Last summer, writer Alex Perez published a piece in IM-1776 called “Overdosing on the Literary Blackpill,” which essentially argues that angry, androcentric, aggressively anti-woke fiction writers must temper their self-published novels and short story collections if they’re going to start a movement that’s big enough to get “legitimate publishing” to rethink their emphasis on ALAANA.

Mr. Perez is not saying anything revelatory. Yes, if the aim is to achieve “mainstream consumption,” aggressively anti-woke writers should simmer down and write fiction that doesn’t totally alienate centrists or wokesters, not to mention women, who are more likely than men to read fiction and (I think it’s safe to assume) more likely to bristle at tasteless or inflammatory writing.

Of course, woke readers won’t exactly swoon if they’re being called “Woke Inquisitors” on every page. Nor will they melt when they see terms like “Woko Haram” or “Super Progressives.” Last I checked, a two-hundred-page anti-woke Insult-o-Matic isn’t exactly an enjoyable reading experience, not for the woke anyway, though anti-woke readers (the ones who’ve been cancelled, say) will no doubt get a kick out of it.

And what about well-adjusted centrists? They’ll likely see such bitter screeds as divisive, more Trump-style abuse that forestalls any talk of rapprochement.


Mr. Perez is also right about craft. Any relentlessly anti-woke novel or short story will only feel repetitive. Any work of fiction that is just a protracted digitus impudicus (though fun, no doubt, for some) will be devoid of complexity and will at one point or another prompt readers left, right, and center to roll their eyes nauseously, saying, “We get it!


Yes, anti-woke fiction writers should temper their expression if they want to gain acceptance with a wider audience. Except doing so will be easier said than done, since “blackpilled writers,” I’m convinced, are doing the only thing they know how to do, given their immeasurable rage.

And what, pray tell, do they have to be so enraged about? Well, for one thing, as far as they can see, literary fiction has become an ideological monoculture, just as Mr. Perez suggests. We right-leaning writers have been honing our craft for years, only to be told, just as we’re achieving our Gladwellian benchmark of ten-thousand hours, that no non-woke fiction will even be considered, much less published. Our work is being relegated to the Salon des Refuses (i.e. self-publishing), and while there’s nothing wrong with self-publishing, we certainly won’t be able to parlay that into teaching positions.

What makes all of this especially infuriating is that BLM-ensorcelled Super Scolds, who in the last two years have adopted this shrill “Everyone off the bench!” attitude toward social justice, are totally benighted. The social justice movement is based largely on ignorance. For one thing, the white man stopped slavery at a time when Africans continued to enslave other Africans and showed no signs of slowing down. About 200 years ago, slavery was all over the planet. (Ever hear of the trans-Saharan slave trade?) And it had been for thousands of years. The white man stopped slavery! Yet many Black Lives Matter activists seem to think the white man invented slavery.

Of course, a lot of wokesters are impressionable young people. The real culprit is publishing, entertainment, academia, who give young people no healthy opposition. And, as a result, there’s no “quality control” to their thinking.  

Here is some healthy opposition: Blacks, who make up 13% of the U.S. population, commit 40 to 50 percent of U.S. homicides, depending on the year; in 2019, for instance, blacks committed 39% of murders. Could this be the reason they’re more likely to be shot by police? Even Martin Luther King, Jr., in his 1957 speech, Some Things We Must Do, lamented disproportionate homicide rates in the black community. “There are things we can do to make ourselves respected by others,” said King.

And, no, these homicide rates are not the result of “criminogenic environments.” Nor are they the legacy of slavery. Nor are these murder rates the result of redlining, which affected far more whites than it did blacks. Rather, as Thomas Sowell has argued, the etiology for black crime lies in “the redneck culture,” the heritage of Irish and Scottish “rednecks” who migrated to the South centuries ago and enslaved black people there.

I could go on, but the point is the woke movement has an enormous blind spot. Yet, in the name of social justice, the Naomi Wolf completists presently at the helm of literary fiction are (by all appearances, anyway) refusing to even consider white, male, conservative fiction writers.

Perhaps you can see, then, why it’s hard for blackpilled writers to write anything but jeremiads. Perhaps blackpilled writers are just doing what their creative writing instructors taught them to do: “Write what you know!”

And what do they know? They know, for one thing, that their dreams of becoming great fiction writers have been smashed so that systemic racism can be redressed, never mind that systemic racism doesn’t even exist in the first place. They know, for instance, that men are more likely than women to commit suicide, to be the victims of violent crime, to be homeless, to use illicit drugs, to die in a war, to die at work…they know that men are less likely to be college-educated these days. And they know that every time they turn on the television, or open their Internet browser, they hear claims of “male privilege,” even though in many areas it is men (not women) who are disadvantaged.

In my twenties, I never would have guessed that this would happen, that publishing would tell white, male, conservative fiction writers like me, need not apply. All that writing I did in my twenties. All those novels and short stories. All those years of keeping my head up, of telling myself I would get somewhere if I just kept at it. All those years of poverty and loneliness and profound suffering. All those years I struggled! Only to be told now, in 2022: we will not even look at your work.


I do not disagree with Mr. Perez; once again, if the aim is to achieve “mainstream consumption,” blackpilled writers should dial it back, just a bit, and write something that doesn’t totally alienate everyone but Paul Joseph Watson devotees. What I am trying to do is simply redirect Mr. Perez and get him to be a little more life-affirming toward these “blackpilled” authors, which in all fairness is something Perez did do in his 2021 article, “The New Literary Bad Boys“; and, yes, Perez does throw an arm around blackpilled writers at one point in his more recent essay, “Overdosing on the Literary Blackpill,” saying, “[They] certainly don’t lack reasons to be depressed about the world and their place in it, with the state of the feminized West and an elite literary world repulsed by masculine writers.”

However, deeper into his essay, Perez writes, “I can’t tell you how many times I read a short story by a young writer in a tiny, new literary magazine and encounter a paint-by-numbers plot of urban despair narrated by an antisocial loser who hates women. These stories, for the most part, contain the same narrative beats, and are uniformly awful in the way only the most self-indulgent and narcissistic work can be.”

If Mr. Perez is trying to help blackpilled writers, his recent essay will be mostly counterproductive, since empathy, not ridicule, is the thing that will finally pull these men from the darkness and help them to achieve writing that’s a little more enjoyable. In the 17th Century, the non-conformist minister Matthew Henry said:

It is extremely difficult…to reclaim and reform the extravagances of other people’s tongues. And, yet, though no man can tame this unruly evil, doubtless, the almighty grace of God can. With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible; even this.

And that grace, though not tied to any methods in its operations, yet, ordinarily, makes use of the endeavours [sic] of men, as means to accomplish and effect its purposes.

Against this Goliath, therefore, we go forth to battle…leaving the success of the attempt to him who made man’s mouth, and is alone able to new-make it, as he certainly does, wherever he gives a new heart.

Give these writers new hearts, Mr. Perez, and you will see that their mouths will begin to change. Break their hearts, and they will be “terminally blackpilled.”