Author Archives: redpillneo

About redpillneo

Philosopher. Aesthetic. Wanderer. Let's play.

Dress For Success – Or Whatever

Morning comes. Or perhaps afternoon. The searing New Mexico sun announces that it’s time to drag my ass out of bed/off the couch/up from the bathroom floor, walk/stumble over to my closet/suitcase/laundry pile, and find something to where to class that will in some way distinguish me from all the other bums out on Central Avenue.

If I was lucky enough to fall asleep in my jeans, half the problem is solved outright (yay! denim karmas.) I have a fairly nice collection of t-shirts, most of which are reasonably inoffensive without labeling me as a square; the trick now is to match the size and tightness of the shirt with the jeans in question. Anything with a deodorant stain is tossed back, until time or scrubbing remove the marring whiteness. If I have a particular shirt in mind, such as my favorite Turisas concert tee, I may spare the energy to distinguish it from the aggregate mass of black, inside-out fabric, but my perpetual chillness may preclude such toil. A ponytail, one of four bandannas for a splash of color (or auxiliary blackness, contingently,) and a smile-inducing bout of coffee and Finnish metal where time allows, and I’m off on the commute to UNM.

The caffeine should be hitting by the time I enter class, and I’m starting to groove out on Kant or Heidegger (much more likely the latter – I have little stomach for realist apologetics.) The prof is probably fairly decently dressed, buttons or a collar, nothing too elaborate. Jesse’s looking clean-cut – that bastard always gets the ladies’ attention. The department greets me with a wealth of aesthetics: short hair and earrings, dreads and bandannas, ink and ponytails, nice jeans and a button shirt.

Occasionally, it dawns on me that I should make some effort to be “more professional” – no, that’s not it, there are at least three other dudes in here dressed straight outta hippie quarterly. I’ve shit-canned the wearing of jeans with holes in them in a classroom context; that should help. I guess I find myself coming off as – aggro? Grungy? Neo-cynicist – yes.

I don’t, as a rule, believe in extraneous social controls qua fashion. Still, I’m here on a fucking mission: I’ve got my warhammer, I’m doing my drills, I’m honing my philosophy for battle in the harsh academic jungle. Do I want to be the guy that comes in and whispers “yo dude…embrace the chill,” or do I want to turn some heads and drop some jaws? Is it possible to salvage this aesthetic with a layer of grey/black button shirts? Will the addition of a necklace successfully fool people into thinking I put effort into this ragtag ensemble?

Damn…I usually don’t put this much thought into these things; I’m starting to feel out of character. Image is power, illusion is power; so is centeredness, authenticity. I have come to join the UNM Lobos in prowling the forests of the academe. To run with the wolves – must I dress like a sheep?

Redpillneo is a contributing author for Project Group Think. Follow us on Twitter – we’re PGTblog.

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MMA: A Forgotten Legacy

Five years ago, while enjoying my regularly-scheduled weight training, I came upon a poster that would change my life. “OU Mixed Martial Arts,” it read, probably with some low-key graphic and the psoted “Tues/Thurs 9-11 PM” that would become etched upon my undergraduate schedule for the next four years.

At this point in history, the UFC was still a fledgling corporation struggling for “cult” status with Pride Fighting and K-1. Nowadays, I can barely turn a corner without seeing “Tap-Out” splayed across a shirt or bumper sticker. The point is that in 2004, the letters “MMA” had little to nothing to do with the letters “UFC,” they were simply used by a group of people to express that they were more interested in following a diversified training curriculum than pursuing a single art. Where the term still held connotations of cage-fighting, the two were nowhere near so synonymous as they are in the modern day.

Years later, having left the fabled fields of far-off Athens, I found myself perusing flyers at the UNM rec center in search of training opportunities. “MMA Jujutsu,” one read, leaving me perplexed – the formula “Mixed Martial Arts (Insert Singular Art Here)” seems self-contradictory at best. Settling on Ninjutsu and Capoeira, I spoke with a fellow student about the offered “Turbo Kickboxing,” whose description caught my eye with a reference to Muay Thai. She objected that the course involved very little striking or combinations; at which point I grew appalled – I do not know that her allegations are factual; but I DO know that if you can go an hour without launching an elbow, knee, or round-kick, you have no business invoking the name of Muay Thai’s ancient, respected, and notoriously lethal art; no matter how vogue doing so may seem.

“Vogue” is the critical word here – it has become the “hot trend” to talk about MMA, Muay Thai, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. It has become “in” and “stylish” to walk around with BJ Penn on a t-shirt, whether or not you’ve seen the man fight or even know who he is. It has become “hip” for Brock Lesnar, who admittedly could break me in twain with but a modicum of effort, to run his mouth like a chump on national television, bringing WWE-grade antics into the more esteemed realm of martial arts combat.

It was, at one point, more esteemed. I see the letters MMA on the streets of ‘Burque, whoring out for anyone with twenty bucks and a hard-on for Dana White. I see school-yard level shit-talking from grown men in an effort to make venerable traditions marketable on cable television. In short, I see the martial arts becoming poisoned by the filth of Hollywood consumerism.

On a more practical level, the problem becomes one of steroidal meatheads learning how to fight without the requisite spiritual training, essentially turning machismo-ridden frat boys into walking weapons while the rich historical and cultural traditions of the arts find themselves beyond forgotten; overlooked by thugs and hipsters for a flashier, brand-specific way of combat.

Californication: one. Ancient spiritual traditions: zilch.

Redpillneo is a contributing writer for Project Group Think. Follow us on Twitter – we’re PGTblog.

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Love and Transience: Antinomy Unreconciled

I’ve always been something of a romantic. Even at the height of nihilism, a relatively newer friend was able to see this truth and call me on it. The day has come, however, where love is stranger and less real to me – perhaps I should elucidate by narrative.

Four years ago, I met a woman with whom I became quickly and entirely enamored. We had been having a wonderful evening, though she knew nothing of what I felt; and at its close she told me that her sleeping-space was occupied by a roommate’s parent – she needed a place to crash. I offered her my
roommate’s bunk, beneath mine, and proceeded to elude sleep for time unmeasurable.

I remember needing her; my soul crying out not ten feet to the angel beneath me, coming to suspect that the fulfillment or the ruin of my universe was entirely dependent on her place within it. I remember struggling to sleep and even to breathe, as if my lungs had gone on strike until their friend the heart had been fulfilled. I remember agony.

She never went for me, though it can’t be said I didn’t try. If I knew then what I know today, of women and of love, I might have been more successful. Perhaps I am delusional in thinking this, but the point is hardly worth disputing – there is no rewinding, and the memory stands. When I came down from my first official bender, I went to on to love again, surviving more highs and more lows up to the present day.

One of these lows was, in a number of ways, the last straw. A recent relationship devolved into the sort of trainwreck which, upon explosion, erupted into vast mushroom clouds of bad karmas, raining down upon myself and those around me to pollute and singe us all. I survived.

Sorrow is a guru; mine has taught me self-reliance and impermanence. Everything beautiful dies. In the wake of this knowledge, however, I simply cannot fathom what divine being could once more find my heart and leave it breathless – that sort of needing has escaped me now.

What has transpired here? Is this a newer, less juvenile face of love, or have I inadvertently scarred and calloused parts of me unto the point of deadness? I don’t much mind – it is peaceful here, like the great Dr. Manhattan sitting solitary in a sea of crimson beauty. Moreover, I trust that if love can come, it will. All is waves and currents, crests that follow troughs that follow crests.

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True Blood: The Vamp Show That Didn’t Bungle

Whilst killing time at my amigo’s flat, the hour inevitably came when the bars were closed and we had played all the Smash Brawl we could reasonably stand. Calling my attention to a small, white box with mildly erotic cover art, he suggested we watch an episode from the first season of “True Blood,” his latest vampire-infused TV fetish.

I immediately recoiled, as if repelled by garlic or by sunlight. I’m really not much of a television enthusiast, truth be told, and rumors of Twilight’s blatant donk-canery had soured my taste for any attempts at mainstreaming the vampire genre. (Sparkling vampires? Stake through the heart. Or maybe a kukri knife, a la the original Stokerian epic.)

Due to boredom, masochism, or the perseverance of hope, I decided to give it a shot. After five or six hours of viewing time over two subsequent evenings, I am happy to say that my doubt has been laid to rest – the program is well-written, engaging, and most importantly, does not reduce the vampire to a glittering, Hot Topic-esque pissant conceived to arouse fifteen year-old emo chicks.

This does not imply that the show does not have its sensual moments. The vampire has long been a symbol of sexuality and deviance, and I cringed at first for fear of half-assed soft-core or soap-inspired shamefulness. Never you fear, gentle reader – True Blood rides the line between Steeleian cliché and pleasant sexuality like a drugged up fang-banger straddling their first vampire lay (puts “v-card” in a whole new light, doesn’t it?)

Outside the bedroom, the show continues not to disappoint. A host of believable if routinely traumatized characters (it is, after all, a drama) bring the town of Bon Temps to life, infusing the program with a down-homey, colloquial flare. While the dialogue’s backwoods simplicity was alienating at first, repeated exposure charms the viewer like a southern belle; drawing the audience into the more human aspects of a fantastic world. This is a strong claim coming from me, as a lifetime of exposure to Bush-era redneckery has embittered me toward anything that drives a pick-up and listens to Toby Keith; but it is true – seeing relatable characters in such familiar surroundings actually did much to assuage the shame brought on by my humble Midwestern origins.

And speaking of politicizing, I should applaud the satirical elements of True Blood. The message is subtle yet undeniable, as background programs host chattering about vampire-rights legislators and the struggle to legalize vampire marriage. Pricelessly, a Fellowship of the Sun cathedral even sports a bright yellow poster reading “God Hates Fangs.” If that doesn’t get you off, well, then I simply have no comment.

While the action scenes are not uber-abundant, they certainly occur often enough to maintain interest. The violence is intensely fast-paced and often over quickly, which upon consideration is better than the drawn-out, cheese-ridden excuses for melees that so permeated the genre’s prior failures. Also, as the name implies, the program is suitably ensanguined in other aspects, from vampire intercourse to the snorting of vamp blood to induce psychedelic journeys.

All in all, this is the program that got it right. While it is not my favorite drama of all time (bring back The Riches!), it is a masterful forward leap for the vampire traditions, honoring the genre’s hallmarks without trespassing into the cliché. The show maintains an aestheic homage to metal and gothic aesthetics at points (such as at the vamp-bar “Fangtasia”) while keeping Bon Temps and its residents believably normal – the only inconsistency is that landscapers and wait-staff walk around in high-end, sponsor-evident fashions. Also, I am proud to announce that HBO’s vampires balk at running water, recoil from sunlight and silver, and are precluded from entering private dwellings uninvited. And, once again, they don’t fucking glitter!!!

Red Pill Neo is a contributing writer for Project Group Think. He apologizes for the late post, citing an impending move back west brought upon by perpetual nomad-ism. Follow Neo and his PGT pals on Twitter – once again, we’re PGTblog!!!

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Novel Writing 101

So you want to be a writer. If you’re a WordPress enthusiast, chances are you may be a writer already. Maybe, like many of us, you think you might be or would like to be a writer, but have little understanding of what writing might actually entail. The good news is, there are a number of useful books already published on the matter from which the literary aspirant can glean wisdom (I highly recommend Stephen King’s “On Writing,” though I absolutely disagree with a good bit of it.) And, in even better news, there’s a free guide right in front of you.

I am not a published author. However, I am acquainted with the writing process on a level of intimacy which, I believe, qualifies me to make the following judgments concerning my experiences with literary composition, in the hopes that you, too, can find them useful on your own path to linguistic renown (or give your own dissenting and presumably useful opinion – I’ve got a lot to learn, too.)

First of all, and I think King will agree with me on this one, writing is all about finding a “space.” Stories spin themselves out within certain mental parameters that construct the boundaries and intricacies of wholly different worlds within an author’s mind, and to go there you are going to want a physical and mental space that will minimize distraction and catalyze inspiration, ultimately dragging you more deeply into the story and away from this goofy primary reality we all spend so much time complaining about.

I’m not saying you need to sprint off to Ikea and drop your savings on a well-equipped office – a laptop and a familiar tree will be just as sufficient, weather permitting. If you’re feeling glitzy, a cup of coffee and a good bowl are as much as you’ll probably need in the way of glamour.

Which brings me to my next point. Oftentimes, the Dickenses and Hemingways of the world are cited as irrefutable proof that one must be a drug-mongering addict to succeed as an author. This is bullshit. Those familiar with my work at PGT will know that I am unapologetically pro drug use, and even I am called to stand against this errant myth. I do believe it is true that there are certain types of people who are inclined, by their psyucho-spiritual constitution, to write in certain ways and even with a certain zeal; and that these people often find themselves compelled to indulge in abusables recreationally. This correlation is a coincidence of nature – wild, drugged out aesthetic types tend to be prolific. They and I could easily write just as well sober.

If you are so inclined, however, and not too dodgy on the heart, I’ve always had luck with the “hippie speedball.” Caffeine and cannabis were simply meant to be taken together by aspiring authors with a certain disregard for their own physical health.

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Philosophy and the Legend of Zelda

Perhaps some of you might be acquainted with the “Philosophy and Pop-Culture” series that exploded onto the literary scene a few years ago. As a semi-professional philosopher, I was at first greatly intrigued by this seeming renaissance of philosophic interest. Having actually read a few of these titles, however, I must appraise their content as somewhat lacking.

Be that as it may, I think the theory is brilliant: saying that philosophy and pop-culture fails because the series was subpar is like saying Jiu-Jtsu doesn’t work because Royce Gracie lost a fight or two. Let me take you, then, on a strange and thought-provoking journey to the land of Hyrule.

Most nineties gamesters are familiar with the Hylian mythos and the three mystic artifacts, the Triforces, whose power sits at the crux of the Zelda series’ plotlines. As you might have deduced, there are three of these: the Triforce of Power, stolen by the malicious sorcerer Ganondorf, the Triforce of Wisdom, belonging to the Princess Zelda, and the Triforce of Courage, wielded by the Hero of Time (known colloquially as “Link.”) When the Triforces combine, they yield a power so mighty that it’s invoker might rule all over all the land. Such a power, of course, could only be Nietzsche’s “Ubermensch.”

Translated as the “over-man” or “super-man,” the Ubermensch is what Nietzsche advises humanity to become. It is the task of the Ubermensch to create new values, and to embrace the Nietzschean “Will to Power.” While historians and philosophers alike are in some disagreement as to just what “Ubermensch” and “Will to Power” might entail, I firmly hold that the mythos of Hyrule will help elucidate the situation.

For long ages, sagacious and philosophic types have used mythic stories to explain confounding existential dilemmas, and our story begins with the Princess Zelda. The next generation and future of the Hylian royal family, Zelda is granted dreams and visions of things to come. In some games, she wields the mighty Arrow of Light against the forces of oppression in the final battle with Ganondorf.

Possessing the Triforce of Wisdom, it makes sense that Zelda would deduce the failures of the old values Nietzsche’s Ubermensch would seek to depose. It is the wielder of the Arrow of Light, the illuminating weapon of truth which alone may penetrate these values, who by shattering them with refutation demonstrates the falsity of all value and the truth of nihilism. When war is declared on the values of the past, the stage is set for the rise of a hero.

Link, with his Triforce of Courage, enters the scene in dark times, often having been informed by Zelda of the coming menace. This is analogous to our Nietzschean hero’s discovery of the failure of objective value, or the idea that any value can be embraced because it is “true.” In what darker time might we find ourselves! With the collapse of the old systems, the lands are cloaked in shadow: up is down, right is wrong, and Clear Channel is musical aptitude. With the palaces forsaken and the citizens zombified, it falls only to the most courageous Hylian to combat the growing darkness; as only the stout of heart may attack the truth of nihilism and survive unscathed (should they survive at all.) The situation is so perilous that many philosophers speak of “suicidal nihilism,” a force so soul-rendingly terrible that it compels us to condemn the world and all its seeming failure; to the destruction of our very will to life.

Nietzsche thinks that we, by our enmity, pay homage to our adversaries. As an example, I might happily disagree with someone in a polite discussion of politics, only to turn on them in rabid hatred if they were elected president. This change in attitude would reflect nothing in my view of this new enemy as a person, but instead would spring from the tremendous change in their level of power to assert a previously harmless value schema on my homeland.

It is Link’s task to wrest from Ganondorf’s fell clutches the final Triforce, the Triforce of Power. Hmm…”Triforce of Power,” “Will to Power” – it does not take an Aristotle to figure this one out. Will to Power, hastily explained, involves the seeking of obstacles against which one’s one will to life may triumph and grow stronger. In epic battle, Link and Ganondorf pit their respective mettle to the test, clashing violently as each opposes the other’s will. I don’t want to drag this bit out, because an explanation will be both long-winded and controversial, but it is clear that he who holds the Will to Power will determine the course of history in the coming era.

2012, it is said, will mark the end of the world. More realistically, it will mark the coming of a new election year; and in ways, the coming of our own new era . Whether or not Obama will withstand the test of time is yet unclear; but the Triforce of Wisdom prophesies that many young heroes are rising against the dark power that is Ganondorf’s Judeo-Christian value schema (this term does not mean exactly what you might think – please don’t be offended without first reading “Beyond Good &Evil.”) So “let me be clear” – in the trying times ahead, it will fall to the courageous to vanquish our land from shadow, and to stand against the forces of power to chart a more heroic course for a race of beings who find ourselves, at present, all too human…

Red Pill Neo is a contributing writer and editor of projectgroupthink.wordpress.com. Get instant updates for this blog via Twitter: PGTblog.

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What Is This Blogging?

If you’re reading this, you are probably at least vaguely familiar with the phenomenon known as blogging. I don’t think even we understand quite yet what it is, but it is certainly being done. There exists a universe such that it blogs – whoa.

As members of that blogging universe, we must ask ourselves – why does it blog, why do we blog, why do I blog?

Is it because, at the influence of mass-scale technological karma, we have isolated and alienated ourselves to the point of crying out to strangers? Or because, with the advanced specificity and range of data provided by Google and its ilk, we can simply reach out electronically to the universe and request like-minded companions? Is it to advance a cause, or to create beauty for its own sake?

Moreover-what the hell are our grandkids going to think of this blogging nonsense? Should the human race elect to continue reproducing, this phenomenon will prove an interesting sociological dig for some grad students’ theses in a half-century’s time.

Blogging is akin to jumping through microcosms. You see an article by someone you know – maybe relate to? – and you recognize it as the comfort of a familiar world. You click a new link, and you’re sifting through foreign territory, at the mercy of fate’s cruel whims and your browser’s back button.

There really are a myriad of factors at play here – looking at each of them is oddly analogous to the incomprehensible intricacy of our complex universe. Maybe that’s why we do it – for the moments of insight and bits of magic that we come across when we traverse the blog-o-sphere, whether borrowed or of our own discovery.

This blogging is what people are thinking. This blogging is who we are. This is blogging is one

*moment*

in history.

Why we do it? What is the voice of one hand clapping? Why does it matter – whoa. False dichotomy – shouldn’t we first establish that it matters all?

Freaky business, this blogging. A brand-new kind of art – not a novel, a play, or a symphony. Like a public library, filled with the private accounts of strangers. Strangers that are breathing, somewhere, right now. Most to all of whom will likely breathe tomorrow.

And if perchance they shouldn’t, what will they think of it in retrospect? A necesseray catharsis? Perhaps. A useful “product” in the ideational ecosystem of memes? Arguably. An ego-catalyzing impediment to Nirvana – whoa and a half!

Whatever they (we?,I?) might think…will that make any of this blogging less right or wrong to have blogged?

It doesn’t matter yet – right now, blogging IS.

Red Pill Neo is a contributing writer for Project Group Think. Follow us on Twitter; username PGTblog!

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