Goodbye Ferdinand Bardamu

It is with a heavy heart that I pen this. Most of the readers know first- or second-hand that Ferdinand Bardamu has decided to take down his online shingle and shut down his blog In Mala Fide (subtitled “the blog that shouted Love at the heart of the world.”) If mine is the only blog in this scene that you read, now you know.

Ferd explained his situation bluntly last Monday:

I can’t tell you exactly what’s happened to me, beyond saying that I’ve been given an incredible opportunity that most people would kill to have. It’s an opportunity I’ve dreamed of for the better part of twenty years, but I never thought I’d actually get there. I’ve spent the past month unbelievably busy as a result, reflected in the infrequency of my posts, and I’ll be leaving the U.S. in a few weeks to seal the deal. Simply put, I don’t have the time to run this blog anymore.

But it’s more than that. Frankly, I’m worn out.

My problem is that In Mala Fide no longer reflects who I am. I’m no longer subject to the conditions that led me to start blogging to begin with. I’m not in the same state of mind, and I’m tired of keeping up the charade. I’m tired of logging in twice a week and punching up articles in a voice that is no longer mine. I’m tired of the negativity and the bleakness of it all. Writing under a pen name was once liberating and freeing — now it feels confining, a straitjacket asphyxiating me and preventing me from spreading my wings.

To put it simply, I no longer want to be “Ferdinand Bardamu.”

I can empathize; more on that below.

INSIDE THE MADNESS

Ferd’s explosive entry in 2009 onto the nascent scene of men writing on male issues, and his ability to touch many other extant blogs with his material, quickly established In Mala Fide as a sort of younger, more fiery counterpart to Welmer Price’s MRA ezine The Spearhead. He had something to say and the talent to say it well, which brought readers and contributors to the flame.

The man himself was a journalistic tour de force, an erudite, well-read, pissed-off rebel a la Christopher Hitchens or Mark Steyn – mixing passionate anger with contemptuous black humor. Ferd consistently produced a tenuous but successful balance between current events commentary, cultural and sociosexual theory, and personal stories giving perspective and depth to his persona. While he alluded to game frequently, he almost never wrote on game techniques or field reports, which gave his ouevre a meta quality to it that lifted him above the practical to the status of an oracle of the issues.

I tip my hat to him, because Ferd lived the dream:

When I first started blogging on that blisteringly hot July day, I was an underworked cubicle drone with nothing to look forward to but high blood pressure and pawing at drunken co-eds on the weekend. I had escaped the hell of post-college underemployment, a familiar hell to white guys in their twenties, into a new hell of ennui and listlessness. I was miserable and cranky, which was reflected both in the name of the blog and my pseudonym. I imagined myself a daring anti-hero, a ruthless teller of uncomfortable truths, a rebel sniggering at the status quo.

His best-known feature was the Sunday “Linkage Is Good For You” series, which cemented IMF’s status as the Manosphere water cooler. A nice touch was his heading every Sunday links post with a different old-school pinup or erotic photo.

The yeoman’s work of compiling a weekly digest of writing exposed me to untold wonders around the blogosphere – some of the people I wouldn’t have met without LIGFY include Susan Walsh, Aoefe, Frost, Sofia, Bronan the Barbarian and MikeCF. There were scores more who either hung it up abruptly or just posted less until their blog was cobwebbed, or who I never had much ideological nexus with.

However, Linkage was remarkable for the spread of ideas it logged. If you wanted straight game advice and field reports, it was there. Theoretical riffs on evopsych, macroeconomics and intercultural warfare, you could get it. Hard-boiled psychological and social analysis was in there too. My Sundays were feasts of new ideas.

Ferd also started a news aggregation site fittingly dubbed In Bona Fide (where he linked among other things my post about the Irish breakfast) and marketed two provocative Kindle pamphlets, “The Age of Onanism” and “How To Stop Masturbating.”

The fact he was able to run all of that stuff while playing music, having a sex life and holding down an ostensibly full-time job blew my mind. There’s a tremendous amount of discipline involved in pumping out posts and managing content (comments, email, cross-linking, guest posts), and Ferdinand Bardamu really made it go.

Ferd’s expansion into a magazine format with other writers illustrated the extreme difficulty in marshaling a consistent variety of viewpoints under the blog publication style. He assembled somewhere between 15 and 30 adjunct writers on his masthead; within a few months, the number of regular weekly contributors had dwindled to a handful. Part of the freedom of blogging is the freedom to post when you want on what you want, including not posting at all when the muse doesn’t strike or when you burn out – something Ferd eventually found out for himself.

MY MANOSPHERE JOURNEY

I was aware of IMF pretty much from the beginning. I had been gradually absorbing the red-pill mindset over the course of a few years when I stumbled upon Dr. Helen and Roissy, the first two sources I read who were really looking out for the interests of males consistently and as a rule.

From there I voraciously consumed the growing spread of writers jumping into the breach as the Roissysphere became the Manosphere. I came into the game scene in mid-2009, which put me completely outside the pro-con debates regarding the monetized “Seduction Community” profiled in Neil Strauss’ book The Game, and fully into the post-Strauss community of freestyle bloggers mixing seduction and game with economics, politics and policy, feminism, biology, popular culture, history and literature.

I was in a relationship at the time, so I could only put this game knowledge into practice in indirect ways (this was before Athol Kay and the maturation of Relationship Game) but IMF, as I said before, provided a generous spread of the issues to chomp on.

I could tell it was only a matter of time before I decided to join the chorus, and I was welcomed to the fold with open arms from many of the bloggers I looked up to. It always tickled me to get a pingback or two on Sunday mornings showing that I had made the IMF Linkage post. It was a real honor to become a weekly entry pretty much as soon as I started blogging, and on weeks when that didn’t happen I questioned myself like a child whose father had ignored his finger painting hung on the refrigerator. Did he not see my posts, or did he see them and judge them not good enough to publicize? Was he playing a mind game or did he just forget me in favor of other posts? Since I considered (and still do) the rest of the linkage recipients my unqualified peers, not getting a seat at the table was a real blow. I learned to roll with it, but mostly it drove me to put out more and better stuff.

CHANGE IS PART OF LIFE

Ferd cannot be replaced, but nonetheless, the community we’ve built will go on.

My mother’s father worked on a bomber crew in World War II, and she told me a story he told her. “We’d be playing cards in the mess hall, and a guy would stand up and walk out of the door to go on a mission, and he’d never come back – you would never see him again. Just like that. Such was life.”

Such is life in the blogging world for sure. Some of the more memorable disappearances in my time around these parts include:

  • The two-man show Seasons of Tumult and Discord shutting it down without notice (although Alkibiades is back baby)
  • The Man Who Is Thursday getting discovered by a member of his church group
  • The incomparable Roissy getting hounded in a story I don’t want to go into which either coincided or presaged major changes in his blog
  • Solomon II getting hacked on the eve of his final (never-published) post
  • The great female advisor grerp getting a bit skittish and removing most of her cultural commentaries (keeping the numbered advice pieces)
  • Johnny Milfquest (nee Workshy Joe) vanishing without a trace

Lots of other people have trickled out of the scene as well; some lose interest and fade away, many just say what they need to say and go on to other pursuits.

I recall very fondly those salad days, when there wasn’t any central repository for all of these writers and we island-hopped from link to link. That was before game got a writeup in the Weekly Standard, before Roissy/Citizen Renegade/Heartiste had become a team blog under a composite personality. This was when society’s (and thus most men’s) base impression of sexually successful young men was either the overgrown frat guy of Tucker Max or the uber-emo shtick of Mystery.

Last summer there was a torrid sequence of events that involved Rivelino cloaking himself, dannyfrom504 starting his blog (happy bloggiversary amigo), and the highly respected personality known as “Brendan” or “Novaseeker” retire himself from this corner of the Internet. The latter still makes the occasional appearance in comments, but has shuttered his blogs and their archival brilliance.

I am going to be honest, I thought seriously about hanging it up. I hadn’t been blogging that long, and wondered if I had what it took to generate my own energy instead of relying on the community to boost me.

Ultimately (obviously) I decided to stay in the game. I had more to say, more that I wanted to say. And still do. But blogging well is a major effort, and there comes a watershed moment for every writer when it’s just not the best use of your time. Ferd says he’s overdue to act on that feeling, and I respect his decision without prejudice. Life’s too short to do something you don’t want to do.

So Ferd, here’s to you for a great three years – all the best.

I’ll miss you.

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16 Comments

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16 responses to “Goodbye Ferdinand Bardamu

  1. Dude-
    I tried to link him, but the site was gone and I thought “WTF?!!!”? You never appreciate shit til it’s gone. But…..I understand how he feels. If I were posting anon, I’d probably get sick of this too.

    If you’re reading this…..stay the fuck up Ferd.

    And thanks for the linkage Hermano.

  2. This brings back a lot of memories. I too remember when Seasons closed and Roissy being ‘outed’. For all that, the early days of the Spearhead and IMF were good times I look back on fondly.

  3. deti

    Ferdinand Bardamu: The Hunter S. Thompson of the manosphere. There’ll never be another like him.

  4. This is one of the best write ups on his leaving. Good job.

  5. Pursuit of Hap

    I think half his readers disagreed violently with the other half but there was a silent agreement to talk past each other while Ferdinand himself decided he wanted to be liked by everyone as a neutral publisher.

    The problem with that stance is that the beta, anti-alpha and so-called traditionalist point of view is not alternative media at all, so half his blog’s message was the same old same old since at least the days of the Moral Majority and, later, the Million Mangina March.

    Ferd is under 30 and didn’t need to be wasting his time giving that kind of person yet another of their ten million internet outlets on top of five thousand radio station programs.

    Hell, Bill Oreilly and Sean Hannity basically say everyday what the beta traditionalists were saying on IMF.

    In a way it’s good the archived comments are gone because they’d tell anyone that the manosphere between 2009 and 2012 couldn’t agree on all that much and that half of them were dads that wanted to murder cads and were upset that modern civilization didn’t explicitly allow them to.

    It was like IMF was a place for those who didn’t have the guts to challenge and threaten Roissy.

    IMF was like a rocket that couldn’t get rid of it’s traditionalist ballast while Houston Control was losing interest in controlling the direction the rocket was going, leading to a top down decision to just blew the whole thing up this week.

    And that’s not even mentioning the embarrassing way untraveled white nationalists pedestalized American women in the comment sections. That was a waste of space at best.

    The majority of his commenters were openly saying that they didn’t care so much about sex.

    So, bottom line, Ferd was in his late twenties and didn’t need to herd cats with a bunch of old fogies who practically bragged that they did not want sex anymore and, in many cases, never did. That wasn’t him.

    In the weeks before shutting down the blog, things started to go downhill with several guest posts that the real guy behind “Ferd” would not have agreed with. One guy was even younger than the host but wrote as if he was wise like the Prophets and just knew he was going to meet and marry a great wife soon.

    It’s clear the otherwise brilliant and accomplished blogger realized that he no longer had the time to exercise proper content control.

    He did the right thing by shutting down immediately after he realized this.

  6. Höllenhund

    The magazine format was a step in the right direction, because individuals who have lives, as they say, can’t normally keep a blog running for long alone, because a blog has to be updated two or three times a week to remain relevant. However, inviting people who already had their own blogs to post as guests was just a recipe for pointless flame wars and diluting the site. The Spearhead made the same mistake.

  7. Sam

    Can I read a recounting of what happened to “The Man Who Is Thursday” anywhere?

  8. R.

    I do take prejudice in all this. What’s the point of deleting all your stuff? You don’t have time to write anymore? Fine, just block commenting, and leave the stuff there, so people can read, link, whatever. Deleting everything is actually “the asshole path”, in my insignificant opinion. It’s like you’ve never written anything… all that time you have spent, all that work, and now it’s all gone and lost.

    It’s pretty dumb, actually.

  9. Höllenhund

    Well, maintaining a .com domain costs money or so I’ve heard, whereas a wordpress domain is free. No wonder Ferd decided to archive his columns on a new wordpress domain.

  10. R.

    It’s pretty inexpensive to maintain a .com. Damn, he could even ask for donations for it and he would get it.

  11. halibetlector

    What really gets me is how difficult it is to permanently wipe something off the face of the internet. You have to set up your blog in a way that search engine spiders can’t index or cache AND you have to set some special tags so it doesn’t get archived. It’s not especially difficult, but almost nobody does that. When most sites go off the internet, the archives and caches readily supply a copy for those willing to go hunting. In the manosphere, when a site goes offline, it’s completely and utterly gone. Forever. The end result is just like book burning, with less ash and smoke.

  12. gaius mucius

    the books should burn. i had a blog that got 100000 hits operating for one year. i was featured on the weekly linkage all the
    time, i was ferd’s moderator at imf for 6 months.

    i deleted my entire site and didn’t look back. the power and confidence blogging and esoteric knowlede gave me carried over into my everyday life, and it helped me make some positive changes. but now i can generate that momentum on my own,

    the fact is that a good majority of these ideas will never become mainstream or widely acted upon… even if they are widely known about… ever…

    in the end we can’t change the world, only ourselves. i think fresh blood will always pump into the manosphere, and that a viable cultural tradition has been created. think about it… every locker room chat i’ve ever had segues into game at some point… the guys that get what they need out of this stuff will graduate though. onto better things and some mighty joe young re-release into the wild.

    deep in my heart i really don’t want a lot of other guys to know about game. even if every man on earth knew, top 20% bracket with best game + looks + whatever win. i’ve argued and tried to demonstrate and red-pill people till i’m exasperated… doesn’t work. i’d rather smile inwardly to myself and live the best life i can, quietly in my corner of things.

  13. Pingback: A look back and a plan ahead « "What is a blog?"

  14. Höllenhund, inmalafide.wordpress.com is essentially an empty blog at this point. Is this what you refer to? If not, do you have more information about where he has archived (or plans to archive) his articles?

  15. Pingback: Does Game Entail Promiscuity? | The Badger Hut

  16. so well written. a beautiful and deserved recap of IMF. i am reading all this now because i just found out that it was matt.

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