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'Gospel Hour'
Crackpot mailbox: c8, Bryce Sharper, Thawtcriminowitz and James Discuss Masculinity Rising
© 2019 James LaFond
The book review I wrote in Bear Lake, Utah in September and finally posted, with painfully less than military efficiency, this week ‘Hesitation Is The Enemy’, seems to have struck a chord, and a chord reverberating between some of the more strident minds in the readership. Indeed, the first time Thawtcriminowitz heard me on Myth of the 20th Century, he thought that "you were full of shit!" as he told me once. The other two commentators here have helped me stretch and expand my thought process for years on the site. I was somewhat afraid of posting an article critical—even in broad terms—of a guy that is a better man than me by just about every tangible measure. So, I found myself putting it off and got pissed at my inner sissy and posted it.
The basic point of my piece was that Jocko Willink's book was great in every way, qualified by the fact that high-functioning goons like him are exactly the guys that would whack low-hanging dissident fruit like me for their soulless masters, that despite our best attempts to man-up in the face of a sissifying system, that the best masculine material has already been hijacked by that system. So, when the shit hits the fan, it's not us anti-POZ yeomen of the decline against the sissies generated by the system, but us getting steam-rolled by the bullies of the system who could have been fighting along with Leonidas 2,479 years ago...
Below I have amplified my brief original responses to these very thoughtful comments.

c8 commented on ‘Hesitation is the Enemy’ Dec-5-2019 6:56 AM UTC
It's gospel hour, James!
Picture the scene. A Roman soldier, a Centurion in charge of 100 men, comes to see Jesus. The centurion is a badass. The Centurion’s servant, someone important to him, has been paralyzed. The Centurion comes to Jesus, certain that Jesus can help.
The Centurion comes as a man of authority, but he doesn’t attempt to exercise any authority over Jesus. He doesn’t demand assistance or intervention. He sees Jesus as a man of authority, too. He tells Jesus that he also has men under his command. "I tell them, do this, and they do it."
Jesus responds, “I will come to your house and cure him.” But incredibly, the Centurion says, “I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; but only speak the word, and my servant will be healed.”
In both Matthew and Luke, we read how the Centurion’s faith amazed Jesus:
“When Jesus heard him, he was amazed and said to those who followed him, ‘Truly I tell you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith.’” (Matthew 8:10)
“When Jesus heard this he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd that followed him, he said, ‘I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.’” (Luke 7:9)
Nothing else in the gospel narratives amazes Jesus. But the fact that this hardened Roman soldier, hated representative of Israel's overlords, has such straightforward faith astonishes him.
Take home lesson? The simple faith of the badass saves his servant's bacon.
Jocko's discipline saves him from sloth, from having a gut, from the poz that is the very lifeblood of the Empire he serves. Perhaps, when his knees go, it will save him from ennui, from introspection, from Doubt. Perhaps not.
But metaphysics and maundering aside: could Jocko defeat the Centurion, battle-hardened veteran sent to police the hoodrats in 30 AD Palestine, armed not with a Sig but only a gladius? I know I'd pay to see that fight.
I've often wondered how SEALs and Rangers would fare having to live a month in a legionnaires' sandals. Long marches with little food, no med evac, sleeping in the cold without synthetics, the return home only a remote possibility and entailing a 1,000 mile walk. Even "spartan" Jocko, faced with such unending hardship, might crack. He serves the ladyboys, the Lindsay Grahams and Kushners and Schiffs; the legionnaire served Caesar, who himself led when necessary from the front.
What we really need is historical MMA. Let the Jockos and Titos fight Leonidas and Conan. Throw some SEALs into the Colosseum to fight journeyman gladiators. This is the entertainment a diabetic nation demands.

James responded on Dec-5-2019 at 6:28 PM:
This was great.
It's such a great irony that the special brand of men who serve the thing that eats us in the warrior way inoculate themselves to a large extent via their service.
You know, in the Imperial Legions, there was a first cohort of Jockos, guys that were at least 5 feet 10 inches.
I would love to have a time-machine arena to see these goons go at it.
To Jesus' point about the Centurian, a touching story to me considering the high value placed upon the slave [which is what servant means whenever you find it in the bible], I am reminded of the scene HBO's brilliantly written series Rome, in which legionnaire Titus Pullo comes to kill Cicero and is polite about it, promising not to kill beloved slaves and to make no undo mess. Pullo is always there waiting for Cicero to fall out of favor with the System. Also, unlike in the fictional case of Pullo, the sympathetic character of the story, the modern version of Pullo would be screaming at Cicero and cursing him, locking up his family, standing on his neck and believing that Cicero was an evil enemy of mankind, rather than taking Pullo's view that Cicero had just been dealt a bad hand at the political table and should be dealt out with some decorum. This is not a contrast between Rome and America but between the basic human honor code among warriors and shaman and the mania of today, when every power play must be a crusade against evil, polluting warrior ethics.
Note that the Conan character you mention, created by Robert E. Howard as a beacon against Modernity and sissydom—a private, personal beacon, I think—often serves the system: fighting as barbarian for civilized interests in almost every story. Conan is the best analogy here, for the MMA kid who decided to become a SEAL as a form of rejection of Modernity, while serving its purpose. This is an unintended genius within the system, that it vacuums into its guts the most able and natural rebels against it.

Bryce Sharper commented on ‘Hesitation is the Enemy’ Dec-4-2019 6:16 PM UTC
"If you are an anti-statist, a free-thinker, a questioner and investigator of the human condition, and you have not served as a slave of the most effective military machine to ever stalk the earth, that is the U.S. military which holds nearly 1,000 war bases in foreign nations and is the virtual Lord of Hosts and God in Heaven summoned and called down by people of all classes, factions and nations to smite the Unbeliever, to displace those governments and murder people who do not worship the Divine American Body Economic, than you should partake of this strong man’s pitiless perspective. For, the servants of evil are very often good. They must be to be effective, to be good men in a vile cause. Wallink and his ilk have battled the world over to install rapacious engine of economic extraction, to install tyrants, implement and facilitate crimes against humanity, facilitate drug shipments to their home nation, promote pornography-based cultural values, and in large measure, such men prevail, succeed and survive because they are better quality people than the poor bastards who are the unwilling recipients of our good intentions."
Absolutely brootal and true. Dick Couch, in his "THe Warrior Elite" commented at the end that it was unclear why most BUD/S candidates wanted to become SEALs. Many just wanted to be a part of an elite unit. "A great number are patriotic, but what did patriotism mean in this day and age", Dick mused if I remember correctly. It has been 10 years since I read the book.
Wilink et al fall into the category of post-modern neo-stoics. They are like Marcus Aurelius yelling, "Hooyah!" and "BOOTSTRAPS!" at weaklings as a means of inspiring themselves and others but mostly building their brand. The cosmic reality is that we are all weaklings compared to the Almighty. We're also getting older and weaker daily. "The glory of a young man is his strength" (Proverbs 20:29), thus man's glory fades a little bit more every day. My personal experiences with SEALs convinced me that many are arrogant men. How could they not be? But the meek shall inherit the earth.

James responded on Dec-5-2019 at 6:30 PM:
One recent inductee who trained at a club I coached for, said he wanted to be a SEAL because it was a way for him to be a traditional man and to fight back against all "the pussy shit I've been spoon-fed my whole life." This fits your neo-stoic analysis.
I have always respectfully believed that the meek would inherit exactly six feet of earth and that those who put them there, the warrior-types who could have been heroes in another age and today are force multiplication zeroes in our dying age, will inherit even less. I think that the System murderers who serve our unseen slave masters are slated for a cold damnation.

c8 commented on ‘Hesitation is the Enemy’ Dec-6-2019 7:43 AM UTC
Makes sense. Why put all that effort in and endure all that suffering to be surrounded by 2nd class wannabes and commanded by garbage scow fools? Would assume the same for boxers: if good enough, you eventually want to move from amateur ranks to the pros, test yourself against the best, not to mention the higher quality hooch.
The DI screaming in your face (or, nowadays, 'insistently emphasizing') to motivate you to dig the ditch or whatever is obviously a surrogate daddy. It would be interesting to know what % spec ops are from broken homes, vs the rear echelon types. Are they driven to please the father they never knew, or win an imaginary fight with the dead guy who used to beat them or their mamas? One must have abundant reserves of anger to draw on to endure daily surf torture.
Tom Wolfe's 'Man in Full' had as its hero a neo-stoic, Conrad, who escapes from prison via deus-ex-machina earthquake (also Roger "Too White" White II, a prominent Atlanta lawyer, who was of course black), and certainly every Louis Lamour pulp and John Wayne flic featured its stoic emissary (although True Grit, reflecting the changing times (1969) showed him in alcoholic decrepitude). Who wants to read about a Western town whose sharif isn't a quiet man imbued with honor and justice? Even Chighur in 'No Country for Old Men' had a twisted stoic code he lived by, reflected, perhaps, in his unusual choice of hairstyle.
Bronze Age Pervert, the Liftwaffe, and other red-blooded habitues of the dissident right make clear that the pendulum is swinging away from soyface and back to manliness and stoic ethics. Take a look at "Carnivore Aurelius" a keto acolyte on twitter. His manifesto reads:
'The worst addiction in the world is comfort
Nobody wants to be cold. Nobody wants to try a hard diet. Nobody wants to exercise hard.
All growth happens with discomfort.
Our society has made everybody soft.'
These obvious assertions are, nowadays, exotic concepts, forbidden fruit, tantalizing the young guise who now crave Mannerbunds and the manbear grappling (no homo) they never got from dad, and harboring white-hot disdain for the fatso "adults" that have bossed them around in school from day 1. The pajama boy elites are about to dine on a heaping helping of Unexpected Consequence served them by Gen Zyklon, who understand implicitly that there is no Sunday EVER where sissified Obama could kick Vlad's judo-trained ass. (Michelle, on the other hand...).
All gay things come to an end with fire and the crash of steel.

James responded on Dec-6-2019 at 8:42 AM:
The great weakness of Modernity is its implicit belief in lineal social progression and its claim to have overcome the of cyclicity of the Kosmos and the possibility of cataclysm. To return to the mythic character of Conan and the ideas of his creator, a sickly boy who had built himself into a strong man and who still felt wan and weak in the shadow of his uncles and father, even serving the System as a warrior denies it its ultimate goal, which is to emasculate every man and replace mankind with pure bleating chattel. Eventually, for the system to truly triumph, it has to turn inward, like Rome against Titus Aetius, the man who betrayed his boyhood friend Attila and engineered his defeat at Chalons, and kill he who had sustained it, eventually committing suicide. This is why all civilizations fall, I believe, because they are abominations against God and cannot abide their own positive elements.
I will entertain, though not agree with, arguments that God is a sissy.

Thawtcriminowitz commented on ‘Hesitation is the Enemy’ Dec-5-2019 11:37 PM UTC
Great read and interesting take as usual. Like Jonathon Bowden said, it is ironic that the most fascist organization existing today, the US military, does its bidding for liberalism. Jocko is pretty cool, I listen to his podcast at times. He either pretends or doesnt know actual history though. One show talking about Hitler, he claimed Hitler sat in an ivory tower and was afraid to fight himself which is blatantly absurd given his WW1 record. Anyway ttyl James

James responded on Dec-6-2019 at 8:40 AM:
Thanks for the news—Jocko sounded super cool to me. He'd probably even look cool killing my runty ass. I have noticed more and more, the misrepresentation of what happened in World War II. You know, through most of my life to be called a Nazi was to be accused of being a strict person, like a "spelling Nazi" which I have never been accused of, though I have been called an "inventory Nazi" an "endcap Nazi" an "overhead Nazi" a "clean Nazi" and even a "fairness Nazi" by employees as late as 2010.
It is a wonder, as people like Jocko "build their brand" if they are just parroting the Postmodern Faith or are they intentionally veering away from truth and the raging furnace of their masters' hatred?
Whatever we might think of how the writing about WWII has morphed in the extreme since 1960 or so, which is when most of the material I read early on in life had been written, and the unreal cartoonish image of the greatest slaughter in human history we see now, we have to understand that Postmodernity, this last stage of systemic rage, is a church, built upon one great and massive keystone, the war that ended evil and made of the man of European Descent forever a pariah and a nomad within the world built by his forbearers. Like it or not, we have been cursed to wander four times forty years in a wilderness not of our own making, duped before birth by fools and consigned to life as the villain in a poorly crafted cartoon opera worshipped by the mass of zombies we bump shoulders with throughout our harried day.
Sounds like a good place to breed a warrior race.
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c8     Dec 8, 2019

Well, James, a great honor to be pulled blinking from the shadows of the commbox into the sunlight; many thanks. 

Only after I'd read your original piece on Jocko did I realize my son had given me 'Extreme Ownership' as a gift last year, which I never read, dismissing it as hortatory hooyah.  But based on your accolades I ordered DEF (although I will certainly refrain from asking the UPS deliverer if the discipline imposed by geotracking brings him/her freedom).  (my God, as I sit here typing he just showed up, on a Sunday, and I just ordered the book yesterday!  Pity Bezos/Beezelbub's hapless helots.)

"Fairness nazi..."  Whew lad.  One tries to imagine the opposite.  Churchill, I guess, bibulous, corpulent, undoubtedly homosexual, commanding Bomber Harris to engage in nightly Holocausts over the skies of Germany to please the vampiric financial overlords in the City.  The charnel house he turned Dresden into will forever stand as mute testimony to his unprecedented depths of corruption.  (The book to read  there is Nicholson Baker's 'Human Smoke,' an adroit indictment built simply of news articles published in the propaganda press of the day.)

With your usual concision you note the ability of the State to suborn and subsume the best amongst us to accomplish its bloodlust.  It's never the effete penny loafers scrounging for Koch dollars, nor the maggot neocons that have parasitized our body politic. who form the point of the spear.  That was the flaw that crippled Oliver Stone's 'Platoon:' the story-teller, a "college kid," was completely out of place in a warrior world. Stone might as well have cast Woodie Allen.  The great virtue of the film Stone was striving so strenuously to ape,  Apocalypse Now, was seeing the story unfold through the eyes of an assassin.  Captain Willard also lived by a code and he was sent to exterminate another such as he, Colonel Kurtz, who is described early on as:

"one of the most outstanding officers this country has ever produced.  He was brilliant, outstanding in every way.  And he was a good man, too. A humanitarian man...a man of wit, humor.  He joined the Special Forces.  And after that his, uh, ideas, his methods became ...unsound."

Kurtz was the uber-Jocko, the very paradigm of  the American warrior at the apotheosis of the American century, 1967ish, before Altamonte and Woodstock and the cancer had taken hold.  Kurtz wanted simply to win the war, and saw clearly the path to do it, first having to detach himself from the restraints of 'civilization.'  Sending Willard to kill Kurtz was like having Patroclus sent to kill Achilles.  Achilles' very name itself was a combination of "pain, grief, sorrow" and "people, soldiers, nation."  Kurtz himself had drunk deeply from that well, he also embodies these two heroic themes.  What he finds necessary to win the war brings him no joy, but it must be done.  Kurtz fatal flaw is he doesn't understand that 'winning' was never the goal.  Kurtz is too human to understand the black alchemy at work, the same alchemy that compelled Churchill to firebomb German cities.  But Kurtz understands that Willard, sent to terminate his command, is himself merely a functionary, "following orders," a grocery clerk.

Jocko's book sits on my porch.  I'll hit 'submit' here and take a look: perhaps it will disabuse me of the notion that men such as Jocko, despite their martial prowess, are also merely grocery clerks, adhering to a virtuous code that Achilles would have acknowledged, but who lack the great depth of soul that has elevated Achilles to immortality in the minds of men. Who will remember Jocko in 2000 years?  Certainly not the terminator robots being built to replace him.  Perhaps we can take comfort knowing that once the Boston Dynamics robots are perfected the demon will no longer have to rely on such flesh and blood myrmidons.  A  Molech to devour us all!  (cont'd)
c8     Dec 8, 2019

(the last part of my overly-long comment)


As you noted in your original post, James, it's a cruel irony, the inability of these warriors, in so many ways the best men our nation produces, to comprehend the malign and soulless demon they actually serve. I see their efforts as nothing so much as the agonal gasping of the golem which immolated itself when, surpassing even bloodthirsty Churchill, it dropped atomic weapons on civilian cities 75 years ago.


(The scene where Captain Willard is given his mission, brilliantly filmed by Francis Ford Coppola, with a young Han Solo working the reel-to-reel)

Endnote: John Milnius's original script for Apocalypse Now is quite different from the film version, clunkier, but fascinating in its own way.
James     Dec 9, 2019

Thanks for the additional threads.

you challenged me.
thawtcriminowitz     Dec 18, 2019

that thawtcriminowitz guy sounds like a real asshole
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