We Are All Doomed- The Death Of Grit In The Modern World
To borrow liberally from the late, great literary genius Hunter S. Thompson, what the hell are we doing discussing crap like the Borg Rating of Perceived Exertion and minutiae about diet when the entire world seems to be teetering on the brink of an ugly, mean-spirited kind of long term banality that threatens, on an almost day-to-day basis, to mushroom beyond anything we can say, think, or plan out here in this atavistic sanctuary with nothing to recommend it except the biggest badasses to ever live and a spate of stew recipes? Is filling our heads with tales of people who were actually interesting and our stomachs with the food of awesome, nonconformist, maniacal people from bygone eras actually going to save us from the fate to which humanity seems consigned? We’re living in a world so disconnected from our primeval selves that people believe that the consumption of material goods and reliance on the pseudo-intellectual claptrap that dribbles out of the fingers of individuals with degrees in “sciences” (degrees so objectively laughable that in bygone years they simply would have fallen under the umbrella of Physical Education) will endow us with super strength. To state that this situation is laughable does not do it justice- we are on the brink of what should be metaphysical war, a war that if avoided will see us get dragged into a morass of suck we may never escape.
I don’t want to get off on a rant here, but…
This isn’t going to be some trite rejoinder to be a “real man” or some sales pitch for one of the lazily-engineered, mass-produced programs aimed at the lowest-common-denominator lump of hairy cowcrap slumping through your local gym, as this is no time for half-measures or silly self-affirming entreaties. Strength of character in the modern world is poised on the precipice, ready to fall into extinction, and what we need at this point is metaphorical terrorism, not toothless, soft-hearted weightlifting allegory or scientific exposition. We need violent revolt, not gentle reform. All society does at this point is churn out “learned men” who adapt in the most refined manner to every circumstance, no matter how intolerable, and fall invariably into slavishness and submissiveness. They gird their loins with rules and pad their armor with regulations, all while begging for more platitudes and strictures.
“The spirit by which most teachers are driven is dismally poignant proof of [this phenomenon]. Licked into shape, they themselves lick into shape at best: tailored, they tailor…. It is not knowledge that needs to be inculcated, it is the personality that needs to be drawn out of itself” (Stirner).
Revolt, not reform, allows one to transcend the present and perfect the future. It is proactive, while the latter is reactive- it is destruction for its own sake, with little regard for what replaces the present state. It is revolt, then, that must save us, because we are creatures teetering on the brink of extinction. Efficiency shall not play a role in this revolt, because efficiency and mediocrity are hardcore porn-style bedfellows. Consider the application of efficiency to nearly anything that requires passion- in literature, efficient writing is often dull to the point of being unreadable; in sex, efficiency is not going to have your partner bragging on Insta about how you blew out her back or he or she yours, because efficient sex is just enough to get the job done; efficient fighters win by decision, balancing their strengths against those of their opponent to win Mayweather-style snoozefests; efficient design and architecture is always spartan and ultimately forgettable; and efficient warfighting is often indecisive and protracted. Passionate people go all in to win it all, and hold nothing in reserve. Anything less than total victory or total effort is complete defeat and a waste of goddamned time.
I think you’re all f&@$ed in the head. We’re in the gym and you want to calculate a spreadsheet and use stupid internet jargon. Well, I’ll tell you something. This is no longer a simple lifting session. It’s a quest. It’s a quest for strength. You’re gonna get strong, and I’m gonna get strong…. We’re all gonna get so f&@$ing strong we’re gonna need plastic surgery to remove our goddamn smiles! You’ll be whistling “Zip-A-Dee Doo-Dah” out of your assholes!
I must be crazy! I’m on a pilgrimage to force people to understand that being jacked and strong is so easy they do it in the Special Olympics.
Praise the Potato! Holy sh!t!
Today, the weak have appropriated everything, robbing the physical culture community and society as a whole not just of appreciation of their community and effort but of strength and pride themselves. The abolition of weakness and laziness has taken a back seat to the abolition of pride and concerted effort. Strength and super fitness are now associated with oppression and evil, while the true oppressors, the obese and weak and lazy and mediocre, sweaty with the effort of sitting upright and speaking their obscene, “politically correct” diatribes, are held aloft as heroes displaying bravery in the face of people who rightly despise them as subhuman… if only their supporters could actually lift them overhead.
I’m not saying that these people are our enemies… I’m just saying maybe we should think about beating in their goddamned heads with a ball bat.
Every time I turn around there is a new, dumber, more complicated way of describing a simple concept in physical culture. Physical culture has been and always will be as physical a venture as banging- you might reverse engineer techniques and methodology using science, or draw some interesting ideas from crap you read on Pubmed, but by and large it’s going to be force of will and enthusiasm that’s going to carry the day. If you’re going to interject with some lame comment about the “technical aspects” of training, don’t- the technical aspects are by and large nonsense lauded by weak people so they can focus on something other than their utter lack of intestinal fortitude. Focusing on form minutia is about as useful to the average trainee as eloquence and diction are to a mute. I’m the one of the biggest goddamned nerds on the planet, and I find the science-driven movement [read: pathetic pseudo-intellectualism] rampant in modern training to be objectionable in the way most people would find a bum pissing on their grandfather’s grave objectionable. Those coaches with intricate, restrictive programs rife with enough calculations to rival the physics involved in getting to and from the moon and ridiculous Pubmed citations that have about as much relation to real-world training as the behavior of a well-treated Shih tzu to that of wolves apply only in taking the interesting and making it banal; in making the nuanced simplistic and absolute; and in turning an enthusiastic weight lifter into a mindless, soulless automoton. They’re not publishing programs to make you a superhuman lifter- they’re trying to make plebian egalitarian principles the guiding light of your life, and they want to force everyone into the same rigid framework to ensure everyone sucks equally.
Michael Bolton LOVES calculating his RPE while he’s training, and his physique reflects that. If you’re busy with that, you might as well train listening to his music, because you seem to hate training and you might as well hate the rest of your life as well.
[Edit: Apparently, that’s Kenny G- I can’t tell the goddamned difference and listening to either makes me pray for death.]
Those of you who jack off to metric-heavy systems are likely having a stroke right now, but I’ve got even more bad news for you- training is more art than science. To be certain, there is some science involved, just as there is geometry in drawing correct proportions, chemistry in mixing and applying color, and mathematics in musical composition. What makes all four of those things appealing to humans, that which inflames one’s passion and ignites the spirit like good bondage porn does, transcends mere science however- that is where those disciplines become art. The obverse is true as well, wherein one can create soulless, bland tripe like smooth jazz, Celine Dion’s horrifying easy listening pop stylings, or even Rihanna’s likely computer generated trash music for trash people. Cookie cutter programs are of the same ilk- they are designed for the lowest common denominator and will avail you of nothing but hindered progress and the utter destruction of your spirit. They suck your soul out of your asshole and fire it directly into the toilet, replacing what was a boundless human spirit the likes of which conquered fire and hunted megafauna to extinction with a malevolent imp that constantly tells you that you’re average, that you should buy a minivan and move to the suburbs, and that you like beige and Bon Jovi and whatever else the dead people waddling around malls enjoy. In short, cookie cutter programs make lifters into cannon fodder in the war for superlative strength, and the use of cookie cutter programs destroys the spirit because their use requires no self-discipline, inner strength, self-regulation, introspection, or intellectual effort that makes humans what they are- brilliant, violent, passionate people who want to dominate their environment and destroy the opposition.
‘It certainly is a remarkable curiosity. A magnificent relic. But against what is already boiling across the plains? The legion of the dumb? The merchants and farmers and makers of trifles and filers of papers? The infinite tide of greedy little people? Such things as this are worthless as a cow against a swarm of ants. There will be no place in the world to come for the magical, the mysterious, the strange. They will come to your sacred places and build . . . tailors’ shops. And dry-goods emporia. And lawyers’ offices. They will make of them bland copies of everywhere else.’
― Joe Abercrombie, Red Country
I love the above quote, because it describes the modern world perfectly. Modern man has taken every interesting thing and made it bland- they’ve deconstructed and dissected every last goddamned thing on the planet like some insane 19th Century vivisectionists with some time on their hands and a couple of live animals, shredding the life out of the world and leaving behind nothing more than a bloody work space and lengthy, impotent, banal explanations of inherently interesting things. Magic was reviled first as satanic, then as myth, and has been resurrected as quantum mechanics, using theoretical physics to something that humans have intuitively understood since the dawn of time. Ancient Hindu thinkers had a term for that phenomenon, avidya, which describes the specific kind of ignorance so prevalent today characterized by “the failure to use the ‘no-thought-mid’ of intuitive knowing – ‘Pleistocene mind'” (McVan). Due to humanity’s overspecialization, many people seem to have a disconnect between themselves and their instincts that causes them to misperceive reality “through a haze of abstract rationality and distorting emotions'” (McVan).
I can just hear the high pitched, squealing rebuttals of the redditors and Bodybuilding.com goofballs now- the rapid fluttering of fingers over keys in search of some Pubmed study proving dispassionate training produces more gains, likely combined with a hastily typed missive to the NoFap movment about a heretical article enjoining people to regain their lost barbarous humanity, while their flaccid, minute penises flop limply below their natty-bro guts and their 13″ arms struggle to maintain the frantic pace of their fingers. To that, I say “SUICIDE IS AN OPTION. IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO END IT ALL.” A savage and barbarous state is what effects the most change in the world, and one that needs to be courted rather than reviled. Yeah, barbarous states do some bad stuff- clearly the actions of Mengele and Unit 731 were regrettable, but they advanced medical science hundreds of years in less than a decade. The Nazis also gave us the keys to space travel, the Volkwagen Beetle and its supercharged twin the Porsche, badass uniforms without which we’d not have The Empire’s getups or most of Marilyn Manson’s wardrobe, and other assorted crap like the AK47 (stolen from a Nazi design). The Mongols gave us biological warfare (the bubonic plague), the long distance postal system, modern methods of organizing large armies, and other innovations. The same can be said about the Vikings and exploration- had they utilized a “rational”, methodical, plodding methodology for exploration, they would never have made it to Newfoundland, nor would they have dominated Northern Europe for hundreds of years.
In the 1980s and 1990s, we gave exactly zero craps about form because we weren’t pussies terrified of straining something- we had our eyes on the prize and let nothing get in our way. Foam roll and fiddle about with your spreadsheets if you want- I’ll be busy building legendary strength and banging your girlfriend post workout.
Gyms of the pre-internet era were amazingly simplistic, brutal, awesome affairs. Unthinkable today, bodybuilders and powerlifters actually comingled, training with one another and challenging each other to impromptu, yet unspoken, competitions on everything from the bench to the preacher curl to the behind the neck press and every goddamned thing in between. No one was counting anything but who did more reps or more weight and every workout was a war. There wasn’t a calculation being done at any time, unless you were mentally gauging your training partner’s weakness in selecting the next exercise with which you were going to assault your muscles. No one foam rolled. No one consulted charts and graphs midworkout. Prehab and rehab consisted of walking to and from your car and popping a hell of a lot of stimulants or slamming burgers. The air was filled with chalk and braggadocio, and we had actual fun. Imagine that, you goofballs with your goddamned RPE calculators- WE HAD FUN WHEN WE TRAINED. It was an adventure, and we enjoyed every goddamned second of it. And while we’re at it- we didn’t endlessly discuss training like a pack of monday morning quarterbacks or baseball nerds obsessed with statistics and not with actually playing the sport. We would have looked at that the same way we’d look at people trying to associate metrics to last night’s party at a BDSM dungeon after hours- it’s stupid and it just detracts from the entire experience.
“The ultimate object of education can scarcely be knowledge anymore: it is, rather, the will born of such knowledge. In short, its tendency will be to create the personal or free man. What is truth but the revelation of what we are? It is a matter of discovering ourselves, of freeing ourselves from everything extraneous to us, of retraining ourselves or releasing ourselves radically from all authority, of a return to innocence.”
– Max Stirner
Just as with societies, civilization in the weight room corrupts and weakens the spirit. Following these idiotic programs with the same attention to detail and dogmatic adherence that Gorean slaves do their masters, you remove yourself both from the learning process and the experience of strength training in general. Instead, you become a passive participant in events you deem outside of your control as you slavishly follow the path laid out for you by some nameless stranger. As Jung said, “only a change in the attitude of the individual can bring about a renewal in the spirit,” and if you’re dogmatically following the ideas of someone else, you’re failing to effect change. Your reality is molded by your desire, and only your pointed, rabid thought and action can make it so.
I offer no system. This is not a revolution. I have no desire to replace the world as it is with a new system, nor have I a desire for a return to the past. Instead, I seek a full scale revolt against a world that suggests that the modern human condition, inferior to that of the Cro-Magnon, is the end of our species’ development. Countless humans have transcended normal expectations for physical and mental development, but instead of championing them as a model for emulation, society views them as freaks and outliers and contents itself with consumerism, indolence, obesity, ignorance, puritanism, and weakness. True strength is feared, reviled, marginalized, and demonized. Self-reliance is lambasted as exclusionary and sociopathy. Self improvement in the modern era has become the disgusting field of “self help”, which is naught but excuse-making and pseudoscience. True self improvement is considered at best to be self-indulgent and at worst to be self-destructive solipsism, when it is in fact neither.
Arnold von Winkelried, a Swiss psychopath with bigger balls than a Brahma bull and a hatred for the oppressive hyperstructure of the Habsburgs, led an assault of untrained, battle axe wielding Swiss mountain men against a massed formation of thousands of knights. Utilizing nothing but hatred and big biceps, the Swiss slaughtered the Austrians wholesale… after Arnold just threw himself into the Austrian lines and made a hole in their lines himself.
We must throw off the chains imposed upon us by society so we may stand proud over the plebes as their clear physical, mental, and spiritual superiors. Unfettered by physical weakness, dogmatism, and any other strictures that limit our freedom of thought, we can preside over the world as its giants among Liliputians. We can be the modern incarnation of the Annunaki that will be regarded by future generations as gods and demigods if we choose… or we can bust out our calculators and pocket protectors and contend ourselves with the promise of incremental progress if only we would castrate our spirit and approach life in a dispassionate and ultimately illogical “rational” manner.
SCREW WELLNESS. SCREW WEAKNESS. SCREW FATNESS.
SCREW THEIR BRUISED EGOS AND FEAR OF CRITICISM. SCREW THEIR INNER CHILDREN.
SCREW THE IDEA THAT AVERAGE IS ACCEPTABLE.
DESTROY THE HOUSES THAT WORSHIP INFIRMITY AND MEDIOCRITY.
DESTROY THE WEAK.
Ford, Michael W. Wisdom of Eosphoros. Houston: Succubus Productions, 2015.
Ford, Michael W. Sekhem Apep. Houston: Succubus Productions, 2014.
Henry, Emile. Letter to the governor of the conciergerie prison (1894). No Gods No Masters. Oakland: AK press, 2005.
McVan, Ron. The Book of Wotan. Middletown: Sons of Albion, 2016.
Stirner, Max. The false principles of our education. No Gods No Masters. Oakland: AK press, 2005.