“It’s dark as Hell, and hard to find…”

Posted in Uncategorized on April 5, 2018 by A♠






The drum I beat loudest, hardest and longest here is for men to learn who they are, embrace it and develop it.


But one thing that often becomes a stumbling block is where to begin.


Sure, there are myriad articles out there giving solid advice.


Start eating well.


Begin an exercise routine.


Or, the now popular “clean your room”.


Admittedly, all of those are excellent suggestions.


And I’ve no complaint about any of them.


However, I wouldn’t be who I am if I didn’t offer an alternative.




See, I’m of the mind that – should one find oneself lost and alone in the midst of a dark wood…


The first thing that should be done is to retrace one’s steps.


How far back?


As far as necessary.




No doubt, retreading these tangled thickets and gnarled copses of painful memory and traumatizing experience will induce flashbacks of all too familiar terror.


Which is, very likely, why so few self-reflect; choosing instead to simply (stubbornly) press onward.


While persistence and perseverance can certainly be admirable qualities, the culmination of such must be a worthwhile achievement.


Consider: that method (blithely pressing onward) is quite possibly the reason one crashed through bramble after bramble until firmly centered in the frightening, strange landscape currently occupied.




So, I say stop.


Look back.


To years or decade past, as needed.


Adolescence or boyhood.


Where did you lose yourself?


Seek and you’ll find.


Then walk again.


But this time with careful determination.



 “In a dark wood


where the straight road had been lost sight of.


How hard it is to say what it was like


in the thick of thickets, in a wood so dense


and gnarled


the very thought of it renews my panic.”


– Dante’s Inferno Canto I, Translated by Seamus Heaney









“Behind the curtain, in the pantomime”

Posted in Uncategorized on March 28, 2018 by A♠






One of the most touching things a young man seeking my advice has ever said was:


“I have some questions on how to deal with women and breakups. 


But if you don’t want to answer, I completely understand, since reliving some of yours must be soul-wrenching.”


It meant a great deal to me to hear that.


In fact, more than most would guess.




Although my writing may often sound clinical and calculated, its origins are quite the opposite.


See, the things I post are not cribbed from other sites/men.


The lessons I impart aren’t from some divinely inspired teacher’s guide.


The theories I present don’t emerge from a sterile, academic environment.


I leaned from living. 


Good or bad; right or wrong.




For all my flaws, I’ve lived on the front lines of life and engaged with it in all its infinite gore and glory.


So, whether you find yourself nodding in agreement or shaking your head in disgust as you read my work:


Know that it’s all very real.




On that note, understand that – not only is it tremendous effort to put oneself out there honestly – there’s also little money in it.


Thus, if you could see your way clear to buying a copy of my ► first ◄ or ► second  ◄ book, or perhaps donate via PayPal via my email [whiskeyandashes (at) gmail (dot) com], I’d be exceptionally grateful.


And understand the closest thing your money will get me to the “high life” will be a bottle of whiskey to have by me as I write more for you.


That being said:


One suit down; three to go.


Thanks for taking the ride with me.







“I just don’t understand how you can smile with all those tears in your eyes…”

Posted in Uncategorized on March 19, 2018 by A♠






Throughout the course of my life, I’ve been called “bitter” and “cynical”.


Much of my online oeuvre has led me to be considered “too dark” for more than a few readers.


So imagine my shock and surprise when a comment I received read:


“MGTOW is the actual chimera recognition of their evil existence on this earth and the freedom to escape the false dream promised and betrayed. Cheers from reality and how it truly is.”


 I confess, deluded is something I’ve never been accused of being.


Just goes to show that there’s a first time for everything.


But this does prompt an important post.




See, I’ve worked hard to avoid discounting any man’s experience.


Whether my reality is yours, or vice versa, is irrelevant.


As I wrote in ► my first book ◄:


Experience is a despot.




The events of our lives mold and control us almost utterly.


Regardless whether we admit – or realize – it.


Men date women much like their mothers.


Women date men much like their fathers (especially if they didn’t really have one but that’s for another day).


 We all recreate our childhood paradigms in adulthood.


Yet, our’s is not an unalterable course.




So what I do try to demonstrate is that a change of thought (and subsequent action) can – and often will  – change our experiences.


Thus altering our reality.


My road into and through Hell taught me just how powerful breaking patterns of behavior and – more importantly thought – is in making life more bearable (if not enjoyable).


In fact, dating not one but two Borderline Personality Disordered gals led me to the quick admission that I was the common thread in my horrific fate.


And the fact that particular thread needed cutting.


After that, I’ve dated plenty of girls that didn’t cheat, steal or mistreat me.


Because I knew what traps to avoid.




That being mentioned, I’ve never once said men, women or life itself were perfect.


Quite the opposite, if you look through this blog at even a cursory level. 


What I have said, at many times and in many ways, is:


While experience may be a despot, you are the rightful monarch of your [earthly] existence. 


You have the power to make it all worthwhile.


And, honestly—


That’s almost as good.







“She’s got a smile that heals me…”

Posted in Uncategorized on March 13, 2018 by A♠






I still recall laying in bed.


Watching her dress in my bathroom.


Looking at her in her jeans and bra.


Doing her make up in the mirror.


Even now, after her cheating, betrayal and madness—


I still recall every supple curve, every flash of those bright eyes and every in-joke we shared.


Restaurants and bar excursions; amazing sex and root beer floats.


Most of all, I remember how she’d make coming home – from my miserable, frustrating government job of selling my dying country in broken pieces – the best thing that had ever happened to a poor kid from (literally) the wrong side of the tracks.




She was also the woman that absolutely razed every single belief I had to scorched rubble.


She pushed me onto the long-road suicide attempt that caused another woman to give me the nom de guerre I employ on Twitter (including its abbreviated form among select friends) ► Whiskey & Ashes ◄ and landed me here, in our corner of the ‘net.


Yet, there was another thing she did that was equally powerful.




Although she left me – tears streaming down my face – on the roadside, wearing a suit, awaiting my attorney to take me to fight my dismissal from government service…


She left this poor kid for other women to pick back up.


To show me there was still a life worth living.


To help me heal.


To laugh again.


To realize, like everything in life, there’s good and bad.


That fire cooks as well as burns.


Truth be told, that was the biggest irony.




See, I’d had infinitely more success with women after her than I’d ever had prior to her (and I did well enough for myself).


She taught me that women will put you in the gutter faster than anything.


But fish you out just as quickly— often quicker.


Losing my polish and revealing my rough edges only served to have more women latch onto me, oddly enough.


And bless me with their kindness.


Sure, she broke me.


But her sex [gender] saved me, too.





Many have come and gone since her.


To be honest, I’ve loved every one of them.


They were good girls, each in their own way.


My relationships became healthier than they’d ever been.


Because now I knew women were just people, too.


Struggling to get by.


Why do you think I do this?




I hate women the same way a food critic hates food, a film critic hates film and music critic hates music.


In short: I don’t.


In fact, I can’t think of any [earthly] thing I love more.


I just don’t pretend women are flawless.




Now, I can only speak from my experience, but it speaks pretty damn loudly.


And it tells me that there is something encoded deep within men.


That we’ll never see depths of Hell without women.


But we’ll never really see the heights of Heaven, either.


As, God rest his soul, the Private Man used to say:


Feminism liberated men, not women.


To which I add:


Lamentably, the freedom thus granted scares and confuses the life out of men since they (at a deep, unconscious and likely genetic) level, have no idea what to do with it.


I’d argue that’s the plague from which so many men suffer, these days.


A soul-rending hole that previous male generations never had.


In fact, that’s why I’m always banging on about learning to love and respect yourself as men.


So you can live with or without women, seeing as the good ones continue to be scarce.




However, there’s something about the right (for you) kind of woman in your life that will keep you going like nothing else ever could.


Something that makes dark times, shit jobs and shittier days manageable.


I flatter myself I’m a good writer.


But I’d be a fool to think I could articulate it.


Let’s just say a good woman is like a second wind during an exhausting marathon.


Or akin to getting into your house from the car just before the heavy rain starts falling.


Or simply a well timed and hearty laugh at gallows humor.


I’m sure it’s a feature, not a bug.




Look, if you want to go MGTOW, I completely understand.




If anyone has right and reason to do so, it’s me; I’ve paid enough dues to march my way to the front of that line.


But I don’t.


And won’t.


Because, although I’d never have fallen without her.


I’d also never have soared.








“Well, no one told me about her; how many people cried…”

Posted in Uncategorized on March 6, 2018 by A♠






If I had to choose the sentiment most voiced by men – of all ages – when they come to me for advice regarding women, it would be this:


“If it’s this must trouble get and keep a woman, then it’s not worth it.”


Admittedly, it’s phrased in myriad ways but – as I said – it all boils down to that conclusion.


How I respond differs between Type One and Two speaker.




If it’s someone I feel won’t bother listening to me or has previously hand-waved my wisdom away (Type One), I tersely retort:


Then stock up on tissues and hand lotion; you’ll need them.





If it’s someone that is genuinely frustrated yet remains open to useful information (Type Two), I calmly say:


Think about how much work you put into getting a good job.


Or a nice car.


Or a trip you’ve been anxious for years to take.


Do the math on exactly how many hours you’d need study to accomplish or earn to afford your desire.


Got it?


OK; final step.




Realize that – potentially – this goal will give you healthy children, a loved one to stand beside you during both the best and worst of days, a regular sexual partner, someone in whom you can confide fears and dreams, someone to care for you when your ill and laugh with you when joyous (and with you when you’re ill, too, if your lucky).


How does a trip, career or car stack up to all of that?


And that’s just for starters.


I haven’t even gotten to the best part yet [that’s next week’s post].




So, whenever you get frustrated, remember:


You can turn around and march back any time you like.


(A decision just as viable as the alternative, no doubt.)


However, before you decide:


Be sure you have a crystal clear picture of where you were headed and, most importantly—


Where you left.







“He can’t even run his own life, I’ll be damned if he’ll run mine…”

Posted in Uncategorized on February 27, 2018 by A♠






A young man wrote to me saying:


“Twitter seems particularly bad for the ability to work out if someone’s the real deal or not. Plenty of guys about selling themselves very very hard. Some even do it under the guise of humble authenticity.”


Given the plethora of charlatans and snake-oil peddlers our humble corner has attracted, I believe it to be a pertinent (if somewhat tardy) topic.


Additionally, being the man I am, I felt I should share my reply with wider audience to be of more encompassing use.




Let’s look at the major facet that must be addressed before anything else.


If a man is living a hedonistic lifestyle, then the last thing he’s concerned about is sitting down and helping poor saps find the party he has.


Simply because that’s not “fun”.




Sure, it’s rewarding.


Absolutely, it’s important.


Definitely, it’s spiritually refreshing.


But “fun” it most certainly is not.




Now to a convenient list of actionable advice:


1} Mentoring/advising regarding the topics with which the ‘sphere  wrestles demand an honest man recount the myriad failings, errors and outright tragedies that pulled him to wisdom like a particularly recalcitrant donkey to an even heavier burden. If he’s even so much as willing to share those, it’s infinitely more likely he’s – to quote ► Nick B. Steves ◄ “the real deal”.


2} Every artist with even a shred of Truth within himself will admit he “believes the scissors are used more than the eraser”. That means literally everything you see by them has been carefully cut, molded, scripted and hammered vociferously into the shape upon which you now gaze. Ask any musician, filmmaker or author: there’s way more on the cutting room floor than will ever hit the shelves. Thus, if you’re not seeing flaws, then you’re seeing a product – not a person.


3} If a man has hit the level where he can mentor, he’s very often long past the surface appearance where anyone will think he’s worth asking. Who asks 80 year old men how they got their wife of 58 years? No one, that’s who. If you need a pop culture example: look at the original Star Wars. The whole reason Obi Wan was a bad ass was you’d never think of him as such. You’re too busy seeing what time and tide has done to him. That pairing wears down the mountains, themselves; “Alpha” is not immune. [Side note: one of the reasons I knew I was always ahead of the game was he was my favorite in the film and no one else’s).


4} Understand actual, genuine growth and improvement is difficult, time-consuming and a (frequently) depressing endeavor. If it weren’t, everyone would do it. How many people even walk an extra few feet from the car, let alone walk to the store? Exactly. So if anyone tells you that you can accomplish what they have easily, then it’s probable that what they have is a sham. As Jimi Hendrix – arguably one of the greatest rock guitarists of all time – said to a kid that voiced a desire to be able to play like him: “No, you don’t. Because while you were at parties, I was alone in my room practicing. While you were on dates, I was alone in my room practicing.  While you were on road trips with friends,  I was alone in my room practicing.”


5} Lastly (for the time being, at least), whether you believe in Jesus Christ being a divine being or not, realize he changed the entire world with only 12 men following him while he lived. Plus, many of them thought him foolish, mad or downright unreasonable at times and abandoned him in his time of need. Men worthy of following aren’t here to be liked— they’re here to be respected. Follower count is a bad metric. In fact, I lean toward the belief that – if it’s high – they’re likely bullshit. [See point 4]




As always, ► you’re welcome to bet against me ◄ in all of this.


But realize what’s at stake.


And the one card you know I’m holding.









☞ [This particular line is a tongue in cheek joke for long-time readers]

“I don’t have to look at you to see it in your eyes…”

Posted in Uncategorized on February 20, 2018 by A♠






Almost five years ago to the day, I gave one of my most controversial, misunderstood (innocently or willfully) and quoted (both sincerely and sarcastically) pieces of advice.


It was simply this:


► “When it comes to women: It’s best to put your worst foot forward.” ◄




Needless to say, the sentence itself was what ended up most tightly clutched. 


Many seemed to miss the brief yet comprehensive explanation beneath it:


Show them the rage/pain/turmoil within you poetically, incrementally, unashamedly and, most of all, unapologetically.


To make it even more plain here:


Be yourself. 


In the darker sense.


It’s not to suggest you engage in abusive, acerbic, anti-social behavior.


It’s to advise you to let others (women) know you have vulnerabilities, the capacity for righteous anger, and – in short – boundaries that you will show tooth and claw to defend.


This is important to do (to reasonable degrees) around most of the people in your life, regardless of their sex.


However, around women it’s exceedingly important.




Understand, women always look under the surface, regardless whether the surface is good or bad.


They are always reading subtext.


Subtext is their default language; overt exchange is not.


It’s a major reason why males find females so aggravating/frustrating.




Such things are difficult for men to grasp because men, on the whole, do not navigate a web of lies.


Women do.


Men will lie for sex; women will lie to sabotage, undermine and outright destroy one another in competition (since they lack the capacity to do so physically).


Thus, subtext as primary communication is a feature, not a bug.


Hating women for such is akin to hating the dog for barking.


The communication method that served it best, the longest, has won out.


Accept it.


Now to tie it all together.




Remember, women are always on the lookout for danger (again, due to their weaker physicality)


The search to uncover lurking threats is constantly active.


Add that fact to the web of lies they must traverse, strand by strand – every day, and it’s a given that females will rarely (if ever) trust what is right in front of them for fear of hidden danger.


At this point, take a moment and recall your own observations




My guess is they add up to:


“Nice guys” are labeled “creepy” and avoided or joked about as being serial killers or some such nonsense.


While cads, thugs and deadbeats always seem to have a heart of gold that only women can see.


Thus, I say to you:


Put your worst foot forward—


So that the ladies eagerly, optimistically await the other shoe to drop.