Monday, August 27, 2012

The Nice Guy's Lament, Deconstructed

I have a song on my ipod called " I Said These Are Lonely Days" by Greg Ashley.  And I think this song perfectly sums up the Nice Guys' Lament.  Before I get started though, I would like to point out that I am IN NO WAY talking crap about the song itself.  I love this song.  It's pleasing to the ear, fun to sing, and I really like Mr. Ashley's unusual voice.   I'm only criticizing the sentiments portrayed by the lyrics.  So, here is my take on those lyrics, and why Mr. Ashly will be alone forever unless he changes his mentality.

Well these are lonely days, and it's not gettin any better soon.  Because I ain't changed.  And I have no intentions to.

Well, even aside from the obvious grammatical problems, these are sad lyrics indeed.  If you're lonely, and you acknowledge that you're lonely because of your refusal to change (as opposed to being stranded on a deserted island or something), then maybe your should consider changing.  Just a thought.

Women talk so sadly when they speak of the men in their lives.  So why do all these girls continue with worthless guys?

Well, first of all, no one goes on and on about their men when their men are behaving well.  It's not interesting.  I used to talk crap about my job all the time when I worked for the Bad Lady at The Bad Place.  But now that I'm a yoga instructor, I don't talk much about my job, because no one wants to hear me say "Things are great!  I have no complaints!"  How boring would that conversation be?

Well, it's the same with relationships.  Especially since you've already stated that you're lonely.  Your female friend doesn't want to bore you with her happy stories or rub her happy relationship in your lonely face.  But if things aren't going so well, if they've had a fight or whatever, then she is comfortable telling you all about it.  See how that works?

Plus, who says these guys are worthless?  You?  Just because he had a fight with your friend, that doesn't mean he's worthless.

Hey when you wake up in the morning  - take a look around and it is storming- know that no one loves you like I do.

And how do you love her, Mr. Ashley?  Based on the lyrics in this song, I would describe your love as timid, weak, and dickless.  No woman has use for that kind of love.  What good is your love if it's secretive and does no good for her or you?  Any smart girl would spit on your "love".  What if she was in a dangerous situation, and she needed the man she loved to rescue her, or help her in some way?  Are you going to handle the situation?  Probably not.  Because you're weak.

While you play your games and chase after men with good lines - I'll just sit at home and wait for another try.

Umm, you mean she goes for guys who can be bothered to make the effort of pursuing her?  That silly ho!

  You admit that you just sit at home and wait around while she's out with this guy.  The implication being that she should somehow magically know that you're "waiting for another try"?  It doesn't sound like you tried much in the first place.  I guess writing this song is a good start, if you're looking for pity sex, but if you want this girl to respect and admire and love you, you need to step it up a bit.  

Now I'm stuck at home with box wine and magazines, while you've gone out with him to break up all of my dreams.

Why are you stuck at home?  Go out with some other girl!  Or go out with  your friends!  Or better yet, go out and find this girl, grab her hand and announce that you're taking her out on a date.  As long as you do this an a NICE way (not physically aggressively) with humor and confidence, it will probably work.  And then actually take her out on the date.  Is she out with the other guy?  So what?  "Out on a date" is not married.  Guess what girls like?  Confident men who take charge of the situation.  Guess what they don't like?  Sad, smelly guys who sit at home with porn, drinking boxed wine like trailer trash.  

Plus, I doubt she's doing this with the intention of "breaking up all of your dreams".  She probably is just going out with a guy who has actually expressed interest in her.  Which you have not done.

Hey if you call me in the morning, and try to tell me bout it with no warning - know that I won't listen, 'cause you're dumb.

Why is she dumb?  For neglecting to swoon over you?  What's to swoon over, exactly?  It sounds like all you like to do is sit at home and feel sorry for yourself.  The guy she was out with probably at least has a job or a hobby or ambitions, and he probably took her out to do some kind of activity like bowling or dining or something.  The alternative was to sit at home with you while you read your "magazines".  So why is she dumb, exactly?  

Your love is not worth anything.  The whole "If I love you, what business it is of  yours?" thing is funny and sweet when it's in a novel, but in real life, it translates to laziness or cowardice or both.  
If you love her, but all you do with that love is make self pitying songs with it, it is useless, and the girl is smart and prudent to disregard it.  She can do better.  But it sounds like you're a good friend, listening to her problems and such, so it makes sense to keep you in the friend zone.  Which is where you will stay, since you "have no intentions" to change.

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Dana Hammer Political Party

It's time for a new political party.  Democrats want to mother you and make sure you eat your vegetables, republicans want to punish you for having sex, and third parties want to establish communes and protect us from alien invasions.  Libertarians are pretty cool, but they take it to excess and sometimes get a little nutty.  So here is my proposal for an efficient, streamlined political party. It goes like this:

The government should provide the following services: education, roads and infrastructure, security and health care.  In my estimation, if you are educated, healthy, safe, and you can get from place to place, there is no reason why you shouldn't be able to take care of yourself and pull yourself up by your bootstraps.  Here are the details.

  Education should be free, all the way from preschool to college.  However, college should not be open to everyone.  Only those who have at least a C average in high school and can pass a placement test of some kind will be admitted.  If you can't pass the test or maintain decent grades, then you can go to trade school, which would also be free.  Also, if you are in college and you drop below a C average, you have to pay for school out of your own pocket.  The government shouldn't have to fork out money for you to slack off and be lazy.

Roads and Infrastructure
I'm aware that private enterprise could technically do this, but it's honestly more efficient for freeways and such to be centrally governed and maintained.  If roads and infrastructure were all run privately, by little fifedoms, it would slow down shipping and transportation, which is bad for the economy.  I also believe that subways and busses should be provided free of charge, or at a heavily subsidized rate, so anyone can use them.

We need a military and police force.  I'm not a total hippie.  That being said, we could easily cut back on military spending and we would still have a kick ass military.  And under the rules of the Dana Hammer party, prostitution and drugs would be legal, since the goverment is not there to enforce moral order, so we would not need to spend as much money on the police force.  The remaining police would have their time freed up to deal with dangerous people like murderers and rapists, and they wouldn't have to waste their time with the 17 year old suburban kids dealing dime bags out of their garages.  So we would have an awesome military, a police force that actually arrests bad guys, and lots of extra money to spend on education and -

Health Care
  I know this is a controversial one.  I know that the government messes things up and wastes money and covers things in a million miles of red tape and beaurocracy.  That being said, the best healthcare I ever had was when I had free healthcare when I was poor.  It was easy and efficient.  And as much as it pains me, I have to say that this is where the libertarians get it wrong.  The thing is, if you're poor, I believe that it's your responsibility to remedy that situation.  You aren't owed a handout by the government or anyone else.  But, you can't pull yourself up by your own bootstraps if you're dealing with a chronic illness and you can't get it treated.  Cancer lady can't hold down a job, and neither can paranoid schizophrenic who can't afford meds.  So I believe that all healthcare should be free, including mental health care.  Included in health care would be disability payments.  If you are genuinely disabled, you get a check every month for as long as you are disabled. This would be enough money for you to meet all your basic needs, not just a paltry $100 per month or whatever. But you have to be actually disabled, not just like, fat or short or whatever.    Agents would check on you periodically to make sure you're not faking.  Birth control would, of course, be covered.  So would "alternative" health care such as chiropractors, acupuncturists, etc.

Now you're wondering where all the money is going to come for this.  Well, as I said, we would be cutting back on military and police spending, while still maintaining a reasonable level of security and safety for the citizens of the United States.  But, we would also no longer fund museums, social security, welfare, food stamps, WIC, government bailouts, parks and wildlife preserves, or anything outside of the four basics I have outlined.

I am NOT saying that there should be no safety net for the poor and elderly.  I am NOT saying that there should be no more museums or parks or welfare.  I'm saying that those things should be PRIVATELY funded.  That way we an afford the necesities: education, safety, roads and infrastructure and health care.  We only have a limited amount of money in this country, unfortunately, and I'm not someone who believes that we should simply take all the rich peoples' money.  Of course, they should have to pay their fair share of taxes just like everybody else, but I don't think that equal redistribution of wealth is a good solution for obvious reasons.  My point is, the money we have needs to be spent in the most efficient way possible, so the most people benefit, and the greatest good can be done.  Plus, if you are educated, healthy, safe, and you can get from place to place easily, then I think the need for welfare programs will be greatly reduced, since there's really no reason why you can't take care of yourself in that case.  

Parks, museums, food etc, are all easily and efficiently provided by private charities and individuals.  The government doesn't NEED to provide them.  We've all been to the food bank and we've all been to private museums and they function just fine.  

Anyway, that's the Dana Hammer political platform.  

Monday, August 13, 2012

My Dream Polygamous Marriage

You are probably all familiar with my stance on polygamy, but just in case you aren't, I'll restate it for the record.  I think it should be legal.  I have always thought that it was weird that polygamy is illegal, but cheating on your spouse isn't, because really it's the same thing, except with polygamy everyone is ok with it.  I don't support the creepy kind of polygamy where child brides are forced into unions with old men, but as long as everyone is consenting adults more power to them I say.  It's not how I would choose to live, but I don't care of others do.

But the other day I was know, it might be nice to have a second wife.  You know, someone who would clean my house and make sure there's a nice hot meal on the table when I come home.  She would be really sweet and kind and ugly, and she would take care of all the crap that neither Phillip or I wants to do.  Phillip would not be allowed to like her, or have sex with her, or interact with her except to give her orders.  But she and I would be friends and would hang out and talk while I ate the gluten free cookies she would bake for me.  She would frump around the house in her hideous floral print dress with her hair in a French braid, and I would have lots of time freed up to get my hair done and work out so I'd be super skinny and hot.  Phil and I would go for walks in the evening together, making fun of my sister wife because she believes that no one has ever landed on the moon, while she stayed at home to do the dinner dishes.  

I guess really what I'm looking for is a servant.  But those are expensive.  I don't want a slave because that's immoral, and I have no interest in exploiting or abusing someone, or controlling her life or "owning" her.  What I want is someone who will live at my house voluntarily and do chores and not sleep with my husband, but who is free to leave at any time.  I won't tell her how to live her life or anything; she can have boyfriends and stuff, and if she decides she hates being my sister wife she's free to go find somewhere else to live.  She would be free to make use of anything in the house, eat whatever, etc. and of course she would live with us for free.  

Is this an actual arrangement?  Do people agree to this kind of thing?  I'm aware that it's a weird request, but there's got to be someone out there who would agree to it.  Right? 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Bad Advice

The world is full of bad and misleading advice.  I think I've written one of these before, but I can't help myself.  I hate trite statements and slogans so very, very much.

1) Live each day as if it were your last.

I'm guessing there are a lot of homeless people who took this advice to heart.  Because if it were actually your last day on earth, and you knew this, you would be pretty freaking reckless.  For instance, I would spend all my money on breakable glass and explosives, and then I would smash and burn things.  I would eat obscene amounts of hollandaise sauce and popcorn with extra movie butter stuff and I would hook myself up to a bourbon IV.  Actually, no, I would just drink the bourbon.  But you see what I'm getting at here.  If I lived like that every day, I would die in some painful, premature fashion, or I would be locked in a mental institution, or jail.

I wonder if hollandaise sauce would be good ON popcorn with movie butter.....

2) You can do anything you set your mind to/where there's a will there's a way.

Well, not always.  I'm guessing this sentiment originated in a time long ago, when people's goals were more modest.  You know, back when people weren't all that aware of the world outside their villages, and their big dreams were to have husbands who didn't beat them.  Because, yes, that is a realistic dream for most of us.  But you can't do anything you set your mind to.  You just can't.

For instance, I would love to have a magic carpet.  It is one of my fondest and dearest desires.  My mind is set on it, and has been as long as I can remember.  My will is strong.  But it doesn't matter.  I suppose I could learn about science and mechanics and try to invent a carpet-like structure that would levitate and carry me about.  But it wouldn't be magical.  I will never be sitting on an Oriental rug and suddenly feel myself lift off the earth, soaring through the air like an owl, no matter how much I wish for it or try to make it happen with my mind.  Not that I've tried that.

But let's pick a goal that is grounded in our current reality.  Let's say that my dream is to play professional basketball.  Professional basketball is an actual job, and actual people do this every day. But that doesn't mean I can do it.  I can't.  I'm not even 5 feet tall.  I'm slow and have bad aim and bad eyesight and I hate sweating and I think basketball shoes are ugly.  These obstacles are not surmountable.  I can not be a professional basketball player, not even in a special needs team.  (Is there a special needs basketball league?  I don't know.  Probably.)

3) Don't judge a book by its cover.

I judge books by their covers all the time, and it never leads me astray.  If a book has pictures of cannons and men on horses on the front, I'm not going to like that book.  If a book is pink and has cartoon like drawings on the front, I know I'm not going to get a serious, thought provoking read out of it.  If a book has pictures of a beach and wicker furniture on it, it's going to be a woman-centered book, probably about several generations of women interacting in some ordinary but dramatized fashion.  What I'm saying is, you can judge books by their covers, reliably.

But people often use this statement metaphorically; meaning don't judge people by their appearances. This is a bit more tricky.  Obviously I don't think you should judge people by their skin or hair color, or by their physical limitations.  But there are parts of the "cover" that can be reliably read.  The parts of the cover that can be read are the ones that are CHOSEN.

For instance, tattoos and piercings can give you an indicator of someone's character.  Where are their tattoos? What are their tattoos?  How many?    I know, I know "you shouldn't judge someone just because they have tattoos!".  You're not listening.  I'm not judging someone negatively simply because they have tattoos.  I'm simply listening to what that person is telling me about herself.  She got those tattoos for a reason; they mean something to her.  Any time you decorate your body, you are making a statement about yourself; you are presenting an aspect of  your personality for others to see.  I'm just going with it.

Clothing choices also say a lot about an adult.  This doesn't count for children, since their clothes are often determined by their parents and environments, and may have no relation to their own characters.  But adults are responsible for dressing themselves, and their clothes tell you what they value.  Do they value quality over quantity?  Are they willing to forgo comfort in order to obtain a good result?  Do they value comfort above all else? Are they lazy?  Are they engaged in activities that require certain types of clothes, for instance uniforms or swimsuits?  Do they see themselves as sexy?  As frumpy?  Do they want your to respect them?  Fear them?  Do they want you to think they are above such petty concerns as fashion? It's all there on their bodies.

3) Always be yourself/Don't worry what others think of you.

This is only good advice if you are  good person, who is likeable to others.  Not everyone is good or likeable.  If you are not a good person, and no one likes you,  you should probably try to change yourself, or be like someone who is better than you.

Take myself for example.  I am a good person, and I am likeable once you get to know me, though most people take a while to warm to me.  Acquaired taste and all that.  But if I were myself all the time no one would like me.  Because if I were myself all the time you would hear me say things like "That's boring.  Let's talk about something else now".  And "Wow,  you're acting like a douchebag".  And "I already know this, because I'm really smart.  But it's fine, we'll talk more about it since you're just learning this in  your remedial studies class down at Sylvan".  And "When you talk little particles of saliva keep spraying on me and I find it repellant.  This is seriously so gross.   I need to go wash myself.  And you need to learn to talk in a more sanitary way".

Because I'm not always a nice person.  I am a GOOD person, in that I want the best for people, and I have a kind and loving heart, and I want to help everyone and end all suffering..  But I'm not necessarily NICE - I often am judgmental and arrogant.  BUT, I know that this is an awful, terrible part of my personaility, and it needs to be repressed at all costs.  I would NEVER say any of these things to someone directly in real life, because it's mean and snotty and I KNOW that.  So I repress myself, at the expense of "being myself".  Because that's what grown-ups do.

And it's actually very important to care what others think of you.  I don't mean for petty reasons.  I mean, if someone hates you because you wear a parka or something, you don't need to worry about that, because it's silly.  But if someone hates you because she thinks you're a child molester, maybe you should address that.  Because that's the kind of opinion that matters.  And if you don't think it does, I bet you'll change your mind once you can't get a job, or when the villagers come to your  house with torches and you turn into Freddy Kruger.  Humans are social animals, and having an accepted place in society is important, whether you choose to acknowledge the fact or not.  I'm not saying you have to make everyone like you - that's not possible.  Some people are impossible to please, and have irrational prejudices.  And some personalities just don't "gel" for whatever reason.  But this doesn't mean you should have a "fuck the world, I'll do whatever I want" attitude.  That attitude is juvenile and unrealistic.  You have to get along with others.  I'm not saying you have to kiss ass, or compromise your values to fit in, or anything like that.  I'm just saying it's stupid to say "don't worry what others think about you".  Because it does matter.

4) When someone puts you down, it's because she's unhappy with herself.

No.   That's not true.  Perhaps it's true sometimes, but it's also possible that she genuinely disapproves of you, or your life choices.  I can think of lots of times I've disapproved of someone and stated that fact, and it had nothing to do with my feelings about my own choices or life situation.  Believe me, it's totally possible, and in fact probable, that whoever is putting you down honestly means it. I can't think of a single time when I've dealt with unhappiness by putting someone else down - that would only make me feel worse and would not solve the problem.  I just don't think that's the way most people behave.
  Whether that person is right or not is another matter.  The person putting you down is not necessarily correct, and you don't have to take it seriously.  But your shouldn't dismiss it as unhappiness on the critical person's part.  Because it just doesn't seem like a good reason to critcize  you.