Creepy Behavior

Friendly Man walks into the room and asks a woman he finds attractive if she she was up all night with her boyfriend.

Friendly Man walks up to a woman at work and tells her she looks hot today.

Friendly Man walks up to a woman he knows casually and give her shoulders a rub.

Friendly Man walks up to a woman and asks her if she’s ever been to the Porn Shop downtown?  They have a sale on today!

I could probably fill a post with these generic examples, or the women reading this could fill up the comments with the hundreds of examples of behavior that is frankly part of a normal life for  woman but is CREEPY BEHAVIOR.

Women are expected to think that all these things are compliments to us.  And many of us have internalized that expectation.

And because it’s supposed to be a compliment, a woman who raises any issue on the subject will be perceived as a bitch.  Unfriendly, rude, hysterical, feminista, hard to work with, angry,… the list goes on.

But believe me, we KNOW that we will be considered the bad guy in any effort we make to keep men from giving us unwanted attention.  And the vast majority of us say nothing during those uncomfortable moments.  Some have become so inured to the culture they manage to feel complimented.  But most of us feel the creepiness wafting off the guy like a stink.  But we will still give an awkward laugh, a stilted comment or an abrupt change of subject.

If you are a straight man, and you want to avoid being a creep, run your interactions with female acquaintances or casual friends through the following filter – Would I say this to a man?

If you wouldn’t say it or do it to a man, don’t do it to a woman you aren’t romantically involved with.

It’s really that simple.

If you are fine with women thinking your a creep, calling you a creep when you leave the room and just generally agreeing behind your back that you have a creepy stink, then ignore the advise.  But one day you will run into someone who will call  you a creep to your face.  And believe me, they will only be echoing the words that have been said behind your back dozens of times.

If you want to approach a woman for a possible romantic encounter, treat it just like you would treat approaching a friend to do a thing neither one of you have done before.  Not your best friend, just a guy you know but don’t socialize with.  That level of distance and and friendly deference to their situation and interest in the thing.

Don’t use movies as your playbook.  We do not want to be “pursued” when we say no.  There is a reason we call that stalking, it’s because it feels predatory to us.  You only hurt any future chance you might have had with that kind of action.

Creepy behavior is so normalized that we pretend it doesn’t exist.  But it does.  And it’s harassment.  But no one wants to say that.  Women certainly don’t because we will NOT be looked on favorably for saying it.  And men don’t want to because there is a indefinable sense of entitlement to treat women as beings designed for their pleasure.

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Libraries – The Soul of Civilization

There is a group of people who honestly think that no one uses libraries anymore and they are a waste of tax dollars.

These people obviously don’t use libraries.  They therefore assume that no one does.

They are wrong.

They also don’t understand the function of a library.

They think libraries are places where people borrow books.  Because they either don’t read or buy their books, they assume there is no need for libraries.  They have never looked beyond their own noses.

Well, as someone who does use the library – I strongly disagree.  And I do use it to borrow books for my entertainment reading.  But that use only represents PART of a library.

A Library is a place where we accumulate knowledge.  Free, accessible knowledge.  We all like to brag about how the internet is just a huge repository of knowledge.  But NOT REALLY.  A lot of that knowledge is hidden behind paywalls.  It’s hidden behind search algorithms.  It’s not indexed.  It’s buried under mounds of useless or erroneous facts.

But at a library, someone has collected, thoughtfully indexed and cataloged all the knowledge.  And then they give you free access and assistance in using it.

Scholars don’t own all the reference material they use in their researches.  They go to the Library.

Libraries are also community centers.  Places that encourage the best in us.  They encourage reading in children.  They encourage sharing and responsibility through borrowing programs.  Libraries are an important part of how we teach children in a practical manner how to manage as adults.

Libraries are also useful in lending other things besides books.  They already have a system set up.  So many libraries have expanded their inventory to include things as diverse as:

  • animal skeletons for learning.
  • snow shovels and sleds
  • Santa Suits
  • prom dresses and tuxes.
  • tools
  • cake pans and related items
  • Halloween costumes
  • toys
  • musical instruments
  • museum and park passes

Libraries are places where we can offer inclusion through sharing.  They are the very soul of what makes civilization.  We cannot let them die because people who have sufficient money to spend on things they don’t reuse don’t think they are important.  We cannot let them die because people who think that information is magic on their screens have never considered how it gets there or how people who research this information actually found it.

Libraries matter.  Don’t let ANYONE tell you otherwise.

 

Or – the Wrong Word

Have you noticed that people often feel that the opposite of someone they like or support is wrong or bad?  It’s a strange assumption.

And not just the obvious things like Politics & Religion.

Everyday things.

If they like Coke, Pepsi is bad.

If they are vegan, meat is wrong.

If they have children, then someone who chooses to be childless is wrong.

If they have trucks, small cars are bad.

There is this strange sort of OR mentality.  Like the world can only tolerate ONE and all other things must be bad.

But life doesn’t actually work like that.  Why do we do that?

 

The Delusion of Patriotism

I am not a patriot.   I think George Bernard Shaw captured it’s essence quite well by saying

Patriotism is, fundamentally, a conviction that a particular country is the best in the world because you were born in it. ~George Bernard Shaw

I will got farther and say that Patriotism is a sickness to a country.  In order to feed a delusion of this nature, it’s necessary to exclude negative information from your mind.  Or worse, far worse, to reconstruct the negative information into positive information.  As a result many problems get ignored or created.

A great many national mistakes happen when people sell a horrible idea under the guise of patriotism.   The Third Reich comes to mind.  But don’t delude yourself that this is the only or the worst example.  Humans have been using patriotism to sell hate and war for millennia.   Horror after horror gets committed and still we pretend that being patriotic is the best thing we can be as a citizen.

Patriotism is a way to make people stop thinking.   If something is labeled Patriotic, it is to be considered good.  Full Stop.  No questions must be asked.  So much so that people are now labeling Trump’s followers a Nationalists to distinguish them from Patriots.  Because the idea of Patriotism itself must not be sullied.  It’s an illusion that must be carried by a country.

Patriotism is a state sanctioned religion.  People are encouraged to feel an emotional attachment to the state and to identify so fully with it that they will support the country even when it does things that hurt them or others.  They are discouraged from questioning the intrinsic goodness of their own country.

Patriotism is an essential lie that keeps armies in service.  People go off to fight wars that have little or no impact on people in their country out of “patriotism”.   In American we often tell our military that they are defending our freedom.  But it’s hard to see how that gets swallowed when they get sent to Iraq or Afghanistan.  Well, that’s the beauty of Patriotism.  We just label it and package it and everyone just nods and agrees.

I refuse to be patriotic.  I like my country.  I want to keep living in this country and indeed I have no choice but to continue living here.  But I do not think this is the best country and in fact I am often ashamed of it.

  • I want this country to be better than it currently is.

I think that sentiment has more potential to be good for the country than all the patriotic foolishness that gets blathered.

Patriotism is a con.  Work, honesty and improvement are the only thing worthy of my country.  Patriotism is only worthy of fools.

 

 

Christianity’s Emotional Vampires

Using other people’s pain and suffering as leverage to proclaim your God is disgusting to me.

I think that is why I find Missionaries so unsympathetic.

When the real world is in real trouble and a person trots out a well worn and useless statement about how if we all trust God it will be OK, I want to scream.

NO.  No it won’t. Practical and real changes have to be made in the real world.  Systems need to be changed.  Prayers are not going to change things.  People doing things differently will change things.

And, frankly, when you pivot a national tragedy into a method of evangelization, you disgust me.

Believing in God.  Sharing your faith and comfort with people you know who already believe and would like to share that comfort with you. That is a normal and human thing to do.

But when you take the tragedy in someone’s life and twist it into a way to evangelize your God, you become an emotional vampire.

I’ve been a Christian.  You will not be able to fool me into thinking you are evangelizing for any other reason than to support your own self definition of being a “Spiritual Christian.”  Of being seen by your fellow Christians as being spirit filled.

You are taking another person’s grief and fear and tragedy and turning it into a way to feel better about you.  You are an emotional vampire.

When you manipulate the national events of shame and anger and fear into a moment to evangelize, you are an emotional vampire. You are NOT holy.  You are self involved and deluding yourself into thinking you are being righteous.  Or maybe you know your own hypocrisy but thought no one else knew.

Either way.  I really wish you would stop.