Hat tip to Nick August, @StoicRed1 on Twitter, for the title and the inspiration for this post.
Some men offer content & services to increase your understanding of what is.
Some men are forming the new Little Rascals & building forts.
The question is…what do you need for the most important part of your journey…the part where you have to go it alone?
— Nick August (@StoicRed1) November 24, 2019
Without knowing it at the time, Nick brought up something for me that has been an itch that I’ve been needing to scratch. His quote above brought it to the surface for me, and now, hopefully, I’ll get to scratch that motherfucker.
So here’s the deal:
I’ve always considered myself as a guy who is interested in what “is” instead of what “ought to be,” or what “was.” I’ve always been interested in improving myself instead of trying to be a part of a group. I know that the desire to be a part of something “bigger” is a real thing, and we are herd animals by nature. We are social, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. I’ve been a part of different groups over the years. Everything from the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts when I was a kid, to having a band in high school, to being in an honor society during college, and the last group that I affliliated with and belonged to was a Motorcycle Club. I understand group affiliation and the need to belong.
I also understand that you should seriously consider what it is that you’re looking for before joining a group. TJ Martinell wrote about it awhile ago, and it had something to do with “gamma’s” and also if you want to know how the group is, look to its leader. How is the leader, or leadership? The problem that I’ve encountered with most groups, especially those that are online, is that nothing actually gets accomplished or gets done except for possibly the “worship” of the leadership, and a lot of back patting each other. A lot of sitting around, talking shit, buying yet more “courses” or “secret information” from the leadership, a lot of digital “high-fives,” and a lot of mental masturbation.
I’m not part of any online groups at this time, other than hanging out with the guys from Masculine Geek. I do know and have happened to talk to some guys who either are, or were, a part of some online “exclusive” groups, groups coincidentally that you had to pay some sort of fee to join, and these people have given me a small taste of what is going on in these online groups. All the shit that I just mentioned? Yeah, that’s what’s going on.
Larping with a side of mental masturbation is what is going on. That and for a lot of guys in these groups, a lightening of their wallets. Personally, I don’t have an issue with the leadership fleecing its flock. A fool and his money are soon parted, or something like that. Sometimes that is the lesson that is needed. “What did you get out of that group, bud?” “Nothing but broke. But hey, I won’t be doing that again!” You get to burn.
The New Little Rascals Building Forts. In this case, cardboard box forts. Forts made of farts and hot air. But don’t worry Brother! We are going to save the West! Join us now and together we will rule the galaxy as father and son!
Ooops, my bad, wrong quote.
The West can’t be saved because it doesn’t want to be saved. It would have already been saved by now, but here we are, on an express train to hell, with no engineer at the controls, and if you were to get inside the engine cab, you would find that the controls are broken and nobody has the manual or the tools to fix it. And nobody wants to fix it. Except for maybe that one leader guy and his seven subscribers to his online group. But even they don’t want to “Save the West.” They just want to talk about saving the West. The leader just wants to keep them around longer in order to get more money from the monthly memberships and whatever online courses he can sell to them. Otherwise, he’ll have to go back out in the real world and get an actual job. But fuck it, you’ve got money to blow and the camaraderie is awesome, so why not?
I’m more interested in how I can be more self-sufficient and how the world actually operates, instead of how I wished it operated. I understand that a Man cannot be an island unto himself, that teamwork gets things done faster, better, and more efficiently. But when the leadership and the group itself has no real idea of what is going on, and they have no real idea of how to deal with the situation that they claim to know about, yeah, that can be a problem. But hey, go ahead and join that group and build a cardboard box fort with your new buddies. Tell me how’s that working out for ya, bud?
Like most platitudes, mantras, and slogans, “building forts” is another narcotic. It makes you feel good getting those high-fives and back slaps, but at the end of the day, are you actually accomplishing something? Did you learn a skill? Are you learning something of actual substance?
Or did you get the latest “secret?” The latest “insider information?” If whatever it is made you feel good, it’s probably bullshit and a narcotic. Have fun with that. At least when I hang out with my group, I drink beer.
I’ll be over here dealing with “what is,” instead of building paper forts with the buds.
Honestly, you would be better off looking for something in your locality, literally in your own neighborhood when it comes to joining a group. At least I got to drink and ride with my Brothers in the club and we had each other’s back when shit went down. Real life beats online hands down, every time.
Like Nick said, “The question is, what do you need for the most important part of your journey, the part where you have to go it alone?” Are your buddies in their digital online fort going to be there for you? Probably not. When the money runs out, your money, let’s see where you are left standing, and who is still standing with you. Hint: I’m not going to hold my breath.
Better hope your new online buddies in your new online group, building their new online cardboard box fort are teaching you how to go it alone. You’ve got to be able to go it alone, because at some point, you’ll have no other choice but to go it alone. I guarantee you that.
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