Merry Christmas! A few readers and twitter followers of mine mentioned Spandrell used my tweet noting he has a toxic personality, is negative, is a cynic, etc. with a little "Heh" after it. Little did they know that that tweet earned me expulsion from his super secret forum in early November. Don't worry Spandrell, I won't reveal its name. I will respect that privacy. Your secret is safe with me. Your secret forum is only the fifth super secret group I have been invited into since 2013. I was going to roll with it, but then Spandrell in another essay mentioned he met up with Mr. Nick Land and that Spandrell is in his 20s. It all clicked. I also felt compelled to defend my honor.
First, let's look at "heh". Is that an Instapundit "heh" where he is joking on the sentiment or idea expressed? Is it a comical "heh" like it legitimately made him laugh? Was he trying to convey that people can't read him properly? I'm not the linguistics expert, but Spandrell is, so he used it for a reason. Is it opposite to what he really felt? Let's see.
Out of respect for commenter "ASDF" I removed the screengrab and here was the exchange:
28sherman: You are a cynic who has a toxic personality that influences others to become more negative. Youre a smart guy but your negativity is off-putting. As someone who controls this forum, you set the tone and have to admit the Eeyore vibe permeates things. Jim is a realist and negative at times but with constructive recommendations.
Go ahead and ban me. It's your forum. Just let me know via email.
Spandrell: Whatever my personality I am polite and understanding. I don't think I influence anyone here. I have never touched a single post. I am not even the most frequent poster.
But if you find my tone off-putting and even believe that my tone forces others to be more negative than they would otherwise be well I can then hardly tolerate you here. I feel wronged.
So i'll rather ask you to be honest and leave yourself. You have a week.
For slight background, he sent a message titled "Ahem", and posted my tweet and asked me why he shouldn't "ban your ass". Ohhh wow, what a tough guy. As you can see, I repeated my exact feelings. He talked a bit beyond me with his response, but "whatever my personality" looks like an admission. Spandrell then said he felt "wronged". Mr. Heh felt "wronged" enough to ask me to leave. Tough guy cynic "ban your ass" switched to sensitive Millenial "I can hardly tolerate you here. I feel wronged" >snap< like that. Doesn't sound like a "Heh".
He never asked my opinion of him, just invited me to his forum. I would have said the same 18 months ago, watching him for 18 months at his forum only hardened my beliefs. Read his archives, he has written about not getting along with people and regularly writes posts that defend his negativity/attitude. It's just choices he makes. I actually thought he was a late 40s curmudgeon living a lonely existence in the far east. Nah, he's in his 20s. Is he the dissident right's Elliot Rodger?
Did he not like being called out for what he is? Methinks so as he wrote just yesterday "Some people, religious people usually, get angry when I make this pragmatic argument. Like I’m a toxic personality which is arguing for nihilism. Look, I’m no nihilist." Is he trying to convince us or himself? Seriously, Spandrell, you're so negative that it is cliché to do "The Spandrell" and take something an opponent says to its far end conclusion in a debate to be a poor debate partner within other reactionary circles as a joke. That's a choice you make in style; doesn't have to be that way.
I did leave his forum. I sent some people my email address as they are really great guys, and I didn't have contact information for them nor they for me. I hope to meet up with them when I visit NYC and DC. I spent 18 months on his forum. I didn't post much but checked it daily because they have one superstar poster that can't be found elsewhere (no, not Moldbug), and I respect that guy immensely. I'd walk into battle with that guy.
Spandrell's forum has some great threads, great posters and great debates, but often it's just Debbie Downer eeyoring. I once started a thread with some juicy intel I had from a media source and witnessed a tsunami of eeyoring. I expected it, and even said right back to them "thanks for the eeyore angle". Dampier and I tweeting each other the Cadillac search for an AltRight actor is an inside joke referencing that thread.
This negativity is partly due to the modern reactionary personality and partly due to Spandrell. It actually takes away from the good discussions on Spandrell's forum. Those forum guys know a fight is coming even if not all will admit it, and they'll stand up. In comparison to MPC, Spandrell's private forum is more interesting but lacks comedic genius. I'll put Pleasureman, Bumbling American, Bixxy Noodles, Chicano Studies Major, Cinco Jotas, Professional Boob Washer, Ricin Beans, Shrill Kiners, Terrence Rhine and GhostfaceCracka on par with the guys at Spandrell's place.
I also wrote to these Spandrell forum guys that some of them are the very people that you all email me or message me asking "where did so-and-so go?". They still exist, some are very busy with their personal and professional lives, but they do read, do listen and some are on that forum. As one reader put it, "what's the point of figuring out the world if guys like me who are hungry for the arguments can't see it?" Trust me, it hurt to see some of the original crew NRx people there posting sharp analysis in private. I am trying to pull a few back; I promise.
I have posted here at 28Sherman a defense of Spandrell who received threats for posting a thought experiment about Euros going Islamic. I sent him a note to keep his head up. I also have linked to him for good posts like his Song series. He writes interesting stuff like this. He is on my blogroll. His "status points" idea is very sharp. Normal human interaction means good deeds earn you some interpersonal capital. Normal, but maybe not Millenial normal. I've done this all the while he has shat on Social Matter continuously, continuously. Social Matter still links to him, providing him with over 2,200 clicks in the last year alone (I checked the stats). I believe in building bridges, nudging people along paths and using people when their talents are suited for the moment (The Godfather's Guide To Management). I tolerated him. Partly to be a nice invited member at his forum and partly because I have a healthy level of self esteem.
After his Song series posts, Spandrell considered publishing a short e-book. I encouraged him to publish that little e-book when he was contemplating it. Despite him shitting on Social Matter, I gave him some sales numbers from someone else who writes e-books. He said if he posts something at his blog he can get 1000 pageviews. Easy to turn that into sales with a little effort. I even told him, despite him shitting on Social Matter, someone like myself with this humble blog would pimp it because we need more content like that (and I owe Atavisionary a book review). He wrestled with it, contemplated scrapping his Spandrell ID for a safer, more polite one to build up and publish as but ultimately said nah. His choice. I'm a risk taker so I didn't understand his pussyfooting. Maybe it's just Gen-X vs Millenial.
I also noticed his post that had a jokester opening where he said "hey ross douthat I am a neoreactionary, talk to me" when Douthat and even Vox noticed NRx... despite Spandrell shitting on it and disassociating from NRx months earlier. Something similar happened with the altright attention. I would chalk it up to joking especially as a little blog writer, but I know too much. Like his little 'heh' being a lie, I know there is a whiff of jealousy and desperation. He can always choose to submit an essay to Social Matter for consideration.
Ultimately, he's a Millenial. It all clicked. The whiny Eeyore act. The moaning about the eternal September hitting NRx but doing nothing about it. The never ending bitching. No follow through on his e-book. Constantly citing the intelligence of his forum members (and self) is the intellectual version of masturbating in front of a mirror with a picture of oneself. Life is a series of choices. Grow up, find a waifu built like Anri Okita, have kids, find out there's something worth dying and killing for, lift, post, and above all else, stop being an Eeyore. All things end, and men far smarter than you or I noticed it decades ago about the West. You're out east, think creative destruction! Out of the ashes we can build something new. (ed: Spandrell is married, has a kid and is now in his early 30s)
Merry Christmas, Spandrell. To borrow your own style, if the world is truly doomed, if no one will save us, if it's all going to end horribly, just kick it poolside like Heartiste with some cutie pies or hang yourself. I'll pray for you either way, just keep posting.
Merry Christmas to you all!
Last week I wrote on how the DSM V could be used for backdoor gun control or medicating and hospitalizing dissidents in the future. Quirky intro was an ode to The Twilight Zone. Weimerica Weekly was on travel.
Next week will be a Christmas essay and Weimerica Weekly may do a year end review. Doesn't 2016 deserve a year end review? 2016 was so jam-packed that everyone forgot about the French priest killed by Muslims and the ISIS guy in Orlando that killed 50 gays.