Thursday, June 16, 2016

Grown Up Book Report: Free Speech Isn't Free

Roosh V's Free Speech Isn't Free, an autobiographic account of the author's attempt to host an independent book and speech tour in the face of overwhelming opposition by hordes of outraged feminists (are there any other kind), their brave Sir Mangina lackeys, and the political apparatus of two large North American cities.

For those who aren't familiar, Roosh V is an American born Persian who made a name for himself in the pick-up artist community, raised a few shekels writing guidebooks for travelling men interested in pick-up artistry, and raised a few hackles with provocative internet articles encouraging fat shaming and discouraging rape.  In the latter case he made the mistake of overestimating the intelligence and honesty of the fragile feminists by writing an article satirically suggesting that legalizing rape on private property would reduce the incidence rate of rape by forcing women to take extra precaution to protect themselves from being raped.  A slight clue to the underlying meaning of the article lay in its blunt title, "How To Stop Rape".

Free Speech Isn't Free is Roosh's first-hand account of his experience at the center of a modern day witch hunt.  In it, he recounts the low lead in, the cloak and dagger lengths required to give a simple speech to a handful of men, and the effects the event has had on his worldview.  The tale starts with his first few uneventful talks, held in Berlin, London, Washington D.C., and New York City.

If you've read the 'legal rape' blog post linked above, you
know this headline was written by a liar or an idiot.
When his tour arrived in Montreal, all hell broke loose.  A left-wing mob, whipped up by the dishonest Canadian media and unscrupulous local politicians, mobilized social media and hordes of angry mobs to stop him from saying things that might hurt their feelings.  Despite the lies, threats, and physical attacks, Roosh persevered and hosted the two talks, only to have the process repeat itself on a global scale a few months later when he had the audacity to suggest that groups of like minded men, fans of his writing, might want to get together and talk with each other sometime.

The monster.

National governments mobilized resources to stop his book club.  Media worldwide published hundreds of suspiciously identical articles condemning him for writing a pro-rape article that never quite found the space to mention its title.  Which you will remember was, "How To Stop Rape".  Although the global panic managed to forestall most of the meetings, enough slipped through the cracks to count the fight for and against men getting together a decided draw.
Full disclosure: Following the Canadian debacle in real-time, and seeing first hand the way the media spun lies out of whole cloth, I attempted to join the local meetup as a show of support for freedom of speech.  Unfortunately, a heavy security presence at the scheduled meetup had spooked whatever local guys might otherwise have shown.  Score one for censorship.
The story reads like a spy-thriller - one man and his ragtag bunch of misfits against the combined might of a totalitarian regime -  let down by a storyteller in desperate need of an editor.  Roosh has a strong conversational voice that often drifts too far into the informal.  At times this book reads as though it was dictated live, and that he skipped a second pass to clean up the language.  In a way, that adds to the immediacy of the story, but more often than not it distracts the reader's attention away from the tale.

That complaint aside, the book is a fascinating read for its inside look at what it's like to be the victim of a media firestorm.  Roosh is a very candid author, revealing more vulnerability and self-doubt than one would expect from a man capable of staring down the political machine of an entire Western nation.  Although he has many strong opinions, the book is littered with admissions that he does not have all of the answers.  He is clearly a man trying to find himself, and trying to figure out the sort of world for which he wants to strive.  His tour may have been dedicated to offering advice to men around the world, but this book suggests that Roosh may have learned more from the men who risked their jobs and reputations to listen to ideas their fellow countrymen believed to gorgon like - too dangerous to even glimpse lest their turn you to stone. 

Here is one of those dangerous bolts of insight that should resonate with anyone who has wondered why the inmates appear to be running the asylum these days:
When more pictures of [the protest in Queen's Park] came in I thought, "I've been hiding from these people?"  They were a collection of overweight feminists and limp-wristed men who have never been in a fight in their lives.  I couldn't believe that because the received the support of media and government, I had to use guerilla tactics with multiple operations on several fronts to evade their efforts to cancel the event.
Why are the West's institutions elevating the weakest citizens while attempting to silence the strongest who are most free-thinking, independent, and self-reliant?  The answer becomes easy when you ask yourself which group of people is more likely to resist unjust state authority.  It's not the man holding a sign that says "Consent" or "no means no", but the one who works out, takes care of himself...owns a gun, and is not deceived by invented hysterias.  The class of losers being elevated in Western society is specifically the class that poses absolutely no threat to state power."
And it's that reason right there that I find Roosh such a fascinating author.  Where I would reject outright the sleazy provocateur training men how best to seduce young women of his past, I'm taken in by the aging lothario looking for ways to add real meaning to his life of his present.  His ongoing search, much of it laid out in detail in this book, touches on everything from free speech to gender roles to self improvement.  At this point, he seems to be on the right path towards a healthier lifestyle filled with the love of a good woman, a crowd of little Rooshes tearing around his ankles, and a strengthened commitment to help other men find a better path through life than the one peddled by the mainstream media.  Only time will tell, and I hope to follow his journey as it progresses.

Regardless of how you feel about Roosh's past writing or about his heel-face turn, if you love liberty, and support man's Creator-endowed rights to free expression and free association, buy this book.  Like the author, it's not the perfect book to read, but it may just be the book you need to read. 

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