Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Things to do in 2014

New Years' Resolutions are pretty lame. The large majority of people who say they're going to stick to them fail to. Maybe this is because they set goals that are too big to realistically accomplish, but an even more valid reason is because most people are lazy and take the path of least resistance. They aren't really serious about accomplishing what they say they want to accomplish. My first-ever post on this blog was called "Laziness is a Cancer." It's very true.

I've suffered from laziness and lack of motivation just as much as anyone. 2013 has been a great year for me development-wise. I discovered game at the end of 2009, and started to incorporate some of its lessons (mostly internally), but the laziness bug hit again and I fell off the path. I was just floating like a leaf in the breeze, getting by, as most men do. My mind was of course active, but my body wasn't.

Getting back into things in 2013 has put me on the correct path, but I'm still not where I want to be. I want to take myself to greater heights in the coming year. To that end I've formulated a list of goals that I want to work on- not in gigantic leaps, which is a strategy that's bound for failure more often than not, but goals I can take in little, incremental steps. Roosh's video shows the proper attitude:

Firstly, I need to write a whole lot more. I think this is my most important goal. If there's one thing that's the surest way for me to secure my fame and fortune in this world, my writing is it. I've been working on an epic novel since the end of 2008, and I need to be determined to finish it this year. I hit some writer's block in the past, but my new spirit of motivation has allowed me to bust through it, and it's that momentum that I need to keep (reinforced by other things I do). I really do think the book can be a big winner, not just for me, but for the world of the arts that has suffered from such mediocrity. This isn't me bragging. Almost everyone I've ever met or who has reviewed my writings remarks on how talented of an author I am. To boot, I have some very powerful connections in the publishing industry through family friends. In other words, the talent, and the opportunity are there, and I need to take advantage. My course of self-improvement throughout 2013 has made me see this far more clearly, and is a more powerful force than the writer's block or simple laziness and lack of motivation that I've suffered in the past.

Secondly, I need to put myself in more social situations, and just talk to more people in general. The 18th law of power tells the listener to not build fortresses, because isolation is dangerous. It's true. Though it was never diagnosed, I believe I may suffer from a mild form of social anxiety, which can translate into pretty bad approach anxiety. I think this anxiety comes more from my own beliefs than anything else, however. I can be pretty gregarious if I let myself be, and I'm a pretty good conversationalist. I never had trouble making friends. So I need to change these beliefs and let this better self shine through, little by little. There's a good post on the Roosh V Forums about the mind following the body's lead. I believe this is more or less true. You can try to program your mind to do what you want, but the best programming is real action, which can deliver good experiences and thus, pleasant memories that work as the mind's new coding. We are, after all, the sum of our memories. It's something straight out of Ghost in the Shell, and it's true. I therefore need to take social action- not just in approaching, but in all things.

Thirdly, I need to hit the gym, hard. I started working out again in August and I believe this was the turning point of the year. After that, I've felt great. My discipline encouraged me to take up other good habits, and the testosterone boost naturally made me feel more motivated to get things done. Aesthetics wise, my shoulders have noticeably broadened, my chest is noticeably more muscular, my arms and thighs noticeably bigger, and I have a visible six pack and obliques (not a washboard stomach, but they are visible). These have been good results, and I want to take my workout to the next level now. I'll grow even more confident if I can get my lats to flare up more and if I really can get that washboard stomach, as well as even broader shoulders. Working out harder will also reinforce the other things I want to get done by increasing my testosterone and keeping me motivated.

Fourthly, more money. I think one of the biggest things I need to do is to make my logistical situation better. I want a higher-paying job that will also set me on the path to starting the business I want to start in the future by building a network of clients. How to do this? I need to be more active in looking, that's all there is to it. If I can't become a famous author as described in my first goal, my fallback plan is to become a behind-the-scenes powerbroker in local politics. So, I need to step up to the next level now.

I also want to take greater advantage of my Google Adsense account that goes beyond the tiny sums I'm making with these blogs and my YouTube videos. When it comes to Adsense, I believe forums are the best way to make massive amounts of money, because of the interactivity they encourage. As you know, military history is a long-time hobby of mine, and I might as well use that to make some money. I have experience with forums and networks I can tap into to help the thing get off the ground, and my vision for it is to make it a user-generated multimedia library just as much as a forum- its own brand, so to speak. It's a grand idea, but if the owner of Naruto Forums can make around $50-$60k a year just from that site alone, it speaks for the power of the program when used correctly.

And so there they are, my four major goals to work on little by little in 2014. With the right motivation and peer pressure to help me along, I think they're achievable. But of course, you mustn't take it too personally if you don't achieve what you intended. That puts too much pressure on yourself- another reason why I believe New Year's Resolutions fail more often than not for most people. You must detach your goals from your internal self-worth. And so I will.

Happy new year to all my readers! New Years 2014 Goals Resolutions

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Were You Happy?

A lot of us begin the journey to masculine self-improvement (IE: take the "red pill") because we're unhappy, or full of regret. There's a sort of cognitive dissonance with the self, because we know, to a certain extent, that we've been had. The desire to improve ourselves causes us to start on the road.

Over the past weekend I began to have a lot of doubts. One of my biggest problems is that I'm very self-critical. Even though this allows me to more rationally and fully analyze my mistakes and correct them accordingly, it has its negative side as well: too much self-criticism and you begin to let doubts creep in, which will not serve you in any meaningful capacity on the journey and actively hinder you. Thoughts like "will I ever be good enough?" and "will I be able to achieve my desires?" crept in and caused some significant consternation.

Then yesterday, Quintus Curtius released his latest on Return of Kings: The Anguish of the Manosphere. It seemed to mirror in some ways those feelings I'd had. It reaffirmed what I'd already known for a long time: you need to enjoy your own company first and foremost. Anything else is secondary, and you cannot change others if they don't want to change.

Relaying my comment below:

Is there any more doubt that Quintus is the best writer on this site? And I say that with utmost sincerity.

I've felt this pain. When I was younger I couldn't stand the idiocy of my peers (and still can't), and I withdrew from the world for the most part, with feelings of superiority. But it also made me feel left behind in a way, or in some way strange. I struggled with this and still do. Lack of motivation was pervasive. I just didn't want to do a damn thing, and then paradoxically I felt/feel bad about myself for not doing so.

But you can't change others. It is useless to try. Balance withdrawal with a kingly presence. The best thing I learned through the years is that you must enjoy your own company, first and foremost. Take your crown and above all, do not negotiate your dignity. My upcoming article will tie into this.
Thanks for this post. Gave me a fresh perspective. I'll be coming back to this a lot when feelings of doubt creep in.

Reading Quintus' latest entry made me ask perhaps the supreme question: "are/were you happy?" Despite the doubts I'd had stemming from the situation described above- feelings of being left behind, isolation, lack of motivation, etc. I was happy. I was passionate. I'd built a powerful identity for myself. There was therefore no reason for me to feel regret, and by extension, no reason for doubt. This is the sort of self-acceptance that YouSoWould describes. The feelings of doubt stemmed partially from measuring others. And who really cares about that? Why would a powerful man feel insecure enough to compare himself to others- except to use that envy as a tool of galvanization?

This is self-acceptance. Accept who you are, but also strive to move ever upward. That is the ascent of man. If you were/are not unhappy with your life, there really is nothing to regret. Just go get what you want and leave any doubt behind.

Many people who take the red pill started out very unhappy. I did not. That is a key aspect to identify and mark down, so that doubt and regret will not hold you back from your destiny.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

A Quote From a Friend

A friend of mine said this to me in conversation yesterday:

You have to have a masculine instinct; you have to feel like a man, by which I mean you have to have the drive to conquer, to dominate, to be independent, to rule, to impose your will and carve out your place in the world. To embrace conflict, and danger and be willing to risk everything to assert yourself.

These were very wise words, and ones that I am striving to move toward and live by every day, little by little.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

My No Porn Challenge is Complete

Well, I've gone the full thirty days. I can say confidently that it was worth it. Has it changed my life dramatically? No, but there are some good benefits that came with it.

For starters, ridding myself of the imagery of porn sex has allowed me to have more powerful sexual fantasies. The simple reason for this is that not watching porn means you can't be lazy and let the video do the work for you. This has also increased my sexual drive, which translates into less social anxiety in general and makes me feel more powerful and motivated to get things done. Combined with limiting masturbation, it's a powerful combination.

So, I feel better about myself and have higher self-esteem. While the no porn is probably only part of that, it is still a part. I can't say I'll never watch any porn again, but I certainly won't with any regularity.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Importance of Your Hobbies

Your hobbies are an integral part of your identity. They regenerate the mind and relax the soul. In a world of constant bombardment of nonsense that garbles the mind and often makes one anxious, hobbies are a necessary bastion.

One thing I've learned over the years is that, no matter how stupid or useless a hobby may seem, it can have practical real-world value beyond simple matters of your own pleasure if used properly. So long as your hobby isn't counting blades of grass or the like, you can use it to build a more powerful identity and to help you advance in life.

Let's take a look at some of my own hobbies for example, even the ones that may seem on their face stupid (and let's be honest, we all probably have one or two that fit under that description).

Hobby: Debating hypothetical 'what-if' matches between characters in fiction (and sometimes historical topics as well).
Value: Aside from the vast network of people I've managed to build up with this hobby (which is never something to be underestimated, even online), the manifestations of it made me better at debating, more witty (because the place can be pretty hostile), and impelled me to learn physics and the mathematics to support it- something which had been a burden to me all my life. I'm therefore a more knowledgeable person and I view the universe differently. Throughout it all I learned how to promote myself better as well, and to run a relatively large wiki, which translates into professional prowess. It also reinforces other hobbies that I have.

Hobby: Studying military history.
Value: This one has been a constant in my life. Aside from it making me vastly more knowledgeable about history in general as well as the things we tend to think about when we hear the words 'military history' in unison, it has also made me a better writer. Put simply, I would never have been able to construct the type of epic novel I'm motivated as hell to complete right now without studying this topic. The history of men in arms also has an inspiring effect on the man reading of their exploits. He desires to better himself and show the bravery that they did- and also to learn the lessons of the past and not repeat the bad behaviors.

Hobby: Video making.
Value: The worth of this hobby should never be underestimated. Starting to make videos consistently in 2009 massively improved my prowess as a man. It doesn't matter what the topic is. I make a wide variety of videos on different topics and have a somewhat successful show with a couple of friends. When you make videos, you force yourself to improve your speaking ability and voice dramatically. You will be totally at ease with public speaking by doing this for a few months. This can of course easily expand into talking in other situations. You'll become a better conversationalist as well, thinking faster on your feet, so to speak. Video format also allows you the benefit of examining your body language, and where necessary, correcting weaknesses in it. Another added benefit that shouldn't be overlooked: skill with video making and editing can easily translate into workplace prowess, making you valuable to employers and also helping you to start and promote your own business. Simply put, I recommend this to everyone, particularly guys that are socially awkward. The many benefits for extremely little cost are too large to ignore.

Hobby: Exercise/working out/lifting.
Value: Far, far, too many to list in a short and condensed paragraph. There's simply no excuse not to.

Hobby: Podcasting
Value: I just started this one a couple of weeks ago (as an extension of my fictional debating hobby, which serves as the show's niche). Firstly, it's another great way to put media content out there- valuable in any business, especially in today's world. Secondly, I have guests on my show, which gives me an opportunity to improve my conversational skills.

Hobby: Reading/writing
Value: You increase your knowledge of a wide variety of topics and add many skills to your personal arsenal. You'll be a deeper thinker, a better storyteller, and if you're good or dedicated enough, you can easily make money in this fashion as well.

Those are just a few hobbies that I have, but you get the point. Hell, even playing World of Warcraft or some other game (in moderation of course), can be useful, since as far as I'm aware, you'll be talking to people via voice and thus become a better speaker and conversationalist. The bottom line is almost anything can be useful if you think of the right way to use it. So start looking. Keep to your own hobbies and acquire new ones. All of it will make you a better man.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Tale of a Failure to Approach

Went downtown today to get my hair cut. I love that place. It's got a great atmosphere and my barber is a cool guy. He's in a punk rock band and they put out some pretty good, unpussified music. Being a multimedia creator myself, it means we usually have a lot to talk about.

Anyway, there's a real cutie that works behind the counter at the place with a great rack. In the past I didn't talk to her for anything more than what was necessary. But that was in the past. This time, after months of conscious improvement of myself, I fully intended on at least making a flirty conversation with her.

And with my luck, she wasn't there today.

No big deal of course. 2013 has been a year of great personal development for me, and so I let it slide. I'm still not satisfied of course and I want to keep improving. On the subway ride back home lo and behold there was a very nice looking blonde (natural, no less) with blue eyes (oh be still, my beating heart). In the past I would have snuck in awkward glances at her and think her hopelessly above me, but that was then and this is now. This time, though my eyes were concealed behind sunglasses, I looked right at her with "alpha" body language- feet at shoulder width, shoulders back, head held high. This isn't a big deal since that is mostly my natural state now, after months of exercise and conscious development.

The things that heartiste says about body language just by itself making you feel more confident, let me tell you, are absolutely true. Just standing there like that made me feel great, like a crown was on my head. I casually observed the other chumps around me, standing weirdly or hunched over, or with their heads in their smartphones. I chuckled inwardly. How far I'd come in only a few months!

In addition to that I was thinking about her sexually. I WANTED THIS WOMAN. And I could just feel the anxiety in my head getting BEATEN THE FUCK BACK by these feelings. Steve Jabba absolutely nailed it with this and every man should read these two entries.

But unfortunately, I was facing a logistical situation that was, at best, problematic, especially for a beginner.

Firstly, the girl was wearing headphones. Never an optimal approach, especially in a closed, crowded space like a train.

Secondly, she was seated a good distance away from me while I was standing by the train doors. If I walked too closely toward her from that position, it would likely be obvious what my intentions were. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but too much time had passed for this not to come across as awkward, and the effort I'd need to put in just to get her to remove her headphones, in a crowded area, made it all the worse.

So this left me with one option: wait and see if she got off at my stop. Lo and behold she did.

However, this opened up a new complication. The only way I would be able to open her now would be to do a full-on Yadstop and go direct. I made moves in that direction, but my momentum (the sexual energy) was getting lost and the daunting task of such a tactic- for a beginner who is trying to overcome approach anxiety, was simply too much for me to bear and I pussied out at the last minute.

Sure, it's an excuse. But overall I can't say that I feel too terrible about this. The amount of time made me do some calibration, and in my opinion, she didn't seem very interested in meeting someone today. Also, I can slowly feel my fears dissolving away (if this were a different situation, say me sitting next to her while she was playing with her phone, I would likely have opened her), and I learned some valuable lessons:
  • Don't look in her direction TOO much, especially if she seems closed. I think I did that today, even though I covered it up well with my body language by making it seem that that was my natural position.
  • Get your feet moving toward the girl, if nothing else. I'm glad I did that.
  • Focus more intently on that sexual energy as you're making your move.
  • Failing to open a girl you're really attracted to (I'm not just talking about that random cute girl you happen to see walk by, I'm talking about one you feel a strong sexual desire for) will always feel worse than opening her and getting rejected. How can that be hacked into your brain at the right moment? This is a question I'll have to contemplate.
  • I even had something to say afterward- she did not look like she was from my neck of the woods. Instead she looked like she was from Eastern Europe, perhaps she was a student or something. Lesson? Find something to say. It is FAR easier to find that something than you, my reader, may think.
I still have a long way to go, but I'm mostly satisfied with my actions. Months ago I would never have done any of this. What to do in the aftermath of this? Remember the crown on your head, and ignore the little problems (not being able to get this one girl). Approaching Women Anxiety NYC Subway

Saturday, December 7, 2013

My Grandfather, the Dinosaur

Today marks the 72nd anniversary of the bombings at Pearl Harbor, and thus the entry of the United States into World War II.

Like most men of his generation, my (paternal) grandfather signed up to serve, joining the United States Navy after the attack. I don't know a whole lot about my grandfather. I never met him in person, only talked to him over the phone when I was still a boy. He died in 1997 when I was 9. In many ways he was not an example of a man that I want to emulate. I am told that he was obese in his later life. He was a diabetic that still refused to eat properly and take care of himself- no doubt this led to his death. He divorced my grandmother (when it was uncommon, in the 50's) and was not a very active part of my father and uncle's lives.

In his younger days however, he was the epitome of what a man should be- resolved, a pillar of strength supporting his country (at the right time) and people, and a dogged survivor. I would venture that scarcely any men of my generation have a quarter of his strength at that time.

A veteran of the Battle of Leyte Gulf in late 1944, my grandfather was stationed on the miniature aircraft carrier, USS St. Lo. Originally called Midway, it was considered bad luck in naval tradition to rename a vessel, and its fate in the battle seemed to prove it, as St. Lo was the first major vessel to be sunk by a Japanese Kamikaze attack.

My grandfather, aboard the ship at the time, went down with it. He was stuck at sea for three days in shark-infested waters before he was finally rescued. He was a lucky one, as 143 of his comrades on board died or went missing.

I seriously wonder how many men of my generation could live up to this example- to fight and survive the way that he did. How many of us would perish? I personally don't think I could have a shot in hell. Men like that seem to be dinosaurs in this age.

But it is this knowledge that I have his blood in my veins that is a personal inspiration to make myself better as a man. We of Generations X and Y are the grandchildren of men like this, and it is a true embarrassment that we've become so soft over the years, driven by an abundance of wealth and lack of self-discipline.

However these are learned traits, and it is also in our power to become like our grandfathers- bold and brave warriors in our everyday lives that fight for what we want, and survive the onslaught of the enemies of our society.

We will likely never face the hardships they did, but we can nevertheless become better men. The journey is rewarding in itself.

Just to note so as not to slight him, my maternal grandfather also served, joining the Army Air Corps that would later become the USAF after the war, but he was stationed in the Aleutians and never saw action, hence why my paternal grandfather's story is recalled with more reverence on my part. He faced the greater hardship. World War II Battle of Leyte Gulf Pearl Harbor Day USS St. Lo

Friday, December 6, 2013

Analyzing the 10 Scale

Ah yes, the infamous 10 Scale, wherein men rate women's attractiveness on a scale of 1-10. It shows its sophomoric mentality in that there are widespread disagreements. The very nature of the gesture will inevitably lead to exchanges like this:

Guy 1: "You see that chick?! She's definitely a 10!"

Guy 2: "No way, 7.5 at best!"

And so on.

This is because, naturally, beauty is subjective- highly subjective. We can generally all agree on who's attractive and who isn't (especially on who is not just unattractive, but hideous), but this is as far as it goes. Tastes and preferences will vary widely. Yet, the 10 Scale as used in much of the game community is supposed to be a more objective way to measure a woman's beauty- in order to give the man approaching her a general idea and mentality that he will need to have to pick her up (based mostly around the amount of attention she gets). This is obviously a broad stroke. Too broad, in fact, for me to believe it has any true descriptive or predictive power. There's simply too much up in the air. She might be having a bad day, you just might not be attractive to her, no matter what you do, and so on. She might not even get half the attention that, let's say, an "8" is "supposed" to get. When taken to the extreme, the 10 Scale is almost a double-blind tool of measurement.

Nevertheless, this isn't to say it is entirely baseless in reality. Beauty more properly is intersubjective. That is, a woman's overall attractiveness can most accurately be measured by a consensus from a large cross-section of men. When applied to the 10 Scale, she will be placed in the range that the consensus places her in. If most men say she is around a 7, that's where she generally will be.

Obviously this is too broad to be used on any single woman at a particular moment, which again in my mind makes it meaningless to be applied too enthusiastically when trying to pick up a girl.

However, I've played around with the idea of a 10 Scale based on this criteria, and it can roughly be applied based on certain preferences that are more or less universal among men, given the findings of evolutionary psychology:

1: This is a woman that has a grotesque physical deformity. Whether that be caused by birth (presumably under some horribly unlucky star) or by an accident. Simply being in her presence causes a mechanism of revolt in men, who will instinctively try to flee as far as they can- quickly.

2: A woman that does not have a deformity, but is truly ugly. She is likely morbidly obese and has a face that will cause gags on sight, usually with unkempt hair and terrible teeth.

3: This is your typical landwhale. She might even try to take care of herself appearance-wise. Some of these might even be attractive if they simply lost weight. But their weight is simply too big a drag on their attractiveness to warrant attention from any but the most desperate of men.


4: This woman is generally unattractive. She might be a bit fat, but isn't a landwhale or obese. This is what might be described as "homely." However, her unattractiveness is not absolute and she will usually have one feature that might get her some attention- a notable rack or ass for example. Her face will always be unattractive.

5: This is the low-average woman. Her face is OK and she's at least thin. Sometimes she might be a bit chubby but have some compensating factor.

6: The high-average woman. She has a good face and a decent body. She will get her fair share of male admirers.

7: This is an attractive woman. She will have a cute face and a nice body, but something is holding her back from breaking into the stratosphere of attractiveness. Nevertheless, she will be often admired by men.


Most girls will naturally fall into the 4-7 range. Unfortunately, the obesity epidemic is shooting a gargantuan amount of women down into the 3 range. Beyond the 7 range are the well above average girls that most men truly fantasize about.

8: This girl will have a cute face and a solid hourglass figure. T&A will be in ample supply.

9: A true beauty. She will have a face that men dream about (not just a cute one, but a beautiful one) along with her hourglass figure. All of her assets are perfectly in order. This is the type of woman that is celebrated in song and story, that men feel tempted to perform kingly feats in order to woo.

10: You'll find many that say "there is no such thing as a 10, because a 10 implies perfection." This of course merely begs the question of the validity of using a "10 Scale" in the first place. Perhaps the best description of a "10" is this: a 9 with an added feature that suits a man's personal tastes. For instance, I'm generally very attracted to women with blonde hair and blue eyes (a bit vanilla Americana perhaps, but there you go). A "10" to me then, will be a 9 with blonde hair and blue eyes that act as the icing on the cake.

As you can see, a lot of this is still highly subjective. Our definitions of "cute" might vary, for instance. Still, this is the most "objective" 10 Scale I can really think of, which might show some correlation in a scientific survey if carried out.

So, as you might expect, the moral here is to drop the 10 Scale. Not only is it too broad-based to serve as a useful tool when it matters (except to identify the most unattractive women, but who wants to waste time on them anyway?), it also often puts undue pressure on the man. It puts the woman on a pedestal and might prevent a man from expressing his true identity confidently.

Instead of focusing on and worrying about how much attention you think a woman has gotten, it is far better to simply invest in yourself and become an attractive man. Stop worrying about objectifying the women you want or have relationships with on the 10 Scale and start living.

As an alternative, I've adopted Mark Manson's rating system:

Not Attractive: A woman I have no interest in.
Attractive: A woman I would be interested in developing a relationship with, but am not willing to make a large investment in.
Very Attractive: A woman I would be interested in developing a relationship with, and am willing to make a large investment in.

This will be far easier to define, even on an intersubjective level, and what's more, you're basing your rating on your interests, not hers. 10 Scale Women Girls Attractiveness

Monday, November 25, 2013

Your Dignity is Non-Negotiable

One story that profoundly sticks to my mind and that I recall with reverence as I navigate this world is that of the trial and execution of Charles Stuart I, King of England, Scotland, and Ireland, who was beheaded by the rump of his own parliament after being tried and convicted for treason in his own country. Aged 48 at the time, Charles' life was a dramatic roller coaster from the moment he was a small child and the constant in it was that he always held himself to a high standard. His dignity was never something to be negotiated.

Born on November 19th, 1600, Charles was the youngest child of the King of Scotland, James Stuart VI and his wife, Anne of Denmark. In March 1603, when Charles was but two, Elizabeth Tudor, Queen of England and Ireland for over forty years, died, and her first cousin twice removed, James, succeeded to the thrones of her kingdoms, as he was her senior genealogical relative. As James and his family made the trip south from Edinburgh to London, one member was conspicuously absent: James' youngest son, Charles. The boy was in such fragile health that his father was worried the traveling would adversely affect him, and in truth, nobody expected Charles to survive to adulthood.

Charles did eventually make the trip, and was determined to overcome both his physical weaknesses and the stammer in his speech. In the first area, he took up a vigorous program of exercise to strengthen his body, taking long runs around the park and eventually taking up horse riding, fencing, and shooting. He would become proficient in all three. Attempting to overcome his stammer, Charles would place pebbles in his mouth and try to speak. The latter therapy, as you might expect, was not as successful.

Charles as a child.

The young prince strove to hold himself to a higher standard than his father James, whose court has had a reputation of casualness and carousing ever since his reign. Charles was appalled by his father's seemingly un-kingly behavior, and now heir to the throne (his stronger elder brother Henry died in 1612), he was determined to go a different, more elegant direction with his own court when the time came. Father and son did agree on one very important aspect of kingship however- the monarch's divine right to rule his realm, accountable only to God. This belief, and Charles' adamant defense of it, would haunt him throughout his entire reign, and ultimately cause his undoing.

James died in 1625, and Charles became King of the three kingdoms. It must have been a very pleasing moment for the young king. Doubted by his own family that he would even survive to adulthood, Charles was now on the throne, helped in no small part by his determination to overcome his weaknesses.

Charles as a young king.

Almost immediately however, as his father before him, Charles was at odds with his Parliaments. Its power over the purse being established during the Middle Ages, Charles, as all Kings of England, needed the consent of Parliament to obtain the money he needed to pay for his projects. However, he found his various Parliaments so disagreeable that he dissolved them very quickly, and was determined to rule alone. This he did successfully for eleven years, finding creative ways to raise money (some of these ways however, such as the infamous Ship Money, were bitterly resented, and cost Charles much goodwill).

Eventually however, troubles in Scotland caused by Charles' religious policies forced him to call a Parliament, as it was the only body that could vote him the money he needed to deal with the situation. This 'Short Parliament' was dissolved quickly, but the situation in Scotland was now so dire that Charles had no choice but to call another one, the 'Long Parliament' and negotiate. Part of these negotiations led to the execution of Charles' close friend and advisor, Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford. In an act of complete misery and humiliation, Charles needed to sign his own friend's death warrant, and he agonized for the longest time before finally caving. This was an act which Charles would never forgive himself for.

During these rounds of negotiations, Parliament, sensing weakness, pounced and demanded, among other things, Parliamentary control of the military. This infuriated Charles. In January of 1642, Charles acted how any man might when pushed to the brink. Seeing what could only be described to him as a body of petulant, unsatisfied children attempting to usurp the ancient laws of the land, the King reacted with swift force. He went to arrest five troublesome MPs in the House of Commons and one in the Lords on a charge of treason, but they were all warned beforehand and escaped. War was now inevitable.

How many of us might react in the same way? It is difficult to keep one's composure in the face of such insolence. This website has been the focus of much the same kind of attacks- the strong mob probing for or sensing weakness in the party from which it wants something. Charles resolved to bravely stand up for what he perceived as his divinely granted rights, and to punish the wickedness of the insolent mob.

The war however, was not kind to Charles or the Royalist cause. He was facing a superiority in manpower from the beginning, the military brilliance of Sir Thomas Fairfax and Oliver Cromwell, and the might of the New Model Army- the nascent genesis of the professional British soldier that would conquer a quarter of the globe in centuries to come. These factors were too much and finally brought the King to defeat. In 1648, after failing in his attempt to restore himself to power in the Second Civil War, the King was brought to trial.

The decision to try Charles was a controversial one. Most of the Long Parliament simply thought that they were fighting to bring the King to the negotiating table. These moderates were purged by the army, leaving only a rump that consented to the trial.

Charles at his trial

Charles' dignity was on display at its absolute best in the last chapter of his life. He refused to cooperate with the court or answer the charges, rightly claiming that there was no law in England that allowed for the trial of the King. He would answer, he said, when he knew by what authority he was brought before this tribunal.

Charles calmly faced down his accusers in this event. He lost his stammer, speaking clearly and powerfully. He explained that the Divine Right of Kings and the ancient laws of the land did not allow for this farce of a court.

Nevertheless, the verdict was never in doubt, and Charles knew this. His power had been gutted by the war. On January 27th, 1649, Charles was declared guilty of high treason and sentenced to execution three days later.

The 30th was a bitterly cold day. Charles demanded extra shirts so that he would not shiver as he made his way to Whitehall in the frigid winter air. He did not want anyone to mistake a shiver from the cold for shivering due to fear. After bidding a tearful farewell to two of his children, he walked the last walk of his life. He was not afraid nor did he even think that his execution was wrong- he felt that it was the just price to be paid for his earlier execution of the Earl of Strafford, and respectfully owned up to this mistake before God.

Addressing the people gathered to witness the event, Charles showed neither fear nor sorrow, and, after assuring that his intention was to uphold the laws and liberties of his realm declared:

"I go now from a corruptible to an incorruptible crown, where no disturbance can be."

The King was then beheaded, shocking the crowd and all of Europe.

Though Charles had been defeated in the war and placed in a position of powerlessness, he never let his enemies rob him of his dignity. His adamant refusal to negotiate cost him the war, his crown, and his life, but his self-worth was not to be lost. In the face of a most stressful situation, he refused to let his enemies set the frame against him, retaining control of the one thing he still had power over- his self-respect.

Posterity will remember a man for his accomplishments and his failures, but it will also remember him for his dignity and character. Thus, though the loser, Charles is often remembered in a positive light, considered a martyr, and his memory carries with it the air of nobility that his character created.

Always strive to hold your self-respect in the highest regard. It is how people will remember you when you are gone and how people will value you in your time in this world. And it is the one thing that is not subject to the chaotic whims of fortune.

The 34th law: act like a king to be treated like one.

So Charles did. Even to his death.

Update: You can also read this article on Return of Kings.
King Charles I Execution 1649

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Beginning My No Porn Challenge

Yes, I've watched porn. Every guy with access to the internet has. If he's telling you otherwise, he's lying. I've decided to go a month without porn and see how I feel.

While I do think the anti-pornography fervor of the manosphere is somewhat inflated, I don't doubt that it probably has some adverse effects- for some men much more than others. I might be saying it's inflated because I, fortunately, never experienced the very negative effects that have been reported. Maybe that's because I'm still young. Everyone is different of course.

For some more recent history- I went from watching porn every night (for no more than a few minutes usually) around six months ago, to limiting it to once or twice a week, then to only once. With these new habits, my sexual drive and libido has certainly increased, I became more confident, less irritable, and I became more motivated to approach girls (I didn't find that it reduced any anxiety in this area, though). I'm now going to eschew it entirely, at least for this month. I honestly doubt that I'll be going back to watching it at all when the month is over too- maybe every once in a blue moon when I'm feeling particularly bored and horny.

The bottom line is, porn is really boring. It really, truly is. Even when I felt the need to wax the carrot, I generally couldn't watch more than a few minutes. Aside from everything else, it truly does take time out of your day that you could be using to do better things.

So now, I'm going to cut it out entirely. There's even an article about social anxiety related to porn use. We'll see what happens for me.

As I have said on this blog many times, the brain is a biological computer, and it's time for me to write some new programming for mine.

I began my 30-day challenge yesterday, the 18th of November. Your Brain on Porn

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Ultimate Example of Leftist Patronizing

I'm sure you, my good reader, has seen this poster by now:

It's common knowledge that for Obamacare to succeed, it needs to charge less-risky people (men, young, healthy) in the healthcare marketplace an unfair price in order to pay for the more-risky people (women, old, sickly). Conservatives, libertarians, reactionaries, and generally anyone that knows a thing at all about the basics of economics has said this for years. Still, those on the left refused to believe it. The lower-IQ among them probably thought that it was going to be a handout.

To their shock and horror, they realized that their own insurance premiums are being cancelled or increasing in price. As I have said before, the situation reminds me of the time the Carthaginian Senate weeped rivers of tears as they began to pay the indemnity owed to Rome after their loss in the Second Punic War, all the while Hannibal, who was offered no meaningful assistance by his country when it mattered, laughed at their hysteria. I share these feelings.

Amidst a broken website, the lie that all Americans would be able to keep their existing healthcare coverage being exposed, and the reality that yet more wealth generated by the productive classes will be redistributed to the less-productive ones, the governmental PR campaigns have begun in earnest to rescue the fledgling program. There are many subliminal messages in the above poster.

Firstly, the representatives of young men- the people that Obamacare needs the most in order to succeed, are depicted as drunken, low-intelligence, badly-dressed, low-class, pussified, unsophisticated frat boys. Secondly, there is a distinctive lack of diversity in the poster. While in most ad campaigns there is usually a token minority, this poster is of three young white men. Perhaps the makers of the poster thought it would just be too offensive to depict any minority in such an idiotic fashion, and this instinct is probably correct. No one but the nuts in heterodox, anti-Cathedral communities can legitimately represent the interests of white men as a distinctive group, so the path of least resistance is naturally the way to go. And to a large extent, the stereotype depicted above is indeed, true. Can't argue with that.

Nevertheless, the poster is presented this way at its own peril. Young, working, professional, single, middle class men (which are probably white to a somewhat disproportionate degree, but I could be wrong on this), are the demographic that Obamacare needs most to survive. Without them, the system will not work, period.

The smarter among us already know that buying Obamacare insurance at this point is a fool's gambit. We know that paying the fine is going to be less than the cost of the insurance, even when it does go up. There is simply no reason to be paying many thousands of dollars more per year when our risks of health problems are exceedingly low. Of course, nothing is certain in this chaotic world, but the laws of probability are on our side. As the Spearhead says, all we needed before was cheap, catastrophic insurance, which is now illegal according to Obamacare. We are being told to pay a price higher than what we need to, including paying for services which we do not need and will never benefit from: maternity coverage.

Fortunately, there is a form of catastrophic insurance written into the law itself: providers can no longer deny coverage for pre-existing conditions. While this component of the law is the primary driver of higher premiums among the less-risky, it is also our trump card in the off-chance that something terrible really does happen. If we find we are sick, we can simply buy the insurance, and after a possible waiting period, get the coverage we need.

So, while the situation is still likely more expensive than what we had before, we will not need to pay the exorbitant insurance costs year after year in our 20's and 30's when we don't need it (and during which time we want to start building our fortunes in earnest). We have our catastrophic insurance.

It is for these reasons that the idiotic poster above is stupefyingly counterproductive- it patronizes the group it needs the most, portraying them as irresponsible idiots without a clue, when there is an option written into the system itself for that group to get out. I'm sure that most of us that understand this will continue to laugh with glee like Hannibal when the people that made this poster weep for the lack of their target demographic's cooperation. Obamacare Health Insurance Leftism Brosurance

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Conscious and Unconscious Behavior

We are the summation of our memories and the result of our behaviors. These things are in large portion determined by our habits- the things we do because we've grown accustomed to them. These are the result of the programming in the biological computer that is the brain. We no longer think of our habitual behaviors, they just happen automatically because repetition has written new software into the computer's programming. This is why habits are so hard to break.

Habits can be either good or bad. In controlling your habits, you must always make sure that your conscious behavior always overrules your unconscious behavior. A habit is an unconscious behavior. You just do it because you've been programmed to do it. An exercise regimen becomes a habit after a certain amount of conscious repetitions. Similarly, saying or doing things which signify lack of social intelligence is an unconscious behavior because, for better or worse, you have a habit of doing it. How you present yourself with your body language and vocal tones is another fine example.

In creating good habits and good behaviors, it is therefore necessary to make sure conscious good behavior always overrules unconscious bad behavior. This is an advantage high-IQ men have, and we need to utilize it for all it's worth.

Always be aware of yourself and your surroundings. If you are noticing that you are slumping somewhat, strengthen your shoulders. If you notice you are talking in monotone, make a conscious effort to change. If you shy away from approaching, do something to control your fear and take the plunge.

This may require effort, but remember that behavior control- specifically eliminating bad behaviors if not consciously engaging in good ones, is half the battle. Do this until it becomes ingrained and natural, and practice it in the best way that you can.

I used to talk with a rather weak voice and in monotone a lot. I started making videos some years ago and practiced my speaking abilities. The bad behavior described is now almost entirely eliminated. Brief relapses persist, but they are the exception, not the norm. I am very comfortable making presentations to audiences to boot. Hell, it is part of my job. My brain has been rewired.

Now I'm trying to work on slightly fidgety body language when talking, and to talk a bit more slowly- with more conviction and power. The former has diminished significantly, but not to the level that I would like, and I am making conscious efforts to continue the downward trend. Thanks to working out, my body posture is mostly flawless as well.

Your high intelligence allows you to be more aware of yourself and your behaviors. Use it. Conscious Subconscious Behavior

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Paradox of Game

I'm probably not alone in this, but there seems to be a paradoxical effect when a man discovers game- namely that he can improve his skills in attracting women. I'm mainly extrapolating my personal experiences with this post, but given the natural male biological imperative to reproduce with fertile females, and the dynamics on hand when it comes to navigating the sexual marketplace, I think this is more or less generally valid.

For most of our lives, we were probably indirectly told, and reinforced in our minds, that when it came to attracting women, you either had it or you didn't. The "naturals" would be the guys that tended to get the most desirable women, and the guys below them would generally have to make do with less. We would latch on to the first hot girl (and for the less fortunate, the first marginally attractive girl) that gave us the time of day, as equal or better prospects were highly unlikely. As automatic as an object thrown up in the air comes crashing back down to the ground, the girl was quickly repulsed by this behavior, and the guy was left feeling alone and depressed, forced to again wander around until he gets lucky. For most, this cycle repeats until the man ultimately settles, which is often then followed by a horrible divorce (and this is why it's imperative to discover and start learning game at an early age- the earlier the better, I lucked out in this regard).

However for an increasing amount, some dissatisfaction leads them to discovering game. Walls of illusion come crashing down, and the process of attracting women becomes demystified. The natural feeling upon a man's discovery of this is joy that his problems with the opposite sex can be fixed. However, after the inevitable consumption phase- where the newbie greedily laps up all the seduction advice that he can, a curious paradox arises, one which must be resolved if one is to advance to the next phase.

The "Paradox of Game" can be summed up as follows: the discovery that attracting women is in some degree a skill, and that a man's success with the opposite sex is a trait that can actively be improved, leads to increased anxiety.

Take for instance, that random hottie that a man sees wherever, say two months after discovering game. In the past, he'd fantasize about sweeping her off her feet and getting her in bed, but would never act on those desires, under the false belief that doing so would be totally awkward and inappropriate, and that she would never be interested in him anyway.

Once game is discovered however, he knows that those thoughts and fears are total bullshit. There's nothing stopping him from at least attempting to get with that girl but his own head. He knows what he needs to do. He has a general idea of how to at least get himself a decent shot. But this knowledge has a weird effect: it increases the pressure on him. He has higher expectations of himself and is less willing to accept or explain away failure, and it is this very attitude that can often lead to failure. It makes the already pre-existing approach anxiety worse as well. This is very dangerous and can be a major drain on a man's inner game.

So how is this paradox resolved? There's really no other way but to plough through it and accept that you will have your decent share of failures. This is easier said than done however, and different people will have different ways of getting through this. For me, the presence of a strong, firm, wingman is vital, to keep me in check. High-IQ people like me that have a natural inclination toward introversion and suffer from analysis paralysis really do often need a strong outside pressure to get them moving- not just with women, but in other areas of life as well. It's one of my biggest personal weaknesses. This brain programming can of course be re-written (and this is why a strictly adhered-to exercise regimen is also vital, as it imposes discipline), but nothing at first can be so helpful to someone like me as peer pressure.

The reader's experience of course may differ, but an experienced mentor or peer structure in the game can help to resolve this paradox quickly. It's imperative that this situation be resolved, or you will never advance forward, and worse, curse yourself for it, because the old pre-game excuses are no longer logically coherent.

Game is nothing without self-discipline and community. Both are vital for success in life. Game Pick-Up Self-Discipline Paradox Anxiety

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Musketeers of the Line

Engraving of an early musketeer, likely from the 16th century (given the helmet).

One of the things that's been coming to my mind recently in my quest to overcome my approach and other social anxieties is the image of the musketeer, standing in line, exposed to enemy fire, bearing his weapon against the enemy.

I will never experience combat, and I will thus never know how truly terrifying it must be to go into battle, but I think that it must have been particularly terrifying to these men, standing in line with early firearms and fighting in linear formations. Unlike other forms of combat, such as phalanx formations, the Roman legion, and modern rapid movement tactics, or even the contemporary pike blocks that musketeers as pictured above would have seen, musketeers were absolutely exposed. They could not rely on the men to their left and right to protect them in the moment of action, as could their fellow warriors in a phalanx or pike block. There was no ducking for cover on battlefields like Breitenfeld, Naseby, or Leuthen for the infantryman armed with a musket. He did not have armor that could protect him from the weapons of the enemy as the Roman legionaries did and modern soldiers do, and given the limited medical knowledge of the day, physicians were often incapable of dealing with any gunshot wound in a vital area, so he could not even call for a medic with hope that he may live.

The musketeer had no hope but to pray that they weren't hit in the broad exchange of fire that defined the battles of this period, and would not essentially disappear until World War II. Instances such as the Duke of Wellington ordering his men to take cover from enemy fire behind a ridge at Waterloo are generally rare. In the moment of action, the musketeer had only his weapon and hope that the chaos of the battlefield would not engulf him.

Despite this, he faced down his fears and planted his feet firmly in the ground, standing the onslaught of cannon, enemy muskets, and cavalry ready to trample or cut him into bits. He was trained to face down these fears and do his job, and he did it with success.

Take this image of these musketeers, standing, fighting, and dying in line, completely exposed to the enemy. Now think of whatever it is you're afraid of- going on a job interview, doing a presentation, approaching a woman- whatever it is. Now think of the musketeers from centuries past facing down enemy fire with no protection- standing in a line almost waiting to die, and yet fighting anyway.

Chances are, whatever it is you're afraid of is utterly ridiculous when compared to the sheer amount of terror these men (or anyone who's gone into combat- but particularly them) faced. Yet through training, they overcame their fears and achieved glory. Who does not remember the stubborn redcoats withstanding the French artillery at Waterloo? The same can happen with you or me. Through training and discipline we too, can overcome any fear and achieve the immortality we desire. The obstacles we face pale in comparison to those that the musketeers did.

And so when I am facing a challenge that gets my brain to freeze out, I will try and picture the musketeers, among other things, whose discipline and bravery are the epitome of what I believe men should aspire to be, and were the cornerstones in the glory that they were able to achieve. Your fear is nothing to them, and your glory awaits.

The 28th regiment at Quatre Bras, by Elizabeth Thompson
Musketeer Gundpowder Warfare Courage

Friday, October 18, 2013

Anita Sarkeesian and the Manosphere

So, you may have heard by now that ABC is doing what can only be described as a hit piece tonight on 20/20 on the Manosphere- the loose assortment of male-oriented websites, forums, and blogs, with the common connection being that they all deviate from mainstream politically correct dogma in at least some ways. This is honestly the best description I can have of the Manosphere, because it is quite a varied group.

While the introductory article for the show is a laughable hack job- a sumptuous offering on the altar of yellow journalism, one thing about it that made me smirk in particular was its claim that Anita Sarkeesian, the infamous owner of FeministFrequency, was attacked by the Manosphere for her critique of women in video games:
Anita Sarkeesian, a media critic and blogger, learned this the hard way after campaigning on Kickstarter to raise funds for a web series on the roles of women in video games. The attacks from the Manosphere were swift.
What's so utterly pathetic about this is that the so-called professional reporters working on this story obviously didn't take the time out of their day to research the two demographics at hand here- the Manosphere, and the Gaming community.

The two demographics do not overlap one iota. Perhaps a tiny percentage of the Manosphere are avid gamers, but that number is likely infinitesimally small. The Manosphere is fundamentally composed of men of all ages that seek to improve their personal, professional, and dating lives, as well as discuss fundamental issues and share knowledge, while critiquing politically correct orthodoxy.

Gamers are well...interested in video games.

Search any major "Manosphere" outlet and you will find that video games are not mentioned in any of them (or perhaps slightly mentioned, but buried under 10,000 posts not mentioning them). The heavy implication here is that the two demographics do not have a sizable cross-section. While no reliable poll data has been done on the subject, I suspect that if a scientific survey were to be done (based on questions of frequency of game-playing and purchases, knowledge of the gaming market, etc.), it would fully confirm my assertion.

It is therefore absurd to label the attacks on Sarkeesian as having originated from the Manosphere. Many in the Manosphere were indeed not even aware of her existence. The only implication from this data can be that Sarkeesian was attacked instead by people in the gaming community- which her presentations were targeted to.

These inconvenient facts will of course not stop the mainstream media from doing anything they can to demonize a movement that deviates from their politically correct confirmation bias.

I do however, take this all as a positive sign- that the mainstream orthodoxy can no longer simply handwave and ignore criticism, and that some fundamental revulsion of the current paradigm is bubbling in the undercurrents of society.

Do I have my disagreements with parts of the Manosphere? Of course. But this can only be called a panicked hack job- based on just Sarkeesian's presence alone, not to mention the other inaccuracies in the reporting. Anita Sarkeesian Feminist Frequency ABC Manosphere

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Why Use the Word "Rejection?"

A thought came to my mind this morning- why should anyone use the word "rejection" when a girl turns down your advances?

Sure, you've been turned down, and you're more than likely not ever going to have any kind of relationship with her, but have you really been rejected? The answer to this question is likely no. How could you be? It's not like the girl knows who you really are.

One of my first-ever non-social circle approaches came to mind when I pondered this question. I was 18 years old, about to start college, and I was at the orientation. A few hours in, I saw this incredibly attractive redhead with all the features a man could ask for in a woman- slim, excellent figure, and a beautiful face. Strangely enough I was relatively calm. I forget how exactly the conversation started. I believe the person that was leading the orientation group we were in and I started talking about where I was from- New York. She then jumped into the conversation saying how much she loved the city. I was fortunate. I had something going for me of interest to her, and I did not need to tell her myself. Then the unfortunate logistics of the situation presented themselves- we were separated because we were walking to the next portion of the orientation at the time, and we wound up in different rooms. What shitty luck.

When we met up again after that particular part was over, she seemed to be interested in continuing the conversation, at least for a bit. Here's where I fucked up. Instead of asking her open-ended questions about what she's done in the city and teasing her a little bit about being an outsider who didn't know nothing from anything, I rambled on about stupid bullshit like how they sold samurai swords in Chinatown (yes, this is something I actually said, and it's still embarrassing to this day).

Unsurprisingly after more than a few minutes, when we arrived at a building with a lot of people which offered her a convenient excuse, she ditched me fast.

I was rejected.

But was I really?

Hardly. The girl left not because I was somehow ugly or my personality was terrible or I so repulsed her that she needed to run. She went off because my game was terrible. It wasn't any fatal flaw inherent to my character. I just didn't present myself well.

I'm currently reading a book called Do it Yourself Advertising and Promotion by Fred E. Hahn, Tom Davis, Bob Killian, & Ken Magill to help me get a business idea off the ground. One of the key things in any advertisement they they highlight is the ARM acronym:

Attract attention
Retain interest
Motivate your prospects to take the action you want them to take

Game after all, could be said to be a form of advertising. So what happened with this approach?

I attracted her attention with her interest in New York City. She was clearly willing to talk to me. However, after the terrible logistics got in my way, I was unable to retain her interest, because my game was shit. She didn't reject me, she rejected my game. She rejected my advertising.

I'm sure this has been highlighted before. Nick Savoy in Magic Bullets talks about women rejecting his openers and not him. True. But it goes beyond that. There are very little things, at least in the initial stages of the courtship, which tend to be the hardest, that women can really reject you for.

Having the mindset of "failed advertising" instead of "rejection" is far more productive, and should therefore increase self-confidence. Did I even feel bad when this girl in question "rejected me?" Not one bit. I believe this is because, instinctively, I knew that it was no big deal because I wasn't really rejected. My personhood was totally intact.

This is a lesson for me to continually keep in mind as I work on overcoming my approach anxiety in certain settings. Being a fan of Ghost in the Shell like I am, I've come to view the brain more and more as a biological computer, and language is how it interacts with and decodes the encryption of the world. Using better language can make a big difference in the way you think and behave.

Will thinking in this way magically transform you? No. You still need to consistently practice making yourself a better person. But it may be able to make a small difference in your motivations to approach, and how you treat your interactions not just with women, but people in general. Approaching women rejection pick-up game

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Profile of an Alpha: Mariano Rivera

A living legend in the baseball world has retired. The moving ceremony that his grateful team put on for him was deserved in every sense of the word, for it was to bid farewell to the greatest player to ever play in his position. His brilliance on the pitching mound is something that will likely never be seen again. He not only dominated for 19 years, but also in the big spots in the postseason, where the pressure on an athlete is at its highest. Yet it was in these situations that he thrived the most. Throughout his run, he was not only a fierce competitor, but was also a sublime human being- one that everyone admired. I've said on this blog's "About" page that there are few contemporary famous men that I personally would want to emulate. Mariano Rivera is an exception.

Again, like most Alpha men (at least those that will be profiled on this blog), Rivera's current status of greatness- in his case as the best Closer in the history of baseball, seemed like a remote possibility when he was young. Mariano Rivera was born in Panama, a country with a 2012 GDP per capita of only $15,616. Rivera as you thus might expect, grew up in what seemed to be hopeless poverty. He was so poor that he could not afford a Baseball glove and had to use a milk carton as a glove.

One might think that Mariano Rivera, from when he was young, was determined to play baseball, not only because he had a passion for it, but also as a way to escape such desperate poverty, as professional sports have afforded the opportunity for many others. This isn't the case. It was not until he was nineteen that the prospect seemed to be a concrete one for him. Instead, he had for some years before he was discovered been following in his father's footsteps as a fisherman. When his boat capsized one day, he decided to choose a different career path- perhaps as a mechanic. It certainly wasn't a glamorous or high-status job, but it was an honest living. Then came 1990, the year that would change Mariano's life forever and set him on the path to greatness.

Spotted by one of the Yankees' scouts in the area, Herb Raybourn, who was impressed with his raw abilities as a pitcher, signed him to a $3,000 deal (in 1990 dollars). It would be perhaps the wisest and most cost-effective investment the Yankees had ever made.

Early Career:

Mariano Rivera performed impressively in his stint in the minors. And it was here that he met his enduring teammates- his fellow "Core Four" members, Derek Jeter, Andy Pettite, and Jorge Posada. It was the nucleus of a group that would go on to become one of the greatest and longest-lasting dynasties in the history of professional sports. As with Marlborough and Eugene, these high-status, great men complimented each other and became close friends throughout the years, allowing the accomplishment of far more than any of them could have done one on their own, despite their monumental individual talents.

This time period was also a cultural shock for Mariano. He'd never been away from his native Panama before, and had to learn another language. Being home sick, especially with limited communication options, can be a very hefty burden to carry, and many people fail to succeed in such adversity. However, this was the opportunity of a lifetime, and Mariano, being the winner that he is, didn't want to let it get away. He would eventually become fluent in English, enhancing his ability to communicate and build relationships. Mariano is also a proponent of people around baseball learning to speak multiple languages for this same reason. Many people, including myself, struggle with learning another language (I believe a large portion of the effort for Americans to become a multilingual people could be solved if schools would simply teach foreign languages at an earlier age, but that would be digressing). It is not essential, but it conveys significant advantages in a more globalized world, and should be pursued vigorously, especially when you are younger and have more time to study. This is a regret I continue to have (even though my circumstances for learning another language were never ideal- another digression).

Mariano Rivera got called up to the Major Leagues and made his debut as a starting pitcher on May 23rd, 1995. He would serve in an unfamiliar role- that of a starting pitcher. His results were not what he would have liked. He struggled in his first games, and the Yankees considered trading him multiple times. He and Derek Jeter were both sent down to the minors on the same day in 1995. The two young men cried, but there was resolution in their tears. Both were determined to make it back to the Majors and stay there. They would succeed in the next year- a comeback of epic proportions.

Making an Impact:

Mariano Rivera debuted as a full time relief pitcher as the 1996 season got underway. He acted as the setup man for then-Closer John Wetteland. With a blazing four-seam fastball that hitters often chased above the strike zone, Mariano thrived. He surrendered just one home run that year, with a 2.09 ERA. It was a common trope in 1996 that if the Yankees had the lead after six innings, the game was over. And indeed it was. The Yankees only lost three games if they were leading after six innings in 1996. Mariano finished third in the Cy Young voting that year, and won his first world championship. Then-manager of the Minnesota Twins, Tom Kelly, said of Mariano:

"He needs to pitch in a higher league, if there is one. Ban him from baseball. He should be illegal."

And he was just getting started.


A Blessing in Disguise:

After the 1996 season, John Wetteland became a free agent, and Mariano Rivera became the Yankees' Closer. It was that year that he discovered quite by accident what would become his most effective weapon- and possibly the greatest pitch that baseball has ever seen. The story is famous in baseball, but I'll tell it anyway. While playing catch with teammates, Marino's ball began to have cut action on it. He worked with pitching coach Mel Stottlemyer for a while to try to get rid of it, but found that he couldn't. Mariano then said that maybe it was just the way God wanted it to be. It was a prophetic statement.

Mariano Rivera's cutter has broken more bats than any other pitch in history. Famously, in the 1999 World Series between the Braves and Yankees, Ryan Klesko, batting against Rivera, broke his bat three times in the same at-bat. From 1997 onward, the cutter became Mariano's primary, and sometimes almost exclusive pitch. Throughout his career batters knew that the cutter was coming and still couldn't do anything about it. Of course the reason why the pitcher has the advantage over the hitter is first and foremost deception- the pitcher knows what pitch is coming and the hitter does not. Mariano's cutter was so good that it transcended this dynamic, rendering deception for the most part unnecessary.

Mariano was never a cutter pitcher before, but he embraced his new gift and used it to Hall of Fame success. It is a good example of the fact that the greatest gifts in life can occur unexpectedly. Don't be afraid to embrace them.

The Mindset:

Another thing that was crucial to Mariano's success and reputation was his mindset when he went on the mound, often in high-pressure situations at the biggest moments. No matter the pressure (and there was a lot of it), Mariano would not let anything break his reserve. He has said that if you overthink, your emotions will control your actions, and of course if that happens, you won't be at the top of your game. Are there any truer words than this?

Whether it be in sports, business, or socially, letting your emotions control your actions is a losing strategy in the long run. Had Mariano not controlled his emotions, his success in winning all those championships and achieving his immense prestige as a Closer would be seriously in doubt.

Mariano after game 7 of the 2003 ALCS, perhaps his best-ever performance

Dominance and Respect:

After 1997, Mariano established himself as the greatest closer in history, racking up 652 career saves with the lowest ERA after 1,000 innings pitched (2.21) and WHIP (1.00) in history. Despite such dominance, Mariano earned the respect of everyone in his profession throughout his years as an active player, and was well-regarded as a human being for his respect of the game, himself, and others.

I respect Mo more than anybody in the game. The guy goes out there, gets three outs and shakes Posada's hand. You appreciate someone who respects the game like he does, respects the people he plays with and against, and obviously his results speak for themselves. - Michael Young
The respect Mariano had earned throughout his career was evident in his final season. Many rivals that dreaded seeing him coming out of the bullpen were chomping at the bit to give him gifts and take photos with him. During his final All-Star Game, the league's biggest stars cleared the field for him to take in the glory alone, to a standing ovation from all the players, complete with "Enter Sandman" despite the fact that he was a visiting player. Mariano however, also gave back in his final year, meeting with obscure employees of teams and often giving them gifts in the process, to thank them for their contributions to the game. He also met with season ticket holders of the teams he visited and had conversations with them. The attitude displayed here is the reason why he received so much praise in his final year.

The broken bat chair, the Twins' unique gift

Mariano is a devout Christian, and so, with his religion as a guide, he probably realizes that man is a fleeting animal. He is not the center of the universe, and so should not act like it. This deference, respect, and professionalism that Mariano showed to his peers and to the world in general, earned him the admiration of all. It would be very easy for someone in such a position of dominance to act like an asshole- we've seen it too many times in the sports world and in other spheres. Mariano spurned such behavior, recognizing that strength comes from integrity. Not a bad word has ever been uttered about him.

His dominance on and off the field- of the competition without and the dark temptations that exist within all of us, are a rare combination, and may just earn Mariano the honor of being the first unanimous selection to the Baseball Hall of Fame when he is eligible in 2019. Only time will tell if this happens, but the legacy he's left to the game on and off the field serves as an inspiration to those that follow in his mighty footsteps.

Photo: slgckgc (wiki commons)
After the Game:

Now that he's retired, Mariano plans to be a full-time husband and father, and to give back to the community through his foundation, which benefits underprivileged children with an education and distributes the funds through local churches. He will build more churches for the benefit of local people, and is currently in the process of restoring one.

With Mariano's ability and attitude, I'm sure he'll be as great in his next phase in life as he was in the previous one.

Lessons from Mariano Rivera:

1. Languages are a key to the world. Some of your greatest friends- and potential lovers, may be out there waiting for you, but could you speak their language. They should be pursued vigorously, especially in youth.

2. What may seem to be the nadir of your fortunes could quite easily be the darkest time before the dawn of your glory. You must be persistent. All winners are.

3. Your greatest gifts may be ones that you underrate, or even do not wish for at first. Don't be afraid to use them.

4. Never, never, let your emotions control your actions- in any scenario and for whatever reason.

5. You aren't the center of the world. Don't act like it. No matter how great you become, don't become arrogant and slight those who haven't deserved your scorn. It not only enhances your own reputation, but you'll leave behind a better world in your wake. Mariano Rivera New York Yankees Retirement 2013 Closer Saves

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

My Take on Fat Shaming Week

This week, Return of Kings launched Fat Shaming Week. The associated #FatShamingWeek on the attention whoring sphere that is Twitter has gotten quite the response. As readers of this blog already know, I've earlier written an entry about the Fat Acceptance Movement, so I'm no fan of those that take pride in their being overweight.

I don't particularly like insulting people, and will never do so just for the sake of it. Calling people out brutally on their bullshit is a guilty pleasure of mine, but there's always a reason for my doing so. Many of the tweets and articles at ROK are purely insulting, and that's fine if that's their style. Laughing at people that get so easily offended is another pleasure of mine.

My participation in Fat Shaming Week though, is intended to be a mostly positive one (if that makes sense). I believe it should be best used to honestly and where necessary, brutally criticize the Fat Acceptance Movement, smash its terrible arguments and innate narcissism, and motivate people into a positive kind of fat acceptance as Scooby highlights below:

If we can make it clear that no, we don't accept the fact that they are fat, that we will not coddle them and give them what they arrogantly think we owe them, that they are not beautiful, and that we in truth, want to motivate them with the tough love that they need in order to incentivize them to lose weight, then Fat Shaming Week is a success. Bullying for its own sake is something that will happen, but something I won't be doing.

Too many lives and too much money is on the line to bend over backwards and accommodate clearly unhealthy people just so that their feelings aren't hurt. Endless toleration is a recipe for the destruction of any worthy society. The fat pride movement is an example of such.

Fat Shaming Week should be a firm 'NO,' not a fingerpointing game that the PC crowd plays too often. I believe that the guys in the know see it the same way. Fat Shaming Week Twitter Obesity

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Is the Assault on the Cathedral an Excuse not to Approach?

A week ago via the "twittersphere" (god how I hate that word), I came across an article that basically said that a lot of the attacks on the Cathedral (the politically correct, egalitarian mindset that infests politics and culture to the core) from the "Manosphere" (another term I dislike) was in fact being used as an excuse to do something other than approaching women. Sorry, I can't remember the link or who wrote it.

To a certain extent, I agree with this assessment, especially for beginners to the game, like myself. Approach Anxiety, to put it simply, can be overwhelming. The irrational fear that is generated in your brain can be so complete and total that you absolutely shut down. The biological computer that is your brain then goes into safe mode, and the limited user interface kicks into play- you slink away with your tail between your legs. There is not a single man that this hasn't happened to. In fact, some men have stated that they would rather be in combat than cold approach a woman they find attractive, so overwhelming is this fear.

I think that for beginners to the game who don't have a lot of experience, it's easy to fall back onto bashing the PC machine, and not facing down this very real fear. I have been and still am a victim to this. While approaching in a nighttime or social environment isn't so overwhelming to me anymore, approaching during the day (which is actually better suited to my personality) is something that constantly garbles my brain and makes it go back into safe mode. Despite all logic to the contrary, the irrationality of the fear is like a faulty code that is difficult to remove, even with the anti-virus (to continue the analogy) that game allows you to have (all the self-improvement, etc). The lack of a social cue can really make Approach Anxiety worse, especially during the day, despite the day in my mind being far better to approach women (this latter logic again, gets garbled by the former anxiety).

This is of course, not an excuse to not work on this with vigor, but I believe that the point of the original article- that the bashing of the Cathedral as an excuse to avoid this necessary work- the path of least resistance, is often valid. It has been with me. The message is clear: you still need to approach women and work on overcoming any anxieties that may prevent you from doing so. You are unlikely to be successful in doing that if you devote all of your time to attacking the politically correct black hole of a culture that we live in (not to mention that it leaves you filled with negative thoughts and emotions- a BAD thing to have if you plan on approaching women later on that day).

This is not to say that the attacks against the Cathedral are unimportant, however. They naturally follow an awareness of game. Game is a sometimes rude awakening that most of the stuff you were told to do as a boy around women: being extremely nice, treating her with more respect than you do yourself, buying her a drink, supplication, etc. are in fact, sexually repugnant to her, and that women are often attracted to men with very shady characteristics, with the common denominator being that they are unapologetic and dead set on accomplishing their goals. They live for themselves. With this awareness comes the obviousness of the underlying truth: that there are very real biological differences between men and women- not just physically, but in the way the sexes tend to think and behave. While this should be obvious, politically correct, egalitarian social constructivist theory tries its very best to swim against this current, and through the engineering of a powerful ship, it has done just that with some success. Game is therefore a direct attack against social constructivism, and the recognition of the religion that is the Cathedral often follows.

And the attack on the Cathedral is important, if we wish to be a freer and more responsible people and reverse the ridiculous, emotionally-based ideology that has a stranglehold on discourse in Western society.

Nevertheless, it needs to be a distant secondary focus. The building of your own personal empire is more important in leading a fulfilling life, and that means approaching women. It means facing down unsettling anxieties. It's a daunting challenge, but it needs to be faced without excuses.

There is some merit to debating the overall emphasis that cold approach should take, but that is a different, though related, topic. The Cathedral Egalitarianism Feminism Cold Approach Pick-Up PC