Down in the mosh pit, ys asks a question about the Dalrock blog. I hesitate to make another blog the focus of this one, but I think there are a number of important lessons in a general survey of what I’ve seen transpire over the last decade.
Boxer, you seem to have been reading him from nearly the beginning. In your estimation, when did he take off or become popular? Was it a post or two, or was it just a slow build over time?
About fifteen years ago, I was having a difficult time with a girl named Elise. I was fucking Elise, was largely monogamous, and I had convinced myself that Elise was “the one.” My background was sadly typical. I had grown up the child of divorced parents, and had convinced myself not only that a successful marriage was possible, but that I was the one man I knew, in current year, who would find one. At the time of my girlfriend hassles, I was working my way through a very rigorous graduate program, and I just couldn’t believe that I wasn’t able to juggle all the work and books and somehow manage to keep this wimminz happy.
a. broke up with troublemaking girlfriend, and
b. reconnected with my own father.
I don’t know, in hindsight, which was more difficult to do, but I’m incredibly grateful to the advice I got from Glover’s book, which helped me do both.
Around this time I found a number of “game” fora, which seemed like a melange of snake-oil salesmanship coupled with things which I had found obvious since I was a teenager. It would be later that I’d realize I had stumbled into my own knowledge of picking up skanks through a series of happy accidents (combined with a don’t care attitude as a kid, which allowed for experimentation.)
Around 2009 I started becoming interested in Roissy, largely because I outgrew my childish narcissism, and came to sympathize with the brothers who were too shy or autistic to do what I had been doing, namely just putting some crude moves on whatever skank I found attractive at the moment. Such men were deeply unhappy, and their struggles seemed to mirror men I knew in my daily life. After Roissy, I found Welmer’s Spearhead blog, and after this, I found Dalrock.
It was some time after finding the Dalrock blog that I found his work trolling Yahoo! Answers. Back in the day, wimminz would post tone-deaf idiocy on this aggregator, and Dalrock had a knack of dogwhistling them into line.
The author is probably one of the best rhetoriticians we have on our side, which made his site a draw for me.
When Dalrock Became Popular
The original question ys asked had a temporal dimension which is difficult to parse. Dalrock is objectively unpopular, compared even to bit players in pop culture. I’d estimate his regular readers as maybe 200 people, and there are probably no more than a couple of thousand people, worldwide, who have ever read his work. Even so, it’s an interesting question, and I’ll attempt to answer.
Through 2012 or so, Dalrock regularly poached some of the best contributors to The Spearhead and A Voice for Men, who regged in his comments section. This was sort of a golden age, in which everyone more-or-less got along.
Between 2012 and 2015, Dalrock started trolling various wolves in sheep’s clothing, including my old friend Sheila Gregoire.
At this point, his comment section began really taking off. It also started becoming something less interesting and more imbued with groupthink. That was about the point when Cane Caldo pronounced his impotent little jihaad against Lyn87, and after this, he started going off on anyone who dared disagree with him. Eventually, Dalrock’s comments were overloaded with bile, largely written by Christians against anyone who didn’t purity-spiral themselves to heaven.
That was, not coincidentally, the point when I started this blog. I had earlier seen the dysfunction on various red pill blogs like iSteve and Roissy, and began to appreciate the linear function which seems to take hold as a blog gets more popular, and its comments get filled up with rabid yes-men and asslickers, who want to ride the coattails of better writers and thinkers. Originally, I thought I’d find a way to abate or rechannel this process, but I don’t know how to. What I’ve done with this blog is to ruthlessly cull new commenters who didn’t seem like a good fit, along with playing devil’s advocate with some of the strongest voices here (Derek, Feministhater, Sharkly…) Even when I agree with the groupthink, I don’t necessarily think it’s healthy to allow a monoculture to develop.
There were other incidents which increased his relative popularity, and these generally coincided with the author squabbling with some new population of malcontents. Dalrock gained a large number of readers in 2014, from trolling the goons over in the Atheism+ (pronounced atheismpoz) movement. You can see ya boy in the comments here…
In any case, I hope the story of my dance with Dalrock clarifies some general truths about blogging and popularity.