Thursday, 28 February 2013

Manosphere Take-Aways

The tour is coming to a close. The guide has reached the point where she's about to ask us to show a little thanks for Silvio the driver who took us up the single-track mountain road without falling over the side and didn't dawdle on the motorway on the way back. Silvio gets my money every time.

It's been a blast reading these guys, and I'm pretty sure I'll be looking at Roosh, Krauser, Danger and Play, Danny From 504 and some others in the future: game and male self-improvement stuff. The others, with political and evo-psycho underpinnings, have to go. Partly because it all catches at my codependent velcro, and partly because I would like to have a few more adult relationships before becoming terminally unable to be bothered, and reading a bunch of guys moaning about how awful women are, and how the legal system encourages them is not going to help. It's not that it's not true, but that I've got the message and don't need to hear it anymore. I learned a bunch of stuff, amongst which are...

I will put up with a fair amount of shit if I think I might get laid as a result, but the more options and self-respect I have, the less I will put up with it. It follows that if women want men around as providers and social props, but want to be random and not provide sex, then they need to conduct an all-out assault on men's self-respect. This assault is what the Manosphere calls "feminism". It's also what the Men At The Top call "good entertainment" and how bad can it be that what makes money for your newspaper and TV stations also helps demoralise your workforce? (Capital didn't invent misandrist feminism, but it sure figured out how to use it when it found it.)

The more of her random, dysfunctional and manipulative behaviour I'm prepared to put up with, the less she will respect me. Especially when she withdraws sex and I don't withdraw the key to his flat. It's worth noticing that this rule does apply to decent women, but since they are decent exactly because they don't do much random, dysfunctional and manipulative, I don't have to put up with it, so they don't get a chance to dis-respect him. That's a non-obvious piece of wisdom.

Every woman has sufficient random, dysfunctional and manipulative traits to set off the disrespect mechanism. They will test the limits and they will try to make me their bitch. The first part is a fair warning, but the second bit would strike strikes me as paranoia until I realise that I'm long-term-single because I need to relax when I get home, and that isn't going to happen when I have someone there who can come at me at any time with any demand or dissatisfaction she invents that she thinks I should do something about because, well, she just dreamed it up. 

Then there's GBFM's #1 hit tune "alpha fucks and beta bucks". If you want the Roissy-sphere in five words, those are they. (I have no idea who GBFM is, but he's either a guy on a lot of meds, or a guy pretending to be a guy on a lot of meds.) 

I love the concept of The Wall: that day when she wakes up, looks in the mirror and realises she ain't attractive cute anymore. It's worth noting that men hit The Wall as well, often in their twenties, and they don't turn distinguished, they just look like overweight fucks who need to lose weight. The difference is that men can get back over The Wall and women can't.

I needed to know what Shit Tests are, and I needed to decide that if I got one, it was either going to be ignored or I wasn't going to see her again.

NAWALT of course, but the complete phrase is "NAWALT, but enough are to give the rest of them a bad name". 

Consider me suitably cautioned about the Nature of Women.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Who The Enemy Really Is: Three of Three Things The Manosphere Doesn't Get

The final thing the Manosphere guys really, really don't get is that the enemy isn't "feminism". The enemy is a bunch of bureaucrats and lawyers in social services and family law, as well as a bunch of government-sponsored professional misandrists (literally "government-sponsored" as they are paid for in part by government grants). What other lawyers say about family lawyers is not flattering, and what other judges say about judges in the Family Court is downright slanderous. Let's just say that the brightest sparks go into corporate law and criminal defence. Well-balanced people with marketable skills do not, strangely, go into social services. Who would want to work with drug-taking abused children, adults who believe in witchcraft, women with so little self-respect they have children by more than one man, child molesters, parents who keep their child in a sack of dung, and colleagues who can seriously believe in ritual satanic abuse? And that's just Hackney. Is it any wonder that social services and family law attract women who have resentments against men and are looking to work out their personal problems on some poor schlub who let himself get screwed over by a manipulating harpy? The Family Court goes along with the social worker because no-one gets fired that way: the social worker is the Registered Expert, everyone else is just a judge, doctor or lawyer. And the social worker knows how to play the bureaucracy, because that's their job. Social workers aren't there to help people, they are there to process people through the system as they see fit. 

In the meantime, media moguls and editors know that Gender Wars have been going on forever and will always sell. That women are able to shriek the most egregious hate and contempt for men in print is proof that "nobody" takes it seriously. (But if some men do, and feel disempowered as a result, well, that's one more whipped office worker The Man has in harness. The writer gets paid, the editor gets copy, the publisher gets profits and the Bosses get fewer potential rebels. Everyone's a winner - except the losers.)

When I say "nobody" takes media misandry seriously, I mean, "nobody who matters". Like you and me and Ian Hislop and Rupert Murdoch. Sadly, your partner, or some harpy-with-a-grudge in HR, may think that it's the real thing. However, if they didn't have mainstream media misandry to read, they would invent it for themselves, or dig it up from the same lunatic marshes where British social workers found satanic ritual abuse. The problem isn't the media, it's that your employer can't be bothered to hire a decent HR department and your partner is looking for reasons to do you down. It's that politicians passed dumb enabling acts about equal opportunities and left the details for the bureaucrats to fill in. I grant that the presence of misandry in the mainstream media adds a background screech that we could all live without, but it isn't the cause of our woes.

Misandrist opinions, like hoop earrings, haughty attitudes and muffin tops, are one of the many ways that low-value women signal themselves. Kay Hymonwitz and Sandra Tsing Oh, to name but two, are sending messages they can't hear about just what ghastly women they are. Stop reading them. Stop listening to the Today Programme and reading the Daily Mail as well. Regular women aren't misandrists, just as regular men aren't misogynists, High-value women like high-value men and are secure enough to be polite to the rest of us; a woman who pursues high-value men and is rude to the rest of us is just a groupie.

There's a well-known process whereby government-sponsored agencies and academics have to put out press releases exaggerating their problems so they can get a grant for next year, so they can put out press releases exaggerating their problems so they can get a grant for next year. Government insiders are not actually influenced by those agencies' policies, though their speechwriters may use the hype when it suits them. You could almost say that the government pays these agencies to release distracting PR at a steady rate throughout the year. It does, but it didn't think of the idea first and then do it. It did it first by blind luck and will now deny that's what's happening. 

The misandrist hate and general contempt for the general public that some social workers have is despicable. Such people should not be in those positions. Catch is, the managers would have to hire people just like them as replacements, because you and I are never going to apply for those jobs. Not when we can get jobs working with normal(-ish) people. Those are the issues the MRA movement needs to look at. Real nitty-gritty stuff. They need to find sympathetic lawyers who can figure out how to bring any kind of civil action against individual social workers. They need to get some candid conversations on tape, and find disillusioned former social workers to turn over the stones the creepy things hide under. They need to get disillusioned Family Court lawyers to spill enough beans to expose that corrupt institution - in the UK, Family Courts are closed to the public, so that injustice cannot be seen being done. The real enemy is who it always was: the faceless, unaccountable bureaucrat. MRA's need to give them faces and names and make their mis-deeds public. It won't deter the hard-core cases, but it will discourage the fringe cases. 

Follow the money: publish the funding and salaries, the office rents and expenses. Publish photos of where they work. Publish photos of them - none of them look like angels. Don't address their ideological rantings. Find something to shut down their organisation. Expense fiddles. A history of poor payment to suppliers and staff. High salaries at the top and part-time minimum-wage, or "volunteers" who don't even get travel expenses, at the bottom. Hypocritical behaviour. Un-researched and hysterical claims. Whatever. Read Private Eye, those guys have been doing this stuff for years. Sadly, no-one can shut down a local council, but they sure can shut down some fringe organisation issuing hysterical misandrist press releases. If in doubt, publish their photographs.

If you are wondering why they don't do that now, it's because it isn't easy. That's why the bureaucrats get away with it. But they are the enemy. Not some professional harpy with a newspaper column who would be writing pro-marriage, anti-divorce, pro-life screeds if the wind suddenly blew that way. Those are professional opinion-mongers, not activists with integrity.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Low-Grade Prostitution: Two of Three Things The Manosphere Doesn't Get

At the end of the first of these posts, I referred to "low-grade prostitution". Somewhere in Mayhew's London's Underworld he refers to shopgirls and others who allow sailors and office boys to buy them meals and theatre tickets as part-time prostitutes. I thought that was a bit harsh for about five minutes, and then I got the point. The girls wouldn't have sex for free, the boys had to pay first. That made them prostitutes, just with a day job as well.

Let's get this completely clear: a girl who makes it a necessary condition for having sex with a man, that he pay for or do something first, is a hooker. The fact she doesn't go off and service another two guys on the same evening, or charge for the night as much as a full-timer, just means she's a part-timer. I do not care how she disguises it, especially if it's with such self-serving stuff as "the man always pays". This means dinner, theatre, weekends away, and of course any sort of gift. It also means "rewarding" the guy when he puts up the shelves / fixes the tap / visits her mother / whatever. And it's implied if she withdraws sex because she pissed off that he (enter random and nonsensical reason here), because that implies she was in part fucking him for being a "good boy". A woman who makes love and then complains that she didn't get what she expected from the man, by way of gifts, attention, promises or whatever, is admitting that she fucks not for pleasure but for trade. A man who complains that he got laid but she wouldn't husband him up is not much different. If you want a crime of prostitution, then decent sex has to be free. It takes distinctions of a subtlety worthy of the best theologians to get out of that one. None of them really carry the weight. 

Sex is what it is, not some sacrament, rite or obligation-creating gift. That's all just crap made up three thousand years ago, when all marriages were arranged, to persuade some guy and girl who had never met before and are now married, that they need to get busy anyway. To use sex for rewarding, placating, managing or encouraging, or to withdraw it to punish, manage or disapprove, is just downright disrespectful and perverted. To enter into a marriage or live-in relationship when you're not that keen on sex with your partner is close to fraudulent. To withdraw from sex with your partner, unless they have turned hideous, is simply abusive. 

Oh, and if sex really wasn't important, nobody would bother saying "sex isn't the most important thing in a relationship". They don't say that about cooking and ironing, but they do say it about sex. Go figure.

One reason the Manosphere doesn't take my attitude is exactly that they want the girl to have sex with them because they are Manly Providers and Good Fathers, and that's what Womanly Supporters and Real Mothers do: they fuck their Manly Providers. Um, I hate to break this to you, but that's reward fucking. That makes her a hooker and you a John. Get this really clear: she fucks you because of and despite what you do. Sure, turn into a useless whale, and you should be sleeping in the garage, but as long as you stay in the shape which if you were a woman, you'd fuck yourself, and she's in that shape as well, then you fuck each other because you like doing it, and for no other reason. The minute it gets tied to anything else, it's business, and one or other of you is a whore.

I will take on trust that there are people who are still fun-fucking each other after ten years, and that it is possible. I'm a recovering alcoholic, addict, ACoA with a short attention span and a really low boredom threshold, so I can't even imagine being satisfied with the same partner after, oh, six months? Which does not change the fact that honest sex is recreational. In marriage or in the single world.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Damaged Girls: One of Three Things The Manosphere Doesn't Get

It's taken me a while to get this one in writing. Which is not like me. It was as if the idea didn't want to be said, or that I didn't want to see it out in the open. Which was why this post and this post by Matt Forney cheered me up a lot. He's the only other person I've read who has the idea that just maybe, when we look at the behaviour of women in post-modern capitalist economies (aka "The Anglosphere"), we're looking at the behaviour of a lot of very damaged people and/or people with DSM-IV-R grade personality disorders. 

I'm thinking of one girl at work. She says she wants a husband and three children. Oh, and "her career". She's reasonably bright, and I doubt that she would describe herself as 'profound'. And yes, I frequently have un-collegial thoughts about her. Three children and "a career" while living in London means that her husband needs to make over £120,000 after tax to pay for the childcare, cleaners who iron, schools, four or five bed-room house, car and lifestyle. Her salary is about £35,000 after tax and will cover holidays and her expenses: even allowing for childcare and domestics, they come out ahead on that one.  Their parents will need to kick in for the house. I don't see this girl living out in the more affordable suburbs of Middlesex, Kent or Essex - as many of the twenty-something married couples who work there do. I have asked her if she has any idea how few men actually make that kind of money, and does she know how to find them?

It's a delusion, of course. She's not going to find the man with the money. I have a crush on her, but guys making that money are exposed to hotter babes in their investment banks, hedge-funds and consultancies. (No-one else earns that kind of money except some senior management types I don't think she would find attractive.)  She's not going get married or have children either. She's twenty-seven and there's no-one in sight. You know how that goes. She has a mid-level bureaucratic project-manager-type role, though I doubt she knows what a GNATT chart or a CPA is (actually The Bank has no real project-planning software now I think of it). For those who don't know, that's not a "career", and she doesn't know that.

Or rather, she knows all of that, and has it drowning in the warm waters of Denial. Girls who say they would "like to get married some day" say it to make everyone think they are open to the idea, and capable of the commitment, intimacy, tedium and inconvenience, but they have no more intention of getting married than I ever did. They say it because it sounds better than "why the fuck would I want to do that?" - which is what their behaviour says. There's another girl in the office who says she "wants babies" - it sounds very cute when she says it - but she's thirty and on her second going-nowhere LTR. She wants to have babies and get straight back to work as well. A number of us have pointed out that you can't have babies if you don't want teenagers, and she definitely doesn't want a teenager. She has no more intention of getting married than the first girl, and even less of having children. She just says all those things because it sounds better than saying "I don't want to be like all the other Polish women I know, who aren't happy in their marriages, and I have a good job and like why would I... I like my job and I don't want to be unhappy. But I still want a baby." (She kinda talks like that.)

So they know the truth, but they also believe the lies. They aren't career women and wouldn't want to be, anymore than I wanted to be a "career man". They are nowhere near marrying and even further from childbearing: where I work, it's only the, uh, homely-looking women who turn up one day with a bump and take maternity leave a few months later. (Pretty people don't breed.)

So now we discuss the idea of "damage". Damage is always relevant to the purpose of the thing that's damaged. A dented car door is damage if you're using the car as a status symbol, but just a dented door if you want to use the car to actually drive from A to B. A scrunched-up chassis is just plain damage, because the car isn't really safe to drive at all, even if it looks spotless on the outside. People, unlike cars, don't have an a priori purpose: people aren't for anything. Not even making babies. People are what makes everything else "for" something: no people, no purpose. A cow has no purpose, until people come along and milk her. Nope, making calves is not a cow's purpose. Reproduction is no more special a function of an animal species than the ability to process oxygen or take a shit: all animal species must do a lot of things even to be a species, and reproducing is just one of many. If making babies is a purpose, so is breathing, because both happen pretty much whether a cow wants it or not. Human beings, by contrast, have been looking for effective birth control since they figured out what made what happen.

Within a social and moral context, these girls have a purpose, which they share with everyone else: to be considerate, contributing and co-operative (but not mindlessly compliant) members of the society that arranges to feed, house, clothe, protect, employ and entertain them. Everyone gotta help the wheels spin round. How they choose to contribute is up to them. Rightly, they feel that being a worker bee in a vast bureaucracy may not be satisfying, and just as rightly they look at their parents, their older siblings and cousins, and they read the runes, and get that being a wife and mother may just be a ton of hard work with some very variable rewards. The girl I have a crush on made a remark about her parents having the same argument about what to do at Christmas for the last twenty years, and she didn't sound like she thought that was cute.

And this is where we get the idea of damage for a person. However someone chooses to contribute, they will need to do a number of things: gain co-operation and trust with other people, discharge obligations in a timely manner, make plans, debate, negotiate and generally deal with people, develop and maintain useful relationships, learn from mistakes, not lose heart when they have failures along the way, and so on and so forth. In addition, they need to choose a contribution that is achievable or plausible given their skills and economic situation, and then pursue this with a certain amount of heart, hope and determination. If instead, they are despairing, apathetic and half-hearted, if they choose something that is beyond their powers, skills or reasonable expectations, if they cannot plan, do not discharge their obligations and can neither trust others nor inspire others to co-operate with them, they cannot function well at a fairly basic level, and that means they are damaged. 

(My damage is around trusting other people, and believing that other people can be relied on to show up, help and support anything that I specifically do. I do trust people: I trust them to cancel, change their priorities, not to have any worthwhile advice, and not to want or be able to help. Oddly, I also trust them to do the right thing if I suddenly fall ill and need help. But with my life and plans? Nah. The only person who's going to do anything for me is me. Hell, a lot of the time I never even had orgasms with my partners, and I don't think they cared they were so busy getting theirs. Now try functioning in this world at all when you believe in your inmost soul that they run the trains and open the shops for other people, not you.)

Harsh as it may be to judge these girls as damaged - and I think that was one reason this was so difficult to get started - they are damaged. They can't form realistic plans for their lives. Notice that they want to rush back to their "careers" after having children. What on earth do they want the children for, if they then wish to spend next to no time with them, and that little time when they are tired? They are not going to find a husband who can afford the nannies and housekeeping, so they will marry a man who is not even "good enough" and whose lack of earning power they will be resenting in fairly short order. We know how that works out. These girls are no more capable of falling "head over heels in love" than I am. Their plans, given their expectations, have a high chance of leading to disaster. And somewhere in their hindbrains they know this, which is why they are not actually making a serious husband-hunt. But since they can't admit that to themselves, they can't form realistic plans for a life that doesn't involve marriage. 

This isn't DSM-IV-R grade damage, which needs psychiatric treatment, nor the Big Eight (alcoholism, heroin, cocaine, speed, sex, overeating, bulimia, and self-harm) which are beyond regular therapists but not quite up to psychiatric levels. This is the regular, but nonetheless life-limiting, dysfunction that regular therapists can handle. There's just the chance that they really are just saying those things to appear socially acceptable to others, and that in their hearts they have accepted that they are going to be worker-bee, mid-level WGTOWs for the rest of their lives. But I doubt it.

I don't know where their damage comes from: family, schools, pop culture (Sex And The City), so-called feminism, peer groups, wherever. It doesn't matter much as there is nothing anyone can do about it. And if they aren't damaged, but merely being denial-dumb, now, they will be damaged when they hit The Wall. And women don't repair, because it's not their fault, so there's nothing for them to change or fix. Men repair, if we're willing to accept what the damage is. It's almost never too late to repair a man's soul, just like it's almost never too late to repair his body.

So now back to the Manosphere. This is the first thing most of them don't get. A lot of the crap women hand out, their weird ideas and behaviour, does not have an obscure logic that makes sense of it. It's actual rudeness, disrespect, social ineptitude, callousness, insecurity, nagging, prying, teasing, manipulation, free-riding and low-grade prostitution (which is another subject). Girls can be assholes too.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

The Married Man Manosphere

I'm almost coming to the end of my tour of the Manosphere. Not of the PUA world, which is a different matter: I may yet read Mystery Method, if only because everybody seems to. The difference is that PUA's are only interested in picking up girls, and the tricks, training and state of mind needed to do it well, whereas the Manosphere is an attempt to enumerate and define the wrongs of feminism and misandry gone bonkers. And, well, also about how to pick up girls, and manage them once you've got them.

I have two outstanding issues, and both are related. One is about the whole Married Man Game bit, and the other is about whose fault it is when a marriage or relationship breaks up and leaves behind a trail of financial destruction.

One reply to this is that a truly alpha husband controls the Frame and stops that break-up happening. His wife is so awed by his alpha-tude that she never seriously considers divorce. That sounds robust enough, but it misses the target by a mile. Why should I need to control the Frame all the time? Isn't my partner under some obligations to behave reasonably? Which remark gets an indulgent smile. No, she isn't. Women are not under any obligations to behave reasonably. Don't I know? They can behave any damn way they please at any time for no reason at all, and it's the husband's burden to reign in their random and bring them back onto a steady course.

That's a very Biblical attitude, and many of the Married Man guys are Christians of one shade of extremity or another. I'm not. I think that if you want the vote and a chance to compete for a job I want, plus your own bank account and mortgage, and to take strangers into your bed Saturday night, then you can behave like a Registered Adult in the rest of your life as well. Women lost the right to be random when they started taking men's jobs from them. It's not my job to make a woman behave like an adult: she's supposed to be one. I will walk out if she starts behaving otherwise. A married man doesn't have that option, and has to take all the shit that gets dealt to him. To deal with that stuff, he needs Game. At least, that's what the Married Man guys are selling.

There's just one catch, and it has to do with the nature of human action. Men and women are moral and economic agents who make decisions, and their actions are the results of choices, for which they are responsible, and for which their only defence is that they were deceived by a plausible liar.They can make excuses about why they should not be censored for those actions, or they can offer reasons for why they did what they did, but they can't dodge accountability and responsibility: it comes with being an adult, which means in these parts, being over eighteen. No amount of biology, hormones, evolution, social forces and other such stuff gets you off the moral hook, even if it may get you a suspended sentence. 

Decisions and actions may be influenced by what other people do, and may be made on the flimsiest of pretexts, but that doesn't mean they aren't decisions. Those decisions are not forced, entailed or made unavoidable by anything anyone else does. Even when I say, and you agree, that "I had no choice", we are exactly recognising that I did, but it was one I could not be expected to accept. Decisions and actions are always a jump from reasons and influences: in the end, there's an element of random in all decisions and actions, because there's always something else you could have done. (There's more to this subject, but this isn't an essay on the philosophy of mind.)

Staying married on a given day is a decision, even if it is made by habit, as is dropping the D-bomb, or letting Krauser take her home on the bus.  Here's the newsflash: it's her decision, not the guy's. He can persuade, charm, intimidate, scowl or do whatever, but in the end, she decides how she reacts, and that decision is completely independent of anything he does. Like all decisions, it is acted on or not out of convenience, courage and capability, and it gets made for reasons or causes that have little to do with whatever post hoc rationalisations are offered. The end result of all this is basically random. That's the bit everyone backs away from - even though they sometimes notice it, and scratch their heads in puzzlement at it. Human actions are not senseless: on the contrary, almost all of them make sense in a huge number of stories. It's that which story the action makes sense in is up to the person doing it. ("Why did you throw the turkey in the trash after you just cooked it honey?" "I don't goddamn know. And don't you dare empathise with me.")

So there is no method for keeping any given woman from dropping the D-bomb, cuckolding her partner, withdrawing sex, behaving like a bitch or doing any other damn unpleasant thing she wants to. Just as there is nothing that is guaranteed to turn off all women from providing functional sex, reasonable cooking and loyalty - which is why some are badly treated and still behave like decent wives. There is nothing a man can say or do to make a girl like him, despite all the promises that Mystery might make, and there is nothing he can say or do to get one out of his orbit if she doesn't want to be ejected. This doesn't stop people handing out advice, and since nothing makes advice make sense as much as a good Grand Narrative, that's what there is in the Manosphere: Roissy's evo-psycho, Rollo Tomassi's Female Imperative and feminine solipsism, Athol Kay's Captain-and-First-Officer, Ian Ironwood's Alpha Moves... and some of that stuff works a lot of the time, but it works because the Mrs Tomassi, Kay and Ironwood let it work, and whether the next time is one of those times, for your girl or their wives, nobody knows. 

Which just leaves the accountability bit. A divorce or break-up is always the decision of the person who files, though we may recognise that sometimes they have good cause - violence, financial irresponsibility, cheating and flaunting it. The filer may try to avoid the attribution of responsibility by blaming the filee, or talk the other side round to agreeing, but absent actual violence, the very fact that's she's blaming or persuading means she knows it was her unilateral decision. That decision is, in the end, always a choice between a divorce and a not-divorce, an attempt at reconciliation or separation. Since nobody can control what goes on in someone else's head, the most righteous Alpha has no control of when the D-thought will land, take root and blossom into action. I've read bloggers who suggest that the man should take the responsibility for the bad stuff that happens to him: it's all his fault. I kinda know what they are getting at, but taken literally, it's delusional to a psychiatric degree, and taken as a statement about human action, it's just plain wrong. Sometimes, in fact, way more often than most people believe, there is absolutely nothing that you could have done. It's sheer self-indulgence and grandiosity to suppose otherwise about your own actions, and sheer bloody cruelty to suggest otherwise about someone's else's.

All that said, a lot of men would be way better off for taking much of the Married Man advice. It won't protect them from disaster, but it sure might pep up their lives and make them better people. Good luck trying it on a controlling shrew / borderline / narcissist / addict / alcoholic / daddy issues / resentful "make-doer" / high-T career drone or any of the other many species of Really Bad Choices that a man can make. Somewhere in Athol Kay, but not often repeated enough, is the most important piece of advice: that the default position for a young man is that he is not getting married unless she is Truly SpecialTM. The catch is, Athol's devotion to his lady wife aside, Ms Truly Special is like Mr Santa Claus - neither of them are really there. In the real world, the best anyone is going to get is Ms Pretty Close. And all the problems lie in that gap between those two ladies. When a guy comes to the opinion that he's going to be lucky to get Ms Fairly Okay, he's should start examining MGTOW seriously.

For this lifetime bachelor, MGTOW avant la lettre, the Married Man guys come across as trying their righteous best to make the best of a dodgy decision they probably wouldn't make now. It sounds like so far, some of them are doing a pretty decent job. They give me the feeling that being married is like sitting on a powder keg, a hostage negotiator for life, and for reasons that totally escape me, they seem to think it's worth it. But I'm a sober alcoholic / addict / ACoA and all-round jerk, so what do I know from being an upright citizen? Strangely, I don't feel any need to change that, nor to apologise for it. And at my age it would just plain un-freaking-dignified to be otherwise. Nobody on this train gives a flying toss about me and my opinions, and without any rancour I'm quite happy to reciprocate.

Monday, 11 February 2013

London In The Snow

We get extreme weather in the UK, but not enough of it to justify air conditioning for the hot days and snow clearing gear for when it snows. As a result, when it snows, everyone has a day when it takes them three hours to get to work. These photographs were taken on the Sunday before that Monday. I just love it when the guard tells us that the driver is "going to reboot the train". Ctrl-Alt-Del and we're on our way again? It could only be England.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

January 2013 Review

Eight per cent of the year over already. I finished January with a nasty bout of food poisoning that started the evening of Saturday 26th and had me on a telephone consultation with my GP late Monday morning after a visit to the Teddington Walk-In Centre. If you have never had food poisoning, you have no idea what I went through: if you have, you do. It leaves you weak, distrusting food, dehydrated and wondering if all of your life has been a vain effort at nothing. I cancelled a massage I had booked that Monday evening, got hit with a cancellation charge, told them to keep the appointment open and made it. I found out which muscles in my right arm were tense so that my right elbow was hurting, and that there was some knotted stuff in my left shoulder that made it a little unstable when bench-pressing. Not sure that the guy did much to fix it though. A couple of mornings later I woke up and my arm was tense and sore, which it hadn't been the previous night: aha! I'm clenching my fist in my sleep. I am going to be taping up my right hand lightly each night for a while to discourage it from clenching. 

I bought three new pairs of flat-front wool trousers and four blue shirts for work, all from T M Lewin, and it's a much cleaner look. The trousers are 37" waist, two inches thinner than the previous pairs I bought about three years ago. I got a decent haircut at Huckle The Barber to go with all that as well.

I shifted my eating habits: I have a sandwich at 11:00, take a lunch break at 13:00 when I buy another sandwich, but I don't eat it until 15:00. I don't feel as dopey in the early afternoon. Instead of sitting in a cafe, and despite the fact that it's been freaking cold, I've been taking some walks: it's really not that far down to the Thames and back and it makes me feel like I'm in the real world for a while.

I've talked about the preview visit to The Shard, with lunch at Mildred's in Soho afterwards, and let's add in Django Unchained, McCullin, Looper and Gangster Squad as well. Sis and I had our monthly supper at Skylon, and I had a month-end lunch at St John Bread and Wine, and I'm sure it wasn't the deep-fried rabbit that did the harm. Maybe the test results will show. 

I'm stuck on the Ezra Pound's final Cantos: the Pisan and later are nowhere near as comprehensible as the earlier ones. All that polyglot stuff is just showing off - like people who quote "from the original". As soon as those are done, I'm moving on to Musil to get one of my objectives started.

Training has been iffy because of the arms, and delayed by the food poisoning: you do not lift weights when de-hydrated. 

In summary, I have been experimenting with my daily routine until I can get more zip back, and I have done some stuff "just because".  The CV and agent mailing is pretty much drafted. I'm clearer on the terms I want to go back into dating and whatever else. I'm still not sure about the logistics, but I did give myself the first three months to sort this stuff out. 

And everything you have read about the benefits of magnesium oil rubbed on your skin (aka "topical magnesium") is true. Works for me. Not sure what 200mg is, but I put three spritzes on each leg and rub in. Leg because there's less between the skin and the bloodstream: don't want to be running it in on fat. Sleeping better and feeling... calmer, more whole.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Views From The Shard: Part Two

The owners were having trade-related folk through to debug the whole process and get the staff used to the procedures. The Shard is the only super-tall office building, along with the Heron Tower with an observation floor in London - you can't go up One Canada Square, and the Heron Tower and Tower 42 aren't quite in the same league. The lifts whizz up in two stages and the final ascent is made by stairs. You can go out into the open air, as you could on the World Trades, but I found it all a bit too exciting when I tried - I've had my feet on the ground for too long and I'm not good with heights any more. People were playing "Spot the landmark" and "I can see my flat from here", and on a clear day I'm fairly sure I could see Hilltop House. Not that Saturday, as it was all a little misty as well as being very cold and windy. We stayed up there over an hour and barely noticed the time passing.