To begin with, I’d like to sincerely thank our Comrade Soldier, Brother Jason, for sharing his story about overcoming addiction. Given that I could barely quit cigarettes, and still drink coffee, I’m always a bit awestruck at hearing such powerful testimony. Shades of Nietzsche’s superman peek through such tales.
I should also preface this by admitting that I don’t expect this article to get many hits. Some of you will probably feel offended. That’s fine.
One of the things addictions seem to do is to hollow out the addict’s psychic personality. The constructed subject, in itself, is transformed (often in a very short time) into a machine which has as its goal the procurement of the substance (or behavior) which is the focus of the addiction. All the other aspects of the subject — the things that once made him “him” — are more-or-less blunted to serve the fix, or transformed into means to this end.
Johnny Rotten eulogized his friend, British musician Sid Vicious, in the media. Sid died of a heroin overdose, a day after murdering his Jewish-American girlfriend in New York City. Johnny described Sid’s decline into murder and suicide as a complete transformation: “Once you start on that heroin trail… it’s gone… you just disappear.” (The Unseen Sid Vicious)
What is most interesting is that the same phenomenon seems to happen to many PUA types.
The first clue that this process is at work is an immediate willingness to destroy once close, meaningful social relationships. This is not the same process that single dudes complain about when a brother gets wed. We all know the story about the pal who gets married, and suddenly disappears from view. That’s not what’s happening here. In the first place, the newly married brother has a legitimate commitment to a wife, and is probably working on starting a family. PUA types have no such reasonable conflicts. The women they bang don’t generally want any commitment to a man. They just want to fuck. Fucking such women doesn’t entail long hours at work to save for junior’s private school tuition. Moreover, the meaningful social relationships that such men enjoyed prior to adopting the PUA lifestyle are often destroyed overtly, by antisocial and outrageous behavior. PUA types self-induce a psychic erasure, replacing their authentic personality with a bizarre collection of tics, sexual fetishes, and irregular grooming and dressing habits.
The second clue directly follows from the first. What psychic contents are left are entirely self-centered. PUA types seem to define themselves, far too often, by being as annoying an asshole as possible, despite the fact that this is contextually unnecessary. Before finding books by Tucker Max and Cernovich, many of my pals (and it was not just internet acquaintances – I had meatspace friends who went this route) were on their way to moderately successful careers and had already begun establishing stable lives. After adopting their PUA personae, they generally lost interest in doing interesting stuff, and preferred to slack off, making “being a PUA” their one obvious goal in life. They still made enough money to buy fuzzy hats and get manicured fingernails, but all their higher aspirations seemed to go down the toilet.
In an essay, Jack Donovan defines the “metrosexual” PUA as “a “mirror man” whose highest narcissistic concerns are pleasure-seeking and being regarded as “desirable.” He may be in love with himself, but that, too, is a shallow kind of love. He cares more about how he looks and how well he fucks than what he has achieved or how well he is respected.” (Everyone A Harlot)
Now, the PUA will rebut these observations by claiming that their lifestyle has “liberated” the men who embrace it to build an authentic identity. The opposite is actually true. An authentic personality is socially constructed, and is based upon meaningful interpersonal relationships and ties to community. The PUA lifestyle does not allow for an authentic personality. It obliterates it.
It’s funny because it’s true.