By Thorsten J. Pattberg for the Saker Blog
A Red Pill moment is the ultimate reality check. 11-years old Egon Walther Pillard waited outside the two-level Virgin megastore just around Haymarket corner, Central London. He knew every square foot of the gamer section and decided the place was now sufficiently swell with older students and tourists. He walked inside, barefaced and no-fuss, and straight to the aisle with the role-playing games where he stole the brand new 1st edition rule-book of Shadowrun – Where Man Meets Magic and Machine.
Egon came from the eastern London borough of Hackney. He dodged all fares of public transportation, bus and metro, and shoplifted almost weekly from establishments around Piccadilly in London. He mostly pinched Star Wars action figures and Ghostbusters toys, or CDs and illustrated books for his ever growing cyberpunk collection. Some of it he pawned. Others he fenced. Most of it he kept.
He had to steal those things to get those things. No other path was conceivable. His family was working class and he did not have enough pocket money. However, they had inherited an average brick-built mid-20th century house in the suburbs – complete with a basement, a loft, and a garden storage in the backyard.
The wee chubby boy with ginger hair was not the only young “professional” in town. There were gangs of thieves all around London. Everyone Egon knew in Hackney from his local school, from the boys of course, knew what was going on. Many played Shadowrun. And if not, they played Middle Earth or Dungeon and Dragons or Cthulhu and what not. Role-playing was way better than drugs or television. Shadowrun was for the smartest kids anyway. It was based on super-clever science fiction novels, the game system was developed by American R Talsorian Games, so it had to be a killer.
In the not-so distant future, dark mega cities just like London would be run by omnipotent Big Tech Corporations who enslaved humanity. There existed however a group of resistance fighters in the underground. Those were the shadowrunners. They were thieves and criminals and magicians, the players in a game of survival of the fittest in a dog-eats-dog world. The shadowrunners would steal hardware, assassinate corrupt politicians or hack into the worldwide computer system called “the Matrix.”
To attract wee chubby boys, the producers of those games also introduced orcs and elves and trolls and magic. And to make sure the players would never stop playing, they introduced experience points that could be collected and used to level-up their imaginary selves.
To his parents, the boy explained that because he was a popular role player, the other kids would give him their stuff and collections. Like a charity.
Egon‘s favorite role was street samurai or decker. A decker, sometimes called a rigger, was basically a computer hacker who could download all those killer programs from “the Matrix.” He gave himself the code name T-Rash and imbued in him every talent he wished.
He played nearly every day after school, and throughout the weekends. To him and his mates, role players were the cool people. They lived in the gutters, yet they were in possession of the truth. The delusional London surface people, on the other hand, were sleep-walking sheeple. Their pathetic schools. Their pathetic shopping centers. Their evil corporations. That was corporate fantasyland. The cool people saw through this bullshit and entered the Matrix.
The underground was a hotbed for experimental drugs and pharmaceuticals from foreign Big Corporations. Those foreign Corporations paid no taxes and paid slave wages, which then the corrupt feudal government would tax, and tax all purchases, and tax what was left at the end of the day. It was a terrible regime.
The rulers drugged the population. In their food, in their water, in their media… so that the sleep-walking sheeple would never wake up to their torment and toil.
There was one remedy to this poisoning of the mind however. One counteracting toxin that circulated in the underground and that all gamers took to stay sane. This was the Red Pill.
Egon stole most of his hundreds of role-playing adventure books, snitched the latest Heavy Metal music albums by Blind Guardian or Boltthrower, and pilfered Epic Space Marine miniatures from Games Workshop war-gaming stores. The loot of his thieving sprees he would remove of its price tags and plastics, open all boxes and seals, and then bring them home where he hoarded them and make himself a name as collector.
He got caught pilfering a couple of times, it is true. At Sainsbury’s for stealing Red Bull energy drinks for example, and at Games Workshop for stealing blisters and boxes of Eldars and Space Orcs, or once even for just breaking a posh bicycle outside HMV Record label on Oxford Street. Back in those days, however, the Mets rarely got involved and when they did, they issued blank warnings or banned you from the place or whatever.
Egon stole fancy game consoles too. A Sony PlayStation 2. A Sega Saturn, and once, at a Games Convention in Leeds, he walked out with a fucking Intel 1 GHz Pentium III workstation. The electronic age had begun. The cool guys didn’t join the gym or played soccer anymore. The cool guys played computer games.
The Matrix was distributed worldwide in 1999 by American Warner Brothers. In this movie, Shadowrun was brought to the cinema, but with an even bigger pledge. Instead of Big Tech Corporations, the fantasy shifted to a single Super-Computer that had enslaved all humans and put us into life-support pods.
Magic was replaced by computer programs, patches and updates. The Matrix was expanded and now stood for life as a computer simulation. The sleep-sheeple felt happy and free. But we in the audience of course saw their phony lives. The movie’s hero, Neo the hacker, got an offer he couldn’t resist: Take the Red Pill and see the Truth. This blew Egon’s mind.
Playing all night electronic role playing games solo in his basement, Egon usually got up at noon. He had no job, but that was okay. There was no rush. He was T-Rash!
He consumed sci-fi novels and movies from Star Wars and Star Trek to Blade Runner and Akira.
All around him, the computer age emerged. Egon grew up with Commodore and Amiga, with AMD-powered desktops and Sony Vaio laptops. Role-playing moved into the electric realm, just as Egon had fantasized.
Nobody was gonna make Egon work. No one! This whole 9 to 5 job racket was a simulation.
Don‘t you see it? You’re all in a great simulation! Slaves to the system. Egon was never gonna do something with his life, because that life was an illusion and one day he would be dead and all was in vain anyways.
His first boss was a total a-hole from some train-simulation company in Lower Clapton. The payment was little and he treated Egon like some chicken wager, so Egon‘s revenge was to procrastinate and sabotage each and every project. That serves you well, you a-hole. You pay peanuts, you get monkeys!
His next job was store manager trainee at Games Workshop in Nottingham. Egon loved the Warhammer 40k lore, the human psykers and sorcerers, but also the xenomorph Tyranids or the holy Tao faction for example, but he could not stand the pitiless capitalist ethics of this game monopolist. Management basically knew that this hobby was unaffordable to kids. So their main customers were gays and fags and very unclean dudes who fantasized about elves and orcs and space marines slashing each other in eternal war.
Games beat work every time. The Internet came and made The Matrix and Shadowrun a dream come true. Big Tech Corporations really did emerge. Microsoft, IBM, Apple. Big Pharma really did emerge, just as Shadowrun predicted. Soon, Medic Tech would manufacture cyborg limbs and camera eyes for us. The poisoning of the sleep-walking sheeple really happened, and everywhere on the planet. The Englishmen mostly disappeared in London, and orcs and elves and trolls took their place.
Even long before his father disappeared from their lives, Egon had rubbished his parents‘ house with his vast collections of RPG games, books, CDs and all kinds of miniature games and board games and card games you can only imagine.
Walther Pillard senior, Egon’s piece-of-a-shit father, used to beat him and his mother cruelly. He had cursed the boy as no-good and a mistake. Do something with your life, wake up Boy!
What a pathetic little man, Egon thought. His father was a horrible drunk and got pancreatic cancer five years ago. It was probably genetics though, as Egon’s grandfather had also died of stomach cancer before. Pillard senior died in pain and agony at home under the care of his housewife.
Egon hated his father and was glad he was gone. Also, much more space for the survivors. His mother got a bereavement support payment and a small widow’s pension, and the rest was topped up by welfare.
The time in unemployment was cool. The job center people were a bit shallow, but Egon‘s counselor, a bald Pakistani man in his 30s, seemed to be more red than he was. He had this cool “No welfare, no creative genius” mentality on him. “If it’s free, pick it up!” Bald man arranged for Egon everything from moving flats to a new washing machine and travel reimbursements. Egon understood why all those nigloos and sinbads in Hackney never worked. They were not supposed to. Any Englishmen who still worked in this terrible capitalist London hellhole was either stupid or a hamster.
Most didn‘t see the whole picture. But Egon did. The UK never had a larger underclass in its history than today. There was probably more social mobility and absolute freedom during the times of Charles Dickens or James Joyce or George Orwell, than there was in the post-modern “capitalist hellfare” state today. And that was probably a good development. Time people woke up! Disobey! Don’t be a sleep-sheeple!
The government feared revolt, so it provided millions of red-pilled people with a roof over their heads, central heating and enough allowance to pursue a life of entertainment, music, artistry and escapist drugs.
Egon collected 79 pounds Sterling welfare a week. His sci-fi collection grew from his side hustles. He was a gamer god in the gamer community. Life was never better.
He was past 30 years now, and Egon couldn‘t hold a job. He didn’t want to. He knew too much. He saw underlying power structures and corruption. And since he had gained considerable weight and had eyes following him everywhere, shoplifting was now almost impossible. Besides, London had stepped up surveillance. There were now CCTV cameras everywhere in the shops and streets. So what else could Egon do to avoid the torture of weekly job center runs? That’s right. Egon signed up for a university course!
In the UK, everybody went to university now. And since all the polytechs now also called themselves universities, all electricians, mechanics, office staff and computer maintenance people by definition became university grads. You would be retarded, as Egon and his bald Pakistani counsellor and not a few other unemployed concluded, not to go into further Higher education. It‘s a minimum of 6 semesters of care-free role-playing.
True, Egon had a bad short-term memory. He could not carry the spellings of words such as ‘particulates” or ‘miscellaneous’ to the next page, and he could not recite in his mind a single half-sentence that he heard or read. But the University realized the conditions of its new clientele and abolished mind acrobatics in favor of multiple-choice and box ticking during exams.
Egon Walther Pillard got a student loan right away and registered with the University of Bristol for a Bachelor in Computer Science, stayed on for 5 years, with a double extension, but eventually… he dropped out for health reasons.
In a way though, it was an overall great experience and time investment. By living in Bristol, Egon could avoid his mother‘s constant hagging about the marriage issue. To be honest, Egon hadn’t gotten the faintest idea how this issue could even be raised. He found himself looking hideous, with a weak chin and a receding hairline. He was, for lack of a better word for it, unfuckable. Yes, it was true. For the wetter sex, Egon had always been invisible.
Besides, he was a role player and a gamer. That was a full time commitment. He would rather get a new X-Box than… buying flowers or diapers or what have you.
And last, women in this country were awful. All those entitlement princesses and hypolesbians. The government had talked them into career childlessness and a vicious narcissism. Too bad.
Getting a break from the forced labor market was still kind of awesome. So that is how the elites shielded their own kiddos from working in factories or plowing the fields. They simply invented 3, 5, 10 years more of education.
Student life was a blast, even as an adult. But some lecturers were just crank farts and outright a-holes, and the professors were delusional Oxbridge snobs.
Egon’s mother had mistaken university for job training and bought him a suit from C&A, a Belgian-German fashion retailer, in the hopes he would use it for job interviews. He didn‘t. No one was wearing those clown-suits anymore.
His idle days were spent well. There was a role playing club with a Shadowrun party. The libraries had all those cool biographies about Philip K Dick and Isaak Asimov and Arthur C Clarke, his favorite fiction authors.
Egon got very deep into the philosophy of Tech. He figured that the Mayan pyramids of Quetzalcoatl were probably alien technology, and that the Freemasons were really the Illuminati.
He read as much as he could about Gilbert Harman’s The Brain in the Vat and Erwin Schrödinger’s Cat in the Box. Egon saw a clear connection from The Matrix and Shadowrun all the way down to Quantum physics, time travel, magic and the Ancient civilizations. He read about Plato’s Cave Allegory and decided it was the earliest Red Pill. He read about Mencius’s Dream of a Butterfly and knew there was a Chinese Red Pill.
Egon even began to read the Germans, from Arthur Schopenhauer’s World of Will and Imagination to Friedrich Nietzsche’s theories about the superhumans. The world as it presents itself to us is an illusion we have to overcome.
It all made sense. We all just play roles in life. What roles, the system decided for you. England had a Queen and birth-princes and a house of hereditary Lords – how crazy was that if you really tried to wrap your mind around it? Everyone is pathetic in this sick country. From the a-hole university lecturers to the bald job center counselor to the thieving gangs of London and his own hideous family. And our pathetic toys and role playing games were written in America. Fuck you, Corporate America!
When a man is past 40 years old, it is time to pull his act together. Egon decided it was time to grow up. For the 841st time he decided to do something with his life.
Not to fit in the system, of course. When you fit in, you disappear. Just to earn some money, get better health care for your diabetes, and… you know… keep this vessel of bones and fibers going alive for its brain to hang around a bit longer.
Life had become complicated. Egon didn’t have the mind to do taxes, insurance, pension and banking or house chores. His mother did all of this for him. He was way too busy in the creative department. I could have written Shadowrun. I could have written The Matrix. I am fucking T-Rash, man! I am going to write a work of genius the likes the world has never seen. I am going to write The Red Pill!
He got up early today, long before noon, and the first thing he did was check on eBay, the American world’s online market, at his auction of his 1989 1st edition of Shadowrun – Where Man Meets Magic and Machine.
There were 16 bids, and Egon saw that the final offer stood at 75 pounds Sterling. Oh man, incredible, he thought: Lots of hard-core runners still out there.
He never had been slim and in fact he believed he couldn’t be, because it was in his blueprint to be fat and greasy and turn bald. Cyborg limbs and camera eyes had not been invented. Egon had suffered terrible pangs of stomach ache for the last two years.
His mom felt a little bit proud of her son that he had so much stuff from the little money he never had. He told her that this all was priceless and would certainly increase in value as England’s biggest collection of Red Pill art, you wait and see!
He asked his mom if he could borrow her car. He had long arranged a doctoral appointment and overnight stay at St Mark’s Hospital, Specialist Stomach Hospital London, and he wanted to drive alone.
It was a painful and nasty gastroscopy performed in an overcrowded NHS hospital, so what to expect? The doctor found severe inflammation of the stomach lining and a dark spot, perhaps a cancerous tumor. It was probably caused by the wrong diet and permanent stress, the doctor said. We need to watch this carefully.
When Egon Walther Pillard returned home with the car the next afternoon, however, he really had the truest, most profound experience of his entire life.
During his absence, his mother had called BULK WASTE COLLECTION SERVICES.
The author is a German writer and cultural critic.
“A moment of silence for those who have not found the Menticide Manual.“ –Just a Normal guy
- The Menticide Manual – Foreword + Start Early
- The Menticide Manual – Quibbling
- The Menticide Manual – Gaslighting
- The Menticide Manual – Ghosting
- The Menticide Manual – Framing
- The Menticide Manual – Inverse Reality
- The Menticide Manual – Stupidiocracy
- The Menticide Manual – Perseveration
- The Menticide Manual – ‘The Second Subjunctive’
- The Menticide Manual – Wokeness [or: Euphoria]
[…] and – hopefully not many – more horrifying tales of madness and insanity to come.