Archive for the ‘Poisoning Masculinity’ Category

Harvard Students Get Rejected

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

Yes, they really do.

The dirty secret is out. Harvard students fail sometimes. They are denied jobs, fellowships, A’s they think they deserve. They are passed over for publication, graduate school, and research grants. And when that finally happens, it hurts. Big time.

To help students cope, Harvard’s Office of Career Services hosted a new seminar last week on handling rejection, a fear job-seekers are feeling acutely in the plummeting economy. The advice from panelists could have come from a caring, patient parent. No rejection is the end of the world, they said, even though it might feel that way at the time.

Participants, who wore snappy buttons with the word rejected stamped in red, also received a road map of sorts on handling failure, a pink booklet of rejection letters and personal stories from Harvard faculty, students, and staff members.

Anybody else see something terribly wrong with this? I mean sure, it’s better to produce graduates who’ve been “taught” how to handle rejection than graduates who have not been. Sure.

The problem I have with this has to do with what one might describe as the “default.” Toward the end, one authority tacks on the obligatory “Statistically you are rejected, and probablistically it is fair.”

My beef is this: “Fair” doesn’t enter into it. For such an instruction to become necessary for educational value, emotional healing, or any combination of those two…there has to have been a previously-existing delusion that post-graduate life would be rejection-free. I imagine this crop is not going to be the first to suffer this mistaken notion, nor shall it be the last. But I imagine, further, that once the problem has reared its ugly head…and it must have, with some regularity, for the critical mass that demands such an event to pop up…the soothing balm for the hurt feelings just might not constitute the dominant pressing priority.

To put it more plainly. Are Harvard students taught early on that being accepted is the exception, and being rejected is the rule? Regardless of your Alma Mater?

Hat tip: Dr. Helen.

Thing I Know #263. The one thing that’s wrong with higher education that nobody ever seems to want to discuss, is that it is valued through something called “prestige.” Get this prestigious diploma. Get that prestigious degree. Attend a prestigious university. My alma mater is more prestigious than yours. Trouble is that genuine learning has very, very little to do with prestige. It is, arguably, the exact opposite.

The Axis of Evil…Now

Monday, April 20th, 2009

Byron York writes about the Bush speechwriter responsible for the term “Axis of Evil,” and his reflections on whether it fits today.

Recently I called David Frum, who is a friend and also the Bush speechwriter who came up with the “Axis” concept. (He originally wrote it as “Axis of Hatred.”) Given the seriousness of the situations in Iran and North Korea today, I asked, why all the mocking of the concept, virtually from the very beginning?

“The thing I never cease to marvel at,” Frum told me, “is that the phrase has become more and more of a joke even as the demonstration of the validity of the concept has become more extensive.” Frum listed some of the things the public knows now that it didn’t when Bush gave his speech — the A.Q. Khan network, the Iran-North Korea connection, the Iran-Hamas link. That’s just the kind of thing Bush was talking about.

But why were people ever laughing? Well, a lot of them just liked to laugh at Bush. But Frum believes there’s something else — the complicated nature of the word “evil.” “It just seemed overtorqued,” he told me. We use the word “evil,” Frum explained, in two very different ways. One is the totally serious sense in which we describe a very, very small group of bad actors — a group that doesn’t extend far beyond Adolf Hitler. The other is the sense in which we use “evil” as a light-hearted description for things that are at most a bit naughty — like saying we feel “evil” after ordering the chocolate cake. “If you’re not talking about Hitler, you’re talking about cake,” Frum said. “That’s why it was funny.” But that incongruity made it difficult for people to take the “Axis of Evil” seriously, even though it was, and is, quite serious.

…[T]wo-thirds of the “Axis of Evil” are still at it, and still among the most pressing problems facing the United States today. And that’s no “Saturday Night Live” skit.

I have a different thought about that word “evil.” Whether you’re talking about an evil tinpot dictator or an evil slice of chocolate cake, in my mind, is fairly well determined in an instant, right down to the very core of the brain of the person using or hearing the word. I don’t think Frum’s thoughts here make a great deal of sense, frankly, because I don’t think there’s any lack of understanding or ambiguity here whatsoever.

I think that lack of ambiguity is the problem. People laugh at the term…out of nervousness.

It commands a sense of responsibility. It commands action. I say “that guy down the street did something rude…” or “liberal…” or “radical…” or even “environmentally unsound…” and it seems more than reasonable to leave well enough alone, go back to watching Dancing With the Stars and gnawing on a butter stick.

But to say someone close by did something evil — that’s practically the same as demanding someone actually do something about it. Who among us can say out loud “I know of an evil thing that is being done but I’m not going to do anything about it”? Sure you can do that, but you can’t take pride in it.

So if you’re already fixated on laziness, and someone comes along to point out something evil was done, that gentleman is ruling out continued laziness as an option. That’s why he has to be ridiculed and mocked. It’s absolutely necessary.

The irony is, in such a lazy society, the only thing that remains truly evil is noticing evil. And, after a time, the only thing that remains “good” is a readiness, willingness and ability to pretend evil is not taking place when you know damn good and well that it is.

These are treacherous times. We’re allowing our court jesters to become our kingmakers. Down that road lies a sure path to ruin.

“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil…” — Isaiah 5:20

Cross-posted at Right Wing News.

Yes, Vagina

Friday, April 17th, 2009

Amy Alkon, Monday:

Yes, Vagina, There Really Are Differences Between Men And Women
Some women do ballsy, physically stuff, but the truth is, the Evilla Knievels of the world are very few and far between — the point being that men and women truly are different in some ways, and denying that is silly, divisive, and seriously counterproductive.

By admitting the differences — say, for example, the way women and men tend to see dirt and mess differently (women tend to notice, um, detail, around the house; men, who evolved better distance vision from their days chasing wildebeests, tend to step over it) — maybe we can all get along a little better.

She makes a lot of good sense, for a chick.

No, seriously: This is the point where, whether the assertion is made by a gentleman or a lady, these “Men And Women Are Exactly The Same!” types come swarming out of the woodwork. The two major weapons in their arsenal: Comparing the elites with the commons (“I’ll bet you can’t run any faster than Jackie Joyner-Kersee!”), and comparing the gonna-dooz with the hav-dunz (“If women ran the world, we wouldn’t have all these wars…like we see with the men in charge of things.”) Both about as intellectually dishonest as you can possibly get. And, both much more concerned with making women better, goddess-like even, than the “same,” in comparison to those awful men.

I’m part of an expanding crowd of unfortunates: I had to learn about women twice in life, with explosive epiphanies, once before a financially devastating divorce and once afterward. There is a relationship between this misguided perception that we’re all the same, and a barely-muted hostility. If you’re my clone, what the hell do I need you around for? In fact, in what ways could you possibly appreciate me?

There is more, of course. The “Vive l’Difference” thing, in addition to being the key to a truly symbiotic, affectionate relationship between the sexes — constitutes a rare overlap between fundamentalist-religious types and the hardcore evolutionists. If you think we were put here by a Higher Power, there’s a good reason for men and women to be different. If you think we just grew here like fungus in a toilet bowl…there’s still good reason. As the human race toiled away in infancy, either carrying out the Lord’s work or evolving one chapter at a time…was it the gentlemen who raised the children back in the cave, and the ladies who dug holes in the ground to trap the woolly mammoth? Er, no…not quite. The two sexes evolved, or were created — perhaps both — differently. And we see evidence of it today. Doubt me? Trade chores with your “better half” one of these weekends. See if you can make it through without a major paradigm shift.

And that goes for both of you.

Therein lies the ugly secret about feminists and other “Men and Women are Exactly the Same” types. They are not well-rounded individuals. They do not easily absorb information. In most cases they haven’t been through a weekend-exercise like the one proposed above, nor would they be. Generally, they think men and women are the same creatures with the same abilities and same weaknesses, because they’ve been drifting through life, lazily, like plankton — filtering out any tidbit of information or evidence that would suggest the opposite. The decades come in, and go out, and throughout it all they commit the classical error of promoting with a militant exuberance certain “facts” they really don’t know. On average, they’re not very bright.

Hat tip for the Alkon article, to Dr. Helen.

This Is Good LX

Monday, March 30th, 2009


Future Present
Posted on March 29th, 2009 by Scipio

Our archeologist, while rummaging among the ruins of our fallen civilization, met a ghost from the long dead race of Americans. The wraith boasted much about what we had been as a people.

We died in the hundreds of thousands to end slavery here and around the world.

We invented Jazz.

We wrote the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Gettysburg address.

We went to the moon to see how far we could hit a golf ball.

We lifted a telescope into orbit that could see to the edge of the universe.

When people snuck into the country against our laws, we made parking lots and food stands off to the side of the road so they wouldn’t get hurt, and we let them use our hospitals for free, and we made their children citizens.

We didn’t care what God you worshipped as long as we could worship ours.

We let the People arm themselves at will. Just to make sure.

We gave everybody the vote.

We built Disneyworld. Just for fun.

We had a revolution so successful it was still going strong two and a quarter centuries later.

We had so many heroes, even at the end, that we felt free to hate them and burn them in effigy.

We electrified the guitar.

We invented a music so compelling that it rocked the world.

The archeologist asked, “If you accomplished all of this, then why did your nation collapse?” The ghost answered, “Because we went insane.”

“Please explain.”

The ghost took a breath and said, “We traded beauty for ugliness, truth for lies, liberty for comfort, love for indifference, responsibility for frivolity, duty for entertainment, history for sound bites, and children for pleasure. We had gold, but we tossed it aside and replaced it with cleverly designed dross. We turned men into women and women into men and marveled at our new creative power. We stopped looking up to Heaven and began to keep our gaze firmly fixed on the ground. We abandoned the old God for a host of hip, cool and slick new ones.”


“Those new gods turned on us. At first they granted us our every wish. They laughed with us. They danced with us. We all ate, drank and made all sorts of merry. All of us exulted in our power. And then…” Here the ghost stopped for a moment. His mouth was half open as if trying to speak. His body shuddered as it remembered an ancient terror. “But there were some among us who felt something was wrong, dreadfully wrong.”

“How so?”

There’s more…much more. What’re you still doing here?

R and R-Lite Instead of D and D-Lite

Monday, March 30th, 2009

Cylarz has a challenge in the comments section that really makes you think. His intent is to show how absurd is the notion that Rush Limbaugh is running much of anything, along with the idea that anyone, anywhere, is somehow forced to listen to him:

Imagine what life in this nation would be like if our parties were Republican and Republican-lite…instead of Democrat and Democrat-lite. The former is what the political scene would look like if everyone were listening to Rush.

It is my conviction that American consensus-politics are revolving on the rim of a large wheel. It is a merry-go-round that spins into & out of, not so much conservatism and liberalism, but fantasy and reality. Right now we’re on the 1976-77 sector of the wheel, wherein we just installed a hopey-changey youthful-charismatic guy who’s gonna solve all our problems. This is an exceptionally narrow pie-slice of the wheel’s orbit. It’s over in the blink of an eye. We see life’s problems are ours to solve and it’s not realistic to elect some savior-champion to deal with them on our behalf…we see it some more…we see it some more…lesson learned. For a few more years.

This dream Cylarz has, is at the opposite side…and is perhaps a little bit wider. It’s the 1969-1973, 1980-1986 side of the wheel.

So it’ll happen. It’ll happen, and we’ll get tired of it. All this stuff is inevitable, as the wheel keeps on turning. That’s my point. We kick the democrats out of power when we get tired of fantasy; when we notice, that to keep liberal ideas even looking good, there’s this never-ending pressure on to pretend simple things are complicated, and complicated things are simple. After awhile we get tired of that and we kick ’em out. We fire the Republicans when we notice, gee, it’s been awhile since we engaged the government to solve a problem and watched the problem disappear before our very eyes, wouldn’t that be neat? (The conservative platform is constructed around the paradigm that this isn’t really the purpose of government; in that way, the Founding Fathers worked under well-defined conservative bias.) People will listen to Rush, to learn what they should’ve learned before they went to vote. It’s already started to happen. It’s that human instinct to think and think and think some more about “did I turn off the stove?” when the car is zipping on down the freeway and it’s way too late to do anything about it.

But imagine if things were that way, and they stayed that way? I notice when we’re in the fantasy zone, we really are D and D-Lite. Oooh, look at me, I’m a compassionate conservative, I can blow money away on bullshit projects just as fast as my democrat “friends”; vote for me. When Republicans are in power the liberals don’t engage in some contest to see who can be the most-moderate lib. They just get all pissy and mumble the word “fascism” a lot.

So lessee…what would happen…

That last election would have been between Fred Thompson & Sarah Palin…and…Joe Lieberman and Ron Paul. Dr. Paul would be considerably more hawkish, his concerns about the constitutionality of the War on Terror ejected from his platform. Gen. David Petraeus would now have a fifth star. We would have pulled out of the United Nations.

A massive stimulus bill would have injected trillions of dollars into the U.S. economy over the next decade-and-a-half…in the form of a tax cut.

Barack Obama’s formidable oratory skills would be deployed where they would do the most good: On a radio or television program, trying to compete with Rush Limbaugh.

The front page of my local newspaper, and yours, wouldn’t speak very often to the plight of: state legislators pretending to care about balancing the budget, homeless people, unionized workers, ignorant addle-brained students who can’t graduate high school because they haven’t learned anything, prison guards, single moms, troubled youth, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. They’d live in a larger, better-informed world. Their headlines would very seldom deploy words like “BUDGET” and “DEFICIT” and “PROGRAM” and “NEED”…instead, you’d see proud, hopeful words in those daily headlines like “FREEDOM” and “OPPORTUNITY” and “LIBERTY.”

Your television “news” program wouldn’t talk too much about liberal programs are going to do. They’d be better-anchored to reality; they’d talk about what tax cuts have done, versus what liberal programs have done.

When some big major mega-city that’s been run by democrats for generation after generation, runs into a predictable budget deficit…you’d hear about it that way. An important part of the news report would be an editorial analysis of some rival city, floating along free of the concern of ever-enlarging social programs, without the deficits and without the liberals running everything. The news report would go through the budgets, line by equivalent line. After all, it isn’t useful news unless we explain why the problem occurred, is it?

Kids can pray in the classroom. Every classroom. If they don’t know English yet, they’re sent to remedial classes to learn it, before they learn another thing. Kids know how to fire guns, shoot arrows, build fires, tie knots. Intelligent Design? It’s recognized as precisely what it is: Just an idea that the universe, particularly the bits of it that make life possible, is here because of non-random activity as opposed to random activity. And then it’s debated. As science. Which it is.

Oh, and before I forget: This asshole is locked up for good, and/or fried crispy.

A convicted sex offender due to be released Saturday from prison after serving 11 months warned in letters that if set free, he would reoffend, even against children. In the letters, Michael McGill begged authorities to keep him locked up for life.

“Please throw the book at me … I’m harmful to others I should be locked up for life,” he wrote in block letters that resemble a child’s writing. “I will sexual abuse men. Do this for the safe (sic) of others then I be able not to hurt anyone else. Judge I’m begging you to put me away.”

In another place he wrote that he had told his two 7-year-old male victims, “I will do more sex crimes with boys 4 to 14. I will molest with boys 15 to 18.”

Neither the Polk County attorney’s office, which prosecuted McGill and distributed his letters to other agencies, nor the Iowa Board of Parole, nor the attorney general’s office, which handles civil commitments for sexually violent predators, says it can do anything to prevent McGill’s release.

Feminists are about as powerful…oh…as they are right now. See, we still have that going for us. People have only partially lost their minds. They’re still not ready to trust feminists again just yet. Feminists get together in their little clubs, isolated from everyone else, sharing notes with each other along with instructions to help-me-hate-this-thing-over-here. That’s the form in which they want to exist. Everyone else, walled off from them, gets work done, makes money, and has fun doing it.

At work, you can still be sent to sensitivity training — if you’ve somehow demonstrated this is necessary. Departments of people are not sent to mandatory sensitivity training. People are not randomly sent to sensitivity training. You can’t unilaterally decide you were harassed; it really does depend on the will and intent of the alleged harasser. And nobody makes any money off of the sexual-harassment racket. If they’re in some position that is created to deal with this in some way, they do it as volunteers, because the issue is supposed to be so important to them…which only makes sense. In other words: Lawyers don’t run things.

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit CalendarIn your work cubicle, or in your office, you can put up a Sports Illustrated swimsuit calendar. If anyone comes by to mutter so much as a peep of protest, that is the one treading on thin ice…not you. The phrases “objectification of women” and “unrealistic unhealthy body images” are about as socially acceptable in that world, as a racial epithet is in this one.

Family comedies do not conclude with a feel-good comedy-tragedy ending with the dad whacking himself in the head realizing he’s been a jerk, or an asshole, or a killjoy, or a workaholic. If anything, they end with the kid whacking himself in the forehead, belatedly realizing he should’ve been listening to his Dad.

Neighbors talk to each other. They have block parties. You don’t need to drive 40, 50, 60 miles into the county to discharge a pellet gun or a firearm. Once the shooting-range is set up, you can do it right in front of City Hall. On weekends, the whole town gets together for target shooting. Somewhere else, they have a beer garden. (You can’t go to the target shooting after you go to the beer festival, because alcohol and firearms don’t mix…yes, Republicans and conservatives do get that. Most of us bathe daily and have all our teeth. Really!)

Men do not stand by, brain-dead, clutching a purse outside the womens’ toilet, awaiting their next orders. They talk to other men. They get together and compare notes. They each express admiration for the sidearm the other fella has purchased to defend his lady and his children, should any bad guys be stupid enough to enter uninvited in the dark of some terrible night. They brag about who achieved the tightest grouping on the targets. And they fantasize, together, like giddy little boys, about muscle cars. Women get together and compare notes too. They don’t brag about whose boyfriend bought them the largest engagement ring, or who took charge of the family menu or what they told the hubby to start eating, or how they keep him from hogging the remote. Their rivalry is engaged, instead, in terms of who does the best job bringing her husband beer. “Oh yeah? I’d never think of handing it to him without the cap already popped off…and it’s always ice cold.”

Vice President Palin is even more influential in her new role, than Dick Cheney was in his. She’s a true role model. Women suddenly want their hair made up into her ‘do, just like they wanted to emulate Hillary’s back in the 1990’s. Palin’s face, in this universe, is everyplace Obama’s face is in this one. Time, Newsweek, US News and World Report, USA Today…et al. (Obama’s face, in turn, could be on a milk carton somewhere.) Everything female is Palin, Palin, Palin. Women want to learn to fly airplanes, to fire shotguns, to ride ATVs, to clean rifles and pistols, to drive a dogsled…and to field dress a moose. The fashionable cliche, assuming there is one, is “Yoo betcha!”

Tenth Amendment, all the way. Some states and counties allow gay marriage and others don’t; some states and counties allow pot, and others don’t. Some states and counties are officially Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Scientologist, if they can get the votes. Nothing is singled out for social stigma, be it positive or negative. So a married gay man just might be an abuser and a generally bad husband, just like a married straight man — “loving” is no longer a euphemism for “same-sex.” And if you smoke pot, you just might have an addiction problem…just like someone who drinks, might have an addiction problem. That means, friends and family might be inclined to intervene if the signs are there. And anyone can be a religious fundamentalist whacko; not just the Christians. If your child needs medical care but you think his sickness is Gods’ will, the nanny-state might eventually interfere — if you’re showing signs of possibly lopping off your daughter’s head because she’d dating the wrong fella, the nanny-state just might interfere with that too. True equality.

When kids get into fights on the playground, all the trouble is reserved for the kid who threw the first punch. The kid who threw the last one, assuming that’s someone else, hasn’t got a single thing to worry about. And that’s precisely the way the world politics work, too.

You may say I’m a dreamer…but I’m not the only one.


Saturday, March 28th, 2009

I guess this was bound to happen sooner or later.

I was going to write something up regarding the Washington Times story, Hezbollah uses Mexican drug routes into U.S., which would go along well with my previous “told ya so!” story about The Economist today. But, this is a lot more fun, and, if you’ll excuse the hyperbole, insidious

So you think Bridezilla is scary, what with her tears and temper tantrums?

Just wait till you meet her opposite number: Groomzilla.

He’s bigger, bolder, louder. And increasingly, he’s muscling in on territory previously ruled by the bride, her mother and possibly a wedding planner.

“We’re seeing grooms becoming more involved in the wedding plans — everything from choosing the venue down to the minutest details,” says Rob Johnsen, 38, co-owner of, a leading online wedding guide.

You know, and I mean this without being insulting to gays, the only time a man should be involved in planning the wedding is when it is a man-man ceremony. And, I bet they get women to plan their weddings. Because it’s just not manly.

“It’s the rise of Groomzilla,” he says. “We thought it would be fun to find the biggest Groomzilla in the country, so we launched a contest.”

That was three weeks ago, and the entries are still flooding in. There are grooms demanding specific color schemes, flowers, food, china patterns and officiants. Others are vetting the bridesmaids dresses — and even the bride’s choice of bridesmaids.

This is what is known as the woosification of the American male, brought to you by liberal/progressive ideals. What happened to the good old days – you know, last year – when the smartest thing a man could do is just show up for the wedding. Sheesh!

Is this an intended consequence…that’s what I want to know. Kinda-yeah-kinda-no?

Also, is it a backlash against a double standard? I hope so; the alternative is that men have time to worry about this stuff, because nobody expects, or desires, for them to do manly things anymore. And so they’re bored — looking for stuff to do. Looking for an identity. They aren’t allowed to talk to children in a voice below Middle-C. Can’t fix the sink. Can’t fix the car. Can’t change the tire. Can’t drive a stick shift. Momma gave daddy a list of “honeydew” chores that had to do with cutting grass, scooping leaves out of the gutter, et al. Now the honeydew chores, it seems to me, have to do with making telephone calls. Call the insurance company, call the doctor, call the accountant, make a phone call to acquire some services instead of showing some old-fashioned American know-how.

Manhood is dead, or terminally ill. But there is at least one unintended consequence: The innocent, doe-eyed bride is being deprived of what she wants by a big brute of a dude who wants puce tablecloths at the reception instead of mauve.

When will the oppression end?

Delaware Indoctrination

Saturday, March 28th, 2009


Hat tip to Neo-neocon, who adds:

[I]t should come as no surprise that although the PC mind-control program is no longer in operation there, those who designed and implemented it are still employed by the university.

More hate. It’s turning into a “hate day” at House of Eratosthenes, I see. We’ll just try to stick to studying how it’s been re-defined lately, and avoid engaging in it…but the first thing we notice is this seems to be a trap into which many are tumbling. In fact the bulk of them are all walking off the cliff after walking the same well-worn path: Prove you aren’t hateful, by singling out the white guys, and putting the (something, don’t you dare call it hate) on ’em.

I think the perfesser in the second installment — about four minutes in — nailed it. It’s not quite so much about tolerance, as about indoctrination. Prove you’re a good person by showing signs of inwardly believing what we told you to believe. You’re a racist if you see classes of people in ways other than the way we see them, but you’re alright if you see those things the way we do.

There is some value on this; this is the way a lot of people in the real world think. Share my prejudices and you’re alright. Don’t, and I’ll make-believe you have some different ones.

But what really concerns me about it? The intellectual laziness. If we want to find some experiences for high-school grads to endure, to get them acclimated to the pinheadedness and narrow-mindedness that eventually confronts all of us…why do they have to cut their teeth on such a misadventure, in their colleges?

You Can’t Be My BFF Anymore

Saturday, February 28th, 2009

As I sail into an Obama-free weekend…one last thing. Because this really made me kind of chuckle. It’s a comment left over on Gerard’s blog from one Mike NTH.

This is trite, but the press crush on Obama is like the crushes teenage girls have, and they don’t realize that everyone else around them is sick and tired about hearing how awesome ‘Jason’ (or Jeremy, or David, whatever) is.

And then someone will tell the press they are tired of hearing about the crush.
And then the teen-queen media will go into a hissy fit about how ‘jealous’ the detractor is.
And the detractor will say they aren’t jealous, just tired of hearing about him every day.
And the teen-queen will say how they aren’t ‘BFF’ anymore.
And the detractor will say ‘fine’.

And two weeks later the crush will be over.
And in three weeks the teen-queeen will be telling the detractor what a pig ‘Jason’ (or Jeremy, or David, or whatever) is.

And the cycle will begin.

N.B.: I substitute taught for four and a half years and also worked in a youth camp. I have heard this drill before.

It brought a smile to my face because, believe it or not, I’ve seen men in their mid-thirties go through this kind of cycle. More than once on the stupid little merry-go-round. And, as our society becomes softer and softer, I’m reasonably sure the containment mechanism that confines this behavior to the pre-teen female set, will deteriorate further.

Seventy years ago men just barely old enough to drink were dropping bombs on Germany. Now they snark at each other about Obama’s awesomeness, and how you can’t be my BFF anymore.

There’s hope somewhere, right?

Men See Women in Bikinis as Objects

Friday, February 20th, 2009

science says. Just tell me my taxpayer dollars didn’t pay for it, pretty please? Lord knows they’re paying for everything else.

It may seem obvious that men perceive women in sexy bathing suits as objects, but now there’s science to back it up.

New research shows that, in men, the brain areas associated with handling tools and the intention to perform actions light up when viewing images of women in bikinis.

The research was presented this week by Captain Renault, professor of psychology at Princeton University, at the…

Hah hah! Did I just type “Captain Renault” in there? Oh, dear me, naughty, naughty fingers. I slap my own hands. Let’s get back to business…

I See Her As An ObjectThe research was presented this week by Susan Fiske, professor of psychology at Princeton University, at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

“This is just the first study which was focused on the idea that men of a certain age view sex as a highly desirable goal, and if you present them with a provocative woman, then that will tend to prime goal-related responses,” she told CNN.

Although consistent with conventional wisdom, the way that men may depersonalize sexual images of women is not entirely something they control. In fact, it’s a byproduct of human evolution, experts say. The first male humans had an incentive to seek fertile women as the means of spreading their genes.
Men also remember these women’s bodies better than those of fully-clothed women, Fiske said. Each image was shown for only a fraction of a second.

This study looked specifically at men, and did not test women’s responses to similar images.

Wow, that Obama sure did deliver up some “change.” Any week now, we’ll be seeing that phony egghead study that says “Study: Men actually appreciate women.” We’re dogs, I tell ya.

You do realize what’s going on here? If I were to hop in a time machine and travel back by — let us say — three or four years, and say “Hey guess what, in 2009 it’s treated as a scientific discovery that men see screwing women as a thing to do, like a household chore, albeit an exciting and pleasant one.” It would be looked upon as very poor, very low-grade, very unfunny, sarcastic humor. Nobody would take it seriously. They’d lock me up in a loony bin.

And yet, here we are.

If it wasn’t for the swindle-us bill passing, I’d say we need a complete overhaul and audit of all scientfikal studies being done, anywhere, inside government as well as outside.

But now, everyone’s paying for everything — save for those who don’t pay taxes. So now I don’t see the point. But good heavens. Where do they get these asexual, passionless, sex-deprived scientists? “Susan Fiske” isn’t even a hyphenated name. Must be a typo or omission of some kind.

I read these stories, and I feel like I must’ve been frozen and thawed out again. Geez people, it’s called testosterone. It’s not a relic from a bygone era…well, not yet anyway…and it’s the source of every single good thing you have, & then some. Am I really Buck Rogers here? Who’s been sawing logs for a century or two here, me or everyone-else?

Past studies have also shown that when men view images of highly sexualized women, and then interact with a woman in a separate setting, they are more likely to have sexual words on their minds, she said…Taken together, the research suggests that viewing certain images is not appropriate in the workplace, Fiske said.

My God! You realize what this is? This is one step removed from saying…Study: Men enjoy looking at women in bikinis. It’s one step removed from saying “Study: Castrate men before allowing them to work in an office with women.” It, in contravention to useful science, belabors the obvious. In contravention to useful science, it views people as two-dimensional creatures, unable to see or incapable of seeing each other as both beautiful and talented. It unscientifically reads these two perceptions as mutually exclusive, when there is no substantiation for such an axiom. In that sense, it is bone-crushingly stupid. It’s also European — and I don’t mean that as a compliment. I’m talking about synapses in your noggin, by being jumped, becoming everybody else’s concern. Everyone’s business is everybody else’s business.

What do you need to do, to get some policies enacted on this…and then enforce them to the extent needed? The mind boggles. Why, I, a straight male, could be interviewing female job candidates, or giving annual reviews to women who work for me. You would have to go through a complete history of all my ex-girlfriends to see if any of them resemble the female professionals I’m appraising. You’d have to do that before you could allow me into the room with them…wouldn’t you? I mean, I don’t think I’m that unusual here, but if you were to go through a history of all the women I considered girlfriends, gee I hate to admit this, but I’ve seen all of them buck-ass naked. And naked is almost as scandalous as wearing a bikini, of course. So who knows what those unsuspecting females could be unleashing in that degenerate male noggin of mine?

No way could you depend on grown-ups to just…y’know…act like professionals or anything.

And here’s some full disclosure for you: In my case, you’d better not stop at girlfriends. You’d have to sound the alarm bells anytime I had to interact with a female subordinate who resembled any of my movie-actress fantasies. You might as well.

I suggest you start off with Natalie Wood. Yummy, yummy, Natalie Wood. Mmmmm…

Ann Coulter Attacks Single Motherhood

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

and those who insist on glamorizing it, scribbling down glossy articles to the effect that this is just things-the-way-they-are, you’d better get used to it.

Why isn’t the number of smokers treated as a fait accompli that the rest of us just have to accept? Smoking causes a lot less damage and the harm befalls the person who chooses to smoke, not innocent children.

The Times’ single motherhood endorsements always describe single mothers as the very picture of middle-class normality: “She grew up in blue-collar Chester County, Pa., outside Philadelphia, and talks like a local girl (long O’s). Her father was a World War II vet who worked for a union and took his kids to Mass most Sundays.” Even as a girl she dreamed of raising a baby with a 50 percent greater chance of growing up in poverty.

How about some articles on all the nice middle-class smokers whose fathers served in World War II and took them to Mass? Only when describing aberrant social behavior do Times writers even recognize what normality is, much less speak of it admiringly.

According to hysterical anti-smoking zealots at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking costs the nation $92 billion a year in “lost productivity.” (Obviously these conclusions were produced by people who not only have never smoked, but also don’t know any smokers, who could have told them smoking makes us 10 times more productive.)

Meanwhile, single motherhood costs taxpayers about $112 billion every year, according to a 2008 study by Georgia State University economist Benjamin Scafidi.

Smoking has no causal relationship to crime, has little effect on others and — let’s be honest — looks cool. Controlling for income, education and occupation, it causes about 200,000 deaths per year, mostly of people in their 70s.

Single motherhood, by contrast, directly harms children, occurs at a rate of about 1.5 million a year and has a causal relationship to criminal behavior, substance abuse, juvenile delinquency, sexual victimization and almost every other social disorder.

Yes, it is fascinating, isn’t it…some social vices we just gotta stop come-what-may, no-matter-what. With others the message is different: Don’t You Dare Criticize.

Who makes these rules?

Money seems to me to be at the heart of it. When people act in a manner inconsistent with logic and common sense, but with a sticky stultifying consistency with regard to each other, and they don’t really care too much about what it is they’re doing but are doggedly determined to keep on doing it…that’s usually money. Doling it out, or raking it in. In this case I think it’s raking it in.

Well, I became convinced long ago that Ritalin, and other (overpriced) remedies for learning disabilities, are in fact bonding agents between young boys and their overly-controlling mothers who can’t quite figure ’em out because they don’t act enough like girls. This is an enormous, blossoming industry, and it doesn’t thrive in proximity to households with strong male figures. The diligent patriarch seems to have an antithetical relationship with consumerism in general, in fact. Once consumerism swells up past the critical horizon of irresponsibility, and nurses a desire to keep on ballooning outward, it tends to enter into an inimical relationship with manhood.

Once a lady becomes a single mother, if she has boys in the household, the Ritalin prescription is just a matter of time. Usually, she already doesn’t understand her own sons. If she does, she won’t later.

The really tricky thing about single motherhood, is that it is a mixture of women who chose to be single mothers, and other women who did not. So that could be a defense of the New York Times, I think; smokers always choose to smoke.

But it’s an indictment against them as well. Women do choose, here and there, to become single mothers. With or without a decent command of knowledge of the eventual consequences. How many of them are nose-deep in these glossy New York Times articles about how much sympathy and goodwill comes your way, once you start struggling as a single parent?

But their kids aren’t participating in the choice. They aren’t choosing to have their God-given masculinity medicated away because momma can’t figger ’em out. And the burdens they must bear for being part of such a decision, they must bear over an entire lifetime.

Which justifies Coulter’s trademark closing-uppercut, in my mind:

If the establishment media wrote about smoking the way they write about unwed motherhood, I think people would notice that they seem oddly hellbent on destroying as many lives as possible.

I Made a New Word XXIII

Saturday, January 17th, 2009

Emmett (n.)

Opposite of a Cuckodox. The stock movie character destined to be paired up with the female central figure by closing-credits; except, unlike James Bond, he isn’t basking in the limelight with her at his side, quite so much as standing at her side while she does the basking. His character has absolutely no depth or definition whatsoever. He is shown knowing how to do very few things competently, what he does know how to do has something to do with sweeping the leading lady off her feet but usually it has very little to do with making a living, or anything else practical.

The one thing that makes his character the most stuffy and boring, is that he has no passion about anything in life except to make his gal whole, healthy and happy. This fulfills all the requirements of making him decent, and none of the requirements that are more concerned with making him bearable to watch. Especially if you’re going to have to be watching him over and over again.

And again. And again. And again and again and again…Yeah we get it, he cares about her, MOVE THE F*!$ ON! (Throw styrofoam brick at television or movie screen.)

I expound further on this point at Cassy’s place…responding to a confession of sorts from the hostess there, that central characters in chick-flicks are somewhat self-absorbed and she’s apparently just coming around to realizing this. What I jotted there, is excerpted blow verbatim, but with some helpful Internet Movie Database links added…

There is this movie about a ditzy girl with a dog-in-a-purse called “Legally Blonde.” There is a character in that movie called “Emmett.” Emmett, I’ve found, is a supreme model caricature, around which nearly all men-in-chick-flicks are built. The ones that came after Emmett, are crudely photocopied from Emmett; the ones that came before Emmett, were simply building up a huge tidal-wave of Emmett-ism, of which Emmett is a cresting.

He’s played by Luke Wilson, who is the only actor on the face of the planet capable of using his eyebrows as nine-foot-wide bookshelves (other than a handful of actors and actresses who appear on “Smallville”). He has no interests in life other than the well-being of whats-her-face. He has no ambition, other than her happiness, even though he’s supposed to be some kind of mega-successful mega-knowledgeable lawyer. He makes no decisions without checking with her. He has no opinions about anything that aren’t either directly dependent upon, or directly conducive to the well-being of, her. In short, as a “character,” he fails because he has none. One gathers the distinct impression that if she came at her dear Emmett with the time-honored womens’ question of “which color dress do you like best” he’d just stand there and stammer, twitching his nine-foot eyebrows, waiting to be interrupted.

EmmettI do not cite this mind-numbing snoozefest as a movie to start some kind of list. Believe me, if I did so, I would never have time to fill it out properly. I cite Emmett, because I choose to cite the archetype. Emmett is it. A close second after Emmett is that roly-poly guy in “Fried Green Tomatoes” who had not a single peep of protest to utter when his wife started knocking down walls in the house. After those two, come all the rest.

In the world of chick flicks, men do not have opinions, unless they’re there to be cuckolded like Billy Zane’s character in Titanic. Or, I suppose, there’s always that long-haired guy ripped straight off the cover of a Harlequin Romance Novel, who can ride horses, deliver babies, beat up bad guys, and save a kitty-cat from a tree all at the same time. Sometimes even the no-flaws can-do-anything Adonis isn’t very opinionated; sometimes even he just stands around waiting for her to tell him what to do. Sure, he’ll lunge across the room to throw his body between her and the gun that was just fired at her, to catch the bullet. Or mail her a letter every single day for a year, or build a house for her. Something about her, her, her. Other than that, he takes no initiative about anything whatsoever.

Chick flicks are called chick flicks not so much because the audience is anticipated to possess a certain gender, but a certain mindset. The level of empathy that exists between those who produce the film, and the audience, is so sky-high that there is a thick volume of unspoken but agreed-upon protocol that is in full effect, before a single page of the script is started. And within this unspoken protocol, the male character is already fully developed to the degree desired by the intended audience. That is to say, almost not at all. They DON’T CARE. The Dudley Doo-Right who marries her at the end, and the Snidely Whiplash who tries to marry her right before the end, are both purely “stock” characters. Like the strange-looking guy with the red shirt “beaming down with the landing party” on the old Star Trek…the one that makes you go “Uh Oh!” out loud the first time you see him. Therefore — yes. Of course. Chick flicks ar all about the one-at-the-least, four-at-the-most central female characters around whom the chick flick revolves.

I have to assume you are far more seasoned in watching this genre than I am. So are you saying your experience has been different? Really? How many exceptions to this can you name? I’d really be surprised if you couldn’t count ‘em on one hand.

My incredulous sign-off has to do with Cassy’s belated realization that the female “main” characters of these chick-flicks, tend to be concerned about themselves and what they want, and about nothing else. Silly Cassy! Of course they aren’t concerned with anything else. The audience isn’t.

See, there is a reason for all this, and that reason has to do with why I juxtaposed this with the cuckodox. It’s a simple fable. The fella she was “s’poseda” marry represents tradition, and the other guy who makes her heart really go boom-boom-boom represents a rejection of it. By design, the story is supposed to expose pre-teen and young-teen girls to all the allure and glamour of rebellion, without poisoning their passions by examining the burdens that go along with it. It is therefore an absolute necessity that all the characters, save the conflicted bachelorette and perhaps her mother, be kept paper-thin. Her suitors are metaphorical of real-life-concepts that cannot be scrutinized — this is not about real-life, cause-and-effect, actions-and-consequences. That stuff is all off-topic.

That’s why “Emmett” has little-or-nothing to do with masculinity. Masculinity looks good in the real world, where there are real problems that can only be solved through its implementation. In the world of fantasy, there is nothing bad being done anywhere…except someone has formed some opinion about the central-character female-dingbat that isn’t flattering enough, or someone is threatening to rob her of some kind of “choice” that belongs to her. Perhaps there’s a side plot about a corporation dumping pollutants into a river or a wetland or what-not. Point is, in this fictitious realm it is quite safe to chuck masculinity into the junkpile, so in it goes. “Emmetts” therefore tend, generally, to be effeminate “dreamboat” waifs. Eyes that are cast, and positioned, and illuminated, for maximum appeal to a twelve-year-old dimwit girl buzzed out on candy from the concession stand. The forementioned awning-sized “Smallville” eyebrows over said eyes. Smallville-boy-eyebrows, and Charmed-boy-eyes. Other than those, no prominent features, aside from perhaps some beestung lips to dilute, depress and reduce that threatening machismo even further.

Incredible-Hulk-biceps? Fugettabawdit.

The depthless characters therefore defined to this minimal extent, they are carried over into other girl-movies that do not concern themselves with the heroine-tradition-rebellion love triangle. (Legally Blonde itself, for instance, has something to do with…oh, I dunno, just something else.) And this thing Cassy saw that opened her eyes, I can’t comment on that because I haven’t seen it. It seems to have something to do with a bimbo fighting with another bimbo about weddings.

So the complaint is that men in womens’-movies have no depth, and this becomes tedious quickly when the script calls for those characters to participate actively in more than a handful of scenes. But isn’t that somewhat contrary to what you’d expect? The quitessential “fleeing the orthodoxy to live forever after as a rebel” sequence was — it’s never been defined any better than this — that bunch of climactic scenes at the end of The Graduate, in which the audience was invited to share the insecurities, hopes, fears and revulsions of Dustin Hoffman’s Ben Braddock; no paper-thin character, he. And when Hollywood saw fit to couple up Helen Hunt with Jack Nicholson’s egotistical and eccentric Melvin Udall in As Good As It Gets, the paying audiences rewarded Hollywood in a big, big way. The nameless-faceless-judges followed suit: 25 wins, 25 nominations. Lesson taught, right?

Why, then, the persistence in plying the silver screen with these big-eyebrow liferaft-lipped hollow men, even in high-budget, big-ticket, Oscar-trolling vehicle projects? The Good-As-It-Gets formula can’t possibly be any more expensive than the Legally-Blonde one, can it? Take a jackass and reveal something about him to make him adorable. True, Nicholson doesn’t work on the cheap; his talent is formidable; it was relevant to the film’s success. But you don’t have to hire Jack Nicholson for every male character that is interesting to watch.

Nevertheless, Hollywood retains its fascination with monotonous, mass-produced male creampuffs. They stand around, they’re given throwaway lines, perhaps allowed to ask a question already on everybody else’s mind, to provide the starlet with the opening she needs to prove her intellect. They communicate no feeling or emotion about anything other than crying when they found out she’s dorking someone else. And beyond that, nobody cares what they think about anything. Even when this is taken to such an absurd extreme, as to imply that the real star of the film is inflicted with a stultifyingly severe case of narcissism and self-absorption. Who cares if the audience is weakened in the ability to identify with her; so long as it’s kept unable to identify with him. The Emmett is supportive. The Emmett is decent. The Emmett is non-threatening. That is all.

I’m really surprised at Cassy for just figuring this out now. Don’t be hard on her, she’s deservedly known as a very articulate, intelligent, courageous and observant young lady. So much so, that I guess we do need a reminder from time to time that she is a girl. Ah well. I’m reasonably sure she throws a baseball decently.

D’JEver Notice? XXI

Thursday, January 15th, 2009

So a day or two ago I was taking an exceptionally bizarre position for a gentleman to take, supporting the right of the Hooters food franchise to discriminate against men. Well hey, I believe in womens’ equality. We’ve been oppressing ’em for five thousand years, give or take, guys…I know this is true because I grew up in the 1970’s, and I spent my childhood being told so. The “pendulum” has to swing “the other way.” Time to pay our dues. And I can think of no better way than to allow Hooters to turn the male waitress applicants away at the door; it’s only fair. We need to suffer so we can understand what the fairer sex has been going through, since the time of Abraham.

Our tirade was noticed by blogger friend Dustbury, and since people actually do read that blog over there, a lively debate seems to have erupted — or at least germinated — about the psychology of the two sexes when it comes to ordering food served by appealing specimens of the sex preferred. Do the ladies find handsome men in tiny uniforms, as appealing as the men find girls in skimpy clothing? Would it alter their food preferences? It must be so; as a child of the 1970’s, I was repeatedly told that, too. Men and women are exactly alike. Actually they didn’t state that word for word. But anybody who asserted anything outside of that, was beaten into the ground, ended up biting dirt with a boot in their neck…because hey, it was the 1970’s. Gotta crack some free-speech eggs to make a utopia omelette.

But real life keeps butting in. I know of no restaurant called “pickles,” at which horny housewives can order a glass of wine and a key lime pie served up by a stud in a thong. If there is such a thing, it hasn’t opened nearly as many outlets as the orange place with the owl.

But let’s leave that aside for a minute. I’ve noticed something about Hooters over the years —

Hooters Chicken…when people talk about it, the conversation always turns to the food.

I wish people wouldn’t trash Hooters’ food. True, the customers don’t go there for it. But in a way, they do…I mean, think about it…girls in skimpy outfits serving you cold beer and NO FOOD. Blech. So it seems unfair, to me. You can see the cooks back there. They’re working hard. I’ve never seen one yet that looks underfed. Maybe I didn’t notice (my attention, consistently, seems to be drawn elsewhere). But Hooters food is not bad food. People say it is, but what’s going to happen if you put it in a taste test against other foods?

KFC, f.k.a. Kentucky Fried Chicken, for example. It’s cooked up for little kids. I find, with my advancing years, “Original Recipe” is becoming less and less compatible to my digestive system. And I’m not talking about adventures in the restroom that are kindly bowdlerized from polite conversation. I don’t make it that far. Two big pieces are over the top for me. Something in the oils has my stomach yelling upstairs “If anything else is coming down that chute, it’d better be something different or you won’t like the way I hand it back.”

Bottom line — it’s true, I don’t go to Hooters for the food. It’s a tiny, tiny slice on that pie chart about why I go to Hooters. Bu-u-ut…if you want to complain about Hooters food, how about a taste test? What’s more appealing to you, polishing off a two-pound plate of Hooters hot wings, or a two-pound plate of KFC? I’d prefer the hot wings if they’re “naked” coated with Teriyaki. I think most people would. And yet, nobody ever complains about KFC.

The teeny waitress uniforms. They have nothing at all to do with the quality of the food. But they get everyone complaining about the food when they otherwise would not.

Humans are funny, funny people. We make perfect sense if we aren’t studied very carefully. But the closer you zoom in, it’s like one question is answered and three more pop up.

Pothead Culture

Thursday, January 8th, 2009

Last night, I was noticing Michael Savage‘s observations about things, match my own, most closely when he says stuff that “everybody knows” is crazy.

Last night it was pot. Now, if I go only by what I’ve been hearing, just the opinions people have about things that they want to put out there whether they can explain ’em or not — we have to legalize this stuff pronto. It is not, not, not, not, not, repeat not, a “gateway drug.” It’s cheap, it’s good for you, it makes wonderful rope and sweaters, and besides if we legalize it we can tax it; that’ll “pay off the deficit overnight,” they tell me. Besides, “contrary to popular belief,” smoking pot increases your powers of observation and concentration. You’d want your brain surgeon to smoke pot.

Well for a melodious, cheerful dinner conversation, you really shouldn’t get Dr. Michael Alan Weiner going about marijuana. This is the point where, I’m going to presume, the guests start to regret allowing the conversation to drift in that general direction, for one quickly gathers the impression the good doctor can barely contain himself. Not only is pot a gateway drug, he says, but it’s a deadly one, one that destroys the consumer’s ability to think. Yes, this is what I’d been noticing. Pay off the deficit overnight, for example. They don’t mean this year’s budget deficit, at the state or federal level; they’re talking about the trillions and trillions owed by our federal government, more properly called the public debt. A little bit of third-grade math is devastating to that argument, especially when you start applying it to interest. Let’s see…ten trillion dollars “overnight” is eight hundred thirty-three billion dollars an hour, which comes to just shy of fourteen billion dollars a minute in tax receipts on legalized, taxable marijuana.

Er, uh, yeah, says the stoner. I was speaking, y’know, whatchamacallzit, metaphorically. Yeah. Yeah sure you were, pothead. You were talking out your butt. You weren’t speaking any way except cheerleading. You were trolling for recruits.

Now I don’t really have a dog in this hunt about legalizing marijuana one way or another, but I really can’t stand looking at an issue too closely when it’s part of something much bigger, which is why we haven’t been talking about pot too much in these pages. It’s not just about smoking pot. There’s a whole culture built around this, and that’s what Savage was going after last night. Here’s his argument: Because of the year we’re in, the potheads are coming into power right now. Seems, to me, this has been going on since about ’93, when Clinton was sworn in. But it’s been getting worse. One way or another the stoners are running the show. We have this window of ages we like to see in our leaders; the ones who make the actual decisions; the baby boomers who latched on, generationally, to the pothead culture, are there right now. So pretty much every office that counts for something — in the private sector as well as in government — is filled by a pothead.

Savage’s condemnation of the plant is even harsher than mine. As I understand it, he seems to believe in once-a-pothead-always-a-pothead…as if, once you inhale in your early twenties, in your late fifties youre still making bonehead decisions. Not sure if I’d go that far. But there certainly is a lag time, and a pronounced tendency to reject humility. I mean sincere, substantial humility. The tendency I see is to say “That must be an okay thing to do, for I just did it.” And it does seem persistent across time: That other guy did something, that’s awful, terrible, horrible, bad. I did something, even something that is against the law…well hey man, it’s all relative.

Savage went on to offer two examples of potheads running the show: Shutting down Guantanamo, or at least ceasing & desisting from the “torture” conducted within, and sending San Francisco’s police department to some kind of sensitivity training. I wish he went on much further than that, and maybe he did but my commute came to an end. I know I could add to a list like that all day long.

But I’m much more into definitions than examples, here. I’m junior to the baby boomers by some twelve to twenty years or so, which means I’ve been struggling awkwardly in their impressive wake all my life and will be continuing to do so until the day I drop dead. I consider myself well-qualified to speak on this. And Savage is right — the smoke-holers are running the show. Stoners hire other stoners. Because it’s them against the world, man. So this is becoming an important issue, one that’s affecting us all even in ways we don’t understand immediately when it isn’t pointed out.

Reefer GirlIt has a lot to do with something called “love”; that’s why you have to immediately stop torturing terrorists, and that of course means you have to stop doing anything that anybody, anywhere, no matter how recklessly, might label “torture.” Pretty much just feed ’em three times a day, fluff up their pillows, find out what else they want from you, go get it, and wait for them to talk. Police shouldn’t hurt criminals, and probably shouldn’t even arrest them for anything either. Countries shouldn’t go to war, no matter the reason. Make-love-not-war.

Conversely with that, whatever the potheads mean by “love,” it doesn’t have much to do with compatibility, because they seem to be insisting that whatever confrontation might possibly happen, does happen. A woman who is madly in love with her man, and none other, is deeply offensive to them. That could be because the feminist movement came to maturity at the same time as the pothead movement. If you really want to piss off a pothead, make a suggestion, in theory or in practice, that a woman who really loves her man will go get him a cold beer out of the fridge. (I’m entirely unsure how they’re going to react if she runs into the bedroom and gets him a jay.) But everything is like that; they don’t want people, in general, getting along with other people. Not across class lines, anyway. The real contradiction here, is that this is precisely what they say they’re working tirelessly to bring about, but I’ve noticed for years now when it’s right in front of their faces they don’t see it that way, and in fact recoil from it. Everyone has to be fighting something — man. Immigrants are constantly “oppressed” by bigoted “xenophobes” who in fact are insisting on nothing more than that the law be followed. Blacks are always oppressed by whites, women are always oppressed by men, citizens are always oppressed by the police and children are always oppressed by their parents. Everyone should constantly be throwing off shackles, storming some fortress or rampart, overthrowing someone, showing ’em what’s-what.

There are no consequences for anything. That’s probably the biggest, most important item, right there. No decision is ever made out of a sense of “if-this-then-that”; there are no domino effects, there is no cause-and-effect. Decisions are made, instead, on value-systems and overly-simplistic “should”s. If you think we’ll be unable to prevent an attack after we stop “torturing” terrorists, well, you’re just wrong. This argument won’t be taken anywhere, logically, mind you. It’ll simply be ended. It’ll be answered with mocking, “The Experts Say,” some quotes from The Daily Show, maybe a recycled line from Nice Guy Eddie in Reservoir Dogs…and that’s about it. If you bring up some solid evidence of your own, such as mentioning Kalid Sheikh Mohammed or Abdul Hakim Murad, well, you’re just a mean unreasonable poopy-head. Trust me on this. I’ve been there.

So it really ends up being a child’s fantasy land, when you get down to it. I don’t mean a small child’s fantasy; I’m talking a teenager, of the slothy kind, the kind that doesn’t roll out of bed or do the dishes or cut the grass without a whole lot of nagging. Every little thing that would require some foresight or manual labor brings forth a torrent of excuses. There are lots of positive thoughts about how we all need to love each other and get along with each other — right up until positive thoughts about other people determine something decisive must be done, something that requires effort. Then we don’t need to think such positive thoughts about each other anymore. Like, for example, very wealthy people are just as much entitled to keep their money as the rest of us, and it’s probably beneficial to allow them to do so, because the rest of us are in a symbiotic relationship with them…that would be a positive, compassionate thought, one that is compatible with the continuing harmonious working of an evolved, civilized society. But you’ll never see the potheads support that one, because that’s just a bit too much civilization and “love” for them to choke down at all at once. Far better to drone onward about being oppressed, man, by that evil corporate America, man.

Every little call to take garbage out, is met with some plea for moral relativism, cry for revolution, or both of those. I mean literal garbage, such as everyday household chores, as well as figurative garbage, like making sure Big Bad Bart catches that midnight train outta here and doncha dare come back. Hippies hate cowboys, I’m sure you’ve figured out by now, and they pull no punches that the thing they hate the most about cowboys, is the white hat, the black hat and the moral clarity. They hate the way this leads to realizations, fifteen minutes before closing-credits, that a real confrontation has to take place…for consequences loom over the “town,” if it does not. The stoner hippie isn’t down with that. He philosophizes his way out of every little thing that needs doing, and all without putting down the doobie or moving his ass off that well-worn mattress.

Hippies and those oh-so-hated cowboys are close cousins, in a way. They’re both all about confrontation. But the cowboy uses bullets instead of rhetoric and the hippy doesn’t like that. The dirtiest secret of all lies within that special hatred for bullets. It isn’t the property damage, or the death, or the carnage, or the danger to the bystanders the hippy hates when hot lead is flying around the saloon. It is the finality of the solution. No more negotiations; they never began. An elegant Obama/Cronkite lilt to the voice doesn’t count for shit. Settlements to disputes are not proposed, only implemented. Nothing is up for appeal.

In other words, decisions actually get made. Situations get changed. That is what cannot be tolerated on Planet Pothead. Ain’t that a kicker? The culture began for the express purpose of upsetting the status quo on a grand, cosmic scale; once it got some momentum built up, it became all about preserving status quos, even within microscopic, practically insignificant settings. Every situational change is a verbal agreement, which is just meaningless jibber-jabber, since every agreement has a loophole.

So I think Savage has a point here, and it’s a little bit of a frightening one when you think about it. Potheads are making the decisions now, and that means all decisions are cosmetic in nature, accountability never figures into it, consequences aren’t to be reckoned with. Do we have a society that can withstand that for long? Are our most influential and powerful positions-of-trust grappling with decisions on a daily-basis, decisions that can be made well, or at least harmlessly, by people who don’t believe actions have consequences? People that are only there to enforce contrarian social codes, love without accompanying feelings of symbiosis, and surreal & tie-died systems of quasi-moral babbling?

Can our culture stand for very long, when there is no human passion worth satisfying except lusting for the perverse, and the next case-of-the-munchies? With every single office that really matters, turned into a “work-free-drug-place”?

There’s the big question.

I guess we’ll be finding out the answer pretty soon, now.

Let’s Not Communicate

Friday, January 2nd, 2009

God help me, it’s happening to me again. Exactly one year ago — which says something about the season, I think — I was bitching away about this bad habit we have of pretending to communicate when, if some supernatural force were to stop time and thus halt the communication, ambushing all who partook with some kind of “pop quiz” about what was said by others, no one would pass. In other words, all this gesturing and mumbling and yelling and “Can You Hear Me Now?” is nothing more than a whole bunch of empty posturing. People do things after a conversation’s over, exactly the way they were going to do ’em before.

Three-hundred sixty days onward, I see something very similar is getting under my skin.

I’m seeing when we do communicate and actually manage to get it done, the communication isn’t done to ensure things get done that were supposed to get done…it’s done to change direction in some way. “There’s been a change in plans.” That, or to notify someone (me, a lot, lately) that something won’t get done when it was supposed to be. All too often, I can’t shake the feeling that if it weren’t for these cell phones, e-mails, instant-messages and other miracles of the modern age, the thing that isn’t gonna get done now, would…just go ahead and get done.

Think of cowboys. Think of farmers. Plan A is to have those cows rounded up, and branded, or those acres plowed, by sundown. Nobody talks to each other throughout the fifteen to eighteen hours save for one word — “LUNCHTIME!” What happens by sundown? The acres are plowed. No one ever had reason to think they wouldn’t be.

But that isn’t the world in which we live, today, is it? We’re too busy communicating.

I find it of particularly great concern that this communication is being used to communicate what is about to happen, particularly with regard to things that were attempted before, and left undone. Someone wants credit for getting ’em done, at last. Why am I hearing about it before it’s done? It’s like sitting on the bed bare-ass naked with your wife, bragging about the heights of carnal bliss to which you’re about to send her. Don’t talk…do.

Just got an e-mail from a relative lamenting all the “media sound bites” about Barack Obama, how he’s chosen to read Audacity of Hope. Even though he leans right politically, he’s “mightily impressed.” Perhaps I should’ve restrained myself. But after two solid years of hearing how wonderful His Holiness is, and nobody saying anything substantive…this bit of fluff mightily impressed me, as tidbit more of exactly the same stuff we’ve already seen. This extra droplet following the flood, concerned me greatly, in view of the challenges we face now — obviously, if we just bought forty-eight months of constructive action and all we’re gonna get instead is a whole lot more talk, this will be greatly damaging to everybody.

That “Reply” button just reaches out and grabs ya sometimes, y’know?

Impressed how? You quit right before you got to the goods.

If this is an exercise in making available that which up until now has been scarce, it is not served well by the provision of yet another glittering generality. Anyone who insists there’s been a paucity of those must’ve been living in a cave. No, where President Chosen One is concerned, supply falls short of demand when one begins to inspect justifications for things. Reasons to think things. Typical exchange:

“He’s the real deal!”
“He just is!”
“I don’t know. I can’t explain. There’s just something about Him!”

Well, there’s something about Him, alright. When the time comes to subject Him to so much of a fraction of the kind of scrutiny that, just because of protocol and convention, comes my way in job interviews…the subject *always* changes. So far it hasn’t been pursued to the point where I can learn something about what He has done. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent by Him, and His Holy Acolytes, to tell me all about His Divine Qualifications. The mission description for that was to get ‘er done by November 4th. How could it possibly be that it’s two months later, and it falls to people like you and me to go out and buy a book to learn about what makes Him so grape? He’s supposed to be such a wonderful communicator — it is the ONLY talent He has been forced to show us He has — how come those being given the message, have to extract it out of Him, when all this loot was donated to Him, solely for the purpose of telling us what He wanted to tell us?

And this is my concern. I do not, repeat not, confine it to President-Elect Obama. It is a cultural malaise that seems to have captured us.

Ever try this? Work on a complex task in solitude, one that you can perform from beginning to end while hunched over a computer. (My background is programming, so this is easy for me, while most folks might have to scramble around for something like that…nevertheless, if I can find something like that, anyone can.) Now do this. Do it especially if someone is paying you.

Fire up a spreadsheet, and keep a log of what you’re doing, and when. Work in a timestamp. Make it exhaustive. Record every little thing. Minute by minute, second by second.

By the time you are done, you probably had to take a phone call or two. Maybe you even had to go consult someone about a fact here or there. Now…look at your log. When did you have to talk to humans? Can you pick it out? I’ll bet you can. Big gaps. Huge gaps. Yawning gaps. You think it’s a “five minute conversation,” and through this exercise you see there really is no such thing.

You probably understand, by now, how the farmer got those acres plowed. Once we’re jibber-jabbering to each other, we inhabit a whole different world…minutes and seconds no longer count. And, disturbingly, getting things done no longer counts. We tend to stop behaving as if someone, somewhere, is counting on us getting the job done. Everything’s got an excuse. Everything’s got a “Change In Plans.”

I find this more frightening, in the year ahead, than any “homosexual agenda” or “left wing platform” or…almost as frightening as the appeasing of tyrants. This whole mindset of talk-over-do. Sound bite comes out that Barack Obama is still wonderful, and this is an adequate substitute for His Holiness doing something constructive, especially with regard to that mile long list of things He said He was going to fix. Suddenly, that can be left undone because the object of the exercise was to prove how wonderful He is, and…hey. We already know.

This is something I really don’t think we can afford right now. Seriously. But that’s our mindset. We sit on the edge of the bed, and tell the wife how good it’s gonna be when she finally gets it.

Can’t Fire Off Your Roman Candle In Here If You Blast It Off Out There

Thursday, January 1st, 2009

Jawa Report (image behind this link may not be safe for the workplace):

Some women in Naples said they won’t make love if their men shoot off dangerous fireworks on New Year’s Eve. “Se Spari, Niente Sesso” (If you shoot, no sex), as the reported group calls itself, claims to have signed up hundreds of women in the Naples area to combat celebrations that injure or maim hundreds each year.

I have a theory about women bludgeoning men into the correct profile of behavior by restricting sex:

When they stay silent about it, it always works.

When they blab away about it, it never does.

Well…I shouldn’t say “never,” now should I?

“He’s Twitchy, Approval-Seeking, and Doesn’t Know When to Shut Up”

Sunday, December 28th, 2008

A wonderful bit of writing about manliness, where to find it, and where not to. The author notices what I’ve been noticing: Like any muse, spirit, doppleganger or deity, it hangs around wherever it’s welcome.

At the martial-arts school where I’m training…[e]ven the teenage boys there are pretty manly, on the whole — not surprising, since manliness is very nearly defined by stoicism and grace under pressure, and a martial-arts school should teach those things if it teaches nothing else. Anywhere firearms are worn or displayed openly, ditto — go to a tactical-shooting match, for example, and you’ll see even prepubescent boys (and, though rarely, some girls) exemplifying quiet manliness in a very heartening degree.

On the other hand…when I go to places where people are talking rather than doing, the percentage of man-children rises. Occasionally my wife Cathy and I go to screenings at the Bryn Mawr Film institute, most recently to see Sergei Bodrov’s The Mongol; it’s pretty much wall-to-wall man-children there, at least in the space not occupied by middle-aged women. If our sample is representative, my wife is manlier than the average male art-film buff.

It has become oh so fashionable, since somewhere around the time the Equal Rights Amendment was up for ratification, for men to “show their feelings.” Somewhere around Bill Clinton’s elevation to the White House about a decade later, things had degenerated to the point where what was previously encouraged, became all-but-required; there was a stigma involved in a gentleman not showing his feelings.

This trend progessed, as trends do, on film simultaneously with real life — in lock-step.

In theater, as well as in flesh-and-blood-land, there is a certain mutual exclusivity between dealing with a crisis and putting your insecurities on display to whoever might be interested in watching. If you take on the job of driving the invaders from the Alamo, or zombies from the abandoned farmhouse, your position in the story is established, and there’s no need to whimper or quiver. They’re already waiting for you to do something; and so you have a role. And in real life, of course, when you’re dealing with that kind of situation you don’t have time to show your fears.

But if there’s no Terminator Robot coming from the future to eliminate John Connor…or there is one, but it’s above your pay grade to deal with it…what do we need you for? You have to be the plucky sidekick, soiling his shorts in twittery agitation, or else there’s no point for you to be there. Exit Han Solo. Enter Jar Jar Binks.

The man-child projects a simultaneous sense of not being comfortable in his own skin and perpetually on display to others. He’s twitchy, approval-seeking, and doesn’t know when to shut up. He’s never been tested to anywhere near the limits of his physical or moral courage, and deep within himself he knows that because of this he is weak. Unproven. Not really a man. And it shows in a lot of little ways – posture, gaze patterns, that sort of thing. He’ll overreact to small challenges and freeze or crumble under big ones.

Hat tip: Gerard, again.

Thing I Know #113. A crisis precedes logical thinking. Logical thinking precedes a solution to the crisis. Too long a time without a crisis, precedes indulgence and sloppy thinking. Indulgence and sloppy thinking precede the next crisis.

2008 Christmas Wish

Wednesday, December 24th, 2008

Good health to you and yours throughout the year, may your struggles be few and far between. May you drown in an abundance of the things you need. And of the things you want, may you be missing only enough of them that you can keep your sense of perspective.

That gap between when you know what to complain about, and when you know what to do about it — may it always be closed up tighter than a frog’s ass. Because we all know how frustrating it is when it yawns wide open.

May you think your way through every challenge, and feel your way ’round none.

May you effortlessly separate what matters, from what doesn’t.

In other words, don’t be like Thomas Friedman of the New York Times (Hat tip: Rick, again).

Wah!Landing at Kennedy Airport from Hong Kong was, as I’ve argued before, like going from the Jetsons to the Flintstones. The ugly, low-ceilinged arrival hall was cramped, and using a luggage cart cost $3. (Couldn’t we at least supply foreign visitors with a free luggage cart, like other major airports in the world?) As I looked around at this dingy room, it reminded of somewhere I had been before. Then I remembered: It was the luggage hall in the old Hong Kong Kai Tak Airport. It closed in 1998.

The next day I went to Penn Station, where the escalators down to the tracks are so narrow that they seem to have been designed before suitcases were invented. The disgusting track-side platforms apparently have not been cleaned since World War II. I took the Acela, America’s sorry excuse for a bullet train, from New York to Washington. Along the way, I tried to use my cellphone to conduct an interview and my conversation was interrupted by three dropped calls within one 15-minute span.
My fellow Americans, we can’t continue in this mode of “Dumb as we wanna be.”

Wah! Wah! My plane landed safely, but I can’t get my Wi-Fi to work! Wah! Wah!

May your relatives who are like this — we all have some — pull their heads out of their butts, and may you be around to see it happen. And if they don’t, may you have many a laugh in the year ahead, at their expense.

Men Worrying About “Style”

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

Cassy has a wonderful question. Why should men be worried about style?

I really would love to know one day why it is that so many men these days are so concerned about their “style”. Why on Earth does a man need to worry about being stylish??

I stumbled across the Style Guide that apparently Men’s Health magazine has. Gee, I never realized that being stylishly trendy contributed to one’s health! Stupid little me.

One of the first things I saw was an article showing guys how to pick the “right cut” of jeans, an article which has likewise run in chick magazines like Cosmo and Glamour countless times. And now, men can debate the merits of relaxed fit vs. straight leg, boot cut vs. athletic cut. The article even had a section on skinny jeans, a.k.a. GIRL PANTS. The fact that men would even contemplate buying a pair of pants called “skinny jeans” is in and of itself alarming.

My thoughts:

1. First, consider what takes place when we are built. Millions of sperm, which are male, swim toward a singular egg, which is female. Once one of them gets “in,” the others are banished to oblivion. Factors which determine that one sperm will get “in” include: The receptive “mood” of the egg; the sense of direction (such as it is) of the sperm; and persistence of the sperm. All these things correlate to the mating ritual in which we participate, once we grow to maturity, which strongly hints that they’re planted in our subconscious realms during this fertilization process somehow and stay there, hibernating.

2. Now however this hibernating is done, it’s well-established by now that men are programmed to participate in a coupling ritual in such a way that they can overcome a supply-and-demand handicap. In other words, they are programmed to find ways to defeat the competition, and prevail in some kind of chase, to become The One.

3. What a lady/egg “prefers” in her man/sperm, is perhaps one of the deepest, darkest secrets in all of human interaction. It varies from one woman to the next. Kinda. Kinda not. Unhealthy, diseased women make a point of advertising these preferences before they’ve reached the point of maturity where they truly appreciate men. They make a point of rejecting men who do male things — growing hair ladies can’t grow, opening pickle jars ladies can’t open, eating meat, watching sports, buying tools, etc. (I’ve made a point to keep a beard growing on my face at all seasons of the year ever since I figured this out, some fifteen years ago.)

4. Unhealthy, diseased men pursue the “Hoover Vac” approach, which means to find a way to suck in multiple eggs at once, in an attempt to achieve the effect of swimming toward several eggs simultaneously without working that hard. There is, perhaps, some success to be had in this, since unhealthy, diseased women historically do a poor job of forming individual opinions about what they want, and gravitate toward the whims of the crowd. Listening to such women prattle on about what they like in a man, is not unlike listening to a Miss America contestant drone on about World Peace. “Confidant, but not cocky…” no thoughts of her own to offer, as an individual, whatsoever.

5. Because this is a competitive endeavor, it is necessarily a superlative one. You want to be a babe magnet, I want to be a babe magnet, we both can’t be the superior babe-magnet. So you wax your chest, I wear skinny jeans; when I wear skinny jeans, you put liner on your eyelashes; when you do that, I put on lipstick — look, obviously, this is all hypothetical. I wouldn’t do that. The point is the one-upmanship. We’re trying to use the Hoover Vac approach to sidestep the effort of competition…and failing miserably at it.

So that’s my idea on how immature, weak-willed, weak-minded young males are susceptible to this.

What really drives it?

Masculinity is on the short list of things we’re trying to eradicate as the world spins all wobbly on its axis. We have, as an overly-mature society that has ripened past its optimal harvesting point, an innate hostility to it because it is responsible for getting us the things we now have, that we value to the point of taking them for granted. We must therefore dispose of it. You can read more about that here.

Hope that contributes to the discussion. What to do about it? This is where my wellspring of opinionated thought runs dry. I’m not sure there’s anything that can be done. Peevishness toward things that have given us benefit, seems to be an inextricable part of human nature. It is, I think, the feasting upon the apple that drove Adam and Eve out of the Garden. It seems to be in our genetic makeup to acquire wonderful blessings, but not to keep them.

And so masculinity has drawn something of a shitstorm of hostility down upon itself, which no one can coherently explain. Not without facing some dark truths about the human species, and its inherent fallibility.

Thing I Know #130. The noble savage gives us life. Then we outlaw his very existence. We call this process “civilization.” I don’t know why.

Misfortune Due to Negligence

Sunday, December 14th, 2008

Contrary to popular belief, I do have sympathy for the misfortune of others. There is a fine line between lacking sympathy for one’s misfortune, and lacking sympathy for one’s misfortune due to one’s negligence.

In fact, I even have sympathy for the misfortune of others due to their negligence.

Up to a point.

Allow me to state that which is embarrassingly obvious to all red-blooded American men: This panel was drawn by a Canadian woman — and if it was somehow her desire to make it a secret, or just something obscure, either her nationality or her gender identity, then she has failed.

This is…assuming it’s based on any kind of real-life event…just one of many thousands of little costs that all add up over time, of failing to give masculinity its proper respect. Such a scene would never — I repeat never — occur in any household over which I preside as Lord and Master, or that prospers from the benevolent patriarchal wisdom of any similar Real Man.

How do you forget the rope?

In the castle of which I am King, the rope is the star of the show. Actually, the hooks in the rope, and the really cool knots that are used to secure them, that only a Real Man can tie. The point of the trip is to use the knots…and the hooks…and the saw (only for a few brief seconds)…and the really manly genuine-leather gloves.

And to march the woman and the whelps around in the chilly winter air, for only that tiny handful of minutes, in token honor of the ancestors who had to live out their entire lives in it. So the hot apple cider or hot chocolate tastes that much better to them an hour later. That is what Christmas is all about.

Manly men don’t forget the rope. They wouldn’t. It’s not because we have better memories, it’s because it isn’t logically possible to do so. You think like a man, getting a tree becomes synonymous with getting a rope.

Coward of the Country

Sunday, December 14th, 2008

The Blog That Nobody Reads has an informal policy about naughty language. We are mindful of the fact that some of you might be browsing to our humble pages during your lunch break at work, perhaps waiting for some script to compile or whatever. Now that the hour is late, some social compacts have emerged in the world of blogs, which have been divided into those that try to remain somewhat “work safe” and those that do not. They are mostly common sense. For example, we used to put the “S” word that describes fecal matter right into our headline. Gasp! It seems a little nit-picky to enact an informal policy against that, but we did, and we don’t do that anymore. George Carlin’s Seven Words You Cannot Say, are kept out of the headline, or anything that’s in big font. That’s the line we draw.

We also went a little overboard, in our view, going so far as to keep George Carlin’s Seven Words You Cannot Say out of the text itself. We will do that, to a certain extent. But we’ve softened it a bit. That’s because we like to make everyday life safe for real people…not for ninnies. And, I’m sorry, but if you’re walking along in front of some other guy’s computer terminal when he’s on his lunch break and you see in our humble font the word “titty” and suddenly you’re tearing down the hallway to the H.R. department screaming with your arms flailing over your head…well, maybe someone somewhere wants to make life less traumatic for you, but we shall not be joining in that sad charade. No, if we were going to keep that policy rigid and zero-tolerant, it would be out of conern to those corporate firewalls that block websites automatically when they see these words going up the tubes. But how concerned should we be about those? The latter is a direct consequence of the former. Besides, it’s a batshit-stupid policy. I don’t know who actually still enforces it. Having a dirty word down in the actual text of something, could be a situation that easily comes up with doing actual work on the innerwebs. No, I’m not trying to be funny. Think of technical advice forums, professional information exchange forums, membership-only, things that are behind some kind of closed door.

We’ll not think on that too long. In a world where we try to be diverse and all-inclusive, it quickly becomes futile to think every possible scenario out to the very end — at least among things that involve people. We take the Jim Morrison Human Resources approach: “People are strange.”

And, if you act like a grown-up, solutions to problems tend to fall into place.

We use our courtesy-language decal (above) when things are about to get spicy. Out of respect to our readers, so they can apply their best judgment.

We do not use the word “fuck” as many times as we possibly can to show how tough we are. If you want some of that, hang out on a middle school playground. Or, go browse Feministing.

We do not use cute punctuation marks as substitutions here. We’ve simply gotten tired of trying to noodle out the “gray areas” of rules like those. Is “titty” a George Carlin word? (We found out, to our great surprise, that it is.) Should you use bangs in it, i.e., “ti!!y”? The intended meaning does not seem obvious unless the context sheds some light on where you’re going with it; looks kind of like “tilly.” Besides, FARK has a virtual copyright on fark, biatch and shiat. We love virtual copyrights here. We love ’em more than real copyrights. They remind us that people can behave with civility and courtesy toward each other without a bunch of rules forcing them to do so. Renews our faith in humankind. Kind of like, when you’re at the bank, and there’s seven tellers and suddenly six of ’em go on a lunch break, everyone gets into one line.

Besides, we are beneficiaries of the virtual copyright, since we never did actually patent “The Blog That Nobody Reads.” But the catchphrse is still ours, thanks to the common courtesy and decency of others.

No naughty pictures embedded in the pages. Penises nipples and verginers should be covered up; if they are not, then that picture is linked-not-embedded. Unless it has to do with civilized, non-prurient artwork that doesn’t focus on the anotomical tidbit, like for example, here.

So that’s our policy. Use common sense, good judgment, be a little flexible in all things, act like an adult and things will turn out alright for the most part.

Having said all that…and with our little mouth-covered-man in place to warn all you weenies about what’s coming up…we’re going to indulge in the unusual practice of excerpting Misha’s fine prose from the Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler without cleaning it up. And the occasion is Rahm Emmanuel throwing a hissy fit, in that adorable way liberals do when they think they’re being manly, when they’re really being quite the opposite. You know how they get when they’re trying to be all big-and-bad — with that whistle tucked in between their lips, tooting on it every two seconds as this thing is declared out of bounds and that other things is declared out of bounds. Like bossy little girls. “Not s’poseda do THIS! Not s’poseda do THAT!”

After a lifetime spent trying to avoid that kind of shemale, we find our skills for dealing with them somewhat atrophied. Which suits us just fine. That’s a man adapting to his environment, there. But a man also has to know his limitations, and the Emperor Misha I is, quite plain and simply, much better qualified for dealing with this type of…eh…personality…than are we.

But it’s not January 20 yet and the Holy One has not yet been crowned. Let that event come and go and tack on another year or two, maybe we’ll have adapted to our environment yet again. It’s about to become a whistle-sissy world.

And if that’s a sign of civilization, then how come things are falling apart so quickly? It’s still early! The iPresident Man-Messiah-God isn’t going to be coronated for a long time. The carpenters aren’t ordering the boards and nails to assemble those platforms for inauguration day, just yet…the pyrotechnicians aren’t even thinking about it.

What a Sad Pussy
Posted by: Emperor Misha I in Democrat Culture of Corruption, Useless Swine
2:08 PM

Rahm Emanuel is now whining that he’s been “receiving death threats” over his obvious involvement in one of the nastiest corruption scandals in the history of our nation, which is saying a bit when you talk about Democrats.

Back at his home, Emanuel appeared “beet-red,” according to an ABC News cameraman who was invited inside by Emanuel to use his bathroom this morning.

“I’m getting regular death threats. You’ve put my home address on national television. I’m pissed at the networks. You’ve intruded too much, ” Emanuel said, according to the cameraman.

Awwww… What a sad, metrosexual pussy of a seemingly male member of the species. What happened to the Capone-like “man’s man” who once listed a number of defeated political enemies at a dinner, punctuating every cry of “DEAD!” by stabbing his steak knife into the table?

Time to brush the sand out of your vagina, “Rahmbo”, isn’t it?

And, by the way, where was your outrage when Joe the Plumber was subjected to similar treatment and worse simply because he’d had the nerve, nerve to ask your nutless empty suit of a Jug-Eared Marxist Freak Candidate an honest question that your neophyte dumbass Anointed One couldn’t answer without shooting himself in both feet?

Have a fucking cookie and a glass of milk, you gutless pansy masquerading as a man, because you’re beginning to annoy us with your whininess. Make mommy kiss it and it’ll be all better, we promise you.

Cowardly corrupt Chicago Machine fuck. It’s all fun and games bragging about how you’ve “killed” your political opponents until the shoe is on the other fucking foot, isn’t it?

That’s art, right there. Don’t argue with me about it…if my Government can declare a crucifix soaked in urine to be art, then what appears above damn sure is some kind of art. Brings a tear to my eye. And besides, I’m not expecting anyone else to pay for it.

Pay close attention, Feministing fans. That is how you use the word “fuck” to make a valid point. How to use it as a tool, the way a man uses it, not as some kind of decoration to be hung on your Christmas tree as many times as you need to in completion of some kind of weird decorating scheme. Like an airheaded woman trying too hard not to look like an airheaded woman.

I note the rich irony, again, that I’m reading about this the morning after watching Kenny Rogers’ 1981 film. That story, too, is about a guy who used his two-fisted masculine Power To Destroy Things with a high degree of selectivity. Except he did it after “twenty years of crawling,” and when he did, it was all substance, no form. Making a mockery of everyone who “considered him the coward of the county.”

Rahm Emmanuel is a completely different type of seasonal aggressor, in that his mouth means everything to the exercise and his fists actually mean very little. He’s all form and no substance. He’s the loudmouth kid on the playground, the one who can dish things out all day long but can’t take ’em.

And that fucker isn’t doing twenty years of anything. He’s not bottling anything up at all. He’s shoving people around when the situation suits him, and changing overnight when the situation changes, suddenly all thin skinned and “receiving death threats.” Good one. Christ, I’m tired of liberals receiving death threats. I wish I could wave a magic wand, and make it so that anytime some asshole drones on about receiving his death threats in his e-mail, no matter for what purpose, he’s got sixty seconds to produce them in fucking hardcopy or his head fucking explodes.

It’s e-mail (I assume…Rahm-a-lama-ding-dong does not say…I’m just making the leap, and it isn’t a big one). Private e-mail. Not like Sarah Palin’s e-mail. Most e-mail isn’t hacked. You could say there’s an invitation from Queen Elizabeth to join Her Majesty at tea time tomorrow afternoon, and nobody is in any position to doubt it…only to call it into question, and that’s all. Whining about “death threats in my e-mail” is about the most gutless thing you can do, even if it’s true. The whole generic statement, no matter what the probability in any context, would be stigmatized into meaninglessness overnight in a truly sophisticated society.

Hardcopy printout or it didn’t happen. And even then I call shenanigans. Fuckers.

Power and Freedom Mean Pounding Your Verginer Like a Pork Chop Under a Jackhammer

Friday, December 12th, 2008

Our good friend in New Mexico told me I should lower my blood pressure by paying less attention to dimwits. He’s not the first to say so. We, here, see Buck as an exceedingly sensible gentleman, one who possesses a past different from ours but is united with us in the future. In other words, throw us into a time machine, crank it ahead by a couple decades, out pops Buck. And it certainly does make good sense to monitor issues related to the systolic and diastolic when one is in one’s early forties, than in his late fifties, so we did what he suggested.

And paid more attention to intelligent, sophisticated people.

Like Dr. Helen.

Crap. More nonsense. Being a lady of class and dignity, she does not endorse, she just points, but there it is, getting me all worked up. Got any more wonderful ideas, Buck? The idiocy, it would seem it surrounds us on all four sides.

Young women ‘have more sexual partners’ than men
Young women are more promiscuous than men, according to a survey that claims the average 21-year-old has had nine sexual partners compared with seven for men.

The poll of 2,000 by the magazine More also found that one in four young women has slept with more than 10 people, compared with one in five men who had done the same.

In addition, half of those questioned admitted they had been unfaithful, whereas only a quarter said they had been cheated on by a boyfriend.

It comes just a week after an academic study branded Britain one of the casual sex capitals of the Western world, with residents having more one-night stands and more liberal attitudes than those in Australia, France, the Netherlands, Italy and the US.

Lisa Smosarski, the editor of More, said: “Our results show that after decades of lying back and thinking of England, today’s twenty-something women are taking control of their sex lives and getting what they want in bed.”

First of all, there are problems with statistics…which I’ll get to later on.

But before that — whoomp, there it is. Lisa Smosarski puts a voice behind this thought that’s usually just rolling around out there, contemplated but unspoken. The five thousand years of oppression, by thoughtless, piggish men against the innocent, doe-eyed women, continues throughout this day and beyond…until girls start screwing like minks, and then that will somehow magically bring it to an abrupt end and it’ll be time for the ladies to start dancing like Ewoks at the end of Return of the Jedi (or Obamatons on January 20, but let’s keep the awkward metaphors to a minimum).

Captain Obvious is availed the luxury of dropping a single paragraph and then bailing out to attend to more pressing matters. Here’s his contribution: When you screw, you have a good chance of getting pregnant whether you use contraceptives or not. And a big round belly has very, very little to do with power. Or freedom. And it damn sure doesn’t have much to do with taking control of your sex life. More like surrendering same for a couple decades.

The floor is thus yielded to the owner of The Blog That Nobody Reads, so he can again bewail — with his blood pressure topping out — the continuing progress of all the civilized world, seemingly, past the second milestone on the way to complete insanity, which is the act of feeling your way around challenges rather than thinking your way through them. This doesn’t make any sense. The picture of a lady who has taken charge of her sex life, doesn’t have much to do with sleeping with lots of guys. Such a lady more likely sleeps with one guy. Think about it. Whether you’re a male or a female, cheating means lying. It means sneaking around. It means all the encumbrances that come with deceiving someone. And there’s nothing liberating about that.

Now, on to the statistics.

And Guthrum has put forward a decent, although somewhat incomplete, attempt to field this one. It comes down to a simple rhetorical question: With whom are these young ladies doing their fornicating? The study doesn’t seem to have much to do with lesbian sex, foreigner sex, or with a male-heavy domestic population. By process of elimination he determines someone is lying.

Well, I have another explanation, since Guthrum’s explanation would have to controvert the conventional wisdom of boys lying upward and girls lying downward. And this is a piece of conventional wisdom I believe…at least…when alcohol is not involved.

Here’s my explanation. And if it is true, it is not at all helpful to the study, or Ms. Smosarski’s idiotic conclusion(s), which is why it was left out of the article.

The fellas are subject to more of a 80/20 rule when it comes to frequency of sex and number-of-partners: Among those who are young and available, twenty percent of them are having eighty percent of the sex. This is not necessarily true of the women, since this would only take effect if there was some personal attribute that would make it likely for any particular instance to have more sex than her sisters. That would be physical beauty — which I think we should take into account only if we want to presume, when an appealing young lady is presented with lots of opportunities, she takes advantage of all of them. Let’s give the fairer sex the benefit of the doubt here.

So if you were to draw a graph about how much sex each person is having, and with how many partners, and draw two graphs on two pieces of paper for two genders — the female graph would be more of a flatline and the male graph would be all spikey.

And these “Alpha Males” who are screwing anything with a skirt, don’t participate in polls.

It’s just that simple. It fits in well with my philosophy about polls: They separate themselves from reality, when it is presumed, too casually, that that which was tested, extrapolates safely into that which is the universe. There are lots of things, generally, that confound this, and the tendency among study-makers and poll-takers is to not check those things out too carefully. Whether you buy it or not — Guthrum’s beef with the study makes good sense. With whom are these freewheeling strumpets doing their cavorting? Smosarski doesn’t seem to possess the mental horsepower to seriously entertain the question…which I find unsurprising.

Finally, my blood pressure trickles a little bit upward when I consider the issues of time and history. Those who cling to this notion that women will finally be free of male oppression the day they’ve finally done enough screwing, after all the other transgressions they’ve committed against responsibility and common sense, have failed to make use of long-term memory and allowed history to slip out of their mental fingers. Has this not been a doctrine that has already been put in practice for four decades or more? Free-love and all that shit?

Aighh…it’d be funny if nobody was listening to it. But congratulations to Editor Smosarski and those like her. Your next generation of urban-sprawl welfare queens, and all their litters of whelps, is comin’ right up. And half those whelps will be girls…whom you’ll tell to have lots of sex with lots of guys so you can sell your shitty magazine.

Their mommas who’ve spent so much of their lives with swollen ankles, big round bellies, and no man hanging around long enough to handle the extra work — somehow, for reasons I still fail to grasp — will, for the most part, fail to take the time to set ’em straight.

Who cares about any of it.

Women are having lots of sex. More sex than guys. That means they’re “free.” And empowered.


++sigh++ Blood pressure not coming down yet. I’m off to stare at my own Things That Make Me Smile page, to put me in a better mood.

Little Kelly

Wednesday, December 10th, 2008

Kelly can be a girl’s name as well as a boy’s name…so poor little Kelly has a problem with Santa Claus leaving him adorable pink girl stuff.

And the feminists have a problem with Kelly having a problem with it.

Okay, one MORE time…what does this have to do with promoting dignity in the stature and treatment of women in a civilized society, and developing and defending the opportunities they have?

Feminists. They want so badly for people to listen to their propaganda. And they want so badly for people to join on in when the feminists say “please help me deplore the latest thing I’ve placed in the crosshairs, today.”

But that ends up meaning they don’t want people to have memories.

Because if you remember all the things that have ever been in-the-crosshairs-today, across any significant swath of time…the propaganda just crumbles. You know what propaganda I mean. The “narrow agenda” propaganda. The “oh no, we’re not here to dismantle gender differences or anything like that, we just want a fair wage.” The a-man-can-be-a-feminist propaganda.

The it-doesn’t-have-anything-to-do-with-being-a-bitch propaganda.

The propaganda that says feminists are just as loving and charming as any other kind of woman. If you aren’t knocking a woman’s tooth out, or swatting her on the butt, or behaving in a way toward a woman that you wouldn’t behave around your own grandmother, then we have no beef with you.

The propaganda that comes out anytime they’re called on their crap. The propaganda we saw when Cassy, Hawkins, myself and others helped Jessica Valenti get that free publicity for her book.

It’s all a crock o’ bullshit. At least, on web sites like Feministing, it is.

Keep sufficient wits about you to observe and remember trends, and you can’t help but form some opinions about these post-modern feminists they aren’t gonna like. They aren’t friends to chastity, or even to any kind of discretion an available young lady might use in choosing her sexual partners or keeping the number thereof down beneath a non-scandalous ceiling. Somehow, that rankles them. It always has. The one exception seems to be the woman who resolves not to sleep with any conservative Republicans — that’s alright. Any other kind of criteria applied…no. If you have something to say about an Aspirin between the knees, or waiting for marriage, or waiting until he meets Mom and Dad, or waiting a few weeks — feminists ain’t gonna like it.

They might like it if you say women can do something.

If you say men can do something, they won’t like it.

If you say women and men can do more things than they’re doing, feminists won’t like it.

If you say women can’t do something, they’ll come out swinging.

If you say women and men can do things together, they aren’t going to be too happy about it. Unless it’s holding a candlelight vigil and calling George W. Bush a war criminal.

It’s pretty tough to get them to opine at length about the draft.

They’re very passionate about gay marriage. I don’t think I’m ever going to understand that one. If a woman wants to support the feminist movement with her time or her money, but she’s opposed to gay marriage, feminists don’t want her support? What’s gay marriage got to do with womens’ rights? It’s just stupid, in my opinion. It’s like starting a movement to promote responsible pet ownership, and spaying and neutering and proper veterinary care for your pet — and oh, by the way, we’re also big Monster Truck fans. If you don’t go to the shows then we don’t want your support. One has nothing to do with the other, so why tie the two together?

Actually, re-defining marriage has a distinct effect of diminishing the role of women in society. So I would say it’s like promoting responsible pet ownership and also owning your own monster truck. But whatever.

When Feministing opined about Sarah Palin for the first time — that is when the site hit the low nadir. That just completes the picture, doesn’t it? A more complete and fulfilling role for women in society, goes off in this direction…progressive politics dashes off in the other…Feministing follows the progressive politics. Embarrassing to watch. Just like when liberals circled the wagon around Bill Clinton when he was trying to stop the women he’d been exploiting from having their day in court — and went on to call themselves staunch defenders of womens’ rights. Based on what? Just plain ol’ tradition? We’re supposed to think left-wingers think highly of women just because they’re left-wingers?

Left-wing politics, in general…and the feminist movement, in particular…these are, at a breakneck pace, rapidly degenerating into places that are ideal for a lifelong male chauvinist pig to join, places where he can feel at home. I mean, just stand back and look at it. If a male politician supports the right policies he should be able to exploit women, shove his penis into the faces of perfect strangers, and that’s okay. The whole world should be his glory hole. If women are offended by that and want to sue, they shouldn’t have their day in court. They aren’t entitled to it. Because the right political agenda is worth exploiting a few broads, if they’re good lookin’. Wives aren’t special. Housewives aren’t special. Stay-at-home-moms aren’t special. There’s no need to feel appreciative about any of these women or what they do. Actually, when they get down on their hands and knees and scrub your toilet so it sparkles, you should behave as if it just happened…by magic. Like Tinkerbell flew in and sprinkled some pixie dust on it. Anything but show the goddamned minimal gratitude your mother eventually insisted you start showing.

And wives are disposable, because now we’re going to re-define marriage as being whole and complete if there aren’t any women involved in it at all. Two guys can raise a kid just as nicely — which means mothers are disposable too — and oh by the way, if you dare to disagree with us about it, we’ll crush you.

Anything a woman can do a man can do better. Including playing with pink toys.

Looks like a chauvinist pig platform to me.

So after today, let’s not have any further discussion about whether modern feminism, or Feministing anyway, is all about erasing the gender divide, trying to make men and women the same. We don’t need to wonder about it anymore. It’s settled. That is what it’s about. And it’s about eradicating masculinity. They don’t like it; they want to see it go away. I guess when a boy is unfortunately saddled with fluffy pink toys, he should just turn gay on the spot.

How Do You Provoke Dr. Helen Into Using a Four-Letter Word?

Thursday, December 4th, 2008

By selling idiotic faux-woman shit to men, that’s how.


I hate pantyhose and I’m a woman, how the hell would a man wear them with all that hair on his legs? Wouldn’t that be miserable? Are they trying to turn men into women because women buy more shit? What other reason could there be?

Well, I’m a dude…and I’m not having any luck coming up with any other reason.

The whole leg issue, to me, goes into the file marked “proof or strong evidence of intelligent design.” Girls are designed to show off their legs. Their legs look good. Guys, who aren’t jogging or doing something strenuous, need to keep theirs covered up.

Back when my mother was alive she used to joke about how it was the ugliest part of a man’s body. Just that swath of two or three inches, when a fella wore some nice suit trousers cut to come down just barely to the ankle when he was standing up, then sat down, with his legs crossed like an old man and the hem would rise up halfway to his knee with one nice wool sock all slouched down. The Bill Clinton look. I don’t swing that way, but from the evidence I can gather I think Mom was right. If the Good Lord put together any fleshy specimen anywhere for the purpose of directing people to look away, that surely must be it.

What does mantyhose do for that, I wonder.

Okay, so now we have manscara, man-lipstick, and mantyhose.

Can manpons be far behind? Come on you gender-bender manufacturers, that’s where the gals have entire store aisles all to themselves. Go all the way. Take that big step.

The Male Voice

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

Blogger friend Gerard noticed it nearly three years ago:

You hear this soft, inflected tone everywhere that young people below, roughly, 35 congregate. As flat as the bottles of spring water they carry and affectless as algae, it tends to always trend towards a slight rising question at the end of even simple declarative sentences. It has no timbre to it and no edge of assertion in it.

It is a conscious assault upon male things…or an unconscious one. Most likely a sloppy hodge-podge of those two. Being a resident of Folsom, I decided a month ago I’d left my own observations unmentioned plenty long enough:

The patchwork-quilt of [F]olsom is polka-dotted with parks of varying size, and being a parent myself I get to watch lots of parents interact with their children.
Fathers…and mothers…modulate their voices way, way upward. Several octaves in the case of the gentlemen. It does not sound like me telling my kid to keep his feet on the pedals. It does not lack a declarative tone at the end, like the Castrati described by Van der Leun. They declare things. They just declare them in this weird, other-worldly, somniferous voice. Kind of like Marvin the Martian. Except Marvin the Martian sounds like an opera baritone compared to this.

Victor Davis Hanson, last week, got in on the act (he must’ve been reading Gerard’s blog because nobody reads this one!):

Something has happened to the generic American male accent. Maybe it is urbanization; perhaps it is now an affectation to sound precise and caring with a patina of intellectual authority; perhaps it is the fashion culture of the metrosexual; maybe it is the influence of the gay community in arts and popular culture. Maybe the ubiquitous new intonation comes from the scarcity of salty old jobs in construction, farming, or fishing. But increasingly to meet a young American male about 25 is to hear a particular nasal stress, a much higher tone than one heard 40 years ago, and, to be frank, to listen to a precious voice often nearly indistinguishable from the female. How indeed could one make Westerns these days, when there simply is not anyone left who sounds like John Wayne, Richard Boone, Robert Duvall, or Gary Cooper much less a Struther Martin, Jack Palance, L.Q. Jones, or Ben Johnson? I watched the movie Twelve O’clock High the other day, and Gregory Peck and Dean Jagger sounded liked they were from another planet. I confess over the last year, I have been interviewed a half-dozen times on the phone, and had no idea at first whether a male or female was asking the questions. All this sounds absurd, but I think upon reflection readers my age (55) will attest they have had the same experience.

And now the eggheads have done their studies on exactly this thing. To whatever extent you allow eggheads to tell you what the girls want, it would seem the girls are starting to place a premium value upon that which is, according to the observations of the three of us, in a state of wane:

While Justin Timberlake’s high-pitched voice may be music to many female ears — it seems women actually prefer men with raspier, deeper voices like that of Sean Connery.

A study, done by researchers from Harvard University and Ontario’s McMaster University, found women are attracted to deeper voiced partners, which experts claim indicate dominance and good genes, the Daily Mail reported.

For the study, anthropologists and psychologists from the two universities studied 88 members of the Hadza tribe in Tanzania.

They found that when women are at their most fertile, they are attracted to deeper voiced partners because they are considered to be better hunters who offer more protection, the newspaper reported.

In fact, women are only attracted to higher pitched male voices when they are at their least fertile, such as when they are breast feeding, researchers said.

The findings, published in the British medical journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, go on to say: “Voice pitch may be an indicator of underlying mate quality in humans. Vocal attractiveness is correlated with body and facial attractiveness.”

Now, I’m no egghead; I don’t have sheepskin on the wall or a white lab coat or a pocket protector to put in the lab coat or a propeller beanie I can wear on my head. I may have picked up a thing or two about how to work with statistics, but I don’t apply it to my “research,” which amounts to nothing more than looking around at people, watching the idjit box, not being afraid to use the word “whenever” or to remember things like Hanson does.

Nevertheless — my “research” has noted there is a strong correlation between these cultural enclaves in which higher pitches are used for what passes through the masculine voice box, and lower standards in defining what is, or might be, a threat. No, not so much lower standards. Confusion. You know what I mean. Wherever people who mean to harm others, are perceived not to, and people who only mean to harm those who do harm, are perceived to be out of control and dangerous.

Social circles in which Denny Crane would be the “bad” guy…

These are bubbles of thought in which I notice the masculine voice starts to rise……..? And I would extend that into the playgrounds in which I see the daddies talking like Mariah Carey. I’m just going to assume, and I’m not going out on a limb here, that these daddies-and-kids come from households in which masculinity is regarded as a useless burden, an intrusive threat, or both. So daddy talks high, like mommy. Who wants to threaten his own kid? I don’t think this is conscious. I think this is an evolutionary trait — when the village imposes a new criteria for belonging, people who live within it start working like the dickens, to belong. Gals are better at this than guys are, but guys are improving their chameleon skills as they become more feminine. Spending more of their time within the walls of the village, as opposed to outside, where they used to be, running around in their loincloths hunting for rapidly-moving, sneaky, tasty things.

I find it interesting the eggheads have started to pick up on this conflict. The conflict will no doubt unfold, in the years ahead, becoming more and more effervescent…I find that interesting too.

What I find most interesting of all, is that the two juxtaposed and contradictory forces in this conflict — men talk high, men talk low — are both provided by the preferences of the females. Females, as we’ve said many a time before here at The Blog That Nobody Reads, are individuals just like anybody else. They are not of one mind. And the female individuals part company on whether or not it’s a good thing that men are different from them, and can do things they cannot…write something in the snow, open a pickel jar, grow all kinds and types of hair on the face.

There are women who get agitated just thinking about it. And still prefer the company of “men.” Quasi-men. And they manage to find some. The poor bastards.

There are other women who practice viva la difference. They may be conservative, they may be liberal, they may go hunting for moose, they may have spent their entire lives indoors.

What should men do? My advice is the same for all men, whether they’re looking for a nice lady, or are already happy with the one they got. Just talk the way you naturally talk. If your voice is, indeed, two octaves above Middle C, then by all means talk that way — but I don’t think it is.

Save the question-mark-on-the-end for occasions on which it belongs there. Learn to declare things. I’m convinced, at this point, and with the passage of time I’m only becoming moreso…this has a direct bearing on how a man thinks. Some things are open to question, others are not, and the guys I’ve met who talk like women, seem to have a profound weakness for intellectually regarding matters closed that, in fact, are. They seem to live in this mind-falsetto world in which everything’s open to question, constantly. That isn’t good. And no, I’m no longer willing to entertain any further thought or pondering about that. Dammit.

In short, just follow the advice of this guy…

“Hottest Celebrity Moms”

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

They’re here. Every single one of them looking fantastic, of course. Which is the point…

There are plenty of beautiful actresses out there, many of who[m] have stayed young and beautiful after having children.

The sensitive males, like yours truly, will be pleased to know the small-dee dad is occasionally worth mentioning.

Todd Palin didn’t make that cut. Sorry, Todd.

Actress Melanie Griffith has three children, one for each of the men she has married.

Way ta go, Mel.

Think of the ChildrenThere’s also a huge flock of oyster-gals reproducing asexually…I would guess…though I tend to think reality is something in the opposite direction from that. Just like the old bearded aliens speaking perfect English greeting Captain Kirk to their paper mache planets, always with the one nubile alien daughter who needs to be taught how to kiss. No momma worth mentioning, alive or dead. Except this is Earth, Hollywood exactly; and the shoe’s on the other foot now. Women give birth. Women have kids. What the guys are doing in there, well, nobody really knows…they’re just rattling around, dropping seed in random places that’s scooped up by someone else eventually.

It’s really sad how self-defeating this is. I understand the point — “real” women have kids and then worry about whether they’ll stay attractive. So this gives them hope. I get that. Hope for what? And, as Edna Krabappel Helen Lovejoy famously said, won’t someone think of the children? It doesn’t seem to be in their best interests for their small-em mom’s market value to be kept up, just in case she figures out she’s done a better job keeping up her “resale value” than that schlubby husband of hers called dad.

So it’s not about the kids, it’s about small-em mom’s self-esteem. Well — what about the moms who’ve already made up their minds that after five or six kids, their market value is spent, and they’re still so in love with the capital-D Dad that they don’t give a rat’s ass about it? What about them? I don’t think it does anything for them to be told how great Brooke Burke looks…after reproducing repeatedly, and apparently all by herself.

So when you start out trying to feel good about yourself, instead of trying to do right by people who are counting on you — you end up accomplishing neither one.

And…you can’t play “musical dads” without diminishing the role of dad. Hope that doesn’t cheese anyone off. I know a lot of folks out there were raised by perfectly decent stepdads and think the world of ’em. But now that you have sons and daughers of your own, you’d want the daughters to get hold of a decent guy and stick with him for life, wouldn’t you? And you’d want the sons to raise their own kids, rather than taking on someone else’s, or leaving their own kids to be raised by some other guy.

Maybe — just maybe — it all starts with thinking of the Dad as someone worthy of a Capital Dee. Someone worth mentioning.

Higher Pitch

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

I was doing three seemingly unrelated things that got me to thinkin’. The first was to re-read Gerard Van der Leun’s excellent piece about the American Castrati

If you focus on it, you realize that you hear this voice every day if you bounce around a bit in our larger cities buying this or ordering that, and in general running into young people in the “service” sector — be it coffee shop, video store, department store, boutique, bookstore, or office cube farm. It’s a kind of voice that was seldom heard anywhere but now seems to be everywhere.

It is the voice of the neuter .

I mean that in the grammatical sense:
“a. Neither masculine nor feminine in gender.
“b. Neither active nor passive; intransitive,”

and in the biological sense:
“a. Biology Having undeveloped or imperfectly developed sexual organs: the neuter caste in social insects.
“b. Botany Having no pistils or stamens; asexual.
“c. Zoology Sexually undeveloped.”

You hear this soft, inflected tone everywhere that young people below, roughly, 35 congregate. As flat as the bottles of spring water they carry and affectless as algae, it tends to always trend towards a slight rising question at the end of even simple declarative sentences. It has no timbre to it and no edge of assertion in it.

The second was listening to my own voice upon stumbling across an old video, in which I teach my son to ride a bike without training wheels. I’m not talking like a Castrati, thank God. My declarative sentences are indeed declarative. It’s the pitch. Slightly diffferent from what I use talking to grown-ups. Or even him, and his friends, in different settings. Somehow, when little kids are scared out of their wits, we’re indoctrinated to try to defuse the situation by altering the pitch. Just a fraction of an octave. Why do we do that? It doesn’t calm me down when a woman is addressing me and the pitch of her voice goes up.

The third thing I did was just wander around Folsom. It’s a kid-friendly place. The patchwork-quilt of folsom is polka-dotted with parks of varying size, and being a parent myself I get to watch lots of parents interact with their children.

This last part is a little disturbing.

Fathers…and mothers…modulate their voices way, way upward. Several octaves in the case of the gentlemen. It does not sound like me telling my kid to keep his feet on the pedals. It does not lack a declarative tone at the end, like the Castrati described by Van der Leun. They declare things. They just declare them in this weird, other-worldly, somniferous voice. Kind of like Marvin the Martian. Except Marvin the Martian sounds like an opera baritone compared to this.

Kailey…hunny? We have…to stop…it’s time…to go…eat din…ner……okay?

And way freakin’ up there. It’s not just strange. It’s creepy.

In quieter moments, usually before the sun peeks up over the foothills, like right now — I worry more about this than I do about Barack Obama winning the election tomorrow. That’s one of tomorrow’s leaders swinging away in the playground. Boy or girl, when does s/he ever get to see some masculinity in some form or another? When is s/he allowed to see it implemented to solve a problem? How can that happen, with the Daddy talking like that?

Does the little curtain-critter put the XBOX controller down long enough to wander out into the garage and see Papa Bear repairing the lawnmower engine? Or…simply replacing an inner tube in a bicycle? Are they walked through the exercise, or is it just — give your broken whatever to the small-d dad, like a toddler giving a used tissue to momma to crumple up and put in her pocket. Pick it back up from him, later, fixed.

Does he teach the children about maintaining gear properly? Not losing things? How to watch for those tell-tale signs you didn’t spend enough money on something? Anticipating the need to have certain safety-related items working…well…the very first time they’re needed…with no fiddlin’.

Do they use the “Batman” analogy, like my son and I have been? You know — when Batman’s falling off the building, it’s way too late to ponder whether he brought with him the “good” bat-a-rang or settled for that crummy bat-a-rang he can’t really count on.

In what pitch do they tell their children about gear, supplies, tools and skills? Is it that creepy faux-female voice I see on the playgrounds so often? This…is my…workbench…I wash my…hands before…I go in…Mommy’s kitchen…

I suppose it’s none of my business. Or at least it seems not to be — until I start to think waitaminnit. This is all the kids I’m seeing around here. An entire generation. Now, look at the kids voting for the first time tomorrow. When were they on the playgrounds; Bill Clinton was already President. We really haven’t got that long to wait, and then we’ll have some decisions made by an entire generation of kids who have been raised to think of testosterone not even as something despicable or deadly, but something even worse than that: Something alien. Strange. Undesirable. Something to be kept distant.

An enemy at the gate.

Maybe that’s already happened. Maybe that’s why Obama’s ahead in the polls right now. Four years ago, John Kerry had better military credentials than George W. Bush, and that was supposed to mean a lot. Now, the delta between McCain’s experience fighting for the country, and Obama’s…it isn’t even necessary to find a counterpoint to this one. The discourse doesn’t even head off in that direction. Masculinity is an enemy at the gate. As a voting society, it seems we comprehend its useful purpose, about as well as a thawed-out caveman might comprehend the useful purpose of a calculator.

With one exception. The caveman might grasp that the calculator is assembled to get something done that otherwise could not have been done. To our prevailing sentiment, it would appear masculinity lacks that much meaning for us. There are signs — on the playgrounds, and in a lot of other places too — that our culture has come to view it as a hindrance. Something that is, quite simply, in the way.

And we got here without investing too much quality thought in the issue. What a shame.

Politically Correct Girliemen of the Week

Saturday, October 25th, 2008

Yasser Abdel Said murdered his own daughters for dating boys who weren’t Muslims. And that silly FBI put out a notice on him, that was so insensitive that it actually called out the facts. Gasp.

Since this murdering bastard butchered his daughters here in the USA, and we’d really, really, like to get him up close and personal with the Mexas execution chamber, Yasser hit the big time, when the FBI posted some ‘Wanted’ info on this steaming load. That’s when this sorry saga strayed into the Girlieman spotlight.

Initially, following the lead of the murdered teenage girls’ great aunt, the initial FBI ‘wanted’ blurb was thrillingly real:

“The 17- and 18-year-old girls were dating American boys, which was contrary to their father’s rules of not dating non-Muslim boys,” The FBI “wanted” poster read early last week. “Reportedly, the girls were murdered due to an ‘Honor Killing.’” (Fox News)

In record time, ‘some Muslims’ whined about the use of ‘honor killing’. These homegrown Jihadikazes are worried that rank and file American individuals will get the ‘wrong’ idea since ‘honor killing’ ‘attaches a religious motive’ to this crime. These murderer coddling traitors to everything we hold dear worry that “honor killing” might make a rational adult discriminate against Mecca Maniacs. If by ‘discriminate’ they mean someone, like me, wants to see this man, who killed his daughters to preserve the family honor, burn in the hell he deserves, then I am guilty as charged.

Going gutless and furtive, the FBI beat a hasty retreat, by rewriting the wanted blurb to make it okey dokey for traitorous, American hating, Sharia loving, scumbags like CAIR. That’s when a craven, Jihadikaze coddling, coward named Mark White, media coordinator in the bureau’s Dallas office, left a lasting stench in our nostrils.

‘…[He whined to Fox] that the FBI changed the wording “because the statement was not meant to indicate that the FBI was ‘labeling’ anything.

“The person who wrote it up did not see the misunderstanding that [the original wording] would create,” White said.

White added that the FBI should not be in the business of calling cases anything that is not described in law.

“It’s our job to find the fugitive. It’s not our job to label this case anything other than what it is, what it is from a criminal perspective,” he said, noting that there was no legal definition of an “honor killing” and that such a motive had not yet been proven in court. That will come out in the trial, and the jury can decide that.” (Fox News)

When challenged about the FBI’s double standard – they, routinely, use the equally ‘discriminatory’ term ‘hate crime’ – this stinking stain on humanity’s butt spewed more weasel words. Blah, blah, blah.

The irony here — a lot of Americans don’t understand very much about Islam, even after all these years. The debate that swirls under the surface, is whether the religion is inherently violent, or whether it’s been hijacked by violent fringe-group radicals.

Politically-correct backpedaling like this, has at least the potential to make the entire religion look more dangerous than it really is. It creates an appearance that in order to make the religion look harmless, you have to suppress facts. Make sure things stay un-discussed. This isn’t a matter of correcting a mistaken record — it’s a matter of whittling down the scope of what can be mentioned.

What people indulge in that for the purpose of making large numbers of other people to think good things about something…or to prevent them from thinking bad things…it lends, at the very least, an appearance that shenanigans are goin’ down. Someone’s selling a pig in a poke. It accomplishes the exact opposite of what’s intended.

Making Yourself Useful

Wednesday, October 8th, 2008

Awhile ago The Anchoress laid down a challenge that someone should define: What’s wrong with the world? She imposed a one-hundred-word ceiling on the resulting essay, which I first honored, and then flouted. In the more loquacious version of my essay I identified a whole bunch of problems and then tied them all into a singular “root” cause. The root cause was: Us. We change the way we think to get the next piece of comfort, and in so doing make ourselves useful. Once we have that next piece of comfort, we take it for granted. We dispose of all the things we acquired, and all the things to get it, in order to chase after whatever comes next.

This is helpful when that next piece of comfort demands an accumulation of skills.

Much more often, it demands an atrophy of skills. It demands we become weaker than what we were before. So when we fail to appreciate what we have, what we end up doing is evolution via atrophy.

This leads to being over doing. Placing a greater value on what we are, than on what we do. This means we forget that love — is an action. Evil — is an action. Wealth and poverty — are actions. We forget all these; we start to visualize each other according to our states. We group each other that way. We start fighting fights that aren’t worth fighting; even worse, we avoid other fights, that actually mean everything.

Andy at Dipso Chronicles noticed the same thing, through something Mike Rowe said. You know who Mike Rowe is: He’s the “dirty jobs” guy. He has a television show that’s all about doing stuff. It doesn’t talk too much about what people are, it talks about what people do. It’s one of my favorite shows.

Renaissance man. And no, ladies, that doesn’t mean he knows how to make a butternut squash risotto while you are at the Jiffy Lube with his dirty Subaru, it means he knows how to do a lot a of shit that you women really want your men to be able to do, and then walk into a room full of REI-clad Berkely intellectuals and tear them a new one, to boot. That’s why I listen to him when he says things like “where we once encouraged each other to ‘make yourself useful,’ we now say ‘make yourself happy.'”

No kidding. How many things do you suppose that little ideological shift has screwed up? I came up with 5, but that’s because I am at work and only had about 18 seconds to think about this. Marriage, family, education, employment, and professional sports.

I think that’s what Andy is exploring here — doing, versus being. Hell, you saw it in that stupid debate a few minutes ago. Brokaw kept asking Obama and McCain what they would do. The candidates then spun the question around, and went into these litanies about what decent people they are.

This is a dead-end road. If you have what you have because of what a wonderful fellow you are, instead of the things you have done, this is something that is constantly up for review. You do not want to have a bunch of cars and a nice house jammed full of pretty things because you are a nice guy. Someone, somewhere, in a position of authority can get up one morning and decide — hey, that guy isn’t a nice guy anymore. He’s something of a jerk. Bam, you lose all your stuff.

McCain and Obama already live in that world. That’s why they underwhelmed so many tonight.

No, you want to be defined by what you do. It seems to suck green nickels some days when you can’t get everything done you want to get done — but that way, once you get things done, it’s locked in.

You know, now that I give this another think-or-three, that’s another one for Andy’s list. The subprime thing. That’s exactly how we got there. All these nice, wonderful, poor people who’ve been treated so bad, they deserve houses. How unfair it is to judge ’em by what they’ve done! Fast forward a few years, and we’ve got this massive financial crisis. It is a sinkhole crammed full of worthless paper. The paper is worthless because of a handful of years wasted evaluating people according to what they were, rather than what they did.

Or, to use Andy’s terminology, we demanded that people become happy instead of becoming useful. I’m pretty sure he’s exploring the same thing we explored a few months back. We haven’t changed our position in the last few months that this is what’s screwing up the world. So, by implication, we agree with him and Mike Rowe.

Update: We have attracted the attention of The Anchoress, probably through a trackback. She says our post is interesting. That’s what all the good-lookin’ girls said about us back in high school, they wrote in our annual “you made the year so…interesting.” Anyway, welcome, Anchoress readers. An additional reason why this might be worthy of mention, is Anchoress has seen fit to re-issue her question. She’s ready, willing and able to set the “blogosphere” on fire with this stuff, she’s done it before.

Anchoress, in turn, has attracted the attention of the other blogger super-diva Cassy Fiano. We know we’re of like mind with blogger friend Cas, because once she free-lanced on what’s wrong with the world, her thoughts were nearly identical to ours:

Once, it was understood that you could do anything… if you were willing to work for it. Americans now expect everything handed to them on a silver platter. Not eating out and buying used cars was called “sacrifice” last night. Americans have no concept of hardship, of sacrifice, of responsibility. And when we abandon the will to work, we lose the American spirit. Its in the eagerness to cut-and-run in Iraq, the panic over times being economically a little harder… sucking it up and working for the long run is unheard of. And that attitude is hurting us.

Anyway, this is a happy accident, in our mind. Can you think of a better time to ponder, seriously, what exactly is wrong with the world? Obama and McCain hit the campaign trail and rip into each other; the speech of each, is that the other (and others like him) is/are running around like a loose cannon and that is what is wrong with the world. You’d think the first time they were stuck in a room together, it would end with bloody entrails dangling from the light fixtures. Bloody entrails of one, or the other, perhaps both.

And instead you get the ultimate snooze-fest. In fact, they spent so much time agreeing with each other, the diligent observer is hard-pressed to name too many points of what’s-wrong and how-to-fix-it upon which they truly disagree. These are the guys who, together, are supposed to be representing the rest of us. If that be the case, and I think it is, then we have the ultimate dichotomy: We’ve got lots and lots of passion that something is terribly wrong with the world, and we haven’t got the slightest clue what exactly it is…nor can we claim to have spent too much of our energies earnestly trying to figure it out.

Ms. Fiano then goes on to list some of the things that are right with the world, pointing to an older post of Dr. Helen’s for her inspiration.

Hook Up Culture

Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

We put a scratch or two in Jessica Valenti’s argument, that our culture’s “obsession with virginity” is somehow hurting girls and young women.

Blogger friend Cas just drove her freakin’ monster truck over it. She also ‘fessed up, she is the “female friend” John Hawkins was talking about. We had that one pegged when we saw the female friend was asking the question we’d been asking awhile…

What is it with feminists and wanting to turn America’s teenagers into raging whores?

In spite of all the shredding that has been going on, however, there is one other point that has to be made. It lies precisely at the fork in the road, where reality veers away from what is politically correct:

For the last several decades, the feminist movement has upheld as an ideal that women of marriagable age should assume all of the responsibility of deciding on their couplings, and that Dad should butt out. This has been an unspoken agenda item, and it’s good for the feminist movement that it is unspoken, for the effect it has is to force feminism to indict itself.

A picture has emerged during the heyday of the feminist movement, of the desired male object-of-affection — the stud who is chosen most often, now that it’s all up to the liberated woman and Dad has nothing to say about it. It’s not a pretty picture at all. Tragically, most of the time, it’s a picture of a guy who’s no longer there. It’s “(Insert name of oldest kid)’s dad,” small-d.

Lots of fun. Never could hold down a job. Turned into an asshole a year after the marriage…or when the kid was born…and that, of course, is all his fault. Maybe this inspires the next question “If he’s a dick down to the marrow of his bones and he’s never been anything else, why’d you pick ‘im?” — which, in the feminist age, is the quitessential Question Of Rudeness. The answer to which is: He changed. Or the subject abruptly changes. Or both.

What does reality embrace, that political correctness does not?

Feminism was all about experimenting — having women just coming to an age of maturity, making decisions about their suitors that their daddies used to make for them, or at least influence.

And the experiment failed.

It failed because those young ladies were still virgins, in this age of eschewing virginity. Sure — perhaps they weren’t virgins in the traditional sense. But they were virginal to this world of going to bed early Sunday through Thursday and waking up fresh and energized so you could go to a job, and bring home a paycheck to buy groceries and pay a mortgage. They were virginal to that. And they picked their studs, before losing that virginity.

Their score overall? You’d have done a much better job calling heads-or-tails a thousand times in a row. They mucked it up. They screwed the pooch. They went out looking for a guy who’d be with them, help them raise the kids, help them pay off the house, and they selected as their criteria does he make me laugh. Fast forward a few years, they were forced to saddle some other poor schlub with all the responsibilities after blowing their own fun-filled younger years on some “fun” guy who got ’em pregnant and then ran off.

Which, irony of ironies…is not fun. They went lookin’ for something, and failed to find it, when they’d have stood a much better job finding it if they didn’t sacrifice so much to go lookin’ for it.

Fun is a lot like love that way.

Toilets With Urinals

Monday, September 29th, 2008

Manchester Evening News

STUDENTS say new signs on toilets at their union building might be making their WC just a ‘bit too PC’.

The traditional sign on the door of the Gents has been temporarily replaced with one that says ‘toilets with urinals’.

And the sign on the Ladies now simply says ‘toilets’ in a move to make the lavatories more inclusive for trans-gender students.

The signs on the toilets in the basement of Manchester University students’ union were changed after a meeting of the union’s executive in the summer.

It is thought the temporary ones will be replaced with permanent new signs in the near future.

How come it is, that over across the pond as well as here, when people become especially worried about making the right decision they start to talk in passive voice?

That really is the most effective way to make a bad decision, I’ve noticed. People start babbling away about what’s going to be inevitable, managing to squeak on through without muttering a word about who exactly thinks something’s a good idea, or what they plan to get out of it…they do it a couple more times…and voila. Poor decision. With consequences. That will be blamed on no one.

Thing I Know #243. With an amazing consistency, ideas mature into dark futures and cloudy legacies after having been repeatedly expressed in passive voice. When they are unowned. “It was decided that…”