Ladies and gentlemen,
A month or two ago I locked up most of the articles on this website, in anticipation of turning it into a paid membership-only affair. My original plan was to do this with a minimum of fuss and carry-on, and to simply announce to my newsletter subscribers when the transition was complete. Those who wished to subscribe would be given information on how to do so, and those who didn’t think my content was worth paying for would be duly wished “Good night and good luck!”
However, the transition has taken longer than expected, mainly because a little thing called “life” keeps getting in the way. Bloody hell, life, why must you be so obstinate? Yes, while many readers seem to think I sit at my computer all day, enjoying a leisurely life of smoking cigars, drinking cognac and eating cannolis while some mysterious billionaire benefactor pays me to answer people’s questions and write free articles, the reality is somewhat different.
Actually, it’s a lot different.
Anyway, as a result of the delay, I’m getting an increasing number of emails that read something like this:
greetings from the Caribbean! I’ve been searching for your awesome article titled “The Night I Partied With a Room Full of Miss Spain Contestants” but I can no longer find it. When I click on the link it now just brings up an empty page. By using the information in that article, particularly the section describing your interaction with Miss Mallorca, I was able to score a date with a stunning Miss Trinidad and Tobago contestant. We hit it off real well, and we are now happily married and my beautiful wife recently gave birth to a healthy baby boy! All thanks to you!
However, I am now in something of a quandary. As I celebrated my son’s birth, smoking cigars, drinking cognac, and eating imported cannolis with my billionaire friends, a thought suddenly hit me: When my son grows up, I want him to have the benefit of the knowledge imparted in your article, so he too can one day marry a beauty queen and have a son who will also marry a beauty queen, who will also have a son who will marry a beauty queen, and so on.
However, the article is now offline, and my dream of pairing up my son, his son, his son’s son, and so on, with stunning beauty queens is now looking decidedly shaky. What happened to this article? Can you please put it back online? PLEASE!
To all you folks who have sent emails like this, now you know why most of the articles on my website have seemingly vanished (there are about two dozen or so articles that can still be freely accessed).
As to why I am switching up the format of my website to one where paid access will be required to access most of the current and all future content, there are two main reasons:
Main Reason One (1): Writing detailed, thoroughly-researched and fully-referenced articles and freely posting them on the Internet is no longer financially viable. In fact, looking back, it was never financially viable. However, a somewhat naive sense of altruism kept me doing it, despite a little voice in my head often asking me: “What the fuck are you doing? It’s a nice day outside, turn off the computer and go for a ride, for chrissakes!”
Which brings me to the second major reason:
Main Reason Two (2): Posting free content on the Internet, and getting little in return except abuse, hate and whining from butt-hurt low-carbers and vegans, as well as requests for even more free information from people too lazy to follow-up with their own research, just doesn’t do it for me anymore.
I discussed the latter phenomenon in yesterday’s post:
Seriously, I never cease to be amazed when people write to me, pissing and moaning that they're confused and don't know who to believe. What do they want me to do? Repeat everything I've already said, post another 50 references they won't check for themselves, and then send them some flowers?
One of my closest friends runs a very highly regarded mechanic shop here in Melbourne. It's not at all unusual to walk into his workshop and see a Ferrari on one hoist, a Lamborghini on the other, a race-prepped WRX on another, while a bunch of other similarly potent and exotic vehicles sit in and around the workshop waiting for their dose of TLC. His clients include some of the most famous people in Victoria, everyone from gangland figures to sports stars to some of the state's wealthiest businessmen. They bring their cars to my friend for one reason: He knows his shit, and he's the best at what he does.
I can only imagine the response if someone walked up to him in his workshop, and said:
"G'day mate, I read about you on the FriskyFerraris.com.au forum, and the consensus there is that you are the best. However, I then went to the SlickTreads.com.au chatroom, and they said someone should give you $5 so you can go buy yourself a clue. I'm confused, and I don't know who to believe. What do you have to say in response to the claims at SlickTreads.com.au? Can you write me up, like, a 5,000 word rebuttal or something?"
My friend would look at this person for a moment, to assess just what kind of a nutjob he was dealing with. He would then make it clear he is a very busy man, and suggest in no uncertain terms that this person take his business elsewhere. When this person had extricated himself from the premises, my friend would turn to everyone who had just witnessed this most ridiculous enquiry and remark, "Did you get a load of that lunatic? He read a bunch of bullshit on the Internet and wanted me to comment on it! Like I've got nothing better to do!"
The reasons for my friend's hypothetical actions seem pretty straightforward to me. But others just can't seem to understand why someone would respond like this. Take the following email from “Brendan”, for example. I’ve reprinted it below, along with my reply. Please note I’ve reprinted it in a manner that will not identify Brendan, and I’ve also removed the typos and edited some of the saucier language from my reply (however, the F-Bombs are still there, so if you have an anaphylactic reaction to swear words, close this page now).
Why am I reprinting this correspondence? Because to me it typifies how most consumers of Internet information simply have no idea what goes on behind the scenes for those putting out free info and getting fuck all in return. It’s not just me – I have it on good authority that a number of free content providers in the health, diet and physical training arena are disillusioned with the lack of positive social and financial return, and considering whether or not they should continue.
Anyway, here’s what Brendan had to say, and here’s what I had to say in return, and below that is some more stuff that I had to say after returning from my return. Or something.
I'm a customer of yours, from [a place far, far from Melbourne], and this is my first time writing to you.
Based on your most recent "grow the fuck up" email, I have a suggestion (nay a critique) for you.
First let me say I get it...I get it...I get that people whinge to you and want you to take responsibility for their issue....but I'd like to respectfully suggest (and I mean those words, they are not throw away) that your advice, whilst accurate in itself, is mono-dimensional and thus of limited use to people. Not that I'm suggesting you are not entitled to deliver it in whatever way you please, but rather that if your true intention is to help people past their 'block' or their cognitive dissonance then surely you realise that the tone is as, if not more, important than the message.
My personal guess is that you know this very well but it doesn't fit your modus operandi, so, like inconvenient data that doesn't fit one's belief, you chose to ignore it. That's a personal criticism I know, and again...it's not that I'm suggesting you are not entitled to be this way if you choose, you are of course-- but my intention behind it is to share what I learned painfully through what I guess you'd call 'independant thinking', plus to reflect it back to you in the hope it helps you be more effective. We need people like you to be effective...not just to be there!
My guess above is based on a few things, one being that you have expressed favouritism for animals instead of people. It's as if you find people to be a nuisance! Fair enough, but my point is if you really want to help people and not just indulge your humour, then why not give them something useful for their deeper 'issues'. Your nutritional information is extremely useful, you've done more than many in that regard, so I suppose it's a bit unfair of me to suggest you should now also turn your attention to addressing the next level of concern in humans...namely the subject of your last email...that people can't seem to think for themselves, but I really do think you are in a good position to do just that.
Would it not be better to either write a book or an article (would probably need to be a long article albeit), or even suggest a resource list, where people can go and learn HOW to think for themselves. Your tone suggests that people can just cop the fuck on and start to think for themselves...but you know in your heart this is not the case....people (who can't do this) can no more do this than they can start speaking a foreign language they dont know.
Plus the very same people who may come across to you as analytically dumb...may only be that way in a certain field...say health or nutrition, but may be the opposite in other areas...like say finance or relationships or military prowess. The thing is that giving people tons of information, with links to articles etc, doesn't do it for them. Some people don't think in the same way papers are written, they can't understand statistical bias, have no knowledge of bench / tissue / cell culture investigations etc etc.
Is it your job to teach this? No, but you'd probably be able to make a good go of it. It may not even be to do with paper reading...teaching the very principles of independent thinking may be the way...or explaining how the philosophy of science evolved and why we are where we are might be a good place to start.
Our modern world grew up with the unanalysed idea that people use facts to make decisions...and still for many of us this SHOULD be the case. But it isn't...we all, you included, make decisions based on emotions and historical pre-programming. (Although it's hard to swallow at times...the US presidential election is a perfect case in point!)
In some ways you are demonstrating the extent of how 'insane' you are...doing the same thing over and over hoping for a different result. Shouting at people to get them to think for themselves is the perfect way to get 'them' to think like the rest of the herd...the opposite of what you want. Maybe you don't see these people as your 'tribe' but you certainly do seem to attract a lot of them!
Which I suppose brings me to the last point...what is it that you really want? If you really want to help then it seems you need to change your tune (literally and figuratively) so that you can reach those you seem to attract but can't seem to change. If on the other hand what you really want is to maintain your hegemony in the online world of don't-take-shit-hard-talking-say-it-like-it-is gurus...then I suppose you can delete this email and continue as you are, ie very successful in that regard!
Thanks for reading,
I appreciate the effort that went into your email, but with all due respect, the reality is you are over-analysing and way off the mark.
And the reality is that, until you've been where I have been and experienced what I have experienced with this whole internet escapade, you are wholly incapable of making any informed comment on the matter. The best you can do is offer your subjective opinion as an outsider, one who does not even begin to have the experience and knowledge that comes with traveling along the trajectory I have.
The source of my dismay is quite simple: For years, I posted carefully researched and fully-referenced articles on the internet for FREE, and forced NO-ONE to read them. I did this out of the belief that we the public were not being presented with the full truthful picture on matters pertaining to diet and health, and I figured (very naively, as it turns out) that by posting this information I could make a difference.
And while there are some nice folks who write to simply say thanks and ask for nothing more (i.e. decent people with a bit of gratitude), others write to thank me for the abundance of free info I've posted by virulently abusing me, pissing and moaning, and/or wanting me to explain shit even further because they are too lazy to do an independent appraisal of the evidence themselves.
I wonder what the response from these jokers would be if I responded, "fine, I'll furnish even more information, provided you come and wash my car/mow my lawn/clean my yard/etc"?
Yeah, Brendan, "insane" I know - expecting people to actually show a little gratitude for what they are given and to appreciate that other people's time is also valuable.
And the real cracker is I even get people moaning about my writing style and claiming I'm vitriolic. Meanwhile, cretins like Harley "Durianrider" Johnstone make $5,000 a month posting bullshit on Youtube ... falsely calling people steroid abusers, pedophiles, accusing them of "sucker-punching", and threatening to slash their throats.
Do a web search for a nutter called "RooshV", and check out the size of his following. Among his ‘civil’ literary contributions to the world is a call to make rape legal behind closed doors (!) No, not directly related to the diet arena, but it should give you an indication of what's required to really capture people's attention these days.
And need I mention people like Michael Eades, who belittled female academics while his followers cheered him on, but when I give him a dose of his own medicine all of a sudden I was the one who was out of line?
Or that bombastic grandmaster of hyperbole Robert Lustig, or champion cherry-picker Gary Taubes, who both portray everyone that disagrees with them as feeble-minded, outdated idiots, all the while spouting the most ridiculous bullshit themselves?
Given the celebrity status and financial success of all the above-mentioned, I can only conclude my communication style is far too civil!
But no, I'm the one who's writing style is too hostile for the world's soft-cocks. Interesting how these accusations almost always come only after I've written something the accuser disagrees with.
Sorry Brendan, but being involved in such a fucked-up arena just doesn't work for me anymore. I know it may seem, from the comfort of your armchair in your little "cottage" that maybe I'm just a wee bit excitable or have unrealistic expectations, but the reality is this internet writing gig has exposed me to a darker side of human psychology, one that people are too restrained/embarrassed/cowardly to express in person, and I'm just well and truly tired of it.
And if people want to be told what they want to hear, or need to be spoon-fed info because they are too dumb/lazy to think for themselves, or want to be titillated by scandal and gossip and "controversy", fine, but it is NOT my job to do this.
"Your tone suggests that people can just cop the fuck on and start to think for themselves...but you know in your heart this is not the case....people (who can't do this) can no more do this than they can start speaking a foreign language they dont know."
Actually I don't know this in my heart because what you have just said is BULLSHIT. A big fat, sloppy, odiferous patty of bovine shit.
Firstly, maybe you have found learning a new language insurmountable, but millions of people have been able to successfully learn foreign languages. Shit, I've met people who are fluent in 5-6 foreign languages. Why you think learning just one is an impossible task when people all around the world have done it, and are doing it as we speak, is beyond me.
Secondly, if I was able to learn how to go to a library, pull up studies, and read them, why can't others do it? Nowadays, a trip to the library is often not even necessary - many of these studies are freely available online.
Please tell me what magical quality I was endowed with that allows me to do these simple tasks, but not most other Homo sapiens? I have two arms, two legs, and one fucking brain just like everyone else. No-one taught me how to do this, I was not found in a paddock next to a chunk of Kryptonite and raised from infancy by a group of Mensa members, nor did I receive divine revelation from Librarius, the Greek God of Research. And - I may be going out on a limb here - but I confidently bet everyone else who's been able to successfully check out the literature for themselves wasn't either.
There's nothing magical about it, Brendan - the ability I have to get off my ass and read research for myself instead of relying on other people's questionable relaying of it is probably just the same trait that allows me to jump on a bike and go ride for a couple of hours, or to go in the gym and lift heavy shit up and down for 45 minutes or so - while others sit around, piss and moan about their poor condition, and get sucked in by sleazy diet gurus.
It's called being self-reliant and having a modicum of motivation, instead of being a lazy twat with a sense of self-entitlement who expects everyone else to do everything for him.
"In some ways you are demonstrating the extent of how 'insane' you are...doing the same thing over and over hoping for a different result."
This is the only thing you've written that has any basis in reality. Damn straight I must be crazy to keep thinking I can make a difference when what people really want is instant gratification, scandal, gossip, quick-fix gimmicks and so on.
But don't get too self-congratulatory, I came to this realization long before receiving your email. Several weeks back I locked up most of the articles on my site and am in the process of converting it to a paid membership-only site. My content is high quality, I believe it's worth paying for, and if people don't agree then the new barrier of having to make a financial contribution to access this info should help them kindly fuck off.
"It's as if you find people to be a nuisance!"
Fuck, now why would I believe that LOL
So there it is folks. AnthonyColpo.com will, sometime soon, be a paid membership-only website. It either has to start earning its keep, or it goes offline for good.
Brendan asks what is it that I really want, so I shall tell him. And you. Apart from the usual (you know, cute Spanish/Venezuelan wife, bigger house so Ramone can have a permanent girlfriend, apartment in Barcelona, race-tuned Nissan GTR35 with number plates that read "MANGIA MANGIA", and another set of 180mm Rotor 3D+ cranks) I guess it would have to be this:
That when my time on this crazy blue ball we call Earth is up, and it's time for me to relocate to that big Ballearic Island in the sky, I'd like to be remembered back here on Earth for more than just being able to deadlift 2.5 times my body weight or having nice glutes (ladies, please do not misconstrue what I just said. You should always feel welcome to tell me I have nice glutes. I will never hold that against you, hell no).
Yes, one should leave a legacy that goes beyond grunting like a wounded rhino as he pulls a stubborn barbell from the floor, and he should also be able to leave a legacy that goes beyond walking past a group of girls and hearing them giggle and say something about a "cute butt!" Although both are truly wonderful legacies, in my humble opinion.
But I think it is also most wonderful if one can walk into his heavenly bathroom, look in his heavenly mirror, and say to himself:
"You know, I made life back on Earth just that little bit better for a bunch of people. Right now, there's a guy in Trinidad and Tobago who's married to a beauty queen, with a healthy son who will probably also grow up to marry a beauty queen, who will then also have a son that marries a beauty queen, thanks to me. And there's a guy who kept blowing up on the same damn hill every time he went for a bike ride, until he read my article why Low-Carb Diets are Terrible for Athletes. Now he's competing in A-Grade criterions. And then there's all the non-Italians I introduced to anisette, tiramisu and cannoli. That right there should qualify me for sainthood - no wonder they let me straight in when I rocked up to the pearly gates. Oh, and there's that sizzling hot Lebanese girl in Brunswick who ... wait, that wasn't exactly a selfless act, so probably not relevant here."
Yep, corny as it may sound, I would like to help others. But I only want to help those who are prepared to help themselves. And, call me selfish, but I definitely do not want to help members of that bizarre sub-species that loves nothing more than to profess it's hatred for me but then continues to read everything I write. I mean, what the fuck?
And in the process of helping others, I definitely do not want to go friggin' broke.
The plan at this stage is to charge US $9.99 per month or so via a simple Paypal subscription. And before I get fellow Australians pissing and moaning about the US pricing, that’s where the bulk of my readers come from, so my hands are tied. Ever tried typing with tied hands? It sucks.
In return for this modest monthly sum, subscribers will get access to a monthly newsletter report featuring at least one sizable article and some research updates. And maybe even a picture of Ramone, I know how much some of you like him.
While Brendan seems to think I should waste even more time teaching the critical thinking skills that our modern education system doesn’t … um, no. Of course, I don’t expect everyone to be on the same knowledge level as me (I mean, if you were, you probably wouldn’t need to subscribe to my content, right?), but I do foresee a certain minimum level of intelligence and rationality among future subscribers. Not only that, but I’m guessing those who would be motivated to pay for my content are already largely on board with my approach and my contentions.
As such, I plan to spend less time in future on debunking-type articles, and more on practical how-to articles , with science-backed info that people can put into use pronto to improve their health, body composition, and athletic performance.
Having said that, I know some of you are big fans of my hunky debunkery, so if there is some new bullshit health trend or dodgey diet study making the headlines, then rest assured I will sink my teeth into it, chew it up, and spit it out in the form of a ruthless dissection with more references than you can shake a bottle of Alhambra Especial at.
NOTE: That was just a figure of speech, please do NOT shake a bottle of Alhambra or any other carbonated beverage in real life, if you are at a public gathering the results upon opening will not enhance your social status.
So, ladies and gentlemen, I guess this is the point where some of us will need to say “adios!”
Don’t like me, my writing style, my hair (or lack of it), my name, my ethnicity, my eyebrows, or whatever other trivial and utterly irrelevant trait you have decided to take offense to;
Don’t think my content is worth paying for because, hey, there’s plenty of free stuff available online from such literary giants as Jimmy Moore and ItsTheWoo;
then it’s been nice knowing you, happy travels!
Also, if you subscribe to the myopic and patently stupid Anglo-Western approach to diet and health, which revolves around the “blaming and shaming” of individual foods and macronutrients, be it fat, carbs, protein, meat, wheat, yadayadayada, then definitely do NOT subscribe to my content. As an Italian-Australian prodigal son who fell victim to this bullshit many moons ago, I nowadays adhere to the Mediterranean/Asian approach, which revolves around moderation and a complete lack of dietary neuroticism. Go ahead and sneer, ye low-carbers and vegans and pimpers of all things gluten-free … but may I point out that Japan, Spain, Italy and France all sit in the top ten of world life expectancy, while the US – ground zero of the totally misguided Blame, Vilify, Avoid approach to nutrition - sits at # 31.
And Japan, Spain, Italy and France all have far lower obesity rates than the US.
Yeah, carb-free/fat-free/cholesterol-free/gluten-free THAT, you dietary racists …
And while you poor nutritional bigots sit there eating your tasteless tofurkey, or labouring your way through your 50th burger patty for the week, with nothing in the way of tasty carbs to follow it up with, I’ve just finished some lovingly roasted chicken, a bowl of oven-roasted crispy fries, and I’m making good progress on this stubbie of Monteith’s Black Beer (bless the Kiwis, they sure know how to brew a good drop).
By the way, for fellow residents of Australia and lovers of beers that do not taste like bland, lifeless, yeasty-tasting piss, Monteith’s Black Beer is currently on special at Dan Murphy’s. Just thought I’d point that out. And no, I do not work for or have shares in Dan Murphy's, I’m just spreading some discount boutique beer love.
Um, anyway, where was I…
Oh yeah, the paid membership site thing. What more can I say folks, except stay tuned for further announcements as to when the new site kicks off in earnest.
Stay safe, and remember, things go better with prosciutto.
For more information on Anthony's books, click here.
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