A post made from a comment

Someone commented on an old post. As I read it and some other older ones I made the following comment. I want to make it a post as well if for no other reason but to remind me what I need to be saying…

 

Thank you for bumping this post. Because I have not taken care to categorize and make effective the 500 or so posts I have here I forget to really mine what I have already written..

When I look back to 2011/2012 I notice that, while never great, much of the writing was much better than ’14 and after. I will blame the fact that I got busier as my work responsibilities increased. Doesn’t matter really.

What does matter is that I was reminded that I was motivated to start a blog by the reactions I found to my posture on divorce whenever I entered what should have been a safe online place for discussing same. I did a lot of stuff back then and prior, in an activist sense. And while I find feminism, evangelical feminism, white knight-ism, red/blue pill stuff, all that, to be compelling, my drive was frivolous divorce and the damage to men and kids. My drive was anger at the women I encountered who either had rewritten Biblical truths, or were too invested to be bothered with any view that caused them discomfort and took away their pleasant empathy buzz.

I had a kind of niche with the empathy thing and I still believe in the sin consequence of empathy’s addictive siren call to women. I found that the examples I could use to illustrate my points are found too close to home, not just picking on my own wife, but other women in my life. There I can offer sports talk like play by play of conversations and micro-motives that seem to press women from side to side. I am desperate to get back to that as my schtick.

These blunt instruments, like the church not marrying folks in order to trim divorce rates, are powerful possibilities. I must guard against having a revenge type motive in any attempt I make to step back into the sweet spot that pushed me into what little effort I expended on this blog.

I am not a psychologist. Heck I’m an engineer, about as far from a psychologist as can be. But I have lots of experience that my years into middle age keep piling up. Anecdotes that buttress my thoughts on empathy and the driver it is for lots of what women do in marriage, especially Christian women who have even stronger needs to capitalize on empathy opportunities.

It is spreading to men very fast. The profile picture frames to show support for Orlando victims, the official ribbon, the piles of candles and stuffed bears, the parades, the American form of grief porn that we witness shows that a little whiff of empathy has the efficacy of a sex pheromone. Folks want their taste.

As to the post about the church stopping performing marriages, its now irrelevant just a few years hence. Things move too fast. How did we go a couple of years after the Supreme Court SSM decision with the T in LGBT being silent, then suddenly it is the consonant over which the accent is placed? This means the undercurrent is the surface current now and we are fighting being ripped away out to sea by tidal forces as opposed to being the tidal forces.

Both, or all three, or all dozen sides of these arguments are now parodies of discourse with attention spans being  140 character equivalents in length. “Lord help us!” will fit 10 times in a tweet.

Degraded senses, improved relationships

If your wife gets bigger, forms wrinkles, or just becomes unattractive,  its OK, because your vision gets worse as you age, if I am reading this title correctly. Some healthy eyed guys, however, require intervention.

Jimmy Evans is taking measures to fix your marriages guys.

For instance, taking men into a sandstorm in west Texas with no PPE can temporarily or permanently damage the eyes..

The auditory companion course is the one where you repeatedly fire a 50 caliber rifle without so much as a piece of lint in your ears for protection. If you are a reporter from NY a designated shooter is assigned so that you need only stand in proximity of the weapon being fired.

The two courses can be combined for significant savings. Firing a rifle in a sandstorm with neither eye nor ear protection is effective.

With husbands vision and hearing adequately diminished, studies show marital longevity improves by a statistically significant amount. The haste with which husbands seek these correctives correlate with the length of the benefit they yield.

The fail safe package, handed out after completion of both seminars, consists of two ice picks, one short and one longer. It includes instructions on how to either abruptly or incrementally decrease vision and/or hearing.

 

Who said that?

Who said these things? Sounds like Naghmeh Abedini.

there were a lot of red flags that she didn’t see

 

“I was a strong, independent woman and I allowed [Josh] to be [emotionally abusive]. Now, I know I don’t want someone jealous or controlling. I know what won’t make me happy in [the future].”

 

Cognitive Dissonance, Satisficing, Altruism, and Empathy

Cognitive dissonance is a term often used in discussion around these parts. The famous Hamster is expert at assuaging the discomfort that results from discovering that real facts do not align with beliefs (feelings) about what ought to be.

One of the ways dissonance is relieved is a form of something called satisficing. Satisficing is accepting something because it is satisfactory. It may not be optimal, or in the case of the Hamster it may not even be true.  But for a woman seeking dissonance relief a feeling of goodness or virtuousness can serve as external motive enough to work around the dissonance even if not directly addressing it.

Indeed because the Hamster is party to the empathy quest women are on, a flood of empathetic feelings is not only more than enough to bend reality, it is also quite a Pavlovian reward mechanism. This gives rise to women actually seeking out opinions to express about social issues, the dissonance of which can only be relieved by more cow bell empathy.

Empathy for its own sake is a rare gem. Well, no, it is more like unobtainium. It doesn’t exist. It is not possible to feel what another feels or to know so well how the other feels that it is just like feeling it with them.

Altuism has an agape aspect to it in that it is to do something that benefits another with zero benefit to the doer. In other words there is no intrinsic nor external motive. here again, however, the Hamster likes these little altruism pellets because they are easy to work with. The reality can be hidden in the hamsters cheeks. What outwardly looks like altruism, or agape, is actually the satisfaction of empathy craving.

I wrote about a Yale professor acknowledging the empathogasm. He talks about some archetypes of empathy chasers. He mentions those who give little bits of money to many charities or at least keeps every charity solicitation that comes in the mail laying around the house as a sign of intention to give. Or those who speed-volunteer, bouncing from one volunteerism to the next making excuses to abandon those not yielding the rich fruit of empathy to quickly bask in the one where ultimately they receive a kind note or a hug or words of affirmation from a person being helped.

Empathy ruins all of that for women to the extent that I confess to having to hold my mind back from trying to figure out if those like Mother Theresa were for real. It calls to question the entire nature of the churches benevolence in outreach. At the very least it invites deep spiritual scrutiny to bear on individuals who claim to be called to some form of altruism.

 

Happy +/-50% of Mother’s Day

54% of adults believe motherhood to be a woman’s most important role, according to the most recent Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey around Mother’s Day.

60% of women and 49% of men comprise the aforementioned.54%.

Further sorting by age and gender into respondents over and under 40 it gets more interesting. Men over 40 were less likely (47%) than men under 40 (55%) to see motherhood as a woman’s most important role. However the reverse was true of women. 61% of those over 40 said motherhood was a woman’s most important role while 55% of those under 40 shared that view .

The other interesting finding was the split by income bracket. Those in the lowest bracket (<$30k) and those in the highest bracket (>$200k) held the highest esteem for a woman’s role as mother, respectively 62% and 55%. The other three income brackets in between were lower, with the lowest being the bracket $100k-$200k at 48%.

There is plenty to mine from the juxtaposition of similar surveys about fatherhood but that channel is already cut deeply in the minds of people who read men’s blogs.

More interesting is how difficult it is to accept the fact that women value a woman’s role as mother more than  men value a woman’s role as mother.

I have a theory as to why. Its simple, and it is the reason I do not usually react to survey results. Women are inclined to respond in the manner that would reflect how they want to be perceived by others, regardless if they walk out the value choice they reflect in the response. And men, being Lift chasers even if only as a mental exercise, respond in the manner in which they believe the majority of women they know would approve. The wife’s opinion gets extra weight. She might ask how he responded.

The men’s age split fits my anecdotal observation that the boomers and close following generation are male feminists, or at least scared into responding as such, while there is at least more of  a nod to traditionalism in those under 40.

The women’s age split stays with the notion that women respond in ways that they wish to be perceived by peers. The 61% of women over 40 were favorable to motherhood means they want to be viewed as a proponent of motherhood by peers who want the same. The under 40 group has a peer set less likely to want to be perceived as putting motherhood as a top priority. a 5% difference shows a demographic in transition whereby the women would probably like to have devalued motherhood but still do not feel safe in letting it all hang out.

 

Woman’s vs Man’s Perspective

I got an email link to this page. The subject is tackling spring home improvement projects.

No surprise, here are some of the visual aids:

 

The woman’s perspective

 

happywoman

 

The man’s perspective

 

manwork3manwork1manwork2manwork4

 

If the fence behind the woman was white and her dress all white, if there was white snow and white steam coming from the cup as she gripped it with both hands….well then, that would be an advert.

Scholarly recognition of the empathogasm

Here (for expedience, start at 50 seconds and watch for half a minute) you can watch an animated video where Yale Professor (and psychologist) Paul Bloom recognizes the phenomenon that I call the empathogasm. What I call empathogasm he describes as “a little rush”. Those who chase the rush he refers to as warm glow altruists. I like it. Wish I’d have thought of it.

What he has done is speak to the amalgam of The Lift and The Empathogasm, with the caveat that his rush is not necessarily tied to a specific gender. As you know if you’ve read more than a couple of posts here, I ascribe empathogasms only to women.

I think we are both right. Men may, as he claims sans gender reference,  get little rushes when they make small donations to many charities…”I’m helping the blind babies, now I’m helping the down trodden worker”…so forth. These little rushes pale in comparison to the Lift the man gets when he wears these donations on the sleeves he puts on around women, both intimates and strangers, both IRL and on social media.

This leaves the matter essentially as I had it.

Women, motivated by a desire to believe themselves to possess empathetic super powers, will bend space, time, and all reality to the singularity of achieving the ultimate empathetic experience. The empathogasm.

Men, motivated by sex drive and misguided by residual blue pill not yet metabolized and excreted, will surround themselves with declarations of their own altruism, so much so that principle goes out the window (see Dalrock’s posts here and here) as they seek to achieve the good-not-great placebo for long term falling short of  orgasm….The Lift …in the hopes that the Lifts and Lift givers become like references on a resume. Maybe some woman will see how all these Lift giving women love him, and maybe it’ll help him get an actual orgasm. At a minimum he believes he has grown his opportunities.

 

 

C’mon Trump, Itz gurlz hooz dooz it

When Donald Trump says a woman who gets an abortion should face some kind of punishment he is forced to walk the comment back. He walks it back by making the line in the sand become the punishment of the person performing the abortion.

Set Trump aside…please…my post has nothing to do with being for or against Trump. It has to do with the ninnies yammering about how we could never punish a woman for breaking the law in that way. Ostensibly pro-life so called conservatives who stridently claim to champion the life of the unborn show that they simply are not serious when they then rush to be clear that it doesn’t mean there is any punishment due a woman who chooses to abort her baby. It is mean old doctors who kill babies. But there is no complicity possible in this crime. Even the person who literally carries the victim into the special place where the killer will ply his trade is not culpable by being complicit.  .

Since there were no stipulations made its a fair point to question who gets prosecuted in a morning after pill scenario. Its OK to abort at a day old. Anyone give me two days? Best fit here is some line about how we’ve established what she is and are now haggling the price.

If a man or woman doctor shops for opiate pain medication and the patient is caught, the patient is prosecuted and the doctors involved can be prosecuted or professionally reprimanded. Doctor shopping for pain meds is a crime that patients commit and for which they are prosecuted.

Doctor shopping for a doctor willing to abort a child, then aborting the child,  well not so much. Cuz itz gurlz hooz dooz it.

Red Pills in the Easter Basket

This Easter is temporally juxtaposed with dying

 

None of this is about me so forgive the awkward wording when I state that I have two men  in my immediate sphere that may not see Resurrection Sunday from their place on this mortal coil. One is a friend, just a couple of years older than me, and the other is my father in law, who, when I first met him nearly 30 years ago, was the age that the aforementioned friend is now.

 
The Friend

 
In the Late 80’s I worked in the energy business in Dallas. My employer was a Belgian oil company with a midsized American presence. There were refineries, petrochemical plants, and high concentrations of retail gasoline/convenience store outlets in certain U.S. cities. Like Dallas. The company had a quirky bragging right due to the HQ building appearing in the canned video sequence that opened every episode of the TV show Dallas.

 
It was not my first job. They recruited me from another local petchem company. When I started I naturally gravitated to similar aged engineers to make friends and learn the ropes. Nick and Jason (not real names) were the business development guys. Nick was an accountant and Jason a Chemical Engineer like me. The three of us were comfortable together quickly and became fast friends.

 

 

 

A few years later Jason left the company and moved to Houston to work as a speculator trading petrochems. Nick stayed and moved progressively up the ladder in various commercial jobs at the Dallas based oil company.

 
I left Dallas a couple of years later, providentially going to Houston as well and replacing Jason at the petrochem trading company. Jason moved on to build his own businesses as well as to take a position as a director in a major commodity chemical producing company. He holds that job still today, and I buy his commodity from his company. He and I have always had business together.

 
Jason hosts a fishing trip in South Louisiana near Lake Charles each October. He has for 18 years. Because I am a customer I often accept the invite. I did last fall. When I arrived I found Nick was also included and was my roommate for the few days we’d be there. Like summer camp he and I would lay awake a bit and catch up on life. Where are the kids in college? How is your wife? How about the rest of the family that is in Fort Worth? Nick had eventually moved to Houston as well and done very well. In fact he was retired at 56.
Jason had invited him along because he knew many of the others who attend, including me.

 
It was my good fortune, because a short 10 days later he was rushed to the hospital for emergency brain surgery. It seemed he’s had an aneurism or similar and that the Drs. saved him. A week or so later Nick’s wife revealed the cause of the bleeding. Nick has brain cancer, and after consulting many experts was told there is no treatment to halt or even slow it.

 
I traveled to Houston to see him a few weeks back. I will pick up the story of my visit with him when I tie Nick’s story to the one that I will tell next.

 
The Father in Law

 
Fall 1989, I met my wife in a bar. Yea, I know, that’s why I love saying it. To split hairs, it wasn’t a club, and maybe it wasn’t even a bar. Not that it matters whatsoever, but if it must be classified I would say pub or tavern. One where eight-ball and nine-ball was played on a table that took quarters. Even better if three-ball was occasion ally played and if all of those were played for money.

 
Both sad and true, I was a promising pool player from a young age. That was a side effect of living in a mobile home behind the bar where my mother worked. Though I didn’t play with intensity, I played seriously. Winning some cash as well as the always important all-night command of the table were the drivers. Dispatching challengers with a buddy who filled the slot of “doubles partner” and not really bothering with anything else in the place.

 
A girl watched me play for a long time. When her bored friends finally moved to another part of the place she spoke to me first. She became my wife almost 26 years ago. Now her father is dying.

 
I met him first at a family Thanksgiving meal in 1989. Overt Christians scared me then. I was from Ohio. This was rural Texas. The differences seemed insurmountable. There were to be more than thirty people present. I drove an ’87 Corvette and worried that would reduce my chances of not being judged. I was relieved as little boys that would one day be cousins to my kids chased the car up the gravel drive, excited to see it.

 
My father in law is in most ways a reliable man. He can be relied on to not show anger, to not worry or fret, to always give thanks to God, to remind others….strangers and intimates, that there is a savior that loves them. He is profoundly cheerful. He is cheerful in a manner that seems it would appeal to children more than others. But because it is joy pouring off him it lifts the spirits of those around him. He seems to have a short attention span, not dwelling much on any topic. He is a man that talks a lot, non-stop, yet paradoxically I’d call him a man of few words. That is because he doesn’t suffer fools and when non-fools disagree he refuses to bog down in debate. It makes him intractable. It makes him reliable.

 
Except that he could be relied on to suddenly change jobs and uproot the family, or for him to disappear to South Africa for instance where he spent months helping set up dairy farms. He spent many years as a long haul trucker. And he truly fed the poor and widows, taking people into his home for long periods of time, offering jobs that he couldn’t afford in the budget of the dairy equipment business he owned and ran for a while. You get the picture.

 
This left them penniless and dependent on the small social security benefit he and his wife receive. The kids all contribute to keep them afloat.

 
He will die in days expressed in single digits. I saw him Thursday morning as I was leaving. He is in a hospital bed in his master bedroom, his hair brittle and white, his lips drooping into his mouth as he sleeps on his back and his cheeks sunken and hollow like the countless men I’ve seen as I walked through hospitals or nursing homes during my life, peering into a dim room to see a man’s head and blankets, the head appearing arched backwards and his mouth agape, him being nameless and seeming to be the same man every time in every facility across all those years.

 

 

Now that man is in my father in law’s bedroom and my father in law is elsewhere.

 

 

He was here at my home last May to watch my wife, his daughter, as she graduated from college at 49 years old. My sons and I had to help him into the arena for the graduation. He used a walker and move d slowly. But he was OK. Not so much just nine months later. He laughed at a joke I made, and he winked at me as a response to another comment, then just that quick the brilliant blue eyes went opaque again. They are mostly opaque. Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. He is in shut down. A bite of food every other day, water dribbled from a sponge. I had to leave Thursday morning to come back home. I had to say goodbye.

 
I took his hand in mine, in the posture of a handshake like men do, and I wept as I spoke the things that should be said to the dying according to how they are known to you. I praised him and his family and his faith and made it known that he had inspired me and that him telling me over the years that he was proud of me, that meant so much in the absence of a father of my own to have said it.

 
I don’t know if his eyes have been watering, I hadn’t seen it, but as I spoke and cried a tear slid from his right eye and sat there on his desiccated cheek. It was there as I walked from the room into the group of others waiting outside the door while I had my time with him.

 

 

I Cannot Not Notice

 
The two situations, Nick’s and FILs, crashed together when my wife told me that her mother had fallen across her father on his death bed and wept, telling him what an amazing husband and father and man he was and that she’d be lost without him.

 
I recalled my visit to Nick’s hospital room, Forgive this indelicate description but it is an important detail. Nicks cancer has grown outside of the skull from the place where they did the surgery. He has a softball sized mass on one side of his head. His left side is paralyzed but he gripped my right in a firm handshake when I arrived. He is not in pain so no medication. He is 100% lucid and himself.

 
His wife had disallowed two prior attempts I made to visit. This time I basically told her I was going, and went. She met me in the lobby and yammered about how I needed to turn off my phone and not let Nick see that I had it because he wanted to use a phone or a laptop and she “didn’t want him worrying about stuff he would read or see online”. Odd, but OK then. Phone off, in pocket.

 
She perched over Nicks other side and talked nonstop. Nick said a couple of things and then closed his eyes. She ushered me out after 30 minutes.

 
I contacted Jason who stays closer to the situation and he told me that Nick’s wife has been over the top controlling things. Nick wants to go home and die. She told Jason that she didn’t want people in her home. Jason brought Nick a milkshake. She tried to take it away saying sugars promote cancer growth. For the record, if a terminal lung cancer patient wants a cigarette I say smokem if ya gottem. All the more Nick and his shake.

 
She developed the ban on electronic device s because she feared Nick would fuss with their financial accounts. Keep in mind he is a money handling professional. Jason had asked her why she didn’t just change the passwords and let him have some way to communicate. There may be folks he could have dialog with that cannot come see him. And the accounts could be blocked. She said she just didn’t want him worried about stuff. So, she even asked the staff to keep him off the visitor lounge public use PCs that have internet access.

 
Jason said that he and some others were forming a group to do a kind of intervention with Nick’s wife where they pressure her to release her iron grip on Nicks last weeks. Because I’d met her many years prior and not really known her in the twenty plus years between, I didn’t know that she was so overbearing. Jason says it was bad, very bad, but that Nick is like most men, lean in and persevere, and he kept his cheerful attitude and his integrity as they raised their family. Now he will die any day.

 
I’ve described before how my MIL was outwardly unkind to my FIL over the years. She rejected the most basic of affection. If he took her hand she shook him off, if he sat beside her and put his arm across the back of the couch she’d scoot away far enough where it looked awkward and he’d take it down. A hug from him was his arms around her as her arms hung limply and she twisted her face away. As his illness progressed she would berate him for tryi8ng to get attention by shuffling his feet. That was how his Parkinson’s manifested. She was mean to him until maybe six months ago when he suffered a noticeable cognitive decline. He would mumble and point to things only he could see. Sometimes he could have a two sentence exchange with another person then quickly fade out.

 

 

She persisted in meanness until she saw that he was unaware of it.

 
Now she weeps and tells him he is the best ever. I do not think she connects the dots. I do not think her anguish is born of regret for the things I described. I believe she has bent reality for 60 years and that what she sees behind her is not what really happened. He needed to be chided and corrected. He was bigger in his faith because of her faith. That’s a plausible alternate reality for her.

 
Nick’s wife cannot relinquish control even as Nick’s time runs out. I wonder if he becomes comatose if she will have an epiphany and an emotional outpouring of praise for Nick, apologizing for her controlling nature even unto his death. I doubt it. She has bent reality as well and would see all of her control as the reason for so much good that has occurred in their lives. She raised the family, which includes Nick. She raised Nick too. That’s a plausible alternate reality for her.

 

 

My oldest son raised the observation about my FIL. He had noticed the pattern. He has awareness of these things beyond his years. I hope I have not created pure cynicism in him rather than a red pill based way of looking at the context of things.

 

 

How sad it makes me to have a red pill view of these lives ending. I want to reprimand myself and put these foolish thoughts away as trivial. That cannot be what is important here. Can it?