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...
I’m just naturally conflicted about this (link starts 14:51 into the video, NSFW language) (from here). I would expect this is a conflict encountered by many others who are concerned about the same things. On the one hand, I don’t say something never-was-winnable in the first place. To me, that’s something losers say. Life is not a dress rehearsal, and I don’t play to lose. On the other hand, in order to win, I have to respect cause-and-effect. I’m a resident of this-universe, after all. Cause-and-effect always wins. And the fact of the matter is that Mr. Clarey has established a solid link.
Nothing left to lose. Do this, or else you’re bankrupt. Do that, or else you’re divorced. Don’t say that, or else you’re fired. Such threats, made constructively in any way, ought to carry an implied reassurance of “but if you do it the way we want you to then you will receive protection.” That isn’t happening. Men avoid doing what they’re supposed to avoid doing, in order to escape destruction, and for their trouble they just get more threats. Over the longer term of time, we see the “deal” is something more like: Quit pulling on the leash, so we can shorten it. Seriously, just ask the question: What can you do to get in trouble these days? It doesn’t take much.
If the men at your workplace talk in a higher pitch on the clock than they do on the drive in…you probably have some stories to tell. Because your men are either being punished just for acting like men, or they’re under the impression they would be. Which probably means they would be.
Why do men say anything in a voice pitch anywhere above middle-C at any time? We weren’t designed to. Most of us don’t want to. It isn’t natural.
Why is it reckless to pin a calendar in your work cubicle, with pictures of women in bathing suits? Of course we call that dumb and stupid, since it will certainly get you called into your boss’ office for a conversation none too pleasant. Ever stop to ask why that is? See, no one’s going to defend it — just because the consequences are so swift and certain. That’s just “crab in a bucket” mentality. You can’t put a Sports Illustrated swimsuit calendar in your office, so it stands to reason nobody else should be able to either. It isn’t “normal.” But…what does a “normal” person do when he goes in to buy a car, and has to negotiate on the payments with the salesman who takes him into the office and…there’s a swimsuit calendar on the wall. What does a normal-person do? Get offended? NO. So you see, the rules are all about normalcy…but the rules have been shaped and molded around the preferences and tastes of abnormal people, in fact, people who are none too interested in avoiding conflict. Such people, in fact, use conflict to achieve greater power. So the rules are not about normalcy, and they’re not about avoiding conflict, and they’re not about equality. Now consider that the swimsuit-calendar example is useful only because it is the silliest example, the example least subtle. There are many, many others. Men simply aren’t allowed to act like men.
The origin of the problem is that “offended” people have to be treated as if they have special powers. We have to give them whatever they want. They are, in the moment, masters of all they survey. But that only works with peasants and peons. At some level, usually for some kind of government employee, it becomes okay to tell offended-people to stick it. I can get as offended as I want to get, over my treatment at the DMV…in the security line at the airport…talking to the Internal Revenue Service. There is some kind of mechanism by which I can file a complaint, and one out of 50,000 of those might “go viral,” about the same odds as a random YouTube upload. Maybe the odds improve if there is a YouTube upload. But overall, no, in those situations I can’t expect the whole world to genuflect before me if I utter those magical words “I’m offended.” Not the way you or I will have to turn everything upside-down if we’re seen doing the wrong things by the wrong people.
I think the hierarchy-structure problem is, perhaps, more problematic than the short-leash problem. The leash is longer for people who have certain occupations; people who can make arbitrary decisions about how much inconvenience might weigh upon others. That is a sure sign that we’re dealing with a power struggle. The bulk of the burden rests on those who are powerless, the ones whose problems are costless to everybody else. They are the ones who must walk a fine line, in everything they do, threatened constantly with being vanished out to the cornfield.
That’s why teevee husbands are goofballs. It doesn’t have to do with “comedy” or “humor” or good times or cheer or hope. It’s all about fear. We pick out easy prey, based on who can’t fight back.
So I agree with Aaron Clarey’s observations, but my tactics are different. We are, I think, a society that wants to be civilized. We’re just doing a rather shitty job of it. We have a tendency to think “nobody can call me a bully, if the person I’m bullying is a member of such-and-such a class.”
Everybody pays, not just the men. Because when a man has to act unmanly in order to avoid being disappeared, and that’s going on his whole life, there is a dwindling in the opportunity to teach other people how to be manly. The kids grow up without ever hearing the sound of a real man’s voice. They’re more likely to hear it from a Japanese cartoon than from a real person. Boys forget how to become real men. Girls never learn how to respect them, to value them, to look for them.
I think it’s winnable, it just has to be a two-way street. Society can tell men when men are not behaving acceptably, and when it does so, it expects the men to reciprocate; men should warn society when it’s coming off the rails. There certainly have been a lot of women plowing their energies into that. More and more, it seems like it’s the wrong kind of women who’ve been able to.
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