Retro Relapse: 30 Christmas Gifts for the Grizzly Man

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2015.

Christmas rules December like Hulk Hogan ruled the ring in the ’80s! It is the best holiday there ever was!

That being said, we all love getting presents and those of us who aren’t jerks, love giving presents. ‘Tis the season for giving and all that jazz.

So what should you get a manly grizzly man? If you are not sure, I have compiled a list of stuff. And there are things here that fit all price ranges and types of men.

Sure, it may be a little late but if you haven’t started shopping yet, get out there because this stuff may sell out, if it hasn’t already.

Anyway, enough rambling. Here is the list!

1. A fine cut of premium meat
2. A bottle of good scotch or bourbon
3. Cast iron cooking stuff
4. A stellar axe to cut firewood
5. A spacious tent
6. A sweet rifle
7. A good quality survival knife
8. A nice bow with arrows
9. A solid tomahawk made for throwing
10. A reliable fishing pole
11. Visually alluring flannel shirts
12. Attractive wood for crafting into manly furniture
13. Much needed tools
14. Stylish suspenders
15. A personalized baseball bat or hockey stick
16. A thoughtful item that you crafted by hand
17. A hefty meat carving board
18. Great literature such as books by Jack London or Louis L’Amour
19. A framed poster from a Clint Eastwood movie signed by Clint Eastwood
20. A top notch gas lantern
21. A box of premium cigars
22. Home brewing equipment
23. A big bag of beautiful coffee beans
24. An impressive array of cheeses
25. A pair of satisfactory hiking boots
26. A shiny new waffle maker
27. Exercise equipment or weights they may need
28. A well-kept collection of old baseball cards or stag mags
29. A manly cookbook
30. A musical instrument

Retro Relapse: Business Assholes, Volume 1: Chronic Interrupters

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2014.

I thought I’d start a new series of articles called Business Assholes.

Why?

Well, I deal with plenty on a regular basis and felt that there is too much to discuss in just one nice-sized write-up. There are various topics I want to talk about, so I’ll write them as I feel the need.

Today, I’m writing about chronic interrupters, which seems to be a problem I’ve been dealing with a lot in the company I work for. Now this isn’t just related to business, it is related to life. Pretty much everyone I deal with that harbors this bullshit behavior in business, also harbors it in their daily lives.

To start, have you ever been talking to a business colleague about an important project, going through the fine details, and then some asshole cuts in to bitch and complain about their vacation time or how rude their superior is or whatever – completely fucking up your important conversation? Or have you ever been in a meeting and everyone in the room continues to shout over one another, competing for air time, not paying attention to what anyone else is actually saying and only waiting for their moment to butt in? Or have you been furiously cranking away on a project that requires your full attention and someone constantly has to hover over your monitor to talk to you about things like hair dye, True Blood or their boyfriend’s inability to fry chicken? Maybe you’ve experienced the shared office situation, where a small group of boisterous buffoons constantly makes a racket because they are oblivious to the fact that they aren’t the center of the universe? This shit happens to me multiple times per day and I’m sure it happens to others just as frequently.

The point is, all this is bad for business. The chronic interrupter butting in to bitch about things out of their control and not giving a shit that you and a colleague are working on something vital for the company, is a knife stabbed into the back of productivity. The distraction takes your mind away from the details and sabotages your ability to be thorough. If this happens regularly, mistakes will happen. Additionally, the constant stream of negative bitching just ruins everyone else’s day and stifles morale. While I feel that all of this is common sense, apparently 95 percent of my office mates haven’t yet come to this pretty easy conclusion in their long and storied careers. Plus, to the chronic interrupter who thrives on bitching, you’re a fucking downer and no one likes a fucking downer. We already know that you hate everyone and everything, we don’t need an hourly reminder.

Moving on to meetings full of chronic interrupters, this sort of situation is the harbinger of doom for many companies. Speaking from my personal experience, I find myself in daily meetings where everyone is shouting, arguing and competing for the spotlight. No one pays attention and even if one tried, there is so much shit being thrown up on the wall by multiple people with conflicting ideas, that one’s brain might explode trying to decipher the supernova-like clusterfuck. I’ve tried to take notes, there is no point. You’d have just as much solid information to walk away with by drawing doodles of fez-wearing stegosauruses eating pineapple upside-down cake. In many of my situations, nothing gets accomplished in these meetings except more confusion, more uncertainty and the need to have follow up meetings because no one is really ever on the same page. And with each meeting comes more frustration and disorientation. It’s like riding on a turbulent airplane and having to set down in every town, never reaching your actual destination because you’re burning through all of your fuel.

Meetings like the ones described above, lead to people playing the blame game and pointing fingers. Nothing is accomplished, at least not to its full capacity and usually the boss man is pissed off and ready to put the whole company on the chopping block. Moving forward, these chronic interrupters don’t learn from their disorganized egomaniacal chaos and continue down the same path, always befuddled as to why nothing ever gets done exactingly and speedily. They even resent the idea that they might be part of the problem because if everyone would’ve just listened to them in the first place, their wouldn’t have been any issues or snags to begin with. Now imagine a half dozen people passionately thinking and believing that same thing.

Then there are the people who constantly bother you throughout the day. They rarely do any work and find themselves wandering around the office looking for conversation. There is an innate neediness that these people cling to and unfortunately for those of us just trying to do our job and get through the day, we are often times forced to be the audience of their irritating circus. Apparently wearing a mask that explicitly says “fuck off” isn’t enough of a defense against these self-absorbed time wasters and productivity killers. Flatly stating “I’m really busy” doesn’t seem to thwart them either. They will continue to hover until there is that split second opening where they can spill out their soul on a variety of topics that have nothing to do with anything. Well, maybe they do but I don’t pay attention, as I intently stare at my monitor until the twenty minutes of weasel chatter has concluded for that hour.

This brings me to the example of obnoxious coteries and posses in a shared office space. They tend to exist in their little group and anything outside of it doesn’t matter to them. They think they’re the life of the party, the official workplace fun crew and want to push their party hard philosophy on everyone else within earshot. I like having fun, I like being able to pay my bills more. I’m not saying to not have fun at the work place but a 24/7 frat party when there is a lot to do is disruptive as hell to those who are trying to keep things running smoothly, while picking up the slack of the party clique. Like the other types of chronic interrupters discussed above, this shit kills productivity and somewhere someone has to keep the ball moving forward. Unfortunately, the person picking up the slack is the one being interrupted by the slack.

All these behaviors mentioned are the qualities of rude self-absorbed people. I’m not saying that they are bad people but they have bad behaviors. Maybe I’m a hypocritical asshole for pointing this stuff out because I have some bad behaviors myself. However, I rarely, if ever, do anything to disrupt the workflow of other people. Sure, we all need to bitch about something, or passionately state our ideas in a room full of people but there is a time and a place for it. In an organized, respectful environment, everyone gets their turn and everyone should have their turn. In return, people should shut the fuck up and listen: respectfully.

Moving beyond the workplace, most of these people that behave this way while on the clock, do the same thing when they’re out in the world. In my personal life, I have no tolerance for it. Then again, in my personal life, I can tell people to “fuck off” and I don’t have to frolic around in public with them. I can’t choose my work mates but I can choose my friends. When happy hour rolls around after work, I can ditch the simple minded idiots and slam whiskey with my respectable and righteous brethren.

Do I have advice for the chronic interrupters on how to improve themselves? Yes, don’t do all the shit I just talked about. The problem is, most of these people are oblivious in regards to their condition. We live in a “now!” and a “me! me! me!” society. A lot of shit’s broken. None of it will probably be fixed. I’m not trying to be a pessimistic bitch but this is the way it is, especially when in most cases, leadership is to blame.

As for me, I’ll continue to go about my day in a respectable manner, dealing with this epidemic that probably won’t go away.

Talking Pulp: The National Wrestling Alliance: Out of the Fire

For almost two decades now, World Wrestling Entertainment hasn’t had any real competition, at least in the United States, its home country. But even on a worldwide scale, it’s been pretty hard for other companies to rise up and challenge them. It’s become an empire, poaching the best talent from everywhere on Earth while becoming a boring shell of what it once was. Because without someone really on your heels, what are you running from and what are you running towards?

In the last year or so, the landscape has changed pretty immensely.

Ex-WWE stars and other stars not wanting to ply their trade in that company (because of how they’ve wasted and misused talent) have started to band together, make noise and a new company has formed: All Elite Wrestling.

This fledgling AEW is being bankrolled by the Khan family, who own the Jacksonville Jaguars and Fulham F.C. after becoming billionaires in the automotive parts industry.

The Khans teamed up with an ex-WWE star, Cody Rhodes, as well as some of the top North American wrestlers that were working in Japan, one of which is arguably the best in the world, right now: Kenny Omega.

They then started doing their own pay-per-view events, showcasing all the great talent that left WWE or that didn’t want to go there. Then they got a major television deal with TNT, the same network that used to host World Championship Wrestling’s weekly Nitro program, the show that nearly broke WWE two decades ago until WCW imploded.

Companies like Ring of Honor and Impact (formerly TNA) started stepping their game way up. New Japan Pro-Wrestling started coming Stateside and everything started to evolve in an exciting way.

But this isn’t really about any of those companies. It’s about the one really old promotion that seemingly hadn’t come up for air in a really long time. A promotion that no one was looking at because for most fans, old and new, it had died out years ago, even if its championships still existed and were contested for at indy wrestling shows that didn’t have much, if any, national exposure.

I’m talking about the National Wrestling Alliance, the NWA, the once gigantic organization that served as a network and governing body between all the territories in the United States.

The thing is, the NWA never really left. On the grander scale of the professional wrestling landscape, however, it hasn’t made very much noise in quite some time. In fact, it’s been pretty damn mum and kind of an afterthought once the WWE absorbed it’s top competitors and nearly every major video library of every territory that got swallowed up by the global juggernaut. They even absorbed the libraries of several NWA-allied companies from yesteryear.

Two years ago, Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins fame bought the National Wrestling Alliance. He had some prior experience running Revolution Pro Wrestling and handling creative for TNA, now Impact Wrestling. However, TNA had a lot of issues and Corgan ended up on the outs. But he had always had a love for professional wrestling and decided to purchase the NWA with the hopes of building it back up into the large brand that it once was.

In the time since, Corgan has grown the NWA’s exposure and with the help of his current world champion, Nick Aldis, he’s brought some real prominence back to the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship.

The title was defended in a major marquee match at the culture shifting pay-per-view event All In. Aldis even dropped the title to the soon-to-be AEW Executive Vice President, Cody Rhodes. Although, Aldis won it back a few months later in another massive match that got a lot of exposure.

The thing is, people were talking about the NWA and it’s premier title once again. It had national exposure, it helped make Aldis a more recognized performer on a larger scale and it planted seeds for something bigger on the horizon.

So back in October of this year, AEW was finally ready to debut their television show on Wednesday nights. WWE then decided to take their developmental brand, NXT, off of their WWE Network streaming service in order to move it to television, on the USA Network, to go head-to-head with AEW in order to try and keep that brand from becoming a juggernaut on the level that WCW once was. You know, because Vince McMahon is kind of a dick and has to own it all, unopposed.

This battle for wrestling ratings supremacy was coined the Wednesday Night War, as a play on words of the Monday Night War that was the nickname of the intense ratings battles between WWF Raw and WCW Nitro from 1995 through 2001.

But while all this was going on, the National Wrestling Alliance decided that it was going to return to the ways of old and start filming wrestling shows in a studio setting like they used to do in the ’80s, at the height of the organization’s popularity.

Knowing that nostalgia can be a very good thing and that this sort of studio presentation would generate the right kind of feeling in old school wrestling fans that miss the days of yore, Billy Corgan gave us NWA Power.

Personally, I was aware that the show was coming and that it would be broadcast on YouTube weekly on Tuesdays at 6:05, similar to how the NWA shows of old started at :05 on the hour because that’s how TBS did things back then. But I didn’t know what to expect or if I’d even like the end product that much. I knew it was going for the nostalgia thing and while that made me happy, I was unsure of what the end result would be. It could be disastrous if handled poorly and in a cheesy, hammy way that insulted fans’ intelligence.

Then the first episode dropped and as soon as I heard Dokken’s “Into the Fire” blare through my TV’s stereo speakers, I was immediately in the right place. I felt a nice ease come over my body, releasing the apprehension I had and then I heard Jim Cornette’s voice, the excitement of the live crowd in the studio and the classic blue ring apron and a set that looked like it was from the era it was emulating.

I didn’t care that NWA Power looked dated, that’s what made it so damn cool. But it also didn’t just rely on that. It taps into the right vibe and hits the right notes for fans of what the NWA once was but it doesn’t rely so much on old faces, as it showcases a lot of young, newer talent, most of whom seem like they’ve got legit chops in the ring and in the realm of being entertainers.

As each new episode dropped, my rekindled love of the National Wrestling Alliance grew. And despite the great shows that AEW and NXT have been putting out since the start of their war, it’s NWA Power that I most look forward to each week. There’s just something special about it. It’s pure and it sparks that feeling that I used to get watching wrestling when I was a kid. But nostalgia alone can’t do that.

NWA Power has stars and I don’t mean that to come across like they’re the stars of tomorrow. No. These are the stars of today. And while they might not be on the biggest platform, that doesn’t mean that they can’t compete and also, who’s to say that the biggest platform is the right platform for everyone? It’s been clear that it hasn’t been right for a lot of wrestling talent. And, at the end of the day, where the biggest platform fails their talent, it only benefits companies like the National Wrestling Alliance.

Billy Corgan has big plans for new things going forward. There’s a reality show starting soon, which works as a talent search for indy wrestlers that want a shot at being on NWA Power. There is also pay-per-views, which the NWA has streaming through Fite TV, an app worth getting. Plus, there’s the ongoing Ten Pounds of Gold documentary series that follows the story of the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship.

So this Saturday night, the NWA is putting on a big pay-per-view called Into the Fire. And that’s honestly the inspiration for me to put down my thoughts in this article. Reason being, I haven’t been this excited for a wrestling pay-per-view in decades, as far back as the Monday Night War era.

I feel like I just have to tip my hat to the National Wrestling Alliance, Billy Corgan, Dave Lagana, Nick Aldis and all the talent in front of and behind the camera for making me feel as excited as I do. Being a wrestling fan has been a really rocky road for a long time with only one big show in town. But now things are changing and weathering the storm ended up being worth it.

While the big pay-per-view is called Into the Fire, the National Wrestling Alliance really just rose like a phoenix out of the fire: reborn and ready to ignite the hearts of fans across the globe.

Retro Relapse: 25 MORE Things Manly Men Should Do On a Daily Basis

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2015.

Last year, I covered 25 Things Manly Men Should Do On a Daily Basis.

A friend of mine asked me if he just needed to do those twenty-five things.

I was like, “Well yeah but there is even more stuff you can do.”

He was all like, “Uh.. like what, bro?”

So I was like, “Well damn, I guess I could make another list.”

So this right here is that list. Truth be told, you can never run out of manly shit to do.

In fact, you should do all the stuff on the previous list daily and then do all this shit too. Hell, maybe I’ll keep making lists in the future and will thus provide you, the loyal reader, with thousands of manly things to crush through each day.

Men need challenges. However, to a man, a challenge is nothing more than an item on a checklist. Men always complete their checklists.

I will now revisit the not too lengthy mantra that prefixed the original list:

It is hard being a masculine manly man in an emasculated modern age where we are often times chastised for just being ourselves. I accept the challenge and thrive in uphill battles because being a masculine manly man is the essence of my entire core.

I fuel myself on the conquering and pillaging of those things that oppose my existence. And to remind myself of my mission of being myself, I do these twenty-five activities daily!

Keeping the testosterone flowing is essential for ultimate manliness and these activities certainly keep the man juice pumping through my gargantuan grizzly DNA!

And now, the new list!

1. Box an entire troop of kangaroos!

2. Soak up a barrel’s worth of 190-proof Everclear through your pores!

3. Make slippers out of live honey badgers!

4. Wear an SR-71 Blackbird as a condom!

5. Challenge the military of a moderately-sized dictatorship with nothing more than an ostrich to ride and a battleaxe!

6. Play Frisbee with another manly man, only using Chinese stars!

7. Ride a Yeti like a snowboard down an avalanche!

8. Build an Ewok village in a redwood forest with nothing more than duct tape!

9. Do 1000 curls with each arm using a Montana-class battleship as the weight!

10. Dress up like a snake and board a plane with Samuel L. Jackson!

11. Challenge an elephant to a pissing contest!

12. Put a Class 5 dragon or higher in a Figure Four leglock!

13. Take the stance that Wu-Tang Clan is something to fuck with!

14. Go to Ireland and order an Irish car bomb!

15. Do a dozen or so moonshine body shots off of a Sasquatch!

16. Listen to a Taylor Swift song and try not to laugh! Seriously, the hardest thing on this list!

17. Grow a beard that grows its own beard! A manly man can do this in a day!

18. Build a new coffee table out of the remaining bones of a werewolf whose skull you headbutted to dust!

19. Go to a ComicCon dressed as Jar Jar Binks!

20. Play 1-on-5 pond hockey against a team of Kodiak bears!

21. Make eye contact with the Iron Sheik!

22. Eat a sub! Like an actual nuclear submarine filled with Italian meats!

23. Climb into a great white shark and punch your way out!

24. Conquer A.C. Slater in a dance-off with Jesse Spano, Kelly Kapowski and Zack Morris as judges!

25. Call Mike Tyson a pussy while pouring barbecue sauce on your ear!

To enhance any or all of these experiences and their effects, find a way to include bacon in each activity.

*For the record: I actually cannot condone these activities and they will probably get you killed or maimed.

Retro Relapse: Better Yourself, Volume 1: Drama, Bullshit & Vampires

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2014.

The last few years have been a strange time. Granted, I can’t think of any era in my life that didn’t come with some strangeness. However, what sets the last few years apart, is the fact that many people who were a part of my life for several years prior are no longer there. This isn’t due to my becoming an asshole and scaring my friends off, it is due to me choosing what I am going to put up with and what I won’t put up with. In essence, I have chosen to not continue down the path of friendship with certain people.

Why have I done this? Well, when someone is, for lack of a better term, a psychic vampire that thrives on sucking out your life force at every turn, it is time for that person to go. Unfortunately, I have known a lot of these types. For some reason, maybe because I’m a nice guy and not as big of an asshole as my writing might make me sound at times, these types of people are attracted to me like I’m some sort of energy conduit for their massive vampire hunger. I really don’t know what quality I have that makes people want to befriend me pretty quickly but I’m about quality over quantity because quantity brings in a lot of bullshit.

Yes, I have become incredibly selective with my friends. This is for my own sanity and for me to continue to spend time focusing on my goals and how I can move forward in life. Constantly being the ear for those who want to bitch about their problems but have no will to actually change anything, is taxing, frustrating and a waste of time. Sorry, but I am my number one priority and I don’t have time for people who aren’t going to actively work at improving or bettering their situations.

Now I have been in some pretty shitty places in my personal life and without certain people being there to encourage me and lift me up at times, I don’t know where I would be now but I’m sure it’d be in an unpleasant scenario. You see, what I did with that encouragement, help and love from my friends, was to turn it not just into motivation but I let it be my fuel to push forward. I let that energy work for good, I didn’t waste it wallowing in my own shit. Yes, I wanted to give up and wallow in my own shit but I couldn’t. I had to keep pushing forward, I had to better myself and my situation. I could listen to others and my internal self and understand why I was in a place I didn’t want to be and as hard as it was, I moved forward and persevered through it.

I don’t mind giving back; in fact, I love it. What I mean by that, is that I have always tried to be a good friend and the person to help my struggling buddies out of bad situations. The thing is, you can’t help someone that doesn’t want to help themselves. I’ve always known that but it took me awhile to truly understand it. I think most people know it but it doesn’t really click until it’s too late.

I can no longer get so emotionally invested in someone else’s problems that they become my problems. A lot of my issues in the past actually came from trying to be too good of a friend and getting pulled into the drama and bullshit of friends with horrible lives that only continued to pull everyone else down with them.

Some people may use the excuse of depression crippling them to the point of not being able to better themselves. That’s a bullshit crutch. I have had serious depression problems my entire life. Sometimes I don’t handle shit well but ultimately, I have still pushed forward, gotten past awful shit and put myself in a better place overall. I have to learn from my mistakes, I have to embrace the lessons of bad decisions and I have to move on from it all because what’s the other option?

No one likes a downer, not even other downers. Don’t be a downer. Yes, you will have hard shit to face in life because that’s life. We all have difficulties. It is how you respond to those difficulties that makes you. This doesn’t mean that talking to your friends is an inconvenience to them, it just means talk about your problems, get feedback and move forward. I keep saying “move forward” a lot because that’s the key here. Move fucking forward.

There’s an old adage that says “Life is only as hard as you make it.” While I don’t necessarily agree with that in a literal sense, I agree with the sentiment of it. Life is much harder if you respond to your troubles poorly. The better you respond and the more quickly you can move forward, the better off you will be.

Don’t bring others down with you because those people, the good ones, will only stay around for so long before you drain them of any shred of giving a shit.

Retro Relapse: Men & Adventure

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2014.

Men need adventure. I don’t know why, it is just in our DNA. It is something that burns at our very core and something that needs to be quenched once in a while, otherwise we start to turn into some formless goo of a person.

Most men today, are this goo. I guess that’s good for bossy bitchy women, as their goo men are more or less putty in their hands. However, to the good not-so-bossy non-bitchy women out there, you’ve got to understand our thirst for adventure and respect it. Just like men need their other men friends to go out and be men and shit, they also need to feel like Indiana Jones every so often.

I hike for my health, sure. However, I could just walk on the sidewalk or go to easy trails and still get pretty good results. I choose to hike in dangerous, swampy, murky and reptile-infested places because it is an adventure. When I complete a ten mile hike in the Everglades or nearby, I don’t just feel a sense of accomplishment from the miles I walked, calories I burned and the hot Florida sun I absorbed. I also feel accomplishment from knowing that I once again conquered an area of the world that most people are deathly afraid of even going into. I certainly feel great from doing the physical challenge but I feel more elation from the adventure. The times I was in real danger, I walked away feeling high.

This doesn’t mean that a man needs to go out and do stupid shit and take ridiculous risks but facing hard and heavy shit and weathering the elements has a pretty big spiritual payoff and does wonders for the ego and a man’s sense of self. There are a lot of societal pressures on men, as to what makes a man. Well, first of all, fuck what anyone else thinks. Secondly, every man is different. Thirdly, one of the things that does make a man is adventure.

Finding adventure or even time for adventure in the modern world is difficult. We wake up, shower, eat breakfast, go to work, go to lunch, go back to work, go home, eat dinner, go to sleep, wash, rinse, repeat. That is our daily life and for some of us, we don’t really get to escape the modern adulthood cycle even on weekends. If we do escape work some days, it is usually replaced with errands. There is very little time for ourselves and when we have it, we are usually too exhausted to do anything about it.

As far as time goes, I do have the benefit of not having a wife and kids. I’m not saying that my lifestyle is preferable, it just is my lifestyle and it gives me the benefit of having more time to myself than most men my age. Although, I do have friends with wives and kids and a few of them are fortunate enough to have wives that allow them their time to themselves, as they also repay the favor, allowing their wives to have their own personal time. I think that’s a definite good sign of a strong marriage built on respect and understanding. But this post isn’t about marriage, so let me get back on track.

The thing is, you have to make time do get out there and do what you need to do to feed the fire inside. You owe it to yourself, you owe it to your significant other and your friends. If you have kids, you owe it to them because you certainly don’t want your kids to look back and remember you as that guy that would just conk out on the couch with a glass of whiskey every Sunday afternoon. The things that you really want for yourself and who you want to be ideally, are what you should be instilling in your children. Unless your ideal self and what you want for them is to be a semi-buzzed couch potato that can’t make it through the first half of a football game without passing out and snoring like a power chipper. And to the wives out there, is this who you wanted to marry?

Nowadays, adventure seems like something of the past that there isn’t room for in the modern world. Technology and innovation has changed a lot. For instance, nearly every inch of Earth has been explored and millions of people have scaled massive mountains. Treasure hunting has been reduced to retirees on Florida beaches with metal detectors and spades. Modern adventure has become a sort of simulation or a thing achieved through extreme quick fixes like bungee jumping, skydiving, base jumping, etc.

Personally, none of those appeal to me. I prefer roughing the elements on the ground and encountering seemingly life-threatening scenarios that way. Alligators and venomous snakes give me more of a rush, even though they mostly hightail it when you get near them. And I’ve yet to see a bear, boar, deer or panther that hasn’t ran away at the first sight of me. But there is always that chance of danger and being caught in the moment is what feeds my fire. But each man is different, you have to find what your thing is. Maybe figuring out what your favorite form of adventure is, could be an adventure in itself.

You can’t keep ignoring this part of yourself and tucking it away somewhere. It is a big part of what we are and not just men but human beings. Our entire history and our entire lives up until a few decades ago was nothing but adventure. That shit doesn’t just die because technology has made life easier. That’s like the best baseball player in the world quitting his sport to focus on playing MLB The Show from his couch. But that is essentially what we have done. We live vicariously through movies, video games and shit we see on the Internet but that doesn’t do anything other than make that fire burn more, at least for me. I’m not satisfied with simulation and watching someone else do it. I want the real thing.

Some guys are satisfied enough getting adventure through sports. It worked for me. I even raced cars for a bit and that did serious wonders for my adventurous soul. Everyone has got their thing or several things. It is imperative that you find it and act on it though.

It’s way too easy to keep making excuses and convincing yourself that you don’t have the time or energy to devote to anything other than your modern life cycle. Life isn’t about mundane cycles. Life is something you live and you aren’t living it passed out on the couch during your downtime. Teddy Roosevelt’s ghost is laughing his ass off right now.

Men need to experience and discover new things. Why have we stopped?

You see, adventure isn’t just about cheap thrills, adrenaline and the high you get, it is also about finding yourself, testing yourself and truly getting to know who you are, what you’re made of and pushing yourself even further than what you thought you could. That’s living life to the fullest and no one can say you wasted your time if you just went out and made the effort. You never know, you might like what you find.

Retro Relapse: Pick-Up Artists & Peacock Clowns

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2014.

Now that the cat has been let out of the bag in regards to pick-up artists and their “game”, I’m shocked that dudes are still using these well-known tactics and I am even more surprised that chicks still fall for these peacocking asshat shenanigans. To each his own, I guess. That doesn’t mean that I can’t still toss some shit their way.

For one, the whole philosophy of being a pick-up artist is one of complete selfishness and being a class A lying douchebag. They manufacture a character, dress like an asshole and hide their true selves in an effort to fuck as many chicks as possible, not caring if they leave bodies in their wake. Why? Because they are reformed losers who found some magic “mystery” method or formula that has made them into… still losers.

Sorry PUA worshippers but that’s the truth. Another truth, is that getting pussy doesn’t make you a man. In fact, more often than not, it has made males continue to be fear turtle juveniles hiding in their shell because they are deathly afraid of just being themselves.

At its core, the pick-up artist philosophy teaches its practitioners to be liars. They want you to stop being who you are and instead, favor you transforming yourself into a goofy caricature wearing funny hats and accessories. They influence countless dudes to become dickbag womanizers.

Through being a liar, the dude is supposed to build confidence and swagger and become the ultimate male that chicks in any bar will throw their pussies at. The funny thing is, in a truly real world scenario, I’ve never seen this work out for guys all that effectively.

Dressing in crazy clothes and flare is called “peacocking” in the PUA community. Not only is that a stupid name but more often than not, these guys look like desperate mid-life crisis wankers about twenty years too young for a mid-life crisis. They also stick out like a sore thumb. Sure, a decade ago before this PUA bullshit became mainstream, maybe a chick would see one of these peacock clowns and go, “Hmm… that guy has an interesting style.” Nowadays, I mostly see girls go, “Peacocking douchebag at 9 o’clock.” At least the smart guys employing these strategies have learned to tone it down a bit and wear normal clothes with just a bit of flare or minor embellishments.

For guys down on their luck with women, or that just don’t have macking skills, these PUA programs make you a worse person. Say you commit to it, you succeed in the way that they want you to and you are able to start scoring chicks. Good for you, you have now succeeded where most guys will still continue to flounder after dishing out barrels of cash.

The problem is, you aren’t fixing your problems with yourself. You may have some form of confidence but you’re a devious lying piece of shit and apparently have no concern as to whether or not you’re out hurting any of the chicks you are trying to bang. You’ve gone from being a nice guy that needed a bit of help with women to a false human being who has thrown himself away in favor of some quick lays. Putting the lid down doesn’t flush the shit from the toilet.

And what happens when the quick lays aren’t enough. What happens when you decide that you want a long-term relationship because ultimately, even though you’ve screwed half the town, you are still alone and in need of true intimacy. You can play it cool and act like you don’t need it but the fact of the matter is, human beings are wired this way. Thriving just on sex gets boring after a while.

The point is, if you’ve been this lying bastard who buys his hats at the Halloween store, how do you show someone the real you and attract them on a deeper more intimate level? Do you continue to play the part or do you shed all that and be you? Do you even know who you are at this point?

The fact of the matter is, you can act like you’re all cool and badass because you’ve become a pussy magnet but you are no longer a real person. Chances are, at this point, you don’t know who you are anymore. How can a woman get to know you and see you in a realistic long-term sense, if you’ve thrown yourself away? And what woman would want a guy who doesn’t even know who he is? I used the term “woman” because one could probably still convince some naïve girls, at least for a little while, and even then, would you want to be with a chick that oblivious?

These professional pick-up artists are selling you snake oil. Their books, products, programs and seminars are expensive. Most of the guys who buy into it, fail at it or are overwhelmed by it and just find themselves more frustrated and more broke. These PUA masters are playing you just like they are playing the chicks they claim they score. The proof is in the pudding and if this shit worked, dudes everywhere would be sexual mastodons passing on the good word of these products.

The most effective method I’ve used, as have most guys, is being myself. No bullshit, no peacocking, just being me. Does it give me a high success rate? No. But neither will wearing a stupid hat and motorcycle goggles. At least I’m not getting laughed at for looking like an awkward doofus trying too hard. And in the end, I still have success and my dignity. Playing the game doesn’t mean playing yourself.

I’ll let Tom Haverford sum it up for you.