Book Review: Nation Builder/ A Realist In The White House

So, I need to start posting stuff here on this blog, instead of facebook, because finding stuff again on facebook seems impossibly inefficient. The old bulletin board/forum format is far superior to facebook. Facebook’s appeal is that’s where the people are, but for stuff I like to revisit and add context later when I read something similar, I think this’d be a better place. (delicio.us, the old bookmarking site, is actually where I would put it in the old days.)

Anyway, first up:

http://www.wsj.com/articles/book-review-nation-builder-by-charles-n-edel-1418410273

Mental Cages and Mental Parks

I can think of two separate examples in my own life that make me have some doubt about the commonly accepted physical addiction narrative.

http://www.stuartmcmillen.com/comics_en/rat-park/

I can think of a third that’s not as clear cut of an example of the first two. It has to do with the anticipation.

I wasn’t planning on writing about addiction today, but as I read facebook posts from someone building a new life, I can’t help but have it in the back of mind. I probably could say plenty, but I haven’t figured out how to write about it yet.

Best Use Of The Land

I have a realtor friend who uses phrases like “the best use of that land” on occasion. I thought about that phrase as I’ve seen it applied to some people’s lives, and it highlights to me, just how people in different positions in life are affected by the people who have the power to make those kinds of decisions.

I was at a charity Christmas dinner last night. The charity provides cheap housing to struggling single moms. It has been around for a few years, and its starting to get its feet under it, with the right people in place to start to have a successful track record in setting single mothers on a successful path in life to raise their kids.

I have an acquaintance who sometimes jokes about all of the “sisters” I have, who are not blood sisters, but young women throughout my life, that my parents mentored: “His parents must not like boys, they only adopt girls.” I had never really consciously thought of it that way, but, well, I admit, it gave me pause.

When this charity first started out, they needed a place. So, they bought a complex with a bunch of duplexes in it. All of the tenants were single men. The place looked like a place where only single men lived. I remember the transition, while they were still living there. They obviously weren’t very excited about being uprooted, but, well, they were not landowners; they had no say in the matter. Being a single man, myself, I remember empathising with their situation. Didn’t seem fair to them, but, well, “best use of the land”, and all of that.

It seems like current popular culture goes on and on about gender this, gender that, and it really just sounds like a bunch of nattering to say the politically correct thing of the day to me. The long term culture, probably all long term cultures, place a much higher value on females than they do on males. It would be overwhelming to try to point out all of the every day examples, (ladies night!). Yet people talk as if it isn’t so. It’s one of the maddening things about people, as a collective, if you ever try to talk to them.

Today, after years of generous contributions, the complex of duplexes does indeed look better taken care of, (how could it not, with all of the attention and generosity generated toward the cause of single mothers rather than a place just kept up enough to keep the rent checks coming in from single men), and so, whether I think it says something about the disposable condition of single men in modern society, it probably is a better use for the land.

Tough luck for single guys. They don’t serve the same function in society.

Fell In Love With A Yoga Pants Girl

I fell in love

With a yoga pants girl

How could I not?
I am wired that way

By evolutionary design

To notice, even seek out

What she’s advertising.

Cultural conditioning teaches

not to stare

But I steal a look

Because I just don’t care.

She knows

She has what I want

And she shows

But she’s not going to share