Shotgun Goes to C-Ville…

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By now, most people know the general narrative of this weekend’s “Unite the Right” rally. They’ve heard how a thousand or so angry white people were denied their free speech by a radically left-wing city council, only to have a federal judge rescind the city’s decision. They’ve heard how the police corralled the demonstrators in and waited for them to be surrounded by hundreds of demoniacs. And, as we all know, the liberal powers then arbitrarily closed the event by declaring a “state of emergency”. They herded the white boys out of the park, forcing them through a narrow bottleneck, where they were conveniently exposed to the violence of the surrounding mob.

I don’t like being hemmed in. I spent most of my time circling the city blocks, watching the event from all sides, and hoping to be of service someone pulled out a rifle (God forbid).

It was a bizarre scene. The League of the South and the Trad Workers were holding the line using improvised shields, helmets, and other riot gear. Bottles, smoke bombs, bricks, and all manner of debris was flying back and forth. It was hard to breathe because of all the pepper spray (from both sides). At one point, about 60 or so of the white boys who arrived late to the event, came marching in from the east, Confederate flags waving proudly. I watched as they approached; they had to somehow pass through the army of Satanists to reach the relative safety of the shield wall.

As they got closer and were noticed, throngs of the “counter-protesters” turned around and confronted them. Insults and profanities flew. Someone thew a brick. Someone else grabbed at a flag. A melee erupted. This happened virtually right in front of me, so I threw anonymity to the wind and dove in swinging. I didn’t know any of the white boys, but they were white Christian Southerners and I couldn’t let them fight alone.

It was a nasty fight. Confused. Reckless. I can still smell the stink of it. Fortunately, I had the advantage of surprise since I was approaching from the rear. I managed to do a bit of damage before I was swallowed in a pile of dread-locks and foul odor. I imagine it looked like one of those fights in the old cartoons, where all you see is a dust cloud with elbows and arms flying randomly. Someone, I don’t know from which side, fired mace into the throng. I was dusted against the side of my face. This ended the brawl and I stumbled into the crowd.

I remember thinking I hated this sort of violence. It was senseless. Maybe this is a bad trait, but even while I was fighting, I recall philosophizing about it all. I recall thinking the only reason I was in this situation, besides unwise life decisions, was because I live in a world of “democrats” – that is, a world of people who formally disavow violence and prefer solving all their disagreements in the ballot box. Just imagine: in a sane world, we could easily deal with these people. It wouldn’t take an hour. But because everyone (on both sides) believes in “democracy”, we’re stuck in this insane “limbo” where the right of one group to have their ideals heard in public is violently opposed by another group.

And look – readers – there’s a lot of nay-saying in the Alt. Right about the C-ville rally. I understand we don’t need more cynical criticism. So I’d like to say I sincerely believe a lot of good came from what we did. We got a lot of media attention. Maybe that lone white boy, enduring constant physical humiliation from the throngs of negros in his government school, saw strong white men fighting for their people, and was inspired? Maybe others will be emboldened by our actions and begin Googling “racist” websites? Maybe Jason Kessler (the event organizer) will win a lawsuit against the city and the Alt. Right will, subsequently, win a few million to help finance more pro-Southern causes.

…but the entire event was an event that was explicitly democratic. The “win votes” and “create a political block” ideal is the reigning paradigm of all Westerners. Moreover, these types of events are predicated on a “civil rights” activism mindset. Richard Spencer (for example), at an AMREN a few years back, explicitly said we need a white Gandhi. Sam Dickson followed by suggesting we need a white Martin Luther King.

The fallacy here is thinking these “civil rights” tactics are objectively useful. In reality, the civil rights tactics only worked for the negros because the establishment (church, state, university, etc.) already desired that sort of social change. When a negro was arrested, it was: “…he a good boy, really. He din’ do nuthin’.”

But rest assured, when one of us are arrested, this will *not* be the case. No, the establishment wants our blood. Those on our side clamoring for better “optics” are pathologically deluded on this point. As if wearing suits and putting away the battle flags, will win friends and influence people. No! The best “optics” for white people are grave clothes and coffins. Nothing short will impress the frothing-at-the-mouth satanists.

The cynical note about all this is that even *if* these civil rights tactics work, we’re only building some sort of new pagan Rome. Rome *was* the god of the Romans. It was a benevolent god that allowed other minor deities into the pantheon, but the Roman state was the prime deity.

We don’t need democracy and civil rights tactics. All that will get us is more useless “non-lethal” brawls in crowded streets. Or, at best, it’ll get us a new Rome. What we need is a return to the fairy-tale vision of Christian Europe.

I want that or nothing.

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Review: Our Southern Nation

oursouthernnation.jpgThe bigger southern cities can hide it, but walk through smaller villages or ramble through the hinterlands, and you’ll see it: abandoned buildings, cracked sidewalks, ancient churches.  These cities smell like our grandparents’ collective attics – a convenient metaphor since both attics and southern cities cling to a past that blew away a long time ago.  Truly a civilization “gone with the wind.”

Doubt me?  Richmond and Norfolk can hide it, but walk through Suffolk Virginia.  You’ll feel you’ve missed out on past greatness.  Or check out Roanoke – same story: the meat has gone leaving a crumbling, brick skeleton.  North Carolina has more of the same:  Plymouth, New Bern, Sanford, Kinston, all relics of a past civilization the current residents know only through a few monuments, some old houses, and unintelligible social customs.  It’s a mystery replete throughout the south.  Wherever there is chipped paint, broken windows, crumbling buildings, and a sensation of past greatness – there is the southern mystery.

Well, it’s not a mystery anymore thanks to Michael Cushman’s new book “Our Southern Nation: Its Origin and Future”.  Cushman unleashes a painstakingly thorough arsenal of citations aimed at demonstrating to those with ears to hear, that the South ought not be thought of as a cultural part of the United States.  Instead, it ought to be thought of as a unique civilization – a part of the so-called “Golden Circle”.

Why is this important?  Anyone who has attended the recent tea-party rallies can tell you how pervasive non-Southern historical analysis has become.  The “Patriotic American” dresses like a New England Yankee and carries around fake boxes of tea.  These well-meaning conservatives have bought into a hostile interpretation of America’s history – a Yankee and Midlander interpretation – but it’s not a Southern view.  In our postmodern world, the objectivity of any historical paradigm is questioned and academics favor a sort of “multi-perspectival” or “subjectivist” approach – only, when it comes to the South, its view of history is said to be evil and unacceptable.  Other scholars, perhaps those less-inclined to bow knee to postmodernism, claim objective historical analysis is possible, but reject the Southern view on trumped up and inconsistent grounds.

In either case, the world needs Michael Cushman’s book as much as the crumbling buildings in Richmond need a new coat of paint.  We’re finite creatures and will only ever have a finite handful of facts which make up the everlasting river of history.  Each of us, each region, will have its own unique way of viewing the past – its own unique handful of the river.  And, as Cushman shows in his book, the Golden Circle historical paradigm presents a unique interpretation of the American south’s cultural relation to the Caribbean and areas surrounding it.

It was a culture of planters, cavaliers, chivalry, and honor.  This was the South’s view of itself and key to developing its unique regional identity.  Without a clear view of its past, then, the South can never have a clear view of its present.  Cushman’s book gives us that clear view of the past and helpful suggestions for the present.

Maybe one of its weaknesses is that it maintains a dispassionate academic tone.  I’m sure some zealous Southerners, intent on rescuing their identity from extinction, will wish Cushman had damned the Yankees to Hell and called for a full charge on Washington.  But like Dabney pointed out in “Defense of Virginia”, maybe the Southern propensity for zeal and disregard for academic tete-a-tete, was a weakness?  For those of us who have spent time in academia, it’s refreshing to read a book like Cushman’s – it’s a tool, presenting all the intellectual ammunition a young Southern intellect could want.  I’d tell the young southerner that if he’s intent on damning the Yankees, he ought to do so fully prepped with intelligent historical analysis at his back.

…he ought to do it with Cushman’s book in his library.

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The Storm Cometh…

florence

Walk down the main street of any post-European town and, if you’re like me, the scenery moves you to tears for the passing of a great race. The architecture is still there, if a little worn. The layout is still a blessing; but the people are all zombies and there are (usually) gangs of unruly minorities littering the green. You start to realize the beauty was in the people, not the buildings. It’s a lonely setting for a man of old-Christian sensibilities to walk through the corpse of Christendom.

So, am I angry with God for choosing to punish my cherished region? No.

I’d rather see it destroyed by flood waters than pillaged by devils.

Still, I experience a subtle thrill whenever the news begins hyperventilating about a coming disaster. Will this be the one? Will this be the one that violently snaps the white, Southern, every-man out of his Satanic trance and turns his heart back to Christ?

…one can only hope.

Stay safe out there, my friends…

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Shotgun Honors Silent Sam…

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~ …the facts are, that [Confederate Soldiers’] courage and steadfastness saved the very life of the Anglo Saxon race in the South. ~  the Silent Sam dedication.

A few weeks back, a gang of rabid government-schooled degenerates snuck onto UNC Chapel Hill and toppled the “Silent Sam” confederate monument. How many hurricanes, wars, and economic disasters had Sam survived, only to be toppled by these brain-washed zealots? Ever since, the empty dais and green have hosted numerous protests and counter protests, one of which was this past Saturday.

A group calling itself the New Confederate Army showed up with their battle flags and a flaccid message of “heritage not hate.” On the other side of the police barricade, they were met by about 100 of the degenerates. I heard about the event last minute and, since I was in the area, decided to attend. What a sad spectacle, dear readers…

I arrived just as the New Confederates were winding down. I could hardly see them for the spittle-flinging crowd pressing around them. Shouting, chanting, and frothing at the mouth, these Satanists directed their ire at the Confederates and police equally. “Who do you protect?! Who do you serve?!” they cried…

After the Confederates were escorted off the green, the degenerates milled around for about five minutes until, apparently on command, they decided to attack the police. They had to vent their wrath. The police responded in kind. I wandered over to the vacant Silent Sam pedestal and said a prayer, asking God for vengeance on our enemies. I said my “amens” as the first smoke bomb erupted in the violent milieu. Arms and legs were flying, everyone was yelling; it was chaos…an apt illustration for post-Christian Dixie.

The protesters, dispersed but not dispirited, continued their chants. They became increasingly violent in their rhetoric, some even chanting about shooting police officers with AK-47s. The police looked on with masked resolve.

The crowd was mostly young girls, unfortunately, with a few beta-male “cucks” rattling pseudo-violent sabers. These little whores looked in their mid teens and many were enrolled in the university. They’re being taught…transformed…into God-hating harpies and soul-dead “undines.” A Christian father who sends his child to UNC ought to be flogged in front of his congregation.

Know this: these confused children are violently zealous for their neo-jacobin religion. They worship their homosexual Moloch with all the passion of the Devil and they hate Jesus Christ with every fiber of their being. We will *not* defeat them with off-hand democracy and intellectual arguments.

In fact, a friend of mine reported a poll declaring that 70% of North Carolinians oppose the toppling of Silent Sam. This angers me to no end. These aren’t poll numbers to feel smug about. We ought to be ashamed that so many of us allow so few to dominate our symbols and monuments. It’s indicative of an ashed-out passion; no smoldering embers to burn the witches alive…at the very moment the south needs raging wildfires in the hearts of every Southron! How *dare* we allow this?!

How dare we allow them to spit on our Sovereign?!

 

 

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Life in the Garden of Evil…

garycooper

“Reconcile yourself to this wilderness.” ~ Zane Grey “Wildfire.” 

Him: “Where you frum, bruh?”

I answer ambiguously…

Him: “Oh…? Das wha’s up? Yo…you watch tha game las’ night?”

Me: …long sigh…exhales smoke…

Him (paraphrase): “That one group of negro lads really stuck it to that other group of negro lads! Tee hee!”

Me: non-committal grunt. I stare off to the distance, studying the coming day’s work.

Him: “Oh, you not into football. You know what? Imma get me that new [insert popular vehicle of the month].”

Me: “…they’ve got a good transmission, I hear.”

Him, rails about it for 10 min, after which: “yo…you see dat Georgia honey at the gas pump?!”

Me (inner thought): “In a Christian world, you’d be lynched for speaking about a white lady like that.” Out loud: “…meh, I wouldn’t marry her.”

Him: …awkward silence.

Just then, our archetypical baby-boomer boss emerges from his office intent on offering us his daily sermon. He drones on about how we ought not read the Bible. “Never read it! Don’t do it! You’re not smart enough to understand it! You need to get you a study-guide and learn from commentators first. I highly recommend a man named Rick Warren and his book ‘Purpose Driven Life.’ That man’s a genius. I have two college degrees and 20 years experience, but I still submit to everything he says.”

After his sermon, he turns us over to the grizzled old, ex-marine, foreman, who with a slight eye-roll (not enough to be disrespectful), hands out our marching orders for the day. He’s mentally segregated the bunch, the hard-working white boys from the unwieldy minorities who’re liable to get someone injured or killed.

Foreman: “You, you, and you…you’re with me today. Those of you working inside, head on in. The rest of you are on cleanup.”

At this point in the narrative, the group is broken up and I’m corralled with the white every man:

WEM1: I’m world-savvy, a gambler, with metropolitan street-smarts and many negro friends.

WEM2: I’m left-leaning, a friend to every minority, and here’s my life story and all my future plans in intimate detail…

Me: “…ya’ll talk too much.”

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Friends in Low Places…

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In my quest to find a fairy-tale existence, I’ve been in search of life experiences. My search has landed me in low company. Drug addicts, prostitutes, homeless men, and recently-released ex-cons (some of whom remember me from my time as a prison guard).

I’ve become good friends with one such. He remembered how I used to show favoritism to the white inmates. Yesterday, we reached the stage in our friendship where he told me the story of his crimes and how he was apprehended (side note: *never* consent to police searches).

Among these friends in low places, I’ve found more honor and old Christian chivalry (even among the negros) than I’ve ever found among my usual upper-bourgeois peers. I’m calling it the “Cowboy Way.”

True, when one’s face is rubbed in daily contention with nature, pettiness, meanness, and cruelty rise in a man. But hard living also brings out heroism and breeds the tough stoicism of knights and cowboys.

All these Alt. Right talking-heads searching for the “Alpha” formula…it’s there for the taking, in the heroic resolve to bow knee to God and say: “It is well, with my soul.”

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Blonde in the Belly of Modernity

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I overheard a couple of Alt. Right fellas debating the ~ ahem ~ merits of Blonde in the Belly of the Beast in comparison with Lauren Southern. Because I’m a bigoted, low-class, man, I thought I’d weigh in. Both are single (as far as I know), but I understand both are in relationships and about to be off the market. But you know us guys, so, hoist the sails, raise anchor, and we’ll sally forth into shotgun-barreled speculation…

I’ll get right to it and say that, were I to consider either for a wife, I’d be a Lauren fan. The problem with Ms. Beast is a problem that plagues the entire Alt. Right: she’s an insufferable evolutionist. Watch her video on feminism and see for yourself.

Oh, she’s hip. She’s got that cool, quick-witted vibe that makes rare appearances in women; but, she plies it in service of a sick insanity where good in the world is a mere reflection of a mechanistic, impersonal, norm.

Really, Ms. Beast…who the hell wants to live in a universe without fairies or angels? Better to marry one of the sainted “sex-bots” than a cog in an evolutionary machine; they’re equally personal. It’s a flaccid worldview that leads to hypocrisies like: making a video against feminism, rife with profanity and crass bravado.

…if anything will come out of a woman’s mouth, anything will go in…(…just saying…)

I watched her video a second time, and ugh.

Every position she defends must be wrapped in an evolutionary-based theory. Men and women belong together because an impersonal nature magically brought it about after millions of years? We can psychoanalyze the feminists by studying their evolved mating mechanisms…really???

Point 1: this isn’t just Ms. Beast. This is the entire Alt. Right. This is literally all they have to offer. No wonder the whole “movement” dissolved after a few mean insults.

Point 2: this is a terrible argument. Nature magically sent us barreling through the eons butt-naked, yet, today, we walk around quite-unnaturally clothed? Why? Just because something is “natural” doesn’t make it a moral good. We’re not animals, but even if we were, that wouldn’t mean “is’s” are “oughts”.

A handful of Christians still affiliated with the Alt. Right have the same evolutionary worldview, but they try to cover it with limp-wristed drapery…”ugh..ugh..I can’t get Christian covers all the way over the bed…ugh…” You men ought to be ashamed of yourselves (but you wont be. You’ll continue spiraling upwards in the cult, oblivious to the tears of our fathers).

What about Lauren?

Unfortunately, where Ms. Beast is an insufferable evolutionist, Lauren is an insufferable liberal – I’m not sure which I find more annoying. And while I’m sure Lauren is just as much a knee-jerk evolutionist as Ms. Beast, she’s not as overt about it. And she is, at least, nominally Christian. She doesn’t pepper her commentary with profanity either. Granted, she’s one of those dorky girls who’s so pretty her slips are charming rather than off-putting. Blonde has her beat on that point. Also, Ms. Beast is admirably forthright in her rejection of neo-jacobinism, where Lauren prattles about equality.

Still, give me the nominally-Christian woman who’s open to loving old-Europe, rather than the hip modernist who’ll be a neo-pagan till death do us apart…

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Review: Anna Kendrick, Scrappy Little Genius…

sln

Why “genius”? Kendrick’s memoir is the best-written of all from the samples I’ve perused. More than a thrown-together PR gambit, she put in the effort to make this a stand-alone autobiography. She’s either a free-writing savant, or has really good editors. Probably a mix of both. And, who knows? Being from Maine, she may have gotten a little help from the…King…of horror?

This isn’t to say the content was any better than the others. Like Faris and Collins, Kendrick is a typical Hollywood leftist. But unlike the other two ladies, she is not a left-coaster. She was raised by marginally conservative ethnically-Irish parents in Maine. She mentions her religion twice in the memoir, both with quick, passing, allusions. She briefly mentions something about attending church in her youth, but she doesn’t expound. Later, when discussing her grandmother’s death, she says something like: “My grandmother was very pious…I’m not…”

Ok. So Kendrick is a generic neo-pagan government-schooled atheist with an a-typical childhood. She won big with an early Broadway career and had to be educated in spurts. One admirable thing about Anna though – while she waived off higher education to pursue her acting career, it seems she’s continued educating herself, reading broad and deep.

She gives a humorous anecdote about filming the recent comedy “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates” (a foul and degenerate flick). In between filming, she was reading that massive tome “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich”, a book many Alt. Right pundits are familiar with. Unfortunately for her, the cover art featured a large swastika and she recounts how co-star Zac Efron ragged her about it. She covered the image with tape for the remainder of the shoot, but it’s admittedly quirky for an actress to care enough to read something like that.

The major theme of her memoir is that, despite her skyrocketing fame, she fights hard to remain a grounded, “normal” person. She admirably works to keep fame and fortune from going to her head.

Moreover, I don’t recall her mentioning “feminism” the entire book, but even if she did, she doesn’t devote entire chapters to it. The closest she comes, and, subsequently, the closest she comes to being repulsive, is when she discusses her view of pre-marital sex. Like the other Anna I’ve reviewed, Kendrick swallowed the pop-feminist idea that girls are supposed to have pre-marital sex as often as possible, while complaining about the “stigma” and working to overcome old notions of Christian propriety. And, like the other Anna I’ve reviewed, she’s predictably miserable because of it.

Hopefully Kendrick is grounded enough to have a small chance of avoiding feminist ruin. Ideally, she’ll marry some Irish Catholic guy from Maine and settle in some big cottage by the bay in Bar Harbor. Maybe raise a family in private and spend her wealth and influence on harmless charities (like rescuing widlife).

Hopefully she’ll keep writing…

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Shotgun’s Rules for Dating

flowers

Despite the fact that I’m too old, ugly, and poor for a decent woman, the fairer sex insists on giving me chance after chance to disappoint them. Well, muh dear, I’s at yo’ service…

Joking (or am I?) aside, I’m slogging through memoirs, many written by young Hollywood women. As culture-makers, they’re in the difficult position of having to sop up what passes for “norms” in our culture, live with them somehow, and regurgitate them, repackaged, to the masses. The masses absorb then re-send, starting the process anew – an ever degenerating cycle of licentiousness…

Many of these Hollywood women express similar themes, themes which are also echoed in TV and movies: how should I act on a date? Should I even date, or should I just accept the “no labels” thing? How and when should I first engage in sexual relations? How can I conquer this sinister urge to please a man and liberate my strong, independent, inner harpy?

Damned confounded coward that is the modern man, he has similar questions and usually looks for cues from his lady: should I lean in for a kiss when I drop her off? Should I put my arm around her? Should I ask her permission first? What can I do? What can I not do?

I’m here to ply my considerable experience in the off-chance a gaggle of Hollywood hipsters peruse my blog. If you’re a white man who’s divested himself of modernist indoctrination, I hope that, unlike the hipsters, you’ll agree with what follows. (Also, this might help the guy from Israel who’s been reading my posts everyday – here’s lookin’ at you, Shlomo…)

Shotgun’s Rules for Dating: 

YOU’RE A MAN, YOU MAKE THE RULES! YOU SET THE TONE! STOP BEING SUCH A FAGGOT.

Of course, I’ll add the necessary Christian caveats here…

You know what God does to us? He’s told us (through St. Paul) that nothing is off-limits. All is permissible. But a true Christian obeys the greatest commandment: to Love God with all our hearts and minds and, secondly, to love others as we love ourselves. If we stick to this, all the permissible things in the world tend to lose their appeal. Who wants to smoke meth if it means breaking your mother’s heart? Who needs sex out of wed-lock if it means causing another human incalculable pain?

We had a Christian society once. White people used to be synonymous with “Christian” and our cultural norms reflected this deep conviction. Over time, this Christian culture naturally fell into certain habits and social norms. These norms – we all know them and think of them as Norman Rockwell quaint – they are tried and true paths for a Christian, trudging through modernity. They’re the streamlined habits that best safeguard hearts and express Christian love in a community.

So, in light of our dating rule (that the man sets the tone), it’s important for a Christian man to assertively communicate these expectations to his lady. She’s floundering and confused and will appreciate it. Think of it as the old notion of ordering dinner for her when you take her to a restaurant. (I’m not saying you should order for a woman at a restaurant; what I’m saying is, you need to man-up and set the tone). It’s a huge stress reliever for the woman, believe me.

You might want to surprise her with a date, for example, but be sure to clue her in on what to wear. “Hey, I’m going to surprise you, but make sure you dress for a short walk outside.” Or, “Hey…I’m going to surprise you, but know I’m picking you up on my motorcycle this evening. Plan accordingly…” (and so on…)

The harpy in her (all English speaking women have an inner-harpy, it’s the way they’ve been indoctrinated), will be dormant for awhile, but over time, will assert itself. Be assertive when this happens: “Ohhhh no. I’m treating you like the lady you are, whether you like it or not…”

These are all suggestions though. The “be a man” thing is most important.

If you still have questions then you’re probably not trusting your own judgement enough, in which case, you’ll have problems attaining the level of authority you need for a romantic evening. Work on it mentally. Don’t ask yourself if it’s right or not – you *make* it right (again, assuming the bounds of Christian propriety).

If you need help beyond this – and, let’s face it, if all women are indoctrinated harpies, all men are indoctrinated homos – I strongly recommend old adventure novels. Anything written before 1900 is usually a safe bet. Get that romanticized notion of Christian chivalry in mind and tease it out for your woman. Put on a show and make a memory for her.

…neither of you will regret it.

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Review: “The Art of Learning” by Josh Waitzkin

josh-waitzkin

Remember that movie “Finding Bobby Fischer” about the little boy who was a chess prodigy?

Well, he grew up and moved from chess to martial arts. He became an international champion in combat Tai Chi. Having mastered two complex disciplines, he wrote a book that’s half memoir, half guide to self-education.

Learning how to learn, and learning it from a guy with such distinguished credentials, is fascinating (since I’ve spent some thought and energy on the same topic).

His book is a gripping account of how his fame, arising from his father’s best-selling novel and subsequent movie, caused serious problems for his future chess matches. He eventually gave up chess and began studying martial arts. Now, he leads a consulting business, helping high-level performers of all types (from athletes to investment bankers) perfect their mental game.

One problem? He’s jewish, even if atypically so. Atypical because unlike most jewish contemporaries, he never mentions his ethnicity in this memoir and never complains about unjust societal “oppression”. A jewish actor, on the other hand (for example), can’t go three episodes without casually mentioning his jewishness. Props to Waitzkin for skipping that. It seems he took pains to avoid politics and controversial topics all together. He really digs into his theories of high performance psychology which, to my mind, indicates a sincere love of his work. It’s a problem, though, (says I), because like many jewish authors, he writes in an overly-abstract hard-to-follow style.

He seemed to have trouble translating his perspective into language for the rest of us. We get a lot of abstract metaphor and esoteric aphorism which sounds weighty but leaves us with little of practical value. I mean: splash yourself with water when faced with a difficult chess match to refocus…ok? Did we really need a book for that?

The most helpful strategy he discusses (in my opinion) is how to train one’s mind to shift moods by systematic, planned, meditations. For example, he convinced one of his clients to conduct a daily routine to prep for mental relaxation and focus: fifteen minutes of listening to a particular piece of music, followed by fifteen minutes of meditation, followed by the act (in this case, playing catch with his son). If this routine is repeated often enough, the individual soon discovers the ability to shift into similar states of relaxation, just by thinking of the routine instead of actually having to perform it. Over time and with practice, such a shift in mental state can take place almost instantly, say, before having to give a big presentation. Instead of walking in the boardroom nervous and on edge, a quick meditation session can bring these ingrained relaxation states to surface when they’re needed.

The book culminates in a narrative account of his championship Tai Chi battle with the opposing Taiwanese champion “The Buffalo.” In a scene fit for the movies, Waitzkin faces difficult odds – cheating judges, legendary opponents, greasy food – to pull out a tough victory. Tai Chi is the national sport in Taiwan, after all, and they weren’t excited about having some round-eye foreigner defeat their hometown hero.

Maybe that’s one thing Waitzkin failed to mention in his memoir? Being wealthy gives any athlete or competitor a leg-up since he gets to practice all day instead of having to work. He has access to the best meals, the best facilities, and the best instructors.

As helpful as I think Waitzkin’s suggestions are, I don’t think you can ever program “heart” into someone, no matter how much wealth or pressure are brought to bear. If someone could figure out how to bottle “heart” and “passion”, he’d make a fortune.

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