The game wisdom of H.L. Mencken

October 15, 2014

Amused mastery

Amused mastery

“Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.” Prejudices: First Series

Most of you dear readers reached your throat-slitting moment some time ago. For me it was when lying on my sofa in April 2009, playing Battlefield Bad Company on my Xbox360, when I was overcome with an emotion I can best verbalise as “this will not do!” So I genuflected, figured out I’d love to be able to bang lots of hot women, and then in a moment of madness made a firm commitment to hoist the black flag of pick-up.

So here I stand, Captain Krauser of the goodship Daygame, sailing the high seas in search of booty with my fellow rapscallions. I was originally planning to write a post on that but as I kept reading Mencken quotes I continued to be astonished at his ability to parse high-falutin’ ideas into great witticisms. So, let me pick some of my favourites and offer an idiosyncratic interpretation for how it affects the unplugged nomadic daygamer.

“An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it makes a better soup.” A Book of Burlesques

This is the very essence of choosing girls on pure looks without due regard to their vibe and character. Far be it for me to pretend younger-hotter-tighter is not my goal, but banging super-hot girls won’t make you any happier – it’s chasing a phantasm. The cabbage gives you a full flavour, some nutrients, and is a good soup. I haven’t banged many girls in the top tier, just a few, but they aren’t really the memorable ones. Fucking a catwalk model is like poking a bicycle frame with a stick. The girls that please me are young and hot but they’ll also be brimming with feminine sweetness and preferably wide hips and fullsome jubblies. Avoid choosing girls from an ego-based “trophy girl” mindset. It’s okay to bang a few to get the monkey off your back but after that you need to be introspecting about what you really like in a woman.

Oxford Street Yad-Stops, yesterday

Oxford Street Yad-Stops, yesterday

And on another tangent, don’t think you can ever possess beauty. A rose is beautiful to be looked at. Once you try to consume it, it becomes tasteless gruel to you, and you’ve destroyed the beauty of the rose in it’s natural form. You can’t cure a purity fantasy by fucking angels. Setting your sites on the top tier is both a worthy goal and an insidious trap – you should aim high but make sure to aim for something real. If you think fucking a turbo-hottie will solve your problems you’re in for a big shock when you shoot your bolt and realise you’re still the same man you always were, with the same insecurities.

“The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane, and intolerable…” Prejudices: Third Series

This is unplugging and the independence of Daygame. It is dating against the machine. The blue pill is a carefully-crafted soft conspiracy that defines both your goals and your means to achieve them. You’ll first get that glitch – the splinter in your brain – when your intuition warns life is not what it seems. Taking the plunge and wrenching yourself out of the matrix is the big step, like dropping anchor and letting your ship sail away to the freedom of the open seas. Be ready for a long period of angst as the pain of the “dishonest, insane, and intolerable” looms so large in your mind that the small seeds of new meaning can’t yet be seen through the weeds. The reason this man is most dangerous is that once free he never looks back. No man re-enters the gulag. He’s gone forever, a free man in control of his life and far too savvy to let the chains be slipped back around his ankles.

“Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.” A Mencken Chrestomathy

This is the real emotional drive of PUAhate and the white knights. The unhappy man bristles at the thought others may be enjoying their lives and then focuses his energies on bringing them down into his pit of despair. Every time you read some pompous moralist explaining that players are low-lifes, their women are sluts, that they really ought to just settle down with a “good woman” of “high character” be sure that it’s all about envy. A spiteful lazy man will become a Marxist in politics and a White Knight with women. The lowest of all become nihilists and game denialists. If you’re ever receiving the hate remind yourself it’s because your life is happier than theirs and both of you know it. If you’re tempted to throw out hate at someone else, stop and think. Identify the emotional driver (almost certainly envy) and redirect it towards action. Pull yourself up.

"Yeah mate, I'll be right out daygaming. Just let me finish reading these first..."

“Yeah mate, I’ll be right out daygaming. Just let me finish reading these first…”

“I know some who are constantly drunk on books as other men are drunk on whiskey.” (no source)

Two extremes in the community are theory junkies and pussy rats. The man who spends all day on his laptop watching YouTube videos and dialling in his inner game is practising avoidance of the simple sort – he can’t handle approach anxiety on the street. His solution is simple – get outside and hit on women. The man who spends all day spam approaching and hanging on to every lead is also practising avoidance but of the more subtle kind – he can’t handle self-reflection. Doing the same thing over and over again is often motivated by a fear of change. It’s okay to spend a few weeks, or even months, relentlessly opening girls day after day. You need repetition to burn the skillset into your muscle memory, to see what the streets are really like, and to desensitise yourself to approach anxiety. That’s far better than pontificating on internet forums. However, if you’re stuck with a brutal workrate for every solid number – you need to stop. Reflect. Introspect. Get a second opinion. Often this means a harsh calculation of your current SMV and a realisation that tight game in itself isn’t enough.

Daygame is a journey of constant growth and self-reflection. Don’t be fooled by false end-points. Ride your plateau for a while and then put your energies into finding the route up the next mountain. The drunk gets high every day and wakes up the next morning having slipped imperceptibly further down the slope.

“Happiness is the china shop; love is the bull.” (no source)

Every player feels the pressure of the game. When balls-deep into an immersion cycle your love for the game will temporarily quieten all those doubts and you won’t feel the catabolic cost of gaming. But it’s there, under the hood, the fuel tank gradually running dry. Chasing women dissipates your energies until fatigue and game revulsion creeps up on you. This is when you lose the joy for it. The world has the colour and heat drained out of it and you’re going through the motions like an old factory where somebody forgot to switch off the assembly line.

Accept the cyclical nature of game. When you’re down it’s temporary, it’s not a sign that you ought to find your soul mate and “get out of the game”. We have a name for people who treat temporary fluctuations in mood as permanent changes of momentous proportions – women. Ride it out, read a book, have a beach holiday. It’s okay to go off the clock until your hunger returns. The moment you LTR yourself up and prattle on about love is the moment you let the bull into the shop. For a while the novelty and the commotion is exciting, but when the dust settles you’re lying next to a beast and everything you built is smashed to pieces.


  1. Brilliant piece. I especially loved your last sentence: “For a while the novelty and the commotion is exciting, but when the dust settles you’re lying next to a beast and everything you built is smashed to pieces.” Very moving metaphor, even though I’ve never experienced the feeling.

    I got to second base for the first time last weekend. Daygame approach. Met her mid day then that night she was back at my place. We’ll see what next weekend brings.

    For you guys out there struggling – keep chugging. [You’re making progess. Keep on with it and the magic will happen. K.]

  2. “We have a name for people who treat temporary fluctuations in mood as permanent changes of momentous proportions – women.”

    Well said and I would even go as far to say Mencken-esque! [Thanks boss. I was proud of that one. K.]

  3. Someone posts quotes from Mencken on Twitter

    • Other quotable men:

      If I have ventured wrongly, very well, life then helps me with its penalty. But if I haven’t ventured at all, who helps me then?

      You have a real life if and only if you do not compete with anyone in any of your pursuits.

  4. Do you think there is worth in happiness through meaningful journey? Like being a doctor, lawyer, simply expert in a given field…it’s climbing the society ladder, sure, but also a narrow road to self-discovery, many ups and downs, often deep meaning…it’s effect on happiness is more stable, like an underlying current of calmness. I’m not sure total independence is for everyone among red pill men. It’s like the R boyfriend vs notch count hyena. Many people try Tim Ferris style and their blogs shut down very soon because there is no value. Many people quit the job, go among the mongs to find the meaning, they buy a greek tavern…and after several months it’s hell for them… [I found meaning in my career, for a while. The novelty wears off, especially under 70% taxation. Too many people go for the Ferris freedom porn without having a skill to sell or any purpose. So its not surprising they fuck up. K.]

  5. I’m now entering a new phase in my own game journey…a greater need for self-reflection and being more “in the moment” instead of relentlessly pursuing pussy just to prove I can.

    But of course my latest conquest is an interesting 23 year old I would classify as “hot” maybe 8/10 but despite her sweetness has told me she tried to commit suicide and is extremely emotional. I’m just having a blast so don’t stick around long enough to see that side of her.

    The stuff about being R-selected has helped tremendously in avoiding needless drama. Now I’m focusing on the “quality” not “quantity”.

    Funny how you talk about this idea that banging 10’s won’t make you a better man. It’s like taking a drink…you feel great after that shot, then you come down and if you’ve got issues….they don’t change.

    What I’m enjoying from Primal Seduction is that it’s a great manual for where I am now. I don’t know if I could have understood it or digested it properly 4 years ago when I first discovered game. At that time I HAD to be a notch machine just to make up for perceived lost time and to prove to myself I could do this.

    The struggle for inner balance and acceptance is harder than going out and banging a smoking hot 23 year old. But then again that was a hard enough goal 4 years ago. [Primal is an advanced book – not everyone is ready to digest the nuances. There’s nothing wrong with going notch-crazy in the beginning. My major milestones were 50 and 100 respectively. Since hitting 100 my notch-hunger has divorced from my ego. Now it’s just an appetite, not a mission. K.]

  6. Being in the community for few a good 5 years now, It gets easier to spot where someone’s at in their journey when you talk to them.

    It’s usually in 3 phases.

    1) Denial – This is the guy who doubts game and spends all of his time arguing with you as to whether it’s morally correct to approach and bang loads of girls.

    2) Hate – The type of guy who seems to hate society and women and talks about his past about how shit hit life was due to the treatment he got from the girls in his past.

    3) Acceptance – The type of guy who now accepts things for what they are, usually because he’s tired of being pissed off and hating, and realising that he now needs to try a different strategy and actually do something about it.

    My biggest realisation is what Nick states about the ‘Younger-Hotter-Tighter” concept. At the end of the day, what really matters is whether you find the girl attractive or not and whether you can connect with a girl in some way.

    Otherwise, it becomes this never ending chase of scouting for hotter pussy in order to fill a hole in your ego, which never seems to heal. Usually manifested by the innate desire to compete against your mates, one-upping and measuring each others dick sizes.

    Looks very rarely equals quality, which becomes apparent the more you talk to those types of women who have it in spades.

  7. I am the theory junkie who rarely approaches out of anxiety, but i would blame you, Krauser, for stuff like this is just awesome. I simply cannot stop reading and rereading this and older posts.

    • I see myself in you ❤ ❤ ❤ Find what flips the switch for you 🙂 I think we have a lot in common.

      Btw, I'm guessing you're a young naive humble high-IQ skinny short white latino engineer who is alone for extended periods of time and reads red pill to relax? Cuz that's me. Sorry about the insanely positive mood (whenever I get happy I start vomiting words), I just approached a girl… in your FACE buddy! 🙂

  8. “If you’re tempted to throw out hate at someone else, stop and think. Identify the emotional driver (almost certainly envy) and redirect it towards action. Pull yourself up.” Thanks.

  9. “Taking the plunge and wrenching yourself out of the matrix is the big step, like dropping anchor and letting your ship sail away to the freedom of the open seas.”

    This is why one almost always needs to hit rock bottom before taking the red pill and getting started on the daygame journey. When blue pill options exist – even mediocre ones – staying on dry land is much more attractive than leaving port. Maybe it helps to be sigma as well when escaping the blue pill too? Sigmas (more than alphas) are seeking an escape from normal life.

    Also, congrats on Balls Deep – I picked it up and its been addictive! [Let me know what you think when you’ve finished it. K.]

    • @odinsfortress. Fortunately I never hit “rock bottom” emotionally before discovering the red pill. But I think I hit a wall where behaviours I had beendisplaying for years didn’t work any more and I was getting played. I felt I got played by a girl and suddenly it became a “fuck this…” and the pattern was the same, google “when she disrespects you…” and got into game.

      The second phase has been coming out of another situation of hitting a wall and then discovering that inner game has many different components and in some ways the PUA tactics have some drawbacks as well. The Rawness has an interesting analysis of The Game and how some of its ideas are co-dependant or breed co-dependency.

      So in short, unplugging from the Matrix or swallowing the red pill is not an immediate transformation. I think if a guy is serious about self-improvement there are a lot of mistakes, trial and error and it’s really an ongoing process.

      I may be more “alpha” than 5 years ago but I still catch myself over-analyzing my behaviours to the point of unhealthy obsessing. Slowly this is changing.

      I had written above about how Primal Seduction is an advanced or nuanced treatise on game. It challenges or reframes a lot of ideas I had previously positioned as “beta”. Staying Blue Pill is easier than swallowing the Red Pill because if you believe in “hope” and being a nice guy then you never really have to push yourself to change or challenge yourself to adopt new thinking that at first feels very strange and uncomfortable.

  10. >The moment you LTR yourself up and prattle on about love is the moment you let the bull into the shop. For a while the novelty and the commotion is exciting, but when the dust settles you’re lying next to a beast and everything you built is smashed to pieces.

    What’s your views on love and ‘settling down’? Personally I believe love exists, but is temporary and therefore not worth changing your life for. I think settling down is a blue pill myth. It was true once, but now is a relic of a bygone era.

    And you mention 70% tax… Is this 40% income then add VAT & council tax into the calculation. [Roughly speaking, it’s 40% income, 10% NI, 20% VAT, 5% council, 3% inflation, 5% fuel and sin but not all taxes are levied on total income. You could also add in a 15% nigger/chav tax for paying extra to avoid living near scumbags and probably a 15% undertow for everything being overpriced due to public sector subsidies and inefficiency. K.]

  11. thanks for the advice, especially that last paragraph.

  12. For some, ,perhaps most people, the oxytocin bonding and love rush are extremely pleasurable, in a long lasting way. Some sustain that feeling of improved mood for 6 months to two years, or even longer.

    Oxytocin IS meaning. When people feel an emotional sense of meaning, it is very often directly connected to oxytocin.

    It’s perfectly reasonable and pragmatic to go through seasons of love. Do you denounce the value of summer because there is always winter?

    This idea that love is an error is itself the error.

    Love can be as meaningful and joyful as can an excellent spring and summer. Far more so.

    People who take impermanence as a sign of a reason to not enjoy are making a massive error in how to fully enjoy being fully alive and human. Of course love is a temporary madness. So what? Is that some sort of an unmanageable problem? No, it’s not. All the emotions of love can be handled properly, and it can be included properly into a rich, full life.

  13. Pingback: You can’t stamp game knowledge into people with a cookie cutter. We vary greatly. « Random Xpat Rantings

  14. It is an arrogance that borders on religious zeal to make this assumption that the natural inclination to form strong bonds with our women is fundamentally an error in judgment.

    It is not necessarily so. An introspective and skilled man will be able to use the winds of emotions and understand the currents and seasons, and navigate.

    Some of you guys talk as if winds are nothing but uncontrollable storms, to be avoided at all costs. Have you no sense of navigation at all?

    Humans are born to get MAXIMUM possible pleasure in life through the experiences relating to procreation; sex and love.

    It is therefore a no brainer. If you want maximimum happiness, you have to know how to USE these emotions. To navigate.

    Love is not an uncontrollable tempest at all. It is a tool.

    An adult human male who can not use that tool is not living up to his full potential for happiness.

  15. And let’s all stop pretending that we are unaware of the variety of options that we have with women. It’s time to stop pretending that it’s either a choice between divorce rape and pump and dump.

    Serial and parallel monogamy are not some rare moon meteriorites, heard of but never seen. The options are not stark and polar at all. It’s natural and normal and common to have strong romantic attachments that don’t lead to ruin.

    • Although not as frequent lately here as we deserve for our $$, nice to get some good & insightful Sh*&t from Krauser which as usual I’ll pass off to my friends as my own at the first opportunity

      Well and sensibly put Xsplat. This Taliban like fundamentalist red pill stuff insinuating if you fall in love, get married, and/or have kids you’re getting suckered and are automatically a blue pill chump tripe from the unwashed red-pill masses has gotta be called what it is whenever it rears it’s ugly head, which it does often. It tends to foster a faulty mindset among the very impressionable of which there seem to be a lot.

      You can’t on the one hand decry the rise of modern feminist women because that has changed the behaviour of women, the traditional & natural relationship between men & women personally & in society, etc.

      and on the other hand:

      use that as an excuse to totally abandon the natural and traditional role of men in society & family ourselves.

      All it means, in my view, is that red pill awareness allows you to recognize how to better meet & vet women, behave in a relationship/family environment, and protect yourself (i.e. pre-nup). Rollo readers know this.

      I don’t buy the excuse “the pond is all spoiled in the West where I live and I don’t have an income/job structure that I can live like Krauser, Tom, Maverick Traveler, Roosh, Jabba, Xsplat (I recall Xsplat lives in Asia and has lots of hot much younger women rotating through his life) etc.” I just bought a ticket to FSU to rendesvous again with a tall blond 24 years younger than me and the tik cost me $592 from USA & It’s so much easier for European guys. Consider doing Krauser and Tom light & Vet them here, vet them there and in between, no pun intended. My objective obervation which will come as no surprise: the women are much more worthwhile in more traditional societies such as Asia and FSU and your efforts there (that’ EFFORTS, not just showing up – see Tom T’s videos in this respect) net you more worthwhile candidates yes in looks but more importantly in terms of mindset

  16. 21 comments so far, and no one has highlighted:

    “Fucking a catwalk model is like poking a bicycle frame with a stick.”

    No homo, but Krauser I love you.

  17. Once you burn your hand on a stove, you know to avoid doing it again.

    We don’t just avoid stoves altogether. We USE them.

    Love has it’s seasons. When you are in the beginnings of an infatuation, your mood brightens so much that even colors get richer. Music becomes more meaningful. You are high throughout your day, and even into your sleep. You are more deeply relaxed, and excited at the same time. You are happier, and people around you become happier too.

    And then it all turns to crap and you feel like you wake up in the morning to being in the dentist chair.

    Does spring go on boycott because of the inevitability of winter? Does the pine hold off on sprouting because it is aware of the implications of being sprouted out of ash? No, the very ecology of the forest relies on fire. Ya, love is temporary. Ya, the forest is going to burn. The forest is on fire, long live the forest!

    Do you drink coffee? Smoke? Drink occasionally? Love is a drug. It can be used to improve our quality of life. And it is hands down the BEST drug. There is nothing better. That’s a flat out fact. Love and sex are the ultimate life improvement tools.

    Man invented controlled fire. We didn’t see a forest fire and swear it off because it’s dangerous.

    My favorite form of fire is a huge face burning spark stuttering bonfire. [I think you’re talking at cross-purposes. I was talking about guys who use love as an excuse to get out of the game when really they want to fuck more girls and just can’t handle the pressure of the game. K.]

    • I came across a well known PUAs website, I forget his name, who had settled down with a girl, and he wrote that he got a lot of flack from guys who thought similarly. His stance was that a lot manospherians don’t understand that guys tend to go through life stages. Sometimes settling with a girl is not out of cowardice or timidity or lack of any sort of fortitude. It’s because that’s what the guy actually, really, and truly wants.

      And besides, where is it written that a guy has to stick to his guns and blast through difficult times and keep on playing the field? Why not alternate periods of monogamy with having multiple girlfriends with just dating? I prefer to alternate like that, and have stages of life.

      You can call anything cowardice. You can call avoiding intimacy and bonding cowardice too. There are ways to find joy and pleasure in many different styles of relationships. Why is it so crucial to have a hard militant stance to grit ones teeth and only stick with one lifestyle? [Cowardice is giving up on something you want because it gets tough. That’s what I’m talking about. If you want it. Most guys who make a big “I’ve got a girlfriend, I’m leaving the Game” announcement would love to stay in the game but just can’t hack it anymore. K.]

      • If you imply love is cowardly, people resist.

        There is the principle that “Everyone is a grownup and no one is more grown up than anyone else” (Emanuel Derman). If you violate that principle, people get angry, and often nobody is better off.

        I know some engineers. They paid money to rent a field. When they got there, they showed their permit and told the neighborhood teens and young adults to please leave. The teens resisted, recorded everything with a smartphone, and soon there was internet outrage over gentrification and the engineers came close to losing their jobs.

        Another example: a black politician (Eric Holder) said white people are “cowardly” because they don’t engage in race dialogue. Aside from being wrong, this wasn’t smart because it brought everyone farther away from having a healthy “dialogue” on race.

        A third example: a rich, successful alum from my college wrote a letter saying that drunk women are a large liability for fraternities. The campus newspaper denounced this as grotesque, misogynistic etc. and the alum got fired from one of his jobs.

        The point is that people don’t judge things on right/wrong, honest/dishonest, adaptive/maladaptive, etc. They judge things based on how it feels. Here it “looks” like you’re claiming people in LTRs are childish, which doesn’t feel good at all. So people will resist it.

        Basically, moralizing is socially problematic. And people generally don’t grow from it. That’s why writers talk about their own personal stories (e.g. their failures in love), and only then give the lessons. Otherwise, you’re open to attack (e.g. xsplat claiming “arrogance that borders on religious zeal”).

        If we summarize too much, if we’re too direct, we enter dangerous territory and people will rant and rave. Does it do anyone any good? Maybe not always.

        Personally, I agree that falling love can be like letting a bull in a China shop, but I would not call people in love cowardly. (To use your term, it’s a bit too internally referenced! :P)

  18. “Most guys who make a big “I’ve got a girlfriend, I’m leaving the Game” announcement would love to stay in the game but just can’t hack it anymore. ”

    I could imagine that happening. I know that monogamy CAN be a concession. And sometimes there may be conflicting desires.

    Many men resolve these problems of conflicting desires and concessions by maintaining a loving LTR while still seeing other girls.

    Dedication to a craft and a persuit of what one wants sounds great, but what if that dedication gets in the way of a well lived life? What if the man ALSO wants other things? A lot of us really do. No matter how much we want new women, we do – really do – want to form strong pair bonds and mate up. That’s not a weakness – no matter how much that would get in the way of improving game, it’s still not a cowardice or a weakness. It’s a conflicting desire.

    Managing that conflict requires the development of a skill set that overlaps but is still distinct from pick up game. Managing multiple women is another craft that takes years and years to develop and is a never ending journey of improvement and discovery.

    I think you misidentified where the stumbling blocks are. Love is not the stumbling block. And there may be a stumbling block that you didn’t identify; blinkers used to maintain focus on the racetrack. Blinkers aren’t the best idea for a well rounded life. People want things that are peripheral to game. Good, worthwhile things.

  19. This line resonated with me, very insightful:
    “The man who spends all day spam approaching and hanging on to every lead is also practising avoidance but of the more subtle kind – he can’t handle self-reflection.”

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