FORWARD BASE B

"Pay my troops no mind; they're just on a fact-finding mission."

Category Archives: literature

Rob Stark’s Journey to Vapor Island, A Review

We first meet nerdy Jewish kid, Noam Metzenbaum, at a heavily multiracial urban high school where he takes solace in his books as star Black athletes monopolize the few pretty blond girls. While everyone else goes along to get along, Noam intensely resents the perverse social order he’s forced to live in. He dreams every day of a society that actually rewards people of culture and intellect with aristocratic status, money, and beautiful women. The people he sees receiving society’s best gifts in the real world are almost always the lowest IQ, the most brutish, the most crass and lewd.
Above the plebeian press of sweaty bodies, there’s just one towering modern figure Noam admires, a dissident version of Trump named Blackstone. Like Trump, normal people both high and low in society who benefit from the status quo instinctively loathe him.

After every humiliating day in his grinding reality of crushingly low incel status, Noam confides in his diary how even though he is an outcast, he knows he has a sort of greater vision that people who just want to be popular at school can never understand. This made me both laugh and reminisce. I can remember thinking a lot like Noam at his age. Adults would praise my bookish abilities yet their approval never turned into real advantages in life. To the contrary, anything the older generations encouraged was counterproductive to any sort of real-life success. So as with Noam, I experienced an extreme dissonance as I was despised for trying to develop my gifts and to be the best I could.
As it turned out, everything I had ever been taught was a lie and Noam finds himself trapped as I was, forced into visions of desperate grandiosity to shield himself from truths that are too harsh for sanity to bear.

Noam forms a crush on a blonde Jewish girl he once met who goes to another school. To his delight, he discovers he is transferring to Chadsworth Academy, the preppy private school she attends. Suddenly he has the chance to escape his daily grind, unite with his crush, and finally vindicate himself as a true Platonic aristocrat ubermensch(as anyone in the dissident sphere has probably dreamed of.)
Chadsworth, though, is full of Chads. They are handsome, athletic, with Dads who are big bankers and hedge fund managers. Yet in spite of these noble qualities they are as debased and lewd as the minority athletes Noam despised at his old school. Noam’s sense of betrayal reaches a new level. Before, he could tell himself he only had to escape the bottom of society. Now, he faces the fact that social order is in its sorry state because the whole hierarchy is rotten from top to bottom. If there had been a true nobility steering the ship, things would never have gotten so bad to begin with. Instead, the aristocracy snorts coke, listens to vulgar rappers, and finds time to virtue signal as society continues to fall apart.

Noam’s transition here again resonates with my own experience. As an incel bookworm myself in high school, I could still hope that maybe society as a whole was headed in the right overall direction. As George W. Bush came to power with his contrived Texan accent and thrust the nation into one pointless war after another on behalf of Lockheed Martin and Halliburton, my faith in the entire system went into freefall. The perversion I had experienced was no accident. Even the very highest and most powerful people in the world were insipid, mediocre tools and from them, waterfalls of venom rushed downward. When one is forced to conclude that they’re a majority of one against a fallen world, the dissident path can no longer be avoided. Though Noam’s pretensions to aristocratic ubermensch status are an obvious desperate coping mechanism that is often darkly humorous, it is difficult for the reader to avoid thinking “he’s not wrong.”

Noam is frustrated by the failure of the elite to show elite leadership. He is blocked from being with his one true crush just as surely as before. His disenchantment grows and he must find a way to solve his problems decisively. You’ll have to read the book to find out how.

As the story progresses, there are whole segments of it that I could only describe as pornographic with enormous amounts of all kinds of bodily fluids and bizarrely kinky behavior. Not my thing, but I saw the emphasis on non-penetrative sexual fetishes as a metaphor for our debauched sexual culture that somehow produces practically no offspring or families.
Moreover, Noam’s never-ending longing for his one true crush that he missed in high school despite the unlimited sexuality that surrounds him contains a poignant message about our culture.
We spend decades “dating” around, always wondering what it might have been like to be with that one high school crush and have a family. But the whole mendacious society rotten from top to bottom relentlessly pushed our young and idealistic selves away from the one thing that might have fulfilled us, continued the cycle of life, and sustained the ruling order’s and the culture’s mandate of heaven over us.

Rob Stark’s story makes good use of dissident symbols such as the various colored pills and the religion of Kek.
In one of my favorite scenes, students at Chadsworth Academy have a debate where they form into groups and represent political parties. The smarmy son of a Jewish millionaire and his JAP hangers on get assigned to the Dem establishment faction. The Chads have fun affecting fake southern accents as the establishment conservatives. The nerdy kid who’s just cool enough to be socially accepted speaks for the libertarian candidate no one cares about. Our protagonist, Noam, is the only one who stands up to speak for Blackstone, the Nietzschean dissident Trump figure. The exchange that follows is hilarious. What’s more, the Blackstone platform includes “smart socialism,” a phrase that may well be borrowed from my own blog. I find this sort of cross-pollination of ideas encouraging.

Another thing I would note, is the trend of almost everyone in the story calling out Noam as a virgin, with his Mom as almost the only exception. It’s so exaggerated that it started to remind me of the kid from a Christmas Story getting told “You’ll shoot your eye out!” every time he brings up his desire for a BB gun for Christmas. Almost all the Chad antagonists act like they could have walked right out of Back to the Future. This emphasizes where Noam is at in life as a vulnerable teenager approaching peak sexual frustration. I came to read Noam’s narration as semi-unreliable and it was amusing to try to filter the real world from his perception of it.
As the story reaches its later stages, this unreliability seems to be confirmed. But what should we expect from a story called “Vapor Island?”

Overall, this is perhaps the first novel I’ve read that I would place squarely within the dissident sphere and totally independent of the philosophy and tropes of the neo-liberal order. Despite the strange fetishes that take up quite a bit of this story, I found it to be a poignant parable of growing up as a majority of one in a deranged society where all anyone cares about is popularity, “networking,” and the top 25 pop songs.

My New Alt-Dissident Fantasy Fiction

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5 (conclusion)

I have previously opined that the alt-dissidents ought to establish culture and aesthetics rather than just making formal arguments.
I decided to try to practice what I preach and for the last few weeks I’ve been working on a mini-novella instead of my regular blog posts. I’ve chosen to write in a fantasy setting because I’ve always wanted to, but also because establishing mythological tales is a natural place to start for an emerging culture. And much of modern mythology comes from fantasy, sci-fi, and superhero stories.
Narratives about gods and heroes are popular in every culture because humans seem to universally process the world around them in terms of archetypes. Greek Gods, Norse Gods, and modern superheroes all embody essential principles and the interactions of these characters mirror the relationships between those principles in real life. It is my guess that myth-making is a primal human activity because it can communicate abstractions even to people who are illiterate and/or low IQ on a visceral and intuitive level.

I have often used the concepts of Heaven and Hell on this blog to contrast the established social order with those who thrive outside of it and against it. Now, I have applied this analogy to a narrative.
I didn’t feel this blog was the right medium for longer pieces of fiction. I have always believed in sticking to essays here between 600-1500 words that readers can easily scroll through.
So I approached Kaiter Enless of Logos Club with a query and after reviewing it, he expressed his interest in publishing my story on his site divided into 4-5 parts. Part 1 was just put up today and I will have the rest forthcoming soon.

Special thanks to Garr who personally volunteered his time to edit and critique the story and to Ulric Kerensky who also read through the rough draft and gave me excellent feedback.

Plight of the Millenials In Verse or Giovanni Mnemonic

I’ve been wondering some time about the most efficient, easiest, most digestible means of transferring ideas on the internet, in writing.

I’ve noticed top ten lists are an extremely effective memetic container, but I also look to the past for guidance in finding effective mnemonic devices for transferring ideas.

Dissenting bloggers like me spill out pages and pages, but they only seem to reach people who already agree with them.

How does one convey a certain point of view without pages of pontificating?

I decided to make an attempt at condensing information and making it more accessible using verse.

I’m not trying to aspire to Homeric genius here. So don’t bother having a shit fit about the niceties of technique. I’m just trying to make certain key concepts as easy to understand in as little time as possible. One might even consider it an industrial operation.

Verse was the pre-modern mnemonic container of choice, so might it have any potential role still on the internet?

I have to admit, this sounds to my inner ear almost rap-ish.

Dear Young man,

I’ve come to warn you today
Everything they’ve ever told you
You must quickly throw away

I went down the path they showed me
They said it was the only way
I was too young
I was you
I believed grades would somehow matter
Believed youth’s brief day
Ought to be spent on sixteen years
Of endless classes.

Do what you love.
It doesn’t matter what degree
That sounded nice
And everyone agreed
Why would I not have believed?
The herd is always right.

They’ve told you to be good and kind
To earn your keep
To protect and provide.
Listen to them,
You become a flightless bird
Beaten, ignored, and despised.
In this world
The best competitor gets every prize.

That soft Eden they must have come from
Has long been left behind
This is a war of all against all
A desperate fight to survive

Won’t they thank you once you’ve done all they asked?
When nothing is as planned?
When you’ve reached the other side,
Won’t they accept you and understand?

Dear young man,
There’s no reward for defeat
Only successful young men really exist.
The rest are just a statistic.
Whether you fall in battle
Or can’t find that ‘career.’
You are a dead man just the same.

Not a student, not a boy, not a father, or even a man
Not an anything
You are lost from the world of social roles
Into a world of ghosts.
There you have no status or name.
You haunt the world of the living still
Bound to earth by debt’s heavy chains.

You received an impressive letter today
You’ve been accepted
But don’t become indebted
Until you know how you’ll make it all back
Don’t go into their trap until you know your way out
Don’t go unless you know how you’re making your cash.

In this world no one pays you a dime
Unless they have no better choice
Until there’s a gun to their head
You’re a homeless man without a voice.

Your parents are planning to retire
Your sister gets to live like a movie star

You’re the only one on your side
Don’t let them use you up for free!
Your life is already cheap enough
Don’t let them use you up.

They threw a million of you away
In a landfill called the Somme
Dear young man, you’re disposable
Take care of yourself.
You’re the only one who cares

Chorus:

Social obligation is a two way street
I want to help but I’ve got to eat
You want my toil and my loyalty
But I can’t do it all for free

You all say I’m a complainer, a loser
Entitled and spoiled
All I want is a living!

You want to have your ‘golden years’ and retire?
I tell you now,
You better make it worth my while.
You want to die in bed?
Why do I care?
I’ll be working until I fall over dead on the job.

What Game of Thrones Tells Us About Modernity

It’s not often a work of fantasy breaks into the the mainstream.

I read tons of fantasy when I was a kid and with the exception of Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, the whole genre was considered a niche market.

Thus the re-emergence of fantasy into the popular consciousness comes as a major landmark.
Why did this happen?

The first word that people use when they describe Game of Thrones is ‘realistic.’
There’s no clearly defined good or bad guys, plot twists break from established conventions.
The whole social world is defined by infidelity, incest, Machiavellian self interest, and betrayal.

The one classically moral character who refuses to adapt and insists on sticking to his values comes to a tragic end.
Not only is he killed, his best intentions lead only to strife and catastrophe.

I tried to read these books at the recommendations of some friends, but I didn’t get very far. The first thing I noticed was that I’d been introduced to about 20 different characters by page 50 and I struggled to keep them all straight in my head and remember their unremarkable Old English names.
Already the social relationships between these characters were becoming a web of petty backbiting.

In short: it was an awful lot like spending time on facebook; the kind of shallow social interaction I’d always gone to fantasy books to get away from!

Fantasy is a form of mythology; it tells larger than life stories about the experiences in our daily lives.

The huge success of Game of Thrones is a powerful indicator of how the popular consciousness has shifted.

The schemers win and the honorable men are naive fools who will only end up being taken advantage of. Worse, their good intentions will inevitably backfire within our modern order.

Why does this tragic outcome have such a deep appeal?
Members of the audience perhaps wish an Eddard Stark could have won the day but simultaneously have a cynical knowledge that this can never be.
In this moral dissonance, we perhaps find a certain catharsis that helps us resolve emotions we bottle up every day.

We know that asshole boss who played The Game of Thrones better than we did is going to be the winner over us, tomorrow, and the next day, and the next…

Perhaps before this Second Great Depression revealed beyond all doubt that a great game of selfish intrigue defines our society up to its highest ranks, we could tell ourselves that some how the good guys will win in the end.

Those who care about the future of this society would do well to take note that these ‘realistic’ attitudes have seeped into the wellsprings of our collective imagination.

LINK

Eddard Stark

Eddard Stark

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