The Quaz exists not to support my views or reinforce my views, but to engage with interesting people who think in different ways.
Or, put different, I don’t agree with Mike Cernovich on much. He’s just not my type of ponderer. I’ve read through his writings, watched some of his videos, and, well, no. Just not me. But until we stop only listening to people who parrot our ideals, and start engaging with those who offer varying viewpoints, we’ll forever be stuck in this realm of close-minded conformity and ignorance and denial.
So, yeah, Mike Cernovich—author and motivator—sees a war on men where I don’t. And yeah, Mike wants Donald Trump as the 45th president (I consider this an absolute nightmare) and has viewpoints on women that I don’t quite share. But he’s fascinating and unique and prolific and an admirer of Las Vegas and Frank Sinatra.
Mike Cernovich, your pursuit of success is complete. You’re the 249th Quaz …
JEFF PEARLMAN: You have a book, “Danger & Play,” that shows one how to, “become a more dominant man, develop a dominate mindset, lose fat, gain muscle, succeed in business, and meet women.” I wanna jump to the last one. What are men doing wrong when it comes to meeting women?
MIKE CERNOVICH.: The biggest mistake men make is failing to understand that meeting women is a skill you can learn.
Everyone by now has heard of hated for pick-up artists. But 99 percent of those guys are scammers, so I get the hate of PUAs. Yet there’s something deeper going on.
If you want to sell more of your books, you’d take a marketing class. You’d read a marketing book. No one would think you’re pathetic for wanting to learn how to sell a product better. If you wanted to become a better public speaker or learn how to act, you’d take a class. Again, no one would call you names or make fun of you. If you tell someone you want to learn how to meet more women, suddenly you’ve opened the floodgates of hate. (The feelings others have when you seek to learn how to meet women is the magic mirror at work yet again.)
You can improve your skills with women just as you can improve your skills in any other aspect of being a human being. Meeting women is about selling yourself. You use a lot of the same principles written about in the groundbreaking work Influence. Men who do not actively learn how to meet women are making a huge mistake and they will not meet the quantity or quality of women they otherwise could.
J.P.: You write a lot about “The War Against Men.” In one particularly fierce blog post, you sorta thrust a pin into the narrative of a single mom whose son used allowance money to buy her dinner. I’m a man, and I haven’t really felt a war against me. But I’m open to the possibility—please explain …
M.C.: You don’t feel the War on Men, as much of it’s invisible until something happens to you.
The War on Men is a lot like the movie, They Live. Most of us are so deep into the narrative that we can’t see the message behind the media we consume. If you were falsely accused of rape, how would you defend yourself? There have been many high-profile false rape accusations ranging from the Duke Lacrosse case to the Rolling Stone/University of Virginia rape hoax. Those stories made headlines. What if you were one of those men who had been falsely accused? Would anyone have your back?
If a woman beat you up and the police were called, who would they arrest? Ask some police officers about mandatory arrest policies. If you got divorced, who would get custody of the children? How much alimony would you pay? Is alimony fair and should it even exist in the current year?
Men commit suicide at four times the rate women do. Where are media articles (more on journalism, later) talking about this crisis? Women’s issues are covered in the media and women’s issues are funded by the government. Even though breast cancer kills as many women as prostate cancer kills, there’s a major funding gap between those diseases. Breast cancer research received far more government funds than prostate cancer research.
Women now earn more college degrees than men do. Why isn’t there a media outcry about discrimination against men in college admissions? In countries where hate speech laws exist, men are prosecuted for trolling women. Yet when a woman started a hashtag saying, KillAllWhiteMen, she avoided prosecution. She wasn’t even banned from Twitter.
When is the last time you read an article in a major publication that was critical of women? What would be the outcry of criticizing women?
You are a professional writer. Imagine I pitch two ideas—“Why American Women Are Broken and Make Poor Wives,” and “Why American Men Need to Man Up and Become Husbands.” Would you seriously argue that both articles would be picked up by a major media outlet? Do you have any doubts as to which article would cause great public outcry—even leading to an editor being fired?
When men and women are written about, there’s a narrative. Men are always the bad guys. Even when men and women suffer equally, the narrative spins the story. There’s an old joke that goes like this: A comet is heading towards the earth. The New York Times headline reads, “Comet destroys planet, women and minorities hardest hit.”
J.P.: Whenever I see people who insist they can improve my life, I always think, “How the hell do you know?” I mean no offense—I just think, you surely have problems, issues, faults, shortcomings. So what makes you The Guy to help us?
M.C.: I can’t improve your life anymore than I can build your house. Gorilla Mindset is a blueprint for your mind with instructions on how to set up a foundation, enact walls, put on drywall, and even do some painting.
Gorilla Mindset is different than other books in the genre as it’s not a pop science book about some new and interesting discovery. We’ve all read those books, and even I went through my Malcom Gladwell phase. His book Tipping Point was great, although at the end of it you weren’t told how to create tipping points for your own life.
Most non-fiction books make us feel good while reading them while not changing our lives. In Gorilla Mindset, I show you how to improve your life by changing habits, identifying negative thought patterns, changing your self talk, correcting your posture and improving your health.
But I’m clear in Gorilla Mindset that that the hard work is up to you. If your read Gorilla Mindset in the average time it takes (2 1/2 hours), think, “Cool book, bro,” and toss it aside, then you’ve wasted your time. You must engage with the ideas. Even if you think the book is wrong, you’ll find value in it by rejecting what doesn’t work for you and discovering what does work for you.
J.P.: Mike, you wrote a very interesting blog post titled WHY I DON’T PLAY DEFENSE OR EXPLAIN MYSELF. And, truly, it was interesting. You Tweeted a photo of a Black Lives Matter leader, and wrote, simply, “This is the leader of #BlackLives Matter”—and people slammed you for it. You argued how the slamming proved something about people, adding, “My existence triggers something deep within my haters.” But doesn’t context mean something? What I mean is, with your background and past Tweets, it seemed very reasonable that you were, in fact, mocking this woman for being overweight and her general appearance.
M.C.: Where did I say the woman was obese? I never said that.
People wanted me to say that. Why did they want me to say it? It is because they wanted to hate me? Or was there something deeper going on? The Black Lives Matter experiment showed the power of the magic mirror and the law of reflection. As our internal reality is subjective, what we see in a person or situation is a mirror into ourselves. An image is reflected back.
Yet we are largely unaware of this. We have deluded ourselves into believing we perceive objective reality. There’s extensive research on cognitive bias showing that our reality is subjective, although assume it as a given for our conversation. We’ve all seen a guy who is tall, rich, and in great shape. Most of us do not say, “Wow, that’s a great guy. I bet he works hard to stay fit.” Objectively speaking, that’s probably true. Even good looking men are spending time at the gym and eating bland diets of chicken and brown rice.
We instead have feelings reflected back to ourselves. We call him a douchebag or say he has a small penis. Those are our own insecurities being reflected back on. Simply seeing an image—whether that’s a real life person in front of us or a photograph—moves us emotionally. Rather than deal with our emotions and subjective judgments, we lash out.
Now back to the picture I posted.
You are supposed to look at the picture and see someone stunning and brave. Yet no one who sees that image has those emotions. Instead people see a woman who looks like she doesn’t take care of herself. When you show people that image and call her their leader, the magic mirror is at work. Rather than say, “Yikes, this woman should not be leading us,” they blamed me for attacking their leader. Let’s say I had posted a picture of Michael Jordan without comment. Would the reaction have been so volatile?
Of course not.
I forced people to feel a certain way by using the magic mirror on them. For that they hated me.
J.P.: Mike, I know you’re a blogger, an author, a life adviser. But … how did you get here? Birth to now, what’s the journey?
M.C.: I grew up as the fat kid in school and spent some time as a kid on welfare. I dealt with all the shame that being poor brings on a young child, and being poor and fat is about the worst way to grow up. Or so I thought before changing my mindset.
I learned that if you apply your mind, work hard, and avoid major mistakes: You will be successful. That is becoming less true in the U.S., although it’s still the land of opportunity. Work hard. Have a positive mindset. Work harder. Keep pushing forward even when life pushes back. You will succeed.
There’s a bit more to my life than that, and much of my life story is covered in Gorilla Mindset.
J.P.: I’m gonna take a stab and guess you think Barack Obama has been a shit president. I think he’s been a great president—and I’ll cite the economic recovery, auto industry, gay rights, etc. as a small sample of why. But, again, I’m open. Tell me how you feel …
M.C.: Obama is not better or worse than George W. Bush was. Both of them are warmongers and servants of the elite. McCain would have been no different. Rubio or Cruz would be no different. Clinton or Sanders would be no different.
The U.S. has no business in the Middle East. We should not invade foreign countries nor advocate for the overthrow of stable governments. Obama also supported the bailouts of Wall Street and he has refused to indict a single person who was responsible for crashing the financial markets. The hedge fund tax loophole, which is utterly indefensible, remains in place under Obama.
Thus I’m not an Obama hater. You must measure a person according to some bench mark. Was Obama worse than Romney would have been? For the most part, no, although there’s one exception. Obama has poisoned race relations.
When a black is shot by a police officer or a white person, Obama holds summits and says, “That could have been my son who was shot.” Yet when groups of blacks beat up and kill whites, Obama is silent. When whites are shot by police, Obama is silent. Obama, by treating blacks as a victim class, has set back race relations by at least a decade. On that regard he’s a disgrace.
Otherwise, meh, Obama is another tool of the power elite. He’s a Bush, or Rubio, or McCain, or Hilary.
J.P.: You recently wrote in a post, “Cruz, like every other Republican than [Donald] Trump,” is weak. I don’t see it. I see Trump as a big talker who puffs out his chest, spews a lot of bullshit about walls and Muslims but—it’s just bluster. I mean, George W. Bush put out his “Wanted dead or alive” bluster, and that didn’t work out. So, Mike, you wrote, “I understand Trump better than everyone but maybe two people, because my tactics are the same as Trump’s”What do you like about Trump? Do you think he’d be a good president?
M.C.: Your question shows the magic mirror in action. What do you see in Trump? You see bluster and empty talk.
Trump is a multiple best-selling author. You sell books. How hard is it? This is a tough business. Trump is also a billionaire real estate developer. To build buildings in New York you must take on everyone from the city hall, New York Times critics, and even the mob. While most of us would struggle with a home improvement project, Trump gets buildings built on time and often under budget. He built the ice rink after New York’s top guys couldn’t figure out how to finish it.
Trump also launched a popular reality TV show.
Thus when we are talking about Donald Trump, we are talking about a billionaire real estate developer, a best-selling author (several times!), a TV star, and he’s also a father with great kids. Why then do you see bluster with Trump? Does he trigger some feeling inside of you? That’s the power of the magic mirror.
As far as the substantive issues go, Trump will be a great president because he puts America’s interests first. Politics in America is understood as left v. right or liberals v. conservatives. The new split is between nationalists and globalists.
Nationalists, such as myself, believe we should put America first. Stay out of the Middle East. Close the borders and only allow in immigrants who add value to our country.
Globalists want open borders, largely because open borders boost corporate profits for the 1% by giving them access to cheap labor.
Trump is going to bring jobs back to the U.S. He will put America first.
J.P.: You surely saw Mitt Romney’s slamming of Trump; you see the money being put into taking Trump down. What are your thoughts on this? Can it work?
M.C.: Spending money to hurt Trump didn’t work when Jeb Bush did it, and it hasn’t worked for Marco Rubio—the candidates that big money establishment donors have backed. Big money spends won’t help Romney, either. Voters already rejected Romney, and indeed Romney did not run for election this year because he was afraid of opposing Jeb Bush.
The only person who can beat Trump is Trump. Trump has run a near-perfect campaign until recently. Some of his sexually-themed jokes did not go over well with dark red states, and that cost him some delegates. Middle Americans love a fight and love a fighter. But—hypocritical or not—deeply conservative Americans can be prudish with sexual humor. Trump’s hand/penis reference was a big much, and that hurt.
That said, Trump is winning open primaries, and thus far has only lost closed primaries and caucuses. With caucuses, there’s a high degree of irregularities, and one wonders what really happened behind closed doors. The GOP will want to stop Trump at the convention. If they cheat Trump out of the nomination, he’ll likely run as a third party candidate.
Even though you and I disagree about Trump and other political issues, we surely agree that this election has been high drama and is likely a once-in-a-lifetime show.
J.P.: You write, “At its best, journalism allows virtuous people to put sociopaths in check. At worst, journalists are sociopaths who attack all who celebrate life and beauty.” Um, I’m a journalist. And I’m pretty sure I’m not a sociopath. So, why the beef? Can’t I just want to document history, events? Does that make me bad?
M.C.: My beef with journalists are several, although let’s narrow it down to three.
First, journalists no longer fact check stories. Do we need to talk about how terrible that Rolling Stone rape hoax was?
Second, journalists are pushing a narrative. Why did that Rolling Stone article, which was a hoax, go viral? Journalists wanted it to be true.
Third, journalists are part of call-out culture. I’ve been written about and there was even a guest who talked about my Twitter on MSNBC.
Fourth, do you know how many journalists contacted me? They called me a vile misogynist, a bully, and a bunch of other names. Did any of those journalists say, “Hey, Mike, what did you mean by this Tweet? Were you trolling? Is there some context?” Journalists are no different from Internet troll these days. They find something about you that they don’t like, call you out for it, and do no fact-checking or independent research.
J.P.: You write with a lot of confidence, vigor, bravado. And I wonder, how do you feel about death? Do you fear it? Does non-existence worry you? Have you evolved/changed on thinking?
M.C.: I no longer fear death because my ideals and books will live on.
On a deep level, I believe I’ve done what I was put on to this earth to do. The rest is icing on the cake. My legacy is set. While I’m not ready to die, it’s nothing to fear any longer. Of course I used to be terrified as death as my childhood was filled with tales of eternal damnation. I do not believe in heaven or hell and thus have no fear of death.
J.P.: You seem very pro-gun. I’m not. I just don’t see how everyone owning a gun is safe. Convince me I’m wrong, Mike.
M.C.: You won’t change your mind on guns, although here’s something to consider.
Humans are capable of immense brutality. When humans organize together in governments, they can oppress and murder tens of millions of people. While American shootings are tragic, someone like Stalin would not be able to kill 50 million of us.
QUAZ EXPRESS WITH MIKE CERNOVICH:
• Five favorite all-time political figures: Marcus Aurelius (for his stoic philosophy), Cicero (for his speeches, read them!), Benjamin Franklin (for his complex and three-dimensonal life story), General George S. Patton (for his audacity), Donald J. Trump (for his mindset principles).
• Rank in order (favorite to least): Mark Duper, hardboiled eggs, Megyn Kelly, Ronald Reagan, Berry Bonds, hand sanitizer, the smell of roses, AK-47, Joe Biden, Frank Sinatra, “The Color of Money,” iced tea: 1. AK-47; 2. hard-boiled eggs; 3. the smell of roses; 4. Frank Sinatra. The rest of those items are of no interest to me
• You love Las Vegas, lived there. Five reasons one should make Vegas his/her home: 1. No state income tax; 2. 24/7 culture means you can have whatever you want whenever you want; 3. You can go have a crazy party on the Strip or relax at Red Rock; 4. Great food, some of the best dining in the world actually; 5. Shows like Cirq de Soleil
• Three memories from your senior prom: Prom was the only dance I went to in high school. I did not regret having not gone to other dances. It was boring.
• One question you would ask Dusty Baker were he here right now?: I don’t know who that is and Googling seems like cheating.
• Grossest thing you’ve ever done?: Had unprotected sex with a feminist.
• In exactly 16 words, make a case for bacon: Thinking about eating animals makes me sad and I wish a vegan diet worked for me.
• All-time favorite item of clothing?: Vests—wear them when it’s cold outside instead of a jacket, wear it when it’s warm outside with it open to let the body cool. Vests are the perfect article of clothing.
• Who’s the most famous person you’ve ever met?: I lived in Malibu and smoked with many at cigar shops, including Axl Rose, which was a big deal for a kid who grew up in the ’80s. However Arnold Schwarzenegger is more famous than Axl, and I met Arnold a couple of times.
• I took my father in law to see “Creed” and we had to leave (family emergency) with six minutes left and the final fight going on. How should I tell him the film ended?: I haven’t seen the film, although have you heard Tony Robbins tell the story about how Sylvester Stallone was broke, sold his dog, sold his Rocky script, and then went to buy his dog back? I don’t want to spoil it. Go watch that story with your dad.