More On My Brain And Neil Strauss Opens A Can Of Whoop-Ass

December 27, 2010

The good news is it looks like I have some temporary work which may well lead to good permanent work. The bad news is my old boss saw my resume on-line and claims I am lying because I describe myself as training and supervising him. He is also trying to make trouble with other people who I have worked for, but I don’t think it will amount to much. The guy is an ass clown and I think most people know it. How well the new job goes will depend on what kind of initial impression I make, and I doubt one bad reference- I don’t actually list him, but the company he contracted with- is going to make much difference.

Nevertheless my mind was racing all afternoon and I worked on putting together one of my presents. It is very important to be able to control one’s thoughts. Anxiety is simply the inability to control fear, depression the inability to control sadness, and I suppose mania is the inability to control excitement. Worrying about it is pointless, and fantasizing about kicking his ass is also pointless.

I made some changes to my publicly visible resume, and then he called me and claimed it still wasn’t accurate. I decided to take it down for the time being as it is now only being seen by people who may become upset. I’ll worry about this later and concentrate now on getting ready to work, which is best for my mental state.

Neil Strass wrote on the bogus nature of so much seduction material-

Read the whole thing.

Who Wants To Be Naked Around Gay Guys?

December 21, 2010

Sheila wanted to know what I think about the repeal of DADT. I avoid politics here as it’s a dead-end and a waste of time, but basically it’s a dumb idea that will create a lot of problems for the dubious benefit of making yuppies feel good about themselves.

Decent people are supposed to think that homosexuality is perfectly normal and fine, and dislike of homosexuals and homosexuality is the sign of cruel, disordered personality and likely suppressed homosexuality. That’s great but vast numbers of the great unwashed- people not living in the blue cities and the blue states, from whom we draw most of our military personnel- don’t feel this way. For these people, homosexuality is associated with child molestation, bullying, and rape in prison and other institutions.

Are gays nice, if maybe a little flaky, guys in pastel sweaters who adopt foreign babies, like in “Modern Family”, or are they rapists and head cases? The truth lies somewhere in between. As for me I see that happiness and pleasure are fleeting things in a hard, uncaring world. Your personal hell might be 50 hours a week doing oil changes or 70 hours a week in a law office. In any case of you want to have sex with another guy and you will enjoy that then go ahead. Just don’t get AIDS because you will need very expensive drugs for years and that will add to the increases in health care costs that everybody is always complaining about.

In your daily, nice, polite yuppie life, you may know and work with gay people. And they seem normal and nice enough. But the military is not like normal life. Freedom and privacy are limited in the military, even in the cushy support jobs so many military people do. The stress and need for mutual support and assistance demand soldiers be able to bind themselves together in a functional, masculine way. I can’t do this, and I’m not even gay. To the extent gay guys can do this is the extent they can conceal their orientation.

This won’t cause a lot of trouble in logistics, administration or intelligence. In the opening of “The Thirteenth Valley” John Del Vecchio drily notes that the mobility of the helicopter enabled even more jobs for commanders, communications, transport, and support troops, and only one in ten troops in Vietnam was actually an infantryman.  That was before the modern age; I don’t know what the ratio is now. These people work in air-conditioned trailers or shaded hangars. They eat in mess halls operated by civilian contractors and staffed by workers from Bangladesh or the Philippines. If they don’t care to eat at the mess hall there is a Burger King and a Dunkin’ Donuts available to them. (If they are Canadian, a Tim Horton’s, no lie.) They have fairly private sleeping areas, hot showers and bathrooms. These troops are more likely to be intelligent, educated and highly trained, and thus indoctrinated in the official position that homosexuality is perfectly normal and acceptable. Their lives are little different from people at home, and for them someone’s gayness is a fairly marginal issue.

All of these people, however, exist for one purpose and one purpose only, which is to support a young man, a high school graduate with a 100 IQ, at least nominally some kind of conservative Christian, be that evangelical or Catholic. He carries a machine gun and a 100 pound pack. He does not sit at a desk, looking at a computer. He doesn’t analyze or organize anything, he doesn’t pick up a wrench or move anything around. He walks for miles over steep mountains or through dense jungles in extreme temperatures. He shoots people, hopefully before they shoot him. He joined out of some combination of desire for adventure, honor, prestige, patriotism, and rustic chivalry that are so strong for young men and that fade over the years into a nostalgic glow, as the strong feeling of youth do. He likely regrets his decision to some degree but is going to see his mission through. All the coddled, spoiled support troops exist for only one reason, to help him do his job, and if he is not there, there is no purpose or reason for them.

He also dislikes homosexuals and homosexuality, not and does want to be in this kind of environment with a gay guy. I think this is largely rational, and to the extent it’s not telling the kind of kid who becomes a combat arms soldier that being gay is perfectly OK and he should just get over it is not going to work. That is if you can even get him to join in the first place. Joining the military- aside from career training and educational benefits- is something young guys do because they want to be macho tough guys. Being a macho tough guy does not include being publicly homosexual. Gays in the military are now and will continue to be mostly support troops, like spy Bradley Manning, with a few in the combat arms who are very straight-acting and very careful to conceal their orientation. But shortly we will be bomabarded with stories about gay SEALs, gay Rangers, gay Special Forces, gay Airborne, gay fighter pilots, and as much as I dread the thought gay Marines. The actual numbers will be limited to the dozen or so that can be found for the article  or segment but the damage will be done. The macho mystique will be gone and for hundreds or thousands of young men a career at Jiffy Lube will look like a better option.

Don’t dismiss this- Napoleon said men would risk their lives for bits of ribbon. It wasn’t for the ribbon of course, but for the intangibles the few cents of metal and cloth represented. When those intangibles are gone, the motivation is gone with it. Those intangibles and that motivation is what makes a military.

I was in the coffee shop the other day, surrounded by other people on their notebooks. In my field of vision I counted four Macs and one PC. Until we get the Mac people to enlist, and join the infantry, this is not going to work. I didn’t see any who looked like they would last 50 yards in what a 11B or an 0311 carries. These people no doubt think I’m a horrible, mean person who wants to hurt gay people. But that’s the entire problem with this country, the people who decide have very narrow lives and experiences and are completely intolerant of those of others, while they think themselves worldly and sophisitcated because they have gay friends and have been to Florence.

My Brain

December 19, 2010

I got hurt a couple weeks ago and I have been working a crappy temp job so I have not felt much like posting.

I was going to tough it out as I knew a doctor wasn’t going to do anything for me but give me oxycodone, which I don’t like to take. I broke down eventually, because I told my foreign girlfriend about it ans she insisted I see a doctor, and was given something called tramadol, which has psychoactive effects as well- it acts as a serotin and norphrenin reuptake inhibitor.

I felt pretty good after this. Part of it was relief at getting medical attention- they were quite nice to me at the emergency room. And I suppose part of it was chemical. I have been thinking about how to improve my thinking, but the truth is for me negative thinking is reality. The truth is my life sucks in many ways, has for a long time and will likely continue to suck for the foreseeable future.

Negative thinking gets a bad rap, but it has its place. For some people, like salesmen, positive thinking is necessary to survive. Salesmen get a lot of negative feedback all the time and if they didn’t think positively they would go nuts. I have been a salesman and couldn’t deal with it. On the other hand positive thinking is dangerous in many activities. Accountants and mechanics have to look for and fix problems- they can’t assume everything is going to be OK.

Human relations though require more positive than negative thinking. All I can think of is I need to blast my brain with positive things to outweigh the negative. The brain is just protein and chemicals, and some management of it should be possible.

“You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out, Kid!”

December 7, 2010

Remember “A Christmas Story”? Ralphie more that anything wants a DaisyRed Rider BB gun for Christmas, but everybody tells him he’ll shoot his eye out.

Nonetheless he gets his BB gun. And he does shoot his eye out-

Well, he doesn’t actually shoot his eye out. He was wearing glasses, which protected his eye. But he kept quiet about it. Nothing more embarrassing than having such a prediction come true.

Something like this happened to me, and I was feeling kind of bad about it, until I thought of this. If you can reframe your failures as funny incidents they are much less painful.

Time And Emotional Control

December 6, 2010

It’s a cliché, but worth repeating that time is by far the most valuable thing you have. Except for money of course, but time is money as well.

I am terrible about doing productive activities. If I do two hours of productive stuff a day it’s a great day for me. I waste a lot of time on the internet and doing stuff I can hardly remember.

Goofing off or watching TV produces no stress because it demands nothing from you. Reading shit on the internet produces stress- if you’re liberal you’re outraged at the sinister right-wing conspiracy, if you’re conservative you’re enraged at the sinister left-wing conspiracy, or if your beliefs are not easily categorized you’re pissed about some other stuff people are doing- but it’s not about you, and thus easier to take.

Doing productive activities to improve yourself produces stress and for me it’s unpleasant. If I’m applying for a job I think I probably won’t get the job anyway, if I’m doing some self-improvement I think it probably won’t work. If I’m exercising I’m thinking I probably won’t get in shape, but I at least can think I’m keeping my condition from deteriorating. That’s not all that motivating so I don’t work out that much.

The confidence book guy likes to talk about your “inner voice”, which has had me evaluating my thought processes. Cognitive behavioral therapy and rational emotive behavioral therapy are based on the idea that a person can examine his thoughts, decide whether they are correct or not, and then keep or discard them. A person suffering from mental anguish is simply thinking incorrectly, and can easily correct his thinking with a little insight. This is an excessively reductionist and unempathetic view of the matter, while not being entirely wrong. The truth though is more complicated.

“Positive thinking” is the mantra in our society. Negative thinking and unpleasant thoughts are to be avoided. Negative thoughts and beliefs about oneself are especially to be avoided. And yet one must have some negative and unpleasant thoughts, about the environment, and other people. In excess, even if true, they are destructive and counterproductive. But where is this balance?

I have trouble with the idea I shouldn’t think ill of others. As Roy Baty said in “Blade Runner”, “I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe….” I have less trouble with the idea that I shouldn’t think ill of myself, and yet I come from a religious background where intense critical self-examination is demanded.

Often lower-status people get a lot of negative feedback. There are different ways of dealing with it. You may have noticed some people who are very servile and always looking for positive attention. Usually these people are fairly goofy, and have a kind of forced bonhommie. This seems like a way of saying “Don’t hit me!” These people are usually treated with some indulgence, but they arent’ respected. On the other hand there are people who are hostile and surly, and they may wear certain kinds of clothes to project a tough or anti-social image.

If you have had an excessive amount of negative feedback you may become unable to process it. I have to figure out a way to process the right amount to improve myself, but not so much as to become discouraged.

The Confidence Book and Clothes

December 3, 2010

One of the things the author wants you to do in “I Can Make You Confident” is to monitor your internal dialogue, but I don’t have, strictly speaking, I just have feelings. I have strong physical reactions to things.

This guy does “NLP”, and even quotes NLP originator Richard Bandler several times. Now, is this useful and valid? Like most self-help things it’s somewhere between common sense and complete BS. I’m only interested in the extent to which it might help me, and maybe you.

NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) divides thought into the visualized, heard internally, and felt. The felt is called “kinesthetic” and is the best description of my memory or internal dialogue-

This has allowed me to get a better grip on my thought process. Negative feelings don’t scare me as much, I can trace where they come from and deal with it. “Confidence” is some combination of experience, modeling other’s behavior, and direct learning from adults who teach you how to deal with feelings like fear and embarrassment. If you have bad experience, you can still model others, or best yet deal with the internal process.

Another thing is visualizing a more confident self, and when I do this I always see myself wearing much different clothes than what I actually wear. I know clothing is very important, and I have seen its effects on women, and yet I still wear mostly crappy clothing. I’m unemployed and dragging my ass most of the time, but this is something I think I, and every guy must make a habit of.

Here is an old bit from the David Letterman show from the 80’s, back when he was funny. I have looked for it before but searching for it again I found it. The magic of YouTube-

Inside and outside.

Talking To People

December 2, 2010

I have tried talking to people a bit, with mixed results.

Awhile back I was waiting to get a haircut and I see a middle-aged woman with these boots, that look like the kind motorcycle racers wear. I commented to her that I had seen those in Latin America but never here. She was a bit bemused, and not at all interested in talking about footwear with me- “Yeah they have them here too.”

I was in a coffee shop and a woman sitting near me had a pink lid on her cup. I asked “How come you get a special lid?” and she said it was hers, she brought it herself. Apparently if you are super environmental you can bring your own reusable lid. I joked a little about it, she was a little more friendly than the previous woman but again not real interested in talking.

I think it helps to be more humorous. In another coffee shop there was a young woman with a sort of a flat purse or portfolio bag, bright fuschia vinyl with other bright markings. I commented “Your bag is bright!” and she went on a bit about how her crazy mother got it for her. I was in a gas station behind a guy buying four or five snack cakes, and I said “I hope those aren’t all for you!” and he said he bought them for women at an office he visited, it made him popular.

Maybe the combination of comment- it doesn’t demand a response- and humorous- it makes people laugh or puts them in a good mood- is what gets a positive response. You have probably seen a person who talks a lot, and talks about things people aren’t interested in, and is kind of a nuisance. I can’t stand such people, so I don’t like to talk outside of necessity with random people, but maybe that’s my ethnic background as well as my conditioned shyness.

Neil Strauss wants you to talk to all kinds of people; Roosh says that’s kind of pointless, you should talk to women you’re attracted to. I think it’s probably good to warm up a bit with people in general, but it won’t change your basic personality.