The anatomy of a bad idea

Don’t get me wrong, I reckon Duterte is one of the best presidents the Philippines has ever had.  He’s not particularly corrupt, and whatever he does, he does for his people.  Crime rates are way down, everywhere.  Until Covid, business was booming.  Bureaucrats were behaving themselves, often too terrified to even demand bribes.  And let’s not forget that it was Duterte’s will that helped the government win back control over Marawi.

The trouble with benevolent dictators is, they start to think they know everything.  Power corrupts in the sense that it makes them overconfident, and unwilling to listen to sound advice or take criticism.

So you get what we had here this week: Read More

Hysteria is fun


When I was in Grade 2 at Nillemah North Primary School, a black-clad man walked past the playground at lunchtime.  He was wearing a mask and carrying a gun and a sword.  I didn’t see him myself but many others did, and word spread across the playground like a bushfire – skeptical teachers were checking the bushland banks and the perimeter, kids were all a-flap as they shared their stories, girls were crying in terror – the whole phenomenon went on for weeks, coming and going like malaria.

Fast forward to Grade 6, the boys in my class were having a birthday sleepover.  Long after we were supposed to be asleep but were talking about which girls we fancied and who was the coolest Ninja Turtle, the topic of the Man in Black came up.  For a while we tut-tutted how our teachers didn’t believe us, even though there were so many witnesses.  Then I asked quite innocently, which of you saw him, again, with your own eyes? Read More

Mad Dog Bridge,550x550,075,f.jpg

Now for something completely different.  Rather than write a story, I found one.  From open source and archive material.

Police interview transcript obtained under the Victorian Freedom of Information Act 1982 and reproduced here under Public Interest provisions.  Edited for clarity and readability. 

While no details from this transcript are subject to privacy regulations, I have chosen to change some names and locations in order to avoid unwanted attention for those affected.


Waratah Police Station, March 19th, 1991, 3:45 p.m.


This interview is being tape recorded.  I am Detective Seargant James Corcoran from the Homicide Squad.  Present are my colleague Senior Constable Sarah Baker, based at Waratah Police Station, Person of Interest Trevor Barnum, and his solicitor, Ms Jane Huld.

I remind Mr Barnum that he is here voluntarily, and has the right to remain silent.  Mr. Barnum, do you understand?


My client understands.


We are interviewing all persons connected with your wife, Mrs Tracy Barnum, in order to determine why she has gone missing and her present safety and whereabouts.  Local officers have already spoken to you, but now that she’s been missing for some days, the Homicide Squad has been brought in to conduct further investigation, and we’ll need to ask you some questions that you may have already been asked.  Please tell us the whole story of your wife’s disappearance, starting wherever you think most appropriate.


My client has no comment at this time.


Yes, I bloody well do.


No, he does not.  I instruct my client to make no comment.


Ms. Huld, do you need more time to confer with your client?


No, she doesn’t.  I told her Read More

12 Covid Questions

There are too many commentators pontificating about what we should or shouldn’t be doing with Corona-chan.  These are much smarter people than I am, but unfortunately they don’t agree with each other.

If I didn’t know better, I’d conclude that no one knows nuffin.

A mid-wit like me should stay out of the debate.  Rather, here are some issues I’ve been pondering that I haven’t seen any clear answers to.  Perhaps these might help focus the debate between you clever people:

1.  Sure, North Asian countries like Taiwan and South Korea seem to be limiting infections very well.  Corona’s just about wiped out in Australia and New Zealand.  However, my question is: what next?

These countries can’t close their borders forever.  Won’t they just get infected in a year or two after other countries have buried their dead and become immune?

2.  Perhaps the ‘exterminationist’ countries are waiting for herd immunity to be achieved everywhere else, kind of like how Bill Gates Read More

Bait and switch

[Written in Africa]

Life is one big bait-and-switch operation.  Or perhaps it is a long line of mini-cons.  I don’t know.  But life is definitely a scam.  Everyone hands you a wriggling pig in a bag for a great price, but when you get home you open it, it’s full of live slugs.

Every single time.

As a child you are told that if you are a good little boy and do your homework and obey your teachers you will get an excellent job and a nice home and a beautiful wife and fun things to do on the weekend, too.  But of course the naughty boys are the ones who Read More

Lockdown survival guide 6: entertainment (updated)

Part 1: Mental Health     Part 2: Investments     Part 3: Fitness     Part 4: Chill     Part 5: Reading Material

I can’t get to the park anymore, so pull-ups and chin-ups are out.  Handy hint: perhaps you can use your gf for resistance training.  Pull her up.

Good-natured pets might also cooperate.

It’s audience participation time.  I’m looking for films, series or whatever that are free and available on YouTube or similar – Netflix is not available everywhere.  It doesn’t matter how dorky or lame your suggestion is.  What we’re looking for is entertainment.

I’ll get the ball rolling:

Updated: The Stand

How could I forget?  Stephen King’s 1990s teleseries starts off great, gets a bit lame by the end, but is nevertheless a good watch if you’re stuck inside and need something to do.  And topical!

Shawn the Sheep.  By Aardman, this claymation series is very sweet.  None of the characters, not even the pigs, are entirely evil, and they are all capable of being very naughty when the farmer is not looking.  Child-friendly, but surprisingly engaging for adults.  We get to know the characters well even though they can only mumble and grunt.

Elfen Lied.  A mutant form of humans in the form of cute girls have invisible hands, or ‘vectors’, that can chop people up.  They have a natural instinct to kill normal humans – but can they be taught kindness?  Warnings for Read More

Lockdown survival guide 4: chill

Lockdown survival guide 1: mental health

Lockdown survival guide 2: investments

Lockdown survival guide 3: fitness

A long time ago, I was in a position of great distress.  I suffered a lot of intrusive thoughts that made it hard for me to do those things that I needed to do.  I went to the gym, joined a hiking group, met with friends, but none of these could calm my mind enough for me to get on with my life.

Finally I started Read More

My short story is up at Terror House Mag

My short story has been published at Terror House Magazine.


The old fighters greeted each other with their customary, shoulder-bumping handshake. They went to their usual table in the corner of the raised section where they could look over the other customers in the restaurant. There were two types of food to choose from: Italian or Eritrean. They were so old that they could remember when this colonial-era hotel served many Italians. Even earlier, natives had not been allowed.

The Italians were long gone. The friends ordered a simple meal of lentils and injera because both were adhering to an Orthodox fast. It was late afternoon.

In any group of three people, there is a government spy, but Johannes and Tesfay were only two, and the other customers were slightly too far away to hear their easy conversation. They spoke freely of brownouts, feuds with tenants, mandated food prices, the water shortage. The coup attempt. The boys who’d been arrested. In a small city of old families, there are only a couple of degrees of separation to both sides of a conflict.

Coffee came. Now they talked about the many shops and cafés the government had closed down for supposed tax evasion. They didn’t speak of Johannes’ surviving son, who was absent. He’d presumably slipped overseas to escape endless national service, like everyone else. They were old men, so next they spoke of old times. On this occasion, Johannes was the one to bring up the hyenas and Tesfay smiled with nostalgia. He had, after all, been the one who’d almost been eaten.

“Think of it!” Johannes guffawed. “You survived the Ethiopian airstrike but nearly got killed by those beasts instead.” They both laughed. Their youthful exploits were their favorite topic because everything was different now. Complicated. It was simpler when the enemy was foreign and in the other trench.

Tesfay stretched his hand towards his upper back, where the scar was. “It’s still there. No bite marks, though! Only the burn, thanks to you. Thank you, my friend!” It was something he’d told Johannes many times before. While manning a rugged mountain redoubt on the Nakfa front, the Soviet-made bomb had sent him rolling down a cliff-like mountain slope, coming to rest against a boulder with several broken bones, unable to move as the sun plummeted beneath the horizon and the hyenas began to squeal. He’d heard other men die that way, and women. The ones too far away to be rescued by their comrades. The Martyrs never aged, never saw their country free. Or, mercifully, what had happened to it since.

Johannes suddenly grew serious. He looked at his friend intensely, as though about to inform him of another death in the family. Tesfay returned his look quizzically. Normally they bantered at this point, perhaps about how he would be a skinny feed for such large predators, or how, if things had become desperate enough, he might have had to eat the hyenas, instead.

The hush and the penetrating stare continued. Somewhere in his heart, Tesfay knew what was coming. He’d been waiting for the moment for 30 years.

Finally, Johannes broke the silence.

“Do you remember your promise?” Read More

Lockdown survival guide 1: mental health

I’ve been in two situations somewhat analogous to our current Corona Zombie Apocalypse.  The first was in 2011, when radiation levels were rising in Tokyo following the Fukushima meltdown.  The second was during my time in Africa, when I needed to shelter alone a lot of the time in order to cope with the events unfolding around me.

About the second, I’ve already written a piece on how to stay calm.

In a stressful situation, your mental health is often the weakest point.  In Tokyo, radiation levels were not nearly so dangerous to me as the anxiety was.  In Africa, the physical threat was always limited, but the whole saga has taken a toll on me.

As the Stoics point out, there is the thing, and there is what we think of it.  Only the latter can cause us harm.  Up to a point.  And so it is now: undue stress or frustration could do you more damage than the Wu-Flu.

I confess to having panicked in the past, but I’m now better able to cope with difficulties.  In this series I’ll share some of what I’ve learned.

What is panic?

Read More


This is not one of my stupid pranks.

I was due to fly to Tokyo via Manila next week for my new job, but awoke to the news that Manila’s been placed under lockdown.  I tried going to the airline office to change my booking, but you’ll never guess, a few dozen other people had the same idea.  I was number 39, they got up to number 8, and they were taking about 15 minutes per customer.  I made a quick calculation about how many flights there would be until the ban came into effect vs how many people were probably trying to book them, and realized that I was wasting my time and also getting the Wuhan Virus by being crowded into this tiny space with so many people.

I rushed home and tried to book online instead.  Bingo!  I got a flight direct from Cebu City.  Getting a refund would be another issue, and for some reason the booking site gave me a return ticket instead of one-way, but I had a ticket.

Then I awoke today to hear that Read More

Performative loops

I have said that I mostly prefer to be alone, but I have not explained why.

Perhaps I have not wondered why.

Other people bother me, but they bother me in very particular ways.  It seems that most people, perhaps myself included, have cycles of behaviour which they simple can’t help and which they are mostly unaware of.

A very obvious example will demonstrate: I know a guy.  Let’s call him Trev.  He Read More

Which book title is better? (Updated)

Quick question.  Which is the better title for my upcoming book?

The Poor Man’s Guide to Financial Freedom: A Realistic, Ten-Step Manual for Building Liberating Wealth on a Low to Medium Income


10 Steps to Financial Freedom: A Realistic Manual for Building Liberating Wealth on a Low to Medium Income

I’m getting the cover done now and suddenly had second thoughts about the title.  The original is the first, which emphasizes that a high income is not required.  The second focuses more on the fact that there are ten steps outlined in the book, which will be the concept illustrated on the front cover.

The target audience is young men aged 25-35 who are in the early stages of their careers, have modest wages, and who know absolutely nothing about managing their finances.

The ten steps are:

Step 1: Don’t Get Into (More) Debt

Step 2: Make a Frugal Budget.

Step 3: Save an Emergency Fund

Step 4: Get Out of Debt

Step 5: Increase Income

Step 6: Protect What You’ve Got

Step 7: Plan Your Life

Step 8: Invest Wisely

Step 9: Get Advice

Step 10: Record and Reevaluate


Any feedback appreciated.


Update: it’s finished!  Here it is:



Also available on all other major platforms.



We do not utter sterile, ungenerous ‘happy holidays‘ greetings here on the People’s Blog, and anyone offering me such hostile tidings shall be sent to a gulag for reeducation.

Have a Merry Christmas and a happy new year, everyone.  I extend this to all, even the pagans, the infidels, the Satanists, the agnostics and the Methodists.  What are Methodists.  I hope you have a lovely time.

The SovietMen team will go on break to our regular Kuntsevo Dacha until the third because no one’s reading blogs this time of year anyway.  You’re all lazing around, visiting relatives, growing fat, drinking too much and fighting with your pussy hat aunts until the police are called.

We must respect and honour these traditions.

Have a spiffy break and I look forward to seeing youse all in the roaring twenties!



Us next year. I’m stripy shirt looking at boobs. FreeMatt on the right making his girl jealous. Luisman is the older fellow in the background smirking. DickyCone is looking away like he just don’t care. College Reactionary 2nd from left fascinated and leaning forward cos he’s never seen a woman’s knees before. The one getting out of the pool is Adam P., trying to hide his erection, while the man diving is the other Adam, escaping the sinful drinking and lewd dancing on display. Thanks to Himself for taking the picture for us and being designated driver. Oh and Gunner Q, moves are awesome and your transition is stunning. Everyone else is also a girl, pick your own.

All about incels

Note: this article contains no links to the forums mentioned because these guys get bullied enough.  Search them out if you like, but be nice.

I am a serial lurker.  I lurk all sorts of places I ought not be – MumsNet, forums for marriage problems, Jezebel comment threads.  I am very curious about these other worlds.  One of the places I lurk is incel forums.

I find them entertaining, not in a cruel way, but in a genuine way.  Sometimes those guys can be extremely funny.  One notable post described how the OP accidentally drank his own urine (long story), and the comments that followed were hilarious.  At least one other member confessed to doing the same thing by confusing his bottles by his bed, and then another member demanded to know why suddenly everyone was pissing in bottles.  There were several other funny comments that rely too heavily on in-jokes to explain here.  For the initated: “It’s over for pisscells.”  “Incel trait: drinking your urine.”  Bwahaha.

Another funny case was when Read More

What Nikolai Did Next (updated)

Hello gents.

In case you’re new, I am currently taking a year-long sabbatical in the Mysterious East after surviving a rather tough time working in Africa.  I’d previously decided to try quitting work altogether because I thought I could, and because I was struggling with stress.  I planned to see if I could maintain discipline and keep active with alternative income ideas for beer money.

I noted towards the end of my time, I was unable to make any sensible decisions in such a madhouse country.  I needed some time away to get my head straight and figure out what to do.

I’ve now been off work for six months, and this is what I have found: Read More

Time thieves

You probably think that most people are just focused on their own affairs.  They worry about their children’s grades, they wonder why the wife is grumpy, they go over their finances, they remember seeing a cute high school girl that morning dressed inappropriately then scold themselves for thinking that; they stress that the boss caught them sleeping the other day.  You think that everyone is utterly wrapped up in his own affairs, and spends his time thinking about personal issues like these.

You are wrong.

Each and every person on this planet, when out of sight, sits in a high-backed chair, gives an evil sneer, drums his fingertips together, and ponders: Read More

Recommend podcasts

I love podcasts, radio and anything like that.  Always have, since I was a little kid and would run to the radio every time they played the Never Ending Story song or the next installment of Wipperginnie, a children’s adventure series that somehow never made it online.

A brain-deadening chore like hanging up the washing becomes a welcome bit of chill time if you’ve something interesting to listen to.  I once became so distracted by an account of an Antifa-related cult that I almost fell off a balcony nine stories to my grisly doom.  My last thought would have been, “What a stupid thing to do . . . but gee, they really are like a cult, for example how they SPLAT”.

I guess I wouldn’t really think splat, I would just splat.

I listen to so many podcasts that usually I’ve already heard everything and get frustrated because I want MOAR.  So please recommend any that you think are good.

To give you an idea, here are some that I enjoy: Read More

The things I don’t write

Paul Johnson says, diaries and memoirs like those of Rousseau and Tolstoy hide more than they reveal.  They give the impression of brutal honesty by revealing some things, but thereby make us think that is all there is, which makes us miss bigger things.

Sure, Rousseau talks about how he started masturbating very early, but neglects to mention that he abandoned all his children to near certain death.  Tolstoy admits that he has gambling problems, but neglects to state baldly that he never repaid his debts to friends even after he became rich.

A person who is very open with you might be hiding a lot.

And me?  Read More

Word from the Dark Side, August 1, 2019

Back in time: A group of women wear uniforms worn by Red Army soldiers during the Second World War and pose with weapons from that era

A pinch and a punch for the first of the month.

I’m literally poolside, or at least I was this morning, and the trials and tribulations of Africa are finally fading into the past.  Life is good.  Holidays are great.  I’m already feeling refreshed and ready to start some real work again – in a year perhaps, not right now.

A while ago I wrote a post about how to Read More