Manliness — Being a Man in the Modern Age

The Big Red Car shares insights on manliness in the age of Harvey Weinstein. Be a man. Man up.

Big Red Car here on a perfect, sunny Texas day. On Earth as it is in Texas.

The recent Harvey Weinstein imbroglio has the Big Red Car wondering if the Nation is still producing MEN. Not, “men.” MEN.

Guys like our fathers, who won World War II by kicking the crap out of the Nazis and the Japs and made the world safe. Guys like George (NMI) Washington, who founded the country, beat the Brits (most proficient army and navy of their times), and generally showed the world how the cow was going to eat the cabbage at this democracy stuff.

Maybe we’ve just forgotten what it means to be a man and need some remedial instruction.

So, here goes.

Want to be a man

The first thing is you have to want to be a man. You can want to be a giraffe, nothing against giraffes. To be a man, you have to want to be a man.

If you don’t, then I recommend becoming a zebra. Zebras have cool stripes and run around Africa having a good time. They are not men.

Study real men

Read the biographies of men who you admire and find out why. Read about guys like George (NMI) Washington — OK, NMI means “no middle initial.”

Read about guys like Alexander Hamilton. Read about Jackie Robinson. Read about the Green Grocer’s Daughter, Baroness Thatcher.

Read about Ghandi. Read about Mao — do not emulate Mao. He was a murderous bastard.

Identify and catalog the characteristics and traits of men you admire.

Study the men around you who you admire. Identify their traits and characteristics.

[Pro tip: Harvey Weinstein is not going to be on that list of folks you admire and want to emulate. You agree?]

Monkey see, monkey do.

Be a gentleman

This is the big one as it guides almost all the others. A gentleman is someone who makes others comfortable in their presence. It is really that simple. In awkward situations, a gentleman is the one who throws the oil on the disturbed water and cools things off.

A gentleman is so many other things, but it starts with making others feel comfortable in their presence.

A gentleman treats all with dignity and respect — Harvey Weinstein is the dark side of this mirror, y’all — especially those whose position in life appears to be inferior. A gentleman is kind, thoughtful, courteous, mannerly, and provides an example of conduct which is instructive for all who view his actions.

It is a high bar, but it is one that you can emulate and seek for a lifetime.

A gentleman will carry on a conversation with the person at a cocktail party who nobody is talking to. He will draw that person out and listen.

A gentleman is the man who will walk across a ballroom and ask a wallflower to dance, get her a cup of punch, chat her up, and thank her for the dance. This happens at weddings all the time.

A gentleman will render assistance to a person who is lost, confused, or injured.

Be skillful

A real man will participate in the game of life, not play at it. A man finds an undertaking and masters it — the law, construction, software engineering, entrepreneurship, truck driving, airplane flying, ditch digging, masonry, carpentry.

A man masters a skill so he can make his way in the world without asking the world for a hand out. Nothing wrong in seeking a hand up, but no hand outs. A man works his butt off, eats what he kills, earns his way in the world, provides for his family, takes care of his dog.

A man knows how to dance, laugh, fix a flat tire (it is perfectly fine to call AAA, but have the card in your wallet), and tie a monkeys fist knot. [OK, the monkeys fist is a little advanced for some, but it is not beyond the pale. The Big Red Car can tie the monkeys fist in his sleep.]

Be fabulous at something

As you identify the total skills you want to develop, there will be one at which you will be terrific, fabulous, unbelievable.

Pick one of those and master it. Master it.

Once you master one, move on to another. Keep this up until the day you die.

Be good to women

Here is a secret. When a man is good to a woman, that woman will be good to the man. Consider that the lesson learned by Adam at the Garden of Eden. It has been true since then. A man earns the consideration of women; he does not extort it.

Listen to women. [I should probably stop  right there and call it a day.]

Be kind and thoughtful to all women, but especially to those who are your family, in your circle of friends, and, particularly, those in your arms.

Quick hitters: Listen, look them in the eyes, hold their doors, seat them, offer them your coat when it is cold, compliment them (hair, dresses, scent, lingerie), let them pick the restaurant, take them to church, go to brunch, go to chick flicks, buy them presents, hug them, hold their hands, massage their feet while you watch the NCAA tournament (see what we did there?), let them win more than half of all arguments, make a big deal about their birthdays without mentioning the actual number of years, and never, ever forget an anniversary.

Send them hand written cards and, if the opportunity presents itself, put a card in their pillow case. Think about this one.

[Pro tip: Buy a couple of special gifts and store them for those moments when they will come in handy. Pass this along.]

Be courteous, have good manners

I once had a stewardess (this was before we had flight attendants, a simpler world) tell me after one of those long flights where you get fed a couple of times, “You have the nicest manners.” My mother was very proud.

You will find that good manners and courtesy are sexy. I did.

Your courtesy and manners are how your wrap your personality and present it to the world. It is what they see first before they see you.

Be an adventurer

Take a morning and brainstorm about things you may want to be able to say one day, “I did that.”

It can be tied in with a skill. The Big Red Car is an instrument rated pilot, as an example.

It can be a physical challenge like climbing all the Fourteeners in Colorado.

It can be intellectual like being an Election Judge or writing a book or speaking Mandarin.

It can be geographical like going to Machu Picchu or surfing Rincon in January when the big waves arrive. [Pro tip: Do not try to learn to surf in twenty-five foot waves.]

Stake out and have adventures.

Be a protector

A man protects those who are unable to protect themselves. In the case of family, this is a sacred responsibility.

[Did not a single one of the women abused by Harvey Weinstein have a brother who was an Airborne Ranger, a Green Beret, a Navy SEAL? How is that statistically possible?] Remember this one?

Rent A Ranger.COM — A Gender Norming Startup

One does not have to be a six-foot-four specimen to be a protector. One may protect others with a well spun 9-1-1 call or a Letter to the Editor.

A man does not say, “Somebody else will take care of those people.”

A man takes action. A man protects those who cannot protect themselves. A man puts skin in the game of life even when it might be his own skin.

Learn to fight

One day may come when it is necessary to fight for your own survival or to fight to protect the safety of others.

Go learn to protect yourself against assault. Take a krav maga course. If you cannot get into Ranger School — fabulous hand-to-hand combat instruction — then find a way to be able to say, “I can protect myself in a pinch.”

Get a CHL/LTC — concealed handgun license, license to carry.

Master using a handgun and be prepared to use it, but only when warranted.

Live a life of values

As you begin to become a man, you will see an emerging set of values which drive all things manly. They are real. The question is — are they yours?

Four times a year, make an appointment with yourself and do some brainstorming. Ask yourself, “What are the values of my life? What are the traits, the characteristics, the actions which I desire to be identified with, to live?”

When there is a gap between those two things — the values you want and the values you live — take action to close that gap.

The only values that count are the ones you live. All the rest is just fiction. Know your values. Live your values.

Live hard

Test yourself. Test yourself against the hardest things you can imagine at an instant in time. The Big Red Car went to a military school, was a paratrooper, a Ranger. The big secret? The Big Red Car didn’t know if he was good enough to pass the course.

He tested himself and found out something very important — Hell, I’ve got this. Nobody was more surprised than the Big Red Car.

In seeking your skills, do some hard things. Learn to ski, snowboard, surf, swim, body surf, fly an airplane, raise tomatoes (OK, raising tomatoes may be on the edge), and ride a horse.

Take the wheel here, dear reader, map your own path to living hard.

In the course of living hard, drink some tequila. Get it out of your system.

Steer clear of drugs. Steer clear of excessive drinking. Stay hydrated.

Read

Real men know the world in which they live. They are voracious readers who are informed as to the issues of the day and the history of their country. They will rent the experiences of others to inform their own actions.

When a problem confronts them, men will use their knowledge, their scholarship, their reading to confront it and fashion a solution.

Men read.

Be you

In the end, the most important thing is to recognize you are a unique man. You are unlike any other man who has ever lived. You are real and this is real. Life is a graded exercise.

You will make choices that will color your life forever, you will confront your fears, you will fail at things, and you will triumph — but you will still be you. You will validate Rudyard Kipling’s advice when confronting both triumph and disaster. You will learn from both, but treat those two impostors both the same, because you are a man.

You will choose the path less traveled and leave footprints along the way for others to follow. When Frank Sinatra sings, “I did it my way,” you will say, “Me too, Frank.”

Now, get the Hell out there and man up. Every day, in some small way, become the man your Labrador thinks you are. There is no higher opinion of a man than that of his dog. Do not make that dog a liar.

But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway? I’m just a Big Red Car.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Brilliant!! Thank you!!

  • sigmaalgebra

    Leaving around those books on the birds and the bees — good idea. Nice work.

    I haven’t seen such a book in decades. But since boys and girls haven’t changed much in thousands of years, I doubt that the books have changed much since I last saw one!

    So, I have to guess that the books still concentrate on simplistic aspects of the plumbing of the biology. Okay, that’s important but darned easy and not nearly enough or for good relationships even what is the most important.

    I have to believe that your son got BRC’s lessons from you, not the books!

    But the crucial, core, tough Big Problem is that for people of Western European descent, the birth rate is too low and the divorce rate, too high. In the baby business, we are really low on quantity and usually too low on quality.

    Bluntly, and rock solidly true, Darwin is having his way with us — we’re going extinct, as in dead and gone with the wind.

    So, when I say there’s a problem, I’m on very solid ground — there’s a Big Problem.

    Sure, as this Big Problem applies on average over people of Western European descent, it necessarily also must apply to many individuals. So, many individuals are struggling with the Big Problem.

    And the Big Problem starts, sure, maybe at birth but is starting to get serious by age 10, impossible not to notice by age 12, more serious by age 16, and a darned serious threat to the good lives of individuals and the future descendants of Western Europe by age 20.

    So, at least for the boys, we need a suitable book Girls 101 for Dummies — Boys.

    For this, sure, need to cover the biology and plumbing, but those two are simple enough that all the mammals and birds and essentially all the fish and insects get it right. So, poor knowledge about that plumbing is not the cause of the Big Problem.

    In more detail, the cause of the Big Problem is not below the neck but above the neck and, in particular, between the ears.

    In first-cut, simple terms, the problem is psychological and social, not biological or plumbing.

    Far and away, the best source I ever found on the Big Problem and its causes and solutions was E. Fromm, The Art of Loving. The book is for between the ears, not below the neck and is about psychology, not plumbing.

    So, quickly let’s consider some of the examples of the lessons to be learned. In all cases, the lessons are super tough to discover, especially for one boy on his own, but easy enough to learn if well explained. Here I am being brief, not writing a book. Some of the lessons I describe briefly and the others not at all:

    Lesson 1: Anxiety.

    It can be tough out there: There are many dangerous, even life threatening, even hostile, forces out there.

    Some of the forces are from society, e.g., economic depressions, wars, crime, political revolutions, terrorism, falling buildings, bridges, airplanes, sinking boats, wrecked cars, etc.

    Some of the hostile forces are from nature, e.g., diseases, epidemics, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, droughts, wild fires, blizzards, etc.

    Humans with their intelligence are aware of and, thus, feel vulnerable to such hostile forces of society and nature and get worried, that is, encounter anxiety.

    One of the best ways to respond to this anxiety is to have beneficial, effective coalitions with other people.

    Then for each human, drawing from Fromm’s book, the Fundamental Problem of their life is to get security in the face of the anxiety they feel from their realization that alone they are vulnerable to the hostile forces of nature and society.

    The main productive and effective reason human males and females — boys and girls, men and women — come together in pairs is just to get this security. Yes, it is much less common for a couple to realize this fact and be able to explain it.

    So, from Fromm, a serious romantic relationship is more about psychology and security than biology and sex behavior.

    Lesson 2: Love.

    Lesson 3: Four Pillars of Love.

    Each member of the couple readily and essentially completely gives knowledge of themselves to the other member and cares about, respects, and responds to them.

    Lesson 4: Girls’ Non-Verbal Communications.

    Girls, from right after birth, are masters at non-verbal communications, and for decades they get better and better at it. The main means of such communications are facial expressions, tone of voice, and body language. Nearly all mothers easily understand those communications, but boys have a difficult time understanding but to get along well with girls very much need to understand.

    Yes, some video clips showing and explaining good examples of girls using facial expressions, tone of voice, and body language should be good teaching material. Many Hollywood actresses are grand masters at such feminine communications.

    More generally, right from birth, girls heavily pay attention to people and boys, to things. This difference makes communications between the sexes difficult.

    Lesson 5: Girls and Sex.

    Lesson 6: What Girls Want.

    Lesson 7: Girls Are …

    Girls are much more emotional than boys.

    Commonly girls are much more afraid of things than boys. In particular, one of the main problems of girls and women in modern society is fear; that is, too many girls are seriously afraid.

    One of the main ways a boy can help a girl, which she might highly value, is to help her be less afraid, i.e., to have her feel quite secure with him.

    Girls have better verbal talent than boys.

    Girls are better socially than boys and more concerned about being rejected socially.

    Lesson 8: How to Please a Girl.

    Lesson 9: Explain to the Girl.

    A boy should work to encourage his girlfriend to say what she has in mind for them and to have her feel safe doing so. To have her feel safe, there are some lessons and techniques available.

    The boy should carefully and gently explain to her what he has in mind for them. In particular, he should not leave the girl to guess what he has in mind or depend only on what she gets from elsewhere. Some of what she might get from elsewhere could be wildly wrong and, if not countered, devastating for the relationship.

    E.g., he should emphasize that he will never hit her and will never force her except maybe in some emergency situation where he is acting to get her out of danger, say, grab her, pick her up, and get her out of a burning building.

    E.g., he wants the relationship to be good for both of them. So, they can be less lonely, have more affection, and come to care about each other. They can help each other understand the world. They can help each other be motivated and, then, successful socially, in academics and athletics, etc.

    E.g., he does not want them to go “too far”. If she and/or her parents will say what “too far” is, then he will guarantee that they will not go there, even if she tries to.

    E.g., he should emphasize that he is on her side, cares about her, wants her busy, productive, healthy, happy, and safe, doesn’t want her hurt in any way from any source for any reason at any time, wants to protect her from being hurt, never wants to hurt her, and will never knowingly hurt her.

    E.g., he should confirm that just as Mother Nature wants, he will without hesitation risk his life to protect her.

    E.g., he should emphasize that he wants all concerned always to conclude that their relationship has been good for her and that he wants to build and keep the trust of her and her parents.

    And more, e.g., meet his family at Sunday dinner at his house, go to the youth group of his family’s church, get the best books they can find on couples and read them together, go with her to a minister who counsels couples, tell him that they are thinking of going steady, and seek his advice, learn how to cook together, how together they can get good at giving parties with a few guests, how they might do school science projects together, play musical duets, get started in business, etc.

    Lesson 10: Boys’ Leading and Guiding.

    Lesson 11: Little Things Can Mean a Lot.

    Lesson 12: Common Disasters to Avoid.

    Lesson 13: A Happy, Effective Wife and Mother.

    Lesson 14: A Good, Productive Marriage.

  • Tim Bates

    Yep this is the road map. No picking and choosing, embrace them all. May add Lead! lead by living not talking! Have Principles, live them!

  • I’ve just reread this post for the umpteenth time today, and I think this is the jewel, “A man earns the consideration of women; he does not extort it.”

    • sigmaalgebra

      Of COURSE a gentleman doesn’t “extort it”. Extortion of one of God’s angels? That’s ugly, sickening, should leave the man ashamed for the rest of his life.

      Even in grade school, I wanted a girl friend. When I was 14, I had one, 12, the prettiest human female I ever saw in person or in pictures. I’m proud to say I never wanted to extort anything from her and never tried or did. I didn’t understand love or girls then; I understand love and a lot about girls and women now; but I can see now I was fully, genuinely in love with her then. Bluntly, I still am. But extort, force, fool, manipulate, …, NO WAY.

      If I’d understood more about love, girls, women, and marriage, I would have continue as girl/boyfriend until I had a good job and then married her and had a lot of kids — she was nuts about the face of any baby she saw — and a great family. I had a great opportunity and tried to do the right things in every respect but, at 14-15 didn’t know enough to be successful. But I did nothing wrong with her; she was just as safe with me as she was with her mother except in public places where I, then 6′ 3″ and in good shape from football, could have protected her better than her mom.

      Beyond being ashamed, just from a man’s side, extortion is a really stupid strategy: There is an old saying that can shear a sheep many times but can fleece it only once. Well, to translate, if he loves a woman and is good to her, makes her happy and safe, and she loves him back, then he can hug her, kiss her, hopefully marry her and make love to her many times; but, if he tries to extort something, then the number of successes with her is at most one. It’s many good times for years versus once just one poor time — extort is a bad strategy.

      For dirt bag Weinstein, a lot of those women were young and drop dead gorgeous. All he needed to do was to find one who would love him, at least want to share her live with him, and he could have had a wife, mother, kids, grand kids, and family with the benefits of the money he had for life. As it is, he made some dozens of beautiful, young women really unhappy, for decades, has a big legal case, and is essentially alone. Net, the guy is not just a dirt bag; instead he’s a total idiot. He would likely see difference in a movie script; too bad he didn’t see it in real life.

  • rainmaker

    Excellent post, BRC!

    I particularly loved how you recommended studying Baroness Thatcher – Britain’s 1st female Prime Minister and still tougher than all the male ones in standing up to the trade unionists and socialists who were ruining Britain.

    We just don’t make Prime Ministers like we used to 🙁

    I don’t know much about the life stories of Washington or the other Founding Fathers but this post has inspired me to read up on them very soon!

    • JLM

      .
      A substantial amount of Ronald Reagan’s success in facing down the USSR was due to the steel Baroness Thatcher put in his spine. The high-water mark of UK-USA relations was Thatcher-Reagan.

      BRC
      http://www.themusingsofthebigredcar.com

      • rainmaker

        I’m hoping we can reach a new high-water mark with a comprehensive post-Brexit trade deal (so the recent 200% tariff on airline parts does slightly concern me).

        The US is a much easier place to do business with than Europe despite more ocean and time zones between us!

        • sigmaalgebra

          I’ve never been to Europe, don’t know Europe at all well, can understand some of the motivation, left over from WWII, for a Big Daddy government of socialism, etc., but from the west side of the Atlantic pond it looks to me like Europe has put way too much faith in bureaucrats in Brussels writing rules.

          For such rules, once from ISO/OSI, CMIS/P telecom standards work I got a hint about how that goes:

          (1) Take the problem and break it down into study groups. For each such group, further subdivide until have a multi-level tree of study groups.

          (2) Have each group write up pre-preliminary working drafts. In future years, slowly, at a rate of growth slower than that of the Alps, move to standards documents.

          (3) Pick a city would where would like to visit with an all expense paid vacation trip. London, Rome, Paris, NYC, Munich, the Riviera, Monaco, etc. stand to be high on the list.

          (4) Each three months or so, have some meetings at one of these cities to discuss the documents.

          The meetings start promptly at 10 AM, break for lunch at 11 AM, start again at 2 PM, break for afternoon tea at 3 PM, have free time until dinner, and continue this busy schedule Tuesday through Thrusday each of 3-4 weeks. Really hard work! Of course, all expenses paid! Lunch commonly has a bottle of Beaujolais per person and, dinner, a bottle of 1855 ranked Haut Medoc.

          Yup, that was Europe working hard on telecom standards!

          That’s much of what it looked like to me from the west side of the pond!

          • rainmaker

            Sounds like Europe working hard!

            The EU is a bastion of inefficiency, fraud and waste (the Common Agricultural Policy being a prime example).

            Massive generalization but, Europeans just don’t have the same work ethic as Americans, too little time at work and too much on vacation! Not coincidentially, it’s much harder to get stuff done with Europe vs US, which holds back British business. (UK runs a massive trade deficit with Europe but a surplus with the US).

            The inefficiency and ‘Big Daddy’ socialism are both hangovers from WW2 which have dragged on far too long! And there’s definitely far too much faith in bureaucrats!

      • sigmaalgebra

        I never understood Thatcher or Reagan:

        For Reagan, some of the things he said about the US economy being like the family finances were K-6 nonsense.

        For Thatcher, some of what she said about “shares” and apparently did on “global warming” as a way to fight the coal unions looked to me like more K-6 nonsense.

        But, maybe both of them had more than just K-6 nonsense and had some “steel”. Maybe for others on the USSR, what was missing was not some solid rationality but just some “steel”; i.e., they were afraid, for their political standing to go public and speak the truth.

        Just what Reagan and/or Thatcher had actually to do with the fall of the USSR I don’t know.

        I guessed that the causes of the fall were:

        (1) The USSR, the citizens, the party leaders, and Gorby were all just darned tired of the Cold War.

        Sure, Germany devastated the USSR from the line from Leningrad, Moscow, and Stalingrad west back to Germany and, thus, killed ~20 million people. To push the Germans out of the USSR, e.g., at the big battle at Kursk, represented one huge, heroic effort by the USSR. Yes, in the USSR, Germany’s front and supply lines were both too long and the weather too cold, etc., but Germany still killed a lot of people. So, no wonder the USSR was totally pissed at everything from the West, from Hitler back to Napoleon, pissed, afraid, and ready to push back. So, as they marched to Berlin, they made buffer states long the way. Maybe Churchill wanted to push back against that, but Ike didn’t.

        (2) Maybe Gorby was actually concerned about the US Star Wars — space based defense against ICBMs — project and what a response would cost the USSR.

        (3) Then there was the Lech Wałęsa, etc. movement in Poland: Apparently at that point, Gorby just didn’t want to bother to push back or to accept all the nasty reactions from the West if he did stop Lech Wałęsa in Poland. So, Gorby let Lech Wałęsa keep going. Then the other buffer states saw that quite generally the door to independence was now open and walked through.

        (4) Gorby wasn’t one of the old, bloody Bolsheviks and was closer to being a decent, late 20th century guy.

        Due to (1)-(4), best I can tell, Reagan’s contribution to the fall of the USSR was his suggestions that he would write the checks Edward Teller needed to do Star Wars (I doubt we would have funded that project) and his Berlin wall statement “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.”.

        For Thatcher, I fail to see that her “steel”, policies, etc. had much to do with the fall of the USSR.

        But I never liked history: E.g., “History doesn’t reveal its alternatives.” And explanations based on causality, e.g., limits on economic productivity, new technology, play little or no role.

        On the role of economic productivity, it finally dawned on me that during a “war mobilization” the level of economic output needed to keep the consumers and workers going on the war effort is a very flexible constraint line: So, people can eat less, eat more bread and rice and less fish, chicken, and beef, drive their cars less, forget about clothes fashions, e.g., wear blue jeans (IIRC originally made for gold miners from super tough sail cloth and held together with especially strong seams and brass rivets), f’get about haircuts, manicures, movies, ice cream and cake birthday parties, household interior decorating, cut back on winter heating (use more blankets), have workers have vegetable gardens and raise chickens, etc. Thus, just what economic productivity is actually needed for a war effort is tough to see. Thus, it’s tough to argue the role of economic productivity as a significant causal effect in history.

        So, net, I don’t really know just why the USSR fell or just what Reagan, Thatcher, or “steel” had to do with it.

        • JLM

          .
          Reagan broke the USSR’s bank when he rebuilt the American military. The Soviets went broke. It became apparent they could not keep pace financially.

          We are in a similar situation with the Russians who are only 15% the size of the US financially.

          The Russian people do not figure in the governing of either the USSR or Russia. It is the Communist Party, the old KGB, and the military. You have to have two of those three to be in power.

          BRC
          http://www.themusingsofthebigredcar.com

  • SFG

    Great post. There is a lot of information being thrown around these days that has many men confused. Make that bewildered.

    One of the great benefits derived from hanging out with the BRC over the years is getting in touch with my core values. He does harp on values regularly.

    I now am better able to articulate and consciously live my values both personally and professionally. A benefit is more confidence and steadfastness when shitheads stop by to ruin the party.

  • Henry Bruce

    Excellent post (sent to me by one of your followers this morning). I have reposted on FB and LI. I will keep pushing this one out as too many of mt male friends are part of the problem and need to step up

    • JLM

      .

      He must be a good friend. Come back again. Be well.

      BRC
      http://www.themusingsofthebigredcar.com

      • I’m the friend 🙂

        • sigmaalgebra

          Is teasing permitted?

          When you were in grades school, did anyone call you a Tom Boy? I’m just guessing! :-)!!!

          Tom Boy or not, tech and most of business has too few girls (oops, I blew it again, PC “women”) around!

          • I was not a Tom Boy.

            I liked dresses and pretending I was magic (I believed I could fly for quite some time). I played with dolls (but in ways that confounded my friends. I didn’t really care about taking care of them like they were pretend babies. I used to create whole worlds for them. It was more like puppetry and play writing).

            I also spent a lot of time fishing and catching fiddler crabs (my Dad didn’t care if you were a boy or a girl, you were going to learn a few salt water things like: how to fish and catch any kind of seafood, how to spear an eel then cook it on the grill, how to captain a boat, how to read a compass and a map, how to navigate on water by stars, how to check the depth of water without instruments, how to tie a few knots, etc & etc)

            I also was a book nerd whiling away hours in pages of whatever books I could get my hands on. I read stuff like Hemingway and Nabokov while other people were reading Sally, Dick and Jane. We had a house full of books so I just read whatever was laying around. (An interesting side note is that my Dad is functionally illiterate but also a mechanical genius.)

            I used to play Peter and the Wolf on my Fischer Price turntable and scare the bejesus out of my friend Michael, who would climb under the bed to hide.

            Here is the secret to understanding women (and all people, for that matter): don’t assume you know who they are or what they were like in the past. Instead, listen and ask pertinent questions to find out who they are.

            This strip of photos from my Mom’s photo album says a lot about me. Not only about who I was but also who I would become.
            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/62eb11e65c21ee01e3a5243696a2894959c2bf024facf622e280d47bc07a47e8.jpg

  • sigmaalgebra

    A lot of really good stuff. A keeper.

    Predator Hunting

    For the Rent a Ranger approach, maybe she sees the predator once more and is wearing a wire with the Ranger just outside. When she says to the predator “Stop. No.” the Ranger enters and protects the woman from what is physical assault by the predator.

    Since IANAL, chat with some lawyers about the legality of the Ranger protecting the woman by putting the predator in the hospital.

    The woman and the Ranger will swear in court that the predator was attacking (or whatever the legal description of the crime would be) and that the Ranger was merely protecting the woman. And there will be the recording from the wire the woman was wearing.

    Actually, of course, local police or the FBI should be able to provide essentially this service.

    But, then, the woman doesn’t really want to put the predator in the hospital or jail and, instead, just wanted a job without being attacked. She knows that if she works to put the predator in the hospital/jail, then she definitely won’t get the job.

    Dirt Bags and Girls/Women

    Also, from some of the news accounts about dirt bag Weinstein, commonly the women were intimidated. Intimidation is a sad, curious emotional and mental state, and a lot of people, especially women and girls, are vulnerable to it. In a state of intimidation, the person will put up with attacks, insults, etc. because they fear that resisting would make the bad situation even worse. A common tactic of dirt bag boys/men being mean to girls/women is to intimidate them.

    What Herr Weinstein was doing was close to what some boys in about the seventh grade hear as a recipe for what they should do with a girl, “Find her, fool her, feel her, fuck her, and forget her”. Any boy/man who would do any such thing to a girl/woman or any angel is a world class dirt bag; maybe he is cruel to kittens and puppies, too. In various societies at various times from the present to the long past, a boy/man could get away with such dirt bag behavior.

    That brutal, cruel, degenerate recipe is basically what Herr Weinstein was doing; he was a seventh grade dirt bag. Where he asked her to come to his room for a business meeting was the “fool her” part. The “feel her” part had the intimidation.

    For more of the recipe, although rarely articulated in the seventh grade, is for him to attempt to dominate, intimidate, subjugate, manipulate, and, then, as in the recipe, take advantage of the girl/woman. Really ugly stuff.

    A man should be outraged to see a woman cry or even in distress. Only an especially filthy world class dirt bag would deliberately make a woman cry or continue once she is in distress.

    Nearly all girls/women, unless deliberately acting, which they are commonly astoundingly good at, show their emotional state clearly in their facial expressions with some significant help from their body language. About the happiest a boy/man can be is to have her smiling at him from being happy to be with him. About the saddest he should ever be is to see from her facial expression that she is in distress.

    “Damsel in distress” is one of the classic motivations for a man, without hesitation, to risk his life to protect the girl/woman.

    So, Herr Weinstein clearly saw distress in the faces of those woman but proceeded anyway; got to line him up for grand world class dirt bag of the decade.

    So, the Ranger, FBI, or police need one more woman, a police woman, definitely not looking for a job with the predator.

    Then there is some planning with a “set up” and then a “take down”.

    Powerful people tend to have enemies, from people the powerful person has hurt, just from people jealous of the powerful person, etc. So, I have to believe that in Hollywood Herr Weinstein had plenty of enemies, male enemies, maybe directors or other producers, actors, maybe just set designers, whomever.

    Then since Herr Weinstein was well known as a sexual predator, and likely an A-hole otherwise, one of his male enemies could do the set up and take down.

    With high irony, Hollywood is awash in male actors all “bulked up” for action hero roles: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Brad Pitt, etc.

    Uh, easy way: Just go to IMDB for the cast of the 2004 Troy and see, in addition to Brad Pitt (Achilles), Nathan Jones, 6-11, 360 pounds, (Boagrius),

    https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/M/MV5BMTk2OTU4ODQzNl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNTY4MjgyMQ@@._V1_.jpg

    Tyler Mane (Ajax)

    https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/M/MV5BMTQwNzAxODA5N15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNDE5MTQyMw@@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,658,1000_AL_.jpg

    And Hollywood has lots of writers good at remarks like “I’ll make him an offer he can’t refuse.”.

    Also, Herr Weinstein does NOT look like he’d be very good in a fight against a Ranger or even Arnold, The Rock, or Brad. A fight could end with about 20 gallons of quivering Weinstein fat on the floor.

    Net, Herr Weinstein was an obvious target, highly vulnerable, ready to be brought down for a big fall.

    Good Girls/Women and the Rest

    For

    When a man is good to a woman, that woman will be good to the man.

    in my experience that statement is true for a good woman. Alas, there are a lot of injured women with a lot of pain out there and not very ready to be a good woman. A good woman is not easy to find; mostly what is out there are women with a wide range of quite serious problems not ready to be a good woman. Here are some cases:

    (1) Raging libidos, not only as in the song in the movie Oklahoma “Can’t say ‘No'”, but will just invite or even grab below the belt nearly any boy/man available.

    E.g., a family with a son about 15 turned their backyard into a swimming pool and had over lots of the son’s friends, girl friends of friends, friends of girl friends of friends, etc. One girl, 13, found in the house the first floor powder room, had the door closed but not locked, sat on the toilet, waited for someone to knock at the door; if a boy knocked said nothing, when he entered stood and said “Don’t leave”. She wanted to have fast, stand up sex with every boy who walked into the powder room, whether she knew his name or not. Since age 12 or so, she had been having boys over to spend the night with her in her bedroom. Somehow her parents, financially well off, didn’t mind.

    E.g., one girl thought that it was unfair for boys to have to pay for the dinners because she wanted sex as much as they did. Supposedly the night before her wedding, she wanted to have sex with her brother in law.

    With those two, love making was just friction, and with or without sex there was no sense of love, loyalty, fidelity, faithfulness, affection, or romance. They both resented men and the role of a woman as a wife and mother and were never going to be “good” to a man.

    (2) Anxiety cases, the most common problem women have is anxiety; they can flutter like a little bird and jump and fly away with all their strength at even the smallest thing. They can even be forever totally afraid of a good man who loves them and does well taking care of them.

    (3) Man haters, women who hate the role of a woman as a wife and mother, want to be like a man, but hate men for having what they want and don’t have.

    (4) Gold diggers, ’nuff said.

    And there are many more such seriously dysfunctional cases.

    Actually, IMHO, most of the James Bond movies have in part been intended as lessons in women for young men. So, each of the movies shows a variety of women, from total, dependent, insecure sweethearts, to good woman, to really nasty, dangerous ones. IMHO, the variety shown is usually quite realistic; for each of the examples shown, there really are a lot of women out there like that.

    Whatever the girl/woman, a gentleman, boy or man, will be nice to them, try to have them safe and happy and never cry. Although the feminists won’t admit it, it remains the case that girls and woman need to be cared about, cared for, and taken care of. In hundreds of ways unknown, subtle, or obvious, girls/women are like bouquets of flowers and not like some iron blacksmith’s tool.

    If a young woman says “Women don’t have to be just cared for. I want to be equal.”, smile, be nice to her until the end of the meeting, and then stay far away. Sure, from E. Fromm, “Men and women deserve equal respect as persons, but they are not the same.”. By “equal” she likely means the feminist just the same in all possible respects short of special surgery and hormone treatments. Well, she is definitely not the same and never will be.

    In some ways, she’s much better than boys/men; in some other ways, she’s not nearly as good; but in no case is she “the same”.

    There’s a lot of subtle symbolism with girls and women. E.g., in Western Civilization, going back 100+ years, there is the role for a full skirt with a huge pile of petticoats, especially paired with a tight blouse and a full “bust line”. So with this symbolism, the top half, with of course the face and hair, is the visible attraction of femininity, and the bottom half is the assurance of virginity.

    And, why virginity? Because the man who would be a good husband for her very much needs to know that she will value the marriage, the traditional marriage vows, love, and their home and be faithful.

    Uh, on the faithful part, the situation is not symmetrical, and the old “double standard” has some rational support: Still, cheating on a SO or spouse is a case of lying and a bummer in any case. But for the difference, if the wife cheats on her husband, then he can get stuck raising the child of another man, but if he cheats on his wife then she doesn’t get stuck raising the child of another woman. So, the situation on cheating is not symmetrical. Still, in all cases cheating is lying, destructive, likely a huge loss for at best a small gain, and a bummer.

    Still, in fact, “There are a lot of affairs out there.”.

  • Just sent this to my son to read.

    • JLM

      .
      Something tells me his Mom had him trained up already.

      BRC
      http://www.themusingsofthebigredcar.com

      #me too

      • Yup. He just said to me, “Hey, I read that Big Red Car thing you sent me. Not sure why you sent it to me because I already know all that. You should send it to people who don’t know. Everything he said was correct.” LOL.

        • sigmaalgebra

          Yup, suspicions confirmed and BRC was correct — your son has a good mommy! IMHO, that’s what this country needs more of!

          On what BRC posted here, you have done better than my parents did: They did a lot of things right and in many ways were good to me, but they didn’t do well, except maybe by example, teaching me what BRC posted here.

          I tried to have my wife be a good mommy, but it didn’t work. Darned good that some women are being good mommies.

          • Everyone does their best. Including our ex-spouses. By not undermining them, we allow our children to see and know the best of them. In the end, we all win.

          • sigmaalgebra

            I very much wish all marriages worked really well, as in the traditional marriage vows. I still can’t understand why that isn’t always the case. I JUST don’t ‘get it’ why a marriage would fail. Why something that starts as in

            wouldn’t be perfect for life is totally beyond me. The day I got married I assumed that we would be totally happy for life.

            You have my sympathy, and it’s terrific that you are doing so well as a mother and, likely, also well at at least some of being a father.

          • Marriage is difficult but also incredibly rewarding. It takes both dedication and passion. But if both partners are not deeply committed to it, it will fail. I’m not entirely sure marriage is the greatest way to parent. Some marriages are intact but deeply broken. Other marriages break but the partners remain friends and work toward good parenting. Then there are other marriages that we are all envious of. (But, beware! We never really know what is inside someone else’s marriage. Only those two people know. And sometimes they don’t even know.)

            In my case, my ex and I did our best. We are both flawed human beings so it wasn’t always smooth. We made mistakes. But we also did a lot of things right. My ex gave me the greatest gift in the world by leaving me. It enabled me to chose a path that I would have never been able to take had I still been married to him. I’m grateful for that.

            Also, my son ended up with a really cool, hip step-mom and extra grandparents due to my ex getting remarried right away. Children benefit from a large inclusive group of people who care, not just a traditional nuclear family. Just a few generations ago, children were raised by a community, not by a nuclear family. Maybe the secret to successful marriage with children is having that inclusive, caring community.

          • sigmaalgebra

            Thanks for your responses: I didn’t know any of those details. I just saw — as BRC did — the clear evidence that you are being a good mother.

            The BRC post was about being a “man”. Well, I tried to respond and contribute to that.

            Long a project of mine on the far back burner has been to write a book Girls 101 for Dummies — Boys to tell boys age 13, 12, 11, maybe even 10, certainly by 16, and they are in deep trouble if they wait to 18 or 20, what I wish I’d known when I was in those years.

            My view is that (1) the lessons are so surprising that without good help nearly no boys will figure out the lessons on their own until middle age if then and (2) with reasonably good explanations the boys would understand the lessons quickly. Explained at all well, the information is quite easy to understand.

            The lessons are not difficult to understand, just difficult to discover.

            But the subject is “sex” as in the old advice “Never talk about sex politics or religion”. So, the subject is seriously repressed. Most of the information out there from authority figures is some combination of wishful thinking, brain dead political correctness, fantasy, guilt, shame, concepts of sin, propaganda, religious preachings, etc. while carefully avoiding a lot of the real “facts of life”. At best the advice is to scare the kids in an effort to try to keep down STDs and unmarried pregnancies. But what is missing is anything like reality — emotional, psychological, social, romantic, even some of the biological, even about some of the simple plumbing, etc. Heck, the advice fails to recognize even affection and contact comfort. The idea that some of the kids actually fall in love, and especially that some of them very much need love, is avoided.

            Heck, nearly all about the nature of love is omitted.

            E.g., bluntly, while I’m no expert, apparently Mother Nature is convinced — although most definitely currently the more developed countries very much, and correctly so, are not — that a well fed, healthy 13 year old human female is ready, willing, able, and eager to be a good mommy.

            By a good mommy, she is able to carry the baby to term and deliver it safely and successfully. Sure, she may deliver when she is 14. Then she holds, comforts, nurses, cleans, her baby. She connects with her baby with eye contact, facial expressions, tones of voice, etc. and has the two of them strongly bond, commonly for life. She is devoted to her baby, loves, protects, cares about, pays close attention to, responds to, etc. her baby.

            Lots of good mammalian mothers — cats, dogs, elephants, whales, and more — do very similar things with their babies. Some of what I have seen for domestic cat mothers is astounding good mothering.

            And I can believe that anytime in the last 40,000 years commonly such a — healthy, well fed — 13 year old human female would have been a good mommy except for the last 100 years or so in the more developed countries. I can give a short, simple, solid argument that we haven’t changed hardly at all in the last 40,000 years. So, net, essentially all the advice from the authorities is in strong conflict with nearly all of the last 40,000 years of what a lot of human females actually did.

            It is true that now in the more developed countries we do need for the young women to delay marriage and motherhood until they are 18, 20, …, 24 or some such, but those years from 13 to 18+ need some careful information, explanation, and consideration; and those are way too often seriously missing.

            So, I’ve wanted to write a book to tell the boys the truth actually important to know and not easy to get otherwise.

            So, in my posts to this BRC thread, I described some of my ideas that might go in the book.

            I can understand that some people, male or female, just don’t want to get married, ever. This has to be true if only because Mother Nature creates “all kinds”, and there may also be more specific reasons.

            But when a person goes through a traditional marriage ceremony, rehearsal dinner before, reception afterward, weeks, maybe years of planning, the ceremony with solemn vows, in front of both families and lots of friends, in a religious setting, I totally fail to see why they would so easily change their minds.

            The behavior after the ceremony too often makes the ceremony look like just a fictional costume comedy/drama stage performance.

            It’s easy to guess that a significant fraction of the people, some years before they get married, have come to believe that in our society the marriage ceremony, the love making within the marriage, and essentially everything about the relationship “doesn’t mean anything”.

            When I got married, I meant every word of the ceremony, in letter and spirit, and until she died always did. I never lied to her, deceived her, manipulated her, cheated on her, forced her, etc. I meant the marriage vows. I regarded us as no longer two separate people but as one couple. So, my devotion was to us as a couple and, thus, cared about her life as much as my own. I no more wanted her hurt than I wanted myself hurt. I thought that vows and being “joined with the bonds of Holy matrimony” were just part of the bargain.

            But I was shocked to learn that it is a really common “fact of life” for one or the other of the spouses, before, during, or after the vows, to regard the vows as meaningless.

            In simple terms, too often in the ceremony one or both of the spouses is, in a word, lying. Bummer.

            It took me a very long time to start to understand that “fact of life”, and I still don’t understand it at all well. I have some ideas about the reasons for that fact of life, but they assume a lot of powerful emotions and a minimum of rationality.

            Some of these irrational emotions are strong: Generally two spouses hang together or, in significant ways, hang separately. Yet, the emotions can drive one or the other of the spouses out of the love, caring, and security of their marriage into what is clearly a dangerous hell that might kill them.

            A bad marriage is, in one more word, expensive, and in more detail expensive in time, money, effort, emotional problems, psychological problems, medical problems, legal problems, financial problems, career problems, and more. When a marriage is destroyed, commonly much or all of a family is also. It’s no fun to give solemn vows to someone and devote much of the best of your life to them when from the beginning and through out they believed that they should lie to you and did. Bummer.

            Boys need to know these things, in particular, that they can happen.

            When I look at the marriages I have seen, well over 50% have some really serious problems, running on flat tires and about to crash. The marriages that should be good, just as in the if only superficial promise of the marriage ceremony, are about 10% of the total. Boys need to know these things.

            I suspect that there are some ways for a well informed young man to lead and guide their marriage to make the odds of success quite high, but nearly no young men know this, and boys need to be told.

          • Those are some interesting thoughts. I will think about them. Your idea about the book may be much better as some kind of immersive AR game. There actually are quite a few good books out there about sex for boys. I bought them all and left them sitting around my house for my son and his teenage friends to read.

          • sigmaalgebra

            Leaving around those books on the birds and the bees — good idea. Nice work.

            I haven’t seen such a book in decades. But since boys and girls haven’t changed much in thousands of years, I doubt that the books have changed much since I last saw one!

            So, I have to guess that the books still concentrate on simplistic aspects of the plumbing of the biology. Okay, that’s important but darned easy and not nearly enough or for good relationships even what is the most important.

            I have to believe that your son got BRC’s lessons from you, not the books!

            But the crucial, core, tough Big Problem is that for people of Western European descent, the birth rate is too low and the divorce rate, too high. In the baby business, we are really low on quantity and usually too low on quality.

            Bluntly, and rock solidly true, Darwin is having his way with us — we’re going extinct, as in dead and gone with the wind.

            So, when I say there’s a problem, I’m on very solid ground — there’s a Big Problem.

            Sure, as this Big Problem applies on average over people of Western European descent, it necessarily also must apply to many individuals. So, many individuals are struggling with the Big Problem.

            And the Big Problem starts, sure, maybe at birth but is starting to get serious by age 10, impossible not to notice by age 12, more serious by age 16, and a darned serious threat to the good lives of individuals and the future descendants of Western Europe by age 20.

            So, at least for the boys, we need a suitable book Girls 101 for Dummies — Boys.

            For this, sure, need to cover the biology and plumbing, but those two are simple enough that all the mammals and birds and essentially all the fish and insects get it right. So, poor knowledge about that plumbing is not the cause of the Big Problem.

            In more detail, the cause of the Big Problem is not below the neck but above the neck and, in particular, between the ears.

            In first-cut, simple terms, the problem is psychological and social, not biological or plumbing.

            Far and away, the best source I ever found on the Big Problem and its causes and solutions was E. Fromm, The Art of Loving. The book is for between the ears, not below the neck and is about psychology, not plumbing.

            So, quickly let’s consider some of the examples of the lessons to be learned. In all cases, the lessons are super tough to discover, especially for one boy on his own, but easy enough to learn if well explained. Here I am being brief, not writing a book. Some of the lessons I describe briefly and the others not at all:

            Lesson 1: Anxiety.

            It can be tough out there: There are many dangerous, even life threatening, even hostile, forces out there.

            Some of the forces are from society, e.g., economic depressions, wars, crime, political revolutions, terrorism, falling buildings, bridges, airplanes, sinking boats, wrecked cars, etc.

            Some of the hostile forces are from nature, e.g., diseases, epidemics, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, droughts, wild fires, blizzards, etc.

            Humans with their intelligence are aware of and, thus, feel vulnerable to such hostile forces of society and nature and get worried, that is, encounter anxiety.

            One of the best ways to respond to this anxiety is to have beneficial, effective coalitions with other people.

            Then for each human, drawing from Fromm’s book, the Fundamental Problem of their life is to get security in the face of the anxiety they feel from their realization that alone they are vulnerable to the hostile forces of nature and society.

            The main productive and effective reason human males and females — boys and girls, men and women — come together in pairs is just to get this security. Yes, it is much less common for a couple to realize this fact and be able to explain it.

            So, from Fromm, a serious romantic relationship is more about psychology and security than biology and sex behavior.

            Lesson 2: Love.

            Lesson 3: Four Pillars of Love.

            Each member of the couple readily and essentially completely gives knowledge of themselves to the other member and cares about, respects, and responds to them.

            Lesson 4: Girls’ Non-Verbal Communications.

            Girls, from right after birth, are masters at non-verbal communications, and for decades they get better and better at it. The main means of such communications are facial expressions, tone of voice, and body language. Nearly all mothers easily understand those communications, but boys have a difficult time understanding but to get along well with girls very much need to understand.

            Yes, some video clips showing and explaining good examples of girls using facial expressions, tone of voice, and body language should be good teaching material. Many Hollywood actresses are grand masters at such feminine communications.

            More generally, right from birth, girls heavily pay attention to people and boys, to things. This difference makes communications between the sexes difficult.

            Lesson 5: Girls and Sex.

            Lesson 6: What Girls Want.

            Lesson 7: Girls Are …

            Girls are much more emotional than boys.

            Commonly girls are much more afraid of things than boys. In particular, one of the main problems of girls and women in modern society is fear; that is, too many girls are seriously afraid.

            One of the main ways a boy can help a girl, which she might highly value, is to help her be less afraid, i.e., to have her feel quite secure with him.

            Girls have better verbal talent than boys.

            Girls are better socially than boys and more concerned about being rejected socially.

            Lesson 8: How to Please a Girl.

            Lesson 9: Explain to the Girl.

            A boy should work to encourage his girlfriend to say what she has in mind for them and to have her feel safe doing so. To have her feel safe, there are some lessons and techniques available.

            The boy should carefully and gently explain to her what he has in mind for them. In particular, he should not leave the girl to guess what he has in mind or depend only on what she gets from elsewhere. Some of what she might get from elsewhere could be wildly wrong and, if not countered, devastating for the relationship.

            E.g., he should emphasize that he will never hit her and will never force her except maybe in some emergency situation where he is acting to get her out of danger, say, grab her, pick her up, and get her out of a burning building.

            E.g., he wants the relationship to be good for both of them. So, they can be less lonely, have more affection, and come to care about each other. They can help each other understand the world. They can help each other be motivated and, then, successful socially, in academics and athletics, etc.

            E.g., he does not want them to go “too far”. If she and/or her parents will say what “too far” is, then he will guarantee that they will not go there, even if she tries to.

            E.g., he should emphasize that he is on her side, cares about her, wants her busy, productive, healthy, happy, and safe, doesn’t want her hurt in any way from any source for any reason at any time, wants to protect her from being hurt, never wants to hurt her, and will never knowingly hurt her.

            E.g., he should confirm that just as Mother Nature wants, he will without hesitation risk his life to protect her.

            E.g., he should emphasize that he wants all concerned always to conclude that their relationship has been good for her and that he wants to build and keep the trust of her and her parents.

            And more, e.g., meet his family at Sunday dinner at his house, go to the youth group of his family’s church, get the best books they can find on couples and read them together, go with her to a minister who counsels couples, tell him that they are thinking of going steady, and seek his advice, learn how to cook together, how together they can get good at giving parties with a few guests, how they might do school science projects together, play musical duets, get started in business, etc.

            Lesson 10: Boys’ Leading and Guiding.

            Lesson 11: Little Things Can Mean a Lot.

            Lesson 12: Common Disasters to Avoid.

            Lesson 13: A Happy, Effective Wife and Mother.

            Lesson 14: A Good, Productive Marriage.

  • JLM

    .
    Be a man. Here’s how.

    http://themusingsofthebigredcar.com

    BRC
    http://www.themusingsofthebigredcar.com

    #metoo #manup #harvey