Who’s gang are you in?

Did you know that the TV show ‘Shameless’ is about life in Burnley? It’s set in Manchester because that makes the show cool, but Google it, it’s written by a guy from Burnley who grew up in a dysfunctional home on a Burnley council estate and he is writing about what life there was like.

From Wikipedia

Paul Abbott (born 22 February 1960) is an English television screenwriter and producer. Abbott has become one of the most critically and commercially successful[1] television writers working in Britain today, following his work on many popular series, including Coronation StreetCracker and Shameless, the last of which he created. He is also responsible for the creation of some of the most highly acclaimed[1] television dramas of the 1990s and 2000s, including Reckless and Touching Evil for ITV and Clocking Off and State of Play for the BBC. [2][3]

Born into a dysfunctional Burnley family, Paul Abbott is the seventh of eight children.[3][4] When he was nine his mother left home to pursue a relationship with another man (with a child around Abbott’s own age); his father, who Abbott describes as having been “bone idle”, departed two years later. His mother had supported the family from three jobs. Abbott and his siblings were in the care of their pregnant seventeen-year-old sister.[4] His father didn’t claim benefits for the family, for fear of alerting social services to their abandonment.[3] Although a compulsive truant, Abbott cites his English teacher at Barden High School as an early positive influence.[4]

Age 13 he was raped by a stranger, leading to him jumping from the roof of a multi-story car park in an attempt to commit suicide.[3][4]Two years later after another suicide attempt he was sectioned into an adult mental hospital for a short while, later becoming a voluntary patient.[4] On his release, he was taken into foster care and placed with a much more settled working-class family than his own, where having both adults in steady employment was a new experience for Abbott, as was their television and car. At the same time he began attending a local Sixth Form College and started attending meetings of the Burnley Writers’ Circle after seeing their advert in the local public library.[5] Abbott enrolled at Manchester University in 1980 to study Psychology but decided to leave to concentrate on writing when a radio play was accepted by the BBC.[6]

I remember Barden High School, where he went. It was right next to my dad’s house. Before they pulled it down in the late 90s it had a record of something like it had gone 30 years without one single pupil going on to University. It was basically a borstal.

It’s all bottom world stuff, his horrific life and the TV show he wrote about it. A life like this is chock full of extremely petty theft, violence, broken families, backstabbing, poverty, drugs, scumbaggery and hopelessness. That’s simply their life.

Doesn’t that terrify you then? It terrifies me. Since watching ‘Shameless’ I’ve been scared to leave my apartment. What if one of my mates, knowing I am out, takes the opportunity to break in and steal my washing machine?

Actually no, I don’t ever, ever think that. I obviously never think about it because I am not gormless council estate scumbag with thieving backstabbing mates. I never think about the risks associated with heroin either, because I am not a heroin user. None of it is my world. None of it is a problem that affects me. The people who think about it and talk about it are the ones who are in the firing line, or possibly grifters who are somehow making money off ‘raising awareness’.

What else do I never think about? The problems faced by ice fishermen in Alaska. They talk about it a lot because it’s something that threatens them. I never, ever, ever think about it.

What else is there? Err, oh here’s one, I don’t give a single flying fuck about hypergamy. I never have and I never will. How often have you ever heard me complain about it?

If you saw someone panicking like crazy that a crackdown on paedophile’s is coming, what would you suspect they were?

Getting raped in borstal and wanting to jump off the roof of a car park is a Bottom Worlder’s problem. The ice being too hard in April is an Alaskan fisherman’s problem.

Hypergamy is a loser’s problem.

I’ve never known a girl want to trade me out, I’ve never had a girlfriend want to screw me over or cheat on me; I’ve never had a girlfriend not like me. I’ve never dated a backstabbing toxic slag because I’m not on ‘Team Dork’.

Sure I’m aware that marriage leaves me vulnerable to some women who are dangerous. I also know where those Burnley council estates are and I know not to go into them. I understand the perils of drink-driving, but I don’t ever drink and drive. I know it all exists, I get it, but outside the cursory awareness, it’s not my world so it doesn’t threaten me.

Hypergamy is a ‘Rollo Risk’. A wonderful term coined by Krauser that in two words perfectly encapsulates something that will now take me half an hour to waffle about.

A ‘Rollo Risk’ is a threat that nerds worry about incessantly, that simply doesn’t apply to top lads. Wedgies are another example of a ‘Rollo Risk’. Trousers unexpectedly falling down in the middle of the street would be another.

teenager-boy-spectacles-glasses-nerd

“My two main concerns are wedgies and hypergamy”

The people who obsess about the effects of hypergamy are a certain type of man whose reality is one where they get treated badly by women. So every now and again when there’s a furore on Twitter because some ding dong has made a clown of himself over some ungrateful woman, let’s not be like all these red pill guys go and go crazy.

‘Look! I’ve found a clip of this guy here, he’s a bit of a doik and the pool boy is probably going to fuck his wife if he carries on like this! Let’s have a podcast and thrash it out for two hours about this nobhead who’s a loser and is probably going to lose again at some point in the near future’.

No, let’s not have a podcast about it. Losers like these demented people and this guy will always exist and they will always get fucked over and bad shit will happen to them over and over again. Their stories belong on the strata of society just above smack heads sleeping in a pile of shit.

We are outside the population affected by hypergamy: Doiks who get played by trash or people who peddle horror porn to doiks who get played by trash. At first I thought this was a zero sum game. Women don’t like losers; they stay away from them. Toxic women may very well lead a loser on in the meantime and take him for what they can get all the while looking for something better. Top Lads and Dorks simply live on opposite sides of the coin. In the same way for everyone who wins betting on Trump, someone has to lose by betting on Biden, for ‘Team Dork’ bemoaning hypergamy; there’s ‘Team Banging Top Lad’ who don’t see that world, because they only live on the flip side.

Top Lads here bang —– this girl here who is cucking —- Dorks here

Trump backers here —— take this money —– from Biden backers here

For every guy saying ‘a girl cheated on me’ there’s a guy saying ‘girls cheat on their boyfriends with me’. For every guy who is a girl’s ‘Plan A’, there’s a guy who only knows what it’s like to be ‘Plan B’.

Now I think that while there’s certainly some truth in this, it’s actually more a Venn diagram. There’s a bit of a cross-over, sometimes knowingly, sometimes accidentally, but on the whole there’s just a group of grotty people doing grotty things to each other and a group of cool people doing good things and for the most they stay miles apart. We see what the bottom worlders get up to only because it’s highlighted to us in the media, but it’s not reality. It’s ‘man bites dog’.

Sure, I have fucked some supposedly taken women, even married women several times, but not every girl I dated was therefore cheating on a boyfriend. Overwhelmingly I just dated nice girls who dated me and only me because they actually liked me. Nine times out of ten. They weren’t leaving my bed to go to anyone else’s. Why would I want that? Why would she?

So here’s the question. And you may not like the answer.

Which team are you in? Are you in ‘Team Top Lad’ or ‘Team Dork’? Because this is the thing, you have to earn your way into ‘Team Top Lad’ and it might be really fucking hard. It might take 10 years.

You might be in ‘Team Dork’. Just be aware of that. It might fuck you off to admit it. It might be a bit painful. But it might simply be the case. There is nothing wrong with being on ‘Team Dork’ at all and working hard on yourself to earn the stripes to be accepted on ‘Team Top Lad’ is entirely admirable, heroic and masculine. Top lads see you doing it and hope you do well, maybe even cheer you on. Your willingness to do the journey builds admiration in everyone who sees it and build your character.

But we all had to earn our way in and they are totally separate teams. No club worth a damn let’s people just walk in off the street and say ‘right, I’m a member now’. There is no Venn diagram here. It’s the Premier League and the Championship. Only we’re not even ‘all football clubs’, we don’t share any umbrella term at all that joins us in any way. We’re separate.

‘Team Dork’ – Guys who are not great with girls. Some ‘PUAs’ are here.

Hard work can get you into:

‘Team Top Lad’ – Guys who are good with girls. Some ‘PUAs’ are here too.

While some people on ‘Team Dork’ are working hard to genuinely improve themselves, some seem to think they can fool their way into ‘Team Top Lad’ and skip the years of hard work. Many people in the PUAsphere seem to think they have a hack, a backstage pass.

What they have done is imagine there is this third team, this umbrella club, ‘Team PUA’. They suppose that all the guys who are cool are also in ‘Team PUA’…. and now they are in the same team too because *magic wand* they have a blog/Twitter account and they lecture about their alpha frame and doing sets.

There is no ‘Team PUA’. You are not in my club just because you have a pickup blog and you call girls ‘sets’. If someone approaches a female friend of mine (and this has happened often), I will always let things run its course and give the man his chance, but if he’s making himself unwanted, I have no qualms about gently running him out of set. He doesn’t get to say ‘Dude, wing rules’.

I witnessed a real life experience of this in London recently not so long ago, just before the lock-down. I was with outside a bar with a well known day-gamer. Well known in terms of his face is out there. Let’s call him Bob. We were having a quiet pint and a beginner day gamer saw Bob and recognised him. He came over to say hello and Bob willingly and supportively accepted and encouraged his company. Bob introduced him to the rest of us and the day-gamer then proceeded to give the group the absolute minimum of any effort before turning back to Bob and ignoring them. Bob tried several times tried to bring his friends into the conversation and each time he did, the beginner again made the absolute minimum possible effort before turning back to Bob and freezing everyone out of the conversation while he told Bob all about his amateur game antics.

After 5 minutes, we very gently closed the conversation off and left the bar without him. We’d have given him all afternoon if he’d been cool, but he wasn’t. He was impolite and ungracious.

The table was ‘Table Good Lads’, not ‘Table PUA’. He was a dork trying to hack his way in.

I want to meet Phil Collins, but if he was out with his pals, I wouldn’t back turn his whole crew and start telling Phil all about my scorching guitar solos and lullaby bass-lines. I’d join the whole crew, get to know them. Social grace is part of what charisma is.

And let me tell you, Phil would want to know about my music, don’t think he wouldn’t. Oh he would. My solos are scorching, and my bass lines are sweet like childhood lullabyes, with notes drifting melodically over the air, catching you by surprise with their changes in pace and unexpected phrasings. Like John Paul Jones meets Flea meets Paul McCartney.

My guitar solo in my latest draft of a song called ‘Soul Fly’ is a short 25 seconds of pure dynamic, musical magic. It begins by copying the familiar phrasing of the acoustic guitar earlier in the song, only this time with distortion. So you know something serious about to happen. Then, while the drums shifts up a gear I unexpectedly transition to a flurry of high notes on the top stings. It’s like a little melodic explosion. It’s incredible, I am often told. And don’t get me started on ‘Show Me Your Smile’, that’s a dancey anthem, like Maroon 5 but with better bass and lead guitar. And they’re not even the best songs on the album. ‘Working Machine’ is a sing-along classic in the making. The touches I plan to put on that song are going to be out of this world.

I’m sensing you’re interested in this music; you’re keen to have a listen. If you insist yes, of course, I’ll get a first draft of one of these tunes mixed down and I’ll post it here. You are correct, they’re fantastically crafted tunes.

Phil would actually definitely be transfixed and I probably would tell him. I would definitely tell him. I’ve got demos on my phone so he’d want to listen. So I’d have to tell him. That’s a unique situation though. That’s just me and Phil; it’s an exception to the rule. In the usual run of play you don’t get to shoulder you way onto the lads table just because you claim you have a commonality when you’re in reality a total pretender.

I’m bored of writing now.

If you’re suffering with hypergamy; it’s a signal you need to work on getting out of Team Dork.

If you’re in Team Dork and you’re trying to blag your way into the lads club rather than earn your way in, fuck off. There’s no shortcut option called ‘Team PUA’.

New Pros, New Cons

I’ve been in Belgrade for two months now. Things, at first, sailed along at a decent pace. A string of blow outs as long as my arm in the first week proved to me I was as hopeless as I ever was, so I was overjoyed to see the old magic was still there. The second week, I stopped acting like a puppy with a new toy and I started to get a couple of minor wins, a few dates. I was quite happy with what I had built for myself; bearing in mind I was working a modest pace of 43 sets in 31 days, around 1.3 sets a day.

Then multiple ‘disasters’ struck four weeks ago.

Disaster 1- The Covid conversation kicked off in Serbia again, driving people off the streets and re-introducing some lockdown rules. The footfall in the streets was decimated and the hustle and bustle of the people who were out was greatly dampened.

Serbia Corona

Disaster 2 – The Serbs then started rioting, over something a politician said. Tear gas was being thrown around like confetti for a few nights. Like many things in life, while it was a good laugh in the moment, we all paid for it later. The streets were dead for a few days afterwards and Nick even got ill off what we thought at that point was the tear gas.

Disaster 3 – It wasn’t the tear gas. It turned out that Nick, and now I, had caught Covid. He obviously caught it and carelessly passed it onto me. We didn’t get tested; it would have been a huge mistake to end up in Serbian Covid jail, so we can’t know for sure that we had it, but all the symptoms matched; the fever, the weird cough, the muscle aches, the loss of taste and smell, dizziness. The loss of taste that was the worst to bear and when Nick turned up for lunch in white socks and beige sandals, I knew we were in big trouble.

Two weeks on from that and we now appear to have flushed Covid out in what appears to be record time. So although we have had no game success, we have stumbled upon the answer to the pandemic and saved the world! How to survive Corona.

Obviously Corona cannot survive for long in the body of banging top lads. That much is now clear to see. We’re just too mad for it for the virus to be able to get comfortable and settle down. The virus is, in virus terms, a dork. Dorks (and apparently my neighbours) don’t like the Stone Roses or Billy Idol, especially not first thing in the morning. We do. We fucking love it. Dorks can’t handle it when we sit around talking about boxing and football, they talk about sitcoms. Dorks don’t wear cool clothes, they dress from Asda. When I open my wardrobe to a full squad of terrace originals, the virus panics, as the last thing it wants is a day on the beer with lads, 90 minutes standing in the rain on the Turf watching the football and then a fight and a pint on the way home.

We’re far too mad for it for the virus to survive.

The proof of the pudding came when we asked our mate in Australia, Joe O, if he’d had Corona and he said ‘not even close, not even a sniff lads’. My jaw dropped when I heard those words and I put 2 and 2 together. He’s so BTL the virus can’t go near him! Nick and I recovered in record time too so there’s that and none of my mates in Burnley has had it and they all love the Roses. We all went to the Heaton Park gig and some even went to Spike Island, though not me I was too young.

Then I started to think… who does get Covid a lot and who suffers a lot when they do get it. And the answer is…  not banging top lads. Bald and Bankrupt got it really bad, but where’s he from? Manchester? Burnley? Manchester? Somewhere cool like Burnley or Manchester? No… he’s from Brighton. He’s a great bloke but… Brighton… Prawn sandwiches, Chardonnay and Natasha Bedingfield?

Then I really saw it. What is the one town that is currently relocked down at the moment with too many cases?

Blackburn, the shittest town in the UK!

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/blackburn-with-darwen-lockdown-measures-latest-coronavirus-a4498241.html

Case fucking solved. If you’re mad for it, you’re immune, simple as that. If you’re a horse fiddling scruffy cunt, you’re going on a ventilator.

We’ve nothing to worry about us day game lads. Literally the more sets you do; the less you get Corona.

What pisses me off is that that personal trainer Nick’s been using told him some bullshit mix of pills and supplements for us to take, so we snecked a load of that last week. Now in hindsight it looks like we didn’t ever need it as we were immune all along. Total waste of money.

Back to the disaster movie. Disaster 4 – As a result of the overall Covid situation, Serbia got taken off the ‘safe list’ by the EU and now it’s much harder to leave Serbia and go elsewhere. There are options, but they’re pretty inefficient. For example, we could go to Croatia but it’s a 14 day isolation period. We could go to Bulgaria but there’s also an isolation period and I hear now that Covid is kicking off over there again anyway. On balance, it has been better to stay here and sit it out in a dead town than try and fuck about looking for alternatives.

Disaster 5 – It’s now late July and coming into August, awful weeks to be in the Balkans any year. The cities empty considerably. So it does look like we’re in a lull no matter which way we turn.

So the last month has been a lost month for game. We have done 1 set each in all that time. Even when we were well enough to be out, Belgrade may as well have been Accrington for all the game there was to be had.

This week has got better, I can say that. There is some fun to be had now if you’re casual day-gamer just cranking notches and can be liberal with your targets.

Sad to say, I am no longer a casual day gamer, so it’s still a bit tougher for me as my market is very much shrunk from what I enjoyed in the casual past. I can’t simply hit on any hot girl that walks past anymore and just see what happens. Not all hot girls are long term dating material. Buying a car is a very different mindset to renting one and from day one here in Belgrade, I have been faced with a totally different set of internal pressures than I previously was. So I thought it would be interesting to talk about.

From the very second I began here, two months ago, I was letting some girls walk past. I would wonder why I’d let a reasonably hot girl go by asking myself, ‘she’s hot, why not stop her’? I’d answer, ‘I just can’t see myself dating her’. But then I would go back to, ‘she was young and beautiful, so why not’.

The fact is that many girls are now simply not an option for me, no matter how tight her hot pants are, or even how much she likes me. But why?

Take a look at these examples. Both worth a notch, but for long term dating, can you see why one I would naturally scare away from? Not so much as who is hotter, or who is most up for it, but what signals they’re sending me.

No and Go

It’s not about who’s hottest, it’s about what their style suggests

It is obvious to me which is no and which is go, but it wasn’t obvious why.

We eventually teased it out. I think we’d both been feeling it. But Nick identified it mostly, this is mostly his rational explanation of what I knew by instinct, but couldn’t explain.

Let’s say there’s simply two types of female I’m now filtering against:

Group 1 – ‘Girls’

Group 2 – ‘Women’

‘Girls’ are like a spinning bottle, in that period of their life where they’re certainly no longer a child, but they’re not yet a ‘woman’. While the bottle is spinning they don’t fully know what they want, what they believe or what they like or what they eventually are going to want, believe and like. They may try many different things in order to find out. It may be music, fashion, drink, older men, but only once the bottle has stopped spinning and it points solidly in a direction, only then do she and I know more about what direction she is going in. At that point, for the purpose of this theory, she becomes a ‘woman’.

When they are a ‘woman’ you can sense it in them and it’s that sense, that trigger, that is part of what I’ve been seeking. That’s the green light I’ve been waiting for, but when I see ‘girls’, I don’t get the green light, I actually get quite the opposite.

There are things in the way they move and the way dress and present themselves that show where they are in their maturity. The spinning bottle can be seen in their fashion and their manners. A girl in Converse, dirty jeans and a check shirt has maybe just got into music and started going to gigs on the local music scene. She’s still into fads; she tries things out to see if she likes them. That’s a warning sign to someone in my position.  I don’t want to risk being the next fad for 8 months. I don’t fancy risking a ‘girl’ who isn’t yet sure of who she is and to some degree what she yet wants. It could be a disaster. And that danger is what I have been sensing, without really understanding.

At 42 I have time, a year or two yet, to cash out on my SMV on a gem, but I have to be careful how I choose to spend that precious time. I haven’t got too much time to waste on, for example, dates with girls who are still wearing a t-shirt of their favourite band. Am I really going to walk her down the aisle a year from now? Am I really going to go home and tell her parents I am going to marry their daughter?

The time on dates is wasted time; a casual fling is more wasted time; I do have some time to waste, I can drop a few hours here and there, but the real disaster scenario for me would be this: I meet a ‘girl’. We date X months. We move in together. X months later we buy a dog. Then, X months later she changes and her priorities are different. She gets cold feet or just becomes a different person. She decides she wants to go to Prague and become painter. For her, it’s hard for her to cut her losses with a tear in her eye, but for me, I’m now 44, I’ve just burned up two years of prime juice and I’m left with a dog to look after. I don’t want to be doing another reset next year.

In female years I am guessing I am 27. Maybe for a man 42 – 48 is similar to a woman’s 27 – 30. I don’t know. Something like that? You tell me. But you get the picture.

I know you can date early-20 year olds when you’re 50. I saw my dad do it. But he didn’t want to marry them and start families. That would have been insanity. There’s so many tricky logistics to deal with there.

I’d want to put this project to bed at the young end of middle age. I want to be confident that the young women I’m dating are ‘women’ and capable of being keen about where this is going. These outward signs of maturity that I am recognising are reassuring to me and the outward signs of immaturity that I am recognising are dangerous to me.

So now, understanding this, I wait patiently for the streets to open up a bit more. There are plenty of ‘women’ out there, it does cut the market down, but they are there.

There’s also a huge, huge upside to this situation I am in. The upside is that when you’re younger with time to waste on anything hot with two legs – or even one leg if she’s hot enough, then you want lots of results and multiple notches matter to you. 1 girl a year would be a total disaster.

However, in my case, it only needs to be 1 girl; it just needs to be a good ‘1’. One good stop, one great girl, one good date is all it takes. I may be operating in a limited market with less to open, I may have to filter much harder, but I only need 1 result to bank a lifetime win.

And as we know, the next set can always be the Golden set. That could even be tomorrow afternoon in dreary old Belgrade.