A review of Bronze Age Mindset, by Bronze Age Pervert (Independently published, 198 pages, $16.48)

Silicon Age Theatre

Bronze Age Pervert’s (hereafter called “The Pervert”) writings are causing controversy everywhere I travel. He advises directly against admitting any admiration, but his chaos became mine as I carried his book with me.

A Catholic passing through Bosnia who aided in the preservation of the Tridentine Mass laughed at the introduction. An intoxicated elder on a bus from Zadar remarked on the cover but firmly refused to read. Some Australians in a pub with more history than their country spied me reading it and struck up a conversation, claiming it was going to “change things.” The assistant to a senile politician remarked it was the writing of a nihilist who couldn’t possibly be one. An old friend completing his thesis sneered, demanding to know who exactly The Pervert was and, more importantly, his education. A confused Michael Anton appropriated The Pervert’s prose, asking “Wat mean?”

Mostly, I’ve been asked an unusual amount of times, “What’s that you’re reading?” Thankfully, The Pervert explains that one:

…not book of philosophy. It is exhortation. I hardly have anything to say to most who aren’t like me, still less do I care about convincing. This is account of my reveries. I tried to put, as brief and simple as I could, the thought that motivates me and the problem faced by life in ascent and decline.

Bronze Age Mindset is a delight. Truthfully, it’s the last thing one would expect from a Twitter “poaster” made famous by sending pictures of half-naked models and asking his followers how it makes them feel. The book is, however, a delight that requires a level of cultural cultivation to fully appreciate, an obligatory “I disavow,” and an explanation before proceeding any further.

Setting the Record Straight

First and foremost, though, let’s not set any false expectations of this text. This is Bronze Age Mindset. It’s not Bronze Age manual, treatise, considerations, manifesto, thesis, or analysis. This book does not aim for a clear and concise presentation of an ideology, historiography, or even a purely factual account. If anything, it’s a character study; and the subject is The Pervert himself.

Perhaps the most startling factor of the text is The Pervert’s imperfect grammar and syntax. This is intentional. This is key to the “character” our protagonist takes. We see a coy but arcane figure who seems to be a cross between a poorly subtitled shaman and an ADHD-addled Eastern European bodybuilder.  I am reminded of how the French describe reading the likes of Joseph De Maistre, Paul Claudel, or perhaps any of their more engaging postmodern theorists. There’s a showy playfulness that can’t be translated. Schizophrenia is both the style and the substance of the text as you’re throttled through The Pervert’s world.

People at all times try to domesticate each other. Language is used to clobber and deceive others into submission and domestication. Ideas and arguments and stories are manufactured for the same.

Marshall McLuhan said the medium is the message. But I would propose The Pervert’s prose is his point.

Following the prologue, the text divides itself into parts esoterically titled “The Flame of Life,” “Parable of Iron Prison,” “Men of Power,” and the “Ascent of Youth,” and “A Few Arrows.”  What’s far more striking is these are structured into 77 segments. These are much closer to “stanzas” than chapters, since The Pervert delivers them as unbroken blocks of text. Each stanza flowing from the last, however, is hardly defined by the former. A traumatic anecdote regarding our protagonist fleeing a porn cinema inhabited by a loose vampire bat from an old man who’d grabbed his crotch is proceeded with an acclaim for the “dirtiest and filthiest of the Gnostic sects.”

I was hooked.

This mental whiplash is charming, but inevitably dizzying. If you’re not careful, you’ll find yourself in a narrative trance enjoying the humor, rather than a proper study. Many times, I found myself rereading to trace the connections as I’d find myself in the valley of (yet another) Schopenhauer reference. Rest assured, these connections are always there—like any good performance. Challenge is a choice central to The Pervert’s mindset.

Wat Mean?

It would be a mistake to take everything in Bronze Age Mindset at face value. A larger mistake would be constantly asking, “Is this a joke or is this serious?” Our protagonist wants us to investigate “if Mexico City is not the same as Bangkok and the so-called Baja peninsula is not the same as the Malay.” The Pervert continues this train of thought by claiming, “Shanghai can be accessed by Manhattan by secret bullet train.”

While on the surface this stings of insanity, a more charitable outlook might see The Pervert challenging the gross similarities across cities in a homogenous, globalized age. Comparing the glass and steel behemoths from one megatropolis to the next invokes the same feeling as distinguishing slums. What unifies The Pervert’s worldview is disdain and acquisitions of illegitimacy. The Pervert commands us to exit this false dichotomy of “ironic” and “sincere” to understand that “jokes” are more often than not true. There is a reason why in mythology the trickster always exists on the boundaries.

The real world is similar to the apparent, but uncanny, devilish, disordered for us. Its hidden order, the fatal X behind things, reaches for things and aims beyond our scope as humans: it’s why Lovecraft knew it was true, our world is fashioned by a demiurge who is a blind, retarded schizophrenic.

There’s a fool’s gateway that few seem to pass beyond. The Pervert leads you to the door, but cannot push you through it.

Primordial Pleasantries

A comparison to The Pervert’s self-study can be found in Jack Donovan’s quest of barbaric masculinity. For those unfamiliar, Donovan hails from the blogging/manosphere instead of claiming a Twitter formation and wrote The Way of Men (2012) and Becoming a Barbarian (2016). The former asks simply, “What is the difference between being a good man and being good at being a man?”

While not a pure character study like Bronze Age Mindset, Donovan’s work still has the same hallmarks: a personal narrative, generous references to German philosophers, a need to distance the moral and manly, obscenity, a disdain for the current climate of “The West” and those who engineer it, and an admiration of antiquity. The Pervert even answers Donovan’s question, stating “Single minded purity of purpose is true manliness.”

Beyond the prose, paganism and political persuasion, however, we see differences between them begin in what is actually proposed.

Donovan advocates transcending what he called “The Empire of Nothing,” a contempt-filled title for the modern Western world. He sees an escape from the system to gain one’s freedom as returning to the tribal. You only get out via checking out and waiting for collapse while cultivating self. The Pervert’s piratical mindset is very different in its form and end. It calls for the complete repossession of the realm, not simply to secure a reservation. This repossession must be done with stalwart men of “ancient fire.” The Pervert seems to challenge Donovan’s solution:

The modern world is no different in this regard from any wretched tribal society. I’m sure that Europe prior to the Bronze age, before the coming of the Aryans, was similar to modern Europe. People lived in communal longhouses and were likely browbeaten and ruled by obese mammies who instilled in them socialism and feminism.

The Pervert only sees strength in struggling for space, not slipping away into an ideal of what it once was. He thirsts for the mobilizing spirit of the myth, not a sterile history lesson. What he proposes is impractical and dangerous. To make things simple and clean commands men to become an artist of destiny and an artwork to behold. He tells us that “Art is the spring, lever and hinge of any real change in our time” and as Picasso said that “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” Perhaps it’s an aesthetic approach to social reconfiguration that makes someone become a Bronze Age Pervert instead of a barbarian.

The Pervert feels at home aligning himself as “chaotic good.”  For all the controversy and conspiracy he’s managed to culminate over his charming book, the first part certainly seems appropriate. Reservations begin when stating he is separating “good” from questions of morality. He outright rejects Christian morality or any other formal religious one.

I am reminded of Japanese author Yukio Mishima, who defined the samurai and himself by extension as a “manly active nihilist.” Unlike Mishima, who approached this through delicately harmonizing apollonian mastery of self and propagator of his own Dionysian frenzy, The Pervert presents like a professional wrestler’s promo. As such, it’s important to tread carefully lest one gets “worked” one way or another by this vaudevillian.

What The Pervert presents is the idea that better people will make a better system. The mindset is that we must become worthy to transcend what’s prescribed. At the very least, becoming “Chaotic Better” than the “Chaotic Disappointing” of today’s system.

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About Johann Micheals

Johann Micheals is a globetrotting print and radio journalist with a background in modern history, literature, politics and international relations. He is a fellow at the Sydney Traditionalist Forum.

Photo: Getty Images

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