Saturday, August 18, 2012

Virtual Disconnection

Originally published in bad faith...

To become men, young boys must develop and mature through experience.  They must learn skills and develop talents to reach their full potential for having a productive life.  They must become something.

Men are made like steel. We must experience the fire of the forge, take a beating, and emerge stronger, harder and ready for sharpening.

“No pain, no gain” may sound like nothing more than a trite old maxim used to get people to do something they really don’t want to…but it’s especially true for boys attempting to become men.

You can only know your true self worth, if you find out what your limitations are, reach that limit and than keep striving to exceed them.

You can only become tough by getting the hell beat out of you.

Fortitude, endurance and stamina are developed by continually pushing your boundaries to see how far you can actually push yourself to achieve something.

This is where self-esteem (the real kind) and confidence come from. You’ve done it before, you can certainly do it again if you had to.

This is why most cultures around the world had some sort of test, challenge or some kind of painful endurance ceremony or test of physical and mental strength for young men.

Things have changed…and for most, not for the better.

Young men used to feel inspired by a song heard on the radio, to go and buy a guitar and attempt to learn how to play it. They wanted to be that guy up on stage, playing to an adoring crowd, and all the female attentions that come with being a famous musician.

To anyone who’s ever begun attempting to play the guitar, you know all about burning finger tips and cramping hands from fretting chords repeatedly for hours on end to master the multitude of techniques to play music.

Who needs all that practice now?

Now, you can now just turn on the liquid crystal flat screen, fire up the gaming console, sling the plastic guitar and furiously hit the five colored buttons in patterns timed to the latest pop rock music, and you too could be virtually headlining Madison Square Garden with your virtual Rock band!

Then, when the show is over, Internet porn and some lube will give you all the virtual groupie action you can handle! ROCK ON DUDE!

Who needs high school football practice in the heat, risking injury, exhaustion and pain…when you can be indoors, sitting, on the couch, gorging on snack feed and gulping carbonated corn syrup, while playing in the Superbowl in your 5th season with your favorite team in Franchise mode?

Isn’t skateboarding cool? Why bother with scabbed knees, busted shins and broken arms that comes from practicing at the neighborhood skate park, when I can rip off 720′s on a half-pipe and do hand-plants and rail slides…risk free and all without leaving the comfort of the living room!

Who needs messy, and painful experiences of life, when the virtual life is so much easier to attain success in with only a minimal amount of pain-free, comfortable effort?

Remember the old Timothy Leary quote, which became the catch phrase of the LSD sub-culture: “Turn on, tune in, drop out?”

In today’s Brave New World Order, it’s morphed into: Turn on the media, tune in to your preferred virtual experience, and drop out of real life.

Sadly, I know a number of young men who most certainly DO need to “man up” and turn off their game consoles and start finding ways to live a real life, not a virtual one.

Many folks in this corner of teh interwebz object to any calls made by anyone to “man up” as using nothing but shaming language to get men to do whatever they want for their own benefit and not for the benefit of the man or men being shamed.

Not here.

This is shaming language trying to shame young men into behaving for their own benefit.

If you are a young man reading this, can you look yourself in the mirror and honestly feel good about any real life achievements you’ve obtained by overcoming adversity…or have you wasted too much of your time becoming a virtual success?


Anonymous said...

Let's analyse this for a moment.

Would young men really be better off in this culture if they 'manned up'? Somehow, I don't think so.

Our misandrist culture doesn't reward men who accomplish and do great things. What happens to the man who works hard, gets an education, and leads a decent life? Is he rewarded for that? Or does our society reward instead the posers, cheats, and thugs? We both know the answer to that question.

Our culture feeds off fraud and illusion. A real man doing real things is a misfit, caught in what sociologists term 'a double bind'. If he goes against societal norms, like the young men you described, he's branded a loser and a failure. If he 'plays by the rules' he ends up dragged through divorce, usually losing jobs and houses along the way---and still ends up being branded a loser. In other words, a man is failure here simply by being born male.

Of course, there are males who fit in with the 'new normal' and profit handsomely: the corrupt corporatists and politicians; the sadistic criminals; the welfare bums---these types of men have rewards like money and sex thrown in their paths without any effort on their part whatsoever.

It's difficult to blame young men for following Timothy Leary's advice. But it isn't that these men are dropping out of real life. I would say it's other way around: real life has ceased to exist as an objective reality for them, so they retreat into escapism.

If men in our culture are going to 'man up' they need to add this collorary to make it work: disconnect from the culture as well. There's no benefit to being a productive, responsible man within its confines.

Keoni Galt said...

"Would young men really be better off in this culture if they 'manned up'? Somehow, I don't think so."

The things I'm referring to here are about being better off regardless of the culture you live in.

Developing skills and experience through hardship.

Spending hours learning to play guitar results in a personal development of a talent and/or skill that is all about self improvement.

Who accomplished more for himself...the guy who mastered the hardest level of Guitar Hero or the guy who mastered playing the guitar through countless hours of practice?

Keoni Galt said...

In other words, when I say MAN UP, I'm saying, do something for yourself. Make something of yourself, something you can take pride in. Something that will give you confidence.

The only person you can change is yourself. You cannot change society, you cannot change culture. You can only change yourself.

MarkyMark said...


I TOTALLY get what you're saying here, and you're right. Boys DO need to go through the fire, be pounded in the forge of hard knocks, then emerge stronger. That brings to mind an old Marine recruiting ad from years ago; it showed a sword smith heating a metal bar in a forge, beating it, then finally making a nice sword out of that metal. IOW, the Marines would take a boy and make him a man.


Amy said...

Just imagine the culture that could be reclaimed, or remade, or made anew if boys and men passed through the fire rather than shying from it.

Feminists and leftists will say that to change a paradigm, you must "own" the language of the opposition. Keoni, you have just opened a door to owning the phrase "Man up" and changing its meaning into a mantra for personal benefit and improvement, not as a means to convince a man to supplicate a woman.

It's a minority of women, to be sure, and I'm not a very social person so I don't meet them often, but there is a set of women under age 35 out there who are beginning to appreciate manliness and competence, and are turning their own backs on the feminist narrative. It's a foothold, but a positive development nonetheless. As women turn away and men "man up" (KGs definition not the standard one), we may well begin to see a cultural shift away from a land full of entitlement princesses and male dropouts, and one where Men and Women fill complementary roles rather than being endlessly antagonistic towards one another.*

*not that antagonism, drop outs, or entitlement princesses will ever disappear. Survey any classical literature from Homer and the oral tradition on up and you will find these types hanging about in all societies - it's the level of power and respect (or disrespect) they are accorded in 21st century America/the World which is the issue, not their mere presence.

Anonymous said...

'There's a set of women under 35 who appreciate manliness and competence.'

LOL--Dream on.

Maybe true, if you define 'manly and competent' males as gang-bangers, sadistic thugs, and dope-pushers. But last time I checked Justin Bieber was still 'the hottest man in America'.

The best incentive for men to 'man up' like Keoni describes is facing the fact that women spit on strong, successful men here---and look outside the culture for female companionship.

Anonymous said...

Marky Mark:
Compare that commercial to the politically-correct, gender-neutral, emasculated USMC of today. Aren't they headed by a female commandant now or something?

Which goes back to what I mentioned earlier. What incentives do men have to go through that forge and 'man up'?

I'm not disagreeing with Keoni's premises here---I think experience and hard work do make better men. But the question is: if this is shaming men into doing something for their own benefit---WHERE is the benefit? Our society offers none.

Anonymous said...

So you're giving the same message, but inside of a different context.

The message is still toxic regardless of the context because male real world achievement has always been linked to sexuality and family. Those things are deader than a door knob.

This virtual world is just a convenient way to non-violently protest. This is necessary. This is how this system implodes on itself. Think of it as a cleansing fire in the forest.

You needn't worry about men. As soon as the incentives return, we'll go right back to creating a brave new world.

William said...

Instead of telling boys to pick up a guitar, football or skateboard how about teaching them things that'll help them later in life.

I have 3 nephews ages 16,18 & 22 who skateboard when there's no snow on the ground or raindrops.
I've watched them in the summer days and winter nights trying to do that one trick, and that one trick better be perfect or no one's going home.

This dedication is nowhere to be found in other areas of their life.
Forget about their ages they might as well be little kids.

Those kids playing Skate 3 are the same ones speeding through your quiet little street on their skateboards.

Weather skateboarding in the real world or the virtual one, they aren't doing anything with their lives.

Anonymous said...

I've been thinking of ditching the old playstation altogether. For trade in I calculated the money, with all the stuff i can trade in, thats's enough money for a fucking suit or a plane ticket right there!

I'm fucking sick of it though, and when your crew is stuck wasting their lives playing fifa for hours, there's only one thing to do...

Anonymous said...

A little part of the problem is helicopter moms. When children are smothered with protection too much, they become fearful. Single moms are another contributing factor, too. I have a whole mess of daughters, but no sons, and even so I think my husband's way of interacting with them, which is so different from mine, is very beneficial. He's more physical, tossing them up in the air and catching them and the like, and I tend to fuss around them saying, "Be careful!" The single mom's sons only get the "Be careful" message.

- Sunshine Mary

Anonymous said...

Most mothers hate their sons as much as they hate all men; and often depreciate and discourage any signs of masculinity they see in their sons. That discouragement gets reinforced by man-hating schoolteachers too.

In the case of most single moms, the sons get exposed to the parade of 'new boyfriends' (typically abusive, dysfunctional deadbeats)and they either grow up to act like thugs themselves or become escapists like Keoni described.

You women have destroyed our culture from within.

Outcast Superstar said...

Maybe you should address men having a hard time getting hired in the workforce first.

Look I successfully graduated from college passed the CPA Exam and have good professional references. Yet when I sent out hundreds of resumes out to Accounting Firms, most of them dismissed me for not having working experience year after year after graduating from college. Such as last year, out of those hundreds of resumes I sent only one bothered to even email one of my references to see what kind of employee I was.

Why should a young man financially and emotionally invest years in college and post educational studies only to be spited on by feminist human resource departments and therefore not having a fair opportunity to have a thriving career.

Why should a man these days financially slave away only to have everything taken away from him in a divorce.

Most divorce men would feel like they died and went to heaven if they could go back in time and spend all their years in the basement playing video games and jerking off on internet porn.

Keoni Galt said...

Woah Outcast Superstar! Long time no see round these parts!

Listen, I hear you, I really do.

I had the same job for 12 years until our company went outta business and we all got laid off last year. I've been unable to find work in the same field and have to resort to blue collar work to make ends meet...and I'm lucky to have that.

What I am talking about in this article is NOT advising young men to "MAN UP" and get a degree and get a job and be a "productive member" of our feminist-fucked society.

I'm saying that young men should be developing themselves, taking on real life pursuits develop a skill, a passion and fulfill potential talent.

Find something to give you accomplish something real.

Golf. Fish. Hunt. Dive. Surf. Martial Arts. Model Airplanes. Paint. Draw. Mountain bike. Rock climb. Learn to play an instrument. Build. Create. Explore.

Do something that requires overcoming adversity, so you can develop you inner strength. Build real self esteem. Accomplish something REAL.

For yourself.

This is the only kind of MAN UP you will ever hear me use when talking to younger guys.

To tell you the truth, I wrote this piece for In Mala Fide a year ago, and it was written with some young men I know in mind.

They do nothing but work their dead end jobs to earn just enough money to pay for their cars and fast food habits, and otherwise do nothing but play video games. They really have NOTHING to hang their hats on other than become master joystick manipulators. They're lost without any substantial purpose in life but self-destructive hedonism.

It makes me sick to see it.

rycamor said...

Anonymous is a real sourpous. I say this as a man: I sympathize, but he has to get over it. Sourness is purely the result of STILL validating yourself against the feminine-directed part of our society. The one that says you should find your place, be a nice little cog in the machinery, shut up, and go about your job generating wealth to be extracted in service of the goddess and the alpha males she want to play with.

We know it is unfair. It always has been unfair. There are men of purely mediocre intellect who get ahead purely on charm and manipulation while you will find other very capable men left in the dust simply because we live in a society that--more than ever--values the appearance of capability rather than the substance.

You have three choices: learn to play the game, learn enough of the game to hack the system, or get out of the game as much as you can. These choices revolve on a completely different axis from what Keoni is talking about. You can slay your dragons in any of these venues. But, if you choose not to even TRY any dragon-slaying, you only have yourself to blame.

Society owes you NOTHING. Get that through your heads. A college degree is not a deed granting rights to a certain kind of life, nor is a decade of dogged hard work keeping your head down (and boat decidedly unrocked), making sure the boss makes his millions. This is just the way it is. Unfortunately, those who sell you the shrinkwrapped version choose to conceal this fact as much as possible.

So when faced with the no-win scenario, you young men need to start thinking Kobayashi Maru or John Galt rather than just to give up, take your meds and jack in to the matrix.

There is ALWAYS an avenue to make something of yourself. Take a risk! Move somewhere else. Jump feet-first into a dangerous job. If life sucks that much, then risk becomes that much more acceptable. Sure you might die, but better to have really lived for awhile than spend your whole life dying slowly. Read Vox's latest post.

If I were a young single man, say 20-30, my first thought would be to get out of the city and find a way to connect with the land again, or learn some physical trade, or start at some dangerous, back-breaking manual labor job and attack it like a bulldog. Anything to stop feeding the beast that is our modern bureaucratic society. There is nothing quite so fire-hardening for a young man as to take on a hard physical job and triumph. I spent several years in my 20s sanding boat hulls all day long (great exercise, BTW). It may sound soul-crushing, but if you channel your frustrations into positive energy it is amazing how much you can accomplish, not to mention, blue-collar bosses love it when you use some skill and ingenuity to make a job more efficient (how unlike white-collar work... even in my mid-40s, it wouldn't take much to tempt me back). A few years' work at a skilled trade, plus a mind capable of abstract thought and logic puts you in a perfect place to start your own business. Even if you never make a lot of money, you are your own man. You made your own thing happen and that's something no one can take from you. Stop looking for others to give you your place in life. Not to mention, small businesses put you in a perfect position to operate within the black market, under the radar, stiffing the Man, starving the beast. In some ways I regard anyone operating a black market or off-the-books business as a hero these days. If enough young men did this ALONE, society would be put right within a couple decades.

Hearth said...

I've spent a lot of time in various virtual realities, and all of the most addicting incorporate some sort of virtual crafting/accomplishment matrix.

Humans want to create, on a very deep level, and we become sick when that need for creativity is stifled.

I don't think this is a male/female thing - it's a HUMAN thing. Humans are healthier when they know how to do real stuff.

Humans need to go back to what is real. There will indeed be a huge dichotomy in the years to come between those who know how to do things and have gotten their self-confidence from accomplishments in the real world and those that expect learning to sew to be as easy as levelling up tailoring in WoW.

There is a very great deal of power in the knowledge of how to do things yourself, regardless of whether or not you choose to utilize that knowledge.

Outcast Superstar said...

Hi Hawaiian Libertarian

Nice to hear from you again!

Me personally I’m not into computer games myself. There is no question should if or when things work out, I would focus on outdoor hobbies. I might consider getting into some blue color trade if things don’t work out again this year.

I do agree it would be nice if men wanted to learn hobbies.

At the same time I’m not going to condemn guys who do the bare minimum and just play video games. The way I look at those guys are there will now be fewer guys who are going to get screwed over through the Family Court system. Slackers who do the minimum and play video games are doing their part to put evil divorce lawyers and family court judges out of business. It will also force women to learn what true independence and liberation is all about especially when they make it into their 30’s and beyond. That is these ladies won’t get to dodge the responsibilities which come with that so called independence and liberation when they were in their teens and early-mid twenties.

Keoni Galt said...

OS - I see your point. I'm right there with you as another guy who wants to fuck the system.

But I'm telling you, I see this shit, up close and personal.

It's not good for men to not KNOW themselves. To KNOW how much they are capable of. You can only know that by pushing yourself. By striving to overcome obstacles and hardship.

It may be in our interest to see the system fail because the people it's depended on to keep it running, have tuned out and gone their own way...but not at the expense of having all the men amuse themselves to death in virtual reality, turning into fat, helpless, dependent blobs of flesh with no purpose other than vicarious thrill seeking.

Keoni Galt said...

- @ HEarth

I agree, 100%.

As I just commented to Outcast Superstar...I wrote this piece for In Mala Fide a while ago, and I wrote it because I know a few young men who do nothing with themselves other than work, pay their bills, and immerse themselves in virtual achievement.

I see how it effects them negatively in their sense of self, their insecurities and their depression. They are sniveling, slouching, insecure little boys in the bodies of men.

They most certainly should MAN UP, because from what I see, they need to do it for their own benefit. Their own mental and physical well being....not to meet some external standard like societal approval.

Faust said...

And what does it get me if I go through all this trouble? Every day one of my friends gets screwed in some new and fascinating way. (The latest is a cousin whose wife, after 10 years of marriage, decided she was gay and ran off leaving their four kids behind.)

I'm holding on to my job with both hands now, but I know it's only a matter of time until I'm going to lose it. Even if I keep it the government takes so much in taxes that I can't afford much more than a one room apartment. Even if I could find a woman worth starting a family with, I could never afford it.

The things that matter: a family, a legacy, position and respect in your community, all those things are gone. They've been denied us. What the hell's the point of going through all the effort to master and improve ourselves when our entire generation's just whiling away the time until we die?

Anonymous said...

The culture is feminist dominated and consequently hates men. Manning up will only benefit a man in the context of disengaging from the culture.

In a lot of ways, that kind of secssion from the culture is a struggle (and accomplishment) in itself.

It also has to be borne in mind that our cultural system is unsustainable. The more skills and accomplishments a man has, the better prepared he'll be as society continues to degenerate.

rycamor said...

Yes, the culture is unsustainable, which is all the more reason for young men to prepare for what comes next. Remember: with every societal collapse or upheaval, there is always a remnant. Ask yourself why that remnant should want you as a member.

Hearth said...

Keoni - you just inspired me to force my children to pick a craft. Evil mommy that I am, they *will* be learning to do something real. Carpe diem.

Elspeth said...

I found this post via Hearth. I agree that it's excellent Keoni. Good stuff. My husband says the same thing and I actually wrote a blog inspired by something he said to me on the subject:

Like Sunshine Mary, I have a bunch of daughters (5) and no sons, but my husband is adamant and vigilant about their being able to be useful rather just pretty. They have a whole host of skills that other girls their age do not, and should they be fortunate enough to marry one day, they will be a blessing to their families just as they are to us now, largely because they know how to do something real.

Orion said...

At one time I'd have advised young men to join the military. That time has passed sadly, as those who serve are treated as mercenaries ("they joined the military to fight and maybe die right?" has become totally disassociated with the concept of defending your country). As someone who at the age of 47 is feeling a need to stretch myself, I'd have to assert this isn't just for the young or a one time thing. It is every day of your life. To those who ask what is the payoff, my only answer is that shtf time is getting a lot closer than many are willing to admit. If your active and are able to adapt you will be far ahead in the game. Down side? People will start looking to you for answers and advice.

Anonymous said...

Genuine question.

Are there any real life achievements that provide true satisfaction?

As a high IQ young man, I excel at whatever I work at, but nothing ultimately seems to have meaning or offer fulfillment.

Hearth said...

Anon: You're looking for the following -
1) something that produces something you value, whether that be a creme brulee to die for or a new fur rug.
2) something that you must work to achieve, that doesn't come easily to you.
3) something that has ever more layers of mastery, so that you can continue to pour tears and sweat into it for years to come.

I have a high IQ too, and school always came very easily to me. Handicrafts, however, are another story. When I see something I've made - and done right, even though I'm not a perfectionist and have to fight my own inclinations every step of the way, that makes me proud, and it makes me want to keep working and learning.

Anonymous said...

` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Anonymous said:

"Genuine question.

Are there any real life achievements that provide true satisfaction?

As a high IQ young man, I excel at whatever I work at, but nothing ultimately seems to have meaning or offer fulfillment."

Does anything ultimately exist?

Sounds like you may be ready to start thinking. Can you achieve enlightenment?

jay c said...

A little late to the game, but... Well said!

jay c said...

But what does this mean? "This post was originally published in bad faith..."

Anonymous said...

Hi everyone.

As a young man trying to 'Man up' I have found this difficult to understand. If you ask 10 people what it means I'm pretty sure you will get 10 different answers.

I have been searching for ways to man up and asked many people for advice.

In the end I have found that everyone(society) wants you to become what they believe is a man.

I believe this is utter bs. I believe that this is my life and I will live it the way I want to. I dont need everyone to tell me I am a man just because Im 30 or 40. I will do as I please and in way that I believe is right.

I believe a Man or to man up is to stand up for what you believe when everyone else is telling you other wise.

I am not a spiritual person but there is a quote that I strongly believe in...
Mark 8:36
"What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?"
I don't believe that this means his soul literally but more on the true personality of the person.

Anonymous said...

It sounds like you've got the idea already. Men are not 'herd animals' and, as most of our society is femme-centric, it's natural that it would oppose 'manning up' in the sense that Keoni means it.

It's good for men at any age to have positive role models. If I could give you any advice, it would be to read writings and biographies of men you admire and learn from their experience and wisdom. When men were actually valued in society, fathers and grandfathers fulfilled this role, but today, it's important to look for mentors.

Anonymous said...

P.S. As added caveat, though, you should be cautious in searching for mentors even in the Manosphere. There are lot of posers even here who like to lecture everyone else on how to be men.

Guys who do that end up like that doofus at 'The University of Man' who thinks swapping pictures of internet sluts with some 12 y/o posing as a Navy scullion is somehow 'manly'.

Don't be those guys. Follow what you know is right.

Anonymous said...

You knew THIS was going to happen next! Here's virtual disconnection in spades!

Who even needs to work at winning a woman anymore? LOL