R.I.P. Vention MGTOW

I was very saddened to hear that the YouTuber Vention MGTOW died from cancer on 25th September 2021. I subscribed to his channel a few years ago as he was friendly with some other YouTube channels I followed that primarily explored men issues and identity politics. As his name suggested, Vention identified with ‘Men Going Their Own Way’ and most of his videos were focussed on MGTOW but also his life as a mechanic and his other interests like permaculture. MGTOWs are men who choose to avoid marriage and relationships due to society’s bias towards women in countries like the US and UK. Vention always ended his videos saying: “Don’t get married!”

I don’t identify as ‘MGTOW’ myself as part of me does want to get married and have children even though I’m aware of the dangers that can befall men who are in that situation. As a Millennial, I’m at the age when most men, nowadays at least, tend to marry and start a family so I do think about it from time to time. Nevertheless, being a bit of a loner, I don’t think I’d be too upset if I ended up being single and childless when I’m older as I think I would still be able to lead a productive and fulfilling life. I’d regret not being a father more than I would regret not being a husband in any case! However, I have no problem with other men who choose to go their own way so I consider myself to be ‘MGTOW friendly’ or a ‘potential MGTOW’. At the same time, I have no issue with men who are married, if they are happily married at least.

MGTOWs, which I explored a little bit in this previous post, are controversial not just to feminists but also to a lot of anti-feminists for a number of reasons. For feminists, MGTOWs are often accused of being angry and bitter misogynists who may want to oppress and harm women in some way. Alternatively, anti-feminists sometimes accuse MGTOWs of being weak and immature for, in their mind, giving up their purpose as men in society in order to lead a selfish, hedonistic and unproductive lifestyle. Vention didn’t fit into either stereotype of a MGTOW as he came across as a nice, cheerful guy who worked hard and was productive. Prior to his cancer, he had been working and saving money in order to retire early and live off his earnings. It shows you how cruel life can be that he only got to enjoy his retirement for a short time. Vention’s own reasons for never marrying was, I believe, due to observing when he was younger what happened to other men in his life going through divorce and also his own family background. In a sense, he was ‘MGTOW’ before the word was invented.

Vention had stage 4 colon cancer for a couple of years and continued making videos up to his final days when he uploaded his last video lying in a hospital bed. Whether it was the medication he was on or just his own personality, Vention frankly stated to his YouTube audience that he was about to die. I found this quite upsetting as it was hard to see him weakened and debilitated by his illness from the man he once was. As an aside, it’s strange how interconnected we all are now that we can be a witness to someone we vaguely know thousands of miles away at the very end of their life. Vention at least knew there were people out there who cared about him.

Instead of undergoing chemotherapy and operations, Vention chose to undergo fasting and alternative methods to try and treat his cancer. I once commented on one of his videos that I didn’t know if he was doing the right thing but that I admired his courage. He replied back saying that he believed his chances of surviving stage 4 cancer were the same regardless of if he had the standard treatment or not so he wasn’t doing anything courageous. I don’t know enough about cancer treatment to comment on if he would have lived longer had he gone through the conventional route but I still admired the stoic way he dealt with his situation. He could have easily despaired at what had happened to him.

There’s a scene in an early episode of the TV series Breaking Bad where Walter and his family are discussing whether he should receive treatment for his cancer. His sister-in-law Marie says he should do whatever he wants to do much to the shock of her sister and Walter’s wife Skyler. Marie says at the hospital she works in she sees cancer patients who are completely miserable and that some people don’t want to end their life being “picked at by doctors.” Walter also states he doesn’t want to spend his final days too weak to do anything because of cancer treatment although, in the end, he decides to go through with it. I imagine Vention had the same thought process with his illness. Again, I’m no expert on cancer and I believe sufferers should decide for themselves how they want to deal with it.

I’ll end this post with a link to one of Vention’s videos. Now that he’s gone I don’t know what will happen to his channel but I’ll link to one anyway. Instead of focussing on Vention’s cancer battle and his final videos, I want to show a video that I think shows Vention as he was and which resonated with me personally.

In this video, Vention talks about keeping a journal which I try to do as well. Vention said the purpose of his journal was to write to his future self and how, when you’re young, you don’t know who you’re going to become in the future. He noted that, now that he’s older, he doesn’t write as much because he has become the person he will be until he dies. Being younger than him, this felt like I was given a profound perspective from an older relative. In my journal I think I’m writing to the person I will become as well. It’s a little sad when he talks about his plans for the future now we know what happened to him but Vention kept smiling until the end.

You can watch the video here.

Rest in peace Vention.

MMM#3: Can you be phone-free?

If you’ve read my most recent posts, you will have noticed that I’ve been thinking a lot about technology and how it affects our lives. The most prominent piece of technology that many people possess is the mobile phone as it is either close by or on our person whether we are inside or outside our homes. It might even be in your pocket or within eyeshot as you read this.

The advantages to this are obviously the conveniences that a phone can provide. If you are in some kind of trouble, or lost, or need to be reached for whatever reason you can just call someone or somebody can call you. With a smart phone, you can look on the internet if you need to find something, learn about something or if you need to call somebody.

On the other hand, the disadvantages of always having a mobile phone at hand include being over-reliant on them and being consumed and distracted by their abundant features. This is particularly true with smart phones as access to the internet and apps are incredibly affective at drawing our attention. I was once so fixated on something that I was looking at on my phone that I didn’t realise someone was trying to talk to me. Although they were more amused than annoyed, I didn’t like the fact that I was so distracted and not focussed on my surroundings. Almost everybody looks stupid when they’re looking down and staring at a screen!

I’ve heard some people bemoaning the fact that they can always be reached and the lack of privacy that always having a phone at hand can bring with it. It doesn’t surprise me that some people have opted to have a so-called ‘dumb phone’ – i.e. a more traditional mobile phone that lacks the many entrancing features of a smart phone – as a way to avoid some of the downsides of new phones.

At the place I work, I often see everyone else staring at their phone screens during their breaks possibly looking at the news, websites or just going through their messages. There’s nothing wrong with doing this in moderation but I do wonder if it is detrimental if it’s done all the time.

Like I wrote in my other post about not worshipping comfort, being dependent on our phones
means that we can struggle to function without them. Always having your phone with you is another form of comfort which can inhibit your independence. To try and lessen my own dependence on my phone, I’ve started to be ‘phone-free’ by leaving it in my coat or locker on my breaks at work just to be away from it for half an hour or an hour. This is also the furthest distance I can get from it. It means I can at least attempt to find other ways to occupy my time and be ‘off-grid’ even just for a little bit.

The point isn’t to renounce phones entirely but just to manage how much time you spend on it. What initially put me off leaving my phone where I couldn’t immediately reach it was the risk of getting a missed call. I remember going out one time without taking my phone with me and then coming back to find a number of missed calls from my parents who were worried because I wasn’t answering their calls! I had only been out for a brief period but after that I took my phone everywhere with me. However, if people know your work times, I think you can afford to be phone-free for a little bit without much trouble.

There’s no denying that smart phones are an amazing technological achievement but we should appreciate the benefits and drawbacks of them more than we do. As U2 might have sung, I can’t live with or without my phone but I can least try to. I suggest you do as well.

MMM#2: Twitter is what you make of it

Although I have a Twitter account – if you’re interested, you can view it here – I try not to go on it that much and I’ve found that I don’t really miss it much when I avoid looking at it. Twitter can be interesting when there’s a big event happening such as the recent debacle in Afghanistan or the US election in 2020 and the fallout from that. You can learn a lot of things if you follow people from a variety of professions and backgrounds. Most of the people I follow are from the right-leaning or ‘anti-woke’ perspective but I also try to follow people who have the opposite point of view as it makes it more interesting.

I also have what could be called a ‘normie’ Twitter account which I keep non-political and just follow people I’m interested in outside of politics. I’ve discovered, predictably you might say, that a lot of those people have the fashionable ‘woke’ viewpoints so I’ve ended up unintentionally having two Twitter accounts reacting to events from opposite sides of the political spectrum. This was particularly fascinating during the end of last year with the controversial election loss of Donald Trump to Joe Biden. One Twitter was furious at what had happened and the other was elated at the end of Trump’s presidency. The latter is curiously silent about Joe Biden’s actions in Afghanistan though! It’s sort of like having the ability to occupy two parallel universes that experience the exact same events.

I’ve tried not to comment too much on there as you can get sucked into having debates and arguments with people who in most cases are not worth debating with. A lot of people have accused Twitter and other social media sites of causing the breakdown in nuance and civilised debate in political discourse as well as the increasing polarisation.

There is some truth in this but people also have the choice whether or not they want to engage with it in the way that they do. I’ve been tempted to comment on someone else’s tweet on many occasions but then decided against it to avoid getting into a conversation I didn’t want to have. Some things are better being done face to face or, alternatively, on a video streaming site like YouTube where you can communicate with the person directly.

Recently, I’ve taken to looking at my Twitter account on a day to day basis but I’m trying to avoid doing this so that I don’t get too obsessed with politics. On my other account, I’ve noticed that people use Twitter for things other than political discourse in ways that don’t make you angry at the state of the world – for a brief time at least – and show that there is a life outside wokeness and the ‘culture war’.

It is hard to avoid it all of course when politics is creeping into every other aspect of our life even when we want to escape from it. Maybe the answer is to just not have a Twitter account but if you do happen to have one that you use for political engagement, I recommend you use another one for non-political purposes. If nothing else, it will remind you that there are other things in life to occupy your time with.

Twitter, like life, is what you make of it.

MMM#1: Comfort is a false God

Possibly, like me, you’re reading this in a warm, safe place and are free from any kind of danger or hazardous conditions. If so, you’re probably fortunate to live in a society that is safe and secure where you don’t have to worry about finding enough food, warmth or shelter. This is a very good thing as it enables us to do things other than fight and struggle for our survival.

However, like many things, this comes with its drawbacks. The availability of food has led to most wealthy nations having problems with obesity and the development of highly sophisticated technology such as streaming services, the internet and video games has contributed to a decline in many people’s attention spans and participation in physical activity.

The portrayal of humans as fat, round blobs that move around on levitating seats and are entirely dependent on machines in the Pixar film WALL-E could be an accurate prediction of the future of humanity.

This is probably one key factor in why the quality of men’s sperm count has declined over the past few decades. These developments may also explain our obsession with safety which has contributed to the hypersensitivity that is prevalent in political debates and the ubiquity of political correctness. Direct conflict is avoided in favour of indirect conflict and the constant policing of language.

The connection between our modern, technological age and the so-called ‘crisis of masculinity’ has been explored regularly in the past few decades such as the book and film Fight Club and Jack Donovan’s description of the ‘bonobo masturbation society’ in his book The Way of Men. In The Ape That Understood the Universe, Steve Stewart-Williams also mentions how more dependent we’re becoming on technology and how it’s made us much more weaker than other animals like chimpanzees.

How do men thrive in a society that no longer values distinctive male qualities like physical strength? In the past, the comforts that were available to most people were often only possible if humans, usually male humans, used their physicality to provide them. But technology has taken the place in being the source of most of our comforts, so the question remains: how do we find value in human physicality?

One answer is to not place too much importance on comfort and being comfortable. Things may seem good now but catastrophe can strike and societies can suddenly collapse. The Covid-19 pandemic, whether or not you think that the response to it has been largely an overreaction, shows how something out of nowhere can derail societies and undermine the comfort and safety people take for granted. Being comfortable has its benefits but it can also make us unprepared and unhealthy not just physically but mentality. You can be a fat blob like in WALL-E or asleep and oblivious to reality like in The Matrix. Stepping out of your comfort zone helps you to prepare for potential dangers in the future.

Some things that may help you from getting too comfortable include:

  • Exposing yourself to cold water by having cold showers/baths rather than hot ones.
  • Walking/cycling to get around – instead of or alongside – driving.
  • Fasting on occasion to decrease over-dependency on food.
  • Exercising to maintain and improve physical health.

Don’t get me wrong, I prefer to live in a society where I can be comfortable to a certain degree. Nobody, if given the choice, would choose to live in a cave wearing minimal clothing and with no source of warmth or other resources necessary for survival. I’m just as guilty as a lot of other people in eating food that I know isn’t good for me in the long run and spending too much time watching TV or playing video games. Time I spent being comfortable could have been spent doing other more productive things.

What I’ve suggested isn’t dangerous or heroic and might seem mundane but I believe it’s helped me at least to shake off being too complacent and docile. I’ve fallen back into getting too comfortable from time to time but I’ve been trying to practice what I’m preaching here more often as well.

I recommend that others do the same and don’t worship comfort too much.

Coming soon…

It’s coming up to two years since I started this blog and in that time I’ve made just over 10 blog posts! A remarkable achievement I think you will agree.

I have wanted to write more on here but I’ve had issues with finding the time to write and also trying not to write too much on an individual post – something I think I’ve failed here most of the time!

I have also wanted to try and make videos to complement this blog but at the moment I probably won’t have any video content to upload any time soon.

To try and give this blog a few more signs of life, however, I thought I’d try and upload more often by writing shorter posts which I’m calling my ‘mini Mystery Man’ (MMM) posts. These will be less political and more to do with whatever’s on my mind. Ideally, I’d like there to be, at most, a couple of weeks between each post but I don’t want to make any promises.

Since I don’t have an audience to speak of, I can’t imagine anybody will be really bothered regardless of what I do although I do like doing this even if nobody else does!

More posts coming soon.

Mystery Man Speaks

As I mentioned in my introductory blog post, I have occasionally thought about making videos relating to what I’ve written about on here but had hitherto decided against it as I believed I could express myself better in words than I would be able to through speaking or appearing on camera. After I started writing on here, however, I began having ideas about videos that could complement this blog. Although I still had doubts about making and uploading videos via my Google account considering how censorious YouTube can be – and is increasingly becoming – I figured that life’s too short to spend wondering whether or not I should or should not do it so I’ve gone ahead and taken the plunge. I’ve uploaded a video onto YouTube where I read out my post about Laura Bates’ Men Who Hate Women book. I have ideas for videos in future that are a little bit more creative than this one although I’m not sure how often I’ll be able to post them.

Like I’ve found with writing posts on here, I probably won’t be able to create and upload content as much as I’d like to. I’m in the slightly frustrating position of having a lot of things I want to write/talk about but not having the time – nor sometimes the effort required – to spend writing and uploading posts which is why months can go by between one post and another on here. This is not a big deal obviously as I’m under no pressure to do anything and I don’t have an audience waiting for new content.

Moreover, I don’t think I would like to have a massive following as that brings with it its own pressures and stresses. It would be arrogant and presumptuous of course to think that I would be able to create such a following in the first place. I’ve always considered what I’ve been doing here as mainly for my own amusement so any response I get from it is a bonus and definitely appreciated. I don’t have much experience in making videos so I can’t promise high quality, expertly produced videos but hopefully what I upload will be of interest to someone.

If you want to watch the video in all its glory it can be found here.

Race to the Bottom

The death of the African-American man George Floyd in May 2020 has led to a surge in support for the organisation ‘Black Lives Matter’ (BLM) and a quasi-religious belief that black people in the Western world are unfairly discriminated against by a white majority. A video of Floyd been restrained by police officers which showed him lying on the ground with a knee pressed against his neck and the news that he died shortly afterwards has led to accusations of police brutality and systemic racism. Possibly due to restlessness brought on by the Covid-19 lockdowns, there has been a feeding frenzy for removing anything displaying or associated with oppression of black people particularly relating to slavery. Statues have been toppled, the names of buildings and streets have been changed and certain films and TV shows that are now deemed ‘controversial’ because of their potential racist connotations have been censored.

In the US, statues of historical figures like Robert E. Lee and Christopher Columbus have been pulled down or have faced calls to be pulled down and the state flag of Mississippi has been changed to remove the Confederate flag that was displayed on its canton. Additionally, Reverend Al Sharpton and film director Spike Lee, neither of whom are known to be silent when a controversy involving race relations arises, were on hand to rage about the evils of the USA and its history as an apparent white supremacist country. Perhaps they were rubbing their hands together over the opportunity to be relevant again. Rioting also broke out following George Floyd’s unfortunate demise which has resulted in cities like Minneapolis, where the incident took place, looking like a heavily bombed war zone in a distant third world country. This was reflected in other US cities like Portland.

The UK has also been engaged in hysteria over its supposed crimes of racism despite having nothing to do with what happened to Mr. Floyd.  Certain historical people with links to the slave trade and the British Empire have been attacked and vilified even though both of these things have not existed for over a hundred years. In cities like London, even the statues of widely revered figures like Winston Churchill and Abraham Lincoln have not been spared defacement by angry mobs whose own understanding of history is probably limited. In what the journalist Rod Liddle might call ‘peak wank’, the street sign of Penny Lane in Liverpool was sprayed with graffiti because some activists incorrectly assumed it was named after James Penny, an 18th Century merchant who lived in Liverpool and was involved in the slave trade. The hysteria was initiated in Bristol by the pulling down of a statue of Edward Colston, another merchant involved in the slave trade, which was subsequently dumped into the nearby river. Admittedly, I had never heard of Edward Colston until the incident involving his statue took place but there was no democratic mandate for the statue to be taken down. Frank Furedi in an excellent article for spiked noted:  “the pulling down of the statue of slave trader Edward Colston in Bristol confirms that anti-racist protest has become meshed with an outburst of mass psychosis. What was really disturbing was not the actual tearing down of the statue but what happened afterwards. The statue was dragged through some streets before being thrown in the river. It was almost as if what was being dragged was a person rather than a statue.”

Since Britain has been for most of its history a predominantly white populated country it’s not surprising that many people, whether they had power or not, held prejudiced attitudes towards other races and so discriminated against them. However, to say that people today have the same attitudes would be ridiculous. Rather than recognising that slavery has been prevalent throughout human history, that every race of people has been slaves at one time or another and that the British Empire was one of the first to end it, people are instead told that Western countries like the UK, the USA, Canada and Australia are places of exploitation and white privilege. The constant portrayal of the British Empire as an evil organisation has intensified and white people – particularly straight white men – are showered with shame for their ancestors’ involvement in it by BLM and its supporters. As Peter Hitchens noted in one of his columns: “Sometimes I think the radical Left are more nostalgic for the British Empire than any retired Indian Army colonel ever was. They need it, to hate it.”

Businesses such as Ben and Jerry’s, Nike, H&M, Amazon amongst others have responded to the current climate by supporting BLM in the hope of getting the appeal of the ‘woke’ market and possibly because they fear being called racist for not saying anything. In one bizarre incident, Yorkshire Tea came out in support of BLM on Twitter after Yorkshirewoman Laura Towler of the group Patriotic Alternative had commended them for their initial silence on the subject. Virtue signalling in this way may make a lot of people feel good about themselves but it doesn’t address any of the problems that BLM claims to want to solve. Genuine problems facing many black communities such as family breakdown, gang violence and fatherlessness are never addressed as this would mean looking beyond the so-called problem of ‘institutionalised racism’. Also, the more radical desires of BLM such as defunding the police and wanting, in their own (now removed) words, to “disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and “villages” that collectively care for one another” are never mentioned in the mainstream media.

Moreover, despite the apparent rampant discrimination against black people, what is rarely discussed in public is the fact that white working class boys are now the worse performing group in terms of education in the UK which inevitably will affect their future prospects. Charles Murray has similarly detailed the dividing fortunes of the white population in the USA in his book Coming Apart which shows the emergence of an increasing white underclass.  The problems plaguing these communities are similar to those seen in many black communities of family breakdown and drug abuse. It is also not the case that black people have some kind of hive mind and think and feel the same way about all of this. In the UK, the rapper Zuby has spoken out against the hysteria over racism and I was pleasantly surprised to hear him once on BBC Radio 5 Live criticise the idea that there was ‘institutionalised racism’ in the country which the presenter was clearly surprised about.

What has been lost in this obsession with BLM and ‘institutionalised racism’ is the actual circumstances of George Floyd’s death. Like in almost every event, the facts and details of what happened are somewhat different to what most people perceive them to be. Many people probably assume for example that George Floyd was a victim of police brutality and that he choked to death because of the police officer kneeling on him. Since this has become the ‘founding myth’ of BLM in its current form, it’s important to analyse what actually happened in Minneapolis on 25th May 2020 in order to fully consider the narrative that has been put forward and its consequences.

The facts of George Floyd’s death, according to Wikipedia, are the following:

1. Floyd purchased cigarettes at a grocery store around 08:00pm.

2. A store employee believed Floyd had paid with a counterfeit $20 bill.

3. Two employees left the store and crossed the street to an SUV which Floyd was sitting in and demanded that Floyd return the cigarettes but he refused – this was captured on a security camera.

4. A store employee called the police and said that Floyd had passed “fake bills” and was “awfully drunk” and “not in control of himself”.

5. Police officers James Kueng and Thomas Lane arrived at 08:08pm and went in the store and then to Floyd’s SUV.

6. Lane tapped the window of the SUV with his flashlight to get Floyd’s attention and told Floyd to show his hands. He tapped again when Floyd did not obey. Floyd apologised and opened the car door. After asking three times for Floyd to show his hands Lane drew his gun and ordered Floyd to show his hands. Lane put his gun away when Floyd complied.

7. Someone parked behind the SUV started recording a video at 08:10pm. Following a brief struggle Lane pulled Floyd from the SUV and handcuffed him.

8. At 08:12pm Kueng sat Floyd on the sidewalk against the wall in front of the restuarant. Floyd was asked if he was “on something” and he said no. Keung told Floyd that he was acting “real erratic” and asked him about foam around his mouth. Floyd responded that he was ‘hooping’ earlier. Floyd was calm and said thank you according to criminal prosecutors.

9. At 08:13pm Floyd was told he was under arrest and walked to the police car across the street. Floyd fell to the ground next to the car. The officers picked him up and placed him against the police car door. Floyd said he was claustrophobic and not resisting arrest. Kueng and Lane attempted to put Floyd in the car but he said he couldn’t breathe. Lane said that Floyd was bleeding from his mouth because of thrashing back and forth when in the back of the car and hitting his face on the glass separating the front and back seats.

10. Derek Chauvin and Tou Thao arrived at 08:17pm and joined Kueng and Lane. Chauvin assumed command.

11. Floyd told the officers he could not breathe when he was forced into the police car. Kueng was struggling with Floyd for at least a minute.

12. Chauvin pulled Floyd across the backseat from the driver side to the passenger side then out of the car. Floyd fell to the pavement and laid on his chest with his cheek to the ground. He was still handcuffed. He was conscious but stopped moving.

13. Three of the police officers restrained Floyd by applying pressure on him. Lane was applying pressure on Floyd’s legs, Kueng on his torso and Chauvin on his neck. Thao stood nearby.

14. Floyd stopped moving around 08:20pm and said “I can’t breathe!” “Please!” “Mama!” Lane asked for an ambulance for “one bleeding from the mouth”.

15. Floyd repeats 16 times that he can’t breathe. A witness said: “You got him down. Let him breathe.” Floyd said: “I’m about to die” and Chauvin said “Relax”. An officer asked Floyd: “What do you want?” and Floyd responds “I can’t breathe” and “please, the knee in my neck, I can’t breathe.”

16. Around 08:22pm an officer called for an ambulance on a non-emergency basis which was turned to an emergency a minute later. Chauvin’s knee was still on Floyd’s neck. A passerby said to Floyd: “Well, get up, get in the car, man.” and Floyd responded “I can’t” with Chauvin’s knee still on his neck. Floyd cried out “Mama!” twice then said: “My stomach hurts, my neck hurts, everything hurts” and requested water then said “don’t kill me”.

17. One witness pointed out that Floyd was bleeding out of his nose and another witness told officers Floyd was “not even resisting arrest right now.” Thao said Floyd was fine because he was talking. The witness responded that he wasn’t fine and told the officers to get Floyd off the ground and into the police car. He also said that they were enjoying it because of their body language.

18. By 08:25pm Floyd appeared unconscious and bystanders confronted the officers about his condition.

19. An ambulance arrived at 08:27pm. Chauvin kept his knee on Floyd’s neck for almost a minute after the ambulance arrived despite Floyd being silent and motionless. Chauvin had his knee on Floyd’s neck for 7 minutes and 46 seconds. Floyd was put onto a stretcher and put in the ambulance.

20. The ambulance requested assistance from the Minneapolis Fire Department. The firefighters arrived at the store at 08:32 but were apparently not given clear information on Floyd’s location which delayed them getting to the ambulance. Floyd went into cardiac arrest and when fire department medics reached him he was unresponsive and pulseless.

21. Floyd was pronounced dead at 09:25pm in the Hennepin County Medical Center emergency room. In the first autopsy, Floyd was found to have heart disease, fentanyl intoxication and recent methamphetamine use but it was concluded that his death was due to “a cardiopulmonary arrest while being restrained.”  However, a second autopsy commissioned by Floyd’s family concluded that he died from “asphyxia due to neck and back compression” with apparently no underlying health problem contributing to it. This autopsy did not include a toxicology report or samples from Floyd’s body.

When I first heard about this incident, I saw the video showing Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck which was recorded by a witness standing on the other side of the police car from where the restraint was taking place. Only Floyd and Chauvin can be seen and someone can be heard saying “You’re enjoying it” etc. to Chauvin which strengthens the idea that the video is depicting police brutality. This is likely the video that was seen by many other people as well. Since I started writing this, another video was leaked showing the body cams of both Keung and Lane that recorded the incident from the officers’ point of view. The video starts from when the officers approached Floyd in his SUV and ends with his restraint beside the police car before his unconscious body was loaded into an ambulance. The events described in the Wikipedia article more or less match up with what happens on the video.

The officer who speaks to Floyd is a little forceful towards him at the beginning of the video but it isn’t clear if they had interacted beforehand or not. While Floyd initially appears calm, he starts crying and telling the police officer not to shoot him. The officer and the woman sat next to Floyd tell him to stop resisting. Once Floyd gets out of his car and is taken to the police car he is sat against the wall as indicated in the Wikipedia article and says thank you whilst still crying. Floyd claims to be claustrophobic which is why he is reluctant to get into the police car. Floyd says he’s “not that kind of guy” to use counterfeit dollar bills and can be heard saying “I can’t breathe” before he is restrained on the ground by the officers. At certain points he said he just had Covid-19. Floyd starts screaming and talking fast whilst he is saying he can’t breathe. The officers eventually restrain Floyd on the ground and tell him to stop moving while Floyd says “please let me stand”.  Before he goes to the ground he can be heard saying “I’m gonna lay on the ground” and “I’m going down”. When Floyd was on the ground he seemed to be slurring his words like “I can bleethe”. People on the street talk to Floyd and tell him to stop resisting. One of the officers asks if Floyd is on PCP. When Floyd is on the ground in restraint he cries out “Mama” and “Mama I love you” a few times then starts breathing heavily before going quiet and still. The police keep Floyd in this restrained position for several minutes after he had stopped moving and talking before he is placed in the ambulance.

After watching the whole video, it’s clear to me that Floyd was acting distressed and incoherent so the response by the police officers was not altogether surprising. Floyd at several points starts crying, screaming, talking very quickly and generally looks erratic indicating he had, as the first autopsy indicated, recently used fentanyl and methamphetamine. This behaviour might also have been because he was going into cardiac arrest. How much been restrained on the ground by the police officers contributed to his death is hard to tell because it is not obvious how much pressure they were applying to Floyd’s body and if they were obstructing his breathing. However, I don’t believe the police officers’ restraint of Floyd was the primary cause of his death because before he was restrained, Floyd was saying he couldn’t breathe and when he was held on the ground his breathing was heavy rather than restricted. The cause of death stated in the first autopsy appears to me to be more truthful than the second one.

Probably the biggest mistake made by the police officers here though was to keep Floyd restrained in the same position long after he became motionless. If they had changed their position, let him go or tried to get him up after he had appeared to lose consciousness the outcome may have been different. Of course, there’s no way of knowing whether or not Floyd would have survived regardless of how the police were restraining him but it may have prevented Floyd’s death from having the impact that it has had. Floyd been in restraint even while he stopped talking and struggling seems to be where the trouble started. The first video of the incident and the man saying “Look at you, you’re enjoying it..” starts around this point and likely what fuelled the outrage. From my own admittedly amateur point of view, I can understand why Floyd was put in restraint but also believe he should have been taken out of it once he stopped moving.

Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck seem, to me at least, unnecessary given that Floyd was already being restrained by Keung and Lane and Floyd stopped struggling with the officers. Floyd appeared to be in some distress likely caused by the drugs detected in his body after his death so it makes sense that the police would try to restrain him. A more drastic form of restraint might have been required had Floyd posed a threat to other people but this does not appear to be the case. If Floyd was saying he couldn’t breathe while he was being restrained then this should have prompted Chauvin to remove his knee from Floyd’s neck.  I used to work in a health care setting where restraining people was sometimes required and we were taught about ‘reasonable force’. This is force that can be used on somebody which has to meet two requirements: that it is necessary and proportional. In other words, restraining Floyd may have been necessary but the kneeling was not proportional to the threat posed by him.

The image of Chauvin kneeling on Floyd is probably the main reason why George Floyd’s death has had so much impact. While it’s hard to tell how much force Chauvin was using, the wide-eyed look on Floyd’s face on one of the photographs that circulated following the incident – such as the one shown on the Wikipedia article – gives the impression that he is being choked on the ground by Chauvin. Somebody I showed the photo to also made the mistake of thinking Floyd was trapped underneath the police car when in fact he was beside it. It’s possible other people came to the same conclusion which adds to the alarming image.  Chauvin been a white man and Floyd been black did not help matters either. Had it being Tou Thao, who is Hmong-American, or Keung, who identifies as African-American, that had knelt on Floyd’s neck instead of Derek Chauvin the incident may not have had the impact that it did. This also raises the question whether or not this unfortunate episode was racially motivated since only two of the four police officers involved, Lane and Chauvin, are white. Interestingly, Chauvin and Floyd once worked overlapping shifts as security guards for a nightclub but the club’s former owner was unsure to what extent they knew each other.

Accusations of police brutality were reinforced when it was discovered that both Chauvin and Thao had incidents in the past of potential misdemeanours with Thao also having a lawsuit filed against him and another officer for apparently using ‘unreasonable force’ during an arrest in 2017. Thao was not involved in George Floyd’s restraint but he was cooperating with his fellow officers and said “say no to drugs” when George Floyd was saying he can’t breathe and witnesses were protesting. However, there have been no accusations of ‘Hmong/Asian-American racism against black people’ like there has been with white people. While you could argue that the actions of the police officers was excessive and disproportionate to the threat posed by Mr. Floyd, there is no evidence that racist slurs or prejudiced attitudes were expressed towards him. Unjustified police brutality against black people may be an issue in some cases but applying it to every case does not help deal with the problem or rebuild trust between the police and the communities they serve.

There are good and bad people in every profession and the police are no exception. There are no doubt people in positions of power in the police force that are not suited to the role but there will be highly competent and professional officers within these organisations as well. Since there are dangerous criminals and thugs among us, there needs to be people who are willing and able to maintain order and stability and people who will support them in doing so. It’s worth considering that the kind of people who would find police work appealing are also the kind of people who may enjoy conflict and the opportunity to restrain somebody.  Inevitably, this allows controversial situations such as the George Floyd incident to occur. However, it is overall a good thing that such people exist as there is plenty of crime and disorder around which needs to be dealt with but this can obviously go too far. 

It is hard to see what good will come out of the response to George Floyd’s death. Will relations between black and white people improve after this? It would appear not as white people are now reduced to constantly genuflecting to black people in apology and organisations like BLM can now make more and more demands on black people’s behalf. This submissive attitude however is futile as no matter how far people, companies, organisations and institutions grovel to these groups, it will not be enough as their real animosity is towards Western civilisation as a whole. While I am wary of using the term ‘far right’ or ‘white supremacy’, the consequences of presenting white people as racist oppressors and black people as their victims will push more people into exploring these ideas as a way of asserting their identity. That being said, it would be a good thing if white people as a group had a positive identity instead of always being viewed negatively.

Whether or not the police’s reaction would have been different if George Floyd had been white is an impossible one to answer but the aftermath of Floyd’s death has probably made race relations worse rather than better as many black and white people will continue to resent each other. Although BLM claims to want to help black people, its main purpose seems to be to keep them in a state of victimhood whereby their circumstances do not improve. That way many black people will continue to dislike and distrust white people and Western civilisation.

Since most Western countries have embraced the thinking of BLM, it doesn’t look like this attitude is going to change any time soon. If BLM’s demands become more excessive and extreme, many countries in the West could be heading into a race to the bottom in terms of overall decline.

Laura Bates takes on the manosphere

A new book has just been released which claims to take us through the world of the manosphere and men’s rights activism. The book has been written by Laura Bates, the founder of Everyday Sexism, a project which, according to her description on Amazon, is “an ever-increasing collection of over 100,000 testimonies of gender inequality, with branches in 25 countries worldwide.” This project allows men and women – but mainly women – an opportunity to complain about any grievance that they have faced which they believe to be because of sexism. In her new book, titled Men Who Hate Women, Laura Bates argues that there are hidden online groups of misogynistic men that threaten to explode into the public.

If the premise of this book fills you with a sense of dread and foreboding, it’s worth noting  that Ms. Bates’ other works include a book which shares the title of her platform, Everyday Sexism, as well as Girl Up and Misogynation, the latter of which has the subheading: ‘the true scale of sexism’. In other words, Laura Bates may have a particular viewpoint which colours her perception of those who object to feminism and activists like herself.

I was partly tempted to buy the Kindle version of this book to see how the ‘manosphere’ is perceived from a more mainstream or outsider perspective. While I knew it would be more or less a smear campaign, it is interesting to see how people unfamiliar with the subject would react to it. In the end, it was not worth paying money and spending time on something that I knew I would not agree with. Also, some of the money would have gone to Laura Bates so anything I could say to criticise her or her book would have been futile.

A short extract of the book is available to read on Amazon where the book can be bought as well as an audio sample of Bates (I think) reading her masterpiece out loud. While I can’t write a review of a book I haven’t read all the way through, I can comment on the part of the book I have read and give my thoughts on it.

Bates introduces the book by asking the reader to imagine a world where “tens of thousands of women are raped, beaten, mutilated, abused or murdered every year, because of the simple fact that they are women”. She also asks us to imagine “a world in which thousands of men band together, united by a common code of vitriolic rage” directed towards women. In case you haven’t guessed it, it turns out you don’t have to imagine – this world exists, it’s our world! I’m not trying to make light of female suffering or deny that there are men who do very bad things towards women, but it appears that Bates believes this is not something that most people are aware of. In reality, all humans regardless of their sex suffer in some way or another and there are plenty of women who have ‘vitriolic rage’ against men.

Interestingly, the book has been published by Simon and Schuster which is not exactly an obscure publishing company. If the suffering and concerns of women wasn’t taken seriously by the elites of society as Laura Bates suggests, how could this book exist in the first place? Would this same company publish a book with the title Women Who Hate Men which responded to Bates’ claims? The answer is probably not.

Bates next makes an odd claim: “we don’t like to risk offending men” – well if you say so, Laura. We’re more comfortable making jokes at the expense of men than we are of women for one thing. She also claims “We do not, as a rule, talk about male perpetrators of violence against women. We describe a woman as having been raped; we discuss the rates of women sexually assaulted or beaten. We do not speak in terms of men committing rape or being sexual assaulters and violent abusers.” Has Laura Bates read any other feminists? What about all the talk about ‘toxic masculinity’?  Bates has something to say about that as well: “Those who speak of’toxic masculinity’ are not criticising men, but rather defending them: describing an ideology and a system that pressures the boys and men in our societies, in our families to conform to unrealistic, unhealthy and unsustainable ideals.” This is the classic ‘patriarchy hurts men too’ argument, stating any problems that men have are not the result of feminism – which presumably helps men by calling them privileged oppressors – but from how societies have been organised which paradoxically benefits men as well.

There is more standard feminist fare: “Crushing gender stereotypes are damaging to men as individuals, as well as to the society in which they live.” How does Laura Bates know that? Maybe many men are comfortable with their masculinity. Maybe men who do damage to society are at fault not because of their masculinity, but because of other things like mental illness. Maybe misogynists do exist and maybe these men who really do hate women exist because of how feminism has portrayed men over the past few decades. Bates would no doubt consider that last suggestion to be an example of victim blaming. Feminists like Laura Bates think this way about men because they’ve concluded that masculinity is a bad thing and therefore it’s impossible for a man to be both masculine and a good person. You may be surprised to hear that Bates is married to a man – her husband presumably has to keep whatever masculinity he has to himself.

Bates goes on: “the real threat comes from the very forms of rigid ‘manhood’ their so-called saviours are desperate to preserve and promote.” What exactly are these ‘rigid’ forms of manhood are not elabatorated by Bates.  Predictably, Laura Bates supports a men’s movement that accepts the feminist viewpoint that women have historically been oppressed and that wants to cure men. This has been apparently: “threatened and overshadowed by other, hateful male movements.” If Bates was really concerned about issues affecting men, she would be willing to explore ways in which the feminist movement has worked against men or take some of the frustrations she observes from men seriously. For this to happen though she would have to question her own world view.

She later gives the reader a description of the apparent abuse she’s received online: “men have sent me daily messages, often in their hundreds, outlining their hatred of me, fantasising about my brutal rape and murder, detailing which weapons they would use to slice my body open and disembowel me…” Perhaps courting our sympathy, Bates asks: “Why are these men so angry? Why do they hate me so much?” Would it be incredibly harsh to consider that Bates may like the idea of being a victim? The amount of detail she goes into suggests that Bates has thought quite vividly about it. Of course, I don’t condone any threats of violence against anybody and if Bates was ever in any danger I would condemn it. However, while there are many genuine victims of violent crime there are also people who want to be seen as victims in order to garner attention and sympathy from others. To suggest that such people exist however, is now a sign you’re a heartless person. Bates continues to describe the threats she’s faced which include somebody describing “using my hair as handlebars and raping me until I die”. These are all unpleasant examples of online abuse if they are true, but Bates could have simply stated she’s received abuse without giving so many graphic examples.  Unless of course she wanted the give the impression that hordes of men are lurking in the dark ready to pounce on her at any moment. We could take Bates’ claims more seriously if she had described experiences of stalking by men or serious threats to her that warranted the police getting involved. It’s not that online abuse is harmless, but many people, whether they are men or women, have experienced it. Does Bates think that the abuse she’s received from online trolls is far worse than that targeted towards other people in the public eye? Maybe.

Bates tells us she has spoken to many schools across the UK over the years about sexism and makes an interesting observation: “over the past two years, boys’ responses started changing. They were angry, resistant to the very idea of a conversation about sexism. Men themselves were the real victims…” If true, this might indicate a backlash to the current state of feminist overrule and younger people attacking the conventional wisdom of female victimisation. There may be hope in the future yet. Laura Bates may be worried that the jig is up: she’s made a comfortable career talking about how bad things are for women and their status as victims of society that now may increasingly fall on deaf ears. Who will buy her wonderful books then? Will people stop listening to her and all of the insightful things she has to say? Judging by the attention this book has received from the mainstream media, she has nothing to fear at the moment.

Following the introduction, Bates describes the world of involuntary celibates or ‘Incels’ in the first chapter. Incels are defined in this book as “the most violent corner of the so-called manosphere. It is a community devoted to violent hatred of women.” Basically, it is a group of men who for whatever reason cannot get relationship and/or sexual satisfaction from women and so express anger and hate towards them.  Although I’ve followed men’s issues for a number of years, I’ve never read or encountered anyone who identifies themselves with this label which makes me wonder how big of a problem they really are. We are told that “over 100 people, mostly women, have been murdered or injured in the past ten years” in the name of Incels. Elliot Rodger, who murdered six people (four of whom were men), was said to have been an Incel because one of his motivations for killing was rejection by women. The implication here of course it that anybody associated with the manosphere is directly or indirectly linked to people like Rodger. Whether you are interested in men’s issues or not, we can surely all agree Rodger was a loser and be appalled by his actions.

Bates reveals that she explored an Incel forum under the guise of a lonely young man called Alex. Under this name, Bates imagines what Alex would think upon learning that men were discriminated against: “he’d pictured himself as an underwhelming, very average man. But now he realised that he was a survivor. Part of a team of underdogs, fighting evil forces against the odds. Alex could be a wronged, avenging hero”. The metaphor of the  ‘red pill’ from the Matrix movies is mentioned here which is used to describe the change in perception that a lot of people experience when they become interested in the manosphere but it can be applied to other political topics as well. Bates argues that the red pill metaphor “is immediately attractive to those with any kind of grudge or grievance. Lost your job? What could be more appealing than a whole new worldview in which isn’t your fault” – Laura and Alex may be more alike than she would like to think.

Bates does concede that not all of the manosphere is extreme: “this sprawling web of communities encompasses well-meaning groups that tackle genuine problems affecting men, not just groups deliberately and systematically promoting physical and sexual violence against women. Its adherents range from naive teenagers to advocates of rape, vulnerable recluses to violent misogynists, non-violent ideologues to grieving fathers,” etc. etc. That a similar observation could be made towards feminism is again not something contemplated here. Since the manosphere is such a diverse and sprawling group, should all groups within it be tarred with the same brush? Is this blog post part of the manosphere? Despite being a nobody whose blog has only been viewed by a handful of people I’ve written about MGTOWs and mentioned other anti-feminist figures. I’m also critical of feminism even though I don’t consider myself to be an Incel, pick-up artist, MRA or MGTOW. Furthermore, I’ve never harmed any women and I have no desire to. The fact that some men who use one or more of those labels will be extremist or mentally unstable does not mean that there aren’t legitimate reasons for men to be angry about how they are treated by society and individual women. Should a book that explored feminism mention Valerie Solanas – the publisher of the SCUM Manifesto who once shot the artist Andy Warhol – and conclude that it’s a hateful extremist movement?

Inevitably, there is a connection made between the manosphere and the alt-right and ultimately Donald Trump, the usual boogie-men of SJWs and woke people: “Much has been written about the alt-right, and particularly its links to the rise of Donald Trump. But the deeply misogynistic beliefs that run through the movement, and their role in many of its foundational tenets, often go overlooked and unreported.” By now you probably get the gist of the book. The extract provided doesn’t include the chapters that explore Men’s Rights Activists and Men Going Their Own Way but Laura Bates probably has a lot of fascinating things to say about them as well.

There is the potential for an interesting, objective book to be written about the manosphere by somebody in the mainstream media who has no particular affiliation with feminism or men’s rights but has explored identity politics before (someone like Douglas Murray for example) not unlike Cassie Jaye’s documentary The Red Pill. Unfortunately, although this book will probably shape many people’s view of the manosphere, for people immune to feminist propaganda this is probably only useful to get an insight into how modern feminists think.

Happy Retirement, Bernard Chapin!

I’ve noticed that of all the things I’ve written on here, my review of Bernard Chapin’s book SJWs Attack has received the most attention – which on this blog amounts to a humongous two people commenting! There seems to be a few guys who have searched Bernard’s name wondering where he’s gone and stumbled upon that post accidentally.  A lot of people obviously wonder what happened to Bernard after he stopped creating online content.

I don’t know Bernard personally and I’m not his official spokesman or anything but I thought it would be helpful if I shared what I know about what’s happened to him. Bernard continued his YouTube channel until the latter half of 2019 when he decided to delete it. I’ve found a post he originally put on SoundCloud a few days after he ended the channel where he talks about why he did it which can be listened to here. He continued his SoundCloud posts until the end of 2019 and then decided to delete that too after not being able to get a large enough audience. He often talked about being ‘in retirement’ from YouTube and content creating.

Recently, he’s deleted his Twitter account as well possibly in response to all the craziness that’s happening at the moment. I think Bernard’s got to a point in his life where he doesn’t want to deal with the potential drama that can befall people who create online content, particularly of the political incorrect kind. His real passions were always reading and writing which increasingly, it seems, are not things that appeal to many people.

I don’t know if Bernard has stopped writing as well but if he has and he never has an online presence again I will always be grateful for everything he’s done in helping to shape my view of the world.

If you’re interested in reading Bernard’s books, they can be purchased on Amazon.

Against Equality

The political obsession of modern times is that of equality – whether it is gender equality, racial equality, economic equality, LGBT equality – every equality you can imagine is the desired end goal of many politicians and activists. This is evident in the lengths organisations and political parties go to appeal to the designated victims groups of women, gay people and ethnic minorities regardless of if other groups object to what could be viewed as preferential (and therefore unequal) treatment. While this fanaticism for equal outcomes in an infinite number of ways is much more prevalent on the political Left, many people on the political Right also claim to believe in equality or, as it is often defined, ‘equality of opportunity’. This could be described as ‘meritocracy’ – i. e. people being provided with the opportunity to reach prominent positions of society on the basis of merit alone and ignoring their race, sex or sexuality. This is a commendable idea in many ways but it is debatable if societies could organise themselves on merit alone and abandon its fixaton on identity groups. The conflict between the desires of equality of outcome vs. equality of opportunity is the main talking point of modern politics but it is likely that a more fundamental distinction between the two opposing views is required in order to combat the increasing dominance of SJW thinking.

I’ve come to believe that the only appropriate response to combat the religion of equality of outcome is to reject the idea of equality in the first place. The fact of the matter is that people do not just differentiate as groups but as individuals as well. Therefore it should come as no surprise that there are disparities between certain groups of people. There will always be some people who are smarter, wealthier, healthier and more successful than other people and no amount of intervention can prevent that. The attempts by people to construct an equal society have always resulted in failure. Countries that embraced Communism to create a supposedly equal society ended in corruption, oppression and mass deaths and, crucially, created a ruling elite that was unequally privileged over the rest of society. It is far better for people to accept that equality is not possible at least in the ways that it is often pursued. Instead of having an idealistic view of what can be achieved it is better to be realistic about what is possible. The political divide could be viewed then as not between two ideas of equality but between realism and idealism.

The objective to achieve total equality is inevitably flawed because inequality can occur even when equality is stipulated. An example to illustrate this to imagine somebody setting up a course that would teach people IT or engineering skills which would help them find a job in a STEM field. The course would make clear that both men and women are equally welcome to take the course possibly with the hope that there would be a substantial number of women participating or at least a 50:50 split with men. A predictable outcome would be that many more men sign up to the course than women resulting in the women present being a noticeable minority. Therefore the gender balance of the course would be unequal despite the equal opportunity granted to both sexes. The inequality in this scenario is not an unfair one though as nobody had prevented women from participating in the course.

Moreover, inequality may not be a bad thing if one kind of inequality replaces another kind that was worse. Imagine a brand new technology is invented that is only affordable to the very rich. The technology could be something that brings many benefits and revolutionises how people live their lives. The outcome of course would be an inequality created between those that have the technology and those without it. Eventually new versions of the same technology develop that perhaps improve on whatever faults the initial version had. Sometime later the technology improves even further so that the original (albeit inferior) version becomes affordable to even the least wealthy and prosperous. The inequality would not have disappeared but changed from those that have or don’t have the technology to those with the latest superior version and those with the inferior one. A large inequality is replaced by a smaller one which is at least better for the disadvantaged group. No doubt this inequality would still make some people angry despite the circumstances of the less fortunate group improving gradually over time. A progression like this is reflected in history with inventions such as the telephone or television. These were originally only accessible to a minority of people but over time the majority would possess both of these devices. The advent of colour television and the mobile phone created others kinds of inequality between rich and poor but these too were followed by other inequalities which were less extreme – satellite television, HD television, smart phones etc. Nevertheless, an equality of sorts has been achieved as in the present day almost everybody has access to a television or mobile phone.

Of course, some aspects of equality do underpin the rule of law and how we treat others as the notion that all people are created equal, every person has the right to a fair trial and the rule of innocence until proven guilty indicate. This could be argued to be a matter of fairness and justice rather than equality though. In fact, an article in The Guardian of all places pointed out that most people value fairness over equality. Affirmative action is one area where fairness and equality diverge because people who belong to a certain demographic – e.g. black, woman, gay may be promoted on that basis alone regardless of if they are competent or not. These groups additionally are given special attention and any problem they may have is attributed to being society’s attitude towards them. People in the so-called ‘privileged’ category – heterosexual white men – do not get any special treatment or consideration and may in fact be punished for being of this group. Therefore, the drive for equality here leads to a lot of unfairness.

One argument against those who oppose society’s fixation on equality is that it is suitable for those who are more privileged to state that inequality is a fact of life as they benefit from it while the disadvantaged suffer. Similarly, too much inequality can create division and resentment which contributes to an unstable society. That people can be complacent about stark inequalities might be true but the problem still remains that there are an infinite number of ways for individuals to be unequal to each other and an infinite number of ways for resentment to emerge because of it. As I stated before, inequalities might not be static but can change so they become less of a problem. For larger inequalities such as great disparities in wealth which can create a societal division and distrust it is sensible to try to alleviate it in some way to avoid conflict. However, a better solution than using the state to intervene would be to encourage a culture whereby people will help those in need.

The question then should not be how to make societies more ‘equal’ but to accept that inequality is a fact of life and instead look at what actions can be taken to make inequalities between groups less extreme to maintain stability. However, this is again a question of fairness rather than one of equality.