Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Death of Chivalry

So a Facebook friend, of the female persuasion, shared a article about chivalry. The article was another writing of men no longer being chivalrous. I read the full article and let it sink in. This idea that chivalry is dead. No man is opening doors. No man is paying for dates. No man is buying flowers. So on and So on. Men need to step their games up. Where are all the "good" guys at? Right? We need to accept that chivalry is dead.
Here's my thing. Chivalry isn't dead. Is it what it use to be? No. As a man, I feel a bit put down by the notion that my version of chivalry isn't equivalent to the Old-School 16th century knight in shining armor. There's nothing wrong with expectations, and men should be gentlemanly when possible. There are some things that should be expected, but those are generally in confrontational moments, such as domestic abuse and such.
However. the presentation of the old school gentleman, even of 50 years ago, is unrealistic to the modern man. We're not living in the times of of previous generations. If you compare how many women were trying to have careers now compared to 50 years ago, that would say a lot. How was men valued then compared to now?
I want to be clear. I do NOT want to change the modern woman. I love this woman. She can be feminist, fierce, and independent. I would love her for it, but those qualities mean men have to adjust to these new women. Men can't strive to be the same strong manly guy. Those guys aren't respect like they were in their times.
The idea of chivalry is nice. The idea of a modern woman forces men to make subconscious changes to the idea of being men and therefore being chivalrous.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Thinking Positive

An issue came up with work that made me realize that I think very negatively. If I was going to tell a lovely lady how great of guy I am(in theory), I precede the flattering stuff with negative stuff to temper expectations. As I think through my next steps with the customer, I start  to think about how my comments, actions, and general energy. I realize that I beat myself a lot.
I'm sure that everyone goes through the negative stints. I'm not trying make my life seem awful, because it's not. I have this friend. A female. We were discussing romance and accessing each other. She made an interest and perplexing, which I thought at the time, observation about me. She asked me,"Are you a masochist?" The answer to that question remains the same(NO!). The idea baffled me. Now that I get it, I'm thinking about how I think  about things. It's not just romance and all that mushy stuff. Bleh! and Eh! This isn't The Notebook.
A week or so ago, there was this Facebook trend among my "Facebook friends" going(I'm so McKeesport...). Generally, I would have been one of those people ignoring it or saying"WTF" to it. Surprisingly, I got my few posts in the mix. Anyone who knows about the area knows how tough and depressing the area has become. Some McKeesport natives even had their "I'm so NOT McKeesport" quips in. For once, I wasn't thinking about the abandoned houses and gunfire rather than summer lunches and the old hangout spots. Good times.
For once, I was able to take a step back an appreciate actual good times in "Da Hood".  I realize how great my people(friends and family)  are. I actually recognize the love and support even when people are yelling at each other. We support each other.
So with being said, I need to make a promise to myself. No more negativity. No more trying to couch good days, smiles, and general happy moments or expectations.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Reputation of Edginess

I grew up the good kid. The nice guy. That wallflower who wasn't going to bother anyone. When your  family is (used to be) filled with crackheads, potheads, and drug dealers, that nice guy routine is being a black sheep. I'm sure that I could go into the boo-boo sad story, but I'm simply intrigued by the idea of "the bad guy" as if those people are actually bad guys.
My first "admitted" crush was this girl named M__. She apparently broke my heart horribly that I have to be reminded of her( from others) every time it seems like I might have a crush. Excuse while I roll my eyes. She wasn't the cheerleader-preppy type. If you actually assessed her style, it was a bit of an "Outsiders" look with jeans, zip-up hoody and a random rock t-shirt.
Moving on. As I look around at the "beautiful people", I seem to be noticing more and more tattoos. Case in point, there is a couple girls, who happen to be "friends of a friend of a friend". These two girls seem to be pretty different( at least in the presentation that I have seen). One girl is a tall blonde with a hint of a wild side. The girl is a short wholesome brunette with a bit more artsy interests.  I would think that I would be more interest in the brunette. I like artsy shit. I'm relatively wholesome. However, I am more intrigued by the blonde. It's not the blonde hair or her height or anything of that nature. There's a mystery. You don't know where the story is going to end.
I know a bunch of guys have randomly awesome(or cliche) tattoos. That's the new biker jacket. Instead of slicking their hair back and popping their collar,  guys are pulling up their short sleeves and  saying, "EYY!!"
There are days where I wish I was a bit more "bad ass". Maybe I should get a tattoo or two. We'll see if that EVER happens.

Memories

There are certain times when you have to reflect and appreciate. A day or two ago, there was this Facebook trend of "I'm so McKeesport". I actually got into it. It was rehashing places and events that used to be in My Hometown( don't ask why I italicized that. I thought it'd look cool). It got thinking about how it's so easy to caught up in the meat grinder of the day and not appreciate the memories. There is so many things that should put a smile on your face.
It's weird, because I will remember certain events like busting my shin off a parked car as I ran from a friend J___ . Luckily, I didn't break my shin or require any serious attention to it. I look back on that  and think to myself, "The good times...when adolescent boys did random stupid shit to impress girls." I should have prefaced that by telling J___ and I were constantly trying to impress a girl with random acts usually of athleticism, such as jumping off her porch and this pretty big bush into her front yard. It's weird to me, because I'm smiling in glee as I type this.
I also remember what got me going to First Evangelical Free youth groups. Guess what. It's was because of another girl. This time, I wasn't trying to impress anyone. My friend, whose  name also happens to be J___, was in this fling with a girl from another town. As we attended, we ran into a lot of our high school classmates. I ended going to this youth group through out high school.
For me, the hangout was Mom's Homemade Deli and Bakery(the bakery). When I was little, my dad used to take my brother and me to the bakery to help him prepare the next days orders on friday nights. We used to do as much as most pre-teen kids could do. We used to fill the jelly-filled donuts, and I would occasionally pull the lever of the device so hard that the filling would shoot thru the donut. We would glaze the donuts, and would lick the icing off our fingers afterwards. At some point, the bakery transitioned into a pizza parlor, which meant that we also started to eat pizza, wing, and hoagies to go along with the donuts, cookies, and slices of pies.
Sometimes, nostalgia is a good thing. I have such great memories of my hometown and my childhood. It could be people that I grew up with or places the used to be. It could moments like my mom screaming at the coaches to put me into the football game. Those memories are reasons to smile.


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Offer vs The Action

For the last few years, I have been paying particular attention to federal politics. It went from bitching about Bush, to questioning the credibility of Obama. Now, it's an outright denial of anything referencing Obama. I'm sure there will be resistance to the next president, whomever that person is.

Here is the reality of some of these disputed issues: It's not about doing this or that. It's about the government dictating what you can do/ can't do, which is good in some cases and bad in others. Sometimes, people want to have the option to do something, without having to give a reason to the government.

For example, the debate on abortion is a good example. I'm not going to get into the medical details of the procedure, or when is the fetus an unknown baby. Those are very important things to discuss in this topic, but there is an unanswered question that looms. When should the government step in and tell potential parents they do not have the "option" of an abortion? FYI, my point of no return would be four to five months. If someone asked my political lean with this topic, I would say Pro-Choice. If I get a female pregnant, I am preparing to be a father. The juxtaposition isn't the women making the decision for me. The juxtaposition is simply I want to have the "choice" , along with the female, to have the abortion.

Do you want another example? How about gay marriage? Honestly, "real homosexuality" makes me a bit uncomfortable. With that being said, there is no way that I should have a say on two individual lives. It's not a promotion of some "gay agenda". It's simple. Should the government dictate who an adult chooses to marry?

Depending on timing and who's in power, you will get two separate answers from any one person, or any one government official.  My rule of thumb is simple. You can do nearly anything you want, unless it's harmful to others(or potentially harmful).

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Discussions, Debates, and Platitudes

A week ago, seven people died wrongfully. Seven human beings were unjustly murdered, because of one man. This tragedy sparked numerous hard truths and social issues. Because seven people lost their lives, there are discussion about sexism. There are discussions about gun violence. There are discussions are mental health. All of those discussions are valid and need to be had.
A month ago, a rich billionaire mad some racist statements in a conversations that he thought was private. This man owned a professional sports, which feature 80%-90% of the team being African American. That incident sparked a few discussions about racism and privacy. Valid discussions that need to had.
I was watching this youtube channel, The Young Turks, as they showed a clip of one of the victim's father. The father was angry, sad, heartbroken, and all the other feelings any parents would have in that situation.My eyes want to water as this middle -aged man, with salt-and-pepper beard, yelling and screaming on how this should have been prevented.
I sit speechless. I can't tell this man that" things will get better. His lost won't be in vain." All those things that you want to tell the family members of the tragically deceased. I have no answer for him.
I continue to watch and listen. I hear about this twitter trend, #YesAllWomen. This "discussion" about sexism and misogyny of women by the killer. The discussion is about the hard societal truths.
I don't want to seem like I'm denouncing the topics of these discussions. These discussions are crucial in our progress as humans and a society. Prejudice is still a problem that can't be solved by governments.
At some point, we have to be tired of discussions and debates. When will things change? When racism is brought up, you hear that it's good to talk about it. It is good to talk. If you can't convince a racist, that what can reasonably change as a result of that discussion? If misogynist don't change their views and behaviors, then the discussion is simply a way to spin our wheels.
I don't want to tell that middle-aged man that his son didn't die in vain and it be hollow words. Maybe it's the testosterone in me, but these discussions need to lead to something concrete.
I wish I had an answer for all of this.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Truth and The Mystery

Sportscenter just presented a interview segment with Jason Collins, the first gay active athlete to "come out". He's going to be at the State of the Union Address tonight as a guest of FLOTUS. If you haven't about his story, then you need to google him or something.
The interview was centered around homosexuality and the politics surrounding homosexuality. It started as a typical fluff piece with questions like, " How does it feel to be a guest of the First Lady?" These are the type questions that are used to highlight particular individuals
 One of question did hit a chord in my mind. Collins was asked," Why aren't you playing in the NBA right now?" Collins avoided the questions and deflected it really well. I flashed to this scene in The Great Debaters
.It's the scene where Wiley College debates Oklahoma City College, which is the first white school who debates Wiley. The topic was segregation in the school systems. The primary line that I remember is OK City College stating that society isn't ready for it. There would be riots and violence, the debater included.
Why do I bring this scene up? Because that's why Mr. Collins isn't playing in the NBA right now. It's not exactly the same thing, but it's pretty damn close.
Here's the thing. i don't think it's personal disrespect of his sexuality. It's about team chemistry. Is it right? Hell No. As Jurnee Smollett's character, Samantha Booke, thunderous express it, "When will the right time be?" I don't think a team is going to take the chance.
So many people throw out terms; such as racist, communist, socialist, so on and so on. Some times, those terms are accurate, but I get the feeling that those same terms stem from ignorance of the "other". At one time, the other was women. At times, it's black people( or any none sort of minority). These days, it's sexual orientation.