Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Make your own jerky

No, that's not code for something obscene or rude. If you're lifting right and eating right, one of your go-to snacks is probably going to be dried spiced meat- also known as "jerky". I've loved beef jerky since I was a Cub Scout; it's a fast, tasty, convenient source of lean protein and energy, perfect for long hikes and snacking before a workout.

There's just one problem: commercially available beef jerky is often stuffed full of artificial crap, like soy, to give it better texture and flavour and to reduce the cost of the product. After all, beef is a very energy-intensive product. And if you know anything about soy, you know that processed soy is generally something you want to stay way the hell away from.

You might be pleased to know, then, that you can prepare your own beef jerky in a few hours using nothing but a few simple ingredients. And you don't need to buy anything fancy. If you have a refrigerator and an oven, this is all you need to do. The process will take roughly 4 hours once you start cooking:
  1. Get yourself a properly lean cut of meat, and lots of it. I used about 1.5lbs of flank steak, which has very little fat to it. You want a cut with little fat because fat will decompose quickly, and the point of drying out meat is to stop it from spoiling by getting rid of fat and water.
  2. Slice the meat very very thinly into strips. Dunk the sliced meat into a marinade of some kind. A soy-based marinade is fine here, simply because you're not using it to add volume to the meat, you're just using it to flavour the meat. Alternative marinades include rich German stout or dark ale, liquid smoke and honey, and a few other permutations and combinations of various ingredients. Use your imagination, the point here is to impart a nice smoky flavour to the meat.
  3. Leave the meat to marinade for 5-7 hours, or overnight.
  4. Take out the meat, dry off any excess marinade, and add spices. A combination of garlic powder, cumin, chilli powder, and crushed black pepper is a pretty good start. A dash of cinnamon on top of it adds a really mellow aroma.
  5. If you don't have a dehydrator (I don't), use an oven instead. Set it to 70 C (180 F).
  6. Put the meat onto wire racks with something underneath the racks to catch any dripping. I had to improvise here by stretching some foil over a couple of baking pans.
  7. Stick the meat in the oven for at least 3 hours; be prepared to cook for 5 or 6 if necessary. Turn over every hour or so to get a nice even dryness. The point here is to dry out the meat slowly using gentle heat, not to burn it to ashes.
You'll have quite a substantial quantity of delicious, homemade protein that you can now take with you to work in zip-locked baggies. This stuff will smell fantastic, and if you've cooked it right, it won't be tough or overly chewy. Instead, it will be tasty, nutritious, and easy to chow down on every time you need a flavour boost or an energy shot.

Net cost: maybe $20 the first time you do it, for a process that yields you more product than any three bags of beef jerky at the supermarket and which tastes better to boot.

Take it out back and shoot it

Can we PLEASE all stop pretending that the next STAR WARS film is a good idea?
Following months of rumor-laden, highly anticipated speculation, “Star Wars: Episode VII” director J.J. Abrams and Lucasfilm have finally announced the cast for first installment of the third trilogy in the sci-fi blockbuster franchise. 
Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford will all be reprising their roles from the original trilogy as Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa and Han Solo. Also among the returning cast members are Peter Mayhew, Anthony Daniels and Kenny Baker as Chewbacca, C-3PO and R2-D2. 
Newcomers to the Star Wars universe include Andy Serkis of “Lord of the Rings” fame and legendary Swedish actor Max von Sydow. 
“We are so excited to finally share the cast of Star Wars: Episode VII. It is both thrilling and surreal to watch the beloved original cast and these brilliant new performers come together to bring this world to life, once again,” Abrams said in a Tuesday statement. “We start shooting in a couple of weeks, and everyone is doing their best to make the fans proud.” 
The full list of announced actors is as follows:
  • Mark Hamill — “Luke Skywalker”
  • Carrie Fisher — “Princess Leia”
  • Harrison Ford — “Han Solo”
  • Peter Mayhew — “Chewbacca”
  • Anthony Daniels — “C-3PO”
  • Kenny Baker — “R2-D2″
  • Adam Driver — Girls
  • John Boyega — Attack the Block
  • Daisy Ridley — Toast of London
  • Oscar Isaac — Inside Llewyn Davis
  • Andy Serkis — The Lord of the Rings
  • Domhnall Gleeson — About Time
  • Max Von Sydow — The Exorcist

“Star Wars: Episode VII” is scheduled to debut in theaters Dec. 18, 2015.
I used to be THE biggest STAR WARS nerd you have ever seen. I collected the novels, read obsessively over tech specs for imaginary vehicles, and even started up a "Star Wars club" in middle school. We ran around calling each other by military ranks pretending that we were X-wing pilots flying into battle against entire fleets of Star Destroyers. I loved the original trilogy, and went through a decade of severe cognitive dissonance trying to persuade myself to like the second trilogy.

It took me nearly 15 years, but eventually I wised up to the fact that the entire STAR WARS universe simply does not make any damn sense. At all. And it's getting worse every time they release any new Expaned Universe storyline or product.

Today, the only way I can watch "STAR WARS Episode I: The Phantom Menace" (or as my sister and I call it, "The Phantom Headcase") is when I'm paralysed with drink. The only way I can force myself to watch "STAR WARS Episode II: Attack of the Clones" (stupidest name ever- we call it "Attack of the Groans", and not just because the plot is beyond retarded) is after smashing my head into a concrete barrier, repeatedly, in order to destroy any possible sense of self-preservation. The third movie is actually pretty decent- but only when that lump of wood that goes by the name of Hayden Christensen gets his ass handed to him by Ewan MacGregor's Obi-Wan. (And can I just say that Ewan MacGregor is far too good an actor to have been wasted on the pile of steaming guano that was the second trilogy. So too was Liam Neeson, for that matter.)

So take it from someone who went through that entire fanboy roller coaster: another STAR WARS movie, especially one starring the original cast, is beyond retarded. We don't need one to come along and destroy our happy memories of the original trilogy. Please, please, just stop it.

Need to know why I say this? It is going to be too easy to show.

This is what Carrie Fisher looked like in "Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi" (I told you it would be too easy!):

The Schwarz is strong with this one...
And this is what Carrie Fisher looks like these days- although given the way her weight yo-yos up and down, it's difficult to find a picture that will be up-to-date for more than, say, three weeks:

I felt a great disturbance in the Force,
as if a thousand boners suddenly cried out in terror,
and were suddenly silenced...
The actors in this movie will be in their 60s and 70s. Can't we just accept that the original trilogy was a work of genius and just leave it the hell alone??? PLEASE?! I've had as much as I can stand of George Lucas's gazillion-dollar evil empire destroying the very universe that he created every time the man decides to revisit, and revise, some minor stupid detail in his movies.

Note: I am so very sorry for the fact that I inflicted that picture of Carrie Fisher upon you, dear reader. It was borderline inhumane. To make up for it, here are 9 pictures of ridiculously hot Asian girls as a palate-cleanser. Starting with the most stunning (presumably non-ladyboy) woman from Thailand that you'll probably ever see:

I imagine that makes up for it. May the Force be with you.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Starboard guns ready to fire, Cap'n

Vox tells his critics to put up or shut up in spectacular fashion:
Back when I first responded to NK Jemisin's various attacks and lies in my inimitably calm and factual manner, the SFWA writers reacted with much the same combination of outrage and vitriol with which the Pink SF/Fers have met the news of the nomination of one of my works for the Hugo Award. However, when I invited them to attempt to prove that anything I said was a) false, or, b) racist, every single one of them tucked tail and ran away. Every single one of them. 
Patrick Nielsen Hayden was nothing but talk. John Scalzi was nothing but talk. Stephen Gould was nothing but talk. Jason Sanford was nothing but talk. Teresa Nielsen Hayden was nothing but talk. Charles Stross was nothing but talk. Every single one of these self-proclaimed champions of the marginalized and the oppressed fell silent rather than defend their supposed principles.

This may be because they were afraid that I could make my case, or perhaps they simply feared to have their own secret racism exposed to their peers. It's even possible they were sufficiently self-aware to realize how silly they would look if they attempted to define racism down to "being insufficiently obsequious to an individual of predominantly sub-Saharan descent." 
So, perhaps the larger community of fen is capable of doing what the SFWA community was not, which is actually proving the truth of their oft-repeated charges. I'm therefore extending an invitation to publicly make the case for my supposed racism to anyone who has asserted that I am a racist on the basis of my statements concerning "the educated, but ignorant half-savage" NK Jemisin. 
If you truly believe what you are asserting about me, then I invite you to demonstrate the truth of your beliefs here. It should be easy, after all, right? If my statements are so blatantly racist as you claim them to be, how could you not show it to all and sundry. I will not only post your argument here in its entirety, but am willing to honestly answer any questions you might have, without evasion, with the sole requirement that you must agree to honestly answer my questions, without evasion, until we mutually agree that no further discussion is possible. 
And if no one steps forward, well, everyone will then know that these accusations of racism are spurious, those making them don't truly believe what they are saying, and none of the accusers have the courage of their supposedly anti-racist convictions. The black community will know that for all their talk of inclusiveness and equality, not a single white individual in SF/F was willing to stand up and defend them. And let's face it, if every single anti-racist in the community is afraid to publicly confront racists, then it should be readily apparent that the racists are going to win in the end.
Vox being who he is, I have a strong suspicion that we're going to be in for considerable amusement over the next few weeks. The man has a positive gift for making his opponents look like complete idiots. The fact that he does it through nothing more dangerous than rigourously reasoned, logical, and factual prose makes it even more impressive.

Now, as to whether Vox actually is racist or not- I don't know and quite frankly I don't care. My bar for what I consider to be genuinely racist is extremely high. All I can say is that, in over five years of reading what Vox has to write, not once have I ever been angered or offended by any of his content that deals, even in the most tangential form, with race. (Then again, I happen to have immense respect for Vox Day and his critical faculties, so it's likely that I'm biased here.)

Half the problem here is proving what is and is not "racist". If "racism" just means "I'm not a white person and you hurt my feelings!", then that's an abysmally stupid metric and says much more about the idiot who lets himself (or herself, more likely) get butthurt than it does about the man writing the content that caused the offence. If it means "you threatened aggression, whether physical or otherwise, against me specifically because of my skin colour or race!", then I suspect it's going to be a cold day in Hell before anyone proves that Vox did or said anything of the sort.

The onus is now on his critics to prove their allegations. If they do, then I expect that Vox will acknowledge their points, apologise where necessary, and then we can all get on with life. If they do NOT (which is a vastly more likely outcome), then the moral and intellectual cowardice of the liblepr rabbits of this world will have been laid bare for all to see.

Get some beer and popcorn, friends. This is going to be fun.

Laying on the RACISS with a trowel

Apparently some rich dude who owns a basketball team and its franchise possibly let his wealth get to his head a bit:
V: I don't understand, I don't see your views. I wasn't raised the way you were raised.
DS: Well then, if you don't feel—don't come to my games. Don't bring black people, and don't come.
V: Do you know that you have a whole team that's black, that plays for you? [Didact: The woman who allegedly asks this question is quite clearly partly black.]

DS: You just, do I know? I support them and give them food, and clothes, and cars, and houses. Who gives it to them? Does someone else give it to them? Do I know that I have—Who makes the game? Do I make the game, or do they make the game? Is there 30 owners, that created the league?

V: Honey, if it makes you happy, I will remove all of the black people from my Instagram.

DS: You said that before, you said, 'I understand.'
V: I DID remove the people that were independently on my Instagram that are black.
DS: Then why did you start saying that you didn't? You just said that you didn't remove them. You didn't remove every—
V: I didn't remove Matt Kemp and Magic Johnson, but I thought—
DS: Why?
V: I thought Matt Kemp is mixed, and he was OK, just like me.
DS: OK.
V: He's lighter and whiter than me.
DS: OK.
V: I met his mother.
DS: You think I'm a racist, and wouldn't—
V: I don't think you're a racist.
DS: Yes you do. Yes you do.
V: I think you, you—
DS: Evil heart.
Personally I could not care less whether Donald Sterling really said what he is quoted as saying above- and since it has not yet been proven that he is the man in this exchange, and that his mistress is the woman in it, I will not make any definitive statements about who said what until such things are proven. I don't watch or understand basketball, so I have no personal stake in this issue.

I do think that perhaps it's time we stopped making such a huge deal out of what appears to be a case of one person shooting off his mouth.

There are far bigger issues at hand here than the fact that this chap ran his mouth a bit about black people.

This conversation was recorded in the privacy of a man's home and was leaked to the media. Does no one worry about the precedent this sets? If this matter is taken to court and the fact that this was a conversation recorded in secret comes out, and a judge simply dismisses that fact, the precedent will have been set. You can no longer expect any privacy to think as you please; instead, you must always conform with the Goodthink imposed upon us by the rabbits of the world.

Moreover, all that the conversation above proves is that whoever uttered the words that caused this whole furore has a problem with his woman taking pictures of herself around black basketball players. Further transcripts reveal that he has a problem with that same woman associating with Magic Johnson and other black basketball players. All this reveals to me is a patent lack of understanding about the right to free association. His woman has, presumably, shown that she is not a psychopath and threatens no physical or overt harm to others around her; therefore, as far as any free society should be concerned, who she associates with is entirely her business and no one else's.

Did these comments show bad judgement? Sure. Did they reveal a small mind? Perhaps, but then I happen to know Hindus who can't stand to be around Muslims (and vice versa), Chinese who hold a deep dislike of white people, and light-skinned Indians who think very dimly of dark-skinned ones. As I have written before, xenophobia is far more than just a dislikeable reflex, and is not something that should be disregarded or dismissed.

From a libertarian's perspective, the only thing that these comments reveal is a man who dislikes the fact that his woman takes photos of herself around famous black athletes. That is a reprehensible position for anyone who believes in free association, to be sure. But is it really worth the sound and fury that has been raised in the media over comments that a man made in his own home?

Did the man in this transcript, who is allegedly Donald Sterling, the owner of the LA Clippers basketball team, threaten anyone with violence? No. Did he advocate ethnic cleansing or mass murder of people of colour? No. Did he argue that blacks should be banned using force of arms from basketball stadiums and games? No. Did he threaten to destroy the economic livelihoods of the blacks that work for him? No.

If he had made those comments, then outrage would be justified, because the man would be threatening others with violence. Such threats have exactly one justified response: force. The reason for this is simple. If a man initiates aggression, and that includes threatening your physical safety, then you have every right to fight back. But that is NOT what happened here.

Put into that kind of perspective, I'd say that the fact that President Jackass has now waded into this fracas should be all you need to know about just what a mountain has been raised out of this particular molehill.

To an outsider like me, this story isn't about how allegedly racist the owner of a single basketball team is. It is about how pathetic the rabbits of this world are in glomming onto any form of Badthink. Most of the world of pro basketball promptly scurried to their soapboxes, loudly and roundly condemning a bit of stupidity from a man who thought he was safe from prying ears as a horrible, terrible, no good, very bad example of WHITE RAAAAAAACISSSS!!! The only admirable response I have seen thus far comes from Mark Cuban:
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said ‘I have plenty of opinions, just not going to share them,’ fending off several inquiries before saying: ‘Obviously, if any business or entrepreneur says or does things that aren't congruent with what the organization is trying to convey, that's a problem. But it's not my problem.’
I will close simply by pointing out that the people in this world who most loudly cry RACISS at any possibly opportunity are almost always the ones who have never seen or understood true racism.

When you watch a formerly peaceful country descend into anarchy, bloodshed, and rape (as I have), and you see a minority group targeted for ethnic cleansing and brutalisation (like I have), then you tend to have very little patience for these silly little rabbits running around losing their minds about racism, whether real or imagined.

When you grow up in 4 different countries, live as an outsider all your life, are bullied and mocked throughout your teen years, and are subjected to all sorts of dumb schoolboy taunts about your parentage and skin colour (check, check, check, and triple-check, in my case), then you tend to develop a pretty high bar for what is, and is not, true racism.

And when you spend your entire life being told that you need to be better than your white counterparts in order to be considered an equal by them, then you tend to have roughly zero patience for people who claim that we should all be pulled down to the same level of mediocrity.

So if you're wondering about whether or not to get all outraged over what Donald Sterling allegedly said, then take it from me: there are bigger issues to worry about. Like, say, when the next Transformers movie is hitting the theatres.

The Angry White Boy Polka

If you've never seen this Weird Al classic, you're missing out on some real hilarity:


Saturday, 26 April 2014

Don't be clingy

Apparently even multimillionaire pop "stars" need to read Roissy's archives:
He recently professed his undying love for former girlfriend Hilary Duff, and vowed to spend 'the rest of my life getting back to her'. 
And despite rumours the Lizzie McGuire star has reconciled with her estranged husband Mike Comrie, Aaron Carter isn't giving up without a fight. [Didact: this implies that he actually can fight, a proposition that looks extremely doubtful.]
'I don't know who she is today, she doesn't know who I am today, but I would sweep her off her feet if I ever got a chance to again and fix what I did wrong,' he tells Entertainment Tonight, adding that  he 'absolutely' still loved the actress.
'I'm going to do everything in my power to fix those relationships in my life just like I want to fix the relationship I had with the love of my life,' he added. 'I'm not gonna give up on Hilary... ever.'
 
Last month, Carter took to Twitter to let his ex-girlfriend - who he split from 11 years ago when they were teenagers - know how much he misses her. 
The 26-year-old wrote: 'I'll spend the rest of my life trying to better myself to get back to her. I don't care what ANY of you think.' 
But he told Entertainment Tonight that Duff has yet to respond to his pleas. 
'That wasn't meant for the media or anybody like that. I didn't think about it really,' he said. 'I wasn't really looking for [a response] either. I'm sure she got the message.' 
Carter had also retweeted a photo calling Hilary, who's also 26, 'flawless,' showing her in close up with heavy make-up on. [Didact: Hmmm... Calling a woman wearing heavy makeup, which is designed to cover up flaws, "flawless"... #gammalogic?]
In a separate message, the former teen pop star then declared his true feelings with the sad message aimed at no one in particular: 'Don't be that stupid douche that loses the love of your life forever... Like me...' 
The guessing game came to an end when a fan asked Aaron straight up if he was referring to Duff, to which he simply replied, 'Sure am.' 
Aaron and Hilary dated on and off between 2001 and 2003, when they were barely teenagers.
Pass me a sick bag. The total lack of any semblance of game here is just nauseating. It's like this guy found a copy of Roosh's Compliment and Cuddle and, instead of doing what most sane men would do and say, "that's a short, amusing, and dispensable piece of satire", thought, "OMFG TEH BIBLE OF TEH GAME!!!"

Meanwhile, north of vag, Roissy- or Heartiste, or whatever the hell he is/they are called now- wrote a post about winning back an ex over seven years ago that Mr. Carter might find useful:
One of the hardest feats to accomplish is re-igniting an ex-girlfriend’s attraction for you, especially if she initiated the breakup.  Unlike guys, who are perfectly OK with return trips to the well no matter how dry, women have a no-looking-back switch that, when flipped, desexualizes the man she had spent months or years enslaving with her body...
Given this reality, your best bet for turning her around is to put your plan into action *before* she formally becomes your ex.   You have a short window of opportunity to do this.  The longer you have been with her the more warning she will give you with her change in behavior.  She won’t end a 2 year relationship overnight; you’ll have at least a month to clue in to the red flags.  Your number one priority, then, is recognizing the danger signals.  Infrequent or bland sex is of course an obvious indicator.  Look for delays in returning your calls and texts.  See if her eyes follow suit when she smiles (dead eyes are a dead giveaway).  Tone of voice will always betray a woman – musical when she’s happy, girlish when she’s affectionate, breathy when she’s horny, monotone when she’s lost respect for you.  Watch for contemptuous mannerisms like eye-rolling or tch-ing.  If she starts asking you strange questions or leading conversations down bizarre paths, that is her way of smoking you out.  She no longer trusts you to engage in normal playful conversation with you.  Go with your gut.  90% of the time it will be right. 
Awareness of changes in her demeanor wins you half the battle.  You must also maintain complete state control.  If you give in to the rush of emotions that your traitorous brain floods you with when faced with an impending loss you will fail.  What is required of you is to CUT AND RUN before her doubts about you cement.  You must be the one to leave first.  Minimize face time.  Don’t call her. Be friendly but ambiguous.  Don’t inquire into her life.  Laugh off her crappy attitude.  Most importantly, act as if nothing is wrong.  If she senses you are acting aloof out of spite the spell will be broken.  Eventually, she will wander back to you, bewildered and intrigued, filled with doubt about her hasty judgment.  You will resume a pattern of dating and sex that eerily resembles the first few weeks together.  NEVER give the game away that you knew she was losing attraction if you want to avoid rekindling her impression of you as a weak beta.
Mr. Carter has violated every single one of these tenets. This woman broke up with him 11 years ago, supposedly over rumours of infidelity (according to the article- I think I've made it clear by now that I DO NOT listen to pop music) and he still hasn't moved on. She has. (And you thought clinginess was annoying in women.) He has lost all state control by making his desperation a matter of public record. He is ardently pursuing a woman who has shown no real interest in him. He has actually lost sex rank relative to his ex, judging by the pictures in the article.

I am no expert at this sort of thing, but I'd say his chances of landing a date with his ex are less than zero. That's right, this cat has anti-game.

This, young men of the world, is why game is important. It avoids turning rich, capable young men (and this particular man is younger than me- I have distinct, and bad, memories of watching a 13-year-old Aaron Carter singing a truly horrible bubblegum pop song on TV when I was a teenager...) into pathetic punchlines to late-night jokes.

Be a Man: Fight Club

The Way of Fight Club

Jack Donovan's book, The Way of Men, is short, punchy, and to-the-point. It is, in my opinion, required reading for anyone who starts taking regular doses of the red pill and finds himself stumbling around, dazed and blinded, from getting hit between the eyes with that kind of information like a baseball bat. In it, Jack points out that the Way of Men is the way of the Gang. There are many forms that gangs can take, ranging from close-knit groups of friends who get together once a week to play poker, to actual hardass biker gangs that go around riding powerful bikes and sporting scary tattoos. But all of them have one thing in common: a strong bond between its members, created through mutual respect and understanding, that unites them against all outsiders and enemies.

And towards the end of the book, Jack exhorts his reader to go out and start his own gang, in order that he might be prepared for the days to come when civilisation breaks down and the Way of the Gang once again comes to pass.

So, how do you go about starting your own gang? For a deep introvert, this is a particularly troubling question. After all, we REALLY dislike other people. Being around people is draining, frustrating, and irksome for us. We like our privacy and our alone time- without it, we cease to function.

That said, if an interaction has a purpose, proves to be good fun, and allows us to let off some steam in the process, we tend to be pretty happy to sign up.

Fortunately, there is one activity that combines all of these things in one convenient (if sometimes painful) package: full-contact sparring.

Fighting and Bonding

The reason the movie "Fight Club" was such a big hit was not (just) because of its outstanding direction, brilliant plot twists, amazing acting from Brad Pitt (yeah, I never thought I'd use "Brad Pitt" and "amazing acting" in the same sentence either) and Edward Norton, or its balls-out insane premise.

It was because "Fight Club" captured the deep, primal dissatisfaction that young men felt, and still feel, at the utterly sackless, riskless, enervating culture that forces conformity and stifles any possible outlet for masculine strength and power. And it did so with amazing style and panache.

Most importantly, in my opinion, it showed a side of manliness that only men can possibly understand.

Do you remember the scenes in that movie where two guys would be beating the ever-loving snot out of each other one moment, and then back-slapping and high-fiving each other the next, bonding over a beer? That is something that only men are truly capable of doing. The reason for this is actually pretty simple: fighting establishes hierarchy, and men are nothing if not hierarchical in our thinking. A dominant male is someone to admire and respect and emulate. A submissive male is someone to scorn and avoid. Fighting allows for a very efficient, very simple way of separating the strong and dominant from the weak and effeminate. It is also an exceptionally good way for men to size each other up, to get a good understanding of each other's relative strengths and weaknesses, and to gain respect for each other.

This is something that women simply cannot comprehend. It isn't in their nature to understand the point of two men squaring off, with or without gloves, and beating the holy spirit out of each other. The only thing that women understand about this process is how attractive a dominant male is in a very primal sense.

So now I'm going to tell you something today that will make you think I've lost my mind:
As a man, you need to FIGHT.
Full-Contact Sparring

Take it from someone who knows:
The undeniable truth is that, for men, sparring and physical confrontation is inevitable, necessary even. Sometimes only with the blunt end of a fist or the butt of gun can some men be corralled into being better people or simply controlled. There are some men you can never reach. No wisdom of a pastor can alter these men’s pysche, no reassuring advice of a shrink can rehabilitate their sickly ignorant minds. Only through violent coercion are these men changed so they stop hurting others. Violence and war are never off the table simply because there exist people who simply won’t do right by the world. 
However, more broadly, being in a fight changes a man.  The drab day-to-day of a modern man’s life is stultifying. Movies like “Fight Club” exist because the modern man is shunted and forced into roles he would rather not take, but needs to provide for himself and those around him. The pressures the modern man faces can’t be stomped out by force nor can’t be rectified with the double-barred end of Remington shotgun to a person’s head. 
That being said, the sheer rush a man experiences with anticipation of a physical battle of wills nigh is second to none. Actually being in a fight – that is a whole other beast. I have only been on the losing end once and still, after licking both your flesh and mental wounds, there was a serious personal rush...
Still — and this relates to fucking beautiful women — once a man fights, he is calm. I have known men to be at each other’s throats and grappling back and forth, only to be getting drunk at the bar, bonding over how the Packers are a shit NFL team. 
Once men act out their aggression, there is a great change for healing...
One of the most misunderstood aspects of male violence is the cathartic effect it can have. It can be used to express personal frustration with somebody, only to have those differences resolved through physical confrontation. However, it can also be an outlet for displeasure with the self that leads to personal growth...
Fighting represents the culmination of male frustration with themselves, others or society in general. It is natural by-product of being a man and is sometimes necessary for who you can’t reach. However, what is most striking about fighting is the healing it can engender in both parties. It seems very counter-intuitive, but 100% true. 
Fighting another man can change your life only if you understand why you are fighting.
So that no one gets the wrong idea, I am NOT advocating that you walk out the door right now and punch the nearest guy in the chin and then start using ground-and-pound on him. Nor am I advocating that you start training right away in MMA so that you can participate in cage matches.
I am saying that you should learn how to engage in full-contact sparring, with an eye towards keeping things safe and fun.
Full-contact sparring is not difficult to organise. Just join a local kickboxing/muay thai club, learn the basics, buy some simple gear (gloves, shin pads, a mouthguard, and optionally some headgear), and get to work. Learn how to control yourself, move at a steady pace, keep breathing, and work with your partner to keep him safe and healthy- because that's the best way to ensure that he is doing the same thing for you.

Trust me when I say that this is THE fastest way to get fit and strong. Lifting heavy weights develops incredible strength rapidly, no question, but it doesn't develop cardiovascular fitness the way that running does. Conversely, running develops cardiovascular fitness very effectively, but does not develop balance, muscular strength, or all that much bone density. (It also is terrible for you in the long term, which is why you see marathoners dropping dead in their late 40s and early 50s.) Fighting is the best way to develop fitness quickly, because you have to develop speed, coordination, strength, cardio, and timing, all at the same time. Without any one of these things, your opponent will take your head off in very short order.

Sparring and Male Bonding

Sparring is also perhaps the best way I know for a deep introvert to develop healthy and strong bonds with other men. Male camaraderie seems to develop best in high-stress, high-testosterone situations, and if you combine this with the relative safety and fun that comes from hard sparring, then you have the potential to build some truly lasting friendships.

Now that I've passed my yellow belt test, I am eligible to take boxing and sparring classes at my Krav Maga school. Once a week I take a late-night class in sparring, and I have to say, I absolutely love it. The first few classes were brutal, simply because I wasn't used to getting smacked around and getting hit. Taking shots to the face scared the hell out of me, even though we were all wearing boxing gloves and dialling down to 50% power and speed (even less, in my case). But after the first few weeks, when I realised what it meant to get tagged in sparring, I started to lose my fear. And now, I have to say that sparring is by far the most enjoyable and fun aspect of the art- more so than the techniques, more than the combatives, more than anything else, putting on boxing gloves and pounding on each other for five minutes at a time is just plain fun.

Recently I was sparring with my regular partner for a few minutes at the end of a class. We both take the weekly sparring classes together, we partnered up for our test and passed it together, and we get along very well. Both of us were having a great time that night, whacking each other with jabs, hooks, and uppercuts- he got me good with a jab to the nose, and I returned the favour by smacking him hard in the cheekbone with a right hook. Every time one of us connected with a good clean hit, one would look at the other as if to say, "you okay?", and then we'd get straight back into it. At the end of it, we were tired, sore, and in exceptionally good spirits. Good times, good times...

Then we had to switch partners, and I found myself up against a yellow belt who didn't spar at all. He spent the next three minutes basically running away from me, trying desperately to dodge my punches, while I just came right after him. It was absolutely hilarious for me, and probably bloody terrifying for him.

Straight after that class ended, my regular partner and I exchanged backslaps and handshakes, went into the locker room to get changed, and had a quick bull session about how much fun all of that was. This, despite the fact that I don't know the guy outside of the martial arts classes, have never met him for a drink, and don't know anything much about his personal life.

Meanwhile, the guy I'd been chasing around the mat for three minutes completely avoided all of us and went straight to the toilet, I imagine because he needed to piss his gi pants in private. Oh well. His problem, not mine.

Or take the sparring class I was in earlier this week. Most of those sparring classes are pretty scary for newcomers. You walk in and the first thing you see as a new yellow belt is an assortment of higher-ranked guys- orange, green, blue, and possibly even brown and black belts- and you think to yourself, "I am SO dead". The first time someone hits you in the face with a punch, it really stings- because you're not used to getting hit like that. The first few lessons are utterly terrifying because of this- you walk in thinking, "I am going to get my ass handed to me". Then you settle down and get into a rhythm, and you realise that it's really not that bad. Some of the higher-ranked guys are real jerks who just want to beat the crap out of you- but most of them are actually pretty decent and want to help you out by showing you how to spar properly.

So there I was sparring with an orange belt who got me into a corner and proceeded to beat the crap out of me with like 10 straight punches, all of which landed and all of which hurt. Once I finally got my head clear and my bearings straight, I gritted my teeth, and went after him the same way he'd just gone after me, landing a few good hits of my own. And he didn't object at all. Afterwards, I bowed to him, he thumped me on the shoulder and thanked me, and we walked away without any bad blood at all between us. I imagine that next time he'll probably whack me pretty hard again, and that's just fine.

Later that same night, I was sparring with an orange belt- this time with hands and feet- and managed to get in a couple of solid kicks to the chest and ribs, and several hard punches to his head. He actually had me in a clinch at one point, pounding the bejeezus out of my ribs while I was doing the same to his head. When the class ended, he gave me a big hug and I shook his hand, and he gave me a few important pointers about my kicks that I badly needed. We both walked away on very good terms, no hard feelings, no issues, nothing.

How many men can claim to have bonded with each other over whacking one another with boxing gloves and kicking each other in the head?

Sparring and Self-Fulfilment

If your aim is to make yourself the best possible man that you can, then in my opinion fighting has to be a big part of that. You must learn how to defend yourself (i.e. hurt other people). You must learn how to spar safely and comfortably. And you'll make some great friends in the process. If you get hurt in a sparring class, chances are it will be only temporary (unless you're being stupid, in which case it's going to be pretty bad). Don't antagonise the guys who are faster and better and more experienced than you- learn from them, thank them for teaching you, and show respect to those around you.

So go out there, start or join a fight club, and get sparring.

Domain Query: Writing advice

A reader emailed recently and essentially asked two questions:
  1. Do you ever re-read your own writing?
  2. How do you avoid sounding like a massive tool when you write?
I answered his queries privately in an email, but I think these questions are important enough to answer in a more public fashion.

To the first: yes, all the time. I re-read what I write partly because I want to be sure that my arguments are sound and tight, partly to see if the language could be tightened up here or there, and of course partly because sometimes I have jack-all to do at work and need some diversion. I do edit my own posts after publication occasionally; I make no apologies for this, it is my blog and my writing, and I'll do whatever I please with both.

I do not, by the way, hold any illusions about my skill as a writer. I know how to write. I enjoy writing and blogging. However, I don't pretend to be an expert at it. There are other bloggers out there who have been doing this for much, much longer than me who are considerably better writers, vastly more intelligent, and (in my opinion) quite a lot more interesting.

A few examples: Vox Day has been doing this since 2003. Mike from D&P has been around since 2004. Roosh and Rollo have been doing their thing for at least ten years, each.

Like all of them, I write primarily for my own amusement and enjoyment. Like them, I have important ideas and concepts rattling around in my skull that bear writing about. Unlike them, I don't have much of an audience or a business to support, and to be honest I quite like it that way. That might change in the future, once I've been around long enough and done enough interesting things to be credible, but for the moment, the fringe is fine for me.

To the second: I don't avoid it. I know full well that some of my posts make me come across as a roaring asshole. This does not bother me in the slightest. My advice to my reader was the same as my advice to anyone else who takes up blogging about these same subjects that I discuss here: don't worry about what anyone else thinks of your writing, just WRITE for the pleasure of it. All that matters for a deep introvert is whether or not the argument makes sense.

Your next blog post should tick off these three items in rapid succession:
  • Is your argument backed up by rigourous historical evidence?
  • Is your argument logically valid at minimum, and preferably also logically sound?
  • Do you cite your sources and give credit where it is due?
If your writing does these things, the rest will take care of itself.

It is important to remember that deep introverts do not do "feelings" very well. We feel emotions- I would argue far more strongly than almost anyone else does- but we strongly dislike expressing them, and we dislike even more discussing them in public. It simply isn't cricket. This is also why we come across as rude, insensitive jerks- mostly because we are rude, insensitive jerks, but also because we genuinely don't care how you feel about what we have to say. We only care about whether what we're saying is true, factual, and honest.

So whether you are a reader, a lurker, thinking about blogging, or actively blogging now yourself, I hope you'll find these points to be of some use. Don't worry about what others think of you. Just write for the joy of it, and let the rest take care of itself.

Friday, 25 April 2014

The cost of marriage

The ever-entertaining, ever-insightful Terrence Popp put up a video over at Redonkulas.com a while back that weighed up the expenses of being single versus married for the "average" American. The mathematics, as you will see, are brutal:



For all that I'm Asian and therefore have no problem with difficult maths, the numbers here are scary even so. And that, I reiterate, is for the average American. If you're living in a major metropolis on the East Coast or a satellite city (like I do), then you can multiply the numbers that Popp presented by three- even four.

Yeah. Seriously. In that sort of situation, it would cost you over 280K to be married, versus "only" about 120K to be single.

Now as brutal as that sounds, it's important to understand that in America, a self-aware male has some recourse to the legal system. Not much, but some. I know you red-pill Americans like to loudly proclaim the virtues of foreign nations over Western ones- and I've been seeing Asia pop up a bit over the last few weeks- but it's important to remember that in some cases, at least, the grass is not always greener on the other side.

During the meetup last December, I was gobsmacked to learn from both The Observer and the other guys there that until quite recently, pre-nuptial agreements were not enforced in Singapore. A Singapore Court of Appeals decision back in 2009 changed this substantially, but it is still the case that prenups are simply not quite the legally binding agreements in foreign lands that they are here.

That aside, if you're planning to get married, you really need to understand what you're getting into. Popp's video is a powerful reminder of what an independent, financially secure man could potentially give up when he gets married.

I have made my opinion about marriage clear, and I stand by that opinion: marriage is the foundational bedrock of civilisation, and should be entered into with a clear awareness and understanding on both sides that it is a binding agreement on both parties. If you are not willing or able to shoulder the responsibilities of marriage- and, more importantly, if she is not- then you have no business whatsoever getting married. Stay single, stay cheap, and stay free.

If, for whatever reason, you do decide to get married, then take Popp's mathematics into account. Do whatever is necessary to protect yourself. Educate yourself about divorce law. Be sure that you have assets stashed away, somewhere, that no one can access other than you. I am not saying that you should expect your marriage to fail- far from it. I am simply saying that you need to manage that risk* and assign an appropriate probability to it. If you have educated yourself about the consequences of divorce and the destruction that it visits upon you as a man, then you can shield yourself from them.

And if, after doing all of the research and the homework, you still decide to get married, and you believe that the woman you are with is truly worth it, then understand one more thing: marriage isn't about one or the other of you. It's about both of you. You can no longer think of yourselves as "me and her".  You must think of yourselves in terms of "we" and "us"- a single, unified entity with unique and sacred status.

If indeed you do decide to take that course, as a self-aware and careful man, then Godspeed to you and your bride. The world lies before you both; make the most of it together.

* Understand the difference between risk and uncertainty. Risk means that all possible events are known; all that is unknown is the probability associated with each event. Uncertainty means that the events themselves are unknown. Of the two, risk is easier to handle.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Sliding rapidly down that slippery slope

I stand before you. Accused of the sin of ensuring Forerunner ascendancy. Of attempting to save us from this fate where we are forced to… recede… We squander eons in the darkness, while they seize our triumphs for their own... Think of my acts as you will, but do not doubt the reality.
-- Ur-Didact, testifying before the Ecumene Council
When proponents of homogamy make their arguments in favour of gay marriage, they typically start along the lines of, "people should be allowed to marry whoever they want!".

To which the social conservative will probably at some point reply, "the logical end result of this being that polygamy, and polygyny, will ALSO be legal".

The homogamist (my apologies to the Queen's English for that one) is then left with recourse to one of three options in rhetorical response:
  1. Obfuscate, dodge, deny, and dismiss this as the delusion of a paranoid mind- the route that most of them seem to take;
  2. Admit the logical truth of this position and respond with an emotional, and almost always completely illogical, counterargument along the lines of, "so what's wrong with that?"- which some of them do;
  3. Realise the errors of logic and rhetoric committed in his initial argument and conduct a fighting retreat while attacking straw men in response- a route that a very small number of them use from time to time.
It is all well and good to discuss this academically- if heatedly- in public fora. It is rather different when the consequences of government-sanctioned homogamy suddenly come home to roost (literally):
The world's only 'married' lesbian threesome are expecting their first child. 
Doll, Kitten and Brynn, from Massachusetts, were joined together in a marriage-style ceremony last August and are expecting a daughter in July. 
Kitten, 27, is pregnant after undergoing IVF treatment using an anonymous sperm donor, and the trio eventually plan to have three children - one for each of them. 
The plan at the moment is that Kitten will bear all the children - possibly using her wives' eggs and donated sperm - but they are open to other options, such as adoption. 
Brynn, 34, says: 'The hope is to have three kids altogether. We always joke that the children should never outnumber the parents.' 
Doll, Kitten and Brynn Young married in a ceremony in August 2013, when each of their fathers walked them down the aisle. All three women wore white wedding gowns and exchanged rings.  
The so-called 'throuple' worked with a specialist family lawyer who drew up the paperwork and drafted the ceremony so that all three of them were obligated and bound to each other .  
While Brynn and Kitten are legally married, Doll is handfasted to both so the threesome are as equally married to each other as legally possible.
Despite what Hollywood and the mainstream media would like you to believe, there is in fact a rather pressing need for a father (a bloke, usually the head of his household, who provides the firm hand and moral guidance that only a man can- you may have perhaps come across the idea?) in a child's life. Especially if that child happens to be male. The consequences of children, especially boys, being raised by single mothers are well known and well understood by now- and they are disastrous.

So what happens when you have a child being raised by not one, not two, but three mothers?

What happens when you have multiple children raised by multiple mothers?

I'm not sure anyone really knows. But I imagine we're going to find out. And my guess is that the results are not going to be pretty. I really do hope that I am wrong; I am not one to hold ill will against an unborn child, regardless of its parentage. If history is any guide, though, this is is not likely to end well.

This is the reality of the "whoever, whatever, whenever" culture that homogamists promote. It isn't a theoretical argument anymore. It is here, now, today.

Addendum

On the subject of gay marriage, there is an uncomfortable dilemma that libertarians like me have to deal with. On the one hand, libertarians are all about maximising personal freedom, and that means being free to choose who one marries and when one marries. On the other hand, gay marriage- and polygamous marriage- has historically been shown to be completely incompatible with a free and healthy society. The societies that permitted- even encouraged- homosexuality, were also not exactly beacons of human freedom; think Sparta's state-instituted policy of pederasty, or Rome under the reigns of the Emperors Nero and Elagabalus.

The only position that makes any sense is for a libertarian to adamantly oppose both gay marriage and state involvement in the institution of marriage. As far as I am concerned, the State has absolutely no business telling you who you can and cannot marry. I am also absolutely opposed to gay marriage- which means that I have no desire whatsoever to associate with institutions that encourage it. So, if the State removes itself from the question of marriage, and a religious institution takes it upon itself to conduct gay marriage, then that institution should be held responsible for the consequences. The inevitable result, judging by the speed with which "enlightened" and "progressive" Christian and Jewish denominations are losing members to more "conservative" ones, will be a rapid decline into complete irrelevance.

And if some church is crazy enough to permit a three-way gay marriage, then upon their heads be the consequences.


Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Man vs Silly Feminist

If civilisation had been left in female hands we would still be living in grass huts.
-- Camille Paglia 
Famed survivalist (and drinker of his own urine) Bear Grylls has apparently pissed off (heh) several feminists by casting his latest reality show with only men:
The Island Of Lost Blokes will see 12 hardy souls join Grylls in trying to survive on a desert island using just their instincts and ingenuity.
 
    But – as the name of the programme suggests – something crucial will be missing from the experience, along with proper food supplies and shelter: Competition from the girls. 
    The lack of female participation in the show has sparked protests, with questions being asked as to why, in 2014, survival should be seen as a male-only challenge.
    Ruth England, who has made back-to-nature shows on the Discovery Channel – including presenting the series Man, Woman Wild – says the concept is ‘laughable’. 
    ‘The basic tenets of survival are the same, regardless of your genitals – and women cope very well,’ she told The Independent. 
    ‘I’m disappointed in Channel 4’s decision, but not wholly surprised.

    The sheer amount of different types of terrain that I have survived in means I have more primitive survival experience than most soldiers. [Didact: I'll be impressed when you survive hostile contact with a real enemy intent on killing you, when you're outnumbered and outgunned, wounded, and struggling to keep your brothers alive through the hell of war.] 
    Yet I still get internet trolls telling me to get back in the kitchen.’ 
    Her comments were echoed by explorer Sarah Outen, who took to Twitter to express her frustration at The Island Of Lost Blokes. 
    ‘Surprise, surprise,’ she tweeted. ‘An adventure show of blokes and beards.’  
    ‘Yawn, yawn, yawn. Where are the women?’ [Didact: If they've got the least shred of sense, they're at home, in the kitchen, thanking men for building civilisation to the point where they don't have to participate in such tomfoolery.]
    Channel 4 describes the programme as ‘a bold new documentary in which Bear Grylls undertakes the ultimate survival experiment to discover what it means to be a man.’ 
    Its male volunteers will be stranded in a remote island location and asked to fend for themselves over four weeks, with basic supplies of food and water quickly running out.
    Personally I really couldn't care less what Bear Grylls is doing next, because I do not watch reality TV. (I find the very concept to be an insult to my intelligence.) I am even less concerned- is sub-zero concern a contradiction in terms?- about what women think about his newest show. However, in the interests of sending up feminism for what it is- namely, an absurdity disguised as a serious philosophy- let us consider what would happen if there were, in fact, groups of men and women on this show.

    Indeed, such an experiment has already been tried. The results were... enlightening.

    As the article over at RoK demonstrates, when separate teams of men and women were cast into the wild and told to fend for themselves, the men did what men do: they took the initiative and built a functional tribe of sorts, with clear hierarchies and specialised tasks. Each man did what was necessary for his own good, as well as the good of the tribe. The result was that the men had food, shelter, and a modicum of comfort despite enduring some hardship and deprivation in the process.

    The women spent their time sunbathing, catfighting, eating, catfighting, paddling around in the water, catfighting, complaining, and catfighting.

    So then the producers decided to mix things up a bit by sending a few blokes over to the female side of the island, and sending a few sheilas over to the bloke side. The results were entirely predictable again.

    The girls who went to the men's side had a great time. They were able to take advantage of the comforts that the men had built, and had the added benefit of undivided male attention.

    The men who went to the women's side had a miserable time. They had to do all of the work that the women should have done, without any of the rewards that their other male counterparts were enjoying.

    The rest of the women carried on sunbathing, catfighting, eating, catfighting, paddling around in the water, catfighting, complaining, and catfighting.

    I predict that the exact same thing would happen if women were to barge into this new show. And it is telling that, despite all of the complaining about how "unfair" it is that no women are allowed into the boys' club, not one of the most vocal critics of this new show is willing to do what is truly necessary to prove that teh wimmenz are as strong as the men.

    Namely, not one of the critics are willing to take the risks required to put together a show of their own that showcases women in the same settings, facing the same challenges, and tackling the same dangers that the men are going to face on this new Bear Grylls show.

    And that, my friends, should tell you everything you need to know about how utterly hollow their complaints are. There is no value or worth whatsoever to their criticisms, because they are completely unwilling to put themselves and their futures at risk to prove the man wrong. They attack him from a position of utter safety, secure in the knowledge that their silliness will go unchallenged by the majority of people- and will even be supported by clueless feminist and white knight manginas alike.

    Fortunately, those of us who have the wit and the eyesight to see their nonsense for what it is have a very powerful and very effective tool for dealing with this. Namely, we have the power of laughter.

    For is there truly anything funnier and more ridiculous than the sight of a clueless feminist being hoisted by her own petard, shrilly proclaiming the eeeeeeeeevils of masculine oppression even as she enjoys all of the luxuries that men have fought and bled and sacrificed for through the generations?