The brief guide to conspiracy theories

I’ll present my take on popular conspiracy theories, cutting out as much of the BS as I can.  These are short capsule summaries; although I could spend a lot more time proving and disproving things, I’ll keep it short and to the point.  It’s the truth that people without power want to acquire it; those rich and influential enough are in a position to attempt this and form alliances with others who wish to do so.  Meanwhile, those in power want to hang onto it.  Some conspiracy theories are baloney, but others turn out to be the real deal.  Quite famously, this includes Watergate, which in the beginning was called a “caper” and seemed just a third rate burglary.  Even so, it would be a mistake to attribute every damn thing going on in the world to puppet masters pulling the strings behind the scene.  There are influential people outside the power blocs, and random stuff happens.  Interestingly, the term “conspiracy theory” was invented by the CIA to discredit these!  For our purposes, “threat assessment” given below means how much potential damage to society they can cause if it’s true, and “verdict” means my opinion on whether or not it’s real.  So here we go in alphabetical order.

9/11 false flag allegations

Okay, Occam’s Razor time.  Nineteen Muslims from Saudi Arabia and Yemen killed themselves – taking 3000 others with them – because A) they wanted to help get the Patriot Act signed and give Bush and Cheney more power, or B) they wanted to get 70 virgins in heaven.  I say they bought into the “70 virgins” fairy tale, though I’m quite certain that heaven wasn’t their final destination!  Also, Bin Laden himself bragged about it later.  So allegations that Bush the Younger orchestrated 9/11 are baloney.  The most that can be claimed with much plausibility is that warnings weren’t taken seriously enough.  Threat assessment:  Yellow.  Verdict:  Not guilty.

Apollo moon landing hoax

This one is popular amongst people who don’t understand science, and I’ve had the misfortune of debating this one with a True Believer.  The major hoopla began as a movie about a fake Mars shot – fiction, but some people kinda sorta took it as a documentary reflecting on the Apollo mission.  As the theory goes, the claim is that the moon landings never took place, and all the footage was done on a movie set.  There were some cinematic portrayals of what the moon looked like before the Apollo missions took place; 2001: A Space Odyssey is the best example.  You’ll note that in the Hollywood version, the highly craggy depiction of the moon’s surface looks a good bit different from what it turned out to be, as photos consistently show.  Much can be done with special effects these days, but it just wasn’t sophisticated enough in the late ’60s to depict an environment with no air and low gravity.  The actual Apollo footage showed astronauts shuffling along in low gravity, and dust trails from the moon buggy behaves as it would in a low-gravity airless environment.  Really, faking a moon landing would have been a bigger effort than actually sending a rocket to the moon!  There would have to be hundreds, if not thousands, in on the secret – people in Mission Control watching dials, and other people somewhere else generating fake data, some other guys making up false telemetry readings to beam from satellites for benefit of people listening in on shortwave, the movie crew, etc.  Nobody from NASA has written any tell-all books alleging that, or even any deathbed confessions.  Remember also that this took place in the same Presidency that couldn’t cover up that third-rate burglary!  Finally, an Indian satellite imaged the landing sites, where the landers themselves are bright dots casting a long shadow.  Threat assessment:  Green.  (Even assuming it’s true for the sake of argument, so freaking what?)  Verdict:  Not guilty.  This one is just loony.

Black helicopters

I used to think it was all baloney until I actually saw one.  My first sighting was when I was visiting a friend over in the Texas Bay Area.  One was hovering right over NASA headquarters the day after the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster.  The second one was in flight while I was taking a trip to Austin some years later.  Unfortunately, my cell phone was being too slow for me to capture it on camera, or I’d have a picture for you.  As far as the theory goes, they’re operated by the government (or maybe the UN, as some say) and whoever is operating them is up to no good.  My take is that they are indeed operated by the government, but might simply be helicopters that happen to be painted black.  (They could always paint them some other color if they get too notorious.)  Maybe they’re for transporting high-level officials, maybe they’re military, maybe they’re for spying on the public; hard to say there.  Threat assessment:  Hell if I know.  Verdict:  Guilty, but hard to say what the significance is.

Catholic plots

I’m afraid I’m going to have to pick on some religions here.  Please don’t take any of this personally, though.  For centuries, Catholicism was the only game in town over in Europe, and there are those who think of this as the good old days.  The Jesuits – formally known as the Society of Jesus, were basically the vanguard of counter-reformation efforts back in the Renaissance, and perfected lawyerly evasion to a fine art.  The Jesuits were a fairly big deal back in the day,  but they aren’t any more.  There was still a lot of talk of ultramontanism – Papal influence abroad, basically – which sort of fizzled out after JFK got elected and didn’t ban fish on Fridays.  Moreover, the Inquisition hasn’t exactly been burning heretics for a good while.  I’m not a Catholic myself, but I do see the Church as overall a force for good in the world, even though I quibble about some items.  (The Vatican seriously dropped the ball lately by not cracking down on pedophile priests, but all that’s another matter.)  As for now, Catholicism is struggling to hold on in its European birthplace – not because of Protestantism, but rather atheism.  Threat assessment:  yellow in the Renaissance, green now.  Verdict:  Guilty, but not as much as they’ve been made out to be.

Communism

Back in the early 1800s, Karl Marx – nearly a bum and hadn’t worked a day in his life – invented a totalitarian ideology.  Awesome, huh?  The short version of the idea is that the world will be wonderful if everybody shared everything.  Some small, tightly-knit tribal societies do have communal ownership of property, and some religious communes have gotten it to work, but it turns into an utter disaster when you roll it out on a large scale.  They staged a successful coup in Russia and ended up ruling the largest country in the world.  They planned to take over Europe up to the English channel, but Hitler got the drop on them and the Soviets had to settle for taking over Eastern Europe.  China was captured by the Communists soon after, and Chairman Mao became one of the biggest fuck-ups in world history.  Following that, the USA ended up getting lassoed into a couple of spit-in-your-eye wars in Asia.  Meanwhile, Communism (both the Marxist-Leninist and the Maoist brands) made inroads into the Third World, most notably Cuba, Nicaragua, Afghanistan (we’re still cleaning up the aftermath from that mess), and several African kleptocracies, as well as spawning terrorist groups all over the place.  KGB insiders such as Yuri Bezmenov and Vasili Mitrokhin confirm what they were up to.  There are some other spinoffs as well.  One of them is the Trotskyites; not even the real Commies can stand them.  Then there are those fruit loops in North Korea, who unfortunately have nukes now.  Finally, there’s cultural Marxism, about which I’ve ranted elsewhere.  The good news is that most Communist countries said “hell with this” back in the early 1990s.  The bad news is that cultural Marxism is still going on, wrecking our society, and even spreading into Eastern Europe.  Threat assessment:  Red in the 20th Century, but a shadow of its former self on the world scene now.  As for cultural Marxism, still red.  Verdict:  Guilty as sin.  The real Communists wanted to take over the world.  The cultural Marxists, if they get their way, want to turn Western civilization into a dysfunctional Third World hellhole.

Domestic spying

This includes the Carnivore program that reads everybody’s emails, that NSA server farm in Utah where all our phone calls get recorded, and so forth.  All that seemed like tinfoil hat stuff, until Edward Snowden blew the lid on it.  Because of this, he got himself on top of the government’s shit list and had to flee to Russia, sort of a reverse scenario of KGB insiders who defected to the West way back in the day.  Yes, your Internet activity really is logged; that’s the law.  The Fourth Amendment, which limits the government from unreasonable search and seizure, is basically a joke these days.  The “right of privacy” implied by the Fourth Amendment is used by the Supreme Court for things that have nothing to do with privacy; meanwhile real privacy got lost in the shuffle.  But if you have nothing to hide, surely you don’t mind the government monitoring your communications, now do you???  Threat assessment:  Yellow for now (will become red if there’s a serious challenge to the status quo).  Verdict:  Guilty.  Since they’re apparently not cracking down on drug lords, human traffickers, and the like, consider this a manifestation of anarcho-tyranny.

Freemasonry

According to the Freemasons themselves, they all started out as the builders of Solomon’s Temple.  Personally, I think that much is baloney, and there’s no supporting evidence for this, thus it was something they came up with to give them a cool history.  They first appeared on the scene – where supporting evidence begins – during the High Middle Ages.  Interestingly, they appeared soon after the Knights Templar got themselves in hot water and were suppressed for getting a little too wealthy (via international banking) and a little too influential.  So, there’s some speculation that the Masons started out as rebranded Knights Templar – believe it if you will.  In any event, they were basically an international guild for stonemasons back in the High Middle Ages, the guys who built all those cool cathedrals.  They didn’t have union cards back then, so they used secret handshakes.  Later on, they took in non-stonemasons too; thus the “accepted” part of “free and accepted”.  Back in the day, they did seem to get involved in the Western mystery tradition of mysticism, so maybe there’s something to the Knights Templar theory.  Later on, they got wrapped up in Age of Enlightenment politics a bit (including a brief brush with the Illuminati).  That part of it seemed threatening to the interests of absolutist monarchy at the time.  Also, they got in a mutual snit with the Catholic Church.  (The Catholics have an alternate social group, the Knights of Columbus.)  These days, relations have simmered down between the Masons and the Catholics, as well as the Mormons; a man believing in any religion can join the Masons these days.  As for the political angle, that shouldn’t be too threatening; the only major country with absolutist monarchy these days is Saudi Arabia.  Most of the US Founding Fathers were Masons, and all Presidents with the possible exception of the last two were involved to some degree or another.  So they were in a position to make the USA whatever they wanted; in other words, they’re as American as apple pie.  It was hugely popular amongst the American public back in the 1800s, though now much less so.  Today, they’re a charitable fraternal organization and don’t do much bricklaying.  Dan Brown’s books helped perk up some interest, leading to guys joining to see what it’s all about – good deal!  If you want to join them too, by all means do so and keep this fine tradition alive.  Threat assessment:  Green.  Verdict:  Not guilty, though not proven during the Age of Enlightenment.

Globalist clubs

This includes the Bilderberg Group, the Trilateral Commission, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Bohemian Grove, and a few others.  Membership in these includes a good number of world leaders and the ultra-wealthy.  The way they tell it, these are foreign policy think tanks, though the Bohemian Grove is more like a party out in the woods.  According to others, they’re globalist elites manipulating world politics to enrich themselves and restructure society against the public’s wishes.  They keep their activities a secret, and have done a very good job observing the “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” rule.  So whether they’ve set themselves up as a global oligarchy, or whether they’re knocking back cognac with their friends and watching strippers, is anyone’s guess.  Since we don’t know what they talk about in their meetings until they start letting reporters in – and we certainly don’t have access to their email servers either – who the hell knows what they’re doing or not doing?  There are also rumors of devil worship and weird orgies, most especially at the Bohemian Grove.  Perhaps that one is a modern day Hellfire Club, but JPEGs or it’s not real.  Threat assessment:  Red.  Verdict:  Not proven.  Fnord fnord fnord.

GMO foods

Selective breeding has been done to crops since antiquity.  However, these days, we have the technology to change DNA itself, which has raised concerns even in people who really do understand science.  One time, this almost caused a global catastrophe with the potential to wipe out the biosphere.  It’s true that modern foods are pretty crappy compared to what we ate a century ago, but the data isn’t out yet about how harmless or bad genetic modification is.  What certainly is bad is trans fats – partially hydrogenated grease – read labels and avoid this like the plague.  You can still get organic foods; unfortunately, though, it’s roughly twice as expensive.  Even so, what really grinds my gears the most is the destruction of family farming by agribusinessThreat assessment:  Yellow.  Verdict:  Not proven.  The exception is that vegetation-eating bacterium that almost got released and would have caused a global extinction event.  Had the problem not been discovered in time, that would have kind of sucked.

The Illuminati

Quite a bit of hoopla has been made about them.  The facts are that they were nasty nihilists hell-bent on revolution – as radical as it gets as far as Age of Enlightenment politics went.  They were pretty viciously suppressed, causing them to die out (though others will dispute that).  What got people spooked was that the French Revolution happened soon after.  My very short take on the French Revolution is that it occurred because the people were starving and the French monarchy made some missteps.  Then when a stinky demagogue named Marat came onto the scene and started exhorting the masses to kill the aristocracy, and a lawyer named Robespierre actually started doing that, things went to shit in a hurry.  No need for a conspiracy there!  Some say that the globalist clubs are fronts for the Illuminati, but I think that one’s a bit of a stretch; the ultra-wealthy can start up clubs on their own.  Threat assessment:  Red in 18th Century Bavaria, green now.  Verdict:  Guilty but extinct.  Ewige Blumenkraft, y’all.

Islamism

Most Muslims are okay folks, but it’s the fruit loops you have to worry about.  Unfortunately, there are a lot of fruit loops out there.  I’ve read a large part of the Quran, and there really is a lot of us-versus-them stuff in it.  If you put a fundamentalist interpretation on it, then the implications are that it’s their religious duty to fight the unbelievers, which the Quran certainly does say.  They’re cheesed off with us about American support for Israel, and Western presence in their countries.  Personally, I think the Israelis have been playing us for chumps, but still, we can make friends with whomever we want even if our choices aren’t always the wisest.  As for Western presence in the Middle East, I’d be fine with pulling out of there and letting them fight their own battles.  Personally, I think that Ataturk was on the right track, but if instead they want to bring their societies back to the 7th Century, that’s their problem.  (Once electric cars become more affordable and we can get off the OPEC tit, they’ll get back to the 7th Century a lot faster.)  In exchange, they’re going to have to take back their people now colonizing the Western world.  Then Americans would have to deal with much less terrorism, and Europeans wouldn’t have to deal with their rioting, street crime, and paying welfare checks to millions who stay home and breed.  That sounds like a fair deal to me.  Threat assessment:  Yellow here (for now), red in the camel countries.  Verdict:  Guilty.

JFK assassination conspiracy

This horrible tragedy has sparked theories all over the place.  Getting right down to business, it’s very possible that there was another shooter behind the grassy knoll, though the official Warren Commission version discounts it.  I doubt that LBJ was behind any of it; in fact, he was so rattled by it that he took the Oath of Office on board on board Air Force One, fearing that there were other assassins lurking out there.  There are a lot of things you can call LBJ, but chicken isn’t really one of them.  My take is that the New Orleans mob likely pulled off the hit; they had some grudges with the Kennedy family.  Lee Harvey Oswald was involved with them, and his Communist background was a good smokescreen.  Jack Ruby – who whacked Oswald before he could blab – was involved with them too.  The father of one of my former girlfriends was in the New Orleans mob as well; she doesn’t have anything solid, but does have some suspicions.  Unless one of them breaks the Omerta code of silence on his deathbed, this will remain shrouded in mystery.  Threat assessment:  Red, back in the day.  Verdict:  Not proven, but pretty hinky.

Obama birth controversies

The official story is that The Lightworker was born in Hawaii; others (including his aunt) say he was born in Kenya.  The long form birth certificate has been a big controversy, especially since neither of the two hospitals in Honolulu could find it.  Later, someone came up with a PDF document; after that, someone else took apart the PDF and found that it was layered with somebody else’s information at the bottom – oopsie!  So the “official” version of his birth certificate is a JPEG of that, which doesn’t have the embarrassing telltale layering problem.  There was a birth announcement in the newspaper, though that doesn’t really don’t prove anything.  The way I see it, Obama’s mother came back to America soon after he was born and decided her kid would be better off as an American citizen; good call, since only a native-born citizen can be President.  Since she worked in Hawaii’s public records department for a while, she was in a good position to fix things up and get him fake ID.  Obama’s Social Security Number indicates an issuance in Connecticut; those who’ve looked into it found that this belonged to Harrison J. Bounel, a fellow born in Connecticut back in the 1880s and settled down in Hawaii when he was an old guy.  Other efforts have been made to whitewash (if you’ll pardon the term) his past.  For example, when he was a kid growing up in Indonesia, he was registered in school as a Muslim.  The papers still exist, but another version has this edited out.  Also, nobody really knows what the hell he was doing in his college years.  My speculation is that this involved large amounts of whacky weed.  My take is that he really was born in Kenya; airlines don’t fly near-term pregnant women, since air travel has been known to trigger premature labor, and birth on a transcontinental flight is a huge risk.  There is another version of the story that Obama’s father was actually a fellow named Frank Marshall Davis.  (Thus, his mom tried to pull a baby trap on BHO Sr.)  Davis is the guy he calls “Pops” in one of his autobiographies, and also in a poem he (or quite possibly Davis himself) wrote.  Unfortunately for Obama’s political prospects, Frank Marshall Davis was a prominent Communist Party USA member (as well as a bit of a perv).  If so, the citizenship controversy would be pretty much moot, since Davis was undeniably an American citizen, even if not a particularly loyal one.  Actually, the two look a lot alike, with much more resemblance than Barack Obama Sr.  So either Obama is a red diaper baby, or the son of a Kenyan; either way, probably born in Kenya.  Threat assessment:  Yellow, since the American public really doesn’t know who the hell the President actually is.  Verdict:  Depends on who his dad was.

The Patriarchy

This bears the same relationship to radical feminists as “The Establishment” did to the hippies.  Basically, it’s a catch-all boogeyman responsible for all that they don’t like about the world, including just about everything.  As they tell it, men hold all the power in society and are conspiring to hold women down.  I’m not sure if this even qualifies as a conspiracy theory, because there is no theory.  There’s no explanation as to how the patriarchs are pulling the levers behind the scenes, so we’re pretty much supposed to take it as a given that men just have it in for women and don’t want them to succeed.  Then again, we all know that radical feminists are a little loopy.  The truth is that most men – including Yours Truly – love women and have no desire to hold them back.  Hopefully one day the masses of women will tell the radical feminists to shut up and quit stirring up trouble in their name.  Threat assessment:  Yellow before women got the right to vote, green since 1920.  Verdict:  Not guilty.  The exception is in the camel countries, but few feminists pay much attention to that, because then it would make it pretty ridiculous to complain about how bad things are here.

Roswell UFO crash landing

The short version is that the military was doing some high-altitude radar research, and one of the balloons crashed.  This left some weird debris on the ground, it happened to be a slow news day over in New Mexico, and a legend was born.  There probably are aliens out there, somewhere in this vast universe of ours; whether or not they’ve visited Earth is another question entirely.  Reagan sort of dropped a hint once, and I got a second-hand confirmation from someone who would be in a very good position to know – but it’s unlikely that the Roswell incident was the real deal.  Threat assessment:  Yellow (assuming there really are UFOs spying on us).  Verdict:  Not guilty, at least as far as Roswell goes.  Mostly harmless.

Scientology

This one got started by L. Ron Hubbard, a second rate science fiction author and a first rate bullshit artist who wanted to make a heap of money by starting his own religion.  He stole bits and pieces of Thelema, Buddhism, and pop culture self-help, resulting in the strangest cult known to mankind.  It’s a revelatory mystery religion, and if you make it to the OT3 level (which will probably run you at least $150K, and long hours playing with an e-meter), you will learn about the evil galactic overlord Xenu and the volcano business.  It really is a money-grubbing mind control cult, and the less fortunate amongst them really are kept in conditions of near-slavery.  They’re also trying to take over Hollywood; actually I wish them luck in that, even though Battlefield Earth was pretty lame.  Most Scientologists are actually decent people, though their leaders are not.  As for the celebrities, they’re afraid to break ranks because of huge amounts of poop the Church has on file about them.  Threat assessment:  Yellow.  Verdict:  Guilty.  Poor little clams:  snap, snap, snap.

Skull and Bones society

It’s basically a fraternity at Yale that happens to have had lots of members who became influential later on – including both Bush the Younger and John Kerry, making the 2004 US Presidential Election an all Skull and Bones ticket.  The story goes that this group has Geronimo’s skull – now how’s that for skullduggery!  However, that one is baloney; any skull they happen to have was some other dude.  My own college experience was pretty boring in comparison.  Although fraternities provide oodles of networking opportunities, this one is small potatoes compared to the big globalist clubs.  Threat assessment:  Green.  Verdict:  Not guilty.

Social media censorship

Companies such as Fakebook and Twatter keep stories they don’t like off of their “trending” lists, or outright deleting them, as well as closing accounts of people who get too outspoken.  (Actually, this happened to one of my girlfriends.)  Yahoo News censors comments that they don’t like; it’s bad enough that their stories are so blatantly biased in the first place.  Some media companies have reacted to criticism of their slanted articles by shutting off the comments section.  They don’t like it too much when the public talks back!  Finally, that treasonous hypocrite Angela Merkel got caught on live microphone asking Suckerberg to censor criticism on Fakebook about the hordes of Syrian “refugees” she’s letting into the country, and Suckerberg replied that he was already on it.  Also, Wikipedia pages are monitored by Social Justice Weenies, causing countless edit wars (including deleting an article about them), as well as a team in Israel that likes to write history their own way.  Threat assessment:  Yellow; although social media might not seem very important, censorship doesn’t belong in a free society.  Verdict:  Guilty.

Vaccination controversies

This one is another popular with people who don’t understand science.  The way they tell it, vaccines are not intended to prevent diseases, but rather to turn us all into zombies.  Much has been made about trace amounts of mercury in vaccine production – far too small to hurt anyone, and they’re not even produced that way any more.  If you want your kids to catch diptheria or some other crap that terrified people during the pioneer days, go ahead and listen to these idiots.  Threat assessment:  Too silly to be anything other than green.  Verdict:  Not guilty.  Vaccines have saved countless lives.  Edward Jenner and Jonas Salk were great men, and so are others like them carrying on research.  What’s really turning kids into zombies is television.

Zionism

This has two meanings.  In the original sense, this was the movement to establish the state of Israel as a Jewish homeland.  This certainly did come to pass back in 1948.  I might add that the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, said to be the meeting minutes of the convention that started it all, was bullshit fabricated in imperial Russia and got lots of people clobbered for no good reason.  In the expanded sense, Zionism refers to global Jewish power.  I’m not out to pick on anyone, though there’s no way to sugar-coat the following.  Unfortunately, many (though certainly not all) Jews got into the Communism fad – beginning with Karl Marx, the Big Kahuna himself – though this fell out of fashion in the 1950s for the most part.  Following that, many of them bought into the cultural Marxism fad which took off in the 1960s.  Anyway, they bought into these things believing it would be good for the Jews, a holdover from 17th Century us-versus-them mentality.  Unfortunately, they’re giving their own community a very bad name, and need to knock it off.  Are Jews really that powerful?  As far as the USA goes, they’re the 800 pound gorilla in the media (some of them even admit the obvious), the financial industry, Congress (via the Israeli lobby), foreign policy (for just one example, the Gulf War wasn’t really about cheap oil), academia, and they totally own the Hebrew National hot dog company.  Threat assessment:  Red, because of their disproportionate influence in politics and unfortunate continued involvement in the cultural Marxism fad.  Verdict:  Not guilty by reason of insanity.  Any of them pushing cultural Marxism are crazy to wreck the country that gave their forefathers refuge and granted them the liberty to prosper like nowhere else.  Whatever happens to the rest of us will happen to them too.  Still, I hasten to add that there are plenty of decent Jews horrified by what it’s doing to society, and for that matter, their community’s image.  If they can convince their brethren to knock it off, anti-Semitism would fade into obscurity.

The brief guide to conspiracy theories

Cultural Marxism and the Social Justice Warrior cult

Trigger warning (snicker): here be politics. Feel free to skip it if you wish.

The origin of cultural Marxism

Ideological warfare goes by two avenues: direct and memetic. Direct appeals include advertisements, posters, websites, documentaries, and so forth, either produced by an individual or a particular organized group. A meme is an idea transmitted from one person to another. The advantage is that this is free advertisement, sometimes a follow-on effect of direct appeals. The disadvantage is that it is out of control of the originating group. Therefore, these ideas can mutate over time. This is how ideologies take on a life of their own. Communism engaged in an extensive ideological warfare campaign, and Critical Theory was an independent branch of it operating within Western academic circles.

To deal with cultural Marxism, we must understand their motivations and belief system. History is one of my specialties, and I’ve done a good bit of research on tracing the influences of ideas. It all began with the University of Frankfurt’s sociology department. The short version of the story is that that they were Communists who were shocked that the proletariat didn’t rise as Marx had predicted. The masses just weren’t interested in overthrowing the rich and the bourgeoisie. Since they didn’t have the popular support to stage a world revolution, they decided to “go stealth” and change society to pave the way. They came up with Critical Theory: the essence of Communism, minus the class struggle by the proletariat, and adding a dash of Freud for flavoring. The goal of cultural Marxism is breaking down traditional loyalties (family, nation, and religion). With those swept out of the way, the people would embrace universalism and accept rule by a one-world government, or so it was expected.

During the 1930s, the professors of the Frankfurt School found themselves unwelcome in Germany for two fairly obvious reasons, and moved to the USA. Their strategy to undermine the country that gave them refuge was the “long march through the institutions” – as Italian Communist theoretician Antonio Gramsci put it. This involved ensconcing themselves into places of influence, most especially the media and academia. (It’s basically the approach Scientology has taken with Hollywood, though on a broader scale.) Once they had enough influence within a faculty department, they hired new professors with similar ideologies or who were at least sympathetic, excluding others not sharing their views. They’ve been quite successful with this phase of operations. The next phase, of course, is indoctrinating the public, which has been under way for quite some time. Critical Theory operated in the academic hothouses, educated a generation of students in the 1960s, and the students eventually became professors. (If you’ve been to college, you know the type, and now you know how it got this way.) They went on to indoctrinate other students, which of course includes future journalists, teachers, and professors. Eventually their world view filtered out into the public consciousness, and the origin of these ideas has been largely forgotten.

Perhaps some might think this sounds like something the John Birch society came up with, but I highly encourage anyone who is skeptical to research it in depth. The Marxists themselves freely acknowledge that the Frankfurt School was a Communist movement. In any case, this watered-down, rebranded version is worse in many ways than the real thing. They lost something vital when they stopped appealing to the workers and farmers on economic grounds and started turning it into social nihilism. I would much prefer to keep company with a Russian steel mill worker my age who thinks of the Brezhnev administration as the good old days – or for that matter, a former Eastern Bloc economic planner who spent years working on developing his country – than some trustafarian sociology student with purple dreadlocks screaming about “microaggressions”. Further, old-school Communists placed lots of emphasis on hard work; the American left is fine with half the public dependent on government benefits and pushes for open borders, and the European left is hell-bent on bringing in more “refugees” who don’t work and (to put it very mildly) don’t fit into their society. The future isn’t looking so good, since the right is largely a controlled token opposition that doesn’t do anything about these problems, but all that’s another discussion entirely.

The common thread in cultural Marxism is stirring up grievances in any group considered “marginalized” (one of their favorite words). Volumes could be written about that, in fact. No compromise on the part of society is good enough; success emboldens them, they become shriller than ever, and new demands are imposed. Basically, the goalposts keep getting moved. You can reach an acceptable middle ground with reasonable people, but cultural Marxists do not negotiate in good faith. Those familiar with Communist ideology will recognize that this is a dialectical strategy. Even when they experience a setback, they’re not too bothered by this, since they’re already planning their next move. When dealing with them, the rhetorical “slippery slope” isn’t a fallacy; it’s their strategy.

This might seem like a pretty bold claim, but the LGBT movement is a pretty telling example, one front in the culture war.  First they asked for acceptance.  (Personally, that much seems reasonable enough to me.)  They gained a lot of traction in the 1970s, then some resistance in the 1980s, and finally acquiescence in the 1990s.  Then gays in the military became the cause du jour.  They arrived at the “don’t ask, don’t tell” compromise, then acquiescence some years later.  (For the military, this issue is a distraction at best, and a potential source of friction at worst; guys don’t like to take showers with guys who like to take showers with guys.)  Then came the Boy Scouts issue; they finally had to give in on the “morally straight” business.  (This wasn’t about inclusion; this was to punish a group that disagreed with them.  Parents don’t want to send their boys out into the woods with a gay guy, and the activists were well aware of that.)  The next push was gay marriage, which they lawyered up until the cows came home.  The public was strongly against this, and it was rejected anywhere it was put to a democratic vote, even in California.  Finally, the Supreme Court took their side, citing a Constitutional amendment intended to make sure that crimes against freedmen wouldn’t get ignored by local law enforcement.  Right after they got their way with that one, the latest big hoopla is about transsexual bathroom preferences.  One can only wonder what the next cause du jour will be.  For the record, if two dudes want to hit it off in the privacy of their own homes, I’m not bothered by that.  However, this small fraction of the public insisting that society bend over backwards on everything they ask for is a little much.

Feminism became a major front of the culture war. The first wave was moderate for the most part, and had achieved its goals of equality under the law by 1963. Then, influenced by cultural Marxism, the second wave began, which was anything but moderate.  Few people who haven’t taken their indoctrination courses in college are aware of how extreme it is.  Worse, they’ve driven a wedge deep into the heart of the public.  Going over the damage this has caused would be enough for another article.  The early radical feminists were fully aware of how they were attempting to disrupt society. These days, it’s taken on a life of its own.

Political correctness is another result of the memes launched by the Critical Theory movement. We laughed about it back in the ’90s, but this too has taken on a life of its own and become an orthodoxy. This one really shows their subjectivist roots. Reframing has its uses, but changing the language doesn’t change reality.  Even so, the Newspeak was only the beginning. The end result of PC is that you’re not allowed to criticize anyone considered “underprivileged”, and we have to walk on eggshells.  Consequentially, entire policy arguments are forbidden.  That’s really the whole purpose of political correctness; it’s not about avoiding hurt feelings.  For instance, if you say that multiculturalism brings more friction into society – which is pretty obvious – then you’d better be careful about who’s listening.  This encourages rotten double standards:  some social groups are encouraged to exercise solidarity to the point of hypersensitivity; other groups aren’t even allowed to say they deserve to exist, much less advocate their own interests like everybody else does.  Sure, it’s still a free country in that you won’t get put in jail for criticizing the government, but saying the wrong thing might earn you a visit from your HR department, get you in trouble with campus “speech codes”, or put you on the naughty list of some alphabet soup outfit.

The SJW phenomenon

In recent times, cultural Marxism has brought us the Social Justice Warriors. Rather than doing battle with spears, swords, or rifles, they fight behind the safety of a keyboard. This includes online mobs shouting down opponents or pressuring employers to fire those who disagree with their dogma. In the real world, they participate in noisy demonstrations, and sometimes disrupt meetings. Young people already get plenty of propaganda from television and public schools, but colleges are the major indoctrination centers. There have been campus radicals since the 1960s, but these days, some of them basically make a religion out of it. Although many consider SJWs to be anything from misguided youths to a plague on society (even moderate liberals think they’re barking up the wrong tree) we should take the time to figure out where they’re coming from.

So what motivates these stormtroopers of political correctness? People want something to believe in. Earlier, religion met this need. Since the 1960s, the “question everything” atmosphere that Critical Theory helped bring about has done much more to weaken the hold of faith than the theory of evolution ever did. The rightful place of religion in society is another debate entirely; the point is that people these days tend to be as obsessed with ideology as people in the Middle Ages were obsessed with religion and other supernatural matters. When people aren’t focused on religion (personal salvation or getting right with God) they’ll often turn to secular concerns: that is, making the world a better place, as they see it. The personal goals in religion and ideology are similar: people want to do the right thing. Unfortunately, this desire to do good can get contorted and spiral out of control, causing people to get carried away in the moment and lose sight of their positive goals. Historical grudges can worsen things; likewise, demagoguery can result in mob violence. At the worst extreme, this has led to wars of religion and craziness like the Chinese Cultural Revolution.

Some have noted that SJWs are engaging in “virtue signaling”, or even attempting to get sex by desperately ingratiating themselves to feminists. (I really doubt that the “holier than thou” type status-jockeying or the supplication gets them very far!) Be that as it may, SJWs who spend hours posting bumper sticker logic on Tumblr really do believe that what they do makes the world a better place. If instead they were posting well thought-out essays explaining their views, people would take them more seriously.

Aside from giving people the belief that they’re fighting the good fight, cults provide some other benefits too. One of them is certainty in an uncertain world. The Critical Theory folks put a lot of energy into getting the “question everything” meme out there, but they also presented their own narrative (another of their favorite words) of how the world works. Another benefit is the feeling of belonging to something. People haven’t lost the instinct to band together in tribes. In a city of millions of strangers, finding a social group is important. (Some religious cults use “love bombing” on new recruits, though SJW hug-fests would be hard to imagine.) At most campuses, freshmen new in town can fit into the radical scene; the only price of admission is to embrace their world view, even if it’s something very different from the tradition in which they were raised. Out in the vast wasteland of cyberspace, anyone no matter how shy or geographically isolated can join their ranks too. Solidarity is a powerful feeling. Finally, this provides opportunities for enthusiasm. Chanting at a demonstration can be a thrilling activity, just as much as a vivacious church service, or for that matter cheering on your team at a game.

Religions and ideologies share the following characteristics:

  • They provide a ready-made framework for understanding the world (it might be pretty much true, it might be nonsense; either way, the effects are the same);
  • For people on the inside, it makes perfect sense; those looking at it from the outside often find it weird or even menacing;
  • They provide a sense of belonging (be it a church or an activist cell);
  • The believers sometimes see themselves as righteous outsiders in opposition to a corrupt, hostile world;
  • They offer a model of salvation (“do these things and you’ll go to heaven” or “restructure society these ways to create heaven on earth”);
  • They typically have influential figures, past and present, sometimes very highly revered;
  • If people take it too far, it turns into a cult, leading to logical bifurcation (black-and-white thinking), “us versus them” mentality, animosity, and violence in the worst cases; and
  • Related belief systems (and occasionally very different ones) can form alliances on common causes, though sometimes even closely-related ones can have bitter disputes about nit-picking matters.

I should point out that belief systems aren’t necessarily a bad thing. They’re a fact of life, and they do have good characteristics (obviously some much more than others), though it is right to criticize their excesses. Even the ideologies I generally agree with aren’t immune to nearsightedness, extremism, and resultant strategic errors.

How to fight cultural Marxism

Countering a dialectical strategy – characterized by creeping gradualism and moving the goalposts after previous demands have been acquiesced to – can be a very difficult task. Appeasement isn’t going to work, and tactical efforts at resistance won’t be very effective until the adults get in charge again. So, the question is “What is to be done?” (Bonus points to anyone who gets that reference!) Calling them out for who they are is a decent first step; hopefully this article will be educational. Most people don’t know that a subversive ideological warfare campaign started campus radicalism and political correctness, along with heavy involvement in the grievance politics from the 1960s onward. These days, even the subscribers to the above are mostly unaware of it. Communism proved to be a failure, and was abandoned by the Eastern Bloc nations. Not even the Chinese Communist Party takes Communism very seriously any more; they’d rather export consumer goods than revolution. Still, the memes took on a life of their own, even when their reason for existence was no longer present. It’s like a science fiction story in which a menacing robot continues to act on orders from a long-dead creator.

Attacking the premises of cultural Marxism is another necessary step.  The truth is that throwing out social norms is a bad idea, radical feminism screwed up society, and multiculturalism doesn’t work.  In ideological warfare, the counter to bad information is good information. Convincing the public determines victory. This is the road we’ll have to take. Although the media is made up of a small group of left-leaning corporations with a stranglehold on mainstream information distribution, we’ve made some surprising advances in getting our word out there. A great many Blue Pill people get all their answers from their televisions, but still feel that something is dreadfully wrong and can’t quite put their finger on it. This is an opportunity for us. The fact is, we’re going to have to become pharmacists for the Red Pill. Unplugging people from the Matrix isn’t easy (neither is cult deprogramming) but someone has to do it.

So what of the hard-core SJWs? The good news is that most of them will graduate, get some real-world experience under their belt, and rejoin civilization. The bad news is that more kids will get indoctrinated with every freshman class. Convincing parents to look closely at colleges and review degree plans might be helpful. If millions of parents started doing that, funding would dry up and colleges would start getting the message. (Ideological considerations aside, sociology and any degree ending in “studies” doesn’t have much use in the real world anyway.) If we’re ever fortunate enough to have sufficient influence in the government, then we could give funding only to worthwhile programs (objectively, STEM fields are the most valuable to society) and let the grievance studies departments figure out how to pay for themselves.

On an individual level, although SJWs often come across as a bunch of screaming fanatics, we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that most of them were once good kids before some professor convinced them own civilization is evil. In the best case, they can grow up and see reason again; where possible, we should accelerate this process. Actually, some hardcore leftists have become outspoken critics of their former ideology. They know the positions quite well, including their weaknesses. (Technically, I was a red diaper baby, though I got off the bus pretty early on.) So the question is how to bring about enlightenment. As for online debates, we should make our views known for benefit of the general public, since a forum with no opposition will become an echo chamber. However, if you want to talk sense into SJWs, it’s better to email them, since convincing them in a forum that they’re wrong will be very difficult. When you do so, you’ll have to be Mr. Reasonable and spoon-feed them information. “I see that you feel strongly about this, and I’m sure you have the best intentions in mind, but did you know that statistic you quoted was made up?” Cults keep their members in line by keeping them together with other like-minded followers. Engaging them personally will be best of all; knocking back a few beers with them will cause them to see you as a human being, rather than someone they can dismiss with a label. Again, this won’t be easy, but take the opportunity if you get it. (This personal engagement process will be much easier for non-fanatic Blue Pill types, though – recall the Law of Least Resistance!) If you engage them with hatred, they’ll tune you out; if you use civilized discussion, they might listen to you. Thus, “Hey, is this really constructive?” will be better than “You’re an idiot.” If you’re feeling a bit sneaky, maybe something like this: “Hey, I saw this [give link to a devastatingly well-written article], and I’d like to blog an in-depth rebuttal. Unfortunately, I can’t figure out where to go with it, and I’m afraid this might actually have some valid points.”

The weak point of cultural Marxism is ideology, which is basically everything it has for sale. Simply put, it’s out of touch with human nature, and their brand of hyper-equality isn’t in line with reality. Further, it’s not conducive to making for a harmonious and productive society. (Suppose they gain total control – how will they put things back together? They spent decades dividing society into squabbling factions, convincing large segments of the public that they’re owed a free lunch, and importing tens of millions of immigrants with similar attitudes.) Their views on any number of social matters amounts to Orwell’s formulation “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” Although there’s a kernel of truth in some of their arguments, they fill in quite a bit with phony statistics, overwrought emotional appeals, and blatant double standards. This, of course, gives us an opportunity to call out the arguments for lies, hysteria, and rotten hypocrisy. An ideology based on emotion, special pleading, and appeals to pity isn’t a sound one, full of opportunities to inject much-needed logic into the debate and highlight contradictions. For just one instance, they write radical Islam a moral blank check, despite treating women miserably and throwing gays off of buildings. You should ask a Social Justice Warrior about that some time.

Although the Frankfurt School spent quite a bit of time meticulously planning how they’d deconstruct society, their SJW ideological descendants aren’t particularly deep thinkers. They don’t spare much effort examining their dogma with a critical eye. There’s not much serious discussion involved beyond recitation of talking points. Their standard for determining who is right and worthy of support depends on who has been the most historically oppressed – the “victimization Olympics”. This is despite their assertions of absolute equality, or the fact that an argument stands or falls on its own merits rather than the speaker (the ad hominem fallacy, along with buckets of argumentum ad misericordiam). Finally, as successful as they’ve been so far, they’ve gone way off course. Although the Frankfurt School envisioned a Marxist one-world government, the true winners in the fragmented society they brought about are multinational corporate interests. In the New World Order, the billionaires won, not the proletariat. Again, these are opportunities.

On that note, the SJWs actually could be doing something helpful by calling attention to the way society has become a plutocracy; Occupy Wall Street was such an effort, while it lasted.  Perhaps with a nudge in the right direction – and some remedial education, hopefully – their enthusiasm could be channeled more constructively.

Cultural Marxism and the Social Justice Warrior cult

A beginner’s question – “How the hell do you ask someone for sex?”

Not long ago, I was reading an article about the Nice Guy debate.  It wasn’t from a Red Pill source, though the writer was heading on the right track.  It’s a bit long-winded, but definitely a good read, and it’s always refreshing to find something about this from an enlightened perspective.

The essence of it is that this young doctor was treating a low-class guy who had just gotten injured in a domestic dispute with his fifth wife.  His other four wives had left him because he beat them.  The fight happened because he had cheated on his current wife with one of his former wives.  That’s right, she came back to this wretch even though he had remarried and she had left him for beating her.

Now the ironic thing – in the “enough to make one question the existence of a merciful God” kind of irony – is that the twenty five year old doctor had never been on a single date!  That’s right; he was a virgin, despite being an eligible bachelor, working in a lucrative and high-status profession, and always acting like a civilized human being.  His patient – likely with little going for him besides Stockholm Syndrome – certainly didn’t have any problem finding women.  Then the author went into considerable discussion about the torrents of hate poured over lonely guys who dared to wonder what the hell went wrong.  Generally they did so because they were passed over for troglodytes or kept getting trapped in the Friend Zone.

In my latest book, I’ve written about Nice Guys quite a bit, as well as the idiots who rub salt into their wounds, the Friend Zone scam, and the Fundamental Paradox of why the types of men women say they want are so often quite different from who they actually choose.  Truth be told, I’m pretty long-winded about all that too.  But that’s not what I’m here to talk about.  I read deep into the comments (a bad habit of mine) and found this:

I feel like I know many of the social scripts around friendship, and some of the unspoken rules of being in a relationship, but How the hell do you ask someone for sex? I mean, if you have been in a relationship for a while, I guess the topic comes up eventually, but the concept of not knowing someone and saying things that lead to having sex (aka hookup culture) produces the exact sort of bewildered incomprehension as an AI box experiment win. I can’t think of any combination of words that could possibly do that and it resembles some sort of witchcraft. How is it possible to ask someone for sex and not have it be horribly awkward and get instantaneously shot down in the absence of a multi-month relationship with that person?

I really feel for this guy who was so confused about all this (as well as the doctor who couldn’t get a date to save his life).  I have some answers:  it’s not sorcery, I promise!  Nor should it take months; if nothing is happening by the third date, that’s probably a waste of your time.  At risk of sounding immodest, I’ve taken a decent number of women to bed after less than an hour of conversation.  Finally, you can be successful with women while remaining a civilized human being.

First of all, asking for sex up front is a pretty bad strategy.  That only works is if 1) she’s DTF, 2) she’s highly attracted to you already, and 3) she’s a “free spirit” – shall we say – who doesn’t mind very direct propositions.  What happens if you ask for sex up front but all these conditions aren’t present?  You’ll get laughed at, cursed out, or maybe even slapped.  If you get blown out like that, it’ll make you want to go back home with your tail tucked between your legs, so to speak.  As every guy older than 13 has discovered, there’s a social taboo about asking someone for sex right up front.  (Those who criticize indirect approaches as “dishonest” fail to apprehend this.)  Entire books have been written about game, including my own.  However, I’ll distill all this into the bare-bones facts.

Look your best whenever you’re in public.  You’ll have a lot of competition.  Being average doesn’t cut it these days; women are looking for high-quality guys, so you’ll have to stand out.  Generally speaking, this is more so for those who are younger, prettier, and in notoriously demanding locations:  LA, NYC, Toronto, etc.  This doesn’t mean that you have to be a celebrity to get a date, or that you need to break the bank on designer clothes.  However, you’ll fail from the start if you’re dressed sloppily, you have messy hair, or you’ve got (ahem) hygiene issues.  Also, having a lean, muscular physique gets women’s attention the way a woman with curves in all the right places gets our attention.  If you’re not already there yet, this isn’t always a deal-breaker, since you can stand out in other ways.  Still, do what you can to start working toward that.  The short version is to hit the gym and push the fork out of your face.  The time to begin is now.

There’s a narrow zone between showing too little interest and too much interest.  You’ll have to figure out each situation as it develops; that sounds daunting, but with practice, it gets better.  Missing the sweet spot on the low end means she might not even be aware that you like her, and that’ll be an opportunity lost.  Showing too much interest – this includes overstating your attraction, bringing a dozen roses to a first date, letting your tongue hang out like a Saint Bernard, and so forth – means you’ll get turned down, or even blown out.  (Needy=BAD!  Desperate=BAD!)  The hotter you are compared to her, the more this zone widens; for instance, rock stars really can get away with “Want to have sex?” as an opener; for that matter, “Go away, girl!” works for them too.  The hotter she is compared to you, the more the zone narrows; the “dweeb gets a supermodel” scenario only works in RomComs.

On that note, be aware that many Hollywood tropes don’t work in the real world.  Most traditional dating advice doesn’t work either; that came from before the Sexual Revolution and is mostly obsolete.  Much of the advice you’ll hear from women – including your mother – is pretty spotty.  Pay more attention to what they do than what they say.  Guys get lots of confusing messages.  Being a cuddly teddy bear doesn’t work; going to the opposite extreme and acting like a silverback gorilla misses the mark too.  Be fair but firm.  Also be resolute, brave, and confident:  all that =GOOD!  Despite whatever you’ve heard, women like men who act like men.  They don’t like guys who act wimpy any more than we like women who have crew cuts, dress like lumberjacks, and chew tobacco.  Forget about buying drinks; that stopped working after the ’80s.  Finally, supplication (abasing yourself or “kissing ass”) never works; making that mistake means you’re finished.

Then you need to get out and socialize.  The time to begin is now.  Many guys become afraid to open conversations after they’ve been shot down hard too many times.  Being afraid also means you can blow an approach by freezing up.  With practice, you’ll improve.  Just butch up and grow a pair, okay?  Remember that talking to someone isn’t a crime (yet) and there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with that.  Just keep it cool and smooth.  By the way, women get horny and like sex just as we do, and there’s nothing wrong with people liking sex.

Go open some conversations:  at least ten, unless that exceeds 25% of available prospects.  (You don’t want to be “that guy hitting on everyone”.)  If that doesn’t work, find a friendlier venue.  Some guys rely on pickup lines and canned openers, but it’s a lot better to have an interesting, free-form conversation.  If that’s difficult, then remember what I just said about practice!  By the way, bad subjects for a first conversation include politics, religion, money, sex, baseball statistics, serial killers, bodily functions, your World of Warcraft character, and the like.  If you get shot down – this happens to everyone – don’t get upset; try to learn from whatever it was.  (Actually, a lot of the time it’s random circumstance that has nothing to do with you.  This includes having a steady boyfriend already; sometimes it’s a polite lie on their part, but sometimes it’s the truth.)  If it’s not a complete Blowout, sometimes you can recover the situation by laughing it off or mildly teasing back, but all that’s another discussion entirely.

Okay, so finally onto the question about “How the hell do you ask someone for sex?”  Once you’ve opened an interesting conversation, then you’ll have to gauge her reaction.  Much has been written about IOIs and IODs, but here are a couple of big ones.  If she’s looking away from you and responding in monosyllables, that’s a bad sign; if things don’t improve after a couple of minutes, then thank her for her time and eject.  If she’s looking at you intently and enthusiastically participating in the conversation, that’s a good sign.  At that point, you can say something unambiguous and smooth, like “You know, I find you quite charming.”  If you get a positive reaction, then keep turning up the heat a bit at a time.  If all goes well, then you can ask her on a date, whereupon you can take things further.  Better yet, when possible, lean in for a kiss.  If that becomes a good makeout session, then ask her if she wants to go home with you.  She knows exactly what you mean.  Back home, continue the makeout session, and ask her to make sweet love with you.  If she chickens out, then by all means be cool about it, put your clothes back on, and take it back to the interesting conversation.  If she says yes, then show her a great time, and she’ll keep coming back for more.

So, all that’s Seduction 101 – the secrets of those evil pickup artists.  This isn’t easy, but it’s not rocket science either.  Much more has been written about it (including over 200,000 words from Yours Truly) but the above are the basics for the absolute beginner.  Buy my book if you want to know more, or another good book on the subject.

A beginner’s question – “How the hell do you ask someone for sex?”

How to get started in ebook publishing

First, a little history.

In the beginning, I wanted to be a writer. However, that’s not how it worked out. In college, I first set out to be an electrical engineer, and then pretty quickly jumped horses to computing. After making the horrifying discovery that my university’s well-respected program wasn’t teaching much of practical value, I changed majors again to study literature in order to pursue my initial dream. As it happens, though, I ended up working in the computer industry. I became very good at it by learning in the school of hard knocks.

Still, the creative bug never left me. With most computer admin jobs, either it’s quiet or frantic. During the quiet times, sometimes I would write, whenever I wasn’t honing my 1337 5k1llz in Minesweeper. The problem is getting it published, of course. I inherited my inclination for science fiction from my father. When he was young, you could get just about anything published so long as it had a rocket ship on the cover. By the time I was a teenager, there were about a dozen publishing houses, and they were a lot pickier. God help anyone who didn’t submit in the official proper manuscript format! (Ten point Courier font, double spaced, one inch margins, underlines where it’s supposed to be italicized, yada yada yada.) I started submitting to my favorite magazine so I could get a toehold in the business and hopefully some name recognition, but my only results were rejection letters. Meanwhile, some of the stuff they printed by established authors wasn’t as good as the things I was sending them, in my not so humble opinion. In fact, one of the stories was so corny that it became the inspiration for my flagship product, the Space Vixen Trek series.

All starting authors get rejected (unless your last name happens to begin with “P” and end with “aolini”, and then Bob’s your uncle), so I know how it goes. Most great writers could make wallpaper out of the rejection letters they got in the beginning. As I’ve heard, you’ve got to keep plugging away. It’s the same thing with finding a girlfriend, as a matter of fact. Even so, some new authors do break in, some deservedly – J.K. Rowling, for one – and others perhaps less so (sparkly vampires – come on…) The only things I ever got published in a national magazine were a satire about an ex-girlfriend, and a vignette about a three day outage at work exacerbated by management not listening to me.

Meanwhile, the publishing industry was changing. Thanks to Bush the Elder, antitrust laws for the media were relaxed, and now there are six corporate mega-conglomerates controlling the print business (as well as television, movies, newspapers, magazines, and thus public opinion). It used to be that you could submit a manuscript to a publishing house, and if all the stars were aligned the right way, an editor might pick it up out of the slush pile and actually read it. Now, literary agents are the gatekeepers, and a manuscript sent to a real editor will generally get routed directly to the round file. Agents do have connections – which justifies the 10% cut they get – but the problem is that they tend to be just as overworked and snooty as the editors were. That seems a rather cavalier way for them to treat their bread and butter, but it’s just one of those things. (It’s a supply and demand issue, similar to the market distortion that average guys face in the dating arena, but I’ve already ranted enough about that elsewhere.) Then I came across a rather dispiriting post from someone on a writer’s forum, basically to the effect that a newcomer with talent has about a 2% chance of getting discovered. Basically, I gave up my dreams after that, but kept on writing anyway.

After Al Gore invented the Internet, things were set in motion for yet another change. Back then, I was puzzled why the industry still insisted on the ritual of would-be writers printing things out on dead trees in the proper manuscript format, then mailing it to somewhere in New York. Then, of course, you wait the required 3-6 months before you give up hope and send to somewhere else – “no simsubs”, the requirements usually would say charmingly. I figured that if only they modernized, people could email the files, and a rejection note telling you that you’re free to find somewhere else wouldn’t cost them a cent. Further, they wouldn’t have to deal with transcribing everything that went to press, and they could all get rid of the mountains of paper on their desks. But, I digress.

Eventually books started going online. At first, it was considered career suicide for a writer to go this route. As the years went by, I found out that electronic publishing wasn’t the ghetto it once was. So no more gatekeepers, and no more agents getting a piece of your action either. Ebooks are big now. As for the print industry, they haven’t quite gone the way of the dinosaur, but they’re suffering pretty badly. As one of Jack T. Chick’s devils would put it, “Haw haw!” I decided to become one of the authors going their own way.

Here’s how it’s done.

First, you need a good product. It’s been said that to start getting good at writing, you first have to get a million bad words out of the way. (Swearing a lot doesn’t count.) Personally, I think fan fiction is a good thing, since it’s basically a training ground. Practice makes perfect – just like learning to pick up babes! (Sometimes I sound like a broken record, don’t I?) Anyway, make sure that your spelling and grammar are good, because sloppiness is a turn-off for readers. That’s why you need to proofread. If you get “from” and “form” mixed up, for instance, your spell checker won’t see anything wrong, and your grammar checker might not be smart enough to flag it either. Style is important too. Being well-read in literature helps, since that provides good examples for you. It’s beneficial to have someone else proofread it too, who is knowledgeable and will give you honest advice. There isn’t any software yet that will tell you “this has a deus ex machina ending” or “your characterization is lame” or “Colonel Mustard hid the lead pipe in the study, but he whacked the guy in the kitchen, so you need to explain that or change the details.” I love to break stylistic rules, but then, that’s just my shtick.

Once you have a good manuscript ready to go, you’ll need to upload it. I’d recommend Amazon, the 800 pound gorilla of the ebook industry, and Smashwords, which pioneered ebooks and distributes to a large part of everything else. (They’ll also distribute to Amazon, but presently you must have a high sales volume before that becomes possible.) So, you’ll have to set up profiles. Here’s what mine look like:
http://www.amazon.com/Rainbow-Albrecht/e/B00MEDOJY4/
https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/RainbowAlbrecht

Once you have your profile, then you’ll be able to upload books here:
https://kdp.amazon.com/bookshelf?prefLanguage=true
https://www.smashwords.com/dashboard

Concerning Amazon, as you add books, you’ll have to associate them with your profile, so they show up on your author page. They also feature the Amazon Select program, which gives you extra features. The catch is that it’s exclusive: any book in that program may only be distributed through them, and if you change your mind, it will be 90 days before you can opt out. I’m not sure what happens if they catch you cheating, but consider yourself warned. It’s all up to you, but read all the fine print before making any decisions. Finally, they’re a little touchy about hyperlinks to non-Amazon book distributors. If you link to an author’s personal social media site (for instance, in a bibliography), generally that’s OK. If you have a blurb on an Amazon ebook linking to your own site, make it your Amazon site, or a personal site elsewhere. (Likewise, a Smashwords ebook shouldn’t have Amazon links.) So you’ll have to have two separate versions if you’re uploading to both; fortunately, that’s not too hard to manage.

You should know that ebooks don’t use the standard manuscript format of before; Smashwords has an excellent guide on how it’s done. They like Times New Roman 12 point, and generally nothing larger than 16 points such as for title headings. Using custom-defined Word styles is safer than formatting each header separately. Use single spacing. Avoid weird effects or exotic fonts. Read at least the following items from Smashwords; they’re pure gold:

You’ll need to include a title page: the title, then your name, date of publication, and all that jazz. Include a boilerplate copyright notice; Smashwords lists some examples. If you’re uploading to Amazon too (which I recommend) change the wording accordingly. Make another separate page for the table of contents. Your ebook will need an .NCX file, but fortunately, the conversion utilities when you upload your book will do that for you. At the top of your table of contents page, create a bookmark (in MS Word) called ref_TOC which will assist the converter in knowing what to look for. Create internal bookmarks for chapters, and hyperlink them from the table of contents.

Both Amazon and Smashwords will take a Microsoft Word document and convert it to various other formats. (OpenOffice probably also works, but I haven’t tried.) Your part of it is all done by the web page, and it’s just a matter of filling in the blanks and pointing to the files on your hard drive. Conversion can be a little tricky, so keep looking and make sure it all went through correctly. The process may take up to 24 hours, so quit biting your nails. Have a look at the finished product, just to be sure everything is OK. One time I uploaded the wrong manuscript and didn’t discover it until later – oopsie! Smashwords has its own ISBN manager utility – make sure to grab one there and associate it with your book after you’ve uploaded, and there’s no need to go anywhere else for an ISBN number. Amazon has its own separate (ASIN) system, and they do all that automatically. Also, as you upload, you’ll get a chance to choose a couple of categories and several keywords. Selecting them accurately is a benefit for you, because it helps people find your stuff. If you’re stumped, you can look up some other books similar to yours and see how they’re categorized.

You’ll also need to have a cover image. If you use a boring cover, then obviously that’s an impediment, since the cover is part of what sells a book, despite any proverbs you’ve heard to the contrary. Your cover will need to be at least 1280 pixels wide, 1400 long. Amazon does recommend 2500 long and a 1.6 aspect ratio (thus 1563 wide), though they will take 1400×1280 still. If you’re artistically inclined enough, then you can do the cover yourself. If not, you can pay someone else. I don’t really have a budget for this kind of thing thus far, so I get by with MS Paint and public domain content and fonts. You shouldn’t rip off somebody else’s stuff, or this can get you in trouble. Cover design is both fun and kind of a pain in the tail, all at the same time.

Speaking of the Copyright Gestapo, do not ever use song lyrics, no matter what you’ve heard about “fair use”. Thanks to the music industry trying to hold onto their rights for all those Jelly Roll Morton hits that are burning up the charts, and to their buddies in Congress, in practice lyrics are held to a more exacting standard than any other intellectual property. You can buy permissions for lyrics, but it will likely cost you a few hundred a pop. That’s obviously a problem until you become the next Stephen King and can afford all that.

Once you have some ebooks uploaded, the next step is publicity. They don’t just start flying off the shelves, so to speak. Trust me, I know; publicity is my weak point. One advantage that the media mega-conglomerates have is an enormous advertising budget; good news for the lucky 2% who get discovered. (Also, in brick-and-mortar stores, they get to decide which titles show up on the tables in front as you walk in.) You can advertise too if you want, but do your research to be sure you’re doing business with a reputable outfit. The good news is that you can use your social media to generate your own free publicity. If you’re lucky, it will go viral.

With the exception of this site, I’m not doing that. I don’t care to let my employer – present or any in the future – know about my creative efforts, since it ain’t their business. Also, some of the stuff I’ve written will get me on the naughty list for some alphabet soup Thought Police outfits. This is most especially so for Space Vixen Trek Episode 13: The Final Falafel, in which I poke fun at most major religions as well as some minor ones. Additionally, that one could get me a fatwa. I don’t particularly care to have my head cut off on TV, since that would kind of spoil my day. However, most of you won’t have that problem, in which case you can feel free to promote on social media.

If you’re extremely lucky, this might result in you sunning yourself on your yacht and lighting cigars with $100 bills. Note that you’ll need to report the income on your taxes, so set some aside as this won’t get withheld like regular income. Unless you strike it rich – and for most people this doesn’t happen – it’s pretty slim pickings, so don’t ice the Dom Perignon just yet. Don’t quit your day job, either. Anyway, give it your best shot. At least it beats getting one rejection letter after another.

How to get started in ebook publishing

Straight talk on alphas

Personally, I have my qualms about the whole alpha/beta distinction that’s quite frequently discussed in the Manosphere. First of all, personality dichotomies are too reductive.  This pigeonholes guys into one box or another on some rather loosely-defined criteria, and fails to account for a number of other important strengths and weaknesses.  Second, this basically endorses a model that categorizes 80% of guys pretty much as “losers”.  Although this is more descriptive than proscriptive, I think we – as a group concerned with the status of men in society – can do better than that!  (Actually, I did so when I wrote Righteous Seduction.  Further, as I explained therein, 80% of guys are indeed “have nots” in their love lives, but this doesn’t mean there’s always something wrong with them.  Our messed up social scene is partly to blame, but to a large degree, the “have nots” are left out because they aren’t getting correct information and don’t know the real rules of the game.)  Third, these loosely-defined criteria of “what is an alpha” lead to some absurdities.  Is a low-IQ drug addict who has a high “notch count”, and lots of illegitimate children he doesn’t support, really a winner?  Is a creative scientist happily married to his one and only really a loser?

So, someone who reads all that kind of Manosphere discussion without putting much critical thought into it might draw some wrong conclusions. Someone could end up believing that to “act alpha”, you must never be kind or it will show weakness, or even that you have to act thuggish to be successful with women.

I’ll give you the straight dope on all that. Granted, there are some women who confuse douchebag behavior for confidence – generally they have some Daddy issues going on – but acting that way is neither desirable nor necessary.  Supplication (“kissing ass” or other forms of self-abasement) is bad, but acting like a douchebag is bad too.  The goal is to be firm but fair.  It’s an Aristotelian Golden Mean thing, dude!  Within those parameters, kindness by default is good.  To clarify, I mean that if you’re getting screamed at without due cause, the proper response is not “Yes dear, yes dear”, nor is it blowing your lid and screaming back, but rather “Let’s stop this nonsense.”  I also wrote a good bit about the leadership concept in relationships.  As a guy, this is going to be expected of you.  Generally this involves decisiveness and not acting like a wimp or a pushover.  However, that certainly does not involve snapping your fingers and yelling “Woman!  Beer!” while your fat ass is parked on the couch watching TV.

I found an interesting page online about alpha behavior which also should shed some light on things. The author is basically a very enlightened knucklehead.  Like our little droogie Alex in A Clockwork Orange (if you’ve got the book with Chapter 21 included), he realized that violence isn’t where it’s at.  He’s a bit wordy at times and rather on the grim side, though overall quite sensible, and his article is a good read.  He’s not talking about the context of seduction, but rather dynamics within social groups (certainly relevant to street gangs), though the principles certainly apply either way.  A few highlights:

Before you can understand what an alpha is, you first need to understand something about the nature of power. Namely: Power is granted to you by the group. You don’t have power unless other people give it to you.
[…]
Trust is a fundamental issue of being an alpha. People do not give power to someone they do not trust to look after their needs.
[…]
And contrary to what some betas posers would have you believe, there’s more to communication than “My way or the highway.” That is usually the attitude of a beta aping this critical aspect of leadership.
[…]
Another huge aspect of being an alpha is negotiate. Whether it is resolving conflicts between his followers or establishing workable compromises between people. And to negotiate well, you need to be able to communicate to whom you are dealing with (and on whatever level).
[…]
Basically Caesar’s summation of an insecure alpha is a beta dog that is thrust into a leadership position. This dog lacks alpha attributes. Most of all it doesn’t have the calm assurance of a true alpha. As such it is unstable and overly aggressive. An additional problem with this is other dogs in this situation also become unbalanced and aggressive.
[…]
It is perhaps here that the absolute worst misconception about alpha behavior is made. It is also one of the fastest ways to spot a beta trying to ape an alpha. One version of this attitude is “I’m the alpha, I get the best, you get the scraps.” Another version is “Everything is mine and you have no place.”

So there you have it. Being responsible and reasonable is where it’s at, not posturing and acting aggressive.

All this dovetails into a concept of respect that I’ve had for quite some time. Namely, respect is a two way street.  You give some to get some.  (For some weird reason, many of my teachers and managers in the past just didn’t get that.)  All people deserve basic respect, unless they do something dishonorable that makes them unworthy of it and then have to rebuild their reputation.  Further, someone who wants more than just the basic level of respect – that is to say, high status – needs to do something important to earn it.  You can’t just demand it and expect to be taken seriously.  The good news is that there are countless ways to stand out and be accomplished.  Going a bit off on a tangent, one of the fads in education these days is pushing self-esteem.  My take is that this is crap.  If you tell people how wonderful they are without them doing anything to develop a rightful sense of self-accomplishment, this distorts the system and they end up with a swollen head.  (Maybe this is where one of the stereotypes about millennials comes from.)  Having high status is awesome, so out there and be excellent!

Actually, in the proper context, a lot of what the seduction community means about “being alpha” really boils down to personal charisma. I wrote a lot about Framing in my book.  Basically, this means a way of looking at things:  either that you adopt for yourself (self-Framing) or something that you convey to others.  One recent realization I had is that status is a Frame.  You’re popular because other people think you’re popular.  (That’s kind of a tautology, but hey…)  This is closely related to the concept of “social proof”, also called “preselection”.  It doesn’t happen overnight, but keep earning lots of respect, and you’ll get there.  Go forth and be righteous.

I recall a student back in high school who was Mr. Popularity within a certain large group.  He wasn’t a football player or exceptionally rich.  He’s Japanese, in a school with very few Asians, and also was one of the fattest students.  These things normally would have tended to make him an outsider in our status-obsessed school, but he was quite the opposite.  He had a hot girlfriend too.  I’m not really sure how he did all that – otherwise, I would have done well to do the same thing – but I suspect it just had to do with consistently acting cool.  Anyway, food for thought there.

Straight talk on alphas

How to debate more effectively

Trigger warning (snicker): here be politics.  Feel free to skip it if you wish.

The art of persuasion has always been an important thing. “The pen is mightier than the sword” and all that good stuff.  There are those who dismiss the importance of debate, to the effect that doing is better than talking.  I get it, actions speak louder than words, and taking action is indeed essential.  Even so, getting your message out there has its place, as this is what motivates the doers to do something.  Our society is in pretty bad shape now, and getting our message out there is the only hope we have of turning things around.  The public discourse is dominated by people who either are oblivious to the full effects of this downward slide, or are cheerleading for it.  We should all be aware of the indoctrination going on in public education, as well as who is running the media.  The Internet is one thing our opponents aren’t fully in control of, as well as private conversations between individuals.  This is where we can make a difference, and change minds one at a time.  Being effective at this is critical.  The art of rhetoric is a broad subject, and has been covered by great minds since antiquity, but to begin with, here are some important pointers.

Rule 1 – Go in with the facts

Having the truth on your side is obviously a huge advantage in any argument; demonstrating this is how you leverage the advantage. Exposing distortions will cause your opponent’s credibility to take a big hit.

This is very good for us, because our opponents have to rely on half-truths, outright lies, and emotional appeals. It pays to do your research.  Save quotations and citations where you find them.  For a public debate, print it out if you think you’ll need it.  Original sources are better than commentary on the findings.  Be aware of the ways that statistics can be misrepresented – for just one example, the “wage gap” myth.  Still, be careful not to get drawn into a “my researcher can beat up your researcher” debate; this is one of several ways that someone who is losing ground might sidetrack a discussion.

Rule 2 – Know your audience

Argumentation will take many forms: discussions among friends, online forums, public debates, scholarly articles, etc.  As Aristotle put it (so I understand), use logic with a friend and rhetoric with an opponent.  It’s easiest to get through to a friend, though sometimes they just like to argue, so be on guard for that.  Your audience has to be able to relate to what you’re saying.  Ultra-lefty Saul Alinsky made the point that you can’t go outside of people’s experience, by telling a story about ordering from a numbered menu and then requesting a modification to the order, which resulted in the order being screwed up because the diner staff was used to going by numbers.  Ultra-righty George Lincoln Rockwell made an analogy about targeting the tone of your message for your audience:  if you were working in a grocery store and an elegant Frenchman came in, you wouldn’t try to sell him hog jowls.  If those two can agree on something, then it has to be right!

If you go too far outside of the audience’s experience, you’ve lost them. If you give a fire-breathing Patton style speech to genteel people, they’ll recoil in shock.  Keep the terminology recognizable and not too exotic.  For instance, someone who has no experience with the Manosphere will have no idea what a beta orbiter is, even if he’s an unfortunate soul who happens to be one.  Explain concepts ahead of time where needed to prepare your audience.  Also, is your audience composed of the rich or the poor, fundamentalists or atheists, professors or dropouts, liberals or conservatives?  The way you’d talk to truck drivers will be different than speaking at an academic conference.  Be aware of whether or not your audience is mostly friendly.  If they’re on your side, then feel free to make your opponent look silly.  If they’re not on your side, then be Mr. Reasonable.  If you go too far outside their beliefs and world view, then they’ll tune you out.  Avoiding that problem means that you might not be able to say everything you want, but at least you might be able to leave a favorable impression as well as get through to some people and raise some doubts about their views.  If instead you come across as insulting (whether you meant it or not), then they’ll be convinced further that you’re wrong.  The more you can get them to see that you’re someone like them, the more likely they’ll relate to your message.  If your audience has a preconception that people like you are unreasonable or evil, then you have a chance to show that maybe they were wrong about this, and other things.

Rule 3 – Use economy of force

Talking to each other can lead to common understanding, but talking past each other does not. Suppose a fundamentalist tells an atheist that he’s going to burn in hell for eternity, and the atheist replies that the fundamentalist must be a sixth grade dropout.  Did they settle anything or change each other’s minds?  No, they were just yelling at each other.  That doesn’t score points; that convinces the other side that they’re right and you’re a big meanie.

Name-calling and the like may feel good, but that’s not the same as winning hearts and minds. Since Social Justice Warrior types rely on this quite a bit – as well as trying to shout down opponents – this is another opportunity for us.  “I’ve brought up several logical arguments backed up by peer-reviewed studies, and all you’ve managed to do so far is call me a racist sexist homophobe meanie.  It sounds like you’re out of ideas there.”  In fact, if you can stay calm while your opponent goes into an infuriated lather, then you will win over any uncommitted audience members!  The degree to which you can be hard-hitting is limited by your audience; again, they’ll start tuning you out if you diverge too far from their preconceptions.  How you phrase things is important too.  For instance, “riding the cock carousel” is pretty well-recognized amongst the Manosphere.  However, “meaningless promiscuity” will be a much better way to put it for a more moralistic audience, and in an academic journal you would call it “hookup culture”, because none of them want to hear about cocks.  Speaking and writing judiciously helps to prevent turning off potential allies too.  Always remember, you’re out to win hearts and minds, not preach to the choir.  Even so, we should take care not to water the message down too much or consider certain topics off-limits.

Rule 4 – Stick to the discussion

If your opponents don’t have the truth on their side – expect this to be the case quite frequently – one of the things they’ll try to do is side-track the discussion. I see this sort of thing happen again and again with online debates.  This puts you on the defensive, and takes you off-message for whatever point you were trying to make initially.  In the OJ murder trial, the defense lawyers insisted that the prosecution prove the validity of DNA evidence, and the judge let them get away with it.  So then the prosecution had to bring in experts to defend well-established scientific fact, droning on for hours about alleles while the jury’s eyes glazed over.  There’s much more that can be said about that trial, but the defense’s efforts at sidetracking hurt the prosecution’s chances.

Suppose you’re discussing the horrifying topic of race and crime in the USA. (Hello again, OJ.)  Then a SJW starts calling you a racist, and you go on a tangent about how you see everyone as individuals and judge people on their own merits.  You would do better to put a stop to that argumentum ad hominem by pointing out that crime statistics don’t stand and fall on whatever your personal beliefs are or aren’t.  Suppose the SJW says that Black versus White crime is justified by slavery, and again you go on the defensive and point out that slavery was seldom questioned until the Age of Enlightenment, and that one thing setting the USA apart is that we were one of the first countries to abolish it, etc.  All that’s valid, but you would be better off stating that crime is not justified by what someone’s great-great-great grandfather might have done (or more likely, didn’t do) to someone else’s great-great-great grandfather.  In either case, you can follow up by calling out your opponent for trying to derail the discussion.

Rule 5 – Be aware of rhetorical tricks

I’ve already mentioned one fallacy, the “argumentum ad hominem” where someone flings mud at the opponent rather than confronting the opponent’s argument. “You’re just saying that because you’re male”, “Check your privilege”, and “You’re a Nazi” are other examples of this one.  Another biggie is the unstated assumption.  For instance, someone who says “Society has failed to ensure that more women are entering STEM careers” is making an unstated assumption that it’s society’s job to pick people’s careers for them.

There are long lists of rhetorical fallacies, and unfortunately I don’t have the space to go in depth on this. Read up on these and other ways people twist words.  Those are sloppy tactics used by people who don’t have the truth on their side or can’t figure out a decent counter-argument.  Be prepared to call out an opponent for this, and make sure your own arguments rely on facts and solid reasoning.

Rule 6 – Be aware of confirmation bias

People tend to resist believing things that challenge their world view. I recall discussing a labor dispute on an Objectivist list.  (I don’t fully buy into Objectivism, but they do have some important points to make.)  In this instance, I showed that the strike happened because they found out that upper management gave themselves huge pay increases while the company was on the verge of closing.  I got blown off because of their pre-existing bias that labor is always wrong and management is always right.  I could have pointed out that refusing to listen to evidence you don’t like is not an Objectivist value (Ayn Rand herself called this “evasion” and described it as an evil thing), and also that not every assistant vice president is exactly another Hank Rearden.  But, instead I decided not to waste my time with them any more.

So, what can you do where there’s a major difference between your views and someone else’s? Keeping rules 2 and 3 in mind will be somewhat helpful.  Also, you’ll have to establish a lot of common ground first.  You won’t be able to win over everybody.  If two people just won’t agree on basic premises – or they’re refusing to listen to what the other person is saying – then making headway is impossible.  In a public debate, chances are that you won’t be able to convince your opponent that you’re right, but you can bring some of the audience around to your way of thinking, or at least raise some doubts.  It’s not unheard of for a feminist to see that her side has been unreasonable and antagonistic, or a liberal to realize that quite a few costly government programs have failed to do anything positive.  Perhaps it’s even possible to convince an Objectivist that quite a few assistant vice presidents are overpaid pencil-pushing bootlickers who aren’t as important as the people who actually do the work.

So go out there and spread the enlightenment.

How to debate more effectively

Roosh V. FAQ

Here I describe a controversial figure in the Manosphere. Much ignorance has been put forth about him, and even efforts to block his entry from entering various countries, basically because he’s been saying lots of things that are very politically incorrect.  (Thus, he has quite a bit in common with David Irving.)  So, here from my very small corner of the web – so far – I will try to dispel some of the ignorance.

Q: Who is Roosh?

A: He is Daryush Valizadeh, a fellow from the DC area.  He studied microbiology and worked in the business for a while.  Eventually, he got out of the corporate rat race and since then has been doing much travel abroad.  He’s written several books, as well as blogging about political commentary and dating advice.

Q: Is Roosh a pickup artist?

A: It’s pretty fair to describe him as such, as he’s written quite a bit on the subject.  However, lately he’s mellowing out a bit and getting into more serious pursuits.  More writing, less partying.

Q: How did he get into the pickup scene, and why?

A: While in college, he sought to improve his social life.  His findings led to him publishing several books on the subject.  If he comes across as a cynic, he certainly has his reasons.  I wrote a book about seduction too, and although I have a more moderate perspective on things, I understand exactly where he’s coming from.  The social scene is a mess, and a lot of conventional dating advice is obsolete and counterproductive.  Enduring years of deprivation because of that is certainly no walk in the park; after you figure out what really works, it does take a while to blow off steam and make up for lost time.

Q: Is Roosh a sex tourist?

A: Some of his critics have called him that.  He calls himself a love tourist.  I would add that a sex tourist pays for it, and Roosh doesn’t.  (See, he’s not such a reprobate after all!)  He’s travelled to many countries, written books about his adventures, and provided cultural notes for benefit of others who might like to check out the nightlife scene in far-off lands.  (When I’m travelling abroad, regular sightseeing stuff and recovering from jet lag keeps me too busy to socialize, so I don’t have anything to add to that body of knowledge.)  Some of these books caused a bit of an uproar.  Anyone who feels that their country has been unfairly criticized can take comfort that he writes a lot more about what’s wrong with American society.

Q: What is Roosh’s ancestry?

A: This question comes up from time to time.  His father is Persian and his mother is Armenian, giving him an overall Mediterranean look.  Therefore, he’s probably the most famous Armenian-American other than Cher and the Kardashians.

Q: Is Roosh Muslim?

A: Come on, he’s too much of a party animal for that!  (He’s unlikely to become a guest speaker for the 700 Club either.)  In case you’re wondering about the beard, he just happens to like that look.  The question does come up sometimes too, though.  His father is Muslim, his mother is Christian, and (unlike the President) he was brought up Christian.  He tends to view religion as overall a good thing for society, but in practice, he doesn’t write very much about the subject compared to everything else; therefore, likely it’s not something that plays a big part in his life.

Q: Why all the controversy?

A: Much of what he’s written about has to do with how political correctness and feminism have wrecked American culture and are screwing up other societies around the world.  He describes some of his views on his bio page.  Basically, he’s barbecued quite a few sacred cows over the years.  Some of the things he’s said haven’t exactly been very diplomatic.  Even so, I really can’t fault him too much for telling it like it is, in his own words.  For that matter, you can’t even breathe these days without offending someone.  He’s gotten himself on the naughty list of the Southern Poverty Law Center.  Likewise with the ADL, after he reviewed a book they don’t care for.  However, the group that dislikes him the most is the Social Justice Warriors, and the feeling is mutual.  In case you’re not familiar with them, they basically make a religion out of political correctness, feminism, and other forms of cultural Marxism.

Q:  What’s the matter with feminism?  How dare anyone criticize that?

A:  Roosh has made his views pretty clear elsewhere on many occasions.  I’ll explain further in my own words.  Feminism started as a noble quest for equality – they did have some valid points, back in the 1880s – then it got hijacked in the 1960s by radicals.  Actually, a good number of them were just nuts.  The original equality-based goals were achieved long ago, but no compromises or concessions will ever make the radicals happy.  Women in the Western world have it better than any other time in recorded history, and are now in a socially and legally advantaged position.  (Ask a guy who’s lost his family in a divorce, just for starters.)  Feminists don’t realize this because of their propensity for double standards, phony statistics, and finding increasingly tinier things to gripe about.  Their rhetoric is usually very shrill and divisive, and a society where two halves are at odds with each other is a miserable one.  Further, they’ve deconstructed the traditional social contract between the sexes, and the fallout has been very bad for both men and women.  For one item of many, radical feminism encouraged women not to be feminine and men not to be masculine – but it turns out that men don’t like unladylike women, and women don’t like wimpy men.  (Hint:  never act like a wimp!)  For another, traditional morality restrained people’s baser instincts – something that was good for women, actually – and getting rid of that threw the baby out with the bath water.

Q: What’s the most controversial thing Roosh has said?

A: His article “How To Stop Rape” has generated a ton of bad press, mainly by people who either 1) didn’t read it and relied on what other people said about it, or 2) were too mentally challenged to realize that it was a satirical thought experiment and not a serious proposal.  Granted, the subject matter is explosive, but that doesn’t excuse professional journalists and politicians from not taking the time to check their facts about what he did or didn’t say.  Feel free to read it yourself.  Nobody is obligated to like him, but it would be great if people stopped lying about him.  I might add that he did an epic smackdown on a roomful of journalists; the only way it would have been better is if the camera had shown them squirming like politicians in a church.

Q: So what was he really saying in that article?

A: The short version is:  supposing consent was assumed when someone enters another person’s bedroom, then people would pay more attention to their personal safety.  Again, he didn’t suggest this as a serious proposal, any more than Jonathan Swift really was ever in favor of eating babies.  He certainly didn’t recommend to go out raping anyone, despite what you might have heard somewhere.  Rather, he was pointing out that the personal safety angle has been neglected in favor of essentially wishful thinking.  Personal safety includes things like not getting blackout drunk.

Q:  Does Roosh advocate eating babies like Jonathan Swift did?

A:  Read what I wrote, not what you think I wrote.  Sheesh!

Q: Isn’t talking about prevention like blaming the victim?

A: A heinous crime is always inexcusable, but it doesn’t follow that discussion of prevention should be off limits.  Prevention helps keep people from getting victimized.  Here’s a better angle to look at it.  Suppose you go to work but don’t lock the door.  If someone steals your TV while you’re gone, whoever did that is still a goddamn thief who should go to jail, but it’s also true that locking the door would have saved you the trouble.  That’s not a complete solution, obviously – the law hasn’t yet won the war on burglary.  Still, “teach people not to steal” wouldn’t be an effective answer.  Society already teaches that, because theft has been illegal since forever.  For that matter, being a criminal gives you a very bad name in civilized society, and rightly so.  If making something a felony doesn’t cause the rate of that particular crime to go to zero, then prevention measures should be considered too.  I might add that witch hunts aren’t the answer.

Q: What can be done about this problem, as far as serious proposals about prevention?

A: I’ll have to defer to Mark MacYoung about that one.  First of all, he’s a better authority on crime prevention than I am.  Second of all, the whole subject really makes me sick.  On the other side of the rotten coin, it also makes me sick to hear about people getting their lives ruined over false accusations.  Roosh’s site has a number of items about that too.

Q: What can a guy do to prevent false accusations?

A: I wrote about that, and it was the toughest chapter to finish – again, the subject is detestable whichever side you look at it.  The short version – guidelines, but not a complete solution – is the following.  First, make sure you get a clear “yes”.  If she’s kissing you passionately and taking off her clothes, it was once a no-brainer that she wants more, but society has lost its brains.  Second, don’t sleep with anyone who 1) is drunk or high, 2) anyone you don’t know, or 3) anyone mentally unstable.  With item 1, “how drunk is too drunk” is a very broad gray area, ranging from mostly safe (one drink), might be a problem (buzzed), ethically questionable and extremely risky (blackout drunk).  Passed out drunk is, and always was, a crime.  Drunks get a wicked case of selective memory – if you’ve been around enough of them, you know what I mean – and this is what could get you in a lot of trouble no matter how enthusiastic she was at the time.  So instead of going home with her, get her number and hopefully she likes you the next day.  Regarding item 3, you don’t know about someone’s mental status right away, hence item 2.  You don’t want to be with someone who will make nasty accusations about you for revenge; neither someone who will throw you under the bus because she has second thoughts later or got caught cheating on a boyfriend you didn’t know about.  Some commentators even recommend recording all your encounters.  If that’s illegal in your jurisdiction, you’ll have to decide which is the lesser of two evils.  Anyway, be careful out there.  By the way, I’m not a lawyer; consult one if you need one; hopefully you never have to.

Q:  What other stuff has Roosh written about that isn’t meant to be taken seriously?

A:  Lately, he wrote a guide, complete with infield photos, about picking up babes in the women’s restroom.  That worked great for me, because I’m a lesbian in a man’s body.  (What did you expect with a name like Rainbow, right?)  I totally went through a box of condoms in a single day using his advice.  Honest!

Q: Where is Roosh staying?

A: I’m not telling.  Neener neener neener.

Roosh V. FAQ