Category Archives: from the interwebs

Wither monogamy?

The ‘gray divorce’ trend: As the Gates split shows, more older couples are getting divorced. Here’s why

I have to admit when I first came across this article, I thought the only reason I was going to post about it was for the sake of getting more traffic to this blog. I figured it’s about a divorce, and it was enough for me. But the more I started to think about it, This article talks a lot about people getting divorced later in life; in this case Bill and Melinda Gates, getting divorced at 65 and 56 respectively.

I don’t think that the story really told me anything that I didn’t already know about people getting divorced later in life. But on a deeper dive, this story talks about people finding happiness later in life; people changing as they grow older, and people deciding they wanted something different. I think these are possibilities that all divorcees must consider

The story brings me back to the age old question: are humans truly made to be monogamous?

This is a topic that warrants further research . To be continued…

The reacher and the settler

According To A Study, Women Are Actually Happier With Less Attractive Men

So apparently this story is been kicking around the inter-webs for almost 4 years! How I only saw in the last few days is beyond me.

This article, and the many similar articles that report on the same study, seem to focus on the fact that women are happier when they are with less attractive men. Conversely, women seem to feel more pressure when they’re in a relationship with a man who is deemed war tractive.

The TV show how I Met your mother describes this dynamic as “the Reacher-settler theory“. According to this theory, one person in the relationship is the “reacher“, a person who is dating “out of their league“. The other person, the settler, settling for someone who is seen as beneath them.

Chandler was the settler  and Monica was the reacher
The truth about Monica and Chandler from “Friends”

My question is: what about the men? How do they feel? Do men feel happier when they’re in a relationship with a lesser attractive woman? And on the flipside of that, do men feel greater pressure, or even insecurity, when they are deemed the less attractive person in a relationship? Are men happier as the reacher, or the settler?

Woke-ness, cancel culture, and zero-tolerance-for-intolerance in the digital age

Alexi McCammond. Michael S. Schwartz/Getty Images

A disclaimer: before I start, I should let you know that I am with many Americans referred to as a bleeding heart liberal. Some describe me as “woke”. Others Mays call me politically correct. Others may see me something of a social justice warrior. I believe in equal rights for all, and some conservative, white Americans tend to look at me and wonder why.

Having said all that, last months parting of ways between Teen Vogue and its newly-hired editor Alexi McCammond still rings fresh on my mind.

For those of you who don’t know, or didn’t bother to click on the link , the twenty-seven-year-old McCammond resigned from Teen Vogue for a handful of tweets she made 10 years ago. The tweets in question have been deemed offensive to Asians. I will not repost them here, but a quick Google search will lead to screen captures of them.

Just to be clear: McCammond was 17 when she made these tweets.

Personally, I’m glad that I am not a kid in the age of social media. The truth is, I said a lot of stupid things when I was a kid. Things that the 47-year-old me of today would not agree with. Things that would probably be considered inappropriate, offensive or even racist altogether. Just to be clear: I never uttered any of these things to other persons, but I would be lying if I said that such words didn’t pass my lips. The thing with me is that I’ve grown and changed a lot over the last 30 years. I’m willing to bet that Alexis McCammond has changed a lot in the last 10 years.

As humans, we are creatures capable of evolving and changing. With time and experience often comes wisdom. The problem with The Internet is not that it’s written in ink; it is written in concrete. McCammond‘s tweets were deleted from Twitter about two years ago, but people who were savvy enough to create screen captures have them forever preserved. Make no mistake about it: Alexi McCammond was fired from Teen Vogue for things she said as a child.

While I think being culturally sensitive is important, I think we also need to give people the benefit of the doubt and assume that they are capable of growth and change. In today’s ultra politically and socially sensitive climate, we tend to hold people in contempt for the dumb things they said or did a lifetime ago.

I’m not making excuses for McCammond‘s tweets. They were inappropriate then and they are inappropriate today. but I’m also willing to assume that she’s not the same person she was as a highschooler. I’m sure today, McCammond would not utter, let alone tweet, the things she did as a 17-year-old girl.

Has cancel culture gone too far? Are we to appoint that in preaching compassion and tolerance, we have become completely intolerant? Do we no longer allow people the opportunity to learn, evolve and grow? Are we to be forever condemned for things that we say in ignorance or with a lack of understanding; never to be allowed the opportunity to change?

Given the choice, I would much rather allow a person and opportunity to grow and change their ways, rather than condemn them forever for some thoughts or words they uttered as an ignorant child.

My final thought on this matter for anyone even considering a life in the public eye: for the love of God, scrub, scour, and sanitize your social media accounts! Or better yet, and delete them altogether, before you become famous.

On Harvey Weinstein and the rise of #MeToo.

Harvey_Weinstein

With a face like this…

The only experience I have that is even remotely comparable to sexual harassment happened to me when I worked in a fast-food restaurant as I was finishing up high school – almost 30 years ago – a time when we were just a few years removed from Clarence Thomas and Anita Hill.  There was a co-worker of mine – I’ll call him Larry –  who was gay and he apparently had a crush on me.  This came to my attention through another co-worker.  Apparently Larry was all too willing to share this nugget of information with several of my co-workers at a party – a party to which I obviously was not invited.

Larry wasn’t horribly pushy with me.  He would flirtatiously laugh or chuckle when I would do things like bending over to pick things up (I worked as the morning janitor at said establishment). Larry wasn’t a manager or supervisor or anything. He never had any professional authority or power over me; likewise, he never threatened me or blackmailed me or anything like that. The whole situation just made me a little uncomfortable – in that way that you feel when everyone is in on a joke except for you.

This experience last one weekend.  I out the kibosh on the whole thing pretty quickly.  That Monday afternoon, I made a trip into work to talk to my store manager.  She had always had my back – I was one of her favorite employees in the restaurant.  Upon the advice of The Old Man, I explained the situation to her and demanded that I not be scheduled to work with him anymore.  I also went on to say that if I felt uncomfortable in the work environment or found myself having to quit because of the situation or because of Larry himself, then the company would hear about. As I expected, Larry and I never worked a shift together again.

I didn’t share that story to say “woe is me” or #MeToo.  I share it to say that this kind of thing can happen to anyone – even a white, middle-class suburban slob like me.  I can only imagine that my experience can only give me the vaguest sensation of what a victim of full-blown sexual harassment experiences.  Going up against a person with the clout of the monster I have pictured above can only feel utterly hopeless.

For years, I’ve heard rumblings about Harvey Weinstein’s treatment of women in the entertainment industry, but I don’t think anybody was ready for the outpouring of stories similar to (or in many cases much, much worse) the one Courtney Love alluded to back in 2005.  This story hit home with me a many levels.

As far as the trauma Rose McGowan suffered at the hands, of this lunatic…that goes way beyond sexual harassment or anything even remotely sexual.  I think she turned the guy down, and became absolutely obsessed with destroying her life.  The stories I’ve heard have convinced me that Harvey Weinstein once had as much power and influence as a Washington politician.  The guy, literally had former Feds working for him.

Having grown up in a racially and culturally homogeneous suburb of Detroit, Michigan, I didn’t personally know anyone who had been a victim of sexual harassment, sexual assault or sexual abuse until I went to college.  The stories I heard there were absolutely heart-breaking. I had obviously heard of such crimes but never had any idea just how pervasive they really were.  As I’ve gotten older – specifically as I see the #MeToo hashtag appear on my Facebook timeline, I feel my stomach churning all over again.

And women are not the only victims of these crimes:  men, boys and girls – no one is immune it seems, as CUCH points out here.

Naturally when I hear a story about the film industry, my thoughts got to The Auteur.  As I’ve learned vicariously through her experiences, film is an industry that is overwhelmingly dominated by men. I’d see some of the guys she went to school with, I’d written a lot, if not most, of them off as undersexed dorks who lived in their parents’ basements and dreamed of being the second coming of Kevin Smith or Quentin Tarantino. Some of them are a bit anti-social and don’t seem to know how to act around women.  Some are narrow-minded sexists who simply assume, in that throwback mindset, that women simply cannot tell a story, act, run a camera or do anything remotely creative – at least not without a man telling them when to jump and how high.

Harvey Weinstein is apparently on a whole other level of monster entirely.  Let’s face it, EVERY industry has sexists and sexual harassers.  Like racism, that will simply never change.  No matter how tolerant our society becomes, we will always have some outliers. I think what’s so shocking about Weinstein is not the one man or even his transgressions, it’s the fact that Harvey Weinstein is just ONE example of the kind of behavior that has become almost institutionalized in the entertainment industry.

I worry sometimes about The Auteur going into this industry.  The predatory, Weinstein types will be and are in every walk of life.  That’s just inevitable.  But I know how frustrating it gets for her when her male peers look at her and assume she’s brainless or talent-less solely she is a woman  – even though they are either less qualified or less talented (in many cases both) than she is. She’s not naive to any of this and I know she has a thick enough skin to handle it, but swimming against the proverbial ocean gets tiring for anyone – even the Michael Phelpses of the world.

I truly hope that the news of the last few weeks results in some top-to-bottom widespread changes in the entertainment industry, as well as how we all treat each other – in and out of the workplace.

Having said that, I don’t want us to become a society where the merest implication of an indiscretion is enough to destroy a person life.

RE: The biggest threat facing middle-age men isn’t smoking or obesity. It’s loneliness.

via The biggest threat facing middle-age men isn’t smoking or obesity. It’s loneliness. – The Boston Globe

This is a topic that seems to hit home as much as any I write about here.  In fact, it may well become my next great topic on this blog. I too suffer from this sense of loneliness – as it would seem many men of my age do.  I’m not exactly sure how it happened, or when it began, but over the last few years, I’ve realized just how lonely I am.

In my alter ego, I have 297 Facebook friends. This includes family, friends and acquaintances.  For the life of me, I could count one one hand the number of those friends I could call up and say “hey, I could really use a friend right now.  Wanna hang out?” I don’t say this to whine or spew sour grapes.  This is where my life is right now; and apparently, I’m not alone.

How does this happen to us? Life gets in the way. Work, Significant others, families, kids.  Social media, as the article suggests, give us the false impression that we are more socially connected than we truly are. I agree wholeheartedly with the article when it says that men almost need an event or activity to bring them together.  I even like the “Wednesday Night”  idea that the author shares.

The trick is to get other people on board…

Turning 40 – The Things You Learn | GQ

Food for thought.

Turning 40 – The Things You Learn | GQ.

15 Heart-Melting Images of Dads Meeting Their Babies for the First Time

15 Heart-Melting Images of Dads Meeting Their Babies for the First Time.

I found this on this Father’s Day Eve. As a very soon-to-be expecting father, this resonated with me.  This is a moment I have been looking forward to myself since we found out the The auteur and I are expecting.

Top Ten Things Divorced Dads Need to Realize | Joel Schwartzberg

This one is an oldie but a goodie

 

Top Ten Things Divorced Dads Need to Realize | Joel Schwartzberg.

Men After Divorce: In Touch With Feelings – ABC News

Men After Divorce: In Touch With Feelings – ABC News.

This is a somewhat cliched “men have feelings” piece, but I was fascinated to hear that nearly in nearly two-thirds of American divorces, it is the wife who files.

The stat about  divorced men being eight times more likely to commit suicide than divorced women is always a little disturbing, but not news to me.

Oh, and for the record, in my case, Jabba said she wanted a divorce first; but I was the one who actually filed for it.

Divorced people are more likely to have heart attacks: study – NY Daily News

Divorced people are more likely to have heart attacks: study – NY Daily News.

An interesting read.  i would have assumed that the heart attack risk for men goes up regardless – simply because more men seem to have heart attacks than women…but this does make sense.

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