NOT a week goes by where I don’t feel some empathy with Mr Kurtz. As, towards the end of Heart of Darkness, he laments of humankind, “The horror, the horror,” I find myself keening, “The patriarchy, the patriarchy,” as regularly but infinitely less jauntily as the cuckoo in a Swiss clock.

“What is it now?” you ask. How long have you got?

The CES (Consumer Electronics Show) Innovations Awards in Los Angeles is one of the world’s biggest technology shows. This week a female sex toy was removed from the robotics and drones category, where it had won an award, because it was deemed to contravene rules banning anything “immoral, obscene, indecent or profane.”

At the same exhibition in 2018 a high-tech sex doll for men was launched while a virtual reality porn company exhibits every year, allowing men to watch porn at the event in public.

A gross double standard, but surely no surprise.

This notion, that men are free sexual agents but women must be regulated, is a founding principle of the “pickup artist” (PUA).

In 2016 a chap named Daryush Valizadeh, the self-styled Roosh V, threatened to organise one of his special meet-ups in Glasgow for like-minded gentlemen who identify as PUAs.

These international events are called the Return of Kings and, while the instinct is to giggle at such manbaby antics, the whole thing is, quite simply, misogyny.

Unfortunately for Mr V, Glasgow wasn’t having it and the event was cancelled. Valizadeh said he could not guarantee the safety of attendees following negative publicity of the event and retreated to his mum’s basement in Maryland, where he lives and where, presumably, she washes his pants and makes sure his dinner’s on the table.

Pickup artistry has been around since the early 2000s, entering the mainstream with the publication of the book The Game in 2005, which featured in the New York Times Bestseller List and became a TV series.

I suppose, in more innocent times, a PUA might have been termed a Lothario. But PUAs are more sinister: they don’t love women, they despise women.

The PUA will deploy specific “techniques”, using insults to woo their intended. A tactic named “negging” taps into the woman’s insecurities and so prompts her to win the PUA’s approval, goes the theory.

These neo-masculinists dehumanise women by treating them as targets and trophies.

And so to this week’s poster boy for the movement: A-Game.

As Mr Valizadeh lives in his mother’s basement, the so-called A-Game is pictured in similarly inauspicious surroundings at a bus stop on Maryhill Road, Glasgow, telling BBC Scotland’s The Social about his techniques for capturing women.

His top tip is to steer clear of Scotland. While “the game” is to attract “good quality women”, these aren’t so easy to find north of the border.

A-Game - a smart pseudonym - will film the women he sleeps with and posts the audio recordings of his encounters to YouTube. He aggressively follows women in the street, secretly filming them.

While the BBC published some of his choicer phrasing, I’m unlikely to get the terms used by A-Game past the sub editor.

His less blue language is still revealing, however. When he uses the word “game” he refers to women - the language of hunting.

Having watched the four minute video of A-Game several times, I’m confident in making the following pronouncement: A-Game ain’t no hunk.

I imagine he finds using book-learned nefarious tactics necessary because he shows the personality and morals of an anaconda.

I also imagine his followers - he claims to be a dating coach working under the banner Dicks Will Last Forever - are few in number.

But while A-Game is the extreme end of the wedge, don't be fooled into thinking this nonsense is not mainstream. Negging is a common tactic on the dating scene, these views about women are a clear extension of rape culture and so the shock and surprise in response to the BBC report has been interesting, as have the questions it raises.

If it's such small numbers, does it matter? If women are going home willingly with these guys, isn't that their choice?

Yes, it does matter and is it a choice? PUAs use learned tactics to overcome what they call "last minute resistance", they will pressure, manipulate and coerce women. This is rape culture and opposing all aspects of rape culture matter if it is to be eradicated.

This narrative - that women are objects to be played with, coerced and conquered - is just one tiny part of a broader scene that the #MeToo movement is seeking to overcome.

Yet, men outed and shamed by the movement are making a return less than a year later.

Comedian Aziz Ansari is back doing stand up - his new material pillories internet activism and political correctness - after being shamed for his behaviour, allegedly pressuring a woman for sex on a date - a claim he denies.

While there much support for Ansari at the time allegations against him surfaced, the vitriol, in part, came from the fact he had presented himself as an ally of women yet allegedly behaved privately in a manner he had publicly condemned.

Fellow comedian Louis CK has made a return to the stand up circuit again a year after admitting to sexual offences against several women. His new material is full of bile towards trans people and mocks the Parkland shooting survivors, a powerful man going after the vulnerable.

PUA believe themselves to be vulnerable. They are motivated by fear: of rejection, loss of primacy and female autonomy.

This is exactly the kind of crowd Louis CK is now pitching himself to, pandering to types who would excuse his behaviour, seeking allies in an audience of bitter bros.

You can’t help but think of the interesting material he might produce if he was to face the accusations against him and respond honestly.

Comedian Kevin Hart, too, was on the Ellen DeGeneres show last week defending himself in the wake of his removal as host of the the Oscars following a series of homophobic jokes.

Rather than reflect on his fall from grace, he described himself as “taking a stand” against internet trolls who carried out a “malicious attack on my character”.

And let’s not even talk about the disgraced actor Kevin Spacey’s Christmas Day video. For no other reason than, having watched it twice, I’m still not sure what he was trying to say.

There is an audience of embittered and misogynistic men looking for poster boys for their movement. These celebrities, on their zombie march back to the spotlight, show that, even with all the work and publicity of #MeToo, there is work to be done and vigilance needed.

Unlike Mr Kurtz, the patriarchy and its resulting misogyny is not dead.