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’.


  1. I resonate with this post as a younger guy, and one who grew up a literal dork, a social circle outcast.

    There’s an adage which I hold to:

    “The more you try, the less you are.”

    So it is with hypergamy. Admittedly, pre- & early game years, jealousy & fear of her cheating/leaving would plague me.

    More than just turbulent emotions, these were self-fulfilling prophecies; the more I got jealous, the more I behaved needy & unattractive. Needless to say, this was mega pussy-repellent.

    The solution I found is one which may be cliché, but it’s to focus on what I could control: me. Namely, becoming more centred, self-understanding & self-respecting. This “inner game” or “softer” side of pickup is what I find many discard or place little importance on, to one’s detriment.

    The more a guy worries about hypergamy, the more likely he will be on the wrong end of it.

    Conversely, the more he focuses on improving oneself – which many (day)gamers call working on SMV, or as you call it working your way into Team Top Lad, the less likely hypergamy would even be a smudge on the window of his life/reality. In less flowery terms, he just enjoys life (and girls) more.

    Speaking of which, some days you’ll feel like you’re in Team Top Lad – 5 no. closes in a row, SDL 30mins from street-to-bed (here’s the plug, read my blog ?), 2 girls in a day, loving relationship with a pretty girl etc.

    Other times I still feel like I’m still on Team Dork – in the past few weeks I’ve managed to turn girls off when they’re already in the bedroom with me, and go days without collecting phone numbers.

    So in the end, all we can do is accept the feedback, readjust & work towards the vision we have of our best selves. Or in Jimmy’s (funny) words, train harder to get into Team Top Lad.

  2. Really good and entertaining post Jimbo.

    I definitely not on team top lad right now. More like team sad sack of shit.

    Even straightforward sounding things can be difficult to implement in real life, I’m writing this lying in a sweat patch on the couch. I want to lose my beer gut, but then I got hammered last night and now have a sore head. I’m not asking anyone for advice. Just making the point that getting off team sad sack fat arse isn’t easy (otherwise everyone would do it).

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