The official NPC take on Joe Rogan

So here it is, the lamestream media’s official take on the popularity of Joe Rogan. In the tab text it says the article is headlined ‘I Tried to Live Like Joe Rogan’, but on the page it’s ‘Why is Joe Rogan so popular?’ – a little glimpse into the deliberations of the clickbait factory. And it worked – the article rocketed to number 1 in The Atlantic’s Most Popular chart. One of those clicks, shamefully, was mine.

The Atlantic, despite its illustrious past as a magazine, has in the online Trump years consistently demonstrated its decision to become an irrelevant ‘fake news’ outlet that only permits the soppy establishment viewpoints on its pages. So it’s no surprise that, rather than find an actual fan of Rogan to write the piece, they chose some smug IYI who knew nothing about him and, after watching a few shows, decided his brief was to ‘educate’ us all on Rogan’s moral failings.

The Atlantic knew they’d already got the click with that headline, so what follows is a stream of consciousness from a man with no sense of humour and a mind so drenched in the narrative of the current year that he can’t begin to put together a worthwhile argument. The article is littered with his finger-wagging ‘opinions’, and it becomes blatantly obvious that his goal is to give NPC readers their Official Views on Joe Rogan.

If we all have fatal flaws, this is Joe’s: his insistence on seeing value in people even when he shouldn’t, even when they’ve forfeited any right to it, even when the harm outweighs the good. It comes from a generous place, but it amounts to careless cruelty. He just won’t write people off, and then he compounds the sin by throwing them a lifeline at the moment when they least deserve it.

The Atlantic on Joe Rogan’s no-nos of inviting on Alex Jones and Milo

For a piece titled ‘Why is Joe Rogan so popular?’, you’d think the writer – already having admitted to being unqualified to write the article – would at least take his research seriously. When we get to the part about Alex Jones, however, we can see he hasn’t. Rather than try to understand why the recent Alex Jones show was one of the most viewed podcasts ever, he calls it “indefensible” and “offensive for even existing”, then admits to clocking out just 21 minutes into the 5-hour video. He didn’t even begin to get it. By this point any fan of Rogan is cringing, and everyone else is being willfully misled.

Towards the end it becomes apparent that the writer has totally forgotten his brief of trying to educate people on why Joe Rogan is popular, and made it purely about his soy-laden stance:

My Joe Rogan experience ended because he wore me out. He never shuts up. He talks and talks and talks. He doesn’t seem to grasp that not every thought inside his brain needs to be said out loud. It doesn’t occur to him to consider whether his contributions have value. He just speaks his mind.

He then inexplicably starts to wrap up the piece by talking about his daily routine, which is of course that of a weak, lethargic beta, and how it differs from Rogan’s, before ending with the most condescending take on the show’s fan’s imaginable:

It might unsettle some of us that we must rely on his fans to separate the good stuff from the bad, but that’s the hard work of being a responsible adult in the modern era—knowing what you should consume and what you shouldn’t.

So there you have it folks, they’re reluctantly trusting us to know which thoughts are the no-no thoughts, and which shows we should and shouldn’t watch because that man bad and that man good. How nice of them to let us off the leash of NPC discourse and allow us to listen to actual conversations with interesting people who don’t cloud every point they make in politically correct corpspeak.

Devin Gordon – the article’s author – seems scared. Hiding behind his pompous elitism, he nevertheless inadvertently lets readers in on his darkest secret: Rogan’s growing popularity terrifies him because he realizes he’s becoming more and more out of touch from the world of ideas – he knows his expensive education has left him ill-equipped to tussle with the rough-and-tumble intelligentsia of the day. He even admits to feeling stupid while listening to the show, yet I doubt he’s aware of how right he is. Getting his piece published in The Atlantic has no doubt soothed his ego, but he’s too naive and oblivious to the evil machinations of corporate media to realize why they published it.


Small moments and forks in the road

There I was driving along Italy’s Amalfi Coast last month, squeezing through the narrow streets of Cetara, when a bus on the other side broke down and blocked the road. The gap it left was wide enough for smaller cars to slot through, but our hired SUV had no chance. If the bus had spluttered to its death just a few feet further along, we’d have made it. As it happened, we had to wait two hours before being able to turn around and take a 90-minute detour through the mountains for what should have been a 15-minute ride to our destination of Salerno.

These are the tiny margins and chance encounters that constantly determine the direction of our lives. Sometimes they fall in our favour, sometimes they don’t. As my wife and I navigated the detour, I reflected on each moment being one that wouldn’t have existed had that bus not blocked the road. Moments that seemed destined to exist seconds before the bus broke down had been wiped away, and we can never be sure how they’d have unfolded. Some choose to believe in such things as ‘fate’ and ‘destiny’ to save themselves from having to face up to the universe’s brutal randomness.

We made it to Salerno a couple of hours later than expected, tired and hungry, but ultimately this was an inconsequential shift in our trajectories and I’m extremely confident, though not certain, my life wouldn’t have changed in any significant way had that bus not stopped us in our tracks. The same can’t be said for other moments that I consider to have changed the course of my life.

The moment I saw the video for Aphex Twin’s Windowlicker on MTV while flicking aimlessly through the music channels, which led to an autistic obsession with electronic music that once devoured my life.

The moment I looked in the mirror and saw the true extent of my gut, which put me on the road to losing 50 pounds and getting fit and healthy.

The moment an old colleague called out of the blue to offer me a job I sorely needed, which helped me save up a wad of cash and earn some financial freedom.

The moment my now-wife came over to talk to me in a bar, which I was only in because the bar my mate and I were planning to go to turned us away as we didn’t have any girls with us.

We all experience and remember such moments. Most days nothing happens – no fateful moments materialize – but every so often there’s a fork in the road that sets you on a particular path. Or at least that’s one way of looking at it. Another is that we spend every day making decisions that set up the conditions for life-changing moments to happen, and give them way too much credit/curse them when they inevitably do.

The latter mode of thought encourages a more positive and proactive approach. We don’t know when or where life-changing moments will happen, but we can gear our lives towards increasing the chance that when they do they’ll put us on a trajectory that’s more positive than negative.

I saw the Aphex Twin video because I knew there must be something better out there in the music world, and I invested a lot of time into finding it (bear in mind this was pre-internet). Note: I consider this to have had both positive (richness of being) and negative (lost time, lost productivity) effects.

The old colleague decided to call me because we built a rapport when we worked together, and she apparently thought I could do a decent job.

My now-wife talked to me in the bar (and kept talking to me) because I had gotten myself in passable enough shape and spent enough time socializing that I didn’t come over as a complete fat social retard.

This is a nice exercise in making me feel good about my past decisions, but I’m not naïve enough to think it doesn’t work both ways. I realize I’ve made decisions – or failed to do things – that caused me to miss out on opportunities and led to moments that pegged me back.

This line of thinking dogged me for all the wrong reasons in earlier years. I couldn’t shake the idea that I was missing out on significant moments because I wasn’t actively seeking them, and that if I just kept searching a little longer I’d find these elusive quick fixes. The problem was my complete lack of understanding in how these moments materialized. I would do things like eavesdrop on strangers’ conversations to see if they offered a profound piece of wisdom that changed how I saw the world, or continue walking down a street when I was supposed to turn, just to check what was there.

I was trying to coax out moments that would somehow improve my life. Living that way – following threads to nowhere, seeing what happened if I left the TV on for five more minutes – caused me to miss out on so much more than if I’d just focused on bettering myself and letting the moments reveal themselves naturally. I was trying to do and see everything – trick the world into bending to my will – but ended up doing and seeing little of any worth or substance.

These days I try to live by a method resembling The Slight Edge – making positive daily choices that compound over time in an attempt to creep towards my idea of happiness and success. It seems to be working out a damn sight better.

Phactory pharming and semi-veganism

The modern human lives with the knowledge of some damn horrible things he’s helping to perpetuate, not least of them factory farming. Industrial profit-driven animal slaughter is unique in that people can barely even face up to the incomprehensible reality of it, instead choosing to dismiss vegans and vegetarians as crazies and chuckle nervously as they make lame jokes about how much they love bacon.

There does seem to be more activism against factory farming these days. Whether it’s part of the general trend towards virtue signaling, an increase in awareness about the insanity of the practice, more effective propaganda, people realizing that potentially better options are becoming available, or a combination of the four, I’m not sure. But these days there are people coming out of the woodwork to lecture me about the benefits of veganism and the environmental destruction and cruelty caused by factory farming who I’d never have expected to. Easily-influenced people have also lapped up polished documentaries like Food Inc. and Cowspiracy, which quite expertly straddle the line between education and propaganda.

Lab-grown meat is an interesting development, as is the plant-based stuff being made by Beyond Meat and Impossible, though I’ve not tried either. We don’t yet know whether lab meat will be what we hope, and I’ll always be skeptical of imitation meat and the bug-burger agenda. I equate the difference roughly to formula versus breast milk for babies. Whether lab meat and plant-based meat go into direct competition or become allies in the fight against factory meat will be worth paying attention to.

I’ve always had what I consider a reasonable approach to the subject of eating meat. While never being dismissive of the cruelty and inhumanity of mechanized farms, I argued that the blood wasn’t on my hands so I wasn’t going to deprive myself of proper nutrition just because society at large wants cheap meat at any cost. I did graduate to buying better-quality meat a few years ago, looking out for stuff that claims to have been ethically-raised, but it’s not something I’ve stuck to with much strictness.

Quick aside: Temple Grandin is a feel-good documentary about an autistic woman who became one of the top scientists in humane livestock handling. She designed a more humane cattle conveyor system by studying how cows react to ranchers, movements, objects, and light, and it’s now widely used throughout the slaughterhouse industry.

I’ve shopped at a farmer’s market for several years now and it does ease my conscience, not to mention offer a nice community experience where people shake your hand, smile and give you discounts. The butchers at this market, however, don’t make any claims about ethical farming standards, and the prices are pretty close to supermarket prices, which I can only take to mean ethics are not prioritized over pure profit maximization.

I do have options to buy reassuringly expensive meat and eggs. Whole Foods has eye-watering prices but excellent organic produce, and there are plenty of online butchers that deliver in my city, costing about the same. I’ve dabbled with these options, but haven’t been able to bring myself to make such an addition to my regular cost of living. There are a few reasons now why I’m thinking I should start buying expensive, quality meat for a few days of the week – which will cost roughly the same as factory meat for the whole week – and eat high-protein vegetarian meals on the other days.

First, my own health. While regulatory standards appear to be better in Canada than the US, I can’t be sure what factory meat – pumped with antibiotics, eating unnatural feed, and suffering miserable lives – is doing to my long-term health. Furthermore, it would be nice to finally shift this stubborn fat around my gut and get from 13% to ~10% body fat, and there’s reason to believe some vegetarianism will help me do that.

Second, taste. My cost of living across the board is relatively low, and the money I bring in, for now, far outweighs what I spend. If I could choose one luxury, it would be good food. And organic meat is far superior in flavour and texture.

Third, I realize now that washing my hands of factory farming by reasoning that I’m not responsible for the madness is dumb and unfair. We vote with our wallets and if people choose to buy organic meat and treat is as a luxury rather than a daily necessity, the factory farming industry will collapse and organic practices will flourish. This isn’t going to happen overnight, but I believe we’ll eventually get there.

I realize I sound like a soyboy and a yuppie and a hippie and whatever else is associated with giving two shits about the problem of factory farming and garbage meat. But that’s no reason not to make this change. Going against the globalist Washington Post bug-eating agenda by stuffing as much factory steak down your neck as possible is not as smart as that snarky Twitter guy you follow makes out.

The Meat Fly

When you’ve lived away from England for a few years and go back to visit you realize at last how idiotic it is that your native people have never figured out the usefulness of screen doors. All those flies buzzing around your head, as if intentionally inciting your rage while you were trying to do your mathematics homework or watch Nickelodeon, could have easily been kept out had only someone, anyone, transmitted the knowledge of screen doors across the Atlantic. I think we got more flies in our house than the average family because there was always cat food lying around.

Going face to face with a resting fly – taut dish towel in hand – is the closest I’ve felt to a duel in the Old West. You lock eyes – his compound, yours simple – engaged in a primal battle of wits. Who will win out? He, of course, has speed on his side – 600 times faster reactions than a human, I once read. But you have the power, the intelligence, the perseverance. A fly can be worn down, and it’s only ever a matter of time before it’s forced to settle on a surface to recharge. That’s when you pounce, and if you miss you simply go again. It’s fun, in that mildly sadistic sort of way. Whimsically brutal. Like miniature hunting in the comfort of your home. That Breaking Bad episode didn’t make it look nearly as enjoyable as it is.

There’s a skill to whacking flies. I bet they even have fly swatting competitions, with a 7-time world champion and everything. I always considered myself a pretty poor fly swatter, figured that’s just the hand I’d been dealt. Now I realize my problem was that I never pulled my dish towel taut enough, so the fly felt the swoosh of wind from the swing, giving it plenty of forewarning to dodge the point of impact. My mum seemed to have the knack for it. More recently she’s let me in on the secrets of competent fly-whacking and I’ve become much more adept.

Usually when you hit the fly it falls tragically onto its back and its legs flail around. It’s at that moment you realize you’re an evil bastard, just like Peterson warned you. He’s right, I’d have easily been possessed by the intoxicating atmosphere of Nazi Germany, sleepwalking into heinous acts. Who says I have any more right to this arbitrarily-enclosed physical space than this fly? The fly doesn’t know about capitalism and property ownership, bless him. The fly hasn’t read Adam Smith, and only bits of Marx. Alas, when the fly is lying there, you have no choice, there’s no going back; you must “put it out of its misery” – that’s the line that’s drilled into you. Perform your moral duty, kid. Usually I tear the edge of a piece of kitchen roll, scoop up the fly, fold over the paper, and crush the nippy insect between my thumb and forefingers. And that’s the end of it. You either move onto the next fly or get on with whatever you weren’t doing.

Yesterday was a particularly interesting case. A classic duel you might say. This was a meat fly, my mum informed me, homing in on some freshly-laid out feline beef. It had staying power, despite its bulk, staying airborne for impressive lengths of time and maneuvering with guile and cunning between the crevices and crannies of the kitchen. The meat fly was testing my patience, so I wafted the dish towel aimlessly in the vague hope it would scare the fly into touching down or throw the damn thing off its flight path. It didn’t work, so I had to wait for my opportunity. Eventually, it came.

The meat fly’s weakness, when compared to the house fly, appears to be getting going again once it’s touched down. Backed into a corner, it stood little chance against the sizzling whip-crack of the towel. Down it went, the meat fly was floored. But somehow it managed to stay upright and keep walking, exhausted like that scene in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly where Clint crawls across the desert with his face all sunburned. It’s flying powers were no more, or at least temporarily disabled, though the specific nature of his injuries wasn’t immediately obvious. I grabbed a corner of kitchen towel and held it out like a stairway to heaven to trick the idiot fly into climbing onto it. Time for the fold and crush. But I couldn’t do it. This fly still had a shot at life, albeit as a cripple, I realized. Why oh why hadn’t I just tried to usher it out of an open window instead? By now I’d anthropomorphized the fly too much. You must perform the fold and crush before the involuntary anthropomorphization manifests in your mind! Before, damnit!

I began to panic. The only way I could clear my conscience now, I reasoned, for some reason, was to flush the fly – wrapped in the kitchen towel – down the toilet and let the Good Lord take over. A sigh of relief came out of me as the water in the bowl gushed forth. The soggy paper vanished, only to reveal the fly, floating atop the water, swimming it looked like. The horror, the horror. Without thinking, I tore off a piece of toilet paper and the heroic fly, soaked through but still fighting, climbed aboard. I carried him out into the back yard and laid him down in the shade. Was this fair? Who could say? I slunk back inside, ashamed, not to mention humiliated. Half an hour later I returned to the scene of our parting, and he was gone. Can he really have recovered? Quite the tale for his grand kids, if he had. A real David and Go-fly-ath story.

The feminization of TV comedy

The feminization and suffocation of mainstream TV comedy continues apace, victim to the ever-tightening vice of cultural Marxism, bioleninism, emasculated low T soy bugmanism – whatever you want to call it.

The UK channel ITV, which has never produced a good comedy anyway, has banned all-male writing teams by order of its head of comedy Saskia Schuster – a move that resembles BBC’s last year. Peep Show, which sits alongside The Office as the joint best comedy of the century so far, is about to have its legacy tainted by an American all-female version. Meanwhile, Million Dollar Extreme, the freshest comedy Adult Swim got hold of in years, was cancelled for too effectively appealing to the masculine spirit.

Those are just a few examples I’ve happened to catch of what is the undeniable and universal feminization of mainstream TV comedy in recent years. Wherever there are big production bucks now, there are Orwellian characters in the positions of power and complaining women and minorities who smell easy opportunity.

Real comedy is moving online – YouTube sketches, memes, threads and the like – but it’s a tragedy that we’ll most likely never again see truly great comedy produced by the mainstream giants on either side of the pond. The only hope now is an ‘alternative mainstream’ somehow sprouting from the scattered band of starved comedy-seekers.

The late night Orange Man Bad shows have never interested me in their content but rather as objects of study into the mechanisms of mass propaganda and the use of herd-style virtue-signalling comedy as a political tool. So much so that I wrote a novella last year featuring a Jimmy Kimmel-esque late night show host with a team of 50 ‘diverse and inclusive’ writers.

I’ve seen a few articles where anonymous writers on these plastic late night shows revealed how depressed it makes them to sell out writing insipid jokes for morons, their dreams of ever writing anything of value crushed by their deadening loyalty to corporate uniformity. Those are probably the few remaining ‘white dudes’ who once held out hope that mainstream comedy still had a future with them in mind.

This recent popcorn article I saw in Vulture tells us What It’s Like to Write for Late Night Right Now. The picture accompanying the article shows the six self-satisfied women and one Jewish gentleman who were interviewed for the piece. It isn’t long before we’re told how awful white men still are, despite having given up the entirety of the comedic mainstream to them. They also aren’t shy about how they use their positions as ‘comedy writers’ to push explicit leftist propaganda.

“Jenny Hagel: [A joke] was about white men not being great, so pretty on-brand for me.”

“Nicole Silverberg: I’m always trying to push our show as far left as possible, like, “Let’s do something really socialist!””

“Kat Radley: We tend to lean towards the Democratic party because they’re not monsters.”

Imagine trying to be funny in a writing room with these people. You’d barely last a morning before being escorted off the premises for “problematic comments”.

These people will never have the self-awareness to realize it, but they are in fact objects of real comedy in the way that over-sensitive, coddled PC babies will always be. ‘Comedy writers’ are now the antithesis of funny, gatekeepers actively preventing humor from spilling out onto the screen. How upside down – how Orwellian – can things really get?

There’s no point letting this sad development get you down. Just understand and accept it for what it is, focus on supporting the rebirth of comedy online, and for god’s sake don’t ever let their propaganda get in the way of belly-laughing with your buddies.

The boomer syrup

Boomers navigate life as if the cogs powering their brains have been slowed by a sort of thick syrup. Their thought processes are cluttered, sluggish and ineffective, and their actions labored, bewildering and exasperating. Obviously not all boomers are like this – just like all millennials aren’t weak-minded tech addicts – but it’s without doubt a generalization that’s warranted.

This post is catharsis. I’m staying with my parents for a couple of months, and after just a few days in their boomer bubble, I feel on edge, frustrated, misanthropic. I love them, but the boomer syrup is clogging up their brains bad. How can someone get to their age and still fall victim to conspicuous and therapeutic consumption? Why would you let your house get crammed up with junk and then buy even more junk to pile on top of it? Why do you still so easily fall for even the most basic ads and marketing ploys?

How could you still not have learned how to maintain a computer? How do you still know virtually nothing about nutrition – about not buying things that market themselves as ‘fat-free’ or ‘zero sugar’? Why do you still pay for high cost TV services? How, with all the information that’s available at your fingertips, are you still so clueless about so many things? How, with all the luck you had to be born at the time you were, are you not already financially set for life?

No matter how ineffectively a boomer lived, their margin for error was massive. Most of them either coasted or worked themselves into nervous wrecks because they got stuck on the consumerism treadmill. This means any advice they try to give to millennials is beyond worthless, because their situation was so far removed from ours. They have no interest in understanding the millennial situation, and even less in Gen Z’s hellscape.

Unfortunately, many millennials and Gen Z will assume their boomer parents are able to give good advice, not knowing about the boomer syrup, and will screw themselves by trying to follow this suicidal model of disgusting excess and brain-dead comfort. There are boomers out there whose brains are not drenched in syrup, but you need to be able to distinguish them from the rest, and always be ultra-wary of boomer advice. Rather than listen to them, observe them. Many of them are unhappy because of the way they lived, and by watching them intelligently you can figure out why what they do makes them stupid and unhappy.

The decline of Black Mirror is “so Black Mirror”

Black Mirror is one of those things that’s ‘cool’ to be into – “getting” the show has become a safe way to signal that your IQ is over 100 and that you ain’t gonna be drawn in that easy by all this facetweeting gov-spying technobopology crap (even though you are).

Do you watch the show ‘Dark Mirror’?

Joe Rogan, every 2nd episode of JRE

In that sense I feel dirty just writing about it, piling in on ‘the conversation’, but I can’t resist getting a couple of things off my chest. It’s been kind of interesting to watch the show build up this mainstream cachet since it debuted in 2011, realizing at a certain point some time ago that it was doomed to become what it is now in Season 5 and much, much worse from here. Here’s how it played out:


Me: “Guys, you should watch this show on Channel 4, Black Mirror. It’s pretty cool. It’s about how messed up modern technology is.” *crickets*


Me: “Oh cool, more Black Mirror. Guys, new Black Mirror episodes. You should check it out. It can be hit or miss, but it’s good.” *crickets*


Me: “Netflix? Americanization? That doesn’t sound good. Oh well, at least they have a bigger budget to play with. And these episodes are still pretty cool.”

NPCs: “So I’ve been watching this new Netflix show Black Mirror. It’s so creepy! You have to watch it!”


NPCs: “OMG, new Black Mirror is out!”

Me: “I guess it’s still better than most TV.”



Me: [this pretentious blog rant]

I’m not presenting this timeline to indicate how cool and ahead of the trends I am, but rather to give a bit of context around my drawn-out observation of the show’s decline into politically correct, mainstream piffle. In fact, my awareness of the show’s creator Charlie Brooker goes back much further than 2011. I began reading his stuff in PC Zone magazine in the late 90s, when I seem to remember the magazine got pulled off the shelves of certain stores in the UK because of his Cruelty Zoo column. His game reviews always stood out for their satisfyingly crisp and articulate vitriol, and a lot of that survived into his Guardian columns and news commentary shows. He was a refreshing blast of meaty anti-bullshit in a sea of sugary bullshit.

I liked Brooker and was pleased when Channel 4 commissioned his 5-part miniseries Dead Set in 2008. It was exciting and inspiring to see someone follow such a dizzying career trajectory all the way from writing for a magazine with 20,000 readers – a decent guy doing and saying pretty much exactly what he wanted and still becoming very successful. So to then see the first season of Black Mirror be so adept and original in 2011 was great. I figured Brooker would just keep flying just under the mainstream radar and be allowed to keep making this cool and interesting stuff.

Although he denied it at the time, Brooker is smart and cynical enough to know the sale to Netflix was going to kill his creative freedom and the quality of the show. He knew the creep of stifling political correctness was unavoidable. He knew the writing room would be corrupted by mediocre hacks filling diversity quotas and the like. He knew Netflix would put on the pressure to make the show as accessible as possible to mass audiences. He knew all this, but he either lied to himself or chose to take the money and run. And here we are now, with pop star Miley Cyrus using the show’s cultural capital as a vehicle to pretend she’s in fact a misunderstood lover of alternative music and thus rendering one of only three episodes in the new season close to unwatchable.

Take the money and run is what I think Brooker will eventually do. He’ll probably stick around for a couple more seasons, frustratingly try to capture the quality of the early episodes against a whole shit-ton of factors working against him. And then he’ll quit. Push out a sanitized press release run through Netflix’s PR machine about how he is “looking for the next challenge”, possibly with a thinly-veiled dig about “creative differences” but emphasizing that he’s sure the show will still be juuust great without him. And the show will go on, probably with his co-writer Annabel Jones as the strong, independent woman playing the show’s chief writer, pumping out run-of-the-mill trash TV for the big bucks.

Netflix will keep milking it until people finally clock onto what’s happened, and even then they won’t understand why, they’ll just remark that “it’s not as good as it used to be” and move onto the next cool thing. The show will increasingly live off the fumes of the dangling carrot of what it could have been, the possibilities, the potential. Viewers will begin each new episode with that sense of excitement, but never quite be satisfied – most often left annoyed. The long, painful demise of Black Mirror will, in fact, be like a Black Mirror episode of its own. But they won’t make that one.