Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
Embrace Your Fear
Those of you reading The Blog That Nobody Reads, of the male persuasion, I have a question for you. That is, if you go to work Monday through Friday in an office run/owned by someone else, with persons male & female traipsing through it for whatever reason. Gentlemen, now that it’s Monday, why don’t you go buy a full-color poster of a half-naked, chesty, leggy brunette, with little tiny water droplets all over her gorgeous body, and hang it up at work?
There are a whole bunch of answers to that question, reasons why that would be stupid. One answer is more honest than the rest: It could be construed as creating a “hostile work environment.” Your fear of the consequences, such as being reprimanded, canned, and/or earning a reputation as an oblivious bonehead, are all rooted in this. And that’s interesting…because let’s face it, if an interested, but emotionally-uninvolved space-alien were to visit Earth for the very first time, and you’d have to explain to him why you have pictures of leggy brunettes on your computer at home but you don’t print them out and hang them at work, your answer would make very, very little sense to him. This is a malformed wrinkle in the skin of our society. It makes sense to us only because we’re accustomed to it. A picture of a beautiful person doesn’t transform a benevolent environment into a hostile one. Sure, exacerbate the level of hostility in an environment that was previously hostile, maybe. But an enviornment isn’t hostile just because there’s a picture of a person on a wall.
Why do we pretend otherwise?
Well, now I come to my point. Once upon a time, someone who was not a man, did something that men don’t do, and perhaps the time has come for men to re-think something. What she did, was either show brutal honesty about the fears she felt, or — this is far more likely — manufacture and display an artificial sense of fear where she actually felt little-to-none. And her phony fears agitated some very real fears, felt mostly by men. Fears bosses had, of getting sued. Fears attorneys had, of losing a case. Fears male co-workers had, of getting canned.
And now we play this game of pretend. We pretend that pictures on walls can “offend” people and make them feel uncomfortable…as if unwritten rules, subject to the interpretation of who-knows-what-kind-of-stranger, about what kind of wall art might bring your career to an inglorious end, don’t make anyone uncomfortable. Some people like this. We pretend that most people like it. Although, in reality, when people have to go to work in a place where saying/displaying the wrong thing might get them fired, and they don’t know what might do that until it’s too late — most people don’t like that. That’s the plain truth of it.
Put another way, suppose I’m madly in love with my wife and last summer we vacationed in Cancun. On a drizzly, gloomy April day can I put a picture of her on my desk? Maybe not such a good idea. She’s in a swimsuit, after all. Someone might think…and there we go.
We are less free than we once were. That’s the price of not calling bullshit at the right time. Someone faked fear and discomfort, and someone else let her get away with it, now we all pay the price.
You can go the other way, too: Fool people into thinking you’re not afraid, when you’re scared shitless. Men do this a lot.
You have the example of men having the crap scared out of them, over being disciplined over nebulous rules about personal mementos in the workplace, rules nobody really understands. Reasonable fear? Absolutely. But it’s a fear felt by men, who don’t advertise their fears the way women do. So we don’t act on it.
Then there’s the fear inspired by crazy lunatic shit like this. I was sure it was an April Fool’s joke when I first heard about it, mostly because the story concerns our friends-across-the-pond, the Brits, spending dollars. Brits don’t spend dollars, they spend pounds, so around the early part of April I had reasons to be suspicious. But it’s true.
The British government is spending $33 million for a 10-year campaign to attract more minorities and women to fishing.
About 4 million people enjoy a quiet afternoon on the river bank each year, but the government has determined that today’s fishermen are too white, too male and too middle-aged, the Sunday Telegraph reported.
The Environment Agency will use money raised each year by the sale of fishing licenses to pay for a new leaflet entitled “10 things you should know about angling.”
“Angling does not discriminate against gender, race, age or athletic ability” and the “Government is interested in angling in the context of social inclusion in deprived urban areas,” the leaflet says.
There are also pilot programs, such as an effort in Swansea that taught Muslim women and children to fish by experts from the Salmon and Trout Association.
Okay, it’s normal for government agencies that realize some revenue from licenses, park fees, etc., to spend money on some advertising. Good business, and all that. Except when the private sector does advertising in order to get some revenue, it doesn’t give a flying rat’s ass what the skin color of the resulting patronage is. So is this just good advertising and nothing more? The litmus test would be, if the advertising campaign is a fabulous success and new fishing enthusiasts come flocking to the Environment Agency’s local office to buy their licenses, would this meet the goals of the program even though the new enthusiasts are all white and middle-aged and male? And from reading the story, it would appear the answer is NO.
No, the British government doesn’t want more fisherpeople. It is spending money to have fewer white guys out there. You might say, whether they realize it or not, they’re spending the money twice. A good businessman knows you get more business when you’re willing to take the business, regardless of what color it is.
Now, stop thinking like a fearless, mastodon-hunting, fire-fighting, wood-chopping guy for just a second. Think like something much more powerful: a mildly-psychotic woman with a narcissistic personality complex. Think that way. Isn’t this just a little bit intimidating?
Doesn’t it create a hostile environment? When your government is taking your licensing dollars and spending them to make less of you in some environment or another, is that not hostile?
Can anyone present to me, a sound, logical argument why it makes sense for a government to do this, and why it doesn’t make sense for that government to, let us say…
Why not? Walter Cronkite and that knuckleheaded Canadian senator are already waxing poetic about how our prison population is predominantly black. Not so much that the population is expanding, or that the crimes were committed, property damaged, people hurt…just that black guys are in there. Would they be cool with the idea of keeping that prison population sky-high, and just making it a little bit whiter? Maybe. If I’m to conclude that from their comments, neither one of them appears to be upset by that one little bit. So what’s wrong with taking their comments that way, and then borrowing a page from the British do-gooders and putting some tax money behind them?
Government has an interest in modifying the statistical representation of these classes of people, in this environment or that one. That means Government has an interest in all of it, not just some. Researching it, comparing it…controlling it.
I’m afraid — yes, afraid — that around the world, this will get a lot worse before it gets any better. Men have an unfortunate tendency to lend their fears to action, only “out there” where we do our manly things, and suppress it in social settings in response to social phenomena such as this.
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