Welcome to Hell

welcome to hell e-book

Book review of Welcome to Hell by “Bad” Billy Pratt


I’ve been reading Bad Billy’s blog Kill to Party for many years. In a sphere of game and neoreaction, his site is more a mix of personal dating horror stories and thwarted romantic dreams presented through the lens of pop culture as he attempts to pull apart what the hell happened to GenX.

Welcome to Hell is a collection of these blog posts but it also holds together as a book because the themes develop throughout.

Rather than blame everything on Boomers, his attention is focused inward:

Despite all the nihilistic postering, it’s important to remember that Generation X wasn’t the one with all the school shootings. The murky attitude was as shallow as the cuts on their wrists; it was a fashion accessory, it was an act, it was total bullshit. Even if they didn’t become noteworthy go-getters, GenX eventually had to grow up into lame adults.

Though carefully outside the mainstream Manosphere, Billy gets drawn into the last decade’s Manofads. One of the most interesting chapters is about his addiction to kratom, which he describes alongside the self-destruction of the Stone Temple Pilot’s lead singer:

Kratom isn’t heroin. The decline isn’t sharp; it’s subtle . . . Double the dose, double the productivity. (. . .) Actually, I was posting on Twitter more than I was doing any real writing . . .

Compensating for his failing body, Weiland doubled-down on his drug use, but what had worked in the past to push him to his spiritual limits had only served to destroy what was left . . .

Know the rules of the game and decide how you want to play: a long life of potential mediocrity or a creative energy that burns with the fire of 1,000 suns. The defiant man can make this decision for himself and deal with the consequences of his actions.

Dating after one’s teenage years is a game of chicken:

This is your first date, and you’re a sucker if you let her think you like her. She wants to feel your contempt . . .

This is what you get for being single at 40. Meaning dies the further you get from your teenage years until you’re whisked off into the middle of the ocean to drown. Middle-aged women read books about being brave while starting inspirational Instagram pages; men learn the right worlds to say, in the right order, to get to the end of the game. If you’re looking for meaning in any of this, you lose.

Billy’s main thesis throughout his writing is that true love is only possible in one’s teenage years. Let that high school sweetheart slip away instead of knocking her up, marrying and making the most of it, and life becomes increasingly absurd; endless dead-end dating with people who are too similarly corrupted to ever bond again.

Billy’s life has paralleled my own in many ways. It’s eerie, actually:

I’d get to work [extremely early] and watch old MTV videos on YouTube. Stuff you couldn’t have fully appreciated upon initial airing. When I got to 1979 (1996), I found myself watching on repeat, my eyes welling with tears, in what would become my morning ritual for the rest of the year.

Where we differ is that he sees his teenage years as the foundational part his life and thinks that anyone who dismisses that age is a heartless monster. That’s probably because his experience of youth was different to mine. Some of us prefer not to think about high school anymore and are relieved that it’s over. Old age is a blessing for some.

Still, the early bonding observation is legit. Most of the people I know who married, got married young. If not to a high school sweetheart then to a high school friend or someone they met in their 20s. After 30 or so, something snaps in both men and women who are still unmarried. Dating feels like play-acting and we feel too old for the game. Slightly embarrassed. Knowing it won’t go anywhere. I’ll get bored, she’ll pine for the famous DJ who banged her out when she was 21.

I don’t know what the solution is for Billy. For me, it’s acceptance. Attempt a serious relationship that feels a bit stilted compared to teen romance, remain a cad or become a monk. What else is there?

In any case, most of those who marry their high school lover end up in one of the above categories anyway. The swoon we get from a sixteen-year-old snog does not persist once we’re forty and yelling at the kids to turn down that Godawful racket. It’s a different kind of love by then, they tell me.

Welcome to Hell is a unique book – at once a nostalgic trip through 90s film and music, an autopsy of modern relationships and an honest memoir. It is sometimes as dark as the title suggests but not, in my opinion, self-pitying or bitter. It is an attempt to describe a hidden truth.

The cover, by the way, depicts Casey Anthony, who allegedly killed her toddler so she could keep partying. Hence, ‘Kill to Party’. What better icon for the lost remnants of GenX.

12 comments

  1. thedeti · April 27

    “In a sphere of game and neoreaction”

    Is anyone even talking about neoreaction anymore?

    Like

  2. lemmiwinks · April 27

    My high school sweetheart was my first true love, an intense, burning passion. She cheated on me at uni, most likely in O week i.e. immediately after she arrived. It’s OK though, we banged it out a few years later.

    Though I never knew about “game”, after a few drinks I certainly enjoyed chatting up the ladies, with moderate success. Some evolved into relationships whether I was looking for it or not.

    As an outsider, what I see in the, err, mature age PUA crowd is Peter Pan syndrome. You should have put away those childhood things a long time ago boys. I’ve been there. I used to internally lament news of people getting married or pregnant, though I was socially aware enough to say the right things.

    Relationships, particularly meaningful ones are tricky, however much growth comes from these things. Don’t expect the burning passion of a couple of 16 year olds when you’re older and hopefully more mature. A slow fire burns longer.

    I guess I’m trying to say, good isn’t easy. Certainly nothing puts life into perspective quite so well as a teething rusk ground into the upholstery of your formerly precious car. Otherwise you might end up arranging your DVD collection by the Dewy decimal system or something.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lemmiwinks · April 27

      P.s. I have fond memories of The Smashing Pumpkins etc as my best friends and I used to get pissed listening to them. When we were three sheets to the wind, as it were, off to the pub! Unlike Billy I don’t get choked up when I hear that music, I don’t even get the urge to get drunk.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Nikolai Vladivostok · April 27

        A lot of people hate the Smashing Pumpkins but can only remember a couple of songs. A lot was hidden behind 90s wankery. Put on an album and people say, wow they’re actually pretty good.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Elentari · April 27

      “Otherwise you might end up arranging your DVD collection by the Dewy decimal system or something.”
      You say that like it’s a bad thing 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. dickycone · April 27

    “Attempt a serious relationship that feels a bit stilted compared to teen romance, remain a cad or become a monk. What else is there?”

    I think where guys like you and KTP err is in thinking there’s much else to life than having kids and taking care of them. That, and serving God. Peter Pan syndrome, like lemmiwinks said above. Unless you’re a modern-day Nikola Tesla or cut out to be a priest, there isn’t a lot of meaning in much else than having a family. It’s what we were designed to do. That’s something you can accept, or you can think of yourself as special and above the human condition and continue to write book after book trying to find meaning in something else.

    Don’t worry about love. I’ve been in love with so many women that if I had to list them all right now I’d probably forget at least a few. They were nice and everything, but nothing compared to what I have with the one special woman who’s the mother of my children.

    This reminds me that you might be in Latin America now, where the best God-fearing women left in the world are, in my opinion.

    Liked by 2 people

    • lemmiwinks · April 28

      This gets to the heart of the matter. I was seriously dead against ever having kids, I could never figure out why a person would ruin their life like that. However we reached a critical point in the relationship. I realised I could choose to start a family or leave the relationship, those were the only options. So after thinking it over pretty hard, even though at the time I didn’t really want to, I started a family.

      I expect the manosphere would have advised me to dump her and move on or something, but honestly, my only regret is that I didn’t do it 10 years earlier. Seriously.

      Has it been all beer and skittles? Absolutely not. Have I made compromises? Certainly, but I’m not the only one in this relationship who has, that’s just how these things work. If we don’t bend, we breaking.

      Liked by 1 person

      • dickycone · April 28

        I got particularly lucky in that my wife is for the most part just sweet and easy to deal with. She’s what I call “the right kind of Latina” which helps a lot. Normies always say marriage is hard work. It probably is for a lot of people, but I don’t want to scare guys who fear it by saying it’s necessarily harder than being single, especially after a certain age. Certainly some women would be a chore to be married to, but in my case I imagine it would be much more difficult to be single and childless at this point in my life.

        As you suggest God made us want to be with a woman so that we could have children. After a while if you’re not going to have children with her, staying with her makes less and less sense. Substitute “human biology” for God if believing in God isn’t your thing. It’s not rocket science and believing there’s some other great meaning to life out there is an example of the “clever people are stupid” thinking that Nik wrote about in one of his greatest posts. I’ve seen childless couples who stay together for decades without children but it’s a rarity, probably even rarer than people who are cut out for celibacy. I’ve never seen a guy in his 60s still trying to be a PUA who seems remotely happy.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Vizzini · April 29

      I don’t have anything to add, but I can’t “like” posts without an account, so instead I hereby endorse this post.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. thedeti · April 28

    KTP reminds me of Delicious Tacos, who kind of took Roissy’s place as the Devil’s Virtuoso of wordsmanship in the manosphere. DT’s work is top notch. Fantastic writing.

    Liked by 1 person

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