Matt Forney
Spread the Word!

Crawling Towards Heaven

I grew up in a tiny, cramped Roaring Twenties-era two-story house in what used to be Syracuse’s Polish neighborhood. Because the house was so small, my room didn’t have a closet, but instead housed the entrance to the attic. The house’s age meant that I was privy to the sounds of the various wildlife that found their way into the attic via its numerous secret openings to the outside, mainly bats and mice. And flies.

Dear God, the flies.

Every summer, without fail, brought a small army of flies shimmying through the crack between the door and the floor. The strange thing about the flies, though, was the fact that all of the ones who made it to my room were on their last legs. They crawled along the floor because they were too weak to fly; the few that could fly would buzz around bouncing off the floor like a Mexican jumping bean because they couldn’t stay airborne for more than two seconds at a time. None of the flies ever made it further than my bed before giving up the ghost. Sweeping up the mounds of dehydrated insect corpses became a weekly ritual. And yet, despite the fact that there was nothing for them in my room, the bugs just kept coming.

It took me years before I figured out why.

Not only is there no food in the attic, because it’s poorly insulated, its temperature fluctuates wildly depending on the weather: freezing cold in the winter, blisteringly hot in the summer. That tiny microscopic fly brain knew that if it stayed any longer in the attic, it would die of exposure or starvation. It had no clue what lay behind the bright white slit at the bottom of the attic stairs, whether it contained their salvation or damnation, but that didn’t matter.

The flies had a binary choice: either face a possible death trying to get into my room, or face certain death hanging behind in the attic.

Recently, inspired by Anatoly Karlin’s list-making and some unfortunate news, I decided to make a list of the bloggers I’ve read who’ve quit/vanished/deleted their blogs during my four-year manosphere career. Writing is one of the most intensely personal mediums out there, and in a niche like the manosphere, about sex and self-improvement, a skilled wordsmith can make his readers feel a connection to him, even if he writes pseudonymously and keeps his personal picture off of the Interwebs. When a good writer up and quits, people get sad because this connection has been severed.

I abandoned the four-year project when I realized that the list would simply be too long, and decided to focus on bloggers that went Tango Uniform during the past year. Off the top of my head:

  • OneSTDV disappeared in June. I stopped reading him before that because he had become a pompous, autistic twit, but his blog went up around the same time In Mala Fide did and he greatly helped to promote the site when it was new, so I can’t help but wonder what happened.
  • Dennis Mangan took his blog private in July or so, but came back in October.
  • Virgle Kent moved on to NexxtLevelUp and deleted his old blog.
  • Gmac vanished without a trace in October.
  • The University of Man was BALEETED roughly around the same time.
  • Mojo of the Neckbeard Chronicles quit in November, though having found out that he’d been in the manosphere nearly as long as I had (under a different name), I suspect he might be coming back at some point.
  • Complementarian Loners dissolved, again, roughly at the same time.
  • FFY quit in November, but relaunched a couple months ago and continued to write for NexxtLevelUp in the meantime.
  • The Alpha Persona also quit in November, but continued blogging under his real name.
  • Will S. left Patriactionary, but is still hanging around in the comment sections.
  • Solo shuttered his blog and moved on back in January.
  • Finally, Bronan the Barbarian! just announced that he is closing up shop. (Goodnight sweet Prince, and flights of slutty teenage angels sing thee to thy rest.)

Blogging lends itself to transience; easy to set up also equals easy to shut down. This goes double for a milieu like the manosphere; most guys come in here looking to improve their lives in some tangible way, and when they reach their goals, many don’t see much reason to stick around writing the same “Fat chicks suck!” posts over and over again. If anything, this churn is a good thing, because it ensures new blood has an opportunity to rise to the top and limits the toxic negativity that comes with obsessing over problems you can’t solve. Just look at JezebelA Voice for Men or any site dedicated to bitching about feminism, misogyny or whatever cause du jour they can think of. Do the people who write and comment there seem happy or well-adjusted to you?

Sometimes I feel like I ought to join the fallen.

I’ve gone through countless shifts in my writing focus—from game to race to economics and back again—but I’ve never stopped writing. I go through periods of burnout, periods where I want to quit, but I never do because I know that once my mood rebounds, I’ll be back at the computer, tapping out words like a Morse code operator on meth. Even though I’m objectively a success as a writer, I’m still wracked with self-doubt.

“You’re wasting your time. Nobody cares about your shit. You will never make enough money to quit your job. Even if you do, no right-thinking person will want to be associated with you. Your fans are all degenerate misogynist creeps. Give it up and go back to school.

“And by the way, why oh why didn’t you take the BLUE pill?”

What quashes that little voice, that little sensation, is knowing that the voice is wrong. I’ve met many of my fans in real life; they’re normal, cool guys. My books are selling at a brisk pace; combined with my other ventures, I’m on track to be financially independent by the end of the summer. And I know for a fact that my writing is good, because if it wasn’t, I wouldn’t have so many smart, dedicated people reading it (and morons getting offended by it).

It also helps that the people who are feeding that little voice are doing so because they want me to fail, not because they’re looking out for my best interest. As Rollo Tomassi writes, the greatest weapon of the Feminine Imperative—and the greatest enemy of the rational man—is self-doubt. All I need to do is look at the people trying to tear me down to know that they’re wrong. They’re fat, miserable, drugged-up wage slaves who lead lives of desperation and misery. They don’t know anything about business, about literature, or anything real.

This doesn’t guarantee that I’ll succeed, though, but whether I do or not isn’t important.

I don’t have a choice, and neither do you. Like the fly using its last bit of energy to crawl out of the attic, you can’t know what the future holds. Heaven might be on the other side of that door, or hell. You might become a superstar, or crash and burn. You don’t have any other option.

You either crawl towards possible success, or stay behind and face guaranteed failure.

Here’s to victory.

Read Next: Why You Should Start a Blog