The following post was sponsored by Carnival Of Gangs.
Nobody who reads Return Of Kings needs to be reminded that modern society seeks to demonize and crush masculinity. Nowhere is this more evident than in entertainment, which is fiercely anti-male and actively works to destroy masculine virtues. From Star Wars: The Force Awakens, in which a bitchy preteen is given Force powers and lightsaber combat talents that outshine Luke Skywalker at the end of the original trilogy, to the Ghostbusters reboot, in which the four female leads defeat the villain by shooting him in the balls, modern pop culture is geared towards making men feel shame about who they are.
Given this obvious void, someone could easily make a killing by creating quality entertainment that celebrates masculine virtues, but not many have risen to this challenge. Until now.
Carnival Of Gangs is a new multimedia series created by Lauri Liukkonen that is made by men and for men. In addition to the series, the Carnival of Gangs website aims to provide useful information for men on topics such as lifting and others geared toward self-improvement. As of right now, the first episode of the show, “The Criminal,” has been released and is available for watching. While a little shaky, Carnival of Gangs shows great promise and is worth watching and following.
Men Making Entertainment For Men
Part of the reason why Hollywood can’t create convincing entertainment for men is because there are few if any men left in mainstream men. There are plenty of males, but no men. The masculine actors and directors of old—your Clint Eastwoods, Arnold Schwarzeneggers and Sylvester Stallones—have no heirs in modern Hollywood, the younger generation of male actors being a bunch of simps and wusses in comparison.
Moreover, modern filmmakers and actors fundamentally misunderstand the nature of masculinity. In action movies of today, male characters behave like menstruating women, constantly screaming at other characters and having no self-control. For example, see the Star Trek reboot, which depicts Kirk and Spock as hormonal teenagers constantly at each others’ throats. In contrast to feminist claims about “testosterone poisoning,” science shows that men with more testosterone actually behave more fairly and more calmly than those without it.
Part of the reason why Carnival of Gangs is so enthralling is because it is made by and starring men who embody masculine virtues; hence, they know how to create a series that appeals to men. For example, one of the show’s cast members is an elite level powerlifter, and the entire team in general is knowledgeable on issues of importance to men. The site also features a number of articles on topics of interest to men, including a recent interview with Way of Men author Jack Donovan.
This verisimilitude and gravitas shines through in the first episode of Carnival of Gangs. The show’s gritty cinematography, masculine characters and premise show that its creators know what they’re talking about. Carnival of Gangs oozes with a credibility that is absent from most mainstream media, making it a joy to watch despite its flaws.
The Way Of The Gang
Carnival Of Gangs is set in a apocalyptic world in which a despotic government obliquely referred to as the “Federation” has seized control of all of humanity. Under their aegis, civilization is collapsing and reverting to savagery, with even posh areas experiencing rapid social and economic decline. The story follows five different characters—obliquely referred to as the Criminal, the Grinder, the Player, the Outcast, and the Hermit—as they unexpectedly meet and form a gang in order to survive in their dystopic world.
The first episode follows Ray Coleman (the Criminal), a hitman for the Finnish mafia. Tired of killing people for the mob, he accepts one final job from his handler in exchange for being released from his duties. In the process, he meets Mark Hayes (the Grinder) getting drunk at a bar. The episode is split into four chapters, each focusing on the different aspects of the story and showcasing a different variety of storytelling methods.
While only one episode of the series is out, “The Criminal” demonstrates an interesting story and a good variety of cinema techniques. For example, Chapter 2, which depicts Ray’s final assassination, is told as a slideshow with music, while Chapter 3 features a silent fight scene between Ray and his target. The acting is also quite good; in particular, Chapter 4, depicting Ray’s encounter with Mark, helps establish their future friendship and camaraderie.
Carnival of Gangs’ premise owes a great deal to Donovan’s Way of Men and Becoming a Barbarian, particularly the concept of “gangs”: tribes of men who band together with a shared culture, common purpose and brotherhood. “The Criminal” depicts Ray trying to extricate himself from a gang—the Finnish mob—that is self-destructive and using him for its own selfish ends. However, the show could use a little more backstory—the only bits of it that we’re given come in a quick text crawl at the beginning of Chapter 1—and more elaboration on its characters’ histories and motivations.
Nonetheless, despite these missteps, Carnival of Gangs’ first episode is a success and a great start to the series, more than worth watching. It’ll be interesting to watch where both the show and the site itself go. Click here to watch.