My last essay for Man’s World was supposed to be my last one ever. But something interesting just came to my attention. A book got published in May by a mainstream press, and either it proves my theory, or it blows it up. Obviously I think it proves me right. You might think different, and if you do, I’m all ears. Like I’ve said before, all that matters is making sure that our side wins.
The book is Dimes Square and Other Plays by Matthew Gasda. You probably don’t know the author’s name, and you might have never heard of the publisher unless you work in movies or theatre. But Applause Books is a big deal in that world. That’s why I sat up and took notice.
I’m not really going to talk about the book here. All I will say is, if you’re trying to write scripts or make movies, you should probably read Dimes Squares and Other Plays as soon as you can, and think about what the writer has managed to do with almost no real resources. Sometimes all you need is talent.
Let’s recap my last essay. Actually there were two essays. The first, “Building An Army”, asked this question:
How do we support real-life artists and writers who are working under their own names, for audiences of normal people who live in the real world and aren’t spending any time online? Because if we can’t do that, we’re never going to fully get through to the audiences that we need in order to decisively start winning the “culture war”.
The second one, “The Conservative Case for Fedposting and Selfdoxxing”, tried to convince at least some of you to think about theatre as an alternative to Twitter, SubStack, self-published books and podcasts. Because we’re going to have to eventually start making content under our own names.
Not everybody understood my plan. Let me repeat: I don’t really care about theater. I care about movies, TV, Netflix, HBO, Paramount Plus and Amazon Prime. I care about shit that real people actually watch.
I’ve said this before too: we don’t have writers, we don’t have directors, we don’t have actors, we don’t have producers, we don’t have a hope in Hell of financing, we don’t have distribution teams. We have zero trained, experienced personnel to actually make our dreams into reality. Maybe we can rely on a couple of technicians, camera operators and crew members who are on our side, but what can they do? They’re at the bottom of the food chain. They don’t make anything happen.
OK, I admit, we DO actually have a few people on our side in Hollywood. Some of them even read Man’s World and subscribe to BAP’s podcast. But they’re isolated in enemy territory. They can’t afford to reveal themselves. And they can’t openly make the sort of content we want to see, and they won’t be able to for the foreseeable future. Also, they can’t find us yet.
The “Hollywood Underground” needs to be able to quietly identify us, and find out a way to work with us. But we have to meet them halfway. We have to prove we’re actually competent, and won’t waste their time or money, or make them look bad.
LEARN HOW TO BOMB
Most of you don’t have any experience in front of a real-life audience. But if you want to make movies, you need to learn how to entertain a crowd of strangers so that they’ll pay to see your work. The best way to learn is to catastrophically bomb in front of a paying audience a couple of times. You’ll try to never experience that ever again.
If you don’t want to do theatre, then maybe you should try stand-up comedy. Every writer should know what it’s like to tell a joke that nobody laughs at and then die on stage. There’s nowhere to run when you die in front of an audience. It’s not a nice feeling. At least if you bomb as a stand-up, you’re not wasting literally millions of dollars. You should learn this lesson inexpensively before you’re in a position to cost your financial backers a lot of money.
On Twitter you can get ratioed. That’s different from real criticism. Criticism has to articulate what an audience wants to say but can’t collectively put into words. Real criticism can basically be the written equivalent to a standing ovation. It can also be an embarrassing silence.
Paying audiences are brutal and ruthless. They don’t care about who you are or what you want to get off your chest, they just want to be entertained.
Do you have any idea how long it takes to produce 20 minutes of really good comedy or drama? Two thousand words takes 20 minutes to read out loud, give or take. If you sit down at your computer and spend 20 minutes schizo-posting in Moldbug-style autistic/robot prose, you are not going to produce 20 minutes of dramatic material no matter how fast you type, and your autistic and/or schizo friends won’t be able to tell you what’s wrong with it.
[NOTE: I’m not shitting on autists, schizos or Moldbug here. Just saying that most people can’t handle that style of writing.]
If you want to write scripts (or anything else where the audience isn’t an isolated psycho staring at a screen), you have to get off the internet, get off the screen and have someone else read your work out loud to a stranger while you sit and listen. You will hate the way your words sound in someone else’s mouth. And you will hate watching reactions on the face of strangers who are too dumb to get your jokes. You have to do it anyway. You have to learn how to communicate with normie retards.
“YOU CAN MAKE A MOVIE ON YOUR iPHONE!”
If you go to an Apple Store, literally every nerd working in there is a “filmmaker” or a “musician”. None of them are going to make it. You should listen to them describing their stupid dreams and setting themselves up for failure. They seriously think they’re getting somewhere by making gay little “independent” movies on their iPhones. No they’re not.
Even a “low-budget” “independent” movie costs millions of dollars. You feel like a loser just watching them, because you know people put time, money and effort into this and it’s still a cheap-looking piece of shit. Movies have to look like power and smell like money. Otherwise nobody wants to pay to see it.
Theatre’s different. You can get away with looking cheap. The audiences are smaller and the stakes are lower even when the ticket price is high. Realistically your market is limited to people who can leave the theatre by ten o’clock at the latest and be in bed by midnight. Even in New York that’s not really a lot of people.
The people who work in theatre are all there because they want to be in the movies. They need to be. They can’t make a real living in the theatre. Theatre gives them something to do while they wait for Hollywood to call. They can keep their skills sharp and learn what the audience wants. Nobody is in the theatre for its own sake, except Shakespearean actors, women who look old on camera, and drag queens. Everybody else wants to be in movies, including the writers.
SOMEONE’S ALREADY DOING IT
After I published my last essays, a friend told me I was too late. Someone already had my idea and is two or three years ahead of me. He’s a Brooklyn hipster named Matthew Gasda, and that should probably make some of you stop reading and say I was right. The theatre plan really IS the gayest piece of shit I’ve ever heard. Maybe it is, but Gasda’s got more influence and clout than you or me right now, so we’d better pay attention.
Gasda’s involved in the “Dimes Square” scene in New York. He literally wrote a play called Dimes Square about art hoes and hipster writers. It was written about in The Washington Post, The New York Times, New York Magazine and Interview Magazine. Dasha Nekrasova from the Red Scare podcast has been in one of his plays. I’m amazed I never heard of him until now.
Say what you will about Matthew Gasda, it’s obvious he’s going to get to Hollywood before any of us does. How did he do it?
Gasda comes from the middle of nowhere. He moved to New York after college to become a writer. A few years ago he started writing plays. He had no budget, no patrons, nothing. He apparently couldn’t afford to rent a theatre. He just put on plays in other people’s apartments. He got around that restriction by writing low-key realistic plays that could be performed by unskilled amateur actors. During the pandemic he even wrote a play that he staged in a public park.
This sounds like shit. But somehow he made it work. You can read the book and judge for yourself. Me, I think it’s terrific. You might not be impressed. Even if you aren’t, you should admire how cunning Gasda is.
I don’t want to write a review of Dimes Square and Other Plays. I’m not even sure if Matthew Gasda is on our side. That doesn’t matter. What interests me is, he put around 60% of my plan into action before I even thought of it. Gasda’s created an operational model, and shown how far you can go with it. We should study this carefully and see how we can adapt it for our own purposes.
In five years Matthew Gasda will probably be a household name, because he has no visible competition to the right, and right-wing patrons and members of the Hollywood underground don’t have anybody else to throw money at.
Who else have they got? John Milius is almost eighty. So is David Mamet. Paul Schrader, who wrote the Yukio Mishima biopic 40 years ago, lives in a luxury retirement home. The only right-wing screenwriters and filmmakers anybody knows about are elderly and most of them are ex-liberal Boomers.
If you don’t like Matthew Gasda’s work, you’d better think fast, because in the absence of other alternatives, he’s the future. Nobody with serious money is going to throw financial backing at anons who can’t show their faces in public, and haven’t proved they can entertain a paying audience.
“THE PSEUDONYMOUS ECONOMY”
If you want a defence of pseudonyms that convinces normies (and I’ll be honest, I’m basically a normie), there’s a YouTube video by Balaji Srinivasan called “The Pseudonymous Economy” that was put out by Coin Center on May 28, 2021. But if you’re reading Man’s World you already know that without pseudonyms we wouldn’t have BAP, Second City Bureaucrat, Fisted by Foucault or Raw Egg Nationalist. You also might also be an anonymous retard on 4chan yourself. If you are, thank you for your service.
My position on pseudonyms is obvious. I see the point, and I’m even using one right now. But I hate having to use one. Make of that what you will.
Matthew Gasda doesn’t have to use one. You might say it’s because he’s got nothing important to say. In that case, you’d better find a way to prove that, and prove him wrong, because in the end his opinion doesn’t matter, yours doesn’t and mine doesn’t. The audience’s does.