Not knowing 'who you are' is where most bugmen come from:
I learned quickly when I got interested in girls, that I wasn’t what they wanted. I had a vague idea of what made someone 'cool' or 'desirable,' in how to be what eventually we came to call 'Chad.'
I never had a full understanding of the differences between where I was and where they were. I thought 'just throw on a pair of shades,' or 'get a car,' and so on- generally, got the cheap off-brand stuff, and had no idea why it didn't work to 'make me cool'. I was aping their buying habits, dipping my toes to see if it worked, then being puzzled about why buying glasses didn't turn me into Chad.
You see, I had no comprehension of what I was really doing, or who I even was beyond vague platitudes that sounded good in some movie I'd heard. (And if you're wondering, that's why when you question bugmen, they always sound like they're reciting some speech or script. They don't know what they're saying in terms of actual words or thoughts, they just thought it sounded good.) It took many years of painful lessons to start figuring myself out. I worked blue collar jobs, got fat, and realised I was unhappy. It was the trolls, the comments of: 'you're not really happy, are you?' General discontentment, stuff that rang true. It was like early day memes; it'd ring true, and stick with you all day, until I decided to 'start doing something about it.'
Realising who you are as a bugman is a terrifying prospect.
When I caught an honest glimpse of myself in the mirror in my early-20s, I hated what I saw, but was equally shocked by it. Then followed the typical 'stages of grief' followed- denial ("it's not that bad- or maybe this is just normal," were the most appealing lies) anger ("I've been lied to by everyone!") depression (drinking alone), and then I began testing. I got into hobbies and formed better habits, I started working on myself. I dropped a lot of my social contacts, looked up everything I could, reading up on classical literature that people were starting to dismiss as "words from old white men," and began approaching Christianity from a framework perspective, rather than as 'something oppressive.' I saw how it could build a society, rather than 'every man for themselves.' It was a pseudo-codified pattern of behaviours that helped ensure a stable society could thrive. And in that realisation, my liberalism died a sudden death as several things came to the fore: the migration crisis (people who didn't believe in what we'd call a real society), realising that inequality was natural- if you lift and make it into the top %'s, people start desiring you.
Other Bugmen & ProtoBugmen
I also realised that most of my social ties were bugmen. I tried to drag them out of their holes- "come on, let's go rock climbing. Come on, let's build something together." No interest from them on that. I've slowly dropped contact- there's no interest to me in sitting around a table with cardboard and dice, drinking booze and doing nothing to advance myself toward my goals in life, and none from them in doing anything 'real.' They're totally unengaged with the real world. There's no lasting achievement from hanging out with them, barely any stories worth re-telling later. I think instead of community, and of the unexpected joys of thinking about having done something tangible and seeing its effects "out there" in the world you helped build.
What bugs me isn't just the ordinary, balding, nu-male bugmen- they're mostly a lost cause, most of them so deep in the rabbit hole that testing the world they've built for themselves can make them lash out at you, and some of them have power enough to get you fired. I just steer clear and let them humiliate themselves, which to be fair is what most "chads" did when I was a junior bugman myself. But what bugs me most of all are the proto bugmen, you know, the kids. Stick thin, pale from spending their lives indoors. Youth who aren't running around and testing their limits but are instead sickly or frail-looking. They're raised either by weak fathers who are bugmen themselves, or by single mothers. It bothers me to know that I could step in, and help them. I see kids, esp. white kids for some reason, being pushed into being as feminine as possible, as non-threatening as can be.
What to do with proto-bugmen
It’s not my job, and not my kid. Still, I give out a bit of advice if the situation's right- a town fair, or talking with the mom and am expected to talk with the proto-bugmen too, as part of some test to see how you handle kids. You only are supposed to give a quick couple sentences, so make them count. You can see it impact their world like a meteor when you pick the right ones. It’s like a revelation to them, because they've never had a masculine figure in their lives before, ever. If you're going to take this approach, and try to change their world for the better (say you're at a party or something), just hit them with a few basic questions. Don't let them be comfortable being bugmen.
Oh, and don't rail their moms. That will engender some serious blowback from the kid, teenage rebelliousness against you rather than their single mom. I know, 'In general, don’t fuck single moms,' is good advice, but it's doubly important here.
Present state of self
Still improving, still lifting, still sculpting, and working to keep from falling off the bandwagon. I'm not where I could be. As someone who's 30+, I probably never "will be all I could have been." That is no excuse. I've found who I want to be, and I've found who I have to be.