Life As River

Book review of Pushing Rubber Downhill by Adam Piggott.

There’s a secret river just outside Adelaide.  It does does a large, irregular loop and comes back to itself. You park your car in the middle then float down the river on a lilo or boogie board or, like some people I know, a baby pool with beer-filled esky.

To float all the way around, through the bush and past occasional tiger snakes, takes about three of the most relaxing hours you’re ever likely to enjoy. And when you’re finished you can walk back up to the carpark from the other side and go home.

You can’t see what’s ahead of you because each twist and turn hides the way ahead. Sometimes the bush becomes thick and jungly. Sometimes the river slows over rocky shallows and you have to get out and walk. There are deep, cold waterholes, ancient river red gums and occasional sand bars that make a good spot to stop and sunbathe or piss.

This is what Pushing Rubber Downhill is like. The young Adam starts in one spot, you think you can guess where he’s headed, then all of a sudden there’s a bend, an unexpected cataract and he’s on the other side of the world getting scammed by a Ugandan hit man.

Adam’s story is archetypal of the manosphere in that he starts out as a young bloke with great potential but no confidence and no clue. In this book we can see how bitter experience after bizarre adventure forces him to learn how the world really works and how to navigate its rapids with more control and composure. Each spill makes him stronger and a little wiser the next time he passes that way. Each broken promise makes him more canny and adept at noticing the faint roar of trouble ahead.

Like many older blokes, I can see parallels with my own life in his tale of becoming an adult. I was a bloody ignorant fool until life repeatedly hit me over the head with its harsh truths. Travel is an excellent education because the hits over the head are more numerous, frequent, and much harder, hence providing excellent learning opportunities to the fellow who can grasp them.

I only wish that I had sought out such experiences, and read such books, at an earlier age. I would have been wiser faster and would be in a better position today. But regrets are for poofs.

If you follow blogs like this one you’ll enjoy Pushing Rubber Downhill and find it a valuable read. It would also make an excellent gift for that younger man you know who cannot yet see his own value and needs a rocket up his arse. I look forward to reading the next installment, Run Guts Pull Cones.