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.


“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 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’.

What happened to game?

It has been a great two weeks so far here in Serbia. The sun is out, the coffees are being swilled by the hectolitre and street beggars are being rebutted by Bodi with unforgiving red pill honesty – ‘fuck off you little cunt or I’ll punch your teeth out’ as he raises his hand to smite them. They scurry from him in fear, whimpering.

I’ve had two students from Scotland join us for the weekend and an innocuous event they had in set last night lead me to a realization similar to my ‘where did all the DHVs go’ blog moment from late last year.

What the fuck happened to game? Actually working a set? It used to be a discipline played out by rules and principles. Hopeful PUAs strove for near perfection in set. Guys in flashing top hats, as moronic as they seemed at the time, were often just experimenting with reality and learning what they could get away with. When you got to know them, they were at least cogniscant of game principals.


If you’re going for that blonde, I’ll wing you for the brunette maaaaaate!

I remember a couple of times in London, in places like Jewel Bar and that awful nightclub across the road, next to ‘Ripley’s Believe It Or Not’, I can’t remember what it was called, other pickup guys who I didn’t even know, would see me in set and just come and join me. They’d actually wing me, DHV me, distract obstacles for me. Then you’d sometimes see them half an hour later and they’d come and talk to you, ‘how did your set work out mate?’

They displayed a grasp of game that I don’t think exists today. I just don’t see it. Basic principles, rules, technique, team-work, reason, systems and laws. They all existed for a reason. The reason is that they worked.

I am currently writing four game books. One is about the principles of game; one is just another game biography. It’s as I write this biography part that so much comes back to me. I am currently (in the book) at the end of my first year in game, halfway through volume 1. I remember my first year in game was a mix of meeting guys and finding good wings, choosing to lose my old friends and shedding my old skin. Not much game success was had in that first year. The girls were so-so and the sets were often hit and miss. More luck than game.

They key is this – I remember on Sundays we’d all meet up at grotty pubs near tube stations and we would go over the weekend’s sets and talk about the things that went wrong and we’d work out what we could try to do in set in future to correct the failings.

That’s, 10 years ago today, exactly what I was doing on Sundays. We were THAT committed. We’d go out four nights a week and Sunday was for team meetings.

Our rules and signals weren’t invented to be pompous and grandiose. We did it because we needed them. We failed without them. We tried them and they worked. Through trial and error we pulled ourselves out of chaos and into successes a full five years before some of the modern pickup superstars had even heard of game.

We didn’t find out who the player’s target was in set because it was some kind of noble brotherhood respect thing. No we did it because we had to, otherwise the set was chaos. It worked because you cannot run a set properly as a team without knowing and following some simple basics.

Certain rules are absolutely paramount and from my position, unforgiveable to break, since they just waste everyone’s time. Pre RSG we worked this out through trial and error, the hard way. By the time RSG came into being, the wing rules were so well established they were like the ten commandments. We obeyed them slavishly, and over time, the new guys who joined RSG were taught them. These new guys didn’t go through the previous five years initiation period so didn’t ever experience life without them. We just passed them on as religion. No one ever questioned them because if they broke them, they would have not been accepted into the crew. The price of admission was submission to the code.

You take away the train tracks while the train is going at full speed and what happens?

Burto and Lee became two core RSG members. They were taught by me. I remember them coming on their boot-camp. I remember contacting them a week after the boot, as a friend, and inviting them out for drinks. I liked them. I took them out in Angel. They lapped up the free tuition and I lapped up their charisma and enthusiasm.

At one point we gate-crashed a fancy party for a company that rented out high performance sports cars. When inside, we worked a set as a team and it was awful, a train off the tracks moment. I was ecstatic because it was a great learning experience for these two.

The girls left us and Lee and Burto looked at me blank faced. ‘That didn’t go well’, they said.

‘Of course it didn’t, but you know why though, don’t you?’

They didn’t. So I explained.

Burto opened the set. Within a few minutes he was telling a good DHV story about being a croupier and the whole group was listening. The girls liked it. So far so good, BUT then Lee started talking to one of the girls, the  blonde girl. He took her away from Burto’s story and just started escalating her physically. Now… How did Lee know that she wasn’t Burto’s target? Well the answer is, he didn’t.

And the truth is, she was Burto’s target. And now with his target gone, Burto simply shrigged his shoulders and settled for second best. The less attractive brunette. She paid him good attention after his croupier story, so he dutifully negged her gently. But the problem is, she wasn’t the hot girl of the group. Lee had taken the hot one out of the conversation. So Burto’s neg, designed to be used on the hot target who is not used to being talked to like a normal person, well his neg lands badly on the obstacle.

He’s basically just raised his value and then been rude to the obstacle as a reward for her appreciation. Lee at the same time stole Burto’s target and illegally reversed the set – making himself the player and Burto the wing. Burto didn’t pick up on this, and continued as he’d begun, as the Player. Both men were Player, doing whatever they wanted and no one was Wing.

Other stuff happened, but all you need to know is that it was just a car crash. The girls ejected.

It’s a fucking core principal of game, when in a group, a good player who knows what he is doing may well direct attention at the obstacles and ignore the target, leaving her to be slightly on the outskirts of the conversation but exposed to his value spikes. The wing’s job is to understand this and go with it. His job is not to distract the target so she doesn’t see or hear the player’s DHVs.

It’s a principal of game. It’s a principal of team work.

  • He who opens the set, owns the set. If you’re a wing, keep your fucking hands in your pockets and do as you’re damn well told by your player.
  • When you’re the wing, your first concern is not how pretty the girls are, it’s to find out who the player’s target is.

We didn’t establish those rules to be grandiose or humiliating. We established them because they were absolutely crucial to our success and we found it out the hard way.

A top quality girl usually has options. You often need to lay some ground work to get her keen. This ground work might be an hour of DHV. It’s not as simple as just pawing at her and saying ‘I like your bracelet’. You want to make yourself a prize and coax her into chasing you. This is what working a set is. It’s called ‘game’.

For this reason you just can’t run a set as a free for all. ‘Anything goes’ is the road to chaos. You need rule one (he who opens the set, owns the set) because it dictates the spider diagram that co-ordinates the rest of the interaction. I’m telling you. If you don’t believe me then go find out for yourself, but it’s your own time you’re wasting.

I told all this to Bodi last week. He wouldn’t have it, he knew better. ‘You don’t need all that; it just leads to falling out’. I just said ‘OK’. I don’t argue or try to convince people anymore. I’ll give them the facts as I see them; I don’t need to justify myself. It’s up to them what they do with the knowledge I give them.

So to come to the set with the students last night, here’s what happened.

Player stops two girls in the park. Wing, joins him.

Player leads the interaction and every now and again Wing chips in, supporting Player’s vibe and relieving him of the pressure of having to perform 100% all the time.

After ten minutes both girls were well invested so the Player invites them to go for a drink. They decline, as they have to go and meet friends. So the offer of ‘some other time’ is put out there by the Player.

‘Maybe’ the girls say coyly, smiling. Game on.

So the Player, as per pickup 101, stacked the conversation and carried on. He starts, however, to falter, so the Wing picks up more of the set in the final third. He senses the need to close so he goes for it.

The Wing says, ‘guys, listen, let’s be honest, you’ve got it made here, you’ve hit the jackpot, we’re charming and handsome. Now what’s the worst that can happen? You come for a coffee with us, we just talk and laugh. No big deal’.

The girls say ‘we can’t come NOW’. And there’s a pause. The Player is looking at the Wing; the Wing is looking at the Player. No one is saying the words ‘OK, let’s swap numbers and go out tomorrow’.

The girls leave.

So in the post mortem, we all agree that everyone in that set wanted to swap numbers. The player says the following:

‘I was waiting for the Wing to get that red-haired girls number. I felt it was the strongest connection’.

The Wing says: ‘I had no idea about that. I suppose I kind of liked the blonde, but… I thought the Player was going to ask for the red-heads number’.

The Player liked the read head and the Wing (not that it matters) liked the blonde. The girls liked them both. And the upshot is they’ll all never meet each other again.

If the Player had just followed the rules they’d both be on a date today with two cute girls, but because he abandoned the rules, the train came off the tracks.

It’s the Player’s set. He opened it, so he’s the player and he’s responsible for the set. Not the Wing. In this situation the Wing couldn’t be sure who the Player was interested in or what the player wanted to do with the set. The last thing the Wing wants to do is be the one to take the number. It’s likely to hijack the Player’s set.

‘I was alright in the Wing having the set though’, the Player defended himself. But how was the Wing supposed to know this? Telepathy? The Player never told him.

All the Wing knew was this:

‘The Player is in set and I’m here to support him, I don’t know any more than that until he tells me. Until he tells me, I just sit tight and follow his lead’.

The Player has to manage the number close because only he knows what he wants to happen. I remember once a guy called Blue purposely letting a set leave the bar because he knew which bar they were going to and he knew he’d see them later. It was a ‘take away’. So he let the set go. We were all puzzled in the moment but it was his set so we went with it. When the set left, he explained and we all nodded in agreement. It was classy game by Blue. The take away was crucial, the girl was hot and the hour between leaving and seeing him again, she’d had time to dwell on his absence. She didn’t know he knew where she was going to be. So when he turned up, she was delighted and threw herself at him. It was a ballsy move and it worked.

The worst thing that could have happened would be for Blue’s wings to ‘help’ him by swapping numbers and thus maintaining the means of communication. He’d put a couple of hours into that set and his decision was that he needed to be ‘the one that got away’. He’d have been furious if some Wing got above his station and ruined his hard work.

It used to happen to us all the time. The rules stopped it happening.

But going back to last night, it gets worse.

‘Yes but, although I really liked the red-head, I thought the connection was a bit stronger with the Wing, so I just thought he should have the set instead. What else could I do’, the Player whined.

And this is the core of the whole problem. This is where we have lost our principles. We’ve all lost our minds. I got angry at this point. I even banged my fist on the table.

‘What else could I do?!’ Are you a fucking seducer of women or not? What the fuck is that comment?

Don’t tell me that you see girl you like, talk to her for ten minutes and because you think she fancies your mate, you give up? What in all fuckwhittery is that about? Who gives a shit who some skirt fancies after 10 minutes of conversation? If any of the former crew had cared who their targets fancied in the first ten minutes of meeting them… well Burto would never have got laid for one thing.

Do you honestly think I ever gave a shit who my target fancied in the first 10 minutes of the set?

It doesn’t matter who she likes initially. You’re a player. You’re in game. Who she likes after ten minutes is irrelevant. Your only concern is HOW YOU’RE GOING TO GET HER TO LIKE YOU OVER THE NEXT HOUR. That’s game. Taking a girl from not even knowing you existed, to seeing what a magical man you are. Being that man.

I’ll tell you what isn’t game. Flipping stones by stopping 30 girls in the street each day and just hoping one of them likes you. Dividing sets up according to some 20 year old’s fleeting whimsy isn’t game. It’s amateur pussy chasing. You’re totally subject to the whims of the skirt. You’re nothing. You’re not a pick up artist; you’re just a chode who is more committed to pussy begging than the usual chode.

Now, if a player wants to relinquish a set, he can do, it’s his prerogative as owner of the set. He just has to let Wing know.

You can’t have two conductors. You can’t have two captains. You have one, he makes the calls.

What game needs is a renaissance. The golden era of hopeful PUAs has long passed and we’re left with the next generation – so called ‘day gamers’ without a clue, who just spam-open girls on the street and hope for the best. No technique, no finesse and no game, just desperate stone flipping zombies and following the girl’s frame. This is why they don’t get hot women. I see them, the ‘Nu-Gamers’ as Bodi calls them. They’re rarely in set with anything over a 7. I see them all around Eastern Europe. Ruining it for everyone else.

We’re all as guilty as anyone for contributing to this decay. For years we have all said things like ‘day game is king’ and ‘get out there, crank some sets, there’s always the next set’. But the difference is that we’ve done our long apprenticeships in the bars and clubs of London. We’ve spent our Sundays obsessing over ‘was that neg too hard in that set with the green skirt girl?’ We know how to work a real set, not a day game set. And we don’t chase average skirt.

Day game has slipped from being an art, a hard won skill set, to being no different from street leafleting and charity mugging. They’re an eye-sore even more so than those guys ten years ago with the flashing top hats, because the top hats at least got the principals.