What happens when a once-great comedy website preaches a sermon against the Manosphere? It’s a disaster like Mark Hill’s “What We’re All Getting Wrong About Pickup Artists” featured on Cracked in 2016. It begins with intemperate insults about our site’s founder, with an ignorant take on the meetup brouhaha. Jabs against our audience (that’s you) soon follow.
And the last thing I want to do is mansplain the appropriate reaction to a hate group that targets women.
You mad, bro? Humor tip: sometimes less is more. The article reads like a movie scene where a black-hatted villain twirls his waxed mustache and ties a damsel to train tracks—but playing it seriously.
What’s the point?
Following that is an inline image of three comments under a headline about “British” politician Chi Onwurah making a “tiny penis” remark. (Dude, is that the best dick joke you can do? What’s this peculiar concern about other men’s packages all about, anyway?) Then:
Now, here are some responses to other stories about men’s rights activists, pickup artists, and their ilk. Not people who make this their profession like Roosh, just the everyday dudes who follow him. The college student who’s striking out at parties, the office IT guy not having much luck with online dating — I could find hundreds of these.
Following that is another image collage of other people’s cherry-picked comments, a frequent shtick of his. He even admits it wasn’t a representative sample.
The first error is lumping together PUAs, MRAs, and MGTOWs. They’re not identical and don’t always agree. Although all are concerned about today’s dysfunctional social environment, their responses are significantly different.
More importantly, there’s nothing wrong with guys seeking information to improve their social lives. Really, our game articles are pretty similar to material marketed to women, and sometimes tamer. Nobody clutches their pearls over books like The Rules. Fainting spells don’t happen at the supermarket checkout line over magazines promising a dozen ways to wrap him around your little finger, more sex positions for him to curl your toes better, etc. Game denialists are like crabs trying to pull their buddies back into the fisherman’s bucket.
We’re really unenlightened. (So?)
…I used to not be great with girls. I didn’t react to my failings the way Roosh’s followers have, by deciding that all women are slutty, stuck-up, manipulative bitches who need to get in line for my benefit. No, my ineptitude was internalized. I decided that most girls (and most guys) are perfectly lovely people and that there was just something fundamentally and uniquely wrong with me.
Shucks, tell us what you really think! Humor tip: do straw man arguments wittily. Actually, we’re hairy-chested cavemen who consider Ivan the Terrible a bleeding-hearted liberal, we believe professional rasslin’ is real, and our first order of bidness is that the dadgum food should be hot on the table by 4:30. (There, I fixed it.) Wit doesn’t mean channeling the pure, elemental fury of a coffee snob whose venti mocha soy latté is too foamy.
More seriously, we recognize that the Sexual Revolution was a game-changer. The old rules stopped working. Further, although an average woman can hook up easily if she wants, the dating market is tougher than ever for average men. That’s especially so for younger guys (looks like Mark had that experience himself). Therefore, men should do everything legitimately possible to help their dating prospects. Fortunately, there’s a wealth of free information about self-improvement right here. If he’d done a little research—rather than compile other people’s negative opinions—he’d know this.
So, while I always thought MRAs and PUAs were awful people, I understood their frustration and loneliness, because we shared the same low ERA. And make no mistake, these people are frustrated and lonely — behind all their anger and bravado are guys who wake up every morning wondering why they don’t have the partner their friends and family have.
Humor tip: exaggerate correctly. PUAs are lust-crazed Lotharios corrupting the morals of innocent, maidenly bar flies. (There, I fixed it.) Exaggeration above reality works, and so does irony, but not complete implausibility.
Really, PUAs get more pussy than cat shelters. Who’s frustrated here? Merely learning decent game—knowing how the social environment’s real rules work—increases one’s odds greatly. Success isn’t that difficult. I don’t make a career of it, but I’m quite happy with my social life. I didn’t lack for prospects after I was 20. However, my teenage years were awful, before I figured out what works. Some writers here authored game guides benefiting those undergoing dry spells. (Mine is longer than Moby Dick, and I’m selling the keys to the kingdom for the price of a cheeseburger combo.) What have Blue Pill game denialists done for the lonely and dispirited?
Years of involuntary celibacy are soul-crushing. Yes, it gets that bad. Loneliness is a common cause of depression, and certainly a contributing factor to the male suicide rate being four times higher than the female rate. (A few guys even go postal.) The Manosphere has been the most vocal of anyone about sexual marketplace imbalance, frivolous divorces, and radical feminism which helped enable these problems.
Besides drawing attention to that, we’re the ones telling guys how the modern dating scene really works. Improving love lives saves actual lives. That’s more constructive than sneering at those who are suffering.
Who writes that stuff, anyway?
Given all the gratuitous insults, it’s hardly unfair to make some observations about its author. The insufferably smug anti-American barbs in some of his writings are understandable. It’s as commonplace among Canadians of certain political persuasions as Toronto’s frosty weather, and frostier women.
That by itself is unremarkable, but some of his articles are really out in left field. A few examples I read:
- “I Went To North Korea: What You’ve Heard Vs. What I Saw” — It’s not exactly a Walter Duranty style whitewashing, but neither is it a penetrating analysis. Much of it justified the Potemkin Village experience and snarked at the other tourists.
- “Things I Learned Attending A Furry Convention” — Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?
- “5 Ways Society Trains Men To Expect Sex From Women” — Where do I even begin?
- “Your Anti-Trump Efforts Are Working” — He doesn’t like Trump, nor do his Twitter friends. So?
As for their executive editor, Jason Pargin (writing under the byline David Wong), he seems cut from similar cloth. Their change in direction is very odd. Cracked is a humor site, but lost its sparkle years ago. The above-mentioned items are prime examples. I figured I’d get a chuckle out of the furry convention writeup at least, but even that was dry. It’s not jokes falling flat; they’re not even there. The closest thing to comedy in the PUA article is bitter hyperbole. That’s not how to skewer targets.
Leftists lost their sense of humor
Older Cracked pieces actually were funny. They didn’t resemble op-eds from HuffPo or Daily Kos. This seems emblematic of a larger problem. I remember when liberal comedians really had wit. Their movies were better too; there’s no way in hell Blazing Saddles could be made today. Going further afield, Krokodil—the Soviet journal of satire—was pretty popular and relatable to the public. If the Cracked staffers want to go lefty, that’s what they should be doing.