Despite deep analysis, still don’t know crap.

I can’t escape the triggers.

It is rare, but lately there have been things in the news that are very interesting to me and translate directly to my vocation. My “show prep” can become mundane. Same thing different day, forced into the news cycle by the wildest pontifications.

I’m talking about the energy markets. Everyone knows that the gasoline price is down. Many know that oil fell…a lot. Fewer still know that Saudi unilaterally cut their oil sales price two times lately, most recently on November 3rd, causing said fall. And still fewer would have reason to know that OPEC meets on 27 November, which will be the first OPEC meeting of weight since the oil collapse at the end of 2008 and the months that followed in early 2009.

But dadgummit, right there, on Bloomberg News, not even the courtesy of a trigger alert, was a series of headlines about economics and divorce. Beckoning me.Ululating. No mast to strap myself too, I was drawn straight to the craven half truths.

A one  two punch of safe generalities.

With all the news about marriage and divorce lately, especially news about how the economy correlates, coupled with one after another nationally prominent story of some brooding pasty white teen boy planning or perpetrating murder, groups of teen girls fighting, groups of young black males in small or large groups doing “knock down” or just randomly perpetrating violence wherever they happen to be, and the endless social pontification cum avoid-the-issue talk, and the books lamentations about the state of the family and its collapse, which we have presided over…this is the best they can do?

When will an analog to Shelby Steel write the book “Male Guilt“? I wondered that after my chat with the talk show host. And I wondered again after reading things like this in the articles:

Divorce among 50-somethings has doubled since 1990.

These trends are often blamed on feminists

a different powerful force changing families: the economy.

And this, where they add to the economic explanation:

 people expect to live longer and are less willing to endure a blah or bad marriage. [ ]

“Men want to be taken care of,” Brown says. “And women are tired of taking care of men.”

Of the three groups I mentioned earlier, brooding white boys, girls fighting, and groups of young black males, the white boys are vivisected by the media, the girls are treated like a sort of side show…move along quickly, other folks paid their 25 cents to stand by the ropes, but when the young black males act out the narrative is that we need more after school programs. White Guilt.

At Bloomberg we see male guilt (I’ve repeatedly referred to it is male self effacement) manifest even in what is supposed to be economic analysis. Worse, the mention of kids without parents and the associated social pathologies is stated. Stop. Other societal side effects are listed. Stop. Nowhere is there even a wink to plausible causality.

Men want to be cared for and women are sick of caring for us. Indeed.

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22 thoughts on “Despite deep analysis, still don’t know crap.

  1. You might like to fix the second link in the line:

    “A one two punch of safe generalities.” It returns to your post.

  2. Increased divorce in the “over 50” age group is trivial to explain: aging Boomers doing what they’ve been doing for 40 or more years, i.e. stupid stuff.

    Economy breaking up families, leaving aside the much touted MSNBC cheers for the ever-better economy (ahem), is suggestive. Mancession leads to frivorce? Can’t talk about that. Better find a more complicated explanation than “betaized men who lose jobs lower their SMV and thus MMV and wind up divorced”, and fast.

    OT but not really…
    TIME magazine had a poll up to pick the word that should be banned in 2015, one of them was “bae”, another was “feminism” and I forgot the rest. “Feminism” was leading the pack by a wide margin. TIME removed it from the poll and groveled for committing badthink.

    My only regret at the moment: I’m not wearing a Hawaii style shirt with scanty-clad gurls carrying gunz all over it. Even though I am not now and never have been associated with the ESA, it would be a moment of solidarity. The site that sold look alikes is sold out, more’s the pity.

  3. Men want to be cared for and women are sick of caring for us

    I don’t see this in my corner of reality. I see men who just want the contempt, the fight-picking, the passive-aggressive sarcastic snark, the “if you loved me as Christ loves the church you’d KNOW what I mean” trolling, the lovey-dovey in public and ice queen in private, and all the rest of the many ways that women have for making men miserable TO STOP. I see men who don’t want a woman to care for them, but who would like a woman to at least offer the same level of politeness to her “till death do us part” man that she offers to near strangers at work, to fellow church goers, even to minimum wage employees at stores.

    That’s what I see. Men who want just the basic minimum politeness, instead of constant drama. And women who apparently haven’t caused enough misery yet, and who are determined no matter what to keep on doing the same.

    Suppose a man is slumped on a bench and a woman is banging him on the head with a mallet at random intervals, and soing so even harder when he tries to stand up or ward off the blow. He doesn’t want to be “cared for”, he wants the pain of being hit on the head with a mallet to stop. That would be enough. Just stop causing pain. Too much to ask, obviously. For her to complain she’s “tired of caring for him” is simply out of reality. It’s some kind of fantasy. Maybe sadistic fantasy. “Stop resisting me!” yells the secret policeman as he beats the helpless enemy of the state with an iron pipe?

    jf12, thanks for the pointer. I still can’t find the 1991 Gottman paper. It would be interesting to see what their work on “trust” shows, given that there seems to be a definite gynocentric bias creeping in sometime in the late 90’s. Maybe it started after Gottman’s wife joins in the research?

  4. Oh, and Empath? There are some blogs that just make me really angry to read, because of what I see as grossly wrong fundamental premises. So I avoid reading them.

    I learned back in the 90’s with the newsgroups that dwelling on what some person said over the Intertubes was like inviting them into my house. I’d never invite some people I’ve known into the same city with me, let alone the same town. So ruminating over their words was harmful to me and had no effect on them.

    Aristotle pointed out that some people simly cannot learn. Such people should be avoided, rather than confronted, unless necessary. IMO that applies to the blog referenced in the OP.

  5. AR I agree with what you see. Ive used a similar expression saying its like an artificial reality they live in, those who would make the claim in that little statement about being cared for.

    Not long ago I saw a decent attempt to explain how she can say one thing and so obviously not fit her own description. She describes how she would like to be, how she’d like to be seen, not how she is. Seems obvious, I know. It was It was the context that was so striking. I may have written it up, cant recall and have never even tried to organize my blog.

    The women were asked questions about how faith impacted life and actions. It was so out of kilter to reality it reminded me of a movie made in the late 50s or early 60s called “Journey to the Far Side of the Sun” where some travelers went there thinking they’d gone home, but they’d actually found an earth exactly opposite the sun so we couldn’t see or detect it, and everything was backwards like a mirror image. The guy walks into “his” bedroom and the light switch is on the other side of the door…..like that.

  6. Not long ago I saw a decent attempt to explain how she can say one thing and so obviously not fit her own description. She describes how she would like to be, how she’d like to be seen, not how she is. Seems obvious, I know.

    Solipsism? Certainly whatever exists within their heads is considered reality. In some cases, a man could video / audio record every interaction for future refence and it would mean nothing. “I didn’t say that!” , yeah, you did… “Oh, I don’t remember saying that”, ok here is a recording of you, and you say exactly that, It didn’t mean what you say it meant, ok, review the recording and there is no ambiguity to what you sai, you clearly meant it at the time..followed by raging anger, ice queen shutdown, buckets of waterworks, whatever it takes to obscure the fact: this action was taken, it is bad behavior.

    Because nothing is ever a woman’s fault. Nothing. Stuff just happens, it’s not her fault. Holding them to account? That’s just being mean for no reason.

    Yeah, NAWALT. But I see it all the time.

    I vaguely remember that “far side of the Sun” movie, from late night TV. Yeah. Good analogy.

  7. jf12, working my way through http://www.johngottman.net/wp-content/uploads/2011
    and it is interesting, some papers back to the 70’s.

    One obvious premise that shows up in 2000’s papers, with females involved in the work, “batterers” are only male. Apparently there are no, none, not any women who physically attack husbands so far as Gottman et al are concerned.

    Another one of those “who you gonna believe, us or your lying eyes?” moments. Definitely colors how I read any other research papers from these people.

  8. Here is an example of the underlying premise:

    http://www.johngottman.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/The-baby-and-the-marriage-Identifying-factors-that-buffer-againist-decline-in-marital-satisfaction-after-the-first-baby-arrives.pdf

    Title: The Baby And The Marriage: Identifying Factors That Buffer Against Decline in Marital Satisfaction After the First Baby Arrives

    Looks good to me. Examine the summary, and see this:

    What predicted the stable or increasing marital satisfaction of mothers were the husband’s expression of fondness toward her, the husband’s high awareness for her and their relationship, and her awareness for her husband and their relationship.

    In contrast, what predicted the decline in marital satisfaction of mothers were the husband’s negativity toward his wife, the husband’s disappointment in the marriage, or the husband or wife having described their lives as chaotic

    Emphasis in bold added to highlight the premise. It is obvious that the marital satisfaction of the husband is considered to be of zero significance by the authors. Only the mother’s marital satisfaction is worthy of study.

    The authors: Alyson Fearnly Shapiro, John M. Gottman, and Sybil Carrere.

    Oh. Now things are clear. Very clear. The source of the gynocentrism is obvious.
    Gottman clearly did some good work in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s going by the papers I’ve skimmed so far. Something changed in the 90’s, however.

  9. This is fascinating. Yes of course the woman’s happiness is both one seat on, AND the fulcrum of the marital teeter totter. But check this out:

    From this link:

    http://www.johngottman.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/The-baby-and-the-marriage-Identifying-factors-that-buffer-againist-decline-in-marital-satisfaction-after-the-first-baby-arrives.pdf

    AR lifted this quote:

    [ ] what predicted the decline in marital satisfaction of mothers were the husband’s negativity toward his wife, the husband’s disappointment in the marriage, or the husband or wife having described their lives as chaotic.

    Most readers likely picked up on it. There is a circularity disguised as a mobius strip in there. What should not be surprising is how forward they are with it. Just a couple of paragraphs into the body you’ll find this:

    a dramatic increase in marital conflict, and a
    precipitous decline in marital satisfaction (Belsky
    & Kelly, 1994; Belsky & Pensky, 1988;
    Belsky, Spanier, & Rovine, 1983). These
    findings were particularly pronounced for wives
    and in some cases were found only for the
    wives; however, the wife’s declining marital
    satisfaction is a lead indicator of the husband’s
    later declining marital satisfaction (Belsky et al.,
    1983; Waldron & Routh, 1981).

    Stated differently, wife becomes unhappy…..well, she becomes unhappy. And it could be that her becoming dissatisfied is a result of the husband becoming dissatisfied. And that’s bad, because when the husband becomes dissatisfied that causes the wife to be dissatisfied. Worse, an unhappy wife will lead to an unhappy husband, and an unhappy husband is a predictor for an unhappy wife.

    She can be unhappy because she lives in her head (gasp!) under her own personally designed churning maelstrom of irreconcilable snap thoughts, or(and) she can be tortuous to live with which results in the husband growing discontent which is what causes her dissatisfaction with the marriage.

    Sounds like the “two way street” has one lane permanently closed.

  10. There is a circularity disguised as a mobius strip in there.

    Yes. I am not going to chase the papers cited from the 80’s at this time, to see if they are truly as one-sided as the cite above portrays them. The gynocentric attitude demonstrated is sufficient.

    Feminism is the notion that women are human, and men aren’t.

  11. lovey dovey in pubic, ice queen in private

    Is that a real thing? Color me solipsistic but I can’t envision a reality in which I could get away with that nor imagine why any husband would allow himself to be so tortured.

    Mine would stop me dead in my tracks, and wouldn’t be particularly moved about who saw or heard him do so if I was cold and withholding in private but pretended to be just the opposite in front of others.

    It doesn’t seem to make any sense at all really. I do hope that there aren’t many women actually doing that.

  12. @Elspeth, re: “It doesn’t seem to make any sense at all really.”

    a LOT of what women do to torture the ones they claim to love doesn’t make any sense at all. In this case, however, it does make sense, per se, as a cruel rubbing-his-nose-in-it, communicating to him the fact that she knows how to treat him right but simply chooses not to in rpivate.

  13. lovey dovey in pubic, ice queen in private

    Elspeth
    Is that a real thing?

    Yes. No idea how common it may be, but yes. I’ve only heard of it or read of it a few times, maybe as part of a big blowup.

    Color me solipsistic but I can’t envision a reality in which I could get away with that nor imagine why any husband would allow himself to be so tortured.

    Abstractly it is easy to understand. Oneitis, the famine mindset leads a man to put up with anything rather than risk having to go find another woman. In some churchgoing situations, that whole “servant leader” thing comes into play; he’s not going to divorce her no matter what she does so long as it isn’t adultery.

    Probably all women have some acting ability. Some more than others.

    Mine would stop me dead in my tracks, and wouldn’t be particularly moved about who saw or heard him do so if I was cold and withholding in private but pretended to be just the opposite in front of others.

    Sure. Not typical, either of you, right?

    It doesn’t seem to make any sense at all really.

    Lots of stupid, hurtful things that people don’t make any sense at all, really.

    I do hope that there aren’t many women actually doing that.

    Probably not many. But some? Yeah. More likely in some cultural subgroups than others, I would guess.

  14. In some churchgoing situations, that whole “servant leader” thing comes into play; he’s not going to divorce her no matter what she does so long as it isn’t adultery.

    This I understand completely.

    Oneitis, the famine mindset leads a man to put up with anything rather than risk having to go find another woman.

    This I do not. But for the kids? That I understand.

    Probably all women have some acting ability. Some more than others.

    ‘Tis true. We really do but it’s not a good thing. Rather, something to be overcome in favor of honesty and transparency.

    Sure. Not typical, either of you, right?

    Eh, maybe. Maybe not. I’m nothing special. He has a laser-like BS detector, but many men do, I believe. He may be atypical with his unwillingness to watch the BS being slathered on by his wife and not calling her on it.

    I thought about it and it kind of makes sense. Kind of like the mother who dotes on her kids in public but yells at them incessantly, even insulting them, in private.

  15. Abstractly it is easy to understand. Oneitis, the famine mindset leads a man to put up with anything rather than risk having to go find another woman. In some churchgoing situations, that whole “servant leader” thing comes into play; he’s not going to divorce her no matter what she does so long as it isn’t adultery

    The biggest thing isn’t any of these. Its that men are able to settle in and slog through. Men would rather not be bothered by the drama of a divorce, the unsettled nature of moving, the multitude of even more busyness that will befall him should he decide he’s had enough…..and make no mistake, this man is carrying the majority of the load with little to nothing that looks like a help meet.
    Men generally will stay in a bad situation just to avoid the year or two of drama it would take to get out. Not having a woman on the hook may be a bother for young men, up to say mid/late 30’s. Maybe. But sticking to it is what men TEND to do, and that’s what accounts for the bulk of the divorce filing gender disparity. In addition, when a divorce begins, both teams line up behind the woman.

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