Brain Dump

Archive for April, 2012

Emasculation in the Media

by on Apr.19, 2012, under Ruminations and Ponderings, The Emasculation Nation

We went with some friends to see a movie the other night. It had been so long since we’ve been to a movie that we were there more for the experience of the over priced pop corn and drinks, than the movie. In any event, after the 30 minutes of previews and preliminary mess, the movie “Hunger Games” started.

The whole concept of the movie was somewhat disturbing. The concept of children killing children apparently struck someone as entertaining  enough to write a book about it and then to produce a movie about it. As it unfolded, it also assumed the template of portraying men in a less than desirable light.

This reminds me of the story written by Shirley Jackson, “The Lottery” where every year all the town’s people get together and draw slips of paper out of a box. One slip of paper has a bold black dot on it and the person that draws it is stoned to death by the other town’s people. Then there was the Roman Colosseum where people were entertained by watching others meet death by brutal means. Why do we enjoy others discomfort? What is wrong with us? This will be discussed in future posts.

I believe this is so common today that we don’t even notice it. You don’t have to watch TV for long to see commercials portray men as being just one step above primates.

“Married with Children” was a show I found very offensive until a few years ago when I realized that Hollywood saw what was going on and merely embellished it for entertainment. Now I see how men are portrayed in this manner and in fact I’ve even heard it referred to as the “Al Bundy syndrome”.

What came first, the chicken or the egg? In 0ther words, have men become how they have been portrayed? Is this viewed as normal? Or has the portrayal followed a decline in what it means to be a man?

What does it mean to be a man today? There seems to be a plethora of material for writing on this topic, more than will be covered in this post, but future post will discus men at home, at work and in the church. The goal here is to identify how it is, compared to how it should be, and what has led to the deficiencies and what can be done to facilitate positive changes for the benefit of both men and women.

This is just a brief look at media portrayal of men. A more current example of this is “Everyone Loves Raymond” where the husband is emasculated to the point that he no longer resembles a man and we laugh at it, but this is becoming more and more the norm and that’s not funny at all.

With “Hunger Games”, the hero is a female and that, in and of it’s self is not a problem, but when she ends up having to protect the guy in the movie, that’s where the problem lies. It wasn’t a joint effort were they were at least equal peers, but she was the alpha and that is at the root of the problem.

There are particular rolls that men and women are supposed fill. You shouldn’t use a wrench for a hammer and you shouldn’t use a hammer for a wrench if you want a desirable end result, but this is exactly what we do when men and women reverse rolls. The fact of the matter is that many times this is done by default because the men just aren’t filling their rolls, but there may be a reason for that which can stem from current or past experiences, causing skewed perspectives.

I know of a wife who complains that her husband doesn’t take charge, but she tends to be so much of an alpha that he has learned that life is easier when he doesn’t compete with her for that alpha role. This scenario will be explored further in future posts.

Women being in the military is fine, but should they be in combat? Men are made to be warriors and risk takers and this is what makes men suited for combat. Women are made to be nurturers and function best within a secure environment.¬† These are primary roles along with many other roles that will be discussed later. These roles are subject to cross at times, and this could be seen if a mother’s child is being threatened by something or someone. You will see a bit of a warrior come out towards the source of danger as part of her nurturing role towards the child. The only time this becomes a problem is when mom continues to do this past a certain age, especially for boys. This can greatly hinder the maturing process and perspective of men and women. This is part of intentional parenting that will also be discussed in later post.

“Brave Heart” and “Gladiator” were both excellent movies portraying men in their roles. Mel Gibson’s character, William Wallace was more of a man while wearing a dress (Scottish Kilt) than the majority of the men we have today. One review complained about it being “distractingly violent”. Further investigation revealed that the reviewer was in fact gay. Could it be that a male that is extremely lacking in testosterone is offended, or should we say, threatened by a focused presents of it?

If this is the case, it does not bode well for some of the producers of modern movies like “Hunger Games”. Before we go further, it needs to be clarified that the presents of testosterone also needs to be accompanied by the ability to apply it right. Without proper application, testosterone, unbridled, does nothing more than degrade anyone in it’s company.

There was another subtle message in the movie that was good, but I’m sure it was missed by most. It seemed that food was in short supply and every time you went to buy, or in some way receive food, your name was entered into the drawing from which names were drawn, like a lottery, for your chance to kill or be killed. Apparently this future version of us forgot how to garden and provide anything for themselves. They had become completely dependent on a system to provide for them.

We need to get back to the garden and learn how to grow, compost, can and preserve food. We are loosing our “hunter gatherer” abilities. This movie should at least be a wake up call to get back to the basics and stop eating out of boxes. We need to reduce our intake of prepared foods. Pretty soon, we won’t even know how to cook, but will become experts at the drive through and microwaves.

This topic will be discussed in future post as well as we discus gardening and canning, along with equipping our bodies with the right foods.

While this was a deviation from the title of this post, I did want to communicate that there is a good message in this movie if you know where to look. Some times you just need to chew on the meat and spit out the bones. . .


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Reinventing the Wheel

by on Apr.05, 2012, under Ruminations and Ponderings, Uncategorized

A while back, I was working on a project with an associate and while addressing a potential concern, a solution was responding to with the infamous “no need to reinvent the wheel”.

Now let’s just think about this for a second. History has shown us what early wheels look like and what they must have felt like to ride on. They were generally boards nailed together, perpendicular to each other forming a wooden mat. This wooden mat then had its corners cut off and rounded to make a wheel with a hole in the center for an axle of some sort.

While wheels are still round, the process for making them has changed just a little bit. Those first carts equipped with these early wheels were generally one horse power in the form of one horse pulling it, and top speed was probably pretty slow compared to the average car on the road today.

Now lets take the Bugatti Veyron, manufactured by Volkswagen Auto Group, which does in excess of¬† 300 miles per hour. Just imagine what would happen if wheel construction hadn’t changed any since the early wheels of wood.

It takes someone with the insight to realize that something can be improved and willing to take the chance of it not working and then trying it again. It seems that constructive creativity is starting to dwindle as we become comfortable with the way it’s always been done.

It takes the ability to construct independent and intelligent thought rendering the source as a minority. With this also comes the chance that it might not work and the responsibilities thereof, and this, I believe, is what does the sorting.

If I do what everyone else does, the way that everyone else does it, and it doesn’t work, it’s not my fault.

A classic example of this is represented in 90% of the residential yards out there. Studies have shown that cutting yard grass longer helps keep the weeds out and helps the roots go deeper for water. Studies have also shown that mulching the grass back into the yard is better than bagging and does not result in having to de-thatch. In spite of this, everyone cuts too short and then bags the grass because that’s what everyone else does. Then they also follow in paying to fertilize to replace what they just put out to the curb in bags.

Last year I bought a plastic leaf rake that touted not to clog. I applaud the person that had the creativity to look at a simple rake and find a way to improve it.

The point is that while the wheel is still the same general shape it has been for over a thousand years, how it’s made has changed dramatically, along with its capabilities.

If you can’t get outside the box, get out of the way of those that can and don’t stifle, hinder or ridicule them because they could very well be getting ready to make your life better in some small way.

And that’s all I have to say about that. . .

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