Same kind of good as better

The Movie “Same Kind of Different as Me”  is good. I mean good as in better, and I mean better as in better than 99% of Christian movie making efforts. There were A list or used-to-be A list actors in it like Greg Kinnear, Renée Zellweger, and the always reliable Jon Voight, whose drunk slurring in the movie was just shy of outstanding. As a cause or by effect,  good production quality surrounded the solid troupe of thespians. These two things alone set the movie apart from the usually sad best efforts of Christian movie makers.

But they had to go ahead and do that thing they do when they make everyday be father’s day by showing how the wife manages to rehabilitate the deeply flawed husband, how he CAN be good, and how he has what it takes but needs just the right admonishment. His sin is revealed early. He is obsessed with work and with money. And he has a mistress.

Once confronted, he asks his wife what is to be done about the fact that they hadn’t been intimate in two years. The wife then screams over his voice that they had not really  been intimate in ten years!!!! She means they haven’t walked out their faith as if it was just her faith. because her faith is the only real faith in the house. Her heart has not been the arbiter of their faith walk. Her heart must be the barometer of faith in the home.

So, he gets to choose. He can have the mistress or this wife. He chooses the wife, and she hands him a pile of clean folded sheets for the couch.

The next day the wife tricks him into serving at the homeless shelter and kitchen where she had been (selflessly) seeking empathogasms serving for some time.

Then she tells him about her dream. Christian women and their dreams are a sub  category in Christian female initiated divorce causes. The slice of pie is more than a sliver. I suspect its more like a slab-o-pie if it could be fully revealed. On one hand I’ve known men defending themselves against affair allegations with nothing but a dream as the wife’s basis for accusations. On the other I’ve known men in competition against  a paramour that literally did not exist except as a creation in the wife’s mind. She imagined the ideal man and he is manifest only in her dreams. But that’s enough to juxtapose against her actual flesh and blood husband. Husband doesn’t measure up.

The husband in the movie takes some personal risk and befriends an overly aggressive homeless man. I liked this part of the movie because it was separate enough that it could be insulated against the manipulative wife’s machinations. It was an extreme sort of          city- mouse-and-country-mouse-become-buds tale. The homeless man had a cliche but moving back story.

Eventually the peace is shattered. When the story of the man’s redemption was steeped for too long in only the man’s own choices and experiences the movie makers clearly worried that they risked the audience missing the central point unless they hastily resurrected it. They feared the audience would forget that the source of the man’s salvation inspiration was the wife.  They saw more carrot than stick. More stick was needed. So they insert another scene at bedtime where hubby again pleasantly accepts the sheets for the couch where he would sleep. (Never mind that they live in what they say is a 15,000 square foot home, the man chooses a sofa in what appears to be a sort of anteroom outside the master bedroom.).

Once the husband has undertaken some physical risk, eschewed money and hard work,  sufficiently chastised his alcoholic father, and started to follow his soothsayer wife’s dream fully, she gets the remnant of a tingle due to hubby’s devil-may-care attitude in facing down danger. That he did so was punctuated by the windows in his G wagon which were smashed by the homeless man using a baseball bat. Hubby let the sheets drop to the floor and the wife unbuttoned his shirt while cooing.

He was back in. For a minute.

I left the room before the end. My understanding is that the wife dies of cancer and the husband writes the book that becomes the movie. I mean no disrespect to the wife or her family and do not wish to be insensitive to the loss of life to cancer. My goal is to magnify the again formulaic woman as the lever for sanctification of man theme. Nothing more.



We’re all Subaru Now

The lease on my company car expired. I turned the car in and said good riddance. It was a spiffy little German sedan, more entry level than top end. But it had a maddening set of features that nagged me so frequently it ruined the entire notion of ever relaxing by going for a drive in the country.

After driving awhile the display would reveal a steaming cup of coffee and the words, “Take a Break” would appear. Or it reminded me about every fluid level, service intervals coming up, 1 psi differences in tire pressures, and so on. It forced me to interact with it constantly.

I mistakenly assumed Europeans were more to the nanny side than Americans so my new car is a GMC truck.

Then it hit me. It was my age cohort that started padding life’s corners for the kids. Helmets and knee pads and play dates and juice pouches. Now my damn truck dings and dongs and buzzes and beeps and says “Caution, blah blah blah” incessantly.

Some members of my cohort ended up designing cars.  Didn’tcha.



A name so powerful it could be like having bullet proof bracelets

A college buddy of mine who, like me,  grew up in a small town in Appalachian South East Ohio. We lived 20 miles apart but only met once we showed up in the same fraternity.


The area and culture tend to inculcate an enjoyment of hunting and fishing in men starting then they are very small children. Chuck was no different.

He and I, unbeknownst to either, were odd among out high school peers. Both of us intended to go away to college…something only five of one hundred and forty three kids in my ;lass chose. His schools ratio of college attendance was a little better, but still atrocious.

The thing that really set him apart was that his parents were college professors at the nearby state university. So he was raised with some harmless incongruities. He and his father  hunted and fished and otherwise enjoyed rural outdoor pastimes. But Chuck’s dad spoke like a professor, and Chuck did too.

By the time we’d all finished our initial degrees, Chuck had decided to earn a Ph.D. in education. He wanted to follow his fathers footsteps, but to walk further and become the president of a college somewhere. He attended Duquesne for his masters and Drexel for his doctorate.

We lost track for a couple of decades. He showed up on Facebook a few years back and we reconnected. He enthusiastically shared his new found faith with me. He’d attended weekly at the university Episcopal or similar while back home. abut now he lives in the South East. And he met a woman there and married her. He was all in with Baptist style southern religion. No harm done. Just a surprise.

The explanation for his conversion was the second surprise. His wife’s name is “Billie Graham



I could spend some time free range thinking that over. I am not, however, making a derogatory comment about her. I’ve never met or spoken with her. I’m just laying out some facts. that may have been scattered in my mind so that i can show you the thing that nudged me towards a better understanding based on reasonable conclusions drawn from the picture he sent me recently.

He offered to send me one. He may have sensed my lack of interest because it never came.

I wonder, if Wonder Woman showed up would he be more strengthened and encouraged than by the presence of a wife coincidentally named after one of America’s most famous evangelists..

Toward the theory of empathy uber alles

The October issue of Scientific American had an article on the last page titled “Pushed Out”.  The article cites the numbers of people displaced from homelands due to violence and disaster. The numbers are shown on a bar graph where the victims are categorized in one of two ways. “People displaced inside their own country due to violence and disaster and violence” and “Refugees (all causes)”

The surprise result of the study was that the category “Refugees”, which is specifically peoples forced from their country of origin into other nations, receives massively more aid than those displaced inside their own borders. The later category, in 2015, was nearly three times the number of people classified as refugees and received a fraction of the aid..

The article ends with a statement about how the authors couldn’t explain why this is the case. The reality seemed to them to be just about backwards from what it was expected to be. Folks ought to make charity for their neighbors more of a priority, right?

Not if the motive for charity is empathy that can be worn on the sleeve. Not when the flag of the country from which the refugees flee is available on Facebook as a profile pic filter. Not when there isn’t a slogan or meme to be found that references the in-country displaced.

I’ve posted some of the academic work where empathy is studied. The tendency for a person to support the exotic refugee and ignore the neighbor is more proof that empathy is not altruism.


Relationship Growth and the Evolution of The Lift. Introducing, The Roll

The joke is tasteless. I’ll not recite it in full. It is a joke comprised of a question and a response that includes the words, “roll her in flour”.

I know. I understand the revulsion. You are probably thinking , ” Thanks Empath for accessing a place in my memory that had been erased and overwritten multiple times with puppy and bunny photos”. Yep.

Happened to me too when I read this. Her daily caloric intake is 8000. The method of caloric delivery is a funnel. Her belly is 91 inches. And she says:

If I lay down after a big dinner he has to help me roll over because my belly is too full for me to roll — it’s a big turn-on for both of us.”

She eats the Whole Food.

Something gave me a case of the sheets the first week kids went back to school

Adults visit school bathrooms this time of year. This year will be different for lots of people who live in enclaves of idiocy. Bathrooms need a quiet meditative space…an anteroom with a gurgling miniature water fall spilling onto pebbles from stacks of bull rock. Only by providing a place where one can select-a-gender, unhurried, intentional even, can public spaces achieve the, um, Target GPA (gender profile accuracy).

My daughters sixth grade hasn’t yet succumbed. The sheets sent me to the same restroom they would have sent me to a decade ago.

These sheets  are problems that are not limited to the bathroom.

The sheet below is about as benign as can be expected in terms of how administratively burdensome starting a new school year  can be.

Maybe the sheets were structured the same last year and I didn’t notice. Bit I doubt it.

Empath, that they put mom on top, well humina humina if she wanted to be there man.

Why would they change convention that had been in practice since the days when being handed a sheet to fill out meant sometimes a warn curling paper that smelled sorta good. Why make Mom the primary? Is it that so many are divorced, single moms by choice and she don’t need no man anyway? Is it that Mom is easier to reach than dad because she either doesn’t work outside the home or she has a job with more flexibility?

Perish the thought…immediately.

Mom is in good (on this) form, as she should be.





Brilliant Deployment of Passive Aggressive Voice

In this article I found an amazing quote from Sarah Jessica Parker. I’d have said astonishing but for the fact that it took me a minute to get google translate to recognize Passive Aggressive Voice (PAV) as a functional alternate language that just happens to use English words.

SJP was someone I’d seen nor heard from or about in media for a few years. I hadn’t realized that I didn’t miss her. See, that’s how that works. If you don’t miss someone…oh never mind. She has clearly mastered PAV, which is no small task given that it is always self taught.

SJP was doing the interview because she has a new program on HBO starting in October. The show is called Divorce. We around here already know the entire plot line including  exactly how it ends.

The interview was divided into small subtopics, allowing it to go beyond just the HBO program. She made the PAV quote under the subheading Marriage and Divorce.

“For me, it’s really the investment in the other person. And it’s the expectations you have. They change and you get smarter, and maybe you think those expectations aren’t worth striving for with this person, and that’s when people bail.”

Expectations can be and often are a problem in marriage. Specifically too many and too high. We know this already. We know because men adjust our expectations lest we sink deeper into disappointment as the marital years pass. Women have outlandish expectations on their wedding day and, as my Psychologist/Minister acquaintance aptly explained, women see that as day one of the project to remake her man.

Parker feints in the right direction with her (platitudinous) statement that its about investing in the other person. She goes on to say, however, that a woman may end up being unable to redesign her husband. She may instead grow more aware how little progress she has made and decide the guy just isn’t teachable. That leads to divorce.

Empath she was not spouse-specific in either the investment comment or the expectations comment. How do you know that SJP envisions the woman investing in the man, and the woman having high expectations of the man?

That’s easy. First the topic is irrelevant. Women are in their frame of reference, always.

Women see themselves as investing far more than they actually do, and the man investing far less. On expectations, she hasn’t even considered that a man would even have a host of expectations. Because generally men don’t. We realize its a path to disappointment. Women see women’s expectations as righteous and worthy. She is telling them to not leave over her man not living up to her expectations.

Her efforts to get the expectations met are torturing the life and will out of the man. She is frustrated and, per SJP, breaks the marriage over it. No, Parker says don’t do that. Stay and continue increasing expectations. because after all, its about investing in the other spouse. Translation: Its about husband investing in wife. Wife already , like Gandhi and Mother Theresa, gives it all.


But he threw the pizza rolls like a girl

The report says that he (Brad Beard) threw pizza rolls at her and she (Samantha Canipe) threw pizza rolls at him. Cops came. They were charged with one count each of simple assault.

Remember the reaction of the feminist after reading that college freshman admissions were comprised of 60% female and 40% male applicants? She said something like “we are getting closer to equality”

I’m thinking she went on to become a lawmaker in North Carolina where her brand of equality resulted in this display of fairness. :

Police say Beard faces up to 60 days in jail while Canipe faces up to 30 days in jail.

At least in NC they have eliminated the potential for unbalanced sentences for loitering in the washroom designated for the other gender. Now that’s progress(ive).