Bloody shovel

Don't call it a spade

Men doing their own thing

Basically means doing steroids and denying that those have any bad effect.

You’ll remember a post I did a while ago on the Chinese classical novel, the Water Margin. That’s a 14th century novel, thought to be based on the peasant rebellions that overthrew the Mongol Yuan Dynasty in China in the 1350s. So that’s 665 years ago. The novel is a historical novel of a previous rebellion in the 1110s. Rebellions are of course stories of men, and the Water Margin is an epic story of 108 men who are forced to leave society by evil men, and thus go up the mountain to do their own thing. To this day, when a man says “fuck it” and leaves polite society to do his own thing, in Chinese you say he is “forced to climb to mount Liang”, which is the hideout of the rebels in the Water Margin.

So what did these great bros do up at Liangshan? Bully each other into a signaling spiral of binge drinking, binge eating, pointless fighting and destruction of normal family life. And completely disregard for women. The only women in the novel are bros too, women fighers who can beat 100 men while handling huge spears on horseback. Those are cool. Other women are hoes, and hoes are not cool. The sheer nonsense and sometimes pure evil that the novel describes as being the honorable and manly thing to do is just amazing. One of the stories that amazed me the most was how 秦明 Qin Ming joined the gang.

Oh sorry, I forgot that Chinese names just don’t register as human to foreign ears. So let’s call him Archibald Cooper. Well Cooper was a general of the dynasty, working as chief of the garrison of Qingzhou (you’ll allow me to use the original placenames), and as such he was ordered to crack down on the hero-rebels which were hiding on the mountains. Crack down he did, and he fought them valiantly. He had a reputation for being extremely brave and reckless in battle, never losing the will to fight. But of course he was fighting the hero-rebels, and so he lost. He was captured after the battle, and taken to the rebel HQ, where he expected to be tortured and killed. But no, the hero-rebels told him they admired his reputation for honor and bravery, and wanted him to join the rebel army. Obviously he was a bro, and all bros of the world should join the rebel army.

It’s a funny argument, kinda Islamic. All moral people should be Muslim, as it’s the right thing to do. So all good people are supposed to convert eventually. Apostasy is unthinkable. Once a bro always a bro! Thus thought the medieval Chinese too. All good men are bros.

However our friend Cooper couldn’t just join the rebels after a defeat. He has sworn an oath of loyalty to the dynasty, and a bro is supposed to uphold his oaths. The rebels understood that, them being also hero-bros. So he was left to go back to his post at the garrison, just like that.

However the rebels had no intention of just letting such a good bro leave. They sent a bunch of bros, impersonating Cooper, and went on a killing rampage close to Qingzhou. The whole town around the castle was massacred and burnt, hundreds of men, women and children killed in the process. Then they shouted to the walls: I’m Archibald Cooper, and I joined the rebels! Mwahaha!

Some hours later the real Cooper arrives, and sees the carnage, not knowing what was all that about. He calls to the gates to request passage into the city, but he is of course refused. The local governor comes out and shouts to him that he is a despicable traitor, and that his whole family inside the city has been tortured and killed. The severed head of his father, wife and children are posted on pikes and shown above the city walls, for him to see.

Imagine that. You come back home exhausted after a war, and the severed head of your father, wife and children are posted on pikes. Thanks for that. Being chased out of the city, and not really knowing what had happened, he goes back to the rebel HQ to ask for help in killing the local governor, that he blames for the assault. Once he gets there, though, the rebel-bros tell them that actually… all that was their fault. They respected him so much, you know, bro, you’re so awesome, we wanted you to join us so badly, so we made this little plan, to impersonate you and make it impossible for you to go back to the garrison. We planned to get your family and take them here with us after the thing, but the gates were closed, and we just couldn’t manage. Sorry ’bout that, bro. Our intentions were good!

Imagine that. Surely Cooper took out his sword and killed everything on the spot. Right? Right? No. He fell on his knees and cried, but he understood that what is done is done, his father, wife and children are all dead and their heads are on spikes. But the real bad man is the city governor, who killed his family without checking with him. The bros who impersonated him and killed hundreds of civilians were good bros with good intentions. So after being offered the sister of one bro in marriage as compensation, he resolved to join the bro-army, and he became one of their best fighters.

Bros before hoes! And before fathers. And children. Yes, always bros.

Now of course in the 21st century we don’t have rebel armies in Liangshan, hiding from the evil dishonorable men that don’t give them the status they deserve as hero-bros. But now we have men-doing-their-own-thing. Or going their own way, whatever. Now, don’t get me wrong. I totally get the motivation. Feminism has made life completely pointless for many men. It just doesn’t pay to marry or even cohabitate. With the average woman you need to be a dark-triad psychopath in order to have her respect you. So it’s no wonder that many men just say fuck it and go climb a metaphorical Mount Liang and do their own thing. Sure, porn, movies and videogames have also made the average men have a rather excessive expectation of what a woman should be. Most men would find their young grandmothers to be short, ugly, boring and uptight, completely unworthy of courtship, yet grandpa had no qualms in marrying them. But still, modern women are unpleasant. Very unpleasant. And so men withdraw.

But what do men after withdrawal. What do men do when in the company of other men, without unpleasant and rapacious women to bother them. This is what they do. They seek manliness. They become bros, the ultimate bros. They go to the gym, they work out, they build muscle. Muscle is good, muscle is manly. So they work out some more. They compete to see who has more muscles, who is the better bro, who is more manly. They take steroids. They work out some more. The steroids get into their brains, clouding their judgment. Their testicles atrophy. They crash their cars. They become a complete nuissance to everyone. They go online and leave comments about how steroids are cool and completely harmless. How can they be bad? They make you more manly. That’s good, because being manly is good. Surely being more manly can only be better! They are bros, and that’s all that matters.

You’ll have noticed this is not at all different to how women bully themselves into being increasingly more annoying, ugly and unreasonable, because being feminist is good, surely being more feminist can only be better! Being Maoist is good, surely worshipping Mao’s mangoes is only reasonable. You get the picture.

If Sailer is onto something, and long term steroid use messes with your hormones so much you develop an uncontrollable desire to become a tranny after your 50s, all those Men Going their Own Way are gonna be a funny sight in 20 years time. At least now they can marry each other!

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20 responses to “Men doing their own thing

  1. ivvenalis December 30, 2015 at 15:44

    That iSteve thread has several commenters insisting that testosterone/steroids increasing aggression, or in fact causing any change in behavior, is a myth. WTF.

  2. Duke of Qin December 31, 2015 at 01:32

    I think you may be reading too much into this. The ethical values of the ancients are simply different to modern Christian sensibilities.That the characters in the Water Margin were murderous sociopaths is irrespective of their heroism and righteousness. The pagan societies’ these myths arose from simply valued different things. In an age were “heroes” consists now licentious whores otherwise known as strong single mothers or mostly parasitic agents of state bureaucracy aka the police and firemen, I cannot say that our values are much of an improvement. Certainly the image of Neoptolemus beating old King Priam to death with the body of his grandson Astyanax or Beowulf observing his kinsmen being devoured in their sleep makes for much more rousing storytelling at the least.

    • spandrell December 31, 2015 at 04:11

      The Water Margin has been an officially forbidden book for longer than it has been allowed. Confucians were also naturally scandalized by the praise given to a bunch of thiefs and murderers. But the book is still popular to this day among male teenagers because it´s fun to be a bro. Bro culture is universal because men are men and will always be men. You’ll give me the parallels with modern bros are striking.

      I’m sure a suitable translation would be very popular among the steroid taking crowd. Hell, it even anticipates the kick-ass babe that is such a common trope in Hollywood movies.

      I am eternally mystified by how people didn’t see the contradiction of Song Jiang being this righteous, humane, merciful boss who everybody loves, and yet he has no problem killing people’s family, and eventually leads the whole band to their deaths just in order to go to the history books as a loyal subject of his emperor. I admit modern sensibilities are different but surely some readers in the Ming dynasty must have thought wtf. Chinese literature has a tradition of bad endings but the Water Margin’s is just surreal.

      • Azn January 17, 2016 at 07:50

        The interesting thing is that if you read the Romance of the Three Kingdoms, there are a few stories of generals being forced into a position where they have no choice but to switch sides. So maybe its not just bro-hood but Chinese culture in general. You don’t have these sort of stories coming out of Europe, which was also totally bro-like back when.

        Unlike Europe where a bunch of different tribes turned into France, Germany, etc., in China one tribe (who eventually called themselves “Han”) got most of the spoils. I only realized recently that most of Southern China was once regarded as barbarian territory by the Chinese as recently as a couple thousand years ago. But the Chinese would send army after army, impress the natives, get them to speak Chinese, listen envoys from the Imperial Court, etc., and voila – congrats, you’re Chinese. Now you’re one of us.

        So it didn’t really matter how they got the natives on board, whether through war, extermination, conquest, bribery, flattery, persuasion, etc., what mattered was the natives got somehow pacified. So I guess that kinda thinking is somehow reflected culturally in stories of how different factions angle for an advantage – there is a certain cold blooded pragmatism and only-ends-matter ethos.

        Chinese meritocracy is distinct from European (or maybe Anglo-Saxon) meritocracy – ideas of honour, of fair play, if you think about, are really social institutions to ensure that the best rise to the top and the not so good can’t cheat their way up. These are really ideas to maximize the well-being of the group, the tribe, do the right thing, etc. etc.

        The Chinese, well, they were the only game in town and the rest were barbarians, so presumably ideas such as honour and ensuring the good of the tribe simply didn’t have all that much social application – but what you had was a massive petri dish of intense competition, so getting ahead, by any mans possible, was all that mattered. So Chinese meritocracy was simply exam based, more a device for identifying members to join the bureaucracy, than a society-wide system of norms. .

        So a Westerner (or Western-educated Asian) might read Water Margin and it actually sets off “something is wrong” here in his brain, enough to blog about it. A similarly-intelligent Chinese might read it and go, oooh, how terrible, the poor family, but well, that’s life. Hey, what’s on TV?

        • spandrell January 17, 2016 at 12:14

          Liu Bang also pulled that sort of trick in the Chu-Han war. It’s an old trick over there.

          I’m a westerner. Old European. Indeed never heard any Asian fan of the Water Margin even casually refer to the completely fucked up moral sense of the protagonists. Which you’d never suspect given how beta Asian men are today.

          But it’s not like the Chinese were not about honor. They very much were. Suicide upon defeat in battle was expected, and routinely done. Bros are very jumpy about being belittled, and the Chinese were extremely touchy about their reputation. They would kill themselves alongside their families, or get themselves killed, just to make a point. So they weren’t amoral strivers. It just happens they don’t give a shit about their women and children. You can kill a bro’s son and rape his wife, but don’t you dare dis him. That ain’t done.

          • B January 31, 2016 at 16:16

            That’s not honor-it’s shame.

            There’s been a lot of stuff written about the difference between honor and shame cultures.

            • spandrell January 31, 2016 at 16:20

              Guilt and shame cultures. And it’s all crap. Ruth Benedict never ever went to Japan.

              When Muslims kill their daughter we call that “honor killings”. Same thing. You don’t get to change the definition because you like the word.

  3. Dystopia Max December 31, 2015 at 10:10

    “You’ll have noticed this is not at all different to how women bully themselves into being increasingly more annoying, ugly and unreasonable, because being feminist is good, surely being more feminist can only be better!”

    Sure it is-muscles are actually good and good-looking on a man even when not among bros, whereas becoming more annoying, ugly and unreasonable is only valued while among like-minded women, and gets harshly bullied out of you once you rejoin the wider society, or catch a glimpse of what the musclemen are looking at.

    Channel the bro instinct into disciplining your own female and respecting the bros that lead their own families, bro.

    • spandrell December 31, 2015 at 13:18

      Some amount of muscles looks good. Steroid-fueled muscles look awful, even to women.

      My bro instinct goes precisely to disciplining my family. I salute all my fellow men who don’t go their own way and use their masculinity for its proper evolutionary purpose. Happy New Year to all.

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  5. snowdensjacket0x0x0 January 6, 2016 at 23:58

    So you don’t like what men are trying to do in this dystopian hell hole and your answer is to try to shame men who are reacting to being shamed for their entire lives?

    Wow. Way up go dude. You’re a real winner.

    I think guys should join Islam. They want to institute Sharia law. Which would make adultery illegal and encourage marriage. You know the things you claim to support. So why aren’t you supporting the only group that espouses these values? Christians don’t support making adultery illegal. You know the [I]horrible[/I] stoning of adulterous people. Even, gasp!, women! Why you hate the women bro?

    You have no answers. Only the pathetic typical shaming tactics. Way to fucking go dude. Why the fuck is this shit being linked to on the DE sub?

    • spandrell January 7, 2016 at 00:50

      Hey bro you mad? Can’t take a little shaming? I’m sorry if I heart your little bro feelings, but as a married man who has reproduced himself, I have the right to tell you suck it up. Bro.

      Boo, mommy, some guy shamed me on the internet, boo. I don’t like shaming mom, why do people do that, it’s mean.

      Seriously though, I am not unsympathetic. And totally agree on you converting to Islam. Seriously, go for it. Everything that reduces the chances of my wife divorce-raping me (as remote as they are due to my sheer alphahood) is a good thing.

  6. B January 10, 2016 at 12:14

    When you look up the Rat Heaven experiment and see the Beautiful Ones, bros/PUAs/etc. appear in an entirely different light.

    Evolutionarily, there is no difference between Roissy and a cat lady. 2 sides of the same coin.

    • Azn January 17, 2016 at 07:24

      I hate to say this because Roissy rocks, he really does. He’s done more for bros than just bout anyone out there. But… B has a point.

  7. namae nanka January 16, 2016 at 02:55

    Being manly is good even for women. That’s what feminists are really about anyway.

    http://endofwomen.blogspot.com/2015/03/steroids-are-new-skinny.html

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