Wednesday, July 12, 2017


I don't want any great thing out of life. My only long-term goal is to be there for my kids. The only thing I can honestly say I want out of the future is to travel, and travel well. Don't yet have the money for consistent travel.

Day-to-day I enjoy work accomplishments. I enjoy yoga and exercise. I enjoy food and drink. I enjoy stories!! The stories in music, in movies, in books, in shows. I enjoy sharing those things.

I don't seek more. I am not out there trying to make something else happen. I don't make demands. I don't want to be a collection of needs.

I am there for others as I am able, with no agenda and no timeline. I experience. I share. I observe myself and others. I ponder and contemplate. I simply be. Day-to-day.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Power Selfish

Those with power who are selfish and use the political system for their own gain - the power selfish - must continually sow division among the populace in order to maintain control. In America that has meant instilling fear into white people, fear of minorities. In America that has meant instilling fear into minorities, fear of the system. 

Division among the populace is achieved in ways other than creating antagonism along racial and ethnic lines. The power selfish create conflict and hate through the differences in religions, morality, and culture. People's good intentions in the name of their values becomes a weapon of manipulation and control.

Pitting the populace against itself results in both distraction and instability. The people are distracted away from the true actions of the power selfish, which primarily is: where the money comes from and where the money goes. Instability creates intolerance, doubt, fear and conflict, on which the power selfish thrive and profit.

If you feel any animosity whatsoever against any subset of people, then you are a pawn of the power selfish. You are their tool. You are not empowered, as you think you are, you have given away your power.

If your goal is to exclude or repress any group of people, then your values and beliefs are being used by the power selfish. How do you think you have arrived at your anger and hate? It is because you have been excluded and repressed. You have felt alienated and discarded by society. Thus you are rallied by the power selfish to direct your frustration and fear at a segment of the population.  Someone to blame other than yourself or the system itself.

Repression and exclusion are the hammer and chisel that create extremists and terrorists. You may have been actually repressed and excluded, or an environment and state of mind was created to make you feel that way. In either case you identify with others who are like you and thus you form an angry and motivated mob, controlled and lead by the very people who helped create you. The power selfish use you to make another segment of the population feel repressed and excluded. A vicious cycle.

You must resist the temptation to repress and exclude others. If you allow the power selfish to manipulate you into cooperating in repressing and excluding others then you are creating the very thing you fear, creating the very thing you want to eliminate. You are creating an antagonistic bizarro-world doppelganger. Someone who is just like you, and yet the opposite of you, and aligning yourselves as adversaries. You yourself are becoming the very thing you fear.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Hot Yoga Cold Beer

I am often asked things like, “What did you do over the weekend?” “What are doing during the break?” And the ever popular, “how do you spend your free time?” For several years my answer has been, “Hot yoga and cold beer.” Announced in an amusing tone with a completely serious expression. In the unlikely event you are reading this, you may be wondering, what has he been doing since his last blog post? I’ll tell you. Hot yoga and cold beer.

For over a year now both of my kids have been out of the house. Granted, they weren’t always there to begin with, being divorced and all. They stayed at my house 14 -15 nights a month. They were half-way in the house, and now they are fully out of the house, save for holiday visits and the odd weekend. I have become what could be described as an empty next bachelor. What does any empty next bachelor do?  Let us examine a typical week, you can fill in the rest.

Work. There is work. Gotta have a job, right? Gotta contribute to the local economic matrix. I enjoy work the most when I don’t care about what is going on at work. The place isn’t run the way I would run it, and I don’t run it, so it is better if I mostly stay out of it. Mostly.

Weekdays. My norm is to hit a 6:30 yoga class. Well, half the classes are yoga. At one point the classes at the studio were pretty much all yoga. They have diversified. Half yoga and half fitness classes. Regardless, I still say I am going to "yoga” even if half the time it ain’t yoga. After a 6:30 class I get home around 8. This is decision time. Actually I have two decision points. The first is at 6PM, where I decide whether or not to make a left turn at Albuquerque, as I call it. If I do make a left turn at Albuquerque then I am skipping hot yoga and going straight to cold beer. It happens. After class I decide if I want to follow hot yoga with cold beer. That is 50/50. In any case, I am usually in bed by 11. It’s a school night, ya know.

The first big decision on weekends is one hot yoga class, or two hot yoga classes. The second big decision on weekends is when do I start drinking cold beer. The time of year is important, not because of how hot or cold it is outside, because of football. I enjoy watching college football, that’s on Saturdays. I don’t care much for the NFL, and care even less for the Dallas Cowboys. Even so, it is enjoyable to watch a game and care not about the outcome. I can appreciate any good play for what it is, people watch, drink cold beer (of course), and embrace the energy of the crowd as they cheer or groan.

During football season if I do do two hot yoga classes I will do them back-to-back in the morning. Thus beginning my imbibing of cold beer in the area of afternoon. Outside of football season I will more likely do a morning hot yoga and a late afternoon hot yoga, and probably not have any cold beer at all on Sundays.

That about covers my time spent as an empty nest bachelor. Now it is time for some hot yoga and some cold beer. Cheers!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Gender Me This

There has been many an article, blog, news story, and discussion regarding the treatment and perception of women as seen through the lens of men. Just about any book or movie. GamerGate. Sexual assaults on college campuses. Fewer women in positions of power. Celebrity nude photos. Doxing. Less pay for women. Imposter Syndrome. Lean in. Many of these musings have a similar point: that women are defined by men. Having grown up in a culture where women are defined by men, women have been conditioned to believe and accept this definition. The current rise in discussions about women’s treatment in relation to men is due to women no longer buying into this paradigm.

All throughout history, and even today in parts of world, women were considered the property of men. This great historical weight is not easily moved or overcome. The fight for gender equality, largely beginning in the 1960’s is still, 50 years later, in its early stages. As a society and culture we are shining a light into the dark corners of masculinity, the alpha male, macho men – the male perspective that has worked tirelessly promoting their own agenda to the determent of women. Shining this light to expose the narcissism and selfishness of men.

Almost all TV shows, movies, books, our entire culture! All of these place women into a certain light, paint women into a certain corner, defined by men. Over the decades in film and TV, who has created and controlled the image of women? Women's bodies have always been used in advertising to attract, peddle, and sell. Does a woman feel sexy based on what she thinks is sexy? Or what men think is sexy? Is a woman's behavior based on what she wants? Or is it a male ideal, a template, bombarding her since her earliest memories?

As you read the following quote consider that men have defined the reality in which women live.

"Think for yourself. Question authority. Throughout human history, as our species has faced the frightening, terrorizing fact that we do not know who we are, or where we are going in this ocean of chaos, it has been the authorities, the political, the religious, the educational authorities who attempted to comfort us by giving us order, rules, regulations, informing, forming in our minds their view of reality. To think for yourself you must question authority and learn how to put yourself in a state of vulnerable, open-mindedness; chaotic, confused, vulnerability to inform yourself. Think for yourself. Question authority."

"Forming in our minds their view of reality." In our culture and society as girls grow into women what has formed in their minds is men's view of reality. Question what has formed in your mind, and determine if that is indeed your true self.

And now a related tangent. Just for funsies. I want to talk about these things.

The first season of True Detective written by author Nic Pizzolatto. Do men hate women? Or do men hate themselves and feel better about themselves by mistreating women? It comes down to ego and status, power and control. I AM A MAN, DAMMIT!! In the first season of True Detective there is a decades long sexual subjection and serial murders of women and children. One man so emotionally neutered that he forgoes close relationships. A second man so caught up in the bravado of masculinity that he ignores his wife and daughters and commits multiple infidelities. The TV show received heavy criticism for treating women poorly, with stereotypically weak-women or women-in-peril characters, and generally being anti-feminist.

Female characters are indeed marginalized, the focus of the show being two men compartmentalized by their own machoism, who end up with only each other. True Detective, season one perpetuates the old school paradigm of women existing at best as accessories to men, and at worst to be used by men, often brutally, and then discarded. It is a male-centric story, which is fine, but it fails to include real-life female characters. It fails to treat any women in the story with respect. Is this laziness? Or is this simply another cookie-cutter, traditional crime story about men being men, and women defined by those men?

Girl with the Dragon Tattoo novels by Stieg Larsson. Adapted into three Swedish movies, and one Hollywood version. The original title was The Men Who Hate Women, a searing indication of the theme. There is another decades long sexual subjection and serial murders of women. Forced prostitution. A cabal of men in government who ignore the abuse of a woman, and who lead the charge in the abuse of her daughter. The lead male character, Mikael Blomkvist, while seemingly the most sympathetic towards women treats his romantic partners with indifference. Lisobeth Salander, the central character and heroin, stands in stark relief to the cookie-cutter women portrayed in popular culture.

Lisobeth has suffered her entire life at the hands of brutal and selfish men. As an adult she embraces and exudes her true identity, yet still the target of the sexual tyranny of men and their abuses. Stieg Larsson is not perpetuating the male-centric idea of female identify, he is crucifying it. Drawn and quartered with its entrails pulled out for all to see. The male view of female sexuality is not romanticized. The entitlement men believe they have over women results in at best indifference, and more likely in assault, rape and murder. Juxtaposed by the non-conforming image and behavior of Lisobeth who eventually triumphs over the selfish brutality of men.


"Think for yourself. Question authority."


Friday, October 9, 2015

Me and My Not White Privilege

"Power from unearned privilege can look like strength when it is in fact permission to escape or to dominate."
White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Backpack
by Peggy McIntosh

I am white. Thus by definition I must have white privilege. What is white privilege? This thing, this apparent power I never knew I had until someone who didn't like it told me I had it? White privilege is what racists give to white people while they are being racist to non-white people. Just as the victim of racism cannot control the racist, or the acts of racism, so the victim of white privilege cannot control the racist, or the acts of white privilege. Each is a byproduct of racism.

What am I to do about receiving white privilege from racists? Black people learn how to alter their behavior to avoid being targets of racism. In the past few years I have heard black parents relate stories of how they teach their children how to avoid confrontations with police. I know of a black man with a good job and great career who drove a very nice car but grew tired of being pulled over so he reverted to driving a not so nice car. My white privilege is I do not have to teach my children about how to avoid confrontations with police. My white privilege is I don't get pulled over as often. My white privilege is I do not arouse suspicions when I browse in a department store. My white privilege is I am less likely to serve prison time, I more likely to receive a better education, and I am more likely to find decent pay for a decent job. Is that really white privilege?

What am I to do about receiving white privilege from racists? The problem with racism is not black people, the problem is the racists. The problem with white privilege is not white people, the problem is the racists. Of course, in this example the racists are white. Racists can also be black, and in those situations is there a such a thing as black privilege? If I am a victim of racism at the hands of a black person then it stands to reason there are some who are victims of black privilege. Or brown privilege. Or yellow privilege. Or whatever privilege. Just as historically in culture and society men have held the power and so sexism by men is seen rightfully as the greater evil, historically in culture and society white people have held the power and so racism by white people is seen rightfully as the greater evil.

What is up with the "white privilege" movement? There are many who never witness racism and thus say racism is not a problem. Those combatting racism shout "white privilege" in an attempt to raise awareness among those who do not experience racism. "Look! You receive these benefits because of racism!!" I get it. Raising awareness. Accusing someone of white privilege just because they are white is racist in and of itself, and a white person simply receiving a benefit from a racist is not white privilege.

The term "white privilege" implies an expectation of favorable treatment based on the color of your skin. This is form of racism. They are two sides of the same coin, white privilege and overt racism. On the one side is how you treat others differently (worse) because they are not your race, and the other side is your expectation of being treated differently (better) by those the same race as you.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Travel Blog

She had to be under 5 feet tall. She was seated, but, yes, not tall in stature. Also very athletic. Somewhat like a gymnast. Alone at first, then a man arrived. Also short, muscular, looks like a gymnast, too. Same skin tone, similar features. If they aren't brother and sister then they look like two people meant to be with each other.

They talked prior to departure. She mentioned several times she wanted to workout, and she didn't want to get fat. As can be the case a woman's body image is based on an ideal incongruent with her actual body. This is a leap because she didn't actually call herself fat. She does carry a small amount of pudginess that can be attractive on the young.

For their trip she has planned out where they will eat. Only burger places seem to be listed. If she eats burgers daily then, yes, working out sounds like good life balance choice.

A man one row up has on a brand new cowboy hat. It is on his head but he is carrying the box, which seems empty. The box says the hat is rodeo style, which I guess means the sides are turned up, like his are.

Why don't I have a fit bit? I am asked by the mother of my children, one of which sits between us. Everytime I hear someone talk about their fit bit I feel like asking, if you wear it on the arm with which you masturbate how will that be reported by the fit bit? Would it record in cold hard numbers a log of your mastubatory habit? I am not going to get a fit bit to find out. I did not ask my ex-wife this question.

People choose to wear a wide variety of clothing while travelling by plane, but this is not true. Men wear what men always seem to wear, which is to say men typical underdress. It is the women who dress casual-comfortable for a flight. Sweats, yoga pants, baggy clothes. Then there is the woman who boarded a 6:15am flight on a Thursday morning wearing a tight spaghetti strap top, cutoff blue jean shorts cut way up to there, and 3 inch heels. Party on, Wayne.

Mile high club? I can barely fit into this airplane bathroom. Two people can't fit in here, much less have sex in here. Maybe the only way two people can fit in here is if they are having sex, taking up less space, joined as one. But they would have to first join up outside the bathroom, and then squeeze in. I can't even tuck in my shirt without banging the walls with my elbows.

I don't care if you are traveling together, on your honeymoon, even. If there are two of you on a row with three seats why would you sit next to each other? Why would you not have more space by sitting one seat apart? And neither of them are in the aisle seat. (Addendum: they did watch a movie together, and have to sit next to each other for that.)

I can get by with an indifferent server in most of the service industry. At resturants or stores I can be served by a robot, by a Vulcan, and I am fine with that. As long as they do their job. But a friendly, cheerful flight attendant is awesome. A flight attendant with a neutral demeanor (or worse) can go teach their grandmother to suck eggs.

It is colder on this plane than the first flight, and there is less leg room.