Matt Forney
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turning

Thoughts on Turning 30

Last Friday was my 30th birthday. It came and went inauspiciously, as I spent the bulk of it on a crummy Soviet train sitting next to a retard who kept fondling his Hungarian girlfriend. The party came later.

I’ve never been a big fan of birthdays, not because I’m afraid of aging, but because I don’t think aging is an accomplishment. Wow, you survived another orbit around the sun. Big whoop. Last year was the first time in years that I threw a proper birthday party at my home (as opposed to just meeting up with my friends at a bar), and it was partly motivated by the fact that I had a large-enough (and centrally-located) apartment to throw a party in.

Even now, I don’t really feel like I’ve passed some major milestone. I’ve always been an “old soul,” lacking the exuberant, boneheaded energy of youth. An ex-girlfriend once described me as “20 going on 40,” and when I wrote the blog In Mala Fide nearly a decade ago (!), many readers assumed I was in my forties due to the “verisimilitude” of my writing style. Granted, I did dumb and crazy stuff when I was younger, but my actions were tempered by a calmness and perspective that most young men lack. Maybe it was because I spent my teenage years reading instead of getting laid.

That said, as I’ve gotten older, I have changed some of my habits. For example, I used to drink constantly; now I only have a beer or two when I’m out with friends. I used to pound a couple of beers or glasses of wine before recording my podcast; now I do live shows completely sober. Part of this is due to the fact that my body can no longer shrug off the effects of heavy drinking; if I wake up with a hangover, I’m useless the rest of the day. However, I’ve also been surrounded by alcoholics my entire life and I’ve resolved to not end up like them.

Other changes are more subtle. I now strive to wake up early in the morning instead of sleeping in, I’ve traded gluttony for fitness with a pair of kettlebells, and I’ve focused my dating life towards wifely women instead of dissolute good-time girls. My writing focus has gone from politics to literature as I work to build the greatest book publisher and literary magazine on the Internet, and my style has gone from outrageous trolling to more subtle shivs.

A friend once told me a story of how a Catholic priest told her that life was like having a ball and chain around your leg steadily pulling you towards death. She thought the story was morbid, but as I grow older, I can see where the priest was coming from. As I age, I can feel time passing faster, as each year seems shorter than the last. I don’t have any health problems—indeed, I’d say I’m in pretty good health considering that I’m overweight—but mortality is increasingly at the back of my mind.

I’ve also watched myself and my friends age out of hipness. Back around the turn of the decade, blogging was the main means that people like me reached our audiences. What my friends and I call the “Manosphere Class of ’10” (bloggers like Roosh, Roissy etc.) were movers and shakers back during the height of the Obama years, triggering lefties and cucks left and right. But in 2018, the younger half of the millennials (mistakenly called “Generation Z” even though GenZ doesn’t begin until 2004, going by The Fourth Turning) have moved onto to YouTube streams and Twitter shitposting, with a new wave of figures like Nick Fuentes and Reviewbrah who are perfectly tailored to that medium. While I do my own live streams, I’m a dinosaur compared to these guys, and I don’t expect to be able to outpace them.

Not that I really want to. I’ve always been a writer first and foremost, with everything else I do—podcasts, videos, livestreams—secondary at best. I’ll always have an audience for what I do, even if it isn’t the largest, and I’m going to keep writing no matter what happens. And frankly, having a large audience is more of a curse than a blessing these days, given how many mega-popular dissident right figures have imploded in the past year. I’m always going to be here even as tastes change and fads fade.

By the time you read this, I’ll be on another train heading somewhere else in Eastern Europe. It’s not a bad life.

Read Next: Life is Short and So is This Book: Brief Thoughts on Making the Most of Your Life by Peter Atkins