built one brick at a time (or however the saying goes). You (and all of us that feel the way you do about this) won’t know this side of Heaven just how many people you’ve made a difference to, or the ripple effect that has had on society as a whole in the long run, but one day you’ll get to hear from everyone you’ve impacted and they’ll tell you about it. But for now, you (and the rest of us) must just do what we can with the opportunities that God gives us, and trust Him to know what He’s doing.

    [DG: Great comment. Thank you, and you are welcome.]

  18. There have been a lot of comments, so I will respond at the bottom of each rather than write a number of responses.

  19. Kate

    I’m surprised you haven’t been scarfed up yet by some virtuous young woman. You’ve always been thoughtful and introspective. These are wonderful personal qualities! I view you as one of the rare people striving for moral perfection (and doing a good job). Any mother worth her salt would be trying to get her daughter married to you.

  20. Kate,

    Virtuous young women aren’t terribly common (and neither are such men)- even less common is one interested in marriage. And with everything else, well, I’m not surprised, sadly.

    Any mother worth her salt would be trying to get her daughter married to you.

    There is one such mother in my church who has tried to do that. But her daughter is not interested. Frankly, she doesn’t seem interested in marriage, either, so she might be called to the religious life.

    Many in my church have expressed that same surprise as you have- but the thing is, those traits mean next to nothing. What matters is the traits that women really want, and of course, if they really want marriage. And if you don’t have those, or they don’t want to marry, you are SOL.

  21. Kate

    I would like to say you’re wrong, but even the ladies loudly professing their virtue and saying they want marriage and that they would even be willing to move to where more men are, aren’t REALLY interested in it, or they would notice all the possibilities surrounding them on a daily basis.

  22. @ Kate

    I would like to say you’re wrong, but even the ladies loudly professing their virtue and saying they want marriage and that they would even be willing to move to where more men are, aren’t REALLY interested in it, or they would notice all the possibilities surrounding them on a daily basis.

    I get emails from Donal’s blog and also from Scott’s recent June Cleaver post, and I noticed something. You replied with an “*eye roll*” to my comment at Scott’s where I pointed out to you that a man you were nudging me about is already married. Then 4 minutes later you jump ship to a completely different blog and post this comment that contains a reference to something that I said to Deti on Scott’s post yesterday. It looks to me like you’re being sour about me matter-of-factly pointing out the obvious to you, then coming over here and making a seemingly subtle backhanded insult at me. If I’m wrong about this, my apologies. But if I’m correct, then you would do well to just call me out directly on Scott’s post rather than being passive aggressive about it.

  23. Kate

    I wouldn’t attach any significance to what I said where and when. I’m merely replying to my replies. You want to know why men don’t like you? You think you’re too good for them. It’s extremely unattractive. Even repulsive. Long hair, feminine clothing, ability to flirt…none of that will do anything for a woman whose heart is stuffed with unwarranted pride. Humble yourself and you will find what you seek.

  24. @ Kate

    You want to know why men don’t like you? You think you’re too good for them. It’s extremely unattractive. Even repulsive. Long hair, feminine clothing, ability to flirt…none of that will do anything for a woman whose heart is stuffed with unwarranted pride. Humble yourself and you will find what you seek.

    That’s all in your head. Think about it: I wouldn’t bother trying with someone if I thought I were better than them, and you can clearly see from my comments responding to Deep Strength’s question to me over there that I certainly have been trying. You can’t seriously look at the comments I made and claim that. It’s not a logical conclusion to make. Try again.

  25. Kate

    Still in as much denial this week as last, I see.

    This statement: “I wouldn’t bother trying with someone if I thought I were better than them” gets to the crux of your problem. The point is that you are “better” than very few people, Cassie. This is what you do not see.

    “I certainly have been trying.” Yes, you certainly have been trying- quite vigorously- to JUSTIFY yourself. But your attempts to HUMBLE yourself need a lot more work.

    It takes only a cursory look at your spinnings to see that you are a woman in rebellion. And the logical conclusion men reach is that you are unteachable and, therefore, unmarriageable.

    I will repeat my advice to you: “Humble yourself and you will find what you seek.” Now, you try again.

  26. PeterW

    Donal…
    In my twenties, I was absolutely convinced that God had a blueprint for my life, if only I could discover it. If only I had enough “faith”.

    Nearly 30 years later, I have come to the conclusion that God is less concerned with results than He is about character. Less concerned with what we achieve than why we make the choices that we do.

    If results were the issue, then Job would not be one of the heroes of faith, nor would the apostles have suffered so much .

    I now understand faith to be the persistent trust that God will be true to His revelation, even when He seems absent. Not some kind of currency with which we purchase miraculous workings and guidance to produce a spectacular testimony.

    My testimony is not one of miracles of provision or healing or evangelism. It is that I am still seeking God after grief, depression, loneliness and financial losses. If life was constantly wonderful for Christians, we would see a majority of people in the church for the benefits, not because they loved God. They would be living proof of Satan’s accusation against Job, that Job loved God because God protected him. Job’s testing showed all of Job’s flaws and failings , but it also showed Job’s ultimate, non-negotiable bottom line.

    I also consider the fact than any servant can be faithful when his master is looking over his shoulder. The real test of his faithfulness is how he serves when the master appears to be absent.

    Again, if we believe Jesus’ statement that we will not be tested beyond our ability to stand, then everything that we are permitted to suffer, we are CAPABLE of dealing with. Although we may not stand , that testing is a vote of confidence from the God who knows us better than we know ourselves. We may not stand, but God has said that we COULD.
    Let us see that as encouragement, not condemnation.

    I anm

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