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The Devouring Mother of the Digital Longhouse
Or, Honey, I Broke the Kids
“But boys will be boys,” he protested.
“No,” smiled Big Mother, “They won’t.”
In yet another example of science demonstrating what we already knew to be true, a recent data release from the CDC has confirmed that kids these days are extremely lame. The CDC has been tracking the sexual and recreational behaviour of teenagers for over a decade now, along with mental health data. Teens aren’t having sex, they aren’t drinking alcohol, they’re gayer than ever, they’re more depressed than ever, and the girls are making suicide plans at an unprecedented rate. If you want to see the data, the white supremacist race scientist Steve Sailer, who is surely motivated only by anger and hate, has collected the pertinent graphs over on his blog at Unz.
As Sailer notes, the survey data is based on self-reported behaviour, and people are infamous liars when it comes to their sexual activity. Teenagers especially so. However, it’s worth noting that the sexual implosion in boys has tracked that in girls almost exactly. Classically, boys and girls lie about sex in different directions – the old joke is that you should divide the number of sexual partners a guy tells you he’s had by three, and multiply a girl’s answer by the same factor. The survey data, however, indicates that both boys and girls have fallen from about 50% sexually active in 2011, to about 30% today. Since the survey data are presumably anonymized, there’s not much of a social impetus to either brag about studliness or dissimulate about slutiness, so I’m going to proceed on the assumption that these data can be taken more or less at face value.
If you’re a tradcath, you might be tempted to see some of this as good news. Lower rates of alcohol and drug abuse, less out-of-wedlock fornication, and fewer teenage pregnancies – after decades of debauchery, virtue is finally returning, huzzah.
This would be a bad take. Teens haven’t sworn off booze and banging because they’ve suddenly converted en masse to the moral majority. See: the dramatic increase in LGBTQ identification over the last several years. The boys haven’t all joined the Eagle Scouts, and the girls aren’t joining the Young Ladies’ Christian Society. If that were the case, the decline in fun would not correlate to a rise in depression.
It’s tempting to blame the lockdowns and Zoom school for this, but while that was indeed child abuse on a mass scale, it doesn’t seem to fit the data. The trends in the CDC dataset are all more or less monotonic over the past decade, with no notable step changes between 2019 and 2021. We’re dealing with pathologies arising from systemic effects, not traumatic fallout from a black swan.
So, first, the gay thing. The rise in various forms of queer identity doesn’t seem to be due to an actual increase in the number of homosexuals. Most reports are that the biggest increases are in the B, T, and Q parts of the rainbow. This looks like a clear-cut mixture of social contagion and semi-deliberate adoption of ‘red’ identities in order to overcome the debilitation of ‘black’ identities, as per the Maoist dichotomy between good (revolutionary, communist) and bad (reactionary, capitalist) identities. White kids in particular are at the bottom of the progressive stack, but can rocket to the very top merely by telling everyone they’re some kind of fruit. Bisexual is a particularly convenient identity, since it requires nothing of the claimant: a girl can be bi without having to so much as hold hands with another girl. Queer is essentially a fashion statement, and in most cases (so long as medication and surgery are avoided) the same is true of trans. Shave half your head, dye your remaining locks the shade of swamp water, put a junkyard’s worth of scrap metal on your face, and you too can transcend the original sin written all over your pallid skin. Sure, sure, the chemicals in the water are turning the frogs gay, I believe this is a factor too, but sociological grooming seems to me to explain most of what’s going on here.
So what about the sex collapse?
I suspect that’s multifactorial.
The rise in queer identity likely explains part of the explosion of kissless virgins. I mean, just look at them. Tranissaries aren’t just unpleasantly antisocial, they’re aggressively ugly. Related to this are the bloating ranks of the medically obese. When half the kids waddling around campus are genderfluid fatbodies doing everything in their power to be as unappealing as possible, this will tend to squelch the sex drive of even the most hormonal teenagers.
Not all teenagers have embraced their inner Slaanesh cultist. You still see a fair fraction who take some care about their appearance. Asking a girl out is, however, nerve-wracking for teenage boys under the best of circumstances. In the post-MeToo climate a boy doesn’t just risk humiliating rejection if a girl turns down his request for a date. It’s possible he’ll be accused of sexual harassment. Even if that doesn’t happen, and he gets the date and proceeds all the way to the home plate, maybe she changes her mind later and accuses him of retroactive rape. While MeToo only got rolling in 2017, about mid-way through the CDC survey, it’s worth noting that Google’s ngram viewer shows the use of ‘rape culture’ exploding after about 2009, just before the beginning of the CDC study, and that the rate of sexual activity has been declining monotonically throughout the duration of the survey.
Then there’s the screen problem. It’s trite to observe, but no less obviously true, that Zoomers spend an inordinate amount of time staring at their black mirrors.
The girls are on social media, alternately having their egos inflated to narcissistic proportions by the endless stream of likes, or getting their sanity eaten by outrage mobs that can turn on them in a heartbeat. This is not mere speculation on my part. The moral psychologist Jonathan Haidt1 has spent the last few years looking at the relationship between social media use and depression among young women. As he discusses at length in a recent Substack, the correlation between social media usage and emotional distress is about twice as strong as the correlation between leaded gasoline and IQ damage, specifically among young women. Instagram is chewing its way through the emotional stability of girls, and we’re all suffering the consequences. The evidence for this is now quite incontrovertible. I suspect this is related to both the rise in depression and, probably, the reduction in romantic interaction – boys are leery of crazy girls. Indeed it’s quite possible that MeToo was a consequence of this effect.
The boys lose themselves in computer games and porn addiction. The porn warps their brains with increasingly depraved depictions of sex acts, which I suspect the girls find quite horrifying2. On the other hand, given the aforementioned uglification and crazification of the Western female, and the unforgiving minefield that any sort of romantic interaction has become, the boys can hardly be blamed for taking the easy road. No one will MeToo them for jerking off to biracial midget S&M.
Technology is not only a problem for its addictive, personality-warping properties. Today’s teenagers deal with another problem that is entirely novel in the human experience. They are essentially always being watched and recorded, surveilled by their classmates, their teachers, and their parents with an unblinking thoroughness the Stasi could only have aspired to. Their every action and utterance risks being captured and broadcast before the Internet’s millions of merciless eyeballs. Make the wrong sort of joke and your life can be ruined forever.
Under such conditions, it’s better to be the grey man – to fade into the background by being as unremarkable and dull as you can make yourself. Have you noticed the disappearance of visible subcultures? Only a generation ago, high schools contained a rich ecosystem of youth subcultures that could be identified at a glance: skaters, goths, jocks, wiggers, stoners, punks, and so on. Being noticed, and noticed as different, was the entire point. Now? They all seem to blend together, with the tranissaries as the sole exception. The latter are essentially hall monitors. Their hideous fashion blares out the License to Cancel conferred by their 0072 genders, which both teachers and classmates had best respect. As for the rest? Better to go unnoticed. It’s safer that way.
Perhaps surveillance would not even be so bad if it wasn’t that the surveillance devices double as tracking devices that let their parents know where they are at all times. There’s no real possibility of escaping, of going into un-owned blank space where the adults don’t know where you are or what you’re doing. Parents think this is great, I’m sure – parents always want to protect their kids, and knowing their location, and that you can get in touch if need be, is reassuring. But it makes it a lot harder to organize surreptitious house parties when every single one of the guests risks blowing the whole thing wide open with his very presence.
Why do you think Stranger Things is set in the 1980s? The narrative background – a group of nerdy kids running around doing dangerous things with no adult supervision, teachers and parents largely oblivious to their escapades – simply wouldn’t be possible today. Supernatural elements aside, the behaviour of the kids in Stranger Things was just normal back then ... and really, at essentially any other time through human history. The teens of this era don’t ride off to adventure in wild packs on their mountain bikes, not because they don’t want to, but because they aren’t allowed to.
And frankly, even if they did, where would they go?
The world has been rendered into a plastic simulacrum, soulless and uninspiring. Everywhere there are cameras, fences, signs prohibiting this and mandating that. And always and everywhere, the watching eyes of Little Sister, eager to tattle to Big Mother.
Combine all of these factors together, and children today are essentially being raised in an open-air prison camp cum insane asylum. The boys can escape into video games, where they can LARP as the heroic warriors their blood memories tell them they should be rather than the defective girls their sick culture tells them to be, but this only pacifies them, renders their bodies and therefore their minds doughy and soft. The girls are drawn into parasocial media, which gradually drives them mad.
So far I’ve mainly focused on digital technology, which has enabled this train wreck. I can already hear people saying, okay then, the solution is obvious: ban kids from using social media. The girls won’t be driven insane, hysterical spasms such as MeToo will peter out, and everything can go back to normal. I don’t think that will work. Most likely, this would merely result in Big Social putting the same ‘click here to confirm you’re 18’ button that porn websites use, and we all know how effective that is. The only way to enforce it – and this would still be imperfect – would be to tie Internet use to digital ID, which would effectively end online anonymity. This isn’t something anyone but the useless idiots barking at the behest of the WEF wants.
We might also consider banning devices on school grounds, and while this may be somewhat effective at ameliorating the worst effects, it wouldn’t be much more than a band-aid. There would be nothing stopping kids from caressing their black mirrors on their own time, nor would there be anything to stand in the way of full-blown black mirror psychosis developing in their early 20s. Worth noting is that the sex drought and the rise in depression and anxiety are also afflicting young adults. It doesn’t really matter whether you start smoking fentanyl when you’re 15 or 35, it will still mess you up.
Another possible regulatory pathway would be to try and ban Skinnerboxing. We all know that Big Social and Big Gaming hire slot machine engineers in order to optimize their platforms and products to grab onto the users’ attention by their dopamine circuits and turn them into upvote junkies. So perhaps we could have yet another big, intrusive state regulatory body, charged with policing the industry to ensure that they aren’t making their products addictive. Good luck with that. I’m sure regulatory capture won’t play any sort of role. It’s not like the FDA serves as the marketing arm of Cargill and Pfizer, right?
Getting legislation passed is a lot of work, it is a slow and gruelling process, and corporations have a way of corrupting the spirit of that legislation much more rapidly than the state can adapt.
The fact is, these technologies are here now, and they aren’t going away. Phones, social media, and games will fall out of use eventually, of course; aside from the primary technologies of blade, flame, and word, no technology sticks around indefinitely. But we won’t ditch them until we have something that performs the same functions more effectively.
The problem, I think, is primarily cultural, not technological. We have been introduced to a powerful stack of novel technologies, and as always happens, we’re hypnotized by their promises, blind to their dangers, and have to get a good taste of the downsides before we can innovate the cultural safeguards that enable us to enjoy the benefits without suffering the worst of the injuries.
We’re still wading in the shallow end, too. Mark Bisone3 recently posted a terrifying description of what AI-driven statistical inference engines may mean for the future of gaming, and the horrors that await therein for the unwary psyche:
These technologies aren’t going to stop advancing. We’re not going to turn back the clock. Banning them isn’t going to work. Regulating them almost certainly won’t work.
So what do we do?
The only possible answer is cultural.
We need to adapt the culture, and we need to do it ourselves, from the bottom up, and without waiting for permission from the government, in order to build up psychological resistance to these technologies on an individual level, and resilience on a social level.
There’s no one fix here, but there are a few things that might work.
Nofap has had some success in weaning guys off of porn. The coomer meme establishes the bleary, red-eyed porn junkie with the asymmetrical fists as a figure of contempt. No one wants to be a coomer.
Shame doesn’t work nearly as well on boys as it does on girls. So, if the coomer, combined with the Nofap support network, combined with No-Nut November challenges, combined with dissemination of the endocrinological and neurological pitfalls of porn addiction, have had some measure of success with getting at least some men off of porn, there’s every reason to think that a similar shaming-and-support campaign can dissuade the ladies from being Instahos. There’s a reason that feminists react so vehemently to slut-shaming and fat-shaming: they know it works. We need to apply this to social media addiction. And when I say ‘we’ I don’t mean us boys. There’s very little we can do about that, aside from expressing our distaste for girls who spend inordinate amounts of time farming clicks on TikTok4. This is a line of attack that girls need to develop. Girls need to start telling one another that being on social media all the time is gross, that it is low status, that there's something unpleasant and broken if you're doing that. That's the only way I can see the collective action problem being solved; it doesn't do a girl much good if she leaves social media and loses touch with all of her friends. They have to do it together.
What is most essential is that the digital longhouse be dismantled. The Benthamite panopticon squeezing the vitality out of the youth is not a technological inevitability. It is a cultural phenomenon. The feminine instinct to protect and nurture has become pathological in its desire to not simply minimize but eliminate any form of risk. By seeking to prevent any form of physical or emotional harm to its charges, it swaddles them in straight-jackets, smothers their development, inhibits hormesis, and turns them into veal calves – soft and delectable meat for the global capital extraction machine.
The lullaby crooned by the devouring mother who rules the digital longhouse is ‘safety first’. It is those words which she has used to bewitch the populace into surrendering ancient freedoms so basic we never bothered to write them down. To correct this, we need an ethos of Safety Last. When safety is no longer the highest value, it will matter much less what one was recorded saying, or what one wrote on Twitter several years before. The panopticon is only a threat if people care about the things you say. If nebulous concepts such as ‘emotional harm’ are laughed out of the room, they will be bothered quite a bit less about a spicy joke or an ill-considered word. Little Sister’s electronic tattling is powerless if everyone just rolls their eyes, pats her on the head, and ignores her.
Burning the digital longhouse to the ground will not be easy. The devouring mother is strong, she has grown fat on the souls of our young, and she has no desire to cease her gluttony. It gives her great pleasure to warp the minds of young girls, crush the spirits of boys, and turn the two against one another. Their misery is her food. She is an egregore built as much from spite as concern, and she has been turned loose quite deliberately by the demonic clown cult ruling our civilization.
I do not only single out teachers here, although they are a huge part of the problem. Parents, too, must learn to let go; they must swallow their concerns, and allow their kids to take risks, to do dangerous things. Police must be allowed to turn a blind eye. Blank space must be opened in which the youth can figure the world out, on their own terms. The existence of ubiquitous surveillance means that such spaces must be opened deliberately; it means that small transgressions against social mores must be greeted with a shrug rather than permanent injury; it means that adults must themselves consciously embrace the possibility of danger. It means letting go.
Burning down the digital longhouse will be difficult, but it is not optional. Not if we want to live in a world where children can hop on their bikes and find adventure away from the prying eyes of busybody adults, learning to navigate the world and negotiate social conflict, getting up the courage to jump from the cliff into the watering hole, or to ask that pretty girl to the dance, or to blush and accept when actually you don’t know that boy too well. A world where kids aren’t scared to go outside, aren’t frightened of one another, and aren’t so trapped in their fear that they spend their lives being driven mad by the screens in their hands.
Such an upbringing is fit only to prepare them for the pods and the bugs.
They were meant for more than that.
The first step to escaping the longhouse is subscribing. Rumour has it that the devouring mother feels ever paid subscription like a dagger through her black heart. What isn’t a rumour, however, is that a paid sub is also a ticket to Deimos Station.
In between writing on Substack you can find me on Twitter @martianwyrdlord, and I’m also pretty active at Telegrams From Barsoom
Of the coddling of the American mind, and the ‘righteous minds’ hypothesis that liberals are morally retarded because they lack the full palette of moral sensibilities and therefore limit themselves to the ‘care-harm’ axis.
I once had a girl ask me to choke her during sex, which I thought was very weird and off-putting; when I asked why, she said that she just assumed I’d want that, since all her partners asked for it. That was like a decade ago, when free and ubiquitous Internet porn was just starting to hijack the male libido; I can only imagine how much worse it is now.
Who in my opinion is one of the best writers on Substack right now and to whom you should most definitely subscribe, like, right now.
It goes without saying, but I will say it anyhow, that if girls reciprocated by shaming porn use and supporting Nofap, that would supercharge the anti-porn movement.