The so-called millennials, of which I am a cohort, are arguably the first generation to be essentially raised in part by the Internet. Mostly white and middle class, our mid-management or self-employed parents may have had any or all of the now comical iterations of personal computers released through the 90s, which they used mostly for work. Thanks its near ubiquity post millennium, however, many of our formative years were formed by access, in some way or another, to the Internet. Just like being front of the television was, and still is, a sickening, lazy (but often necessary) technique to raise a child in a time-strapped, single parent family, the internet was, for many, the “tv” of our youth. Being in part ‘raised by the Internet’ has had huge implications, for better or worse, on our role in Post-Industrial society.
While films such the Matrix and the entire genre of Cyberpunk made allusions to the deep sub-cultures that had existed within the Internet since its inception as a research and communications tool (DARPANET) for the military, techies, and nerds, they were effectively still a small, tight-knit set of communities on a budding new platform that was in no way user-friendly. It was chaotic, unruled and its obtuse nature gave it an undeniable sense of mystery. Now, however, children swipe mindlessly on tablets with an aloofness that would make William Gibson himself blush.
The millennial generation was their immediate predecessor. Whether it was at the school library or the creaking AOL connection at home, many budding young people had a glimpse into the wonders (and horrors) of the Internet in a way that differed greatly from our parents or grandparents whose accounts we were using. Where my own superiors seen it as a way to email and make basic inquiries into still primitive search engines, we ‘surfed’ and found games, communities and information. I remember splitting my time after school between watching Cartoons and playing Runescape, posting on forums (including the famous and defunct AvidGamers) and learning things outside of my small world. I was also a total goober.
In a world of single-mother households and living in an existentially boring “nowhere” (ie. a soul-crushing subdevelopment surrounded by stripmalls and highways), the internet was my window to an otherwise inaccessible outside and sense of community. There were no forts to build, no forest to explore, no downtown (or town, for that matter) to bike around. I and many other of my generation had the choice between 6 lane highways, greenbelts and cul-de-sacs or dragons, mysterious worlds, and a nascent online community that would serve as validation. Many of us were imbued with a common framework of language, images and content which hold the same meaning for us as neon, synth and Kevin Bacon hold for the 80’s cohort. Looking at many blogs, ‘art’ and even some musical genres conceived by this generation one wouldn’t be surprised to see, say, a Charmander, a MySpace reminiscent layout, or Zelda referenced both earnestly and ironically.
This mainstream access to the Web was of course part and parcel of a rise of corporate hegemony and the beginnings of globalist capitalism, of which we were blissfully ignorant. While we read Animorphs and sat through another tortuous login of AOL, adults spoke of NAFTA and outsourcing. While we ‘collected them all’ , Wal-Mart ‘destroyed them all’. We were growing up and unwittingly contributing to a hyper-consumerist, materialist and increasingly vapid mainstream culture in which only our small, inconsequential internet communities could offer us the solace we didn’t know we needed. In those long-gone summer days of calling each other ‘pussys’ , ‘fags’ and ‘bitches’ on Halo matches, we had no idea something called a ‘feminist’ would eventually come to bearing down on our little world.
As I ‘matured’ I spent more time reading literature which I had only learned about through sleuthing and surfing, as my peers, teachers (too focused on standardised tests) and parents had no interest in Dostoevsky, Marcus Aurelius or other foundational texts made known to me only through the Web. Cite /r/iamverysmart all you want, but as far as my own intellectual journey is concerned, the internet was the primary resource for knowledge until I attended University.
I think this is where my path split from many of the so-called Social Justice Warriors, for they had a similar white, suburban, internet-raised background as I did, but perhaps my focus on great Western texts had imbued me with a sense of pride in my own people and their history, than, say, a neo- “White man’s burden” narcissistic tumblrite who spent too much time adjusting their top 8 on MySpace.
Am I projecting? Maybe. But many of the Manosphere and Redpill are also millenials, can draw on the same ‘cultural’ commonalities we share via internet and cartoons and a strong reliance on a tight-knit internet community, yet have obviously deviated from the path of SJW’s , ‘betas’ and neckbeards who have all fallen into the Mariana’s trench of the Clickbait/Facebook/Web 6.66.
This is one of the fundamental problems Western men have today, and it’s critical to our survival. Truly. They let the internet turn them into pasty, weak pseudo-intellectuals with nothing but Wikipedia, a Liberal Arts degree and shitty quotations pasted onto pictures of historical figures serve as their intellectual foundation. Instead of a tool, the internet has turned them into tools. Consuming, playing, consuming, masturbating, consuming, dying. We have been reduced to mere consumers whose employment is only to facilitate more consumption.
One of the most striking products of millennial culture is the lo-fi, lo-quality form of rap known as “Vaporwave”. To put it simply, Vaporwave is a genre which takes the jazzy, nondescript music from infomercials, the mall and ‘on-hold’ telephone calls and stretches them out, loops them and edits the disparate results into an ironically titled song written in a foreign script. The albums (which will never have a physical copy) will have visual references to childhood days long past, with Gamecubes, Pokemon, Anime or Windows 98 as common motifs. “Sad Boys”, a ‘group’ of rappers consisting of one kid, Yung Lean, epitomizes the ‘paradox of prosperity’ found in the West: Ennui, depression, obesity and consumerism as the norm for Men growing up in ‘the Matrix’ of corporate hegemony, globalism and forced egalitarianism. His videos are a cacophony of corporate symbols either in worship or crude parody of the consumer temples from which the music is sampled. This might be gleaning a bit too much off of untalented hacks unaware of what they are doing, but they are certainly reflecting this through their ‘aesthetic’ and sound. It’s a subgenre only millennial can truly ‘get’, to a degree.
‘Vaporwave’ is but a drop in the bucket as far as internet sub-cultures are concerned, but I feel it is especially relevant regarding men and society. Within a service-industry oriented society where we work fast food and retail in order to ourselves afford fast food and consumer trinkets, many are mostly weak, sad, unfulfilled and refer meekly to the few symbols and toys of our youth, to Pokemon cards and Super Nintendo, to find any semblance of far-off bliss. I know boys (they are no men), aged same as me, who still live as if they were 10, as if the caricature of a Vaporwave “Sad Boy” was walking in the flesh. They are weak, foolish degenerates wasting their life away with the only solid relationship they ever had: The internet and videogames.
The Great Men of our past: Antigonos Gonatas, Iulius Caesar, T.E. Lawrence would be considered racist, homophobic, colonial. As children they would have been succumbed to the gauntlet of prescription drugs and mental diagnoses due to their avaricious desire to move, explore and fight with other boys. Their insatiable thirst for ‘glory’ and their marked interest in ‘honor’ would be seen as perverse and backwards. They would at the least physically and mentally intimidate the sweaty neckbeards and vegan feminist males. Their undeniable manhood would be taken not for strength of will and body, but for a ‘personal crisis, ‘compensation’ or simply a ‘show’ by feminist authors. Were it not for the very traditional leanings of my stern father, a construction worker and golden glove in his youth, I too would probably have fully succumbed to the dystopian world Western progressives have been building for us all. I am guilty of all of the sins I so vehemently condemn the ‘Sad Boys’ of this generation with. I was vegan, once. I attended college. I sat through the lectures. I’ve learned all about diversity, white guilt, white privilege and every other wrong my ancestors have done. As a proud German-American, I’ve learned to feel utter impotence, shame and dishonor in the face of non-white nations, creeds and ethnicities. I’ve “embraced diversity” so much it hurts.
The issue with the millennial man and his fitting stereotype as a bumbling, effeminate weakling is that these men could rule the world. They could do anything. We really do, as white men, have the cumulative legacy of all the Great Western Men who have come before us at our advantage. Each nation has their own heroes, their own stories, and I respect that. But to me no one compares to Siegfried, Heros von Borcke or, of course, Theodore Roosevelt. Not even the racists (ahem, racialists) over at Radix or Counter-Currents would deny we are privileged in the sense that our Western ancestors were so disproportionately influential on the state of the world today. This is what we came from. This is what can continue to do.
The internet is a powerful resource which provides us with more knowledge than all of the Great Men combined had access to. Instead of striving to be like them, we harangue on the latest, greatest injustice a world away through a post on Facebook, or make token gestures against Capitalism while browsing Pinterest on our iPhones. We demonize the very traits which have built the great cities, crossed the great oceans, and launched us into space.
The Internet which had served as a babysitter, the outside, and our reservoir of knowledge has turned into a massive circlejerk for most users. F5 F5 F5’ng our lives a way as we whittle time, consume media and masturbate. It is in many ways still our babysitter, ensuring good behaviour in ways x1000 spankings as a youth couldn’t have afforded.
Thankfully, there is an antidote. A way to turn the degeneracy enabling WWW into a tool for intellectual, social and physical betterment. The Red Pill and the wider Manosphere is a community of (mostly!) half-coherent, computer literate individuals who pretty much dedicate their entire content to turning sloppy, fat neckbeards into assertive, confident and intelligent Men worthy of our legacy. They recognize the issue that Nth Wave Feminism and Post-Industrial degeneracy. It is reshaping the transformative power of the Internet from a breaker of men into a maker of Men.