The solution: a new masculinity

Why, a solution to what, you ask?
Why just peer back in time, like about 24 hours, and read about the sociological dilemma of our times as I see it.

Done, good.

So, the problem I’ve fashioned….
Let me start further back.

There is no problem, really. Hence, the solution is not really a solution for can there be a solution in the absence of a problem?
I think not. Sounds a bit like the old “if a tree falls in the forest” quandary,

The scenario I postulated yesterday is merely that…a scenario.
It’s only a problem for those who stand to lose the most: men. Even though most of them don’t know it. I say it’s not a problem because frankly the world will continue to function and evolve wonderfully as it has for the previous few thousand years. The only difference being the interjection of new, strange values which contradict and besmirch the traditional values of male-dominated generations of yore. Who knows, maybe in a hundred years the dominance of feminine values in our world will be complete and “primitive” masculine values will be relegated to the dustbin of historical shame.

We are not looking to save the world by foreshadowing this possibility. We are looking to save the masculine legacy of our species. The problem is that we cannot count on all males to care when they are too concerned about booking little Johnny’s appointment at Little Kuts or panicking about the slow descent of his home’s value toward the icky world of Upsidedownland. Yeah right, the normal guy in such a situation is really going to care a lot about society’s renunciation of his gender’s farcical primitive role.

So in this respect, I don’t feel I’m proposing a solution nor anything resembling such.

I witness, on a daily basis, the emergence of an insidious womanization which has begun infiltrating the inner mechanism of society. I watch as men are ridiculed and shamed and exposed as dumb asses. I can’t blame Hollywood or Wall Street. I find it very, very difficult to believe that the dollar creates anything. The dollar merely follows. The dollar emulates the pulse of society and reflects it right back at us in a crazed, self-replicating mirror.

First of all, men must stop blaming. They must stop haranguing the women and gays and liberals. It’s time to right the ship and adapt.

Women have adapted excellently to the world man created.

Women took what they were handed and created a fluid, slippery culture that is modeled on their nuanced perceptions and the maze of wiring that drives them. They have usurped the communication and the mode and morphed the world into something that resembles their mind.

Men?
We have relinquished control of the car. We’ve jumped into the passenger seat and made a fuss about it while the windows were closed.

Man will never be “man” again. Man will never conquer his environment through physical prowess or muscular might. Man’s stoicism and linear expressiveness will no longer grease the loins of culture, now modern and dense. The new landscape is no longer covered and disrupted with canyons, ravines, lions or fatal gorges; the new landscape is no longer riddled with the microscopic obstacle course of microbes or the unsanitary food-handling which allowed them to proliferate. The new cultural landscape requires different tools and bringing the old “John Wayne” mentality to the modern world is akin to bringing a gun to the knife fight (albeit, to complete the accurate comparison, bringing a gun with no bullets).

The new landscape is self-contained in the circuitry of our technological age, in the disguised and subtle gradations of human behavior and manipulation. The new landscape is not inherently female or male, however, by virtue of its design, it is most efficiently and forcefully steered by the hands which display female social and perceptive skills; a world view which derives strength from social cues and meta-awareness; from finely-tuned perception and the recognition of subtle power plays and social maneuvering. Whereas we once needed a man’s hands to open a swath of space through which we could navigate the dense forest and its deadly fauna, we now require the socially intelligent skills required to manipulate the social jungle and its complex and entangling fauna. Perception and intuition are the auspicious skills of the day.

Once upon a time, brute physical force sustained control of our environment. Now, brute cognitive force performs the function. By “cognitive” I refer to those elements issuing from our mind: emotional, intellectual, social. A combination of these items mixed together in a powerful stew ready to face combat in society’s new battlefield.

The solution is not a solution.
The solution is a way, it is an alignment. A refocus.
It is possible for man to reassert his finer traits in this realm. It is possible for John Wayne to rise within the new paradigm and inject his hard-edged reality. Man is capable but first he must question that which is notoriously assumed to be his weakness. That which it is assumed he lacks. For instance, intuition. It is vitally important for a man to recognize and utilize this hidden ability. Intuition is not the sole provenance of the female, despite our archaic understanding of the concept. Intuition is the absorption of one’s environmental perceptions and fashioning a cohesive understanding from their mixture. Intuition is the ability to integrate these perceptions into a unified whole which can help predict how various elements will evolve and interact in the future. Man, using his primal instincts, his evolutionary hunting background, is equipped with the skills of patient and perceptive observance. Now it’s time for him to recognize these and put them to use.

Man must throw off his chains of helplessness. He must steady his psyche and fine tune his perceptions and ignore the peripheral cultural distractions clouding his brain.

To begin anew.
With himself, and most importantly, with his sons.

Man needs to be serious again. He must eschew the petty contrivances of feminine culture. It’s time for him to reclaim his soul from the voracious jaws of the plastic world that has captured his gaze. He must become a hunter again.

An answer: Man’s obsolescence and a very special boutique

When I crash landed in this blogosector last year, I felt like an extraterrestrial life form thrust into the oozing guts of a peculiar civilization. I still feel like that extraterrestrial, but I believe I have a better understanding of this peculiar civilization.

Being that I entered through the Roissy portal, my initial contacts were Game-related and further perusing thus led me onto a path which devolved into the adjacent school of MRM/MRA. I agreed with much; and doubted much. But the material was intriguing and it was difficult to digest, as a man, without experiencing vivid sensations of frustration transcending into outright fury. I’m not likely to embrace the MRM world view anytime soon, for I don’t share the immediate emotional stain of having been directly wronged by the female matrix. Not directly, I’ll emphasize. Still, the fact remains inescapable that “womanization” has infiltrated all aspects of modern society, and in one way or another, if you are a man, your primal masculine interests have been subverted by the emerging culture of woman.

It’s a fact of life.

However, in my personal sphere, I’ve escaped the extra-dimensional maze that are divorce/family courts (even though I am divorced with one child). If I chose to channel indignant anger at anyone or anything, it would need to be our elitist and oligarchical Federal government which has long since whored out its integrity to the swashbuckling Alpha-infused greed of Big Business.

By far the most interesting aspect or “sub-movement” of the MRM is that of men who self-define as “MGTOW” or “Ghost.” Most intriguing to myself is the fact that I saw much of myself in this branch of fledgling off-the-grid types. Although the difference being that I seek to flee the consumerist matrix as opposed to the feminist matrix…which I think ultimately are one and the same. Funny that MGTOW, an acronym for Men Going Their Own Way, is descriptive of a process, an intermediate step, in its verb form. It’s not Men Gone Their Own Way. Going. It struck me as a half-hearted, unfinished process. And I got to thinking that the underlying philosophy of MGTOW is really incompatible with public discussion or organized movement. For a man to really Go his Own Way entails that he is GOING. Leaving the whole stinking thing behind and never looking back. To become entangled in details at such a juncture and to become involved in the slightest bit (and still finding the energy and stamina to rail against women) merely means he hasn’t gone. And maybe many MGTOWers have no intention of really leaving and are simply full of shit. It’s the height of disingenuous self-consciousness to boast of “opting out” while going so far as creating or joining such a quasi-movement while continuing to erect its perceptible structure by one’s own contradictory avid involvement. Thus, in action, they are opting in, but in words they are opting out.

Their fucking fixation with women while attempting to seek obvious self-empowerment/emotional retaliation by proclaiming to the world that We Don’t Need You Anymore reminds me of the little piece of shit Chihuahua that belongs to one of my neighbors. When you walk by the yard, the dog peers at you viciously from behind the chain link fence. However, the minute you walk past the property boundary, the little chickenshit starts yapping away at you. This reminds me of much of the MRM/MGTOW’s hapless bluster. Just a normal perusal of any MRA or MGTOW-oriented site will list a multide of like-minded material: men fucked by family courts, men fucked by courts in gender-related cases, men fucked by employers, men fucked by the education system…men simply fucked. I don’t find men wear the victimization hat very well. The truth is that if you’re a regular man and you decide to drop off the grid, not one single female will give a flying fuck except maybe your mother, and I would suppose your wife, if you’re married. Women have the pick of the Beta litter, men line up to lick their pedicured toes. You think one less uncooperative man will concern the female mass?

Men are fucked. I don’t argue this nor do I deny it.
But I am unable to focus purely on the man issue.
I’m a big picture kind of guy.
And this is a big picture predicament. A very BIG picture.

For the plight of modern man can only be accurately considered in its rightful context of societal evolution. To fail to do so is to embrace helplessness and victimization. Only through the conception of the global and timeless forces at work can we realize the continental shift in human society that eludes our well-meaning influence.

The big picture I spoke of: manhood, in the sense that we know it or have been made aware of it in a historic context, and on which we have relied for survival the last few thousand years, is sinking into obsolescence. Manhood’s relevance is being phased out by virtue of his very own success. We envision Utopia. We demand its fruition with our hard-earned dollars. We enlist the wonders of rapidly evolving technology. We seek to live longer and enjoy more bountiful lives. We work to increase our free time so we can enjoy the recreational shit that acts as a buffer and release from the portion of life we spend working and creating and greasing the wheels which run civilization. The unglamorous mechanics of this world. With each generation, we succeed a little more. Since the Industrial Revolution, each generation has superseded its forefather’s attainments in miraculous ways.

In fact, speaking of that, I saw something this morning that aligned the context of my thoughts with reality, so to speak. It flipped the lid off a dormant worldly reality which directs the male/female dynamic.

Oddly, what elicited my contemplation was the inconspicuous presence of a small boutique on Lake Avenue in Pasadena, called Little Kuts. Little Kuts, a hair salon catering to children. Complete with the children’s motifs: balloons, toys to entertain the toddler while he waits for his haircut, stick drawings on the storefront glass. It is a fucking Romper Room nightmare come visit your local barber shop. In the little time I spent walking by the shop I saw loads of children, fathers and mothers in tow, fulfilling the penultimate yuppy dream of herd-like parental wimpdom. A hair salon for children. Please tell me, is it possible for a traditionally masculine culture to co-exist in a society where children have their own hair salons?

The specialization of the modern consumer market, the ultra-segmentation of market sectors, the focussed catering to each and every consumerist whim is man’s death knell.

MGTOW my ass.
Yeah, men better go, and keep going. And never come back, because their time on this earth is numbered. A society in which such wasteful incrementalism has usurped the market demands of a bored and tremulous populace is no place for traditional man. I am not singling out Little Kuts…I’m singling out the mentality which gives rise to such nonsense, the culture which spawns such egalitarian sickness embedded deeply in the market-driven matrix that seeks to sow a profit at the expense of a weak and characterless self-devouring wasteland of upper middle class Klingons.

Little Kuts sits in a part of Pasadena that brims with SWPL affectations. Everyone looks the same, dresses the same. Slender bodies scraping single-digit body fat readings, conservative and casually smart attired parental folk marauding through the walkways and byways of their urban village, lugging children to their own hair shops and stopping on the way to purchase cups of caffeinated hybrid sugary crap that resembles coffee in the same that way Lady GaGa represents femininity. It reeks of homogenization and it reeks of the future. A future in which man and woman and their spawn come together in a monolithic mass of indistinguishable human detritus.

To: all you MRA’s: I hate to break it to you this way.

The fight is lost.
Manhood, that traditional masculine role you futilely defend, is dead. You are defending a relic, a discarded mask. You are defending a memory, you are defending the shell of an extinct gender model. Manhood will never revisit its old self, that which you romanticize with your antiquated tales of valiant men and his valiant deeds. There is no more valiant, the need is long faded. The traditional masculine Man is the odd one out in this world and its self-obsessed and self-indulgent feminine values.

In addition, as technology advances, so will our ability to fulfill the arts of extravagant spoiling and specialization and whimsical superficiality, and the less man’s intrinsic masculine strengths, molded over thousands of years of hard living, will be in demand. Stoicism, honorable brutishness, physical altruism…tell me, what the fuck do we need these for in a world of children’s boutiques?

Those of you living way off the beaten track, in the hinterlands of anti-SWPLdom, don’t laugh. SWPL’s are coming to get you. As high-minded and high-cultured SWPL pretensions seep into society and pop culture, I guarantee you that in very little time, you too will be taking your toy poodle for a shampoo and a pedicure (don’t forget the ribbons). Today’s SWPL yearnings are the precursors of tomorrow’s consumerist mindset; those who can afford it, financially and socially, are the harbingers of tomorrow’s fads.

MGTOW is accurate, really.
Feel free to leave today’s world behind and never look back.

You, with your masculine principles spawned and demanded in the Bronze Age, are a relic. You’re a Goddamned museum piece and in the face of ever-advancing society with its beloved technology which makes our life easier and lazier, the age of femininity will reign supreme. The spoils of technological and scientific progress will not be deterred.

Amidst plush comfort and dearth of grueling hardship, men will continue to assimilate the qualities of womanhood and woman will continue to assimilate the qualities of manhood. And children will get their own hair salons.

The only way I envision traditional manhood making a return engagement is through the occurrence of a large scale global calamity which essentially neuters and lays obsolete all technological progress born in the last few hundreds of years. Wayward asteroid, anyone? There is simply no other reason traditional man is relevant when machines do everything he once did with his hands and soul.

And women will not grant us that out of the goodness of their heart nor will men demand it out of the ruggedness of theirs.

Tomorrow I will hypothesize a solution.

The commute as Life

Ah the gloriousness of a day off from work.
I can take my time. The morning belongs mostly to me. I can prepare breakfast and coffee at my own pace. I don’t need to entertain hidden preoccupation at jumping on the freeway or bus to jump start the morning commute. I don’t need to worry about booting up my senile work station or sloughing through Dickensian reams of paper or contend with the attendant personalities permeating the ego-fractured swarm of co-workers.

Ah glorious day off!

I love the freedom from structuring my day around an inflexible and dictatorial schedule that blueprints my life. I can take a shower when I want (or choose not to, blah!). We become such rote creatures of the daily structured paradigm that we cease to wonder at that which is lies outside.

Days off give me this; a cursory and fleeting taste of freedom. The magnificent glory of an unscheduled world.

If only there was money to be made from such!

Without a doubt, what I miss least on days off is that grueling drive to work, which in my case can take from a half to full hour depending on the sensitive traffic flow and all the accidents and other assorted incidents which are prone to logjam it. In previous posts I’ve alluded to the fact that my public transportation commute (when I choose to take it) is quite the goldmine for free-form rumination and crazy-ass observations which frequently foster material for this blog. However, not to discount the commute on days I drive my own car, I still perform the same mental gymnastics in a semi-conscious manner while I slice my way to work and back. It was during one of my recent driving commutes that I happened to examine my emotions and stirring sense of outrage that can be triggered during the course of driving around town when I must share the road with thousands of other anonymous Angelenos.

Actually, I thought of some common behaviors which fellow commuters perpetrate on my bothered soul, thus provoking disproportionate amounts of ire.

1) Tailgating
2) Failure to use blinkers (when in close proximity)
3) People who stop incredible distances behind the next car while waiting for a red light and slowly inch their way up during the entire cycle

Are these actions really so heinous as to incur all this wrath? Do they detract at all from my purpose, which is first and foremost, to arrive at my destination with all parties concerned in one piece? No, of course not. They are trifling and bothersome and are mere annoyances in the broad scheme of the big horrors of life. Do they annoy other people similarly? Do others experience my same sense of slighted anger at being on the receiving end of such commuting behavior? I would think not.

I want to make it clear that I rarely experience road rage. I’m a mellow driver and I suspect I piss a lot of people off by virtue of my less than urgent demeanor on the road. Perhaps other driver’s lists of despicable road behavior includes people who drive too slow. But how do they define “slow?” My definition of “slow” is anything below a the posted speed limit. My speed of preference is generally from the speed limit up to 10 or 15 mph above that, depending on road conditions, etc. I suspect that many might define their speed of preference as 20 mph above the speed limit. Our appraisal of road behavior is deeply encapsulated within the moral shell we vainly inhabit. And since we are human, we tend to encompass all of humanity in our moral shell and expect it to reign supreme over all inhabitants. But they’ve all got their own moral shells as well, so we are dealing with a bunch of incongruous and conflicting moral shells competing for asendancy. Which is the recipe for war, is it not? Especially on the roadway of modern humanity.

Viewed in this context, I realize that my 3 commuter pet peeves are really nothing but extensions of my moral outlook as I tend to expect of society. As expressed within the context of a rush hour commute in the city of Los Angeles.

Tailgating offends my righteous sense of patience by virtue of it troublesome ability to allow drivers to express obnoxious levels of impatience. I despise impatience in all forms. In tailgating, the road is a scene for a glaring manifestation of this most self-absorbed of all disgraceful human behaviors. In the work place it manifests itself as excessive hounding, micro-management. In society at large, impatience is expressed as a crazed hurriedness and vomited as wanton actions and attitudes which ostensibly appear the result of placing one’s aims and goals ahead of everyone else’s. Therein lies the reason impatience is a scourge upon my existence. Impatience is enlivened and nourished by the the presumption that your needs override the comfort and personal space of others. It’s a subtle (and not so) form of arrogance. Which is fine. For you. Don’t draw me in to your nightmarish cauldron of self-absorption, fucker. This mentality describes purely that which tailgating represents on the roadway.

Failure to use blinkers is perhaps the nitpicking queen of the group. Blinkers serve no real and justifiable practical purpose on the road. Of all driving habits, signalling is essentially the “good neighbor” one which most of us exhibit as a courtesy in the spirit of conscientious co-existence with the unspoken aim of making the roadways a more palatable and harmonious environment for all. Blinkers are bullshit, we all know this. Not the point. Much of our civilized conscientiousness has no point. But there is a bare minimum of diligence and recognition which we all must display when sharing the road for a cooperative society to exist. I won’t be bent out of shape if someone fails to use blinkers on an empty road at 4:30 in the morning…I’m slightly less neurotic than that. No, the instances where failure to use blinkers annoys the hell out of me are those where drivers decide to squeeze into the space in front of you (and I mean “squeeze”); or those drivers who fail to signal that they are turning instead of going straight through the intersection when it’s obvious the only reason you are stopped at a light or stop sign is to yield the right of way to them, should they happen to go straight; and the most symbolic of all, the idiots who don’t signal as they merge into your lane because their’s is ending, and though it’s a given you will let them enter, they don’t participate in the customary gesture of signalling to herald their intrusion. Once again, a thoughtless self-absorption manifested on the roadways, not unlike tailgating.

People who stop too far behind the next car and slowly inch their way up during the red light cycle…This one has absolutely nothing in common with my others. I can’t imagine why it irritates me so. I suspect it’s representative of a symbolic half-assed deliberateness I witness in many people; an overwrought measure of contemplation which disguises itself as hesitancy and timidity in the face of serious decisions. I suppose this might even be considered impatience (o hypocritical me!). This behavior essentially sums up much of the male/female dichotomy in their approach to sorting out daily life. The female decision-making process involves nauseating amounts of dissection and discussion. I see this in the workplace all the time. In that world there is frequently more talking going on than actual doing. Meetings, teleconferences, talking, thinking… I have a job to do, I don’t have time to talk about it. You talk, I do. I suspect this is why I am so bothered by a driver’s annoying habit of stopping about 3 car lengths behind the next car and over the next 45 seconds slowly inching up. Just stop where you’re supposed to and stay there you bastard. Make your choice and live with it. Action! This inching up bullshit is the equivalent of a protracted decision-making process and all its built-in hemming and hawing. Over some stupid-ass choice that you need a community forum to occur before you can just do it.

I’m not mad.

A very (un)lovely story

Let men tremble to win the hand of woman, unless they win along with it the utmost passion of her heart! Else it may be their miserable fortune, as it was Roger Chillingworth’s, when some mightier touch than their own may have awakened all her sensibilities, to be reproached even for the calm content, the marble image of happiness, which they will have imposed upon her as the warm reality.
-The Scarlett Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne

Let me tell you about Nilda.
I won’t use her surname, that’s too revealing (as if the name “Nilda” isn’t quite rare enough in itself to be somewhat an anti-anonymizer).

When we met, I was 28 going on 16. I wasn’t the most worldly guy and quite prone to shameless and overwrought displays of romance. God it makes me shudder to think of myself then. I met her through a classified print dating want ad. I think I found it in the Recycler. Internet dating hadn’t quite possessed  the souls of lonely and desperate hearts across the brutal dating scene yet. If I remember correctly, I think the Recycler offered a phone number you could call for a fee and you would dial a number (which appeared in the ad) which was a temporary voice mail for the person who had placed the ad. You then had the option to deepen your voice and try to sound as hot and interesting as possible within the context of a short voice message. Your prospective love hook-up would be able to check her box as often as she wanted. I must well imagine what these women were treated to as they went through all their messages, a parade of panting desperate guys standing in phone line, hoping for fate to smile on their womanless hearts. I was one of those men. I left a message on Nilda’s box. How I wish I kept her ad.

She called me back and we chatted. We arranged to meet on a Sunday evening for dinner. I remember distinctly that in those days I was weakly unsure of myself and I assumed, in my absolutely defeatist attitude, that my first dates automatically took a disliking to me. I figured the girls basically loathed the ground I walked on. Occasionally, that was probably not far off the mark. In fact, there is a photo from Mother’s Day, 1987, which shows me as a besotted slob, my face round and bloated beneath an overly thick mustache.

Nilda and I went out for an inconspicuous dinner. I didn’t feel it was special, there were no sparks or “fireworks,” but then again, it seemed there never were when I met women. Way back then I still bought into the Hollywood/romance matrix that led me to judge all my own interactions against the context of on-screen love affairs and all the excitement they entailed.  The danger being that this Hollywood bullshit makes you passive.  It fails to teach men that sparks don’t just happen and spring from the void.  It doesn’t really teach that you must make them happen. Life is not a wet dream regurgitation of some deluded screenwriter.

After dropping her off, I drove home in a gloomy cloud of self-pity and pessimism. I was positive she didn’t give a flying fuck about me. If my self-esteem sunk any lower I might need a shovel to dig it up in order to find it again. So you can imagine the shock and joy I experienced when Nilda called me a couple of days later. We chatted for a while and agreed to another “date.”

Even in that pathetic state of low self-esteemed quasi-manliness, I was still a fast mover, for we had sex within 2 or 3 weeks, in the comfort of her bedroom which she rented from a married couple who owned the house. Nilda was Filipino as were her house mates. They were very nice and generous people and I had a wonderful year with Nilda.

Did we fall in love?
Fuck yeah, why not. Sure, it was love. We did a lot together. Actually, we did too much. As in every single weekend, at the expense of my friends and my life. As only a desperate and weak man can do. Give up everything for a…woman. She had three children in the Philippines (yes, I know, spare me) and her tubes were now officially tied (yes, I know, I know…). Which was great because built-in birth control was an awesome gift and blessing for a man such as I.

Nilda loved men. It was so fucking obvious.
She delighted in their attention and it seemed she found it constitutionally difficult to avoid glancing at them, especially if they glanced back. She thought she was a sly flirt but she couldn’t disguise those roaming eyes. She was a wicked little cutie with a contagious smile and catty eyes. She ate it up, man. She was a master ham. She would occasionally do these weird private stripper dances for me, which I obviously enjoyed, but… All Goddamned red flags, but what did I know? Or care? I was 28 and hormones were oozing out my pores. I needed it and I got it, for she was not the least bit inhibited despite her flagrant but emptily symbolic Catholicism (oxymoron, no?). Still, she was faithful to me (I think) for most of our year together. And to be quite honest, this fledgling little dog answered another ad in the same Goddamned Recycler about 6 or 7 months into our relationship and went out a couple of times with this girl from China or Thailand who I think really dug me. Because I was faithful to Nilda, I began flaking out on the other chick because I lacked the prerequisite balls to sleep with two women at once and/or to tell the new one that I was dating someone else. She called a few times and I could sense rising annoyance in her voice as I weaseled out of plans. I was such a pussy.

So was Nilda faithful to me?
Who the hell knows.
Nilda was not the faithful type.
Many women are just not built that way.

You can entertain and enthrall and even mesmerize but in the end, it doesn’t matter with such women because their sexual attention span is so stunted as to be invisible. No matter how smart you play it, you will lose them. One thing we seem to avoid comprehending and accepting as men is that there is always someone better looking and stronger than you. And for women, that same better looking and stronger type comes looking for them, sometimes forcefully and blazingly Alpha-like. With no qualms about nabbing your lady while you’re stewing in the shaky delusion that you somehow own her commitment. Some women resist the lure, but many also succumb to the attention. The conflict is less grueling for some.

See guys, this is your job at the outset of any relationship; you need to turn up the sensitivity level on those female bullshit receptors and listen to your instincts. You need to be able to gauge what kind of woman you are dealing with. Some girls are bad seeds. They aren’t difficult to snoop out early on. If you treat and approach them as a good time, nothing more and nothing less, there should be no problem. But there is a problem because many men, horny and desperate for a “girlfriend” with all the traditional trappings of what they bought into a girlfriend is and does, skew the sexual marketplace by purchasing faulty “products” over and over despite the obvious dysfunctional nature of said products. The manufacturer has no compelling interest to perfect, improve or innovate its product because subpar crap still sells. And sells in abundance. Men, the buyers, have proven to be a sorry, non-discriminating bunch. I know, I was one.

I was a sorry specimen.
Toward the end of our reign, Nilda and I drove to San Francisco for a weekend. I still have photos somewhere. I remember one I took of her sitting on a low wall with her leg folded up while her chin rested on her knee, cheerleader style, while the Bay sparkled in the background. The turbulent San Francisco wind kicked her hair up. Nilda was too easy to love and too easy to like. Nature paved a path for her buoyant procession everywhere she went.

We discovered a great Hunan restaurant and did some sightseeing of Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf (where we had a bad argument which resulted in our sitting silently and apart for a few minutes). We left very late on Sunday and didn’t arrive in L.A. until 3:30 in the morning, late Sunday/early Monday. I dropped her off in front of the house and we stood by her car. I was feeling romantic, and on the heels of such a nice weekend, I felt it fitting to kiss her goodnight. We noticed there was a slip of paper tucked under one of her windshield wipers. She pulled it out and we looked at it together, the evidence in plain view. A handwritten note which said something like “where were you this weekend?”

I didn’t call her out, I didn’t drop her. I merely showed some displeasure but it was late and I was tired of driving and I needed to be at work in 6 hours. I drove home in the dark.

I continued the charade, and blind delusion intermixed with desperation and horniness fueled me on.
Admitting this is still embarrassing.

One Saturday in October, just about a year after our first dinner date, we began arguing about some trifling bullshit, I forget what. We were headed out to see a movie. In the midst of our argument she simply uttered “maybe we should just end this” and I agreed. We were both ready…her statement, vague enough to elicit confusion under better circumstance (end our movie plans…?), was simply something we were both thinking and ready to say. I suspect I was also anxious to end it but she had the balls to do what I didn’t. I made a quick right turn and headed back home. She slept over and in the morning we said goodbye. I was just a month shy of my 30th birthday and I felt like shit. To make matters worse, I came down with the worst case of food poisoning ever the weekend I turned 30, the day before Thanksgiving. I couldn’t eat shit. My stomach was in knots and I spent the day on the toilet.

Goddamn that Nilda. Even after we broke up, she asked me to help her with homework. I had just bought a new computer, some ancient relic with Windows 3.1 and a speedy 28.8 Kbps dial-up connection to this strange new thing called the internet. She wanted me for my printer. Without giving anything in return, if you get my drift. But I didn’t demand it.

Thus a new era was begun.

Fasting, Power, and everything in between

July 13, 2010

At 7:40 pm, I ate dinner which is only particularly noteworthy since it was my first meal in 23 hours and 40 minutes (with the exception of 8 ounces of coffee this morning and a cup of straight green tea this afternoon).

It was thoroughly rehearsed and intentional. I’m not sick or dieting, I’m not broke or an extreme workaholic. Nope. I didn’t eat for 24 hours. That is my weekly dietary fast. It usually falls on Tuesday. You know what the best thing about fasting is? The meal that breaks it. That first bite of food to settle on your cottony tongue is so damned vivid. It’s like tasting food for the first time. Even the most common or bland morsel can taste heavenly if you haven’t had a bite of food for a day. Only in the absence of food can we appreciate its pleasure. That’s why I fast. Because as a society we are desensitized to food, to the sense of taste.

When I began fasting I was doing it twice a week but that proved too much to integrate into my 3x/week weight training schedule. Mental or not, I felt like I was losing strength. However one fast per week has proven very manageable. There are many suspect and apocryphal “facts” out there declaring the amazing beneficial effects periodic fasting can have on the human body. I’m not convinced, but I’m not skeptical, either. What I have noticed is that fasting is a gloriously and spiritually empowering practice. The empowerment over food, and thus, over superficially sensory cravings. Fasting has allowed me to assert a sense of control over my relationship with food. It’s something most people in the West should try. Our cultural relationship with food is diseased and obsessive. Witness our national plague of obesity. This is due to one reason, and one reason only: overeating. Overeating is a natural behavioral extension of food fixation. Of one’s obsession with the emotional and physically pleasurable feedback one experiences by shoveling bad food (sugary, fatty) into their mouth. I’ve never had a weight problem and I’ve never overeaten…I was fortunate in this respect. However, my infamous levels of alcohol abuse afforded me a glimpse into the mechanics of addiction. Addiction is, in my opinion, the ability of an ingestible item to affect our mood and mental state in measures beyond our conscious control. Simple as that. Once you cross a certain threshold beyond “normal,” you are officially addicted. When failure to ingest an item results in emotional discomfort. Food is legal for consumption at all ages, thus the lazy ease with which obesity strikes all ages, genders and socioeconomic classes.

When I speak to people of fasting, I draw the occasional raised eyebrow. Many people still buy into the antiquated notion that not eating is inherently unhealthy and physically destructive. I don’t know what the genesis of the mentality can be traced to, but I suspect it might have something to do with the fact that illness can lead to loss of appetite and there is a dense circular reasoning at work here. I think much of the myth also has its roots in our modern expectation that our level of civilization bespeaks of the plentiful nature of food, and that its unavailability or scarcity is the vestigial misery of antiquity. The most striking thing I’ve learned in my research of fasting are the dual physiological states of “fed” or “fasted.” The fed state encompasses that period of time when you are eating and digesting food. The fasted state is obviously all other times. During fed periods, our body stores calories…which is not terribly surprising. However, researchers estimate that the average human spends about 20 hours per day in a fed state. That is excessive and it’s not difficult to imagine how this can have a deteriorating effect on the body. It’s well-known (and common sense) that bodily systems which are in constant use experience the most stress and wear and hence are also the first to succumb to degenerative and inflammatory disease. Our digestive system, so vast and integral to the efficient functioning of our symbiotic physiological system, affects the health of our entire body by virtue of it’s own state of repair.

I look at fasting as a time to give my body a “break.” If you fast one day and assuming you are not making up for it by overeating the other 6 days, you are reducing your weekly caloric intake by almost 15%. For those of you looking to burn calories, pay heed. I guarantee you that walking a mile after dinner every night will not burn 15% of your weekly caloric intake. If you enjoy walking for the relaxing pleasure and the mental edge it gives you after eating, go for it. More power to you! I walk also, I think it’s a great mental activity. Keep it in perspective, however. It’s only that and not much more.

Fasting is about empowerment.
Which is funny coming from me.
The concept of power has absolutely no appeal to me. Being that I work in the corporate sector, I run into people all the time who are driven by the blind pursuit of power. Sometimes it’s not so blind. But it’s an all-consuming drive. Power. And more often than not, the effect one’s drive to power has on his or her honor and integrity is less than praiseworthy.

Dude, fuck power.
Who wants power?
Power means responsibility, power means duties and attachments. Very few people in our modern world are able to wield total and absolute power. Dictators have fallen out of favor. That’s the only kind of power I can fathom. The kind of power which is absolute and needn’t answer to any sort of checks or balances or human decency.
Otherwise power is not worth it.
I don’t want to power over people, I don’t want to rule people, I just want to be out of their hair, and I want them out of my hair.

All you power-hungry nuts…you’re aboslutely bonkers. I don’t get it.
I guess it’s not very “alpha” of me to prattle on like this but I can’t comprehend the urge to power. I’m the ultimate libertarian in this respect for I believe power is a wasteful human consumptive drive which serves no end other that to keep civilization under tight control. Which I think is utter bullshit because I have more faith in the human race than that. I believe mankind, left to its own devices and self-regulating “moral” compass, will find a happy balance in which nothing is destroyed unlike those who cry “anarchy” may believe. Man’s decent instincts, when dictated by a mass of popular perception and influence, will triumph and lead the way to a healthy society. Power games will not matter (as much) and those who seek to opt out will be allowed to exit quietly without the exquisite demands of a needy culture.

Fuck power.