The Modern Bugmen: A Brief Primer

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Within the last few years, an odd term has been bandied about among the most obscure corners of Internet Reactionary spheres of influence. People in tweets and threads commonly reference this rather obscurantist term “Bugman” or “Bugpeople,” or that we are living in “Bugworld” etc. Now, dear reader, as one with reactionary proclivities myself writing under the New Media Central umbrella, I feel it is my duty – nay, my pleasure – to give a brief overview of this powerful yet enigmatic term. To achieve this end, I must first give context with an artistic vignette.

There was always one scene from my favourite film that struck me as a profound metaphor, given the short amount of screen time in which it makes an appearence: the scene from Alejandro Jodorowsky’s brilliantly metaphysical 70s acid-arthouse saga The Holy Mountain (1973) in which we are introduced to one of the sacred quest’s participants – an egotistical and pithy architect. The overarching narrative follows several rich and powerful leaders pursuing a mysterious shaman (played by Jodorowsky himself) on an esoteric quest, combining various sacred rituals and traditions. Their goal is to eventually scale the holy mountain and topple a group of Taoist immortals at the peak, to become Gods among mortals in an act of hostile spiritual takeover. The aforementioned architect is seen giving a presentation to a banquet hall of powerful leaders of industry, proposing that workers eat every meal at the factory, and go home to merely sleep in endless rows of “sky coffin apartments,” becoming in time the quintessential worker-drones, learning to wallow in their own corporatized subjugation. The scene is a brilliant metaphysical inversion of the profound ritual in Tibetan Buddhism of the sky burial, and the Philippines’ Sagada practice of cliff-hung sky coffins. Where these traditions are meant to affirm the transience of life, as well as bring the passed-on closer to the heavenly skies (in the case of Sagada), Jodorowsky cleverly presents a modern secular and late-capitalist mockery of such rituals. Here the living masses are brought to a state of virtually zombified inner-death in their wage-slavery, and the coffins do not bring anyone closer to heaven, but merely to the empty skies in a cynical utilitarian ploy to save money on living space.

How, you may ask, does this relate to Bugpeople? The term “Small-souled Bugman” originated on the forum My Posting Career (MPC) in a long thread[1] that crafted its descriptive mythology, and went on to become quite a popular term throughout Twitter and 4chan. The Bugman is an urbanite, to wit, his essence is largely taken up with living like an actual bug. Having no unique personality, he is crammed into a small living-space, follows a hidden hierarchy, and has fashioned for him lived experiences and political “opinions” by the hivemind – the popular zeitgeist. He is “small-souled” inasmuch as he lacks vigor and depth; on a personal level his lack of belief in a soul, his contempt for the transcendent, and an ahistorical, metaphysically vacuous view of one’s ancestors is typical. Let us examine a quote from the brilliant essay by P.T. Carlo on a particular strain of American Bugmen:

“…the earth has become a small place and on it hops the Bugman. The Bugman is drawn to the levers of power like the cockroach is drawn to the noxious odors of the garbage can, this compulsion is a part of their innermost nature. So around these levers, they gather, waiting for their “chance” to release their egg sac of bad and perverse ideas into the bloodstream of public consciousness. There are many different kinds of Bugman. There is the Media Bugman (Chris Hayes, Matt Yglesias, Dylan Matthews, etc. are all notable Media Bugmen), the Deep State Bugman (John Schindler, Ash Carter, Ben Rhodes, etc.) The Silicon Valley Bugman (Mark Zuckerberg), the Goldman Sachs Bugman, the Bugman of Academia, etc. Unfortunately for us, as the authoritative work of bugman taxonomy has yet to be published.[2]

Let this article be a brief taxonomy, a study of the Bugman in all his forms! Bugpeople are what most younger mainstream conservatives refer to as “Twitter blue checkmarks”, denoting a certain mindset, establishment-derived beliefs, and overall faith in the neoliberal globalized system of post-war unipolar power (whether they know it or not). The Bugman is an expert parasitic career-climber, forsaking any amount of dignity or sanity to bask in being part of the “in-crowd,” those he perceives as the movers-and-shakers of society. Yet, despite this, the Bugman lives a precarious life of constant inner policing. One wrong move or slip of the tongue could land them in a most dreaded state, that of unpersoning in the eyes of the coastal, effete elites and Beltway functionary class. Let us be clear: even after being infuriated by the election of Trump, to them this is their world, and we are all just along for the ride into Gomorrah.

As an astute observer points out in the MPC thread, Bugpeople are spiritually dead, totally rootless and deracinated, cut off from any inner sense of connection to their ancestors / folkways, and indulge in all manner of hedonistic pursuits. They still love (mostly fantasy) sports, but most of all benefit from the global consumerist system as they are the perfect consumer of new wares and, often, whole identities. They crave power at every instance, as they have garnered degrees and cultivated connections whilst they were slackers in major flagship universities, and desire to share with their fellows the same chic-nihilist, modern-world way of viewing the nature of things. Most of all, Bugmen share similar physiognomy traits. As the Twitter personality Faceberg points out, they are the “phenotype of the 21st century: forward head posture, effeminate fat distribution, hollow eyes, and low testosterone. Look at any younger politician in DC for reference”[3]. They all seem to have that similar look to them, what some on the Right would call “soy boys“, but much smugger, more condescending and unscrupulous.

Let us finally point out that the Bugman also lives a life of profound contradictions. Despite being tin-pot dictators in whatever management position / head editor / wage-slave job they happen to possess, they fundamentally can never be leaders in life – they are doomed to their fate as the great Letzter Mensch followers of modernity. The Bugman lives externally to himself at all times; he and his ilk are shaped by the very urban climate around them, yet adopt trends and fancy pop-psychology jargon in order to present the veneer of a vibrant interior life. As one Redditor observes:

“…the Small-souled Bugman promotes awareness about climate change and praises exponential, unidirectional growth. He stands up for the rights of oppressed women and “sex workers” and torrents HD POV ultra-close-up pornography. He corners VCs at TED talks to tell them about his drone delivery app and doesn’t know how to talk to a mechanic. He tweets safe opinions under his full name. He vapes artisinal medicinal cannabis, gazes at jpegs of nebulas and ponders the wonders of the universe. He scoffs at miracles and strives to be the most rational, the most right, the most ahead. He never watches things grow and never watches things die.[4]

The Bugmen do not see anything wrong with the vast array of cognitive dissonances that occupy their thinking. A lot of them read (i.e. have skimmed briefly) Marx, Hooks, Butler, Foucault and Habermas for course credit, but God forbid the Bugman feel any guilt and shame over their own decadent and unsustainable lifestyles. It is painfully obvious that the corporations, media companies, NGOs, “creative” firms and tech apparatuses they work for have striven to create drastically harmful social, cultural and economic realities -intentional or otherwise. But of course, the brahmin caste of the Bugmen see themselves as the pure ones, the ones who deserve to engineer the world in their eyes, for their end of history must be perpetually marched towards.

Our Western cultural ecosystem has been, at least in part, designed to favour those who have forsaken all attachments and beliefs in lieu of a new internationalist “understanding” of politics and society. The Bugman hops along, having infested all major societal institutions, and in the absence of any higher metaphysical principles to inform their being this is how things “ought” to be. Our Planet is a Bugplanet, and it does not look like this is going to change any time soon!

(Artwork done by Me, entitled “Skycoffins, ancient to modern” pen and ink on paper, 6 x 11, November/2017. ).




[1] My Posting Career. “Small-Souled Bugman: Morphology And Evolution”. (Apr, 10, 2017).

[2] Carlo, PT. “The Top Ten Most Loathsome Neocon Bugmen”. Thermidor Magazine. (May, 2017).





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