Early evening, some bar on U street mildly busy happy hour
Guy 1: Remember that joke from The Watchman, goes something like, “Man goes to doctor. Says he’s depressed, says life seems harsh and cruel. Says he feels all alone in a threatening world where what lies ahead is vague and uncertain. Doctor says, “Treatment is simple, Great clown Pagliacci is in town tonight. Go and see him. That should pick you up.” Man Bursts into tears. Says, “But doctor… I am Pagliacci.”
Guy 2: Great Story bud, but I got to hit the bathroom and get another drink.
Mid Day – Dr. Trank’s office somewhere NE DC
Guy 1 (From the Bar): Hey Dr. T where do you want to start off at today? Should we talk about Trump and the election now?
Dr. T: Before we get to that why don’t we start where we left off last? I think it’s very positive that you started blogging again after such a long time off, even if it’s at your own pace. But let’s discuss the feeling around why you stopped blogging to begin with.
Guy 1: Sure, I mean to be honest I guess my time was too valuable and the satisfaction I got from it just diminished.
Dr. T: Is that the only reason? Hadn’t you been blogging in that what did you call it, the “manosphere” for over a decade? Let’s go deeper.
Guy 1: (exhaling) If we must… I guess at the point I got to, my hope through my blogging was to help other guys out who wanted to improve their lives. To point them in a path of self-improvement that would empower them with the confidence to achieve their goals in their life. The point was supposed to be that if you got your shit straight, you’d oversee your own life. Feminism couldn’t stop you, your boss couldn’t stop you, the government couldn’t stop you. Master yourself you master all. Oh, and I liked writing about dating and hooking up as well.
Dr. T: All right that sounds like a valiant goal then what happened?
Guy 1: It’s hard to explain but the manosphere a place I felt a part of, mutated into something unrecognizable. Sharing knowledge about life and relationships became boring. Openly debating in search of truth stopped. Suddenly the “Manasophere” became The Borg. It was us vs everybody and when I say everybody I MEAN EVERYBODY. The narrative became that the world and western culture were against all straight white men. Forget taking responsibility for your own life and working hard to get what you want. The new narrative was the reason your life sucks was because feminism, minorities, immigrants, gays and the government were holding you down and if you unite against these groups your life will improve. Anyone who hated one of these groups were accepted in. In an instant the paranoia spread like fire. Overnight it was cool to pass around and post tweets of Nazi themes and jokes. It started small of course but snow balled into people openly Nazi Saluting and a lot of people saying that’s ok because it’s against liberals. This is how it morphed into the Alt Right. It was like that scene in every war movie where a grenade explodes and all you hear is ringing in your ears. Disorientation.
Dr. T: So how did that make you feel?
Guy 1: I went through different emotions trying to process. I honestly felt guilty. Back when it was a battle of the sexes when it was against feminism I didn’t say anything, hell I even participated. I thought it came from a place of not understanding how to get laid with women. Figured I’d show them how to fix themselves, do the things it takes to become alpha males and the women will come. Most women are feminist on paper. But the issue was deeper and darker than that. I got lazy, withdrew, and took the message to twitter. By then the presidential race was on and there was no going back it only got worse. I mean I’m a political person but I would never consider myself a “political blogger”. I figured tweet out the political facts I know and wait for Hillary to win then everyone goes back. It obviously didn’t go down like that.
Dr. T: Where did the feeling of guilt come from?
Guy 1: I guess I feel like I could have done more. That I had a gift for writing or more accurately communicating a story and had readers who wanted to hear a voice of reason in all the madness. I don’t think it would have changed anything by any means but I didn’t leave it all on the floor. If you’ve ever played sports then you know the only feeling worse than loosing is knowing that you could have given a better effort.
Dr. T: Your candidate loss? How are you dealing with that now? You seem to be doing much better than the last time we talked.
Guy 1: I was humbled in defeat but in my quest for answers I had to meditate on history. I had to reconsider what it meant and the lessons it held. It cleared my mind and opened up some realizations.
Dr. T: Interesting, how so?
Guy 1: Well first of all America is what 240 years old give or take? In terms of Empire’s and Dynasties in Europe and China it’s still infantile it’s still an idea, an idea that can easily be changed every four years. It hasn’t become what it is to be yet. The fact that Trump won means the system isn’t rigged the voice of the people were heard. There’s a twisted beauty to that. Trump wasn’t an anomaly, old timers will tell you about the climate before Regan got elected the first time. You ever hear that adage those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it?
Dr. T: Yeah, what does that mean to you?
Guy 1: It really made me think about history and how often it actually repeats. I mean time is a straight line but countries and civilizations are destined to make the same mistakes regardless of where they are at on that line. Sort of like that Kazuo Ishiguro book Never Let Me Go. I mean in America we grow up learning about WW2 and what can happen when one group in a country is upset and willing to follow a leader who tells them the cause of all their problems is to blame this other group. And, he is the only answer not their government or any of their agencies just him. I stupidly believe we learned these lessons in history for a reason. I mean part of what I believed wavso called American exceptionalism is that we could point to other countries and laugh at them saying, “look at those fuckers what were they thinking? We’d never do that!”. This election showed me that we are a spoiled country.
Dr. T: How are we spoiled?
Guy 1: Since the great depression, I don’t honestly believe we’ve ever hit rock bottom. I mean you’d think after the greatest terrorist attack and financial collapse within eight years you’d think the electorate would do everything in its power to not have anything like that happen again. But that’s not how it works. The point of history isn’t to avoid repeating it. The point is to learn what to do next. A civilization collapse, you accidentally elect an idiot dictator what is the next move how do these things usually play out, it’s textbook. History is a guidepost of next, nothing more.
Dr.T: Does this feeling of being spoiled apply to yourself.
Guy 1: Oh definitely. I fell under liberal hubris. I stupidly believed that certain issues and questions were settled. There is no winning the struggle is life and life is the struggle. You see they just let us stand on the lawn, they’re still in the mansion. Winning an election is never the finish it’s only the beginning. In many cases ruling is harder than concurring. In sixteen years, I’ve experienced what it’s like to live under two different presidents on opposite spectrums of the political divide. I know what to do now. I
Back at the U st Bar
Guy 2: Hey bartender?
Bartender: What can I get you?
Guy 2: Nothing. What’s up with that bald black dude at the end of the bar talking to himself?
Bartender: Oh VK? Yeah, he’s cool he’s been coming here once or twice a week for a little over a month. Usually orders a few Basil Hayden neat and checks his phone for a couple of hours. Keeps to himself mostly. Might look up if a cute girl sits next to him but otherwise no trouble.