Two more paperback offerings

I’m pleased to announce two more paperbacks.  With lessons learned from Medieval Vixen Quest Episode 0:  The Search For Shlock, I was able to get Space Vixen Trek Episode 13:  The Final Falafel converted in just a day, and the cover worked right the first time. If anything I wrote will get me a fatwa, it will be this one.  If my head gets cut off on TV, it’s been nice knowing you folks.  Come to think of it, that one might get me put on a Scientology hit list too!

See it in all its glory, for the price of $6.66 (yes, this is symbolic).  Amazon still has it in ebook format, and so does Smashwords.

My third paperback release thus far is Righteous Seduction, which took me a good bit longer to convert.  I got the margins as small as I could, and the font size at 11 points for the most part (as I don’t want to cause anyone eyestrain) but it’s still a monster.  The word count is slightly above Dostoyevsky’s Crime And Punishment, and even longer yet than Moby Dick.  It’s hard to imagine that I wrote a book about picking up babes that’s the length of a classic Russian novel!

Anyway, it’s up on Amazon now.  Likewise, Amazon also features it as an ebook, and Smashwords too.  The advantages to the ebook format are a better price point (a 470 page book does cost to print), graphics in color, and hyperlinks.

I’m pretty excited about it.  The old classics have lots of information about Outer Game.  Mine does too, but I focus more on Inner Game and self-improvement.  Righteous Seduction touches on subjects not very much explored elsewhere:  the history of the dating scene, philosophy, the place of men in today’s society, the economics of the sexual marketplace (and an economy it truly is), maintaining relationships, ethics (mine might be the only pro-family values pickup book out there), and more.

Masculine Development reviewed it a little while back.  My only quibble is that I do cover some topics at considerable length; my analysis of the Friend Zone problem is thus far the most extensive one out there, for instance.  For a sample of my writing, I’ve included the diet and fitness sections right here as a free gift to the public.

And speaking of diets, I’m down twenty pounds in a month.  It’s slow going (as diets always are), but I’ve had to retire my existing pants and the ones I have on now are getting loose.  Other than that, 2017 has been fairly good to me so far.  I have some other books in the pipeline.  I might could release a compilation of some of my short stories, though I’m a little stuck on thinking up a catchy title (of all things to be blocked on).  Anyway, stay tuned, kids!

Two more paperback offerings

What’s the big deal about fat chicks?

big is beautiful sometimes

There’s been a lot of negative talk in the Manosphere about fat chicks.  Some say that fat acceptance is a subversive manifestation of cultural Marxism.  If we posit that this is a factor, then it’s only half of the picture.

Remember that the cultural Marxist playbook is about keeping everyone dissatisfied and stirring up divisions in society.  Given that, it’s not too much of a stretch to see that another angle of attack would be to make guys dissatisfied with almost all women out there.  What I mean is promotion of the “heroin chic” as the epitome of feminine beauty.  I’m not convinced that cultural Marxism is behind all this, but this does lead into an important point.

Body mass and the Overton Window

The Overton Window molds public opinion; the short version is that certain positions are deemed “acceptable” and others outside are considered “extremist”.  This window shifts over time, and this can be deliberately engineered.  That’s something that propagandists in television and Hollywood have been using to great effect to nudge the public closer to accepting SJW agendas.  That, of course, has moved our culture light-years to the left.  (For example, who in 1986 – or even 1996 – would have predicted that the US military would start  paying for sex changes for soldiers in 2016?)  However, the Overton Window also is a good model for how society is led to consider what is hot and what is not.

Here’s what I’m talking about.  The average American body mass index has gone from 25 in 1960 to 28 in 2002, thus from the upper end of “normal” to the upper end of “chunky”.  As of 2014, the average man is 5’9″ and weighs 196 pounds; the average woman is 5’4″ and weighs 169 pounds.  This puts the average 2014 BMI for men at 28.9 and women at 29.0, almost in the officially fat range.

Meanwhile, the public’s tastes haven’t followed the trend.  Instead, the ideal feminine body type being promoted (later I’ll discuss who’s promoting it) has gone from the “normal” range to the “underweight” range (BMI 17-19; likely BMI 16 means dead).  That sounds like quite a recipe for dissatisfaction, doesn’t it?

I can hear it already – “to hell with American women”.  Actually, the rest of the world isn’t too far behind.  Trends are going up everywhere; like feminism, this isn’t just something we can run away from and expect it will never catch up to us.  Actually, the Middle East is right up there with us, and Pacific Islanders are leading the pack.

Aesthetic standards change over time

Standards of beauty vary from one culture to the other.  They change over time too.  That being said, there are some attributes that change according to the dictates of fashion, and others that are basically set in stone.  We’ll cover the former now, and the latter in the next section.  Female body weight is one of the changing standards.

Ice Age statuary includes a number of female figurines, all extremely chubby – no doubt this ideal represented abundance, very desired in times of great scarcity.  Greco-Roman statuary typically represented what we’d consider verging on full figured, though not too busty.  From Renaissance paintings, we see a number of quite voluptuous women.  Ideals in the 20th Century varied somewhat, but ended up going sharply downward, and today’s legacy is the “heroin chic”.

What caused weight to go up in post-Industrial Age times?  First, the public is working easier jobs, getting less exercise, and relying more on automobile transit.  Food became very cheap and plentiful by historic standards.  At the same time, it got increasingly less healthy, full of processed crap from agribusiness.  Eventually, the public (both women and men) started getting a lot bigger.  The jogging fad of the 1970s and the popularity of weightlifting not long after didn’t quite stop this trend.  In the 1990s, we started spending increasing amounts of time glued to our computers, with predictable results.  These days, interest in children’s sports has dropped dramatically.  Finally, there’s a lot of confusion about what diets are best.

Meanwhile, the fashion industry pushed for increasingly thinner models, and Hollywood followed along.  Consequentially, the ideal of feminine beauty versus what average women actually look like became increasingly distant.

What female shape is it natural to appreciate?

big is beautiful sometimes

What does a Barbie doll have in common with chubby Ice Age figurines like the Venus of Willendorf?  They have bust-waist-hip proportions in the ideal range.  The reason why this is ideal is because this is associated with fertility.  A woman with typically masculine proportions – flat chest and narrow hips – would have the appearance of being physically immature.  Also, a woman whose waist is larger than her bust and hips – similar to a guy with a beer gut – probably has metabolic syndrome, which generally includes PCOS.  So the reason why neither look particularly feminine to us is because it’s a matter of natural selection over hundreds of thousands of years.  So it’s natural to desire any woman with curves in all the right places, whether she has a classic slender hourglass figure or is quite voluptuous – it’s all good.

So instead of thinking of the ideal woman as someone who looks like she just got out of a POW camp, instead we should look to the movie superstars of the past:  Mae West, Jayne Mansfield, Marilyn Monroe, Mamie Van Doren, Sophia Lauren, Raquel Welch, and so forth.  None of them were exactly tubby, but they certainly had curves in all the right places.  This is certainly not the “heroin chic” ideal that Hollywood and the fashion industry today is lauding as the epitome of womanhood.  Once more, these represent ideals, and not all – or even most – of the public will fit the bill.

The point is that we should, as individuals, ignore the efforts by the media and the fashion industry to push the Overton Window to a body type that’s both extremely rare and a bit unhealthy.  It also wouldn’t hurt if we loosened up our requirements a bit, within reason.  This opens you up to a more target-rich environment.  Think about it – if 80% of women only give the time of day to 20% of men, does it make sense to weed out all but the skinniest third of the takers?

Who is setting the trends these days?

It’s no secret that the fashion industry is dominated by gay guys.  Hollywood certainly has an above-average proportion of gays too.  The fact is, the male aesthetic is linear and the female aesthetic is curvy.  The “friends of Dorothy” just don’t appreciate curves.  Gays like “twinks” quite a bit, so they’re projecting the female equivalent of what they like onto public tastes.  Thus heroin chic it is.

This isn’t the first time that fashion standards have gone a little crazy.  Chinese foot binding, African lip plates, and facial piercings over here – need I say more?  Worse, what you see is not always what you get.  Due to airbrushing and photo processing, women on magazine covers – and increasingly in the movies – aren’t really what the models and actresses actually look like anyway.  In fact, with Photoshop, you can even make a supermodel out of a slice of pizza.  So the question is this:  should we accept what the gay fashion designers say is the ideal feminine type, or go back to the curves we like?

Another factor is social pressure, best illustrated by an old joke:

Q:  How are fat chicks like mopeds?
A:  They’re fun to ride until your friends find out.

The Manosphere is a bit guilty of this too, with guys bragging about skinny “HB9s” and “HB10s”.  Really, who cares what your friends think, or especially someone online you’ve never met?

“But I have standards!”

Sure, everyone has standards.  If your love life is everything you want it to be, run with it.  If not, then making reasonable compromises is the most rational strategy.  This doesn’t mean that you have to regard a really big one in the same way you do a skinny one, or even date her if you don’t feel like it.  Remember, I said reasonable compromises!

I have standards too.  Beyond a certain point, things do get a little bit iffy.  Still, I’ll cut her some slack if she has enough good characteristics to compensate.  For instance, a pretty face and great hair go a long way with me.  I would have missed a good number of opportunities if I’d felt bound to arbitrary standards set by other people.  My first really skinny girlfriend was my third girlfriend.  (Unfortunately, she had some personality issues, and we’ll leave it at that.)  I’m not sorry that a woman who today would be average-sized took my virginity.

I have enough data points to describe some of the good characteristics of fat chicks.  They usually aren’t stuck up, and personality is important to me, no matter what she looks like.  (I know how to deflect a Bitch Shield, but I don’t bother to game someone who thinks she’s God’s gift to men; that attitude is a complete turn-off.)  Many are freaks in bed.  I’ve found that the skinny ones – with some exceptions – are a little more likely to be pillow princesses.  Finally, big gals almost always have one advantage:  huge tracts of land, all natural.  I love to bury my face in a big pair of sweater puppies!

Does this mean we should get on board with fat acceptance?

big is beautiful sometimes 2a

Although I encourage a reasonable amount of flexibility in personal standards, I consider it a bad thing for people just to let themselves go.  There comes a point where it starts getting unhealthy, and people should respect their bodies.  The fact is that waistlines have been expanding both for men and women.  (Not all that many guys have warrior physiques these days.)  It’s a complicated issue, and it’s not going to go away overnight.   Better information about diet, more exercise, and doing something about the crap that agribusiness puts in our food would go a long way.

I’m also skeptical that fat shaming works.  The usual result will not be to take heed, but rather to reject the message, or run home crying and break out the ice cream.  Some might consider that funny in a junior high sort of way, but it’s certainly not constructive.  Let’s remember that honey catches more flies than vinegar.  Many of us have improved our physiques; myself included.  If we can find an opportunity to subtly bring this up and provide some constructive information, that will give better results.

What’s the big deal about fat chicks?

Amazon’s paperback creation feature

After uploading The Search For Shlock yesterday, I noticed that Amazon now can set up paperback printing through the same interface. I was a bit cautious of dipping my toes into the print world, but I’m curious by nature.

Before, Amazon had Createspace for printed books.  They might be moving over to this new platform some time in the future, but for now, it looks like this is another front end into this process.  The consensus at the forums is that Createspace is still the better way to go, but I gave it a whirl anyway.  Ebooks are increasingly popular, but some folks (like me) prefer printed copy, so I should serve my audience by offering a printed version.  Anyway, here’s what the process is like for those who might wish to reformat an ebook for print, or create a printed book from scratch.

For those familiar with publishing ebooks, setting up a printed book is considerably different. You can upload a Microsoft Word document, but you’re going to have to reformat things; you can’t just use the same document with which you created your ebook, or it won’t work right.  Ebooks are meant to use flowing, resizable text; a printed book will need the layout of how it will look exactly.  This includes the page size too (if it’s not in the list in Page Layout, which it probably won’t be, then select More Paper Sizes at the bottom).  So it’s basically a matter of desktop publishing.

You’ll have to Read The Friendly Manual for this, but I’ll cover some highlights and additional pointers. First of all, pick out a size for the book.  Then go to Page Layout in Word and set the exact same Size accordingly.  Turn on “mirror margins” as the outside and inner margins may be a bit different.  There are guidelines for the margins, but I found that I had to set the outer margin two hundredths of an inch wider than recommended to get the final copy error-free.  Since more whitespace will drive up the printing cost, you don’t want them to be too wide.  I had to adjust the “header from top” and “header from  bottom” values as well.

The more words you can get on a page, the lower you can keep your final price, though don’t go with anything so small that it will cause eyestrain. Stick to common, visually-pleasing fonts (such as Times New Roman), 10-12 points for the body text.  Note that although fully-justified paragraphs are a no bueno for ebooks, it just looks better on a printed book.  Leave an extra line before any page breaks, or it will expand out the final line in the last paragraph.  You can set up a custom Word style to help keep everything standardized.

Setting up a table of contents turned out to be a pain. One way to do it is make a line for each chapter, and to generate the page number, go References –> Cross Reference, then Reference Type is Bookmark, Insert Reference to page number.  (If the document started as an ebook, you likely used hyperlinks to bookmarks.  If there aren’t any bookmarks, go to each chapter heading and Insert –> Bookmark.)  Any minor change will likely repaginate everything, so with each chapter line item, you’ll have to right-click on the page number and update it, every single time.  MS Word has a native TOC creator.  You’ll have to set each chapter heading to one of the “heading” type styles.  Then go to References –> Table of Contents, and it can pull in the chapter text and page number.  This will default to Courier, so you’ll have to change it to whatever you’re using elsewhere.  Whenever you repaginate, you can select all the lines in the TOC, then right-click and update all at once.

That being said, I had extreme difficulty keeping the page numbers the same after uploading the document. Word 2010 allows you to Save As PDF.  (It won’t let you edit a PDF, so don’t get rid of your Word document!)  If you have Word 2007, there’s a plugin available to save as PDF.  Uploading a PDF means that Amazon’s engine won’t reformat it and change the page numbering.  Be sure to spot-check the PDF first for correct numbering.  You did recalculate pages after the last change, didn’t you?  Word isn’t Excel!

The cover is another big challenge. There are two ways to do it.  First, you can create a wraparound image including the back, the spine (calculate this exactly based on page number and paper type; RTFM for the details), and the front, then upload as PDF.  Allow space in the lower right corner of the back page for the bar code.  The other way is to use the built-in cover creator.  Naturally, I went with the second option.  On the front, you’ll need an image (JPEG will do) at least 330 dots per inch.  On the back, you can put in your photo, your author blurb, and the book blurb.  The front image was a bit of a pain, but I got it after some trial and error.  Start getting used to making huge images.  Even with ebooks, you should go with a minimum of 1400 pixels wide and a 1×1.3 width-to-height aspect ratio.  For even the smallest size paperback (as I discovered), that’s not enough.

Unlike ebooks, you don’t get hyperlinks in print documents for obvious reasons, and they’ll show up as a minor error if they’re still there. You’ll have to spell them out in the document if you want them to appear.  (Note that Amazon’s paperback guidelines disallow references to electronic publishing, and even with ebooks you can’t link to competing sites.)  Also, go to File –> Check For Issues –> Inspect Document to get any weird XML stuff cleared out; I had some of that which kept causing footer problems.  On that subject, you can put your name, title, and page number in the header.  Word allows different headers for even and odd pages.

Finally, remember that readers will be turned off by obvious mistakes, and there’s likely less tolerance for minor formatting problems than there would be for ebooks. Typos and misspellings always stick out like a sore thumb.  With an ebook, you could fix any problems and upload a new version, but you won’t get the same luxury to fix a printed book that’s already been shipped.

As for the royalties, it’s 60% of retail price minus printing costs, taxes, and tax withholding. They do tell you the printing cost, but (thus far) details on taxes and withholding are a bit unclear.  I kept mine barely above cost ($7.99 for 80K words), as I don’t want to price myself out of the market.  For the author, you might well get more bang for the bucks with ebooks, and be able to offer a lower price point (my ebook version of The Search For Shlock is $2.99).

On the other hand, 60% is likely better than you’d get with a book published by traditional print media (which is a notoriously hard business to break into for a starting author, especially if they don’t like how you look).  They have professionals to do all the proofreading and typesetting stuff, and that does cost.  If you have the talent to do all that yourself, then you’re cutting out the middleman.  The one advantage that traditional print media still has is that they have an advertising department and can get your books into bookstores.

So what’s next for me? After this, I might release Righteous Seduction in print form, as well as compilations of short stories.  I have lots of short stories in the pipeline, at various stages of completion.  This will be a major effort, but stay tuned!

Amazon’s paperback creation feature

Book Announcement: Medieval Vixen Quest Episode 0: The Search For Shlock

This one has been quite a long-term project for me, and has finally come to fruition.  The ad copy goes:

In this epic tale of thud and blunder, eight youths are wasting a beautiful summer afternoon pretending to be adventurers in a generic medieval-style fantasy world, frequently interrupted by arguing about the role-playing game’s prissy rules and driving each other up the wall. When one of them casts a spell for real, what happens next makes one of those corny 1980s books warning about the “dangers” of role-playing games seem like a walk in the park.

The story is more cheesy and corny than Frito Pie, all in good fun. Literary standards will be mocked! The Fourth Wall will be broken! They must save the idyllic fantasy world from icky aliens!

What’s there not to love?  You know you want it!  Get it here:

Book Announcement: Medieval Vixen Quest Episode 0: The Search For Shlock

Promising things ahead

I’m up to my 26th Return of Kings posting, with another likely to be released soon.  The latest, Why Free Market Economics Isn’t Working As Advertised, has generated a good bit of controversy.  (For those who are curious, the heading image is Adam Smith.)  I always thought that Space Vixen Trek Episode 13: The Final Falafel would be the most controversial thing I ever wrote; not quite so!

To begin, I really wish people would read what I actually wrote, not what they think I wrote.  A point that I should have made clearer is that a free market (like any economic system) is pretty much an ideal construct that doesn’t exist in real life.  Still, in the beginning, things were about as close to the ideal as they’re ever going to get.  That did, in fact, work pretty well, and was friendly to small business owners and free farmers.  It’s gone a long way from that, for the reasons that I documented, and others I didn’t have the space to go into.  Some of it was unavoidable; it takes a lot of capital to develop modern technology.  (For example, when I had an idea for satellite-broadcast radio, my allowance money wasn’t enough to afford an FCC permit, and nobody gives a multi-million dollar loan to some fourteen year old.  So someone else developed it sooner; it is what it is.)  However, a lot of the ways capitalism got corrupted certainly were avoidable; for instance, if politicians were more interested in looking out for the common people instead of taking bribes campaign contributions from the ultra-wealthy.

In any event, I can respect someone who gets rich through hard work, ingenuity, and dedication; that’s a positive good which rightly should be rewarded.  However, someone who gets to be CEO through a game of boardroom musical chairs isn’t always another Hank Rearden or John Galt.  Also, those who believe that you must be some kind of commie if you don’t want to be ruled by a bunch of corrupt billionaires are engaging in the fallacy of logical bifurcation.  Let’s just say that those who short-sheet their workers, screw their consumers, and engage in social engineering are asking for trouble.  Really, what we need is an improved form of capitalism.  There is one already; it’s called distributism.

Anyway, enough of the Dismal Science of economics.  I started a diet in late December, a little earlier than most people traditionally do.  The drop in scale weight isn’t all that much yet, but I’m down a couple of inches in the waist, six inches below my high water mark.  If I can keep this up through April, hopefully I’ll be looking a lot more like a Greek statue rather than an off-season linebacker.  My veins are popping out; I can see the difference already.  For those who are curious, I’m doing what worked before.  To turbocharge my results, I’ll have to start hitting the gym more frequently.

Finally, I’ve finished a book that has been kicking around in “edit hell” for years.  I’m waiting until tomorrow to release it, though; stay tuned!

Promising things ahead

America’s greatest generation

I’ll describe my experience with those who came of age around the 1940s or a little earlier. Much of this generation has passed into glory; this is for benefit of today’s youth who didn’t know them as I did, and to preserve their memory. My experiences are mostly those of Midwesterners; perhaps this skews my perceptions somewhat. If you suspect I’m about to tell you how they walked to school in the snow, uphill both ways, you’re basically right, but work with me here.

Getting it into perspective

Despite whatever problems they had, by and large their day was a charmed age compared to now. A young man from 1946 who stepped into a time machine and visited America today might be a bit shocked: first by the technology, then by the decadence and corruption. I won’t say that this was a mythical golden age when nothing went wrong and everyone was perfect. Every society has its good points and bad points, and all times have had their challenges.

Back then, there were some very dirty dealings going on in the government, some of which backfired horribly. Already the media was keeping the public in black darkness and confusion. There were things afoot in the educational system that would later cause the upheaval in the 1960s that would seriously damage society. (This is a major reason why things today aren’t a lot more like they were for the generation I’m describing.) I can’t blame the public then for not acting on what they didn’t know. If they could’ve seen things from today’s perspective, they would’ve drained the swamp in record time (as I hope we do shortly), or perhaps gone the torches-and-pitchforks route.

There were cheating husbands, wives who slept with the milkman, and premarital experimentation happened sometimes. However, this sort of thing was a lot rarer because it was considered shameful, not celebrated. As for people who didn’t want to live by society’s rules, they sensibly did their best to keep private things private.

Other than that, they had their share of crooks and gangsters, but their crime rate was rock-bottom compared to now. Also, the 1940s and 1950s are often thought of as a time of intolerance in many ways. However, I’ll let history be the judge of whether there might have been perhaps a little reason for at least some of that.

Moral fiber

For the Greatest Generation, personal honor was sacred. A man’s word was his bond. Today, a contract must have pages of legalese to spell out what is expected, yet isn’t considered as binding as a handshake once was. Back then, debts got repaid even if that meant getting a side job digging ditches. Today, if you lend money to a friend in need, chances are your “friend” who desperately needed the cash will conveniently forget all about repaying you. Honesty has a direct effect on how well society functions.

Aside from that, character really mattered. Although they didn’t have the Internet to record drama-fests for years to come, word still got around. From what I can gather, public respect was greater back then. Cursing like sailors was for sailors. Politeness is oil for the gears of society.

People back then worried about how jazz and rhythm and blues (which evolved into rock and roll) was a bit too sexually suggestive. Still, that was as pure as the driven snow compared to some of the stuff on MTV today. Now think about that music video award thing with the tongue-twerking in the beginning and ending with the even more bizarre foam hand business. That stuff was unthinkable when the Greatest Generation was running the show. It wouldn’t have worked even thirty years ago; the trends in the music industry leading to this were only still in the works.

They took religion pretty seriously back then. I’m not here to debate whether or not God created the universe, but on the whole, religion provided a positive influence. They really believed that a mortal sin means damnation; that was definitely a check on rotten behavior.

Relations between the sexes

The Manosphere has talked quite a bit about hypergamy. That generation was raised on the belief that marriage is a sacred vow which included procreation and that purity is a virtue. It’s not too surprising that they had more stable marriages than those who grew up with recreational sex and quickly abandon relationships (rather than trying to fix or improve them) from whim or a cost-benefit analysis. Not all marriages initiated back then were perfect, but by and large, they got things right. It brings to mind the words of Tacitus about the admirable northern barbarians:

Their marriage code, however, is strict, and indeed no part of their manners is more praiseworthy.

Divorces happened, though not nearly as frequently as today, and it was considered a stain on one’s character.

Men were expected to be gentlemanly. This wasn’t a problem, since they weren’t ignored or used as chumps for doing so. If a dame played someone for a sap, that wasn’t all copasetic. Having a good personality and a steady job was enough to make a bachelor a hot prospect. An average man was suitable for an average woman. Some of the old movies did show a leading man successfully dealing with a Shit Test or a Bitch Shield. Still, it wasn’t necessary for a guy to know an arsenal of game to get taken seriously.

Men were respected for being men back then; just as women were respected for being women as they still are. Finally, men had a certain Stoic toughness that’s a little hard to understand today. They inherited much of this vitality from their pioneer forefathers, and it was reinforced by the times of trial they experienced during the Great Depression and WWII.

Women acted ladylike. There were surely some exceptions here and there, but that sort of behavior wasn’t encouraged in a “go, girl” way. Acting crazy wasn’t condoned. Cursing by ladies was pretty much out of the question, and men took care not to use foul language around them. Smoking was frowned on; that’s just as well since that social taboo saved lives. Girls learned the domestic arts from their mothers. Modern appliances reduce the need for some of that, but knowing how to plant a garden or sew a dress still counts for something.

Back in the day, tattoos were uncommon, even for men. Mostly that was for sailors, circus people, and ladies of the evening. Ear rings didn’t really get started until the 1960s, and even up until the 1990s, nose rings were only for bulls. Finally, they knew that to be treated as a lady, they should dress the part.

Best of all, the sexes got along pretty well. The changes being deliberately engineered to split society in two started to appear in the mid-1950s but didn’t get serious traction until the mid-1960s.

Economic matters

This generation grew up during the Great Depression, an experience that lasted a lifetime. They were very financially cautious. Some were a bit too much so, for instance saving up scraps of string just in case. The prosperity of the 1950s allowed them to loosen up a little, but they weren’t really known for retail therapy. They took care not to overload themselves with debt.

In the late 1940s, the economy was roaring. A high school dropout easily could get a well-paying unionized factory job. Back then, when a guy turned eighteen, it was normal that he’d join the military, work on the farm, or get a factory job, whether or not he had completed high school. It’s just as well that we started taking education more seriously in the 1950s, an effort spurred by the launch of Sputnik. Still, the pendulum has swung too far on this lately. Quite a few people with advanced degrees in not very marketable subjects are working at coffee shops while chipping away at millstones of student loans to the banksters.

There was considerably more loyalty between employer and employee. Moving factories to whichever country the CEO can pay the fewest peanuts was far less common then. The boss made more than anyone else, but not astronomically so. There were far more small businesses, though in the 1950s large chains started pushing them out. Even so, there were far more manufacturing jobs, which were pretty stable until the economy got screwy in the 1970s.

On a side note, technology was rapidly changing society. The Greatest Generation was born when horses and buggies started becoming obsolete, and they witnessed the beginning of the atomic age and the space age. There were two thoughts on all this, both optimistic (“better living through chemistry”) and pessimistic (“secrets mankind wasn’t meant to know”). Out of all this, we got the golden age of science fiction.

What we can learn from the Greatest Generation

We would do quite well to encourage virtues like honor and loyalty. This is something our elders got right, and there’s no down side to it.

Better relations between the sexes can be reestablished by thoroughly discrediting radical feminism. Even if overnight we defunded all women’s studies departments and showed the public that feminism (along with other manifestations of cultural Marxism) was a tool to wreck society, there would likely still be a few decades before all the post-1960s fallout settled. So we’ll have to keep shining the light of truth on their narratives until they shrivel up, but it’s going to be a long road ahead.

As for today’s decadence, the genie is out of the bottle. One might argue that our forefathers were a bit too Victorian about it all. It’s not quite going to go back to when a teenager who got “in a family way” (perhaps because she didn’t know what she was doing) went to live with Aunt Mildred for the next several months and then pretended the kid was her little brother or sister. Even so, we’re going to have to find a proper balance, while taking care not to overreact.

Let us remember that the Roaring ’20s were a bit similar to our times with loosening moral standards and gender-bending stuff (though not nearly like now), yet the pendulum swung back. There’s much that could be done toward encouraging good judgment and healthy values. An excellent first step would be reintroducing the concept that private things should be kept private. Also, it would be good to encourage virtue and sensibility. Another might be showing the GLBT movement that tolerance doesn’t mean they get everything 100% the way they want it; the camel has got its nose under the tent far enough by now.

Some Millennials – reacting to the economy’s “New Normal” – are similarly adopting a minimalist lifestyle. Prudence and realism is a good thing; we should welcome this and encourage further progress. I suspect that word is getting around about choosing majors carefully, now that it’s pretty obvious that not just any bachelor’s degree is the golden ticket to what’s left of the middle class. (That much is fair game for a cost-benefit analysis.) We should encourage small business ownership. Likewise we should rediscover crafts like auto maintenance, home repair, gardening, and sewing that mean less convenience but lower the impact on our household budgets.

There are those who will say “you can’t turn back the clock” or some other catchphrase, which hopefully I’ll have the opportunity to address later. Still, there’s nothing wrong with learning from the past.

America’s greatest generation

My first 50 posts in review

I’m actually best known for my articles at Return of Kings, and my twentieth will be up there shortly.  See my author page if you would like to check them out.

As for my WordPress articles, I’m up to fifty (prior to this recap).  Here they are for your reference, in case you’ve missed any.

If someone can kindly tell me how to get a sidebar listing posts by tags, please be so kind as to leave a comment and tip me off on that.  I’ve tried to Read The Friendly Manual and add the magic to my site, but no luck so far.

  1. Hello World – Showcasing by book catalog.  It’s good stuff, check it out!  (Hint hint.)
  2. Book announcement – Righteous Seduction: Redemption for “Nerds”, Unappreciated Nice Guys, and Captives of the Friend Zone – My first nonfiction work, for guys who want to improve their social lives, independently reviewed here
  3. In defense of seduction – Why there’s nothing wrong with guys learning game
  4. The “omegas” – how to help our brothers out – Why we should reach out to the lonely and socially awkward
  5. Itty bitty book reviews – The great classics of literature summed up in a line or two
  6. A modest proposal to eliminate murder culture – Have you heard that one out of four college students get murdered?
  7. Roosh V. FAQ – facts about a much-misunderstood Manosphere author
  8. How to debate more effectively – Rhetoric 101
  9. Straight talk on alphas – Everyone knows that being an alpha is good, but there’s much confusion as to what an alpha really is
  10. How to get started in ebook publishing – How to get your online book project out there, bypassing snooty agents and editors
  11. A beginner’s question – “How the hell do you ask someone for sex?” – Game 101
  12. Cultural Marxism and the Social Justice Warrior cult – The true story about how political correctness and those annoying campus radicals got started
  13. The brief guide to conspiracy theories – Some are pretty whacky, others not so much
  14. “Hey, baby, how about it?” – Describes the “Apocalypse Opener”
  15. How I almost dated a SJW and what that taught me about game – My almost-relationship with a green=haired feminist
  16. A former slave speaks about personal finance – Why getting yourself in debt up to the gills to keep up with the Joneses is a bad thing
  17. Deconstructing the narrative of microaggression – The truth about one of those academic buzzwords
  18. Book Review: And the Band Played On – A documentary of the early part of the AIDS epidemic
  19. Book sale – A one month sale on some of my immortal classics of literature
  20. How women judge men, as seen on the game show Take Me Out – It’s a jungle out there…
  21. Happy belated… – A brief item commemorating America’s independence and Britain’s Brexit
  22. Totalitarianism, then and now – How the NWO nanny-state compares to old-school Fascism
  23. What barbarians knew about marriage that we don’t – Observations by Tacitus on the morals of Germanic barbarians
  24. What would happen if the USA became Communist – So you want a Socialist paradise?
  25. The premises of the political left – Radical egalitarianism, subjectivism, and social justice
  26. Why some women choose losers – Ever know some chick who only goes for knuckleheads, control freaks, and idiots?
  27. Time is too valuable to waste – You only have so many hours in your life, so make it quality time
  28. Criticisms of modern women – Women aren’t inherently bad; it’s society that has corrupted them
  29. For your reading pleasure – Miscellanea and interesting linky linky
  30. Tips for young ladies – All the things your mother should’ve explained
  31. How Social Justice Warriors wrecked the atheist community – Before gamergate, there was elevatorgate
  32. Distributism, The Unknown Ideal – Capitalism doesn’t have to be about huge, faceless corporations run by CEOs richer than God
  33. A couple of seduction basics – Explaining what to do based on how well someone likes you, as well as the “law of least effort” principle
  34. Election 2016 – Don’t miss the picture of the donut bumpers
  35. Fitness and diet, part 1 – My journey, and why you should get the body you want
  36. Fitness and diet, part 2 – How to get started lifting weights
  37. Fitness and diet, part 3 – Nutrition 101
  38. Fitness and diet, part 4 (final) – How to avoid diet pitfalls
  39. My Return of Kings postings – Showcasing my first Return of Kings articles
  40. The ugly American’s guide to the world – My amusingly xenophobic take on many countries around the world
  41. Your guide to the dozens of fruity flavors of feminism – All the feminist sects under the sun
  42. Anarcho-tyranny bonus – How you can get a free copy of Safe and Secure In Atropia
  43. Reconciling Genesis with science – The Genesis creation myth holds up to science better than you might expect
  44. If illegal aliens are deported, who will do the work? – Proposals on how to replace the labor niches now filled by illegal aliens
  45. The Democratic leadership thinks their voters are a bunch of muppets – Shockers from Democratic political figures over the years
  46. Wikileaks shocker – Washington DC can be pretty hellatious
  47. The sleeping giant begins to awaken – Immodest gloating about the Trump victory
  48. Be careful what you wish for – Illustrating the unintended consequences of what leftists are demanding
  49. Modern rejection letters for old classics – How today’s editors would reject yesterday’s classics
  50. Just when you thought you’ve seen it all… – I long for the days when government corruption meant stuff like politicians taking kickbacks
My first 50 posts in review