“Hold My Beer…”

person holding white labeled bottle

When we talk about men versus other men, we are talking about intrasexual competition. We are guys, we like to brag, to boast, and to compete. You all are with me so far right?

What if it all sums up to:

“Dude, hold my beer.”

A guy goes online and mentions/brags that he just got laid.

Inevitably another guy sees this and..

Dude! Hold my beer!

“I ONLY bang 9’s and 10’s Brah!”

Another guy goes online and mentions that he’s happily married with children.

Hold my beer…

“I’m happily married with children too AND a side of JESUS!”

A third guy talks about working out.

Hold my beer…

“Dude! I just benchpressed a Mack truck!”

A final guy talks about firearms and getting into “prepping.”

Hold my beer…

“Dude I own a HK-AR-AK-4792FS! I have a DECADE of supplies in my thermonuclear-proof, heavy duty, solid-steel and concrete Fort Knox of a bunker, two and a half miles underground under my house! And I just cranked out 40,000 rounds of 45 ACP, 100k of 7.62 full metal heat seeking missles, all while fixing my 1/2 ton while banging my wife of 35 years who is only 22 and happens to be a soft 9, impregnating her with our 7th son! What the fuck have you done you fucking loser?!”

Hold my beer indeed.

Power Dad’s and Mommy bloggers are just saying hold my beer.

Guys pointing at green lines on pictures of guys leaning in are just saying “Hold my beer! Look how straight and fucking narrow I stand!”

I’ve mentioned to a couple of people who stumbled onto the ‘Sphere that it’s like going back to high school and peeking into the boy’s locker room. Lots of bravado, chest thumping, bragging, and outright lies. But I actually think it’s more like going camping and hanging around the campfire and getting drunk and then Billy decides to jump through the fire to get a few laughs and to show how “brave” he is.

Of course Wade can’t be outdone, so it’s “Hold my beer…”

The next thing you know Wade is naked from the waist down other than his boots, his ball hairs just got singed off, and he has a first or second degree burn on his sac.

That’s what the ‘Sphere is. Come to think of it, that’s pretty much what all of Twitter is.

“Dude! Hold my beer…”

The next time your favorite “guru” decides to run at the mouth, throw that phrase in front of whatever he said. See if I’m wrong. Check the replies too. Lot’s of guys telling other guys to hold their beers.

Keep this in mind when you decide if you want to believe in whatever shit they are shoveling.

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Life After the Red Pill — Some Thoughts

“If you meet a Buddha, kill the Buddha. If you meet a Ghost, kill the Ghost” — Zen koan

I listened to Rob and Jack Napier the other day, discussing life after the Red Pill. Nothing that I haven’t heard before or have thought before. Just one more person, or two, saying it.

The fuzziness of my memory notwithstanding, I got my first taste of the Red Pill in 1989.  (Shit!)  I was in my freshman year at a small college in southeastern Kentucky. (A story for another time.) I was miserable, because I realized that I had been seduced by the glossy brochures and the claims that the “college experience” at the school was what I was looking for. It wasn’t. The college was small, the town was small (Walmart was the main shopping experience . . . let that sink in), and it was in Southern Baptist country. My only saving graces were that my second semester roommate, who was from southern Georgia, and I got along decently and shared many interests, and that the college library was fairly well stocked, so that I could go there most nights and read to my heart’s content. Oh, and there was some pretty good hiking to be had, since the college was in a green valley.

Other than that, I planned my escape the fourth week I was there. I then returned home to northeastern Ohio and attended another small college, but lived at home with my parents and worked at part-time jobs.

My second Red Pill dosage came with the jobs I worked, which were a mix of labor and service jobs, specific to that area and that time (pre-Internet). As to be expected, most of the jobs sucked, but not because of the job itself. (I, for one, tended to enjoy the night shift and work in warehouses.) It was because of the people. As the saying goes, “Work would be great if it weren’t for the people.” How true that was then, and how true that was now.

Part of my Red Pill dosage at that time was learning that the vast hordes of humanity are just there, taking up space, and filling the air with vocal utterances. Words and actions often didn’t match up, even though I expected them to. Of course, this was me still purging the legacy of having grown up in a stable household (yes, I aver to that claim) and dealing with jobs where things were more or less cut and dried. That slowly changed over time, as I was about to find out.

My third Red Pill dosage came when I was in South Korea in the mid-90s, teaching English. The year prior, I was enmeshed in a bad relationship, most of which was my fault. I was immature and didn’t know how to have a relationship, other than showing up and scheduling bedroom fun time. That failed relationship was a severe blow to my sense of identity and agency, and it took me several months to recover. Good thing that I was intending to go over to South Korea when I could, regardless of my state of mind at the time.

My fourth Red Pill dosage came after South Korea, when I undertook a career change from teaching to IT. The difficulties were those that I’ve since encountered again and again: e.g., HR Karens, online systems that create a Kafkaesque environment, waste-of-time interviews where the other person either isn’t the right one to interview you or that person doesn’t know what they want, and radio silence unless the employer says “hell, yes!” and pulls out all the stops to hire you. It’s frustrating, aggravating, debilitating, and dehumanizing. Yet, better you learn this earlier rather than later.

My fifth Red Pill dosage came when I was in the U.S. Army. There, I saw many of the dramatis personae I had seen in years prior, with other, added grotesqueries. I was in my early 30s, so this Red Pill dose was, really, just a booster shot.

So, then this leaves early 2010, when I got out of the Army after six years on active duty, my move here to where I’ve been living for the past ten years, a few job changes, and my introduction to the Red Pill “community” and the players within it.

What’s my assessment? Overall, it’s been great stuff, and I’ve learned a lot. However, the bloom has fallen off the rose, as it does, inevitably, with many things, and now I’m in the same position as Rob, I feel. I’m older now, slower, creakier, more winded, and, I hope, ostensibly wiser. Would reading, listening, or watching other Red Pill content serve me? Maybe, but in ever-diminishing amounts. I check in every once in a while, but I’ve absorbed a lot, to the point where I should be producing more and consuming less.

Which then leads me to my earlier point . . .

If you see Vince, Rob, TJ, Aaron, Rich, Rollo, etc. on the road, kill them.

Not literally, of course, but figuratively.

Kill your gurus, in other words, youz mugs.  Myeah.

Or, to quote Ludwig Wittgenstein:

My propositions serve as elucidations in the following way: anyone who understands me eventually recognizes them as nonsensical, when he has used them — as steps — to climb beyond them. (He must, so to speak, throw away the ladder after he has climbed up it.)
He must transcend these propositions, and then he will see the world aright.

Time to go play in the sun, see.  Myeah.

And take that left turn at Albuquerque.

Thoughts on Military Service, Part 1: Introduction

INTRODUCTION

This follows the Salt Lake Sit-Downs that I did recently with Rob and Bullrush. 

I choose to do the series here to share some of my experiences from my time in the U. S. Army, to provide information so that anyone out there, in Rob-sphere, who is considering donning the uniform to make as informed a decision as they can.  There’s no better way to get information than to talk to someone who did it, and who’s willing to talk about it.  This wasn’t always the case with WW II, Korean, or Vietnam veterans.  Times are different now, and we have a more robust Internet with which to share information.

Also, how I approach this is a little more “raw” than the cheerleaders out there, or those who are more focused on talking about the Good, and not so much the Bad.  Even less, the Ugly.  I also approach this as only I can . . . someone who is well-read, can write well, and who believes, with the benefit of lots of life experience and observation, that this sheds light on often overlooed nooks and crannies.  Yet, I’m also trying to be balanced, but that’s for you, MGers, to decide.

Let’s get to it . . .

MY STORY (QUICKLY)

Unlike many people who enlist in the military around 18 years old, I enlisted at 32.

Yes, 32.

Now, you may ask, why did I choose to enlist at a (relatively) older age?  There were several reasons, but here are the standouts:

  1. I needed a reset in my life, because I felt that I was a bit rudderless and I didn’t like the direction I was going in.
  2. I was looking for adventure, more so than just sitting at a desk all day.
  3. I was looking to travel the world (especially Europe).
  4. I was looking to challenge myself, and take advantage of a life-changing experience before I did get too old.
  5. Given that Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) was under way, and still in the wake of 9/11, I decided that it was better to move toward the madness, in a manner of speaking, and not sit on the sidelines. The “madness” of which I speak was a strong current, and I needed to be on a strong current.

But, most importantly . . .

I needed a steady job, especially after what I had been doing up until that time.

Let me say more about the last point.  Until I was well on my way to basic training in early 2004, I had spent most of my life either in school, prepping to attend school, graduating from school, working at shitty low-wage labor and service jobs, dealing with unemployment or underemployment, and reading and watching classic movies a lot.  From an early age, I found ways to keep myself occupied that didn’t involve drugs, alcohol, or loose women . . . and am better for it.

However, what always eluded me was a decent, “professional” job, with a decent, “professional” wage or salary, where I could save money, be out on my own and be on a steady path, and start accomplishing some of my longer-term goals.  My inherent laziness notwithstanding, I found it hard to move in a consistent direction because of where I come from (northeast Ohio), where there are few professional jobs to be had because the area was once a manufacturing hub, and now is one of the many areas in the Midwest/Rust Belt that has been dying a slow, agonizing death for many years.  Put simply, the area was in steep decline, even closer to the major cities.

Also, my background was academic and in the liberal arts, and I didn’t have any hard skills to call upon.  Yes, that was a blunder that took me a few years to overcome, but also made worse by the shitty economy I mentioned above, and because I didn’t have the resources to move to a larger city in a more robust economy, so that I could move forward much better.  As I said, when you’ve spent a good portion of your working life either unemployed or underemployed, it’s hard to save money to get yourself steady.

My job for the past 20 years has been in IT.  I got into the field in early 2000, right around the time of the tech bust.  Not surprisingly, there were few jobs (and even fewer jobs in Ohio) to be had.  Then, when I moved (the first time) to the Washington, DC area in 2001 to work at a start-up, things took another turn for the worse when 9/11 happened.  Fortunately, I was nowhere near the Pentagon when it got hit, but the shockwave from that event reverberated in the area, and the rest of the country, for at least a year or so afterwards.  When my time with the start up was coming to an end in early 2003, I had already investigated joining the military.  Though I was much older compared to the average recruit, who enlists at 17-19 years old, I had years of life experience and the habit of doing my research thoroughly so that I could make an informed decision and not be taken for a ride.  Had I decided to enlist when I was 17 and fresh out of high school, I probably would have made some serious errors because I was wet behind the years.

After doing some research, and after going to one recruiter, who was ready to disqualify me for a handful of reasons, I finally pulled the trigger and successfully enlisted in the summer of 2003.  Basic training didn’t come for another six months.  That was in January 2004 at Fort Benning, Georgia, the Home of the Infantry.

SHOULD I OR SHOULDN’T I?

Now let’s leave my story for you, the dude thinking of enlisting.

This is a question only you can answer, obviously.  This is your life, and I’m not you.  What I have to say in posts after this one is based on the decisions I made in 2003, the circumstances in which I made those decisions, what was going on at the time, and how amenable the people involved were with me in providing me with the rocket booster to get moving.  The year is now 2020, and the world is a different place than it was 15+ years ago . . . and even nearly 20 years ago, if you count Operation Enduring Freedom (e.g., Afghanistan).  Things might be tougher for you, or easier.  Whichever one this might be, you decide.

And, be prepared to play the long game, while keeping your eyes open for opportunities.  In my view, this is good advice for anyone going through life.  As the saying goes, “Man plans; God laughs.”  Nothing is guaranteed, except maybe that you have the power, and some resources, to make the best decision you can make.

With that out of the way, let me break down the common reasons why someone considers enlisting in the military:

  1. A sense of patriotism (whatever that means).
  2. A sense of service. Because I live in “the best country on earth,” it’s my duty/obligation to give back to society.
  3. A sense of revenge or retribution. This was a fairly common reason why people enlisted right after 9/11.
  4. A history of family service. My granddaddy did it.  My daddy did it.  I have to do it.  And so on, and so on . . .
  5. I’m a teenage reprobate, and the court gave me a decision. Enlist or go to jail.  (Kind of Hobson’s choice, if you ask me.)  This reason you might have heard in years past.  It’s still valid today.
  6. I want a steady job, because fast food, casual labor, and the chicken plant aren’t doing it for me.
  7. I can’t afford college, so I want the GI Bill.
  8. I’m like a leaf on a river, with no direction in mind. The military might be a good way for me to have direction, see the world, etc.

There are more reasons I could give, but these are the most common.  I’m sure that at least one of these apply to you.  One or two of them certainly applied to me when I was seriously considering it in 2003.

For sure, if things are awful in your life and your home life, and you really want to hit the reset button, joining the military is as good a reason as any to get you out of your present circumstances.  You just have to make sure that you’re in good physical shape, have a clean record, and be firm and resolute in what you want from what service.  That’s not guaranteed, I want to stress, but you again have to play the long game.

When you go active duty, the minimum timeline you have is four years; the maximum is 20, where you retire with a pension.  (Though that has now changed; see the blended retirement system now in effect.)  Few make it to 20 or 20+ years, and many others are short-termers, doing one or two tours of duty.  Thinking that you’re going to “do your 20” is, in my view, a very ambitious and a huge stretch goal.  As I’ll cover in subsequent posts, there are several risks to your life and limb that could derail that plan.

At worst, you could be killed in a combat operation or a training accident.  Below that is the risk of being seriously injured and then being medically retired, because it’s in the military’s best interest to get rid of you if you’re broken.  And, at best, you simply can’t stand the bullshit of the military, long term, and decide that one tour of duty is more than enough.  If one tour is all you can stand, don’t feel bad about it or that you’re inadequate.  The military is tough on everyone, and many can’t cut the mustard.

But, if you do decide to be a short-termer, then you should do it strategically, so that you’re not worse off than you were before you enlisted.  Apply Red Pill knowledge here and keep your eyes on the prize.

That’s all for now, potential recruits, until next time.  Dismissed.