What exactly are we teaching the Lost Boys today?
I came across the term Lost Boys in 2016. It’s attributed to the fan base that Dr. Jordan Peterson was generating around that time, but I had heard similar references to “drop out” young men as early as 2014. The fem-stream media was concerned that these 18-29 year old men were deliberately thwarting women’s mating/life strategies by not preparing themselves for adulthood. Women were concerned that fewer young men were going to be suitably ignorant-yet-dutiful husband material by the time they were 30. Meanwhile, TradCon media (predictably) made this crisis of masculinity all about men “shirking their responsibilities” from a want to “perpetuate their adolescence”. As expected, men assuming more masculine responsibility was the cure to solving this social malaise. Both sides of the ideological spectrum have never had a real interest in discerning the root causes for the now two generations of Lost Boys. To do so would challenge both ideology’s base presumptions about innate sex differences, feminism, gynocentrism and female empowerment stretching back to the sexual revolution. Hannah Rosen called it the End of Men in The Atlantic back in 2012. The Kidults and Peter Pan Men were an easily shamed novelty. Breitbart called them the Drop Out Generation and we’re similarly dismissed as “lazy kids not preparing themselves for being fathers and husbands.” Even I threw my hat in the ring when I penned Are You Experienced.
In 2021 we are now two generations into the Lost Boys. Just like the latter half of the Millennials, now Gen Z young men are becoming the next wave of guys trying to find purpose in a life that has no need of them – or they’re endlessly derided for not living up to an old order standard. As Rian Stone has said, they are sheep in search of a shepherd – students with no teacher – young men who are effectively rudderless in life. This is where the Red Pill, Manosphere, male space or whatever we’re calling it now is stepping in to become the teachers these young men have lacked. But what are we actually teaching the Lost Boys? From what I see today, most “coaches” haven’t done much more than profit by them. Today, they are more lost now than when Dr. Peterson identified them. What will be the long-term human, societal, cost of two generations of young men guided, taught and/or hustled into, or out of, embracing conventional masculinity?
The Blind Lead the Blinder
“Who’s the more foolish, the Blue Pill chump or the chumps who follow him?”
If you’ve read my latest book The Rational Male, Religion you’ll already be familiar with the concept of The Brand of Me. Today, everyone is their own brand. From the frustrated soccer mom, to the 12-year-old girl interacting with “friends” she’s never met, to OnlyFans girls, to niche marketing Gurus, everyone you know is actively engaged in some form of personal brand management. Even your grandmother on FaceBook is her own PR agent. Likewise, masculinity/positivity gurus are their own personal brands. I’m emphasizing ‘are’ here because we live our own brand identity as our personal identity in our day to day lives now.
It’s becoming exceedingly difficult to separate the ‘man‘ from his brand today. In the Hustle Economy, managing brand identity, is managing livelihood, is managing personal identity. Everyone is their brand. In the early 2000’s it was the likes of Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian who were the pioneers of being famous for being famous. Neither had (has) any real exceptional talent that made them celebrities; they simple were famous. There are other examples, but most of that “fame” was generated via careful personal brand management in a time when social media was nothing like it is today. Then, it took a lot more work and money to curate fame for being famous. Now, in the new order, it’s never been easier to create an easily believable perceptions of fame – even if it’s just a low degree of it.
It’s all sizzle and no steak. E-Celebrity is now reality show entertainment that virtually anyone, any demographic, can create for themselves. In my 2014 essay Hysteria I detailed the social experiment of a guy who created his own instant celebrity:
Basically, the guy had a few friends follow him around the mall, one guy filming him and the other two guys (I can’t tell if any of his hired guns were women) acting as his “groupies” or entourage. He goes around identifying himself as “Thomas Elliot” when people, mostly women, ask him his name. Eventually, he begins to pile up admiring and gawking female attention, which only snowballs into more female attention. Apparently, not one of these starstruck chicks thought to question if Thomas Elliot was a real celebrity. That’s the power of preselection and fame; so powerful, it can disengage a woman’s neural logic circuitry.
Remember, the linked videos were produced in 2012. This experiment required a film team, at least 2-3 collaborators to give the guy some legitimacy. You don’t need this today. In fact you don’t even need great post-production or computer skills now. All that’s required to create a similar video is a smart phone and Instagram. Social proof, preselection, status, clout, prestige, indignation and fame have never been easier to manufacture for average people than in the first 20 years of the 21st century.
Never have more people (and mostly women) been so rewarded for so little real work, talent, virtuoso, education or creativity. And rewarded with money, adulation, admiration, “respectability“, love, attention and importance. Today, anyone can become influential – an influencer. Potentially, anyone can get paid better and enjoy more status than the career they may have went to years of college to get. As a result, the value of a formal real education is debased.
But, who cares about college or education anyway, right? Even STEM fields and the hard sciences have been infiltrated by Wokezis. Academia is rife with socialists and Marxism at every level now. Post-modernism has owned the humanities and the arts since at least the 1960s if not the late 1800s. True education has become a grift too. Most universities are just very expensive diploma mills that supply you with the paperwork necessary to allow you to be considered for an entry-level job – usually determined by an underpaid Karen in the HR department; likely with less “education” than what you paid for just to get an audience with her. Now, is it any wonder that education and “preparing oneself for life and responsibilities” is effectively worthless to the Lost Boys generation?
‘Cause I’m a twenty-first century digital boyBad Religion, 21st Century Digital Boy, 1990
I don’t know how to live but I got a lot of toys
My daddy’s a lazy middle-class intellectual
My mommy’s on Valium, so ineffectual
Ain’t life a mystery, yeah?
Damn, that song was prophetic. If an education’s purpose is to allow the graduate access to the job (in the working world) he believes will profit him best, and he’d have better results in the Hustle Economy, why bother with the investment of time and student debt? If a young woman can make a fortune from the minimum investment needed to be an OnlyFans influencer (sex worker) why bother to study nursing? If a guy can make more money and be more attractive as a “life coach” for far less investment than a degree in a suspicious major like psychology what’s the incentive to be educated?
The motive is profit and the process is profit. In the New Order we’ve become hyper-efficient at commodifying both motive and process. This has led to a mistrust, if not disdain, of education, science (as a method), wisdom and genuine creative inspiration.
“If it doesn’t lead to my first million dollars what’s the point of doing it?”
“Fuck it, I’ll just be a
stripper OnlyFans girl or entrepreneur.”
As a result the Hustle Economy tends to attract pathological personalities. As most of my readers know, crazy tends to draw more crazy into its orbit. Pathological doesn’t always mean criminally insane. Guys like Steve Jobs or Elon Musk had/have pathological reality distortion fields about them. And while they are what we’d excuse as eccentric, maybe asocial, they weren’t destructive malcontents. Unfortunately, they’re the rarer exceptions. Get rich quick, get fit quick, get clout quick, get love, adoration, props, respectability, attention, concern, empathy/sympathy, and commiseration instantly, with the least amount of money and personal investment is an irresistible pull to pathological personalities. In any other era, these guys would have to be supremely creative and driven to get up and over the loser status barrier to become more than they started as. And only then after a constant learning from defeat and setbacks. For today’s TL;DR generation, if it can’t be delivered instantaneously why else would you bother doing something?
“Only the insane have the strength to prosper. Only those who prosper truly judge what is sane.”
Part II, next week,…