In all 50 American states, asking someone to read your novel is considered a form of assault, an act that can legally be responded to with force. Approaching a stranger to request they consume 150,000 words of your awkwardly creepy fantasies is a great way to wind up in the emergency room with a rolled-up manuscript wedged all the way up your ass (and in 31 American states, hospital staff legally would not have to treat you).
So for me to show up here and ask you to not just read, but pay money for, the brand new novel I have up for pre-order on Amazon, B&N and Bookshop would literally be considered a cybercrime in some jurisdictions. Yes, this is the latest from the New York Times bestselling John Dies at the End franchise. Yes, the previous three books have almost perfect customer ratings on Amazon across some 7,000 reviews and no, you don’t have to have read any of them to understand this new one. None of that matters, since only a piece of shit would even bring it up.
Instead, I’m here to offer something that many of you have been requesting for months, if not years. I don’t normally like to flaunt my success, but strangers can’t help noticing my lifestyle. They see my kitchen and say, “What is that on the counter? Can I have one?”
Friends, that is a Cuisinart Digital AirFryer Toaster Oven and no, you can’t have one, unless you emulate the Jason Pargin Alpha Success Method. See, this website has had a grand old time mocking self-help books, which are either A) lazy cash grabs by writers who’re remarkable only for their grotesquely low opinion of the book-buying public or B) the deranged rantings of mediocre zealots who lack the charisma to start a cult. But as a demonstrably successful person who owns a Ninja blender with the smoothie attachment (not shown)…
…I will walk you through the steps to attain the Jason Pargin Alpha Lifestyle Mentality for free, with no obligations, as long as you pre-order a copy of If This Book Exists, You’re in the Wrong Universe (Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Bookshop). The 1,001 Steps are below, but DO NOT SCROLL ANY FURTHER IF YOU HAVEN’T ORDERED THE BOOK. It would be literally against the law for you to do so. “But the novel doesn’t come out for like nine months!” you say. I know, but authors like me depend on pre-orders, so just think of it like a pregnancy: We’ll have this encounter that you’ll quickly forget, then this fall, a stranger will arrive at your door with a beautiful bundle that will ruin your sleep for years after.
Here’s your last chance to say goodbye to your old, beta life.
Alright, buckle in:
Steps 1-5: Accept That All of Your Heroes Are Full of Shit
Your heroes aren’t gods, they’re just regular people who probably got good at one thing by neglecting literally everything else. Sure, Elon Musk is a genius at Twitter, but have you seen his shitty cars? So if you’re intimidated because you can’t live up to the standards set by your heroes, try looking up their most hilarious flaws. Then compare yourself to that, instead.
I don’t think I’ve mentioned it yet but I’m an author, so as an example, I’ve assembled five indisputably great writers and the silliest facts I know about them:
1. In Mario Puzo’s novel The Godfather, there is, no-shit, an entire subplot about a love affair between a man with a gigantic penis and a woman with an equally large vagina. When the man with the massive hog (Sonny Corleone) dies, the woman (Lucy Mancini) hooks up with a doctor who arranges for her to have vagina-shrinking surgery to accommodate his normal-sized dong. None of this is a joke; go grab a copy of the book and read Chapter 22.
Can I write anything on the level of The Godfather, in any medium? Fuck, no. Can I slam the brakes on a novel’s plot to talk about a character’s impractically giant tallywacker? I can, and I have.
2. James Joyce, author of masterful “So good they’re almost impossible to read” classics like Ulysses and Finnegan’s Wake, also wrote a series of fart festish letters to his wife, Nora, which included such passages as,
“You had an arse full of farts that night, darling, and I fucked them out of you, big fat fellows, long windy ones, quick little merry cracks and a lot of tiny little naughty farties ending in a long gush from your hole. It is wonderful to fuck a farting woman when every fuck drives one out of her. I think I would know Nora’s fart anywhere. I think I could pick hers out in a roomful of farting women.”
And signed off one letter with,
“Goodnight, my little farting Nora, my dirty little fuckbird!”
I haven’t read any of Joyce’s novels, but I assume they’re basically just the above, only longer. Could I write such a novel? I can, and I have.
3. Literary giant and Nobel prize-winner John Steinbeck, author of The Grapes of Wrath, Of Mice and Men and other works considered to be the finest ever produced in this country, also wrote an unpublished novel called Murder at Full Moon that is straight up about a detective on the trail of a werewolf. It was a young Steinbeck’s desperate attempt to sell a mainstream thriller, one he was so ashamed of that he had his agent submit it under the pseudonym Peter Pym (no publisher wanted it). The novel won’t appear on shelves because Steinbeck’s estate is honoring the author’s wishes to never let the masses view his embarrassing secret (the few critics who’ve seen a copy have mostly just mocked it).
Could I write my own The Grapes of Wrath? It doesn’t seem likely. Could I write a monster transformation novel under a pseudonym so as not to bring shame to my family, then spend years failing to find a publisher before discovering other ways to get readers on my side? I can, and I have.
4. Raymond Chandler, one of the inventors of the “hard boiled” detective genre, created the character Philip Marlowe and, along with him, a whole bunch of tropes you’ve definitely seen parodied even if you never read the thing they’re parodying.
Chandler also totally lost track of his plots while writing. The Big Sleep (the first Marlowe novel) was created by mashing together four unrelated stories he had lying around and just swapping the character names to make them match. When the book was adapted for film, the screenwriting team noticed that one central mystery was never actually solved in the novel (the murder of chauffeur Owen Taylor) and they wired Chandler to ask who killed him. The author admitted he had no fucking idea.
Could I write novels so filthy with attitude and atmosphere that they help define a genre for generations after? I doubt it. Can I have entire books make it to print, and even get turned into films, without noticing glaring plot inconsistencies until months or years later? I can, and I have.
5. Author Anthony Burgess said his groundbreaking masterpiece A Clockwork Orange was, “…a jeu d’esprit knocked off for money in three weeks.” He mostly just seemed pissed that this “less famous than the film” novel was the only thing he’d ever be remembered for, but by far my favorite work of Burgess was his increasingly elaborate lies about the novel’s nonsense title.
As this hilarious summary on Wikipedia demonstrates, Burgess gave at least half a dozen completely different, contradictory explanations for what a “clockwork orange” was, because he couldn’t just admit that it was either a random pairing of words he thought sounded cool, or that he had copied a misheard phrase and nobody noticed that it wasn’t a real thing people said until it was too late (I think something similar happened with Breaking Bad). Instead, each explanation doubled down on the supposed profound symbolism behind those two nonsense words. If you think about it, human free will is like… a machine… made of… fruit.
Could I build a fictional world that still resonates a half-century later, inspiring a blockbuster film worthy of four Academy Award nominations? Who knows? Can I make up a bunch of bullshit in interviews to justify creative decisions I barely remember? I can, and I have.
Now that you’ve seen the technique, you can apply it to the greats in your chosen field. Remember, if you are as good as a person at their absolute worst, then you are also as good as them at their absolute best. This is irrefutable logic and, once embraced, will allow you to march forward with Total Alpha Confidence.
Steps 6-10: Let Your Haters Motivate You
People like an underdog story. The Jason Pargin Alpha Life Achievement Technique is not just about overcoming your opposition, but about exaggerating your opposition so that your achievements sound even more Alpha. Just to be clear: All that matters in today’s world is making yourself sound as besieged as possible, even if you’re the CEO of a company with your father’s name etched above the door. You should wake up every day looking to spite your haters and if you don’t have any haters, then buddy, you’d better fucking find some. Here are the five ways my detractors have driven me to Alpha Success:
6. I was born in an economically depressed small town in Illinois in which there were exactly two pastimes: 1) Kicking ass and 2) Getting your ass kicked. When I was born, the nurses all gathered around. “This baby is different,” they said, “and we hate anything that’s different. Let’s throw it in the parking lot and hit it with a rake.” That’s when I realized I’d been born into a beta world that was full of haters who fear the Alpha.
Soon, at an age when other children were playing with blocks, I was reading novels. “That’s nice,” say my haters, “but surely any signs of intelligence at that age were purely due to genetics. You can’t claim something you did as a toddler was a credit to your own grit and determination.” Translation: “We betas fear what you may become if we do not undermine your confidence.”
7. I attended elementary school in the 1980s, which was exactly like Stranger Things in that it sucked. While other kids were doing normal kid stuff like running around their yards playing Piss Tag, I liked exotic “nerd” stuff they could never understand, like Star Wars and Nintendo. “We didn’t hate you for liking those things,” say my haters, lying. “It’s just that most of us couldn’t afford an NES because in 1987 they were really expensive, when you adjust for inflation. Piss Tag was our Metroid.” In other words, they wanted me to conform. But Alphas do not conform to anything other than advice given by fellow Alphas.
8. My childhood was rough. Poverty was rampant in our town; my father was an alcoholic. “That must have been hard,” say my haters, sneering, “but in that town, it would have been weird if he wasn’t an alcoholic. And the sheer fact that both of your parents worked full time, and are still alive, means you were more well-off than probably 80% of your classmates.” Translation: “We are jealous, because your Alphaness is a form of riches that we will never possess.”
9. In high school, I once got a D in English class. “I’m going to be a published author someday!” I said to the teacher, an elderly hater. “That wouldn’t surprise me,” she replied. “Millions of people write books. It isn’t that hard, if you have literally nothing else to do with your time. But right now, you need to actually turn in your homework if you want to improve your grade.” For you see, she may have mastered English, but she could not speak the language of the Alpha, which is mostly a series of refusals to do as told.
10. Twenty years after graduation, my dream came true. “Look!” I said to the haters. “My book got turned into a movie and put me on the bestseller list! I bet you regret excluding me from your little reindeer games!”
“We constantly invited you to things,” they’d respond, through their jealous scowls. “You just rarely showed up and when you did, you acted like a dick. And to be frank, the world needs more healthcare workers than authors, so if anything, you should be ashamed of every dollar you make.” Translation: “We wish that we, too, had pursued the Jason Pargin Methodology For Alpha Goal Accomplishment.”
Steps 11-15: Learn To See Your World From An Alpha Viewpoint
11. The Alpha remains cool at all times. Emotions are weakness. Whenever someone else becomes frustrated or distraught, make it a point to tell them how calm you’re being in comparison, and how this proves that you are operating via pure logic, like a cool robot, instead of via irrational emotions, like a whiny triggered crybaby. This will make them even more upset, further proving your point.
12. Alphas must also establish at all times that they are not to be challenged. You must therefore never let an insult or disagreement go without an overly aggressive response (note: disagreement is simply another form of insult). Everyone should be walking on eggshells the moment they enter the room. Existing in the same space as an alpha should make them feel like they’re in a cage with an enraged gorilla, which is scientifically nature’s most Alpha animal, feeling nature’s most Alpha emotion.
13. If it sounds like Rule #12 contradicts with Rule #11, that means you are still approaching this list with a beta mindset. The rule is that Alphas must remain cool compared to other people. This is easily accomplished by constantly making everyone you encounter angrier than you are, then pointing this out to them as a sign of your superiority. Hey, do you want to know how I feel about vaccines? It’s whatever would make you angriest. “Wow, that kind of makes me hate you!” you reply. Exactly. Hate is nothing more than the sensation created when a beta encounters an Alpha.
14. The Alpha must simultaneously have total confidence while also always striving to improve, which means you must believe in your greatness while also hating everything about yourself. The most efficient method is to loathe yourself while loathing other people even more. If you and another person fail in the exact same way, you can establish your Alphaness by reassuring yourself that your failure resulted in more self-loathing than theirs. Anyone who seems to feel better about themselves than you is, by default, inferior.
15. Find the thing you are already naturally good at, and declare it to be the one trait by which all humans are to be judged. Do you enjoy working out and keeping fit? Then spend all of your time thinking about how what’s really wrong with society is that everyone has become fat, lazy slobs. Do you take pride in your sense of humor? Then endlessly ponder how everyone these days has become either humorless scolds or easily-amused barking seals. Remember: You are the ideal person and everyone else is just trying and failing to be exactly like you to varying degrees.
Steps 16-25: Follow The Jason Pargin Daily Alpha Schedule for Total Alpha Life Domination:
4:00 AM: Wake up, because you have to piss.
4:01-4:59 AM: Lie in bed because you are too exhausted to get up but have to piss too badly to get back to sleep.
5:00 AM: Go to the bathroom, then go back to bed.
8:00 AM: Wake up again because your wife is making noise in the kitchen.
8:30 AM: BREAKFAST. Maximize your time by eating whatever is within arm’s reach of where you happen to sit down. This morning I ate four miniature Reese’s peanut butter cups and a handful of tortilla chips, along with an Ultra Sunrise Monster Energy Drink.
9:00 AM: ALPHA WORKOUT: Maximize your time by exercising your brain and body simultaneously, so look for a podcast you can use to distract yourself on the treadmill. Spend 30 minutes searching for one while you lean on said treadmill. Once you’ve found a suitable podcast, run for 8 minutes until the bouncing makes your airpods fall out of your ears.
10:00 AM: GET IN TUNE WITH YOUR WORLD by scrolling through Twitter and Reddit until you find something that makes you extremely angry. Remember: If you’re not Angry, you’re not Alpha.
1:00 PM: Look up from your phone to realize you still have not taken a shower.
1:30-2:30 PM: Take a shower using the Alpha Shower Method of staring at the tiles and dissociating until the hot water runs out.
3:00 PM: Eat a sandwich using the Alpha method of standing over the trash can in the kitchen.
4:00 PM Until Whenever You Are Too Sleepy To Sit Upright: Do work that will make you extremely successful and financially independent. Drink caffeinated liquids the whole time to keep your brain operating at maximum Alpha levels.
4:00 AM: Wake up, because you have to piss.
Repeat the above until you have achieved your dreams or died.