Man To Man?
A wise person once said, “I feel in need of a long, hot shower.” Yep, that’s the most recent comment on this blog as I sit down to work on this post and a fitting way to start. Yesterday’s topic decidedly left me wanting the same.
The key word in the opening statement is “hot.”
Q. What goes in the toaster?
A. Bread, you idiot.
Q. Do you sell any hot water heaters?
A. No, you idiot. You don’t need to heat water that’s already hot.
Ah. So we’ll need a water heater if we want our shower to be nice and toasty.
We’ve lived in the big city for eight months now. During that time the hot water has had a rosy hue. Kind of the like the candy apple red on the car in the movie Corvette Summer starring Mark Hamill. We’ve been showering in rust.
The water heater, circa 1985, was almost 30 years old. My wife finally convinced the property management company to put in a new one. They were sending over their man to install it.
The big day came and I listened out of the corner of my ear, working on my computer, safely ensconced in my office, as my wife met the guy and they set about the task. Everything seemed to be going fine.
I went to the kitchen to get a refill on my coffee. The man saw me. Oh shit.
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Oh, crap. I’m sitting here looking at a blank page and I’ve got a serious blockage.
What? No! Not that kind. Jeez. What do you take me for?
Seriously. I’m drawing one big blank over here.
What’s the big deal? I could miss a day, right? Well, right now, I’ve successfully blogged 920 days in a row. My streak of continuous posts started way back on October 5, 2009. That’s right. 920 days without a break and never Freshly Pressed. I’m obviously going for the world record. Let it be known that I’ll go to any length to be pathetic.
How much more, WordPress? How much more? Please let me know when I’ve achieved the longest Freshly Pressed drought of all-time while posting daily at the same time. Now that is something I would love to stuff and shove on the mantle. Something to be proud of.
Since I got nothing, I’ll simply go off an a couple of random things. We’ll start with presidential wannabe emails.
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Reproducing some thoughts about men
Finally. I figured out a way we can make contraception and reproduction laws that make sense for ALL of us.
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A sporting chance for women
Yesterday was a big day for women and sport. The World Cup Final is one of the few sporting events I actually watched. And I personally think the women on that team should be proud of themselves. They played awesome. Winning isn’t the only thing and the format dictates that someone has to win and someone has to lose.
Abby Wambach? OMG! I think I just fell in love. She’s so dreamy. Drenched in sweat, that short haircut, and scoring a go-ahead goal. All I can say is, “Wow.”
Is it wrong to be attracted to a sports star? If it is then I don’t wanna be right.
Speaking of FIFA, I don’t really know how the World Cup works. Do the athletes get paid or are they amateur status? Either way, how much do they make from endorsements and such? What would they have received if they had won? I couldn’t help but notice they were all covered in Nike logos.
In other news…
Inequity makes me angry. And the stories coming out of the upcoming Olympics are really starting to piss me off. Two in particular.
First there was the thing about “Nazi imagery” being used to promote the 2014 winter games in Russia. How in the name of hell is something like that allowed to happen? It guess it isn’t that surprising when they hire people who love and admire Hitler to handle marketing, eh? (Story.)
Then there was the bit about women’s badminton in the 2012 London Olympics. Those in charge wanted to create a more “attractive presentation.” That sounds more like Iron Chef than a frickin’ sporting event. So it was that a rule requiring women competing in badminton to wear uniforms consisting of “skirts or dresses.” Officials at the Badminton World Federation said the move would make the women appear more feminine and appealing to fans and corporate sponsors. Ah yes, the corporate sponsors. We can’t forget about them, can we?
Personally I think the time for half-assed measures has passed. Why not just make them play topless? I can pretty much guarantee that ratings and ticket sales will go through the roof. And it will be a modern-era gold rush for the corporate sponsors. Think of it? The ad space possibilities are intoxicating! You can have the Nike logo on one boob and still have one whole boob left over for something else.
I think the IOC (International Olympic Committee) should honestly go after what they want here. The IOC (which is a corporation, by the way) should send representatives to Olympic hopefuls by the time they are five-years-old to explain the facts of life. “We support your dreams. The Olympics would be nothing without people like you, the world class athletes that the world wants to see. We’ll use you like pieces on a chessboard to suit our needs. If you’re the best of the best and it meets our needs, we can make you a star. By the way, get used to being naked. God help you if you don’t meet our needs, though, even if you are the best in the world. We’ll crush you and your dreams like so much used meat.”
We find that it’s best to get those naive illusions out of the way at an early age.
And, last but not least…
My Netflix was out yesterday. So I ended up watching content on a different channel on my Roku device. We ended up on something called the SnagFilms channel, which is completely free. There were lots of interesting documentaries and such. By chance, the film we ended up watching was Training Rules.
Imagine that your had a lifetime dream that you had chased since the age of four. You become one of the best of the best, the top 20 in the nation, earn a scholarship and take your rightful place on the national stage. Then, it all suddenly ends when a person who is supposed to be looking out for you threatens to destroy everything you’ve ever dreamed about because of some arbitrary fact about yourself that she doesn’t like.
Welcome to the plot of the documentary Training Rules. The movie chronicles the effect that Penn State University women’s basketball coach Rene Portland had on the lives of women on her team.
A religious person, Portland was fiercely anti-lesbian. And if she thought you were gay, she wouldn’t just kick you off the team. She would use her awesome power and influence as the head coach of a successful program at PSU to keep you out of the sport forever. She’d make sure that your scholarship was cancelled. And she’d threaten to even prevent the transfer of credits.
Penn State, of course, did nothing about Portland even after adding homosexuality to the school’s non-discrimination policy. Which, in court, they argued, had no meaning since it wasn’t legally a contract. I love it when organizations take the high road.
I have little doubt that Portland viewed herself as a pious God warrior, but what she really did was destroy dreams and destroy lives. She was a destroyer of people.
The purpose of institutions like Penn State is to help people. To educate and support them. Not use them as disposable pawns in a high stakes game of money, glamor, prestige and corporate warfare.
Training Rules is the kind of movie that pisses you off. They say that all evil needs is for good men to do nothing. Penn State excelled at that. I highly recommend this one-hour documentary.
Maybe some day all people will have a fair shot at equity. But it sure isn’t now and it sure isn’t this planet.
Zainab Salbi: Women, wartime and the dream of peace
People in the so-called real life don’t know me as the Guru. Anonymity demands that I lead a double life, much like Bruce Wayne. (Yeah, just like that!) Sometimes it’s a hassle not revealing my secret identity to people I know, especially the ones I like, but that’s just the way it has got to be.
What they do know about me is that I’m negative (no big surprise there), but also that I’m generally “stand-up funny” within small groups of people that I know fairly well. (I don’t like strangers.) They also, generally, consider me kind, caring, logical and intelligent. On the other hand, they know I’m stubborn, resistant to change, opinionated, judgmental, grumpy and generally miserable and pathetic. (I get off on being pathetic.)
I also enjoy a good political discussion. Very much so. It is hard for me to let sleeping dogs lie. So I’ll often find myself poking people who have a different point of view. “How you liking nuclear power now?” I’ll ask. “Here’s my opinions on the latest hi-jinx in Japan, goddammit.” As you might expect, this usually goes over like a lead balloon.
During one of these discussions, I took a rather strange hypothesis out for a spin. “You know,” I said, “if the world was populated by me and only clones of me, there wouldn’t be any war. At all.”
Think of it! 7 billion inhabitants of planet Earth and all of them me. What a strange notion.
It begs the question: Would I even want to live on that planet? Would it be enough to get me to cash in my ticket off this shithole? (I’m a registered volunteer for the one-way mission to Mars.)
I can honestly answer: I don’t know.
But I do know this. That planet would not have war. I’m capable of physical violence. I know that. But only if I’m pushed to my limit. (Like the time some jackass in a pickup was in the wrong, yet still turned around and pursued my wife into a parking lot. I flew out of that car the moment it came to a stop and went right at that motherfucker. Sure, he would have kicked my ass, but in the moment nothing was going to stop me from taking him on. Luckily people in a restaurant rushed out and pulled us apart.) The point is, I’m capable of it, but I have to be pushed. A lot.
And, let’s face it. If the whole planet was me, there wouldn’t be a lot of pushing. I’m very considerate of other people and their feelings. I try extremely hard not to push. In fact, most of the time, I take a lot of shit on my shoulders rather than push back. It’s my nature.
So even though I’m not sure I’d want to live on that planet, I can guarantee there would be no war. It would be missing a lot of other things, too, like killing, rape, and theft. To be completely honest, it would probably be a hungry planet, too. I’m also deathly afraid of real work, so none of me would be out in the fields growing anything to eat.
Anyway, enough about that planet. How about this one? Unfortunately this one has things like wars, killing and rape in abundance. The woman in the following video makes some excellent points about wars, gender and power. And also some staggering financial stats that really should make all of us wonder.