Quintus Curtius Is Today’s Paul Harvey

Bedtime Stories Unearthed From History For Adults

I’ve been unsure of just how to write this review of Quintus.  He is a friend of mine and I hope I can relay accurately just how incredible his work is.  I want people to be able to realize the grasp of what he’s been doing and it’s significance to us men today and our children in the future.

Inspiration for the subtitle of this post comes from me reading through his site and chapters from his book right before bed, enjoying a new piece of history that was previously unknown to me – similar to the late great Paul Harvey’s “The Rest Of The Story”.   Enter his treasure trove of untold stories and you will know my comparison is not exaggerated.

“In times like these it helps to recall there have always been times like these.” – Paul Harvey

Chatting with him over the phone,  through emails,  and in conversations of various kind, I’ve realized that Quintus is exactly who he says he is.   His lessons from both personal experience and from history are coming from someone sees past much of the political and culture war aspect that dominate much of the manosphere and anglospheres.  He really is our very own Paul Harvey. 

It’s with that comparison you realize just how much of a breath of fresh air Quintus is, especially in recent days when everyone on both sides is screaming about Trump, feminism, immigration, and white nationalism.

As NeoReaction (NRx) is the thinktank and shares overlap of many in our spheres, Quintus is our philosopher for those who don’t wish to learn the language of the NRx crowd of infiltration, as well someone who provides a different but important set of foundations and principles.   His work seeks out an audience consisting of those who search for substance instead of viral entertaining prose about fleeting events.

True actual Renaissance men – are rare to encounter these days, let alone one’s who are public, articulate – yet readable by the us laymen, and can write with both a fiery passion and a fine tuned nose for taking the stories of history and presenting in a simple manner as to why they matter to us today.

Quintus Curtius: A foundational archive for knowledge and rebuilding western culture
A Mission In Mind

Meet Quintus Curtius, the manosphere’s own historian, translator, philosopher, and writer – though he would describe himself as a “humanist”.  Further credentials for you of an academic mind include being a former marine, current world traveler, publishing four books – including a phenomenal and readable translation of the two thousand year old classic”On Duties” by Cicero, and having taught himself Latin, Arabic, and Portuguese.   Channing Tatum may have the looks, but Quintus has the brains that so many of the most esteemed scholars of today wish they possessed.

Quintus has his own site via Fortress Of The Mind, but he has been writing for Return Of Kings for 3 years with a weekly Monday column without fail – to give you an idea of his dedication, consistency and perseverance. Now when we think of that “most vile” website Return Of Kings, we think first about it’s viral articles.

Whether it was Tuthmosis talking about signs you know shes a slut or Forney’s 5 reasons why you shouldn’t date girls with tattoos or piercings, ROK’s truest and most important gems often go unnoticed.

That gem has been most of the articles Quintus writes for ROK and his own site.  Fortune is finally and justly smiling on Quintus in recent days with a curious attack on his work was launched by Mark Zuckerberg’s very own sister.   Of course, this is boosting his recognition and scope of his  audience.

Oddly, but deliberately timed are her efforts.  Quintus has a mission – and a very personal and heavy time investment – of equipping men with knowledge, wisdom, and purpose primarily through the classics, history, and biography.  Notice the archive he is assembling at his site, the books he has written and the common themes throughout them and that its readable even by the layman.

On his site in the “About” section, you’ll notice that he says his goals are to educate, inspire, and to entertain and the different method he goes about achieving this.  Of course we all know feminists are harpies, but more articles about slutty Western women aren’t going to help men become their best and reverse our cultural decline.   Understanding this Quintus points out his educational mission:

Educate.  My books deal heavily with themes from history, philosophy, and biography.  I use these subjects as the trunk of the tree on which I can graft my own ideas and interpretations of these subjects.  I do not belong to any political affiliation; rather, I see myself as a “humanist” in the Renaissance sense of this term.  Several chapters of my books “Thirty Seven” and “Pantheon” deal specifically with this subject (i.e., the education of the young).
 
The current educational curriculum in the United States (as well as in much of the West) has seriously neglected classical learning and humanistic knowledge for some time.  This has resulted in the degradation of the training of character, morals, and masculine virtue.  Women have also suffered from this neglect of the cultivation of virtue.  A good portion of my readers are women, believe it or not.  My goal is to bring this neglected or forgotten knowledge to a new audience who may have never had any exposure to it before.  I have done this through my translations, books, and blog articles.

Quintus is serious in this endeavor. If you take the time, you’ll notice articles on everything ranging from proper speech delivery to ways to overcome failure to learn a new language.   Don’t forget knowledge about men’s health  and the necessity of variety in one’s fitness routines is covered. Can you see the classical influence yet?  Even in his travels he brings back lessons to be shared.

Most of the people we know have neither time nor reason to further their own self-education.  Netflix is too easy, gaming is too pleasant of a distraction,  criticizing feminism and SJWs easy slap-on-the-back choir noise,  and the 24/7 news cycle an addictive dopamine to convince ourselves we KNOW what’s actually going on.    So why bother?

To this extent, Quintus provides inspiration to delve deeper. Stumbling upon a writers best work is how you get hooked, and I’m glad I did.   While some of the more elite writers might scoff, awakening the desire to learn once again is how a cultural renaissance begins.  Quintus demonstrates why inspiration is so important:

Inspire.  Good writing inspires readers.  Reading about great figures in history, literature, art, science, medicine, and any other field of endeavor can inspire readers to their own achievements.  I have the ability to take incidents from history and to write about them in a way that focuses their relevance to contemporary affairs.  I also have written extensively about my own personal experiences and views of life.  Taken together, these subjects let readers know that they are not alone, and that others have shared their struggles and emerged triumphant.

Do you gentleman want to awaken some of that inspiration ? I’d highly recommend the survival story of anarartic explorer Douglas Mawson  in which Quintus demonstrates the importance of why his survival story MATTERS and what we can take away from it.

Mawson would survive through shear willpower alone one of the most harrowing and vicious conditions I’ve read about.  Here’s a quick summary: 310 miles from his main base in Antarctica him and his companion lost their sled-dog team and all of their food and resources which fell off an ice ledge.   He would drag his companion through the bitter freezing subzero conditions with winds that regularly reached 200 mph toward.

His companion would die from the conditions, but Mawson would refuse to give up even with his flesh falling off his bones .   Continuing toward a hut filled with supplies that was over a hundred miles away, he would LITERALLY will himself to survive, crawling and stumbling the last 26 miles to it.  Let Quintus relay the eloquence of this incredible feat in his own words:

“As he approached Commonwealth Bay, Mawson made out a black speck in the distance. He approached it, walking, stumbling, and crawling, and he could eventually see that it was the hut. One of the remaining search party, a man named Frank Bickerton, chanced to see Mawson lurching about in the distance in the snow. He and several other men ran out to make contact with the desperate figure. They did not know who he was at first. The skin was falling off what remained of his flesh, most of his hair had fallen out, his hands and feet were barely functional, he was covered in frostbite and frozen sores, and he could hardly speak. Mawson collapsed in their arms, and his ordeal was over.”

It was this story – which he tells in vivid detail in his book Pantheon, which I’ve read and poured through multiple times.   That leads us to another point actually – all of Quintus books should have notes taken on them during readings . Each time you come back to a particular essay, you can come away with new insight because his material is designed to be re-read and studied.

His approach to history is wide ranging, full of such depth, and dare I say; inclusive – and I don’t mean in the current sense of the buzzword.  Many of his lessons from history include the best of the Arab classists, poets, and historians ranging from Ibn Khallikan to Ibn Khaldun.  Quintus even delves into the work of Lu Hsun, Machiavelli, and Libanius.

This wide range also includes the importance of Brazilian explorers and photographers such as Candido Rondon and Sebastião Salgado as he find nuggets to share via Brazilian history.  Again, one that stands out in particular concerning Brazil is their “Rubber Soldiers” and how through their efforts in the Amazon, the US was able to have access to rubber during World War Two.  In my greatness, I’d never heard of them before.  But that’s not all.

Quintus realizes that an entertaining writer is one who can bring men out of their slumber.  Sometimes all we need is that small push to drive us toward finding a fire within ourselves.  Laziness is often far more difficult to overcome, but that bit of entertainment in one’s self education can be the spark.  Quintus points this out as the 3rd significant part of his mission:

Entertain.  Everyone likes a good, engaging story.  One cannot convey a message unless he is able to maintain the attention of the reader.  I have designed my books in such a way that they can be opened at any place, and read with profit and entertainment at that place.
 
My personal observation is that the youth (and adults) of today have lost touch with the values, mores, traditions, and glories of the past.  It is my purpose to hunt down these forgotten treasures, dust them off, and bring them to a new generation of readers in a way that is unique, engaging, and entertaining.  That is my purpose.

Did you know Michael Collins is more than just whiskey? How about the strange adventures of Antonio Marques da Sylva?  The story behind the character assassination of baseball legend Ty Cobb? The dark death rituals behind the history of the Sardonic Laugh”?  Ancient treatment for the Common Cold? The worst pistol of World War Two?  That Slobodan Milosevic wasn’t a war criminal?  I can’t help but remember Paul Harvey.

Quintus Curtius’ thorough examination of these men isn’t because of any faux appeal to “diversity” and political correctness, but because of the merit of their work.    That is exceedingly rare these days when it comes to trying to find extraordinary and worthy snippets from world writers past and present that isn’t being pushed for some kind of social justice-esque motive.

Do you really desire more than just mere “self-improvement”, but an understanding of history, philosophy, and culture that will teach life lessons? Quintus is then VERY worthy of your time – much more so than many of the writers out there that dabble in justifiable outrage porn – that we all enjoy.

What he seeks to give us is the wisdom that so many men have only managed to acquire late in their life – and if you look at the stories he unearths from the past, you may indeed come to know not just the rest of the story like Paul Harvey, but why you should take inspiration and motivation from it.  Take hold of the future for it lies before you.   Don’t let your youth be wasted on the young.   Invest your time in Quintus’s work and begin your quest.

 

 
 

Angry Conversation With a Stranger On A Train

It’s October of last year in the evening. I’ve made it to the train station just in time, half-walking and half-jogging.   My mood is somewhat relieved and I’m looking forward to listening to some music in the bliss of the ride home.

Hopping on the train at the Lake Forest stop, I grabbed a seat on the upper deck, put the other two down near me, and proceeded to lay down on them as a kind of makeshift bed.

Laying down, I glance up at my phone as I browsed through reddit and the newest stories of the perpetual outraged, headphones playing loud angry music in my ear.  Yes, I find Senses Fail to be quite relaxing.

Sounds.

Voiced sounds.

It looks like the guy across is talking to me.  His lips are moving.

Is he?

Yes, he is.

I take out my headphones and he wants to know if I’m okay,  as I was coughing while laying down.  He mentions that, “I’ve seen people die on this train.”

His tone of voice and his non-verbals are seeped in “hidden” distaste for me.  I ignore it, brush it off, and assure him I’m fine as I go back to Reddit.

15 minutes later I notice he is saying something again.

I take out my headphones to hear him.

By the way his mouth is moving and the look on his face, he doesn’t look happy.  This time he seemed VERY agitated about the way I was sitting. Apparently he thought I might be taking pictures of him with my phone, which I wasn’t.  I thought this odd considering how I was sitting and the direction I was facing.

He is now quite upset by the way I was laying down.

Again, he tells me that I am being rude.  How? My semi-open dangling legs were exposing my crotch to the Indian girl sitting several seats down and that was apparently very rude.

It was then that I realized I had been targeted.

He wasn’t going to let this go.  He was looking for a verbal confrontation and his cross-hairs had landed directly on me.

I sat up, took the initiative, and attempted to deflect and diffuse the verbal attacks.  I am a communications major after all.  Finally, perhaps I can see how well some of theories apply to real-world situations.

He’s in a half-rage mode; a strawman here and an angry passive-aggressive accusation there.  The anger and frustration in his voice is starting to build.   Conclusions and assumptions about me are landing left and right.

I’m taken back for a second. I was startled – almost confused.

What is this tumblr?  Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration.  

Picture courtsey of http://baptistnews.com/
Picture courtsey of http://baptistnews.com/

Apparently I was some punk ass-kid/student from Chicago coming down here to get off at Libertyville station stop and I didn’t give a fuck about the other people on the train.  Perhaps it’s my “hipster look” that planted the seeds of wrath.  I prefer to think of it instead as well-groomed and well-dressed for my stature. 

I pointed out to him that NO ONE has ever objected to the way I’ve laid down before.

In fact,  it had NEVER happened before.  He was the first damn one.  I’m starting get irritated now with him and how this has all started.

He insists its a matter of being respectful. My inner philosopher ignites and I assume that he will have a post-modern framework for his concept on “respect” and as to what constitutes as my previous “rude” behavior.   I begin my philosophical adventure.

I proceeded to question him on how he knew what was “Respectful.”  He appeals to the way he was raised.  Interesting.   Apparently us young punks know nothing about respect – I secretly agree with him.

Further in the conversation reveals that he is basing his view of the concept on experience, tradition, and essentially his parents.   This actually creates in me some respect for him and it causes me to pause in my planned verbal retaliation.

I started trying to think to myself about why he was giving me such a hard time. It was a serious, “Dude, wtf?” moment of thought.   Should I stand up for myself and not put up with this crap?  Perhaps I wasn’t giving him a reason to respect me.

We were now at a point where  I suspected that other people were going to become involved as his tone of voice kept getting louder.

Great.

I wasn’t in the mood for this to escalate and as much as I enjoy uncomfortable situations, this was lacking the humorous and adventurous side  to it.  Also, I was hoping the conductors weren’t going to get involved, though I was certain they’d side with me.

No, I was going to fight my own battles.  That’s what a man does – when he can.

It was here the conversation turned.

I pointed out to him I lived in Fox Lake, I also told him about how I thought his age had nothing to do with whether I respected his opinions or not.  Living in Fox Lake meant that I wasn’t some spoiled rich yuppie from Libertyville who thinks that the world is my trash dump.

I ask a few questions meant to flush out what was bugging him – what had caused the initial simmer of suppressed rage inside him.  I knew there was more here than meant the eye.  No one flies off the handle over something so small…

Conversations like these – maybe not as heated at first as this one was – are something I live for.  They break up the routine of my day. I made the most out of this one and I’m glad I did, because I learned something. 

This fellow’s name was Jim.

I plied Jim for more about himself and he told me his back-story.   He’s a 53 year old micro-biologist who works his ass off to put his two of his three daughters through college. His marriage leaves much to be desired and “support” isn’t something he’s experienced in a while. He’s struggling financially, but fishing with his buddies at least gives him some reprieve.   Put blankly, he feels unfulfilled, confused, and somewhat jaded through life – a state of almost mental and emotional exhaustion.

Even though, my situation isn’t even close to his, I felt a kind of kinship for Jim – as man to man.   It’s no accident that I feel as I’ve met people just like him before with similar frustrations with life.

I feel a sense of sympathy for him.

During the rest of the ride and our conversation, he would apologize several times to me. Throughout the conversations, he would continue this regarding the initial assumptions he had made about me, but I told him not to worry about it.

“The past is the past,” I told him.   For the most part, that is a motto I live by.

Jim you see is a classic example of a guy going on through life who needs a chance to vent every once in a while, but doesn’t.  I don’t know if he’s ever really been given the chance, but I suspect he’s had this bottled up in him for a while.

It was the small action of the way I laid that set him off.  I had experienced my own WW1 spark in interpersonal conflict.

Jim is a good guy, but he’s been through a lot more than I would have thought.  . He tells me stories about how he’s been attacked and beat up in Fox Lake outside of bars.  Drinking sometimes has a steeper price than a hangover.

He was starting to see crime, drug deals around the Fox Lake train station and even right outside the Thortons nearby.  The realization of the scuminess of my town and that of humanity was getting to him. He emphasized that no one cared about what had happened to him or what was happening around.

That was what got me. No one cared about what he had seen, heard, and experienced so he never bothered to vent about it.    No support, he just kept it tightly wrapped and wound up.

What happened to Jim – just one action- that magnifies to a great extent the rest of what he has been feeling and seeing can happen to myself.

I literally told him when we got off the train, “There’s only so much a man can handle before he explodes.”  I’ll never forget the look on his face. It was one of gratitude and of shock in that he realized I understood him – despite our difference in age and situations.

                                    In every story and conversation there is a lesson.

 

All men out there need a time and a chance to vent.   This isn’t toxic masculinity; it’s the necessary expression of rage and anger that we are forced to keep a lid on.

This of course doesn’t change the fact that most men keep this rage, frustration, depression, and anger pent up.   Some have found ways to manage – the gym, 1st person shooters, sports, ect, but is it enough?  I suppose  these methods won’t get your a way that won’t get you arrested, hated, and in constant fights with your wife, but there must be more.

We all need friends – real friends – as an outlet and as support to  get things off your chest that no one else will understand or be able to hear.   Your wife, girlfriend, or effeminate therapist wont’ be able to console you in the same way that other men will.  These male friends can provide you with the wisdom that is gained from the experience of life, as well as the understanding of the vast challenges that men face in today’s culture.

They won’t BS you, but they will hear you out, and offer the necessary – if rough – advice that others won’t.  Reddit might be one way to do this, but face-to-face with close male friends is the best.  This isn’t homosexual, it’s simply men getting close with another and bonding over the challenges and quest that is life.

Get it all off your chest.

We all have pent up rage that builds. It’s a matter of fact of life. The people who explode are some how seen as terrible, immature, ect but the reality of life is that this is just a natural part of humanity.

Let it go.

Don’t be afraid to tell your friends what’s really on your mind.  Be yourself and I’m not saying that in a BS “feel good” cultural way.  Find and make close male friends who are willing to help you out and offer you solid wise advice.

Before we parted ways at the station, Jim told me he was glad the conversation happened.

I was too.

It was a raw unfiltered and genuine conversation that should happen between men more often.

 

Weight Loss and Caring About Your Friends

How much do you care about your friends?
How much do you care about your friends?

A friend of mine has been struggling in the dating market – to put it simply.  She wants a guy that is attracted to her, and she wants to share in that same reciprocity.   We will call her Liz.  A Facebook status about it went up.

(Disclosure: Liz had a crush on me for a long time.  Her weight was the main reason I didn’t share the same feelings.  You can’t force attraction. ) 

Now Liz isn’t exactly the most attractive girl, and the fact that she is overweight doesn’t make it any easier for her to improve this.   Most of her friends posted things like, “Oh you are sooooo pretty,” and “Guys will and/or should like you for your personality.”

I decided to be more honest, though I made sure to cushion it, “It wouldn’t hurt to lose some weight.”

Sensible advice right? Weight loss is one of the most effective ways to make yourself more attractive, assuming you are overweight.  Your 20s are a time when you should be making the most out of your looks – regardless of how limited they may be.   It is when you are at your physical prime.

Heresy.  

Getting to a normal healthy weight?

Damnable fat shaming, body hate social media heresy.

One response involved something like, “Those people are shallow anyway, they should like you for who you are, and they wouldn’t be worth it if they don’t like you now.”

That’s flattering and to some extent is true, but it doesn’t nullify the fact that the potential dating pool of nice guys who may be interested in Liz for her personality and who she is are far and few between.   Then then throw in the percentage of “those”  nice guys who Liz is actually attracted to and the prospects are rather grim.

It is in fact a comfortable lie, but it ignores a fundamental truth; People are shallow. I’m shallow. Even those people who are not are very unlikely to give her a chance to reveal her inner beauty.

Instead of telling Liz the truth like real friends would, they continue to lie and tell her things she knows isn’t true.

As Andrew from TheRulesRevisited pointed out, in regards to a guy and his girlfriend,

“When you do these things, you are letting your girlfriend wallow in her mediocrity. If you tell your friend that she looks good when she doesn’t, she isn’t going to make an effort to look better next time”

You can boost her ego, but that won’t help her situation get any better. It also won’t promote REAL confidence.

Liz’s situation isn’t unique. It’s far more common then we realize and it means that there is a large group of people all seeking romance, but doing it with what is essentially a paper bag on their heads when compared to the more in shape parts of the population.

Basically there is an abundance of overweight people who don’t want fellow overweight people, but the slimmer more attractive folks they see in TV shows and film.   We all want a mate of the opposite sex who is more attractive then us.  (Excluding the 5% or lower of “other” sexual attractions.)

Don’t believe me?

A Large Nation-Wide Problem

 

Obesity and curse of being overweight have struck our society hard. Romance – or at least the possibility of finding it – is made even more difficult for a rather large percentage of the population:

  • Percent of adults age 20 years and over who are obese: 35.1% (2011-2012)
  • Percent of adults age 20 years and over who are overweight, including obesity: 69.0% (2011-2012)

Let’s not pull punches.  Being overweight and obesity has killed members on my dad’s side of the family because of things like heart disease, diabetes, and sleep apnea.   Thing is they already know about this and about how bad it is, but it’s so hard for them to lose the weight and there is a rather scary reason for it.

If we are perfectly honest, if you were overweight as a kid, it’s much harder to lose weight as an adult than it would be if you at a normal weight as a kid.

“The number of fat cells a person has is determined by late adolescence; although overweight and obese children can lose weight, they do not lose the extra fat”

What can we do with inconvenient truth?   Well, I could encourage her to “accept her body” and hope things get better.  Natural confidence right?  It won’t change the situation and it isn’t going to magically attract any “good-looking guys” to her,  but it should make her feel happy and proud about her body.

According to the body and fat acceptance crowd at Identities.Mic it will.

“The intersectional issues of size, health and weight loss are far more complicated than we’ve been led to believe, and this lack of understanding has led to weight-based discrimination becoming a serious problem across the world. Widespread anti-fat prejudice typically stems from misconceptions about health, weight and body positivity, and negatively affects millions of people every day.

People are allowed to make their own decisions regarding their own bodies, but we need to start treating people of all sizes with respect.”

Somehow, I don’t see how this is going to help these overweight people find the storybook romance they so desperately seek instead of the in-game WOW partner we are encouraging them to quest with.  Nor will it deal with the vicious health problems that will occur once you hit your 30s and later.  Note some damage is irreversible, and when that becomes the kind of body power/acceptance doesn’t seem very “feminist” to me.

Now, your life doesn’t exactly stop when you are overweight – nor should it,  but will you actually get the romance and love life you desire from the people you are attracted to?  The crew at RandolphRiot definitely seem to think so.

“Fat Fashion is all about women feeling comfortable in their own bodies no matter how big they are! This form of feminism is helping women feel empowered by their own bodies no matter how small or big the woman might be, and I believe that is an amazing accomplishment. This gives me hope!”

Hope.  It’s a big deal – for anyone. In fact without it, people have loss the will to live.  It can motivate you, but is the self-backlash worse if you realize the hope is false and/or misplaced?

“…Do you think this form of feminism can lead to the elimination of the perfect body image?”

No.

Because people are visual creatures, and because some kind of “preferrable” standard will always exist.   We can eliminate all the current media driven standards on beauty and any words used to describe them, but culture will simply form new ones.    Why?

People are shallow.

I’m shallow.

However, most people aren’t going to wade through the unattractive waters to see if anything desirable lies beneath. Liz won’t be given the chance.  Perhaps those guys who don’t give her the chance aren’t worth it, but the guys who will?   Chances are, she isn’t going to be attracted to any of them.   I’ve seen it happen many times already.   Is there still a chance for the magical and mystical quest that is Romance?  Some fat-acceptance advocates on Psychology Today seem to think so:

“Love, sex and romance did not stop for close to a hundred million people! Let’s face it—we live in a culture that shames fat. An entire diet industry is built around that shame

We also live in a culture that shame cigarette smokers, but I suppose that doesn’t count. Well, is it shameful to encourage people to be healthier?

“The message that is being delivered in great big heaping doses is pretty simple: if you lose the weight—you will find love, romance and sex. Thin equals happy and entitlement. Fat equals broken and not worthy. What they don’t tell you is that there are plenty of unhappy thin people too. Thin is simply not the magic bullet”

She actually is right, but it will greatly increase your chances. People might actually give you a second look on Tinder before they swipe.  They might be more likely to help you out in the store – happens to me alot.  Guys might actually look directly at you for a while before looking at your friends next to you.

Is this mean?

At this point in the social justice epidemic, I can’t be bothered to care anymore if I want to continue merely drawing breath; thanks Tumblr and feminist fat acceptance screeds.   However, boosting their self-esteem by lying to them isn’t going to land them any more success in the dating market.   It doesn’t mean that they should give up and stop trying, but things could be much easier.

In case you don’t know, I’m actually a hopeless romantic.

Deep down, I want everyone to find someone to live that idea Notebook life with – that includes social justice warriors and ardent radical feminists.  I want them to experience love, romance, and that good old life that I myself desire.

Something else the manosphere has got wrong is its reaction to the fat acceptance movement and this whole “fat shaming” theory that is raging in the feminist blogosphere.   I’m not shocked that overweight obese feminists want to abort beauty standards, “cultural norms” of what is attractive, and the ideal body weight.  You would too if the men you were interested in were getting snagged by more attractive and fitter competition.

However, Fat Shaming” isn’t the answer.    If I’m brutally honest, I found ROK’s #fatshamingweek to be hysterical with some of their tweets.  Yes, I still find dark morbid jokes that deal with obesity to be funny.  (All or nothing when it comes to my take on comedy and what the limits are.)

https://twitter.com/PlayDangerously/status/389951326534111233

As Mike has later realized, this does nothing to actually help, besides generating outrage, which it did very successfully.  None of that however is going to convince people to lose weight.  They already know they are overweight, and they know it is affecting them.    The hope you can provide support to the people you value in continuing to help them lose weight, exercise, and even diet.

What Can You Do?

If you really care about someone, you present them the cold harsh truth, but you are supportive in how you do it.  You are essentially giving a friendly critique, rather then a trolling criticism designed to make them feel more shitty.

Here’s a personal story that relates to my family:

My dad who was about 5 foot 7 inches and weighed over 360 pounds struggled to be able to do any exercise.   He started to rapidly gain weight when he hit about 23 and the weight just kept adding up.   Around 48, he started experiencing nausea, dizziness, feeling light-headed, and he was drinking an excess of water as he felt constantly thirsty.  He was was exhausted and never felt rested; his sleep apnea made this even worse.

A similar weight, lack of exercise, and bad diet had killed my dad’s father at only 54.  I was worried about his weight and so were my mom’s parents in particular.

What woke my dad up was finding out that he had the signs of type two diabetes.   From this point, he did everything he could to try to improve and change his diet.  He started to eat only whole foods, and avoided processed foods.  When he ate meat, it was grass-fed.  He would switch to actual raw milk.

Upon reading “Forks Over Knives” and doing a lot of his own research, he would become a Vegan for dietary reasons.  Fast forward just about two years and my dad has lost over 120 pounds.  He reversed the type 2 diabetes, has lower blood pressure than me, and has no signs of heart disease.

Just over a year into his Veganism, he started to be able to finally exercise, play floor hockey, and feel refreshed and full of energy.   (Note, I’m not a Vegan.)

That support is key.   Once you hit a certain threshold, it becomes VERY difficult to lose weight, like it was for my dad.  Often people’s jobs actively hinder exercise and our American time centered culture usually entails to many people frequently eating terribly on the run.

Often, I see many people in the fat acceptance movement promote the same kinds of lifestyles that killed my Grandpa so early as something to be embraced. It is isn’t and it rather angers and disturbs me that the movement is lying to people in the way it is.

However, that won’t blind me from the fact that it really is hard to lose weight, my dad being the anecdotal evidence.   My dad’s life didn’t come to a stop just because of his weight issues, but they were a profound barrier and hindrance to him living well, active, and actually enjoying each day.

People in the Fat Acceptance/Body Acceptance movement will stand by it, but sometimes it’s critics – myself included – overlook the efforts they put in to trying to live healthy lifestyle, being active, exercising,  losing weight, and trying to get healthier. (Diet may be the easiest approach at first.)  Instead of trashing them, we should be encouraging them.

Take for example a somewhat better known fat acceptance advocate by the name of Ragen Chastain who runs the advocacy site, “Dances With Fat”.   While we may facetiously chuckle at the title, Ragen is on the frontlines fighting the fat fight – but doing at least some of it in a healthy way.   She teaches a dance class, does some dancing herself, as well as from what I can tell some form of exercising.

Dancing is very good exercise.

She of course is a social justice advocate, member of the “fatosphere”, an ardent feminist, and she brings awareness to tumblrisms like, “Thin privilege,” in her fight against “cultural beauty norms”.  It perturbs and saddens me.  She lists more about her ideas:

As a plus-sized professional athlete, I practice Health at Every Size and as a human being I am an unwavering advocate for Size Acceptance – the civil rights truth that every body deserves respect and that the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are inalienable, not contingent on size, health, or dis/ability.

Wait what?

The civil rights truth that everyone deserves respect…  Well,  with ideological opponents, you often have to agree to disagree.

She also promotes health at every size.   What exactly is that?  Well according to her it is:

 

  1. Accepting and respecting the diversity of body shapes and sizes

  2. Recognizing that health and well-being are multi-dimensional and that they include physical, social, spiritual, occupational, emotional, and intellectual aspects

  3. Promoting all aspects of health and well-being for people of all sizes

  4. Promoting eating in a manner which balances individual nutritional needs, hunger, satiety, appetite, and pleasure

  5. Promoting individually appropriate, enjoyable, life-enhancing physical activity, rather than exercise that is focused on a goal of weight loss

Well there is plenty there that I and others would point out is wrong, but instead let’s focus on what she said that she get’s right which I’ve underlined and bolded.   At least she is trying to do better and get others who struggle with weight to engage in things like, “Life-enhancing activity.”    In fact, she does actually have some decent diet and activity ideas worth checking out.

(She actually finished a 26 mile marathon in Seattle about two years ago.  For her size and weight, that’s pretty damn impressive. I haven’t even attempted a marathon that long.) 

Good for her.

Hopefully, she lives a well-fulfilled life and enjoys every moment of it to the max.  I do however suspect that if she lost some weight, her beauty wouldn’t be as obscured.  Like it or not, people are more respectful, are friendlier, and more partial to those they regard as beautiful.

Insisting that everyone is “beautiful” at every size isn’t going to magically make it so.     Reducing the word so that it means essentially nothing won’t change that either.   It will just be replaced by words like, “preference”.

That is the point.  

If you want to widen your net to include more attractive dating partners, you will have to make an effort to do the same.   This may be shallow, but it’s something that will never change – regardless of how many times social justice warriors insist that it just merely another cultural norm that must be eliminated.

Encourage your friends to widen their nets by losing weight.  Yes, you can be happy and still be overweight, but you could be so much more.

Speak up.  

 

Don’t be afraid.

 

Tell the truth.

 

Support them. 

 

We Are Terrified of Actual Romance

That empty seat besides you in your heart…

The Desire For Romance

They say that you aren’t ready to be with someone else if you haven’t fixed your own problems.   Well, with that conclusion, it seems no one is ready to date or find a relationship. In fact, it sounds more like an excuse because we refuse to face the fact that we are terrified of actual romance – or the possibility and potential of it.

How many people these days do you know have relationships that never last more than a few months? Or when things get serious, they scamper away?  Commitment these days is a dirty and scary word.   Many will tell you that you don’t want to be first in vocalizing your desire for commitment.  It all becomes a series of games between men and women.

In your 20s, you are supposed to play the field.   We are told there is always more fish in the sea. That’s true.   But here’s a sobering thought: What if you missed that one special person – that love of your life?  An abundance mentality is key for confidence and avoiding loneliness and depression, but what if you end up “nexting” of the one women who was the love of your life?

75% of married people, according to the Inquisitr,  report “settling” as they have lost their chance at true love.  Yea, that’s depressing.  In fact 46% of those people would leave their relationship for their true love.   That says something about the power of love.

My generation – millennials – seemingly have a terrifying fear of missing out.  We want to remain single, available, and in the mode of continued experimentation – yet we fear a potential future of remaining single. It’s a disturbing catch-22 filled with cognitive dissonance.  We “settle”, but we don’t fall in love.  Again, I suggest that some of us may have missed out.

The vicious truth of today’s consumer and materialistic society is that everyone is focused on their career above all else.  When push comes to shove, most people will gladly sacrifice their romance for a future that’s not even guaranteed.   Men and women are fed the lie that you don’t need someone else – a lie that flies in the face of all of human history and biology. This thinking is willfully promoted by feminism in that women don’t need a man and in reverse by the some in the manosphere that men don’t need women.   I call BS.  As FreeNortherner points out,

“However much some feminists and some MGTOWs rage against it, men and women want to be together with each other. They want to love and be loved.”

We want to be loved, needed, desired, and sought after.  The consistent denial of this is leading to people with unhappy lives, scores of people on depression, and every medical condition under the sun that’s popped up in the last two decades.

Romance Or A Career?

I for one will always choose my relationships over a career.   Now this doesn’t mean one should let themselves go completely, be lazy, ect.  Simply realize that life is short and you want to enjoy it the best you can with someone you care about and love.

I believe there are more people with these thoughts out there, but they are becoming rarer as our society degrades into a smartphone and social media obsessed cespool of vanity, jealous, and envy.   Often we don’t actually want romance – we want material things which we think will lead to it.

1. Love is a spark of physical, psychological, and emotional intimacy.   It’s so intense, that it scares people.  The uncomfortable truth is that relationships take work.  Perhaps love is where you throw everything aside for that special person.  There isn’t exactly a backup plan – another scary thought in today’s often shallow relationships, but it’s crossed my mind.

2. Relationships are work – and anything that takes work is a potential hazard that can bog us down in our quest to experience life.   Yes, we may be experiencing life, but are we actually experiencing any of the romance that we so keenly and subconsciously desire?

Ultimately, people want other people who have something going for them and this is often reflected in career, fame, friends, family, and a bright future.  You sometimes just hope that you may experience a bright future with someone who doesn’t care about how much money you bring to the table.  As Alice from the Honeymooners said to Ralph before she married him, “Ralph, I’d be happy to live in a tent with you.”

It shocks me how many people I’ve met who are dirt poor, yet are happy as can be with each other.   They don’t need anything else but the two of them.  Considering how short life is and how tomorrow isn’t guaranteed,  they may be on to something.

 

P.S. food for thought:

Is it Cultural Appropriation? Or Perpetual Fake Outrage?

Wait, You Still Are Racist!

Nothing can destroy your career, cost you Facebook friends, and present many other life-enduring difficulties such as people believing that you are racist or have done something racist.  Being declared as a racist is almost like being labeled a heretic in the 14th century, except you might not be burned at the stake… yet.

“Cultural appropriation” is just the newest frontier in the fight against racism – a struggle that looks like it will never be overcome, not even in the most luscious of utopias.  It is also a cleverly designed tactic by certain folks to not only stop “racism”, but to make sure that it continues to endure and spread.    You can shout cultural appropriation when a member of a different race, culture, ethnicity, ect does something similar to your own.   Once they stop, you can then shout, “Non-inclusive environments and ingrained structural racism is preventing them from appreciating the unique aspects of our culture in society!”   It’s a brilliant Catch-22 and a way to always have something “ethno-centric and racial-centric” to criticize.   Page views over controversial headlines anyone?

Now,  I’m half-white and I can play the “genocide” card, so luckily when I enter into specific left-wing conversations and “internet spaces”, nothing I do can be racist because there is no such thing as reverse racism, members of the oppressing class can’t be oppressed ect.    Sweeping labels and generalizations really are a wondrous thing.

I came across this article on XoJane by Dianca London,  “UNPOPULAR OPINION: I Can’t Love Taylor Swift Anymore Because Yes, “Shake It Off” Is Still Racist”.    Quite a claim.   So how was it and Taylor Swift being racist?

“I felt nothing but frustration and anger watching Swift’s quirky twerk and even more anger as I watched her crawl on her knees beneath a line of twerking bodies. The coy look on her face as she stared at the bodies above her made me sick. It wasn’t just problematic. It was racist.”

She ends this article with a stern warning about the effects of  cultural appropriation.

“Cultural appropriation might be a current hot topic for bloggers and those who consider themselves to be allies of women of color, but for women of color like me, it’s another reminder of all the ways in which my identity is constantly being devalued, mocked, and trivialized by the media and its stars. “

So how does one go about determining what exactly is culture appropriation?

Well damn.

Remember the white girl who donned some lengthy braids a few weeks back? She was eviscerated on social media, because apparently people of African descent own braids.   Apparently, there are many styles, foods, ideas, ect owned by certain cultures and those of us not in those particular cultures are left in stark and utter confusion as to whether we can make their food, listen to their music, or become Hindus.   At this point, we might as well throw Eminem to the dogs because “rap” is clearly owned by black folks.

I sense a disturbance in the Force.

But Multiculturalism?!?!

There seems to be this fine line between “appropriating minority culture” and embracing someone’s cultural ideas, styles, ect.  Can it happen in the reverse? Is all of history simply “cultural appropriation”?   Tumblr of course tells us that cultural appropriation can only happen one way, specifically when concerned with “White supremacy, white privilege, entitlement, colonialism, ect.”   There is a GIGANTIC elephant in the “cultural appropriation” room. It’s called multiculturalism – a deeply held value by many of those who also hold onto the idea of “cultural appropriation

It is very disturbing that in one breath people can rage about about society not being “inclusive” and then in the next use phrases like cultural appropriation?   The entire idea of cultural appropriation seems to be a direct contradiction in the embracing of the values of multiculturalism.   Or we can embrace the segregation of cultures with concepts like, “cultural appropriation” and then rage as to why racism and cultural conflict is “still” on the never-ending rise.

Wherever this “line” is, I’m still not sure.

A sneaking suspicion arises in my mind.  Those who claim “cultural appropriation” and offense from are desperate to find something to label, “racist”, so that people will pay attention to them.  Rising to the number one slot in the “Oppression Olympics” is far more important than real racism, because in order for the country to supposedly conquer racism, there must always be perpetual outrage concerning the subject, even if no racism is witnessed in one’s daily life.

Simply put, if you can’t find racism in someone’s actions or words, find something new to insinuate as “racist”.  I am however starting to not care about claims of cultural appropriation, whether someone else commits them or I do.

If you do want to call out and maintain a consistent platform that prohibits “Cultural Appropriation”, here are some great places to think about and start!

“1. Eating at Chinese restaurants by white Americans and other majority non-Chinese should be looked down upon, as it entails the physical ingestion of Chinese culture.

2. Anyone who suffers a serious but non-permanent physically debilitating injury shouldn’t be allowed the use of a wheelchair, as this is an ableist appropriation of differently abled culture.

3. Members of the privileged and oppressive white majority should never, under any circumstances, expose themselves to black entertainment or express an appreciation for it. Jay Z is for black men and women only and the producers of 12 Years a Slave should give back the film’s Best Picture Oscar in the name of making a direct statement against appropriation. The same goes for Latino entertainment. Production on Machete Kills in Space by Open Road Films should be halted immediately.

4. Under no circumstances should members of the privileged class give their children ethnic names without the express written consent of a majority of that culture or a dual ruling from the staff of Salon.com and that woman who runs Shakesville. Anglo Americans specifically should be required to research proposed names for their children to ensure that the meaning of each name has no ethnic connotation going back at least four generations. Also, no Biblical names unless one is Jewish or otherwise related by blood to the cultures of the Middle East and holy land.

5. Heterosexuals or members of the heteronormative patriarchy may not, during karaoke, perform the version of Willkommen made famous by Alan Cumming in the 1998 Broadway revival of Cabaret, as that would be an immeasurable appropriation of gay and bisexual culture. Likewise, no one outside of the LGBT, specifically the trans, community should be allowed to watch and enjoy RuPaul’s Drag Race.”

Doubting The Faith, But Demanding A Purpose

For those of you who don’t know, I was raised as a Christian.  In fact, I still retain many elements of a Christian worldview.  However, it would be disingenuous to call myself one considering I am not practicing nor embracing key parts of the faith.  I am still highly sympathetic to the overall Christian community

To be honest, I’m not completely sure what I believe.   Most of those who leave the faith usually do for reasons of outright rebellion. It is fair to say that I am in a rebellion of sorts, but I still don’t see it as a enough of a reason to completely throw out my worldview.

My “deviation” from the faith has taken place within the last year or so and has been for mostly carnal reasons – engaging in pre-marital sex and a kind of enjoyable narcissism – yet I remain very conflicted.    I enjoy my current life of sinful pleasure, to the point of willful rebellion, but I am fully aware of it.

My father raised me with a Christian worldview, specifically one that deals.  heavily with presuppositional thinking – something that I filter every idea through.   It has caused me to become somewhat of a philosopher at heart.   I’ve looked for alternatives to the faith, but I have not found any viable ones.  I know I am not alone in this predicament.

Most of my friends who became Atheists, Agnostics, or whatever else did so for the reason as to be absolved of responsibility to a specific moral authority.   They are essentially advocates of a moral relativism that allows them to do whatever they wish at this particular time.   I see why they do this and it is an easy route.  I however feel that is shallow.

At my core, I am desperate for a worldview that isn’t dependent on human reason for it’s moral standards, its tenants, and its suggested purpose of life.  Because of this, I find the concept of appealing to human reason through human reason to be circular logic and foolish.

The problem for me is that if I ditch religion, science can’t actually provide me with answers to the major questions of reality, not to mention that science is totally useless on moral questions.  One person pointed this idea out on a comment thread:

“Science, properly defined and understood, explicitly refuses to even get involved in the most important questions. Life, the Universe, Everything. Science stops with a firm thud at the Big Bang, saying nothing at all about what came before or even if that question is even a meaningful one. Science can’t come to grips with Why.

Currently I am at this odd crossroads of depressing philosophical thought:  If there is no absolute truth of any kind – might makes right.  Influence, power, and money make right.  The implication is too scary for me to accept.   Instead I suggest like the X-Files says, “The Truth Is Out There.”  I really hope it is.

I have come to ponder upon the idea that life is short.  I could die tomorrow.  Any of us could.

I am not daft however.


What To Do?

I don’t want to live as a hedonistic narcissist because of this acknowledgment, but I also want to enjoy every last second I have – while still planning and anticipating the future.  Yes, I feel as if I am consumed by cognitive dissonance.

In the Bible, the first chapter of Ecclesiastes covers the concept of vanity, something that has created in me a philosophical mood and outlook that is seriously and worryingly quite pessimistic.

16 I said in my heart, “I have acquired great wisdom, surpassing all who were over Jerusalem before me, and my heart has had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.” 17 And I applied my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is but a striving after wind.

18 For in much wisdom is much vexation,
    and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.

Hate the Bible or not, this is a valid and important point.  The more “knowledge” we acquire, the more despondent and pessimistic we become.    Getting that college degree, large house with a white picket fence, a family and children, ect seems almost useless and vain.  What’s the point? Shouldn’t I just become a complete hedonist and live every moment like it’s my last?

We all die at some point. Nothing can go with us, and we have no idea if there is any kind of afterlife or not.

This disturbs me because the idea of an afterlife is often the only thing that inspires people to be “good” – and I shudder at how relative the idea of what is “good” has become in modern society.   In the modern world, “good” is simply determined by who has the biggest megaphone on social media and who is driving the current accepted cultural narrative of “good.”   That is comforting, and yes, anyone with a brain can see that the assertion I just made is correct.

People mention we are progressing in concern to humanity and what is “good”, but no one seems to have a destination in mind as to exactly where we are progressing.   I.E. -” Like in art when a work is described as ‘significant’ – Significant of what?”  

If good is as relative as everyone these days insist it is – because absolute truth is such a dangerous concept – then what is there to stop us from evil besides the threat of punishment from a government for whatever is accepted as “evil” in our current time?

Quintus Curtius from the manosphere brings up an important point about this:

Man cannot be exhorted to do good by words alone; he must be held in the grip of terror by a religion that promises damnation if he misbehaves. Religion provides the backing to a moral code that rises above man; the myths, fables , and stories of religion are there for a purpose, and that purpose is to impart a moral code that can keep man’s baser instincts in check.

Curtius, Quintus (2014-09-05). Thirty Seven: Essays On Life, Wisdom, And Masculinity (p. 27).

“He also needs myths to sustain him, to console him in his bereavements, to provide a code to anchor his life, and to impart a sense of meaning to this mortal existence. Snatch away his mythos, rob him of his ideal, and you banish his spirit to a rudderless drifting in life’s drama. It is a cruel fate, and one that is far too common. But for some men, the myth is strong. And it is the last thing to die.”

– Curtius, Quintus (2014-09-05). Thirty Seven: Essays On Life, Wisdom, And Masculinity (p. 25).

As the great Christian thinker and philosopher Francis Schaeffer would say, “How then should we live?” Like Shaeffer, I desire an absolute of some kind – in his case the Bible – as to which I can conduct my life and evaluate society.    There is an interesting point about Schaeffer’s interpretation of the moral quandary impacting modern society in his, “How Then Should We Live” series:

“When we base society on humanism, which he defines as “a value system rooted in the belief that man is his own measure, that man is autonomous, totally independent”,[6] all values are relative and we have no way to distinguish right from wrong except for utilitarianism.[7] Because we disagree on what is best for which group, this leads to fragmentation of thought,[8] which has led us to the despair and alienation so prevalent in society today.

I am feeling this despair.  I don’t know honestly know how to solve it, but I fear that the longer I go without an answer, the more worried I become about my future.   I want to retain the Christian faith that I had, but the “faith” part is lacking.

I am eagerly exploring “alternatives”, but there seems to be no worldview out there which doesn’t require a fundamental leap of faith at its core to begin it’s particular journey.   Yes, science can give us facts, but it can’t answer metaphysical issues nor these two questions which pop into my head every day:

What is my purpose in this life? How should I live my life knowing that tomorrow isn’t guaranteed?

In fact, where do I go from here? What do I do?  How should I live?   Is there any conclusion whatsoever that isn’t fallible and based on the assumption of humanity? I have become stuck in a circular spacial vacuum of uncertainty and I don’t like it.

Why is Catcalling Bad?

We are often told in life that many things are “bad”.     Some are obvious – theft, rape, murder, ect.  Others such as “cat-calling” are not.   I ran into this article on XoJane in which this smoking hot babe was catcalled. Determined to do something about it, she confronted every last one of them.  Either there were only 3 encounters worth mentioning, or she was only catcalled three times – group encounter for one of those – in a week.

Something that kept popping up in my mind: Why actually is catcalling bad? Most men – and I use that concept sparingly – know that it often doesn’t work, hence it usually is employed as more of a “I’m messing with you” kind of interaction.   Well these days, almost any kind of interaction can become undesirable, offensive, and even become capable of being defined as harassment.

Catcalling has been a bullet point for most of today’s modern first-world feminists. We know they don’t like it, but they never have really set up a “doctrinal statement” with all the trimmings as to why catcalling is offensive.   (1) “I’m offended”, is not an actual valid argument.  Why should we care? Just to get the cycle rolling, perhaps we are offended that they are offended.   (2) Just because certain women are offended by it does not actually make it offensive.  (3) Interactions that make you uncomfortable aren’t inherently wrong.

Her main “argument” against catcalling seemed to be that it makes women feel afraid:

How can you explain to a stranger that a compliment makes us feel afraid? That words like gorgeous and beautiful sound like threats when we hear them whispered to us on an empty street late at night? That we feel uneasy, objectified, and uncomfortable when you say this to us while we’re going about our normal routine, not asking to be judged on our appearance out loud? That this thing they do for fun is at the expense of our peace of mind?

So if something makes someone afraid, we shouldn’t say it? Where exactly is the line drawn? So what if it causes fear? What if this women actually causes fear just by the sound of her voice?

That’s not a quick chat you can have with a stranger on a street corner. It needs to be part of a bigger conversation, earlier on, by the people who are in charge of shaping you into a respectable human. When we’re being taught as young women not to respond to this kind of attention, we need to also be teaching our young men not to engage in this behavior in the first place.

Until she and the rest of these radical 3rd wave feminists provide a thorough methodology as well as a strong philosophical foundation for why young men shouldn’t cat call,   we should ignore and dismiss her demands as illogical and irrational.  In fact, I’ve talked to girls who claim they like and enjoy cat-calling.  While it is a somewhat mundane form of validation, why should I encourage others to acquiesce to the demands of this writer vs these other girls I’ve talked to? It’s also not just the ladies I’ve talked to but ladies online, including self-identifying feminists.   Decisions, decisions.

I very much dislike in today’s polarized and vitriolic climate.  I also take issue with the constant refusal and automatic dismissal of people based on what they identify with as well as the labels others give them – yes that includes radical feminists and all other “labels” I disprove of.   We should never become these irate walking narcissists who will only associate with others who think as we do.   However, we must be careful as well.

In the end, if a woman confronts you about “catcalling” its an immediate, glaring, and vibrant red flag that you should ignore her and refuse to converse with her any further. Walk away, and if she refuses to stop following you, threaten to call the police.  The chances are high she could be a radical feminists who has a score to settle with the male half of our species and defining your words as “harassment” is her logical next step.   When you run into the Jezebels of the world, it’s best to avoid them, or face their wrath in which the ends always justify the means.

Happy Conversing.

“Harassment” Doesn’t Affect Nor Negate the Validity of #GamerGate’s Call For Ethics in Gaming Journalism

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Retaking The Narrative: Ethics in Gaming Journalism

“Guilt by Association” or rather “Wrong by Association” is one of the most utilized tactics of the online media age. It panders to the to the intellectual laziness in our culture which finds it much easier to dismiss arguments based on where they come from rather then what they are.

It is why you will see/hear people dismiss arguments and positions based on retorts such as, “Alex Jones nut”, liberal whackjob, bible thumper, fundamentalist, ect.  instead of bothering to actually examine people’s arguments  Why? Because it is far less tim consuming to simply dismiss ideas based on who has said them. This is essentially intellectual laziness, which as we can see, is really bad for a culture.

These tactics are used today by not just SJWs, but by most passionate souls on the internet.  Often in order to discredit your opponents argument(s) in the ever watchful internet eye,  opponents will attempt to associate a group or a movement with (1) their most radical members who are examples of poor judgement and unwise actions (2) define what the movement is about primarily about rather then it’s own advocates.

Essentially, they attempt to dictate and control the narrative and construct straw men about what you supposedly believe, and then proceed to beat the ever loving shit out of them.   It’s a dirty sneaky tactic and it is one we should be aware of.

Currently, I believe anti GamerGaters and SJWs have managed to dictate the narrative and determine what we will talk forcing us to often be on the defensive.

We’ve been sidetracked defending ourselves against “harassment” claims of people like Wu, Randi, Chu, ect.  While many in #GamerGate justifiably dislike what SJW’s have slowly done to gaming, they are not the main focus – Corruption and a complete lack of ethics in gaming journalism is.  To make matters worse, it isn’t even just gaming journalism that has gone down hill,  it’s the majority of publications, newspapers, and websites that have been influenced by the “Post Now, Update Later” mentality.

While it is unwise to ignore the actions of the SJWs that will do anything to destroy those who support GamerGate, we can not focus on them, yet we must still be aware of them. Remember, they are their own worst enemy.

I sense a disturbance in the Force

Their actions in doxing, outing, harassing, and threatening minorities, gays, women, transgenders who support GamerGate prove that they really don’t care about them to the neutrals and the rest of the world that is watching.  It shows that identity politics and ideology trumps even the most non-cis transgender black ect, ect, ect, person if they dare to support GamerGate.

It is not enough to be one of the “oppressed” according to SJWs. You have to fall lock and step in with their conclusions on anything, or you will be thrown to the wayside.   Even those who do acquiesce to their complaints about racism, sexism, homophobia, trans-phobia and every kind of phobia and “ism” out there still can’t win.

In the end, SJW’s have seriously curbed the artistic freedom of developers and have been able to successfully shame people with cyber twitter lynch mobs if they don’t hit all of the items on the checklist of Social Justice.  Daniel Vavra who has worked as a designer and writer for 15 years in the gaming industry has some sobering insight as to what SJWs are slowly doing to the industry:

The biggest problem we have is, that there is a group of people that think they know what’s right and what’s wrong and that they have a mission to make the world a better place and protect the oppressed by any means. They don’t even care what the “oppressed” people think. They censor any feedback they don’t like. They try to censor Twitter. They think that they are better than the rest. It’s funny that they are absolutely unable to have any discussion or provide solid arguments. Have you ever seen any of them in direct confrontation with their opponents? I guess you didn’t, because they only know how to bark at others from behind the fence and then how to play victims when somebody barks back.

And they will never be happy. If you don’t have a gay character in your game, you are homophobic, if you do have gay character in your game, you are homophobic, because they don’t like the character. If women in your game look good, you are sexist, if they look bad, you are sexist, if you can fight with them, you are misogynistic, if you can’t fight with them, you are using them as objects, if you don’t have any women, because there is no correct way how to have them, you are misogynistic.

It’s a witch hunt and it’s affecting my artistic freedom.

What is even more concerning is that they have become arguably the dominate representation in Gaming publications and sites and they are only too happy to throw the notion of journalistic ethics out if the “ends justify the means”.

They have been and still are willing to promote terrible game and give them unjust scores that don’t reflect their quality, plot, gameplay, ect as long as said games have the “right” messages.  If the game’s don’t have those “right” messages, they are willing to let that shortcoming unduly effect their reviews and discussion of it.   This is a double-standard that I will address later in this article.

The “Harassment Debacle”

I’ve seen countless twitter battles going back and forth in which Anti-GamerGaters continually attempt to put us on the defensive and divert the narrative away from talking about Ethics in Gaming Journalism to talking about supposed harassment that has happened to Anti-GamerGaters.

Observe that even minor “E celebs” like Mike Cernovich haven’t been just harassed, they’ve been doxxed and with no remorse from the supposed denouncers of harassment.  In fact, Zoe Quinn herself knew about it and helped in the dox.    So much for her complaints about doxxing.  Dox up not down right?

https://twitter.com/cernovich/status/526224173526298624

The hypocrisy is noteworthy.

Now, whether every case of harassment they claimed has actually happened or not, it is irrelevant to the our strongest demand – Ethics In Gaming Journalism, but I’ll focus more on this later.

A conversation I had on Twitter with an Anti-Gamergater and what I assumed to be a feminist – rightfully so later as I would find out – kept bringing up the “harassment” claims, as well as the supposed allegations on Hotwheels supporting child porn. Whether 8chan having Child Porn on their boards is factual or not, it doesn’t invalidate any of the arguments being made by GamerGate supporters there.   This is a point I’ll drive home later in this post, but first let’s take a quick look at the story.

I found an interesting forum thread while browsing through the story and one poster summed up the thought process at play here far better than I can:

Think the other major problem is that he’s just being disingenuous. Hotwheels and his volunteer moderation team have always been pretty clear that they do not tolerate illegal content on their boards. The article was supposed to be on how the moderation team at 8chan were complicit in the distribution of child pornography, and I mean the legal definition of the word here. As much as I am opposed to that shit on moral grounds alone, most of the ‘CP’ shown there is completely legal under United States law. If SJW’s don’t like it, then they should be lobbying to get it declared illegal, not complaining about the distributors. But Hotwheels himself has said that he received no reports of CP the night the author of the article supposedly went through 8chan to find CP, which indicates that the author made no effort to actually contact the moderators of the website to get it removed.

This could mean multiple things: 1. He genuinely saw CP, but nevertheless made no effort to contact the moderators to get it removed. This, at best, makes the message of the article moot, as mods cannot do their jobs if the community does not direct them to the one thread in the one board out of literally hundreds. It’s like recording somebody getting mugged to use as evidence of the inefficiency of the local police, while not bothering to actually call the police to report the mugging. At worst it indicates that he does not really care about the distribution of CP, just that he can use it as a weapon to attack his opponents). 2: he didn’t see anything that does fit the legal definition of child pornography in the US, and did not report it because he knows it would give Hotwheels a solid trail to link back to him and call him out for lying. 3: he has no idea how the moderation of 8chan works, and is trying to talk shit about stuff he doesn’t understand.

Also another important point that was made is a rather simple but shocking one: What if he planted the child porn there himself?  We have witnessed SJWs often “dox” and harass themselves in order to gain sympathy and appear to gain the moral high-ground. While that doesn’t necessarily mean that the same thing happened here, we should be VERY skeptical of any claims they make considering the dubious tactics they are willing to employ to “win”.

Anyway, back to the “harassment” issue.

So I undertook the foolhardy task of attempting to first question what “harassment” actually entailed.  Enter the mind of a male feminist SJW with whom I still dialogue with on Twitter to this day.

I found this conversation we had to be very useful for seeing what kind of arguments opposing viewpoints would make and how ingrained assumptions – me and him both – about how words are used and the people that use them affects the discourse.

One of the first things you’ll notice here is that they like to define harassment as actions and words that they don’t like – such as the 1000+ notifications and “telling someone to go die.”   I’m also sure some of you have noticed that “harassment” will also often include essentially anything and everything they don’t like.  I find this unfortunate because it destroys the necessary stigma for the words to actually mean something.

It becomes much harder to believe feminists and/or SJWs who claim they have been harassed because the definition has been applied to just about everything.   I just hope that when an actual case of harassment happens, the concept of “crying wolf” doesn’t hinder someone from receiving the help and support they may need.  No it wouldn’t be vengeance through Karma, it would be an opportunity to show compassion.

My Response:

Him:

Catch that?

This is a lesson for me to learn and that the rest of GamerGate should as well.  If the other side is going to chose their own “definitions” for what constitutes things like harassment, and any attempt to refute the obvious shortcomings of that definition can simply be dismissed by them as “redefining”, there is no point to addressing any conversational matter with them that addresses the subject of “harassment.”

I won’t make this same mistake twice.  When dealing with people – specifically SJWs – who literally bend ANY word to mean what they want it to mean, you will likely not be able to actually agree on the definition of the word.  Let it be noted that ideology and worldview – regardless of whatever it is affects how you view concepts as well as how you define them.

As that piece of historical and timeless wisdom says, “He who defines, wins.”

Logically Exposing The Double Standards

Many of our opponents, SJWs in particular, have often engrossed themselves so thoroughly in presuppositions that involved double standards.   The spewing of the entire “privilege” and “racism doesn’t happen to white people because they are not the oppressed race/class” manure is a perfect example of this.

Essentially they are convinced that it is okay for them to be “bad”, but only them.   Everyone neutral onlooker with a half a brain that hasn’t been indoctrinated 1984 style by the US public school system will be able to see through this bullshit.   It is our job to point said bullshit out.

When I challenged him statement that their has been little/next-to-no harassment from the Anti-GG side and showed him several links, he responded with:

For some reason the Twitter URL wouldn’t display the tweet on this page so I screen capped it.

Well now.  Isn’t this the same kind of “victim-blaming” behavior they have been accusing us of when we dared to doubt the veracity of Sarkeesian, Wu, ects claims of their supposed harassment?  Note his tweet is evidence of that “double standard.”  I proceed to point it out:

The Fallacy of Taking Responsibility For Others

In the following tweet I asked “her”  whether she would take responsibility for all the terrible things said by the “radicals” in feminism – specifically 3rd wave feminism – and denounce the label.

He predictably would not, and I can see why.  Notice what he said when I applied the same logic to feminism:

I then pointed out why then would he expect GamerGate supporters to do the same?  If it’s just the extreme exceptions to feminism that are saying absolutely horrific things, then shouldn’t we apply that same logic of “exceptions” to GamerGate?

I refused to accept responsibility for “harassment” in GamerGate and denounce the label because he wouldn’t take responsibility for “feminism” for the things said by radical feminists.

Logic hurts. It also is a valuable tool to employee to the onlookers on the sidelines whose minds have not yet been subjugated to the SJW cog.

Maintaining the Focus

In the long run, It actually doesn’t matter if harassment, doxing, ect has taken place or not.  In fact, let me repeat that:   It actually doesn’t matter if harassment, doxiing, ect has taken place or not.

It is a distraction and besides the point because it DOES NOT diminish in anyway nor invalidate our observations that (1) ethics in gaming journalism is a problem both before and right now, (2) the gaming press still has made no real effort to acknowledge the corruption and blatant bias in pretending to be impartial while actually conspiring to drive a very specific narrative that they felt their audience didn’t need to know, (3) a refusal to disclose collusion which was later revealed by lists in which journalists  secretly admitted choosing which stories they would and wouldn’t cover – the very definition of “biased media”, and (4) their persistent refusal to actually admit the glaring ethics violations that took place, offering no apology or remorse, and instead deflecting the criticism with accusations of “misogyny” and “sexism”

While we can condemn actual harassment that has taken place, we must immediately take back the narrative and focus i back onto what us and neutrals on the sidelines can plainly see:  The corruption and the lack of ethics in gaming journalism.   These attempts to insist that “harassment” diminishes our call for ethics in gaming journalism must be dismissed because they are actually irrational when you employ a tad bit of logic.

Note the exchange below:

His Response:

Let’s think about that for a moment.  Logic 101 dictates that it does not matter WHO advocates an ideology.  What matters specifically is the validity of that ideology, regardless of who actually advocates it.  Either the ideology is valid or invalid. Note that his tactic here is essentially another form of “Guilt By Association” or rather “Wrong By Association.”  

I’m going to break Godwin’s Law here, but not in the way you think.  Take into account Hitler’s and the Nazi’s emphatic support for environmentalism – the kind often endorsed by many liberals. Does that mean that “environmentalism” is automatically wrong because the Nazis and Hitler endorsed it?  No, it doesn’t.  Who espouses the ideas of radical environmentalism is irrelevant. What is relevant is whether the ideology has merit or not.

Okay, Next:

Logic 101 again tells us that “truth” and what is “right” or “wrong” can not be accurately nor should be determined by a majority.  Might should not make right.  A majority of “Public” figures supported slavery leading up the Civil War.  Did that make it right?  A majority of “Public” figures opposed the Civil Rights movement during its struggle. Were they automatically correct being the majority?  You get the point.

I think it’s safe to say he missed the point. Entirely.  This doesn’t speak badly about him but rather shows what influence the assumptions of our worldviews have on how we perceive issues as well as others.

Ultimately everyone is GamerGate is responsible for themselves.

This is important to point out considering how many of us do not hold the same views on issues ranging from politics to culture.  I am one of the staunchest proponents of gun rights out there, I think Climate Change is nonsense, and I advocate making ALL drugs legal.

I can guarantee many GamerGate supporters disagree with at least one of those three positions of mine.  So should I denounce my fellow GamerGaters for not subscribing to EXACTLY the same opinions as my own? Nah, I’ll let the SJWs do that as they eat each other which we have seen them do so often.

The Importance of “Objectivity”

Let’s be honest; absolute objectivity is impossible.

Objectivity in journalism terms  these days is often understood to include journalistic concepts like “disclosure”,  telling both sides of the story, ect.  Any “decent” opinion column – that’s about as rare as a comet these days – will argue a position on an issue without completely misrepresenting the opposing side’s viewpoints and will refrain from creating strawmen.

As the internet becomes more and more of an echo-chamber, the definition of objectivity has changed much in the way the definition of trolling has.  If you disagree with someone, you are immediately accused of trolling after you have been accused of being “biased”.

To give you a very simple example, the definition of Objectivity has changed in as much the same way “Democracy” has.  People say America is a “Democracy.”  No, America is more of a Republic with Democratic elements. A pure Democracy is literally where 51% of the people determine the laws.   (Essentially 51% of the people in a “Democracy” could decide they don’t like Asian’s anymore and ban them from driving and it would be “the law”)

In fact, most news outlets and press publications don’t exactly bother to hide their biases. What this entails is knowing that Breitbart leans to the right and The Washington Post to the left.  They don’t attempt to hide it, so readers are aware of it, something that is important.

When it comes to many gaming journalists, they have gone through great lengths to disguise their biases, while still directly letting them influence their reviews of games and effecting which ones they promote.  Objectivity, in the sense of being completely 100% impartial, isn’t necessary or possible to avoid “corruption” in gaming journalism.   Those biases however can’t be left undisclosed if they will be allowed to effect the reviews and the rating scores given to game.

Some journalists have unfortunately allowed their biases to distract them – Bayonetta 2 for example – from reviewing the aspects of a game that matter – content, level design, plot, characters, gameplay, graphics, ect – and instead dismiss games based on whether they like them or not – which some people actually think is fine!  This brings up an important point when you consider the kinds of bonuses that developers can receive for good scores and how personal worldview bias can actually be used to penalize developers for making certain games. In fact, Kotaku ironically pointed this out in an article, “Metacritic Matters: How Review Scores Hurt Video Games.”  It looks like they have perfected this observation into a unique form of cultural warfare.

Eacaraxe – whose blog on gaming and media I highly recommend, expanded upon this line of though in a series of posts, specifically concerning the case of Bayonetta 2:

“Are certain critics, if they are docking points simply for finding the game’s content distasteful, trying to punish game developers and their publishers by denying them review-based bonuses? If so, is this emblematic of an effort on the part of critics to influence what games are produced and how they produced, contrary to critics’ claims? Is this a valid, or ethical, form of protest against content deemed objectionable by critics and those who produce it?”

This is certainly obvious in the case of the recent controversial game, “Hatred”.  Whether a journalist approves or disproves of a game is irrelevant. Their duty is instead rather to inform their readers about the game and include such unnecessary details like plot, character, gameplay, ect.  At least the creators of Hatred are honest and fully upfront with what their game is about, something many journalists are not and refuse to be.   Will however future reviewers allow this to effect their games and also effect the kind of perception that the public – particular the corporate sector?.

Kotaku’s Social Justice influenced reviews aren’t going to be objective and we know that.  We do however expect them to disclose relationships about the games they are reviewing, promoting, and giving attention to.  There is an expectation that they would acknowledge the conflict of interests between either (1) the publication and the story (2) the journalists involved in the story.

Instead of doing just that, they couldn’t be bothered to disclose the glaring conflict of interests at hand between Quinn and journalists like Nathan Grayson.  Disclosing a conflict of interest is Journalism 101. If you take ANY media journalism classes, it is one of the first things you will learn.

Think about anti GamerGate folks like Ian Miles Cheong that can boast that they don’t give a fuck about ethics in gaming journalism, to which no one in the the anti GamerGate coalition seems to object.  The long and documented lack of journalistic ethics still doesn’t appall them in the slightest. This is a point we must continue to ram home.   We can do this as we gather even more evidence that shows and will show just how bad the state of ethics in gaming journalism has become and that the corrupt gaming press still “doesn’t give a fuck”.

The Joe Rogan Experience Podcast: Comedians On Drugs

Podcasts and Becoming A Man

“Podcasts” are slowly becoming a “trend” that people are starting to pick up on.  It’s a hell of alot easier to embrace this trend with a decent phone.  It’s also one way you can learn quite a bit – for free you stinges – and improve your ability to interact with the world.  Take it from an old soul like me; I just turned 26 and every bit of attained wisdom helps make life that much more enjoyable.

While I might get pumped up to a thumping hardcore beatdown song, I actually learn something from podcasts often.  Now, we all know the radio sucks for the most part – both talk and music – and that we need something different.  You get sick of even your own favorite music – one can only listen to songs about smoking blunts with bitches in the club so many times without feeling unfulfilled.

I worked 3rd shift as a kickass shelf stocker for a year.  (Don’t do this.) Besides destroying my social life and sleep schedule, I went through most of my music collection at work and realized that it was NOT passing the time fast enough.  I ended up switching to audiobooks as well as podcasts. I’ve gone through all of my audiobooks, but there are always a large and ever increasing amount of podcasts coming out.

I’ve been referred to the Joe Rogan Experience Podcast before, but I never really checked it out until recently where I flipped the youtube podcast video on one monitor while doing some homework on the other monitor.

Giving The Rogan A Chance

Joe Rogan for those of you who don’t know is a popular commentator for the UFC, a standup comedian, a “man’s man”, and he’s been doing this podcast of his since 2009 which is co-hosted by Brian Redban.  It isn’t some unknown podcast in someone’s basement either. He has had people on like Kid Cudi, Paul Stanley, David Lee Roth, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Immortal Technique, Bill Burr, Rick Ross, Cenk Ugyur, and alot of MMA fighters.

In thus episode Doug Stanhope is blasted out of his mind on shrooms, Rogan is on something else, and Joey Diaz is talking about selling coke to Whitney Houston.  It’s probably some of the funniest stuff I’ve ever heard – in my life – and from all three them which are of course – standup comedians.

Watching the JRE is like taking a few liberal arts and humanities course at a college without the debt and annoying trigger warnings. You get a steady does of everything from philosophy to comedy.  It also really helps past the time at work and in the car I’ve noticed. The fact that he is a standup comedian himself and he interviews so many other comedians at the same time with other guest makes for a show that is rather entertaining.

Seriously, get on this.

The Chicago Meetup with Mike Cernovich And What I Learned.

About a week and a half ago, I had the privilege of interacting with Mike Cernovich  from Danger & Play in person at a meetup he held in Chicago.  I really wasn’t sure if I wanted to take the train all the way down to the City – specifically Union Station and then hike my way to the Godfrey Hotel where the meetup was at. (Note I’m at the Fox Lake station which is the start of the line so I literally have to ride all the way to end of the line.)

I had never heard of the place before which was about a 30 minute walk from Union Station. The Godfrey Hotel was draped in the aesthetics of modern decor.  It felt rather more comfortable then fancy.  (I should have taken some pictures besides the two I did of Mike and co.) Needless to it had the flavor and semblance of a restaurant/bar, but I still felt like I was on a rooftop loft – perfect atmosphere.

Seriously, look at this place. I feel poor.

There wasn’t necessarily any organized agenda besides getting us to meet other like minded people and network.  Those of us there talked amongst ourselves as well as with Mike about every different topic under the sun. If you weren’t there, you really missed out. That as well as good food and the amount of Sangria that kept pouring forth onto our table.

Something that can’t be stressed enough is how down to earth Mike was.  People – SJWs in particular – might not realize how humble he actually is.   When I was chatting with him there was something he said that really sticks with me about how to deal with past mistakes made online,

“You’re right.  See what I write in the future.”

Hopefully my memory serves me correct for that quote, but that was in regards to having made statements, tweets, ect in the past that we wish we hadn’t.   When this happens the responsible thing to do is to own that history and demonstrate by what you write in the present and future who you are and what you stand for. People are afraid to admit past mistake, and with the internet nowadays I can understand why.  As Mike would say, “Own Your Name.”

2014-11-29 18.01.05
However, the mistakes are there. You can’t really bury them. You must simply admit them and move on. This has nothing to do with apologizing to SJWs – merely that if there are mistakes in your past – you simply acknowledge them and move on.  Alas, you do not back down.

I think this is something Mike realized through #GamerGate.  He is not technically a gamer and has criticized them to some extent before, but he realized the importance of what #GamerGate is to that is  has become the most recent struggle in the culture  wars.

Mike has realized that people are afraid to speak up. To show their disagreement and insist that they as gamers are not dead.  Some of those in Gamergate might not be willing to risk speaking out, but Mike is that champion who is willing to do such themselves and can stand up to the SJW onslaught and twitter mobs.

I must admit, sometimes I lack motivation like a gazelle lacks the ability to escape a lion. It sucks. However, I can’t make excuses as it doesn’t actually solve anything – no matter how valid the excuses may be, the situation has not changed.  Something I’ve realized; surround yourself with motivated and passionate people and you will start to become motivated yourself.   Iron sharpens Iron.