Why continue barking at me, “MGTOWs”? Have you not better shit to do with your time?

Gonna wade back into this topic today since a video on my YT channel that was created 2 years ago continues to attract animosity in the comment section, most of the responses having little if anything to do with my gripe stated within the video which pertained to expressing disgruntlement over some of these guys fear-mongering one another into not even accepting females as friends. I’ve already stated on here and on YT countless times where I stand on various matters pertaining to gender-related social justice concerns, and I do tire of repeating myself to folks with absolutely no interest in hearing me out or establishing any kind of dialogue. Winds up being a waste of my time, and indeed I let these “manosphere” movements online take up a tremendous amount of my time over the 3 years I was observing them. That largely came to a close a year back since it’s become a tedious bore dealing with most of these folks.

But what I wish to bring up today is how they, like so many other groups and movements, form a mob mentality and employ the mob strategy in the ways they communicate with others online. This appears to be the norm for many groups, hence why I’m not a fan of any group. That grouping up and coming at people aggressively in an effort to bombard them, thinking they’ll intimidate others into pulling videos down or shutting up is a cowardly modus operandi. If they don’t know that then they should. I see it for the bullying attempt that it is, but that shit doesn’t work on me. I leave the video up specifically to showcase the comments left on it. Because it’s precisely that which I’ve been aiming to point to all along when taking issue with this internet “phenomenon.” Hyper-aggressive, blame-casting, talking point-spewing (ad nauseum), strawman-constructing, fear-projecting, highly-exaggerated claims and pitiable assholishness — that’s what much of it turns out to be. And not only is it tiring to continue reading (seeing as how I typically read all comments that come my way) but it’s become pointless. Genuine interaction is all but impossible with members of such a group since they’re more interested in recruiting people to their cause via using channels like mine to use as a soapbox for repeating their mantras, actual topic in question be damned. No real communication is likely to come about when dealing with people blinded by that sort of group/movement mentality. That was true for rabid feminists and it’s true for these jerks too, much as they don’t like to hear that.

Guess I’m not entirely sure how to handle the situation. Leave my showcase up even though it clearly demonstrates that I apparently liked to pick fights with stupid? lol  Pull the video down and ignore them so that these guys will hopefully move on and get lives? Eh, I doubt that’ll happen since when I mark videos private or unlisted they tend to just move over to other videos on my channel and start jabbering in those comment sections instead, even in music video comment sections. They’re determined to have their voices made public anywhere and everywhere, like graffiti scribbled all over the internet landscape. Should I start blocking these people so that my other commenters don’t have to deal with reading their vitriol? Personally not much into blocking people except in rare cases, but I’m also not a fan of letting particularly vocal mobs take over the scene and destroy the pleasure of using the internet either. Should I just let them have their heyday on my channel and create a second channel where the comment sections are more closely monitored and pruned? Maybe so.

All I know is that day after day, month after month, year after year, I continue to receive so many comments barking and barking and barking at me and womankind in general for all sorts of perceived wrongs. On and on and on and on and on and on it goes. Where it stops, nobody knows. Does it make any difference? No, not really. Does it help anybody? I doubt it. Does it create more hostility than is necessary? Absolutely. Are we learning anything from having the same talking points repeated again and again and again and again, angrily and accusatorily? No. Past a certain point it becomes useless chatter. Seems intended to raise ire rather than to address anything truly meaningful, let alone to encourage people to gather at the drawing board to discuss possible solutions or to establish worthwhile dialogue so as to better comprehend one another’s perspectives. So it’s become totally and completely useless, this never-ending chatter generated by the frustrated and stuck.

Well, I’m not stuck, at least not any longer. And I wish to continue growing and learning and living and challenging myself with new ideas and information. Already heard plenty of what these guys have to say, over and over and over again. If they’re wanting sympathy, they’re going about this the wrong way. If they’re wanting understanding, they’re certainly going about things the wrong way. But I assume their primary goal is simply to give an ongoing “fuck you” to female members of the population, as a type of sport or hobby of sorts. That’s just how they entertain themselves apparently. Which is to say they aren’t really about shit. They’re angry and need to blame somebody, preferably a whole lot of people, probably because they can’t see the parts of the problem that lie within themselves. Hey, we all got problems and we all have reasons to be angry at times, but at some point we have to come to terms with the fact that we do indeed have a lot of control over our own lives and their directions or at least how we handle the circumstances that come our way. I can bitch and gripe with the best of ’em too, and what’s it ever gotten me other than a reputation for being angry and volatile? Not to mention raised my own stress levels and trapped me in regressive cycles since I was unwilling or unable to take my own power back and apply it as I’m able.

They don’t like to hear this. I know. They love to tell me how women’s opinions don’t matter. But au contraire, our opinions obviously do matter to them or they wouldn’t waste so much time and energy barking on and on and on at us. They’d simply go about their lives. They’d find ways to circumvent the system they take so much issue with. They’d seek to expand and grow rather than sitting there at their keyboards stagnating, pretending their “red pill” perspective is the broadest and most comprehensive perspective available.

Something life has been teaching me is that I blame others the harshest when I am most unhappy with my own self and my own progress. I lash out the cruelest when I am feeling defeated and weak. And when I’ve concentrated the most on the past and all of its trials and tribulations, at those times I have been most afraid of what the future holds or how I am to navigate it effectively.

Fear is a fact of life. So is disappointment and pain and sorrow and suffering. No one is immune. Luck shakes out in countless different ways across the spectrum of humanity. With privilege tends to come some sort of downside, some correlated limitation or consequence. It isn’t all fair nor will it ever be. That is a pipe dream of modern folks with too much time on their hands and too many ideals in their heads that haven’t been put to the test on the pavement of Life. We win some and we lose some, and that’s true for any of us.

The group mentality is an unnerving phenomenon, speaking as one individualist out in the crowd. The time has passed for me to concern myself with all of that. Either buck up and come on, or stay back and cry among yourselves. The choice is yours and only yours. That’s what I have to tell myself so you’re damned right it’s precisely what I must tell these frustrated shit-talkers with nothing better to aim for than to spread hatefulness and divisiveness. There isn’t anything any of the rest of us out here can do to improve your situation, nor would we even want to lend a hand when you come at us with hostile attitude problems, fellow strangers on the internet. Life is simply not that black and white, that clear-cut and easy to assign people to camps so as to judge and dismiss them. You’ll miss out on a lot of worthwhile opportunities by employing that tactic in your social relations.

May your perceptions continue to evolve. That’s my prayer today for that group of individuals.

Late summer easiness

Chillin’ and relaxing as much as time permits these days. Enjoying afternoons lazing in a private, backyard pool working on my tan (something I haven’t had the luxury of doing in many years). Got some nice color right about now, stark tan lines. Listening to the birds in the trees on the perimeter, marveling at the enigma of the “blue gold” I’ve been fortunate enough to be granted time and access to float around in, soaking up the sun’s rays while watching the clouds drift by. Reflecting on the tunes playing inside my mind, skin scented with coconut oil, enjoying the tranquility of lounging alone in the great outdoors.

My birthday’s right around the corner. About to officially become middle-aged. And I’m good with that.

Working as needed, like always, including the new side gig that requires even more driving around. Exploring a Pantera album loaned to me by my former companion. Getting along with him better as well since we’ve given each other more space.

Tried dating a new guy for a couple weeks there — more like hanging out and hooking up really. But we proved incompatible right from go, not to mention I’m allergic to something in his home. Perhaps his cologne? Don’t know but finally had to throw in the towel since itchy eyes in the late-night hours aren’t sexy. But he was fun to spend time with for a minute, so long as we weren’t drinking too much rum and cokes. It has been said before and it is confirmed once again: I can argue with anyone about anything. Amazing how trifling some arguments wind up being between some of us. Won’t even elaborate on how dumb. Serves me right for giving higher priority to sex appeal in my male suitors than intellectual curiosity. But I do adore muscular eye candy…

Nice to feel my sexuality revived a bit, to know that I haven’t lost my mojo but merely misplaced it for a spell there.

Still working out regularly and have dropped a few pounds since returning from my Mississippi trip in early June. Aiming to hit it harder in coming weeks in preparation for a friend visiting Labor Day weekend. Very much looking forward to seeing him again.

Not been home much lately and hence haven’t been writing on here or elsewhere online. Been enjoying the nightlife, observing the wheels go ’round and ’round…

Pondering like always. Listened to a good audiobook recently and am now re-listening to it again: The Confidence Gap by Russ Harris. Interesting info and ideas that tie into so much else I’ve been reading this year pertaining to mindfulness and taking action and clarifying one’s values. Today I downloaded the audiobook Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind by Yuval Noah Harari and should be starting it soon.

Can’t complain these days. All is going pretty well. Building my income back up, taking time to pamper myself so as to enjoy my femininity once again, exploring social opportunities, sharing meals with friends, tuning out useless political jabbering, taking walks with a new female friend some days after gym class, just letting life roll without trying too hard to force it in any particular direction right now. Taking care of business and leaving the rest to fall wherever it may. Moving from living in my head to living in my body, bit by bit, so far as I am able.

What else? A good friend is making us dinner this evening. On the menu: bruschetta made with tomatoes from another friend’s garden and chicken cacciatore made with ingredients from his own garden. Looking forward to it. He’s a good cook. Another new pal has offered up his swimming pool for late-night skinny-dipping but so far it has been too cool in the evening to stay in for more than a few minutes. Would be nice if another heat wave struck before fall sets in, just for that reason.

Not much else to report on at present. Currently tending to laundry while waiting for the time to roll around to head back out to work. Tonight’s plans are set. Tomorrow remains up in the air. Tuesday evening is girl’s night out at the coffee shop to play cards. Learned a new dice game at my local watering hole last night. And on and on this lazy late summer ambles to a close…

I’ll leave off with a song that’s been playing in my mind a great deal in recent weeks, “Love Reign O’er Me” by The Who:

Late-night journaling in August

Life is crazy, life is mad…to quote a favorite song by Enigma.

Yup. Sure is. But interesting as hell nevertheless.

Am grateful for the opportunity to lounge alone in this couple’s backyard above-ground pool today and yesterday and one other day prior to that. Was out there 3 hours today, just baking away on a float. Was a good time. All by myself, aside from whatever neighbors might can see into their yard. Sun-burnt my ass.  cheeky_smiley  And face. Got some color, which is what I need. And sunshine. Watched the clouds drift by, took notice of a hawk in the tree, pondered stuff, felt thankful ultimately. Hadn’t really laid out all summer thus far. I love pools.

I’m just sitting here watching the wheels go ’round and ’round…

Started a part-time job about a month ago which keeps me a little busier, as I need to be kept. Involves more driving around. But ah well. Nice to stay occupied right about now. Brings in a little money, what isn’t eaten up by gas expenses (which will be accounted for on my taxes next year along with mileage). A rather simple independent contractor gig. Getting to know my phone’s GPS navigation via Google Maps. Much as traffic routinely bugs me, I do like to drive. And work primarily alone. This project fulfills those inclinations at least.

Been sticking with going to the gym. Maybe 10 lbs. from my initial goal weight at present. Still digging all that.

Other shit’s been happening too. That all is whatever it is. Not for public consumption. Just on the mind currently…

Been feeling a bit better in recent weeks. Gave a little “dating” a whirl, if we could call it that fully. Met a nice older guy, just not my type beyond developing a friendship. Not really interested in seriously dating anyone right now. Nor interested much in “playing the field” either by this point. But I have other ideas forming. Other options in mind. Not so certain strict monogamy is realistic for me long-term. Thinking it isn’t. Probably better off with a small harem. C’est la vie. Shakes out for us however it does. This is how I personally am geared, right or wrong. So sweethearts with “traditional” points of reference probably need to be treated with more care and discernment. But people unfold their personalities, and we quite obviously can’t reasonably be expected to fully and accurately assess compatibility at first glance or even during the first few dates. We all unfold to one another over time. No matter how upfront we aim to be, aspects of our personalities can’t help but remain obscured for however long. Just gotta roll with it. No reason in this case for anyone to be upset. Just not looking for the same things or in compatible circumstances or meshing well enough for romantic attachment to take root. Reasonably nice guy though. Plan on remaining in touch. Felt bad about it though since he seemed really smitten, and I got to dash his hopes. Wasn’t aiming to be mean, just have ambitions in a wholly other direction. Toward myself mostly since I need to get back in the groove of spending time alone working on projects. Writing particularly feels good for my soul. Been neglecting that.

All about the late-night distractions though. Especially going out socializing.

What else? I feel all right today. Been doing some soul-searching. Still slowly making my way through the print book Ego and Archetype by Edward Edinger. Today began also listening to the audiobook The Confidence Gap by Russ Harris and Steven Hayes. Interesting book thus far. Recently finished up listening to Richard Feynman’s What Do You Care What Other People Think?  Particularly loved his last essay in there about science and the moral roles scientists are expected by the public to play. Beyond that I’ve been listening to a ton of music. And occasionally watching comedians. Sometimes it’s necessary to bring things down to simple and even a bit stupid.

Wasn’t a bad day nor been a bad week. A bit odd in ways, but each day is unique unto itself. And so be it. Living and learning, like always…

Late July journaling

Have had so much on my mind lately, most of which won’t be shared on here. In fact, this blog project will be reassessed and edited/trimmed. Queen of TMI has finally tired of letting so much hang out so publicly.

In a month I officially join the ranks of “middle age.” Meaning the second half of life begins at 35, assuming one lives to be about 70. As a smoker I’d say that’s a generous estimate. The thought doesn’t trouble me, though I’ve noticed how much it troubles my peers in the same age group. Like they can’t stand the idea that the first half of life has already gone by, probably because that induces anxiousness over how to navigate in the second half in an improved manner. And pressure to finally get our shit together. But the term “middle-aged” really bothers people, nevertheless. Bothers me a little bit, not the term so much as the reality of aging and recognizing that what once worked for me no longer does so. And spinning wheels come to feel pointless and futile.

Ambitions…so much can be said there. But some of us don’t want for much. Mostly we just want to explore this life and love our loved ones and dabble in our creativity. Others want a lot more than that, and so be it. Either way, it simply is whatever it is.

I don’t know what to think most days. Almost better off when I aim to not think so much. Because every day I figure out more and more how little in this life I really have control over and how the script in my head, generated by societal trends and conventions and whatever else, has little bearing on what’s actually real. Nearly everything I ever thought I knew has turned out to be wrong or incomplete or, at best, extremely naive. And that’s probably true for all of us if we’re honest with ourselves. Life isn’t linear, not the way we like to think it is, and people aren’t rational in the ways we like to pretend they should be either. And that’s okay. It can be no other way.

The more I lose myself down in this rabbit-hole I’ve plunged into, the more I lose who I once was and dreamt of becoming. And that’s okay too. Maybe life has it’s own agenda that I need to learn to flow with rather than contest. Maybe everything does happen for a reason — or, perhaps more accurately, maybe we assign reason and meaning to everything, that just being the way we are as humans. Unavoidable. The past, the present, pains and sorrows and losses, pleasures and accomplishments, embarrassments, etc., all proving necessary in shaping us into what we now are. Right or wrong. And maybe “right” and “wrong” are arbitrary judgments more often than not as well.

At some point words begin to break down and create more confusion than they can hope to clear up. Funny thing about this mode of communication. Hence the ongoing relevance and importance of artistic expression, seeing as how analyzing and dissecting can only take a person so far when it comes to really understanding anything. That’s what life’s teaching me at present. So I’ve been quieter lately, at least online. Taking time to pause and reflect and ponder the possibilities while reading and going about the daily routine.

It’s amazing the difference 5 years can make to a person’s psyche and outlook on life. I’m not the same person anymore and never will be again. And that’s fine.

Some like to say the only cure for loneliness is solitude, mind-bending as that is to comprehend. But I don’t doubt they’re correct in the sense that it comes down to making peace with oneself. Because I can feel lonely in a crowd. Even a revolving door of attention received doesn’t satiate this feeling inside. Apparently cannot. Yet that’s always what I pulled toward: more attention, more interaction, less alone time, more distractions. And where has it wound me up? To realizing that that strategy will not work. It’s just another illusory hunt that returns to a feeling of emptiness each time. I understand this better now than I ever have before.

This is a strange time…not bad or good, just odd and interesting. Every day I am torn between embracing its lessons and challenges and trying to escape them, and each day is pretty much torn in half as a result, per my norm for quite a long time now. Some things are very slow to change. But this isn’t a race, despite the clock ticking on and on. That pressure to figure out how to measure up in whatever which ways can be destructive all unto itself at times. Sometimes it’s better to return to simplicity, to simple roles and routines and activities that give one time to just be.

Us and our first-world problems…  So much strife we create for our own selves. Such is the human condition.

And now it’s time for work.

Thoughts on cop-killing and police brutality

I am of a mixed mind on these matters. On one hand, we depend on police officers and really need them when we’re in danger, assuming they are able and willing to help us when called upon. But on the other hand, not all cops are created equal and we all know of some, perhaps merely a small fraction, who unfairly disrespect members of the public and abuse the power bestowed upon them. Some of us out here know at least a couple cops like that personally and have observed their police departments covering their tracks or otherwise refusing to discipline the officers for reported infractions. And that can stir up resentment among the public, understandably.

However, because one cop is wrong doesn’t equate with all cops being wrong and deserving of harsh treatment on account of what their peers may have done. It’s one thing to punish the guilty parties, quite another to try to take out an entire demographic (or, in this case, profession) of people based on perceived grievances (legitimate or otherwise) pertaining to a relative minority belonging to said demographic (/profession). That’s true of black folks just as it’s also true of cops or any other group of people.

We become biased based on what we keep seeing, what we’re exposed to, and what side of the aisle we find ourselves on over time. I can understand that. But still. Cops’ lives matter too, just as the rest of our lives do matter. We need to come to terms with that as much as cops need to comprehend that the inverse is true as well.

And yet we instead are becoming more tribal, identifying ourselves with those most like ourselves or affiliated with similar causes, and then, in turn, view the rest as either opposition or somehow less important or less worthy of respect. This paves the way for escalating injustices, as we keep seeing unfold…

In this “game” that we call Life, there really are no winners or losers. Just people and our perceptions and judgment calls and misunderstandings and regrets and reactions and lessons learned (or not).

My prayer today is for us to be more mindful of what we’re doing to one another and how categorically assessing an entire group of people tends too often to lead to mistreatment and problems. It’s no good. When police officers shoot too quickly and ask questions later, resentment grows among the public. Cops may justify this by explaining the stress involved in their chosen professions, and while I can sympathize with their positions, this is the line of work they signed up for and these are the potential consequences that come with it. This is clearly known. When they adopt an “us vs. them” mentality against the public they swore to serve, can they then claim to be shocked when members of that public turn on them categorically as well?

On the flipside, we among the public do depend on good cops to be there in times of emergency. We depend on their bravery and willingness to make sacrifices in the name of upholding justice and the rights of the people. Our society cannot function with any civility without them taking this very important task seriously to heart. And that asks of us to show them some respect for the role they carry out, so long as they also respect our civil rights in the process. But cops are human too, and they are not infallible just as none of us are either. That has to be kept in mind.

I understand that tensions are mounting and, like many others, am concerned about the fate of my nation and society going forward. There’s so much strife, so much blame cast and fingers pointed, so much information to sort through and try to make sense of, and so many rapid changes constantly bombarding all of us to where life can feel very disorienting in this day and age. We have a lot on our plates, both individually and collectively. I just pray that we take time to pause and reflect and dig deep inside ourselves before reacting to the perceived injustices occurring in our midst. The Truth has many angles to it, not only one.

These are radical times calling for radical compassion, this I do believe. And it remains to be seen if we can muster enough up to keep from co-creating a more hellish scenario in our society. There will always be outliers and psychopaths who choose to operate with a different (or absent) moral compass, but they need not define the rest of us nor dictate our choices and actions.

Several times this week the following quote keeps springing to mind:

“He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.” — Friedrich Nietzsche

All hell breaking loose

Another day, another opportunity for all hell to break loose. A friend called today to alert me to yesterday’s shooting down in Dallas:

The word on the matter I’ve received thus far is that the shooter is a black man claiming NOT to be affiliated with the #BlackLivesMatter (BLM) movement and who formerly was enlisted in a branch of the U.S. military. Not sure how much of that is accurate, just what I’ve been told by someone tuned into the mainstream news.

And that’s not the only hell to break out recently. Policeman shot and killed Philando Castile during a routine traffic stop up in Minneapolis: