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‘Being Beaten with Military Boots’
Reflections from a Military Reader on Being a Taboo Man
© 2015 'H' & James LaFond
The following is an excerpt from an e-mail from a foreign national who speaks five languages and has gone to school in places where I couldn’t get a job cutting the grass. I am truly in awe that people so much better educated than I am have found value in my written work. This website that Charles built for me has truly becoming a humbling window on the world, and I’m pleased to say, has taught me something every time I have logged on.
I am posting this in large measure, because 'H.' makes the case for the viability of the Taboo Man from a perspective and context that are quite alien to me. I never expected that this type of politically incorrect self-help writing would be of use to men from a class and society that I have only read of. I wrote Taboo You largely in response to Dominick Mattero’s continued insistence that I write a sequel to When You’re Food, and was finally inspired by a combination of events and the reading of Jack Donovan’s The Way of Men and Melville’s Typee in the same reading surge [I read 20-30 titles in blocks intended to fuel my fiction writing.] When family members ask me what it is about I say, "It's a handbook for being a defiant asshole." I am shocked and flattered.
A Letter from 'H'
Thank you very much for the .pdf companion, and more generally for the prolific amount of quality content you put out for free on your website.
I have now finished Taboo You, and the .pdf you sent me. I can say, without hyperbole, that it is one of the more significant works I've read. Please forgive what follows. As a long time reader of your work, and a fellow 'Taboo Man,' your work has had a profound impact on my sense of self, and without a degree of introduction, any thoughts on your work would lack a degree of context.
[In the confidential portion of the e-mail 'H' states that he is 25.]
From 18 onwards, I've been engaged in a somewhat similar crusade to yourself, in studying and practising combat. I've boxed in some pretty good gyms, and had quite a few unsanctioned fights. Despite my privileged upbringing, I was always expected and encouraged to be tough, and have, ironically, found myself most at home in rough fight gyms with men I respect, and who in turn respect me.
With that introduction over, a few reflections on what you wrote, and how it pertains to my particular situation:
- Your description of your childhood made me laugh, as I experienced some very similar things. Despite my privileged upbringing, I was always regarded as dangerous. I was never part of any clique, or even had a set group of friends. I was generally liked and included by all the various groups, but never an insider.
Boarding school, for all the jokes, was a pretty rough place. A boarding house was 70 boys, aged 13-18, nominally under the control of one teacher, although all internal control and discipline was handled by the older boys, in quite creative and savage ways. For example, one boy was quite literally crucified from two sets of ladders on a bunk bed, and it was not unusual to wake up in the night to find yourself being beaten with military boots stuffed into sacks and swung. I pretty quickly established a reputation as the one that only the larger 18 year olds would discipline. I hadn't been there more than a few weeks when I was made to get out of bed in the middle of the night, and as entertainment for the older boys, to hold a pillow across my midsection whilst they took turns to try and drop me. I managed to befriend the most feared of them by teaching him how to throw a proper punch (which he then proceeded to drop me with multiple times).
Being in this kind of environment without a clique of friends also made me aware very early on of the need to be independently dangerous. Friends would intervene for each other when the beatings got too severe, and would manage to break things up, but there was no intervening on my behalf, and the big guys in the older years went for me because they knew I could take it and never say a word to anyone in authority.
- The idea that you don't need to be part of a gang is one that I share, although it has not been easily arrived at. I am familiar with the 'Manosphere' and Jack Donovan's work, and for a while searched out some kind of brotherhood. Amongst other things, I joined a tooth arm of the military reserve as a private soldier, with a specialist function, in the hope of finding a 'gang' that I could belong too. But even there, I have been seen as an outsider - a useful one, and one they make no secret of wanting onside, but one that doesn't fit in none-the-less. My own view has been that even here, the majority are soft, and poorly mentally conditioned for fighting. They could do it as part of a gang, each egged on by each other and honour bound to act, but would crumble one on one, should they really have to fight. It may sound absurd given the life I have described, but of the very few certainties I have about the world, one is that I have always had a mindset that is peculiarly well suited for combat and conflict. I am in the process of removing myself from the army, as I have no wish to be a puppet of honour-less politicians and grasping, inadequate career soldiers who disgrace the name.
- The main thing I have taken from your work, Taboo You (and I hope I haven't bored you rigid and you've made it this far), is a sense of acceptance of the way I am wired - that I am unavoidably a Taboo Man, that it is my baser nature, and that I can no more resist it than turn back the tides. Since reading it (only a full 24 hours has passed, so I don't want to get too carried away at this point), I have gained a degree of peace with myself. I am already a fair way along the taboo path, despite not consciously embracing the philosophy. It seems as though our truer natures must find a way through, regardless of social expectation.
- All of the above is really a verbose and ineloquent way of saying that, through your work, I feel you are a kindred spirit, despite our physical divide and lack of shared experience. You have, though you will have been unaware of it until now, provided a guiding hand to me, and for that my gratitude is immense.
With sincerest thanks,
In the context of the ongoing sequel to Taboo You, Of Lions and Men, the Taboo Man is the key to understanding the martial experience in the Western World. The archetypical taboo man, was the mythic figure of Achilles, who may or may not have been an actual person. What Achilles was, in the hands of Homer, was the lion among men, the individual man that drove lesser men to band together to accomplish the same thing which he was most noted for, the instilling of fear into the soul of the enemy. Using the lion as a metaphor, I tend to think of myself as the leopard, not feared by the lion, but guarded against by the pack predators like wolves and dogs, and thriving on the margins of society, in that fleeting, lonely and individual place where two people meet. According to its definition the taboo path must be more varied then the collective path, with shamanic types as varied as Aristotle, Aurelius and Columbus fitting the malleable mold as well. In terms of the apex taboo man, the Lion Among Men, our society has evolved—just as the European ecosystem did between 1200 B.C. and A.D. 500—in such a way as to utterly exclude him from the evolving equation, to place him in a zoo, circus or menagerie [essentially sports or as a disposable combat soldier] where he might have no impact on the course of collective evolution, but rather serve as a cautionary figure to remind the timid of the sorrows and dangers that afflict he who follows the defiant path.
Taboo You
The e-version is available at this link.
The Hoodrat Hatchery
the man cave
‘Forged From the Coalface of Life’
masculine axis
menthol rampage
by this axe!
advent america
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