TBT: The God Pill

It’s been a week for explosive news in that corner of the Internet known as the “manosphere”; indeed, two of my posts so far (“Royal Cuckery” and “Get Woke, Get Dumped“) have been manospheric efforts.

Regardless, there were two big pieces of news to break (three if you count the impeachment trial of GEOTUS Donaldus Magnus, the living embodiment of the Red Pill):  Christian blogger Dalrock is shuttering his blog, and Roosh V is unpublishing the rest of his various pickup books.

I’m going to write more about the latter on Friday, but I will note that it is with great sadness that I learned of Dalrock’s permanent hiatus (that’s how I prefer to think of it—it leaves open the possibility of his return).  I featured Dalrock in my second Dissident Write feature, which he richly deserved.  His biblical approach to dating, marriage, and masculinity, as well as his never-ending war against “chivalry,” which he argued was a perversion of true Christianity, was formative in my understanding of the God-ordained order of things.

But I digress.  In light of these events, I thought this week’s TBT should look back “The God Pill“; another monumental shift in the manosphere inspired it.  Chiefly, Roosh V announced last summer that his infamous forum would no longer allow discussions of seduction, pickup techniques, etc., that involved casual premarital sex.  He also removed several of his pickup books from his website.

At the time, there was a great deal of speculation about how sincere it was.  I argued at that time that it seemed like a sincere conversion:  Roosh had nothing to gain—and much to lose—financially when he decided to remove these books.  He has now taken the ultimate step and removed his seminal work, Game, from his website and Amazon.  It was his primary source of income for the past two years.

That is a bold declaration of independence from sin—and a bold act of surrender and submission to God.  Roosh’s transformation from woolly playboy to austere religious scholar (tee hee) is a true testament to the power of the Holy Spirit to transform lives.

More on that tomorrow.  For today, here is 2019’s “The God Pill“:

There’s some interesting developments in the “manosphere,” a sometimes seedy, always lively corner of the Internet.  The manosphere grew out of the pickup artist (PUA) phenomenon of the early 2000s, then morphed into a catch-all philosphical, cultural, and lifestyle movement that encapsulated all manner of ideas about relations between the genders.  While not necessarily “conservative,” the manosphere broadly occupied a space on the fringe of the Right, overlapping with Dissident or Alt-Right thinkers.

It also promoted strongly the idea of the “red pill” and “red pill awareness”:  its leading lights and most avid followers purported to see things as they really are, not the fantasy realm of blue pill NPCs.  That came with a number of time-tested insights about the nature of male-female relationships, along with some unfortunate detours down the dark by-ways of discourse:  anti-Semitism, racism, libertine sexual mores, and the like.

Ultimately, though, it was a beautifully messy example of what free speech should be:  free-flowing, raucous, even unsettling discussions about every conceivable topic.  We like to imagine the public square as some kind of sanitized, lofty forum of David French-ian gentlemen debating arid abstractions.  In the world of the Internet, it’s more of a mud-flecked, bloody arena.

The 2015-2016 election cycle probably witnessed the greatest growth in this movement.  Donald Trump—a man known for his success in business and with beauties—captured the imagination of the manosphere the same way he won over the Silent Majority:  he was tough, brash, and unpredictable.  More importantly, he challenged a stagnant, ossified establishment and status quo.

The manosphere glommed onto Trump like herbal supplements on an Alex Jones live-stream.  Until the implosion of the Alt-Right at Charlottesville, the ‘sphere was going strong.

There are many strains of thought within the broad Red-Pill/manosphere movement, and I can’t do justice to them in a short blog post.  What I found interesting while reading some of these authors—the “Big Three” are Rollo TomassiRoissy, and Roosh V—was their gradual transition from PUAs to snake-oil sophists to political theorists.  One might scoff at the idea of a dude teaching guys how to pick up chicks formulating political and cultural ideas, but, hey, they did it.

What’s even more fascinating was watching the probing into the foundations of political systems.  On the old Return of Kings website, controversial founder Roosh V wrote a series of articles examining the different world religions, weighing their perceived pros and cons.  He also seemed to grow increasingly disgusting with a life of meaningless sex (I’ll provide some actual links when I write a longer treatment of this transition).

Now, Roosh has done a dramatic turnaround, after he has undergone—he claims—a profound religious conversion.  Consistent with that conversion, he’s banned posts on his popular forum about “pre-marital sexual activity,” to great scorn from his readers.  He’s also removed eleven of his Bang guides from his website (books for hooking up with women at home and abroad).

Some of his readers are accusing him of engaging in censorshipa la big tech companies shutting down InfoWars.  This comparison is absurd.  Roosh is a single entity, maintaining a server with his own funds and for his own purposes.  He’s not crushing political discourse or criticism of a regime.

Other comments accuse Roosh of “selling out”—as if telling people not to talk about sex is somehow going to sell more books.  Maybe the eleven books he’s removed from his website weren’t selling well anymore, but it does seem like a sincere example of “putting your money where your mouth is.”  Sure, maybe he’ll parlay his newfound faith into giving talks to churches, but that’s a pretty big transition to swing.  He’s not tapped into that market at all.

I could be naive, but this doesn’t seem like a case of “conversion-for-cash.”  There was a distinct undertone of disgust with his former lifestyle in Roosh’s recent writing, and a subtle repudiation of the West’s culture of sexual license.

Even before his conversion, I noted the Augustinian quality of the path Roosh trod.  He gave himself fully to the pursuit of earthly pleasures, only to find that pursuit was fruitless:  no amount of casual encounters could give him meaning.  Indeed, a theme that was beginning to emerge on sites like Return of Kings was a call to return to traditional gender and sexual roles, including a renewed embrace of Christianity in the West.

“Game” practitioners like Roosh were researchers in the dark field of dating and relationships in the twenty-first-century West.  They developed some useful techniques and stratagems for navigating those murky, painful waters, but their experiences also led them to Truth.  Roosh might have been a dime-store Sophist, but he’s come to realize that only Christ can fill the void.

I do hope his conversion is sincere.  If it is, his moves to remove potentially damaging books from his website is commendable, and a show of good faith.

It’s no wonder, though, that heads are exploding.  Christians are guaranteed persecution.  As Roosh puts it:

If you’re not a believer, it is unlikely you will understand the nature of these decisions and similar ones that will come in the future.

Amen, brother.  God bless.

The Ascendance of Christian Radio

An interesting bit of data:  Christian radio gained the most number of stations in 2019.  Ninety-two of those stations were designated simply as “Religion” stations, while another sixty-one were “Contemporary Christian.”  That’s even with “Southern Gospel” and “Black Gospel” losing stations (eleven and five, respectively).

That puts “Religion” in second place, coming in behind the popular “Country” format and beating out my favorite, “News/Talk.”  That’s pretty substantial growth.

Could that upswing be a sign of greater faith?  I’m not so sure.  It does seem heartening that Christian radio is gaining stations; presumably, owners wouldn’t establish religious stations or change existing stations to that format if listeners aren’t there.

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TBT: How the Reformation Shaped the World

It’s a brand new year, and I’m excited for what it holds.  For this week’s TBT, I looked back to the first post of 2019—which then snowballed into a year-and-counting of daily posts.

This piece drew inspiration from a Pager U video (links below), and featured some of my off-the-cuff reflections on the influence of the Protestant Reformation.

I’ll let the original speak for itself.  Here is 2019’s “How the Reformation Shaped the World“:

There’s a video up on Prager University called “How the Reformation Shaped the World” (PDF transcript for those who prefer to read).  Stephen Cornils of the Wartburg Theological Seminary gives an adequate, broad overview of the impact of the Protestant Reformation (albeit with some noise about Martin Luther’s anti-Semitism, which, while accurate, smacks of throwing a sop to politically-correct hand-wringers).  You can view the video in full below.

I’ve written about the influence of Christianity (and it was, notably, Protestant Christianity) on the founding of America, and I’ve discussed how shared Protestantism helped create an American identity.  Indeed, I would argue that, without Protestantism, there would be no America, as such.

I would also argue—perhaps more controversially—that America’s commitment to Protestantism as opposed to Catholicism allowed the nation to avoid the anticlerical upheavals seen in France and other predominantly and officially Catholic countries.  While there were official, established churches at the State level into the 19th-century—which I wrote about in “The Influence of Christianity on America’s Founding“—the lack of federal establishment, and the general movement towards greater religious liberty, ensured a proliferation of Protestant denominations in the early Republic.

Catholicism inherently insists upon a top-down hierarchy of control.  Luther’s view of man’s relation to God is horizontal, as Bishop James D. Heiser argues in his extended sermon The One True God, the Two Kingdoms, and the Three Estates (one of my Christmas gifts, incidentally, and a good, quick read for just $5).  That is, every man is accountable to God directly, and is responsible for accepting Christ and maintaining his relationship with God.  That horizontal, rather than vertical, relationship infuses Western Civilization with a sense of individualism, the effects of which have been far-reaching and both positive and negative.

Regardless, the impact of the Protestant Reformation is staggering to consider.  The Catholic Church in the 16th century was an increasingly sclerotic and corrupt institution, one that had fallen from its great height as the pacifying influence upon a barbaric, post-Roman Europe (of course, the Counter Reformation reinvigorated and, in part, helped purify the Church).  With the advent of the printing press and translations into national languages, conditions were ripe for an explosion of religious reform in the West.  The ripple effects of the Reformation still pulse through Western life and culture.

That said, I’m not anti-Catholic, nor is that the intent of this post.  In today’s political and theological climate, committed followers of Christ must band together, be they Catholic or Protestant.  I don’t “buy” Catholic theology in toto, but I respect the Catholic Church’s longstanding traditions and consistent institutional logic.  Thomas Aquinas’s cosmological argument in the Summa Theologica is pretty much what I learned growing up as an Evangelical Protestant.  And I’m broadly sympathetic to the traditional Catholic argument that the Reformation busted up the orderly cosmos of medieval European society (see Richard Weaver‘s various essays for further elucidation of this idea).  A side effect of the Reformation naturally includes many of the cons of modernity.

Ultimately, too, Christians face the double-threat of modern progressive ideology and radical Islamism.  I’ve written about the former in detail, but not so much the latter.  For the moment, suffice it to say that the two are temporary, uneasy, but powerful allies against a traditionalist, conservative, Christian worldview, and both are deeply antithetical to Western values and culture.

These are some broad and slapdash thoughts, ones which I will gradually develop in future posts as necessary.  Any useful resources or insights are welcome—please share in the comments.

Happy New Year!

Lazy Sunday XLII: 2019’s Top Five Posts

2019 is winding down, and with this being the last Sunday of the year, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to look back at the most popular posts of 2019.

These posts aren’t necessarily the best posts—although that’s an entirely subjective measure—just the ones that received the most hits.

When looking through the most popular posts, there were a few surprises.  One thing I’ve learned from blogging is that posts I pour my heart and soul into may walk away with five views (and, oftentimes, only one!).  Then other posts that I dash off in a hurry to make my self-imposed daily goal take off like Rossini rockets, garnering dozens of hits.

Some of that is timing and promotion.  I find that the posts I have ready to launch at 6:30 AM do better on average.  But some generous linkbacks from WhatFinger.com really created some surprises here at the end of the year, surpassing even the exposure I received from Milo Yiannopoulos.  Writing posts about hot, current news items, the dropping links about said items in the comment sections of prominent news sites, also helps drive traffic, but I often lack the time required to do such “planting” (and it is a practice that can come across as spammy if not done with finesse).

Some posts take on a life of their own; I see consistent daily traffic from one of the posts on this list, “Tom Steyer’s Belt.”  Apparently, a bunch of people are as mystified as I am with Steyer’s goofy, virtue-signalling belt.

Well, it’s certainly been an adventure.  And while it may be premature—there are still two days left in the year!—here are the Top Five Posts of 2019:

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Christmas and its Symbols

It’s Christmas!  Imagine “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” played on an uptempo French horn and a crackling fire.  That’s how I imagine Christmas morning—like a 1970s Christmas variety show.

In all seriousness, it’s truly the most wonderful time of the year.  Christ is born!  It’s a day for celebrating His Birth with family and friends.  Just like the Wise Men of yore, we exchange presents to celebrate (and to stimulate the economy).

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The Joy of Christmas Carols

Christmas puts me in a musical mood. For one, I’m somewhat contractually-obligated to put on a Christmas concert, which will consume most of my free time this week, so I’d better embrace the Christmas spirit—or else. But it’s not hard to get excited about the iconic music of the season.

(Also, Milo Yiannopoulos—the actual Milo—shared my post about his views on Romantic music, which helped make it the most trafficked post of the year so far. That was incredibly gracious of him to do, and it’s further boosted my excitement for playing and writing about music.)

As I wrote in an earlier blog post on hymnals, I’ve gradually taken over piano playing at my little Free Will Baptist church. We sing many of the traditional hymns that were written and popularized in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, as well as some earlier selections. Shape-note hymns are often hard to play, with big intervalic leaps in the melodies and surprisingly complex harmonies.

Take that melodic variety and harmonic complexity and multiply it by a factor of ten, and you’ve got Christmas carols.

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Lazy Sunday XXXVIII: Best of the Reblogs, Part III

The Lazy Sundays roll on!  Today marks the first Sunday of Advent season, as we metaphorically prepare for the Birth of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  But instead of doing a compilation of heartwarming holiday posts, we’re soldiering on with our “Best of the Reblogs” (see Part I and Part II).

  • Reblog: The Normalization of Ugliness Inevitably Becomes The Denigration of Beauty” – This post was a reblog from the ultra-controversial Chateau Heartiste website, which was so full of edgelord red pillery that the SJWs at WordPress finally pulled the plug.  While there was some truly despicable stuff at CH, it also hosted some hard, gut-punching Truths.  The original post argued that we’ve gone to the extreme of accepting all sorts of grotesqueries not just as people, but as the new standard of beauty—to the point that having objectively beautiful people in advertisements is seen as “hate speech.”  Of course we should love all people, but we don’t—and shouldn’t—pretend that everyone is pretty, or that every lifestyle is healthy.
  • Reblog: Conan the Southerner?” – One of the many great posts from The Abbeville Institute, this bit of literary history detailed the development of Conan the Barbarian, and the muscular barbarian’s creator’s origins and upbringing in hardscrabble Texas.  Conan is not just a wildman from the steppes; he’s a man of the Old South.
  • Galaxy Quest II: Cox Blogged” – I wrote a post, “Galaxy Quest,” about our attempts to understand the vastness of our own galaxy.  Longtime blog (and real life) friend Bette Cox linked me to some of her own work on astronomy and cosmology, and this post was an attempt to bring those writings to a (slightly) wider audience.  I’ve been reading Bette’s material for about a year, and had no idea how much she wrote about astronomy, cosmology, and space.

That’s it for this week’s Lazy Sunday.  Enjoy the start of the Christmas season.

Ho ho ho!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

 

TBT^2: It’s a Thanksgiving Miracle!

Dang, it’s been another year already.  Yikes!  Last year I wrote about the updates since the tragic weekend before Thanksgiving 2017.  The year after my fall was eventful, as I detail below (my commentary on the original post from the old website is in italics).

Looking back, 2019 has been pretty solid, too.  I’ve been a bit morose in a few posts lately, but the beauty of Thanksgiving is it helps clarify the mind—we’re told to focus on what we’re thankful for, and it seems to work.

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TBT: The Influence of Christianity on America’s Founding

My high school American history classes are getting into the American Civil War—or the War of Northern Aggression, or the War for Southern Independence, or whatever you’d like to call it—this week, so we’ve been talking about beginnings a good bit.  The Civil War had deep roots that go back not just to the 1840s or 1850s, and not even to the Constitutional Convention in 1787.

Indeed, the fundamental division dates back to the English Civil War in the 1648, when the Puritan Roundheads under Oliver Cromwell ousted and beheaded Charles I, and established the English Republic (which—the English having little taste for radicalism or dictatorships, fortunately collapses in 1660 with the restoration of the Stuart monarchs).  Loyalists to the king and the monarchical order were the aristocratic Cavaliers.  Those same Puritans of East Anglia settled heavily in Massachusetts following the Pilgrims’ famous landing at Plymouth Rock, and the Cavaliers—in body and spirit—dominated the tidewater plantations of the South.

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