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Sunday, March 27, 2011

False "Goddesses"

Good Afternoon, Gentlemen.  I'm getting through a cold this weekend, but I'm still able to post, so here is this week's comment.

Recently, we've become fascinated by Charlie Sheen and his wild ways.  Despite the fact that he is getting divorced yet again, and has been fired from his role on "Two And A Half Men," which would have otherwise continued to pay him several million dollars per episode, he is apparently happier showing a crazy side of his personality to the world at large.  Chief among his attributes, is his living arrangement with porn "goddesses."

On one hand, it's easy to envy Charlie Sheen.  Chances are, you may have viewed his "goddesses" on other websites and fantasized about being close to, or next to, them.  And here he is, in all his drug-addled glory, sleeping with two of them in his own bed, and wondering why his children were taken away from him.

What makes these women "goddesses" anyway?  Because they're sexy?  Yes, but also because their talent is having sex on video, fueling the fantasies of millions of men who are not having sex with them, but wish they were.  However, it actually makes them false goddesses.

We're familiar with a verse from the Bible in which idolatry is called out as a sin and an affront to our G-D, who never wanted competition.  They have eyes, but they don't see; they have ears, but they don't hear; they have mouths, but they don't speak.  The idols that were dealt with then were statues of stone or precious metals that were venerated by Israel's enemies, and inspired them to commit human sacrifices, and other horrible acts.

Granted, it may have made their religious practices more meaningful in some way with an idea of what their deity looked like.  However, the physical manifestation clearly did not inspire the same type of reverence or ethical conduct that G-D had hoped for.

Internet porn is nothing but the veneration of the physical form.  It is a billion-dollar industry that sells a physical fantasy, initially premised on perverting and exploiting the pleasure of having sex with beautiful women.  From there, it exploits every other conceivable known sexual activity, some of which is illegal to perform or possess images of, and thrives on addiction to its material.  These false goddesses do not inspire human sacrifice, but they do a inspire men and boys with low self-esteem to not even bother trying to connect with real, live females who actually have standards. 

These sirens and harpies are most likely from families that allowed them to be abused in some way, which altered their notions of intimacy.  They are not very well educated, well spoken, or even very polite.  They are not interested in sharing intimacy or respect with anyone else, most likely because they never received any when it was needed most.  Or perhaps they had aspirations of becoming legitimate actresses, but economics and low self-esteem got in the way of their dreams.  Accordingly, despite the ramblings of Mr. Sheen they are NOT "goddesses."  They are not fit to bed, to wed, to honor, to respect, to buy gifts, or even speak with, let alone worship.

So why are so many men and teenagers unable to stop viewing them, and stimulating themselves while doing so?  Because it's just too easy.  It's easier to fantasize about a lifeless image than it is to handle conflict with a loved one.  It's easier to imagine a soul-less female impliedly permitting you to have your way with her than it is to connect with another live person and share her "way" with yours.  And it's far too easy to allow the barrage of images and sounds available through high speed connections to stimulate you than it is to stimulate those around you.  In essence, it is allowing yourself to go into a trance and allow the images to manipulate your thoughts and desires -- a lifeless man connecting with a lifeless world, and leaving the living world behind.

Of course, there are other reasons too.  Maybe a man is single and lonely.  Maybe he's stressed and worried about work or bills.  Maybe he's bored and has no hobbies or interests that would be considered more constructive.  All of these can be remedied without resorting to this perception-altering phenomenon, and I can deal with them in later posts.

For those men out there who are married and find that they can't tear themselves away from the porn, there is always help available.  You can always talk to a trusted friend, a marriage counselor, a clergy person -- this has become such a common phenomenon that they're bound to have the right answers to mend the marriage, if possible.

For those men out there who are single, however, you may think that your addiction is somehow more justified.  You're wrong.  If you researched the background stories of many well-known serial killers and rapists, you'll find that they had very strong porn addictions themselves.  I'm no psychologist, but deductive reasoning tells me that a constant diet of porn altered their perceptions of women.  They did not see the woman walking her dog in the park, the lady riding the bus, or the teenager walking to school as living, breathing people.  They saw them as mere earthly knock-offs of their "goddesses," and sought to treat them the same way they'd seen their "goddesses" being treated.

I'm not saying that freedom of speech should be limited -- as long as it doesn't involve children or animals, porn producers have every right to produce this product, love it or hate it.  I'm also not saying that healthy sexual fantasizing will automatically turn you into a rapist-- it most likely won't.  What I am saying is that steady and regular viewing of this material alters your perception and warps your values, and it takes extra discipline and dedication to get them back where they should be. 

So what's to be done with the man who somehow feels that his needs are not being met in some way?  Here's my idea:

(1)  Write out your own fantasy.  Include someone you're attracted to in real life, or maybe even a celebrity you think is a hottie.
(2)  Flesh it out in any detail you want (but nothing that does not involve consenting adult homo sapiens)
(3)  If you're single, finish the fantasy, and SHRED or BURN it.  You wrote it for yourself, and not for anyone else.  And you don't need to be trapped inside a world of your own making, because the real world is still waiting for you.
(4)  If you're married, finish the fantasy, and SHRED or BURN it, but don't forget it yet -- go onto Step 5!
(5)  Look at your wife and make the fantasy about her.  Whisper in your ear the sum and substance of the fantasy, involving her.  Let her be the goddess, and worship her as if she is one.  Treat her body like a temple, and let your manhood serve as the offering.  Ask her what makes her feel divine, and . . . .

OK there, that's enough of that, LOL!  Better save some of this for later . . . .

The point is this, and it's the same in many other areas of life -- if you're not being fulfilled, then become fulfilling.  If you're not being stimulated, become stimulating.  If life is not making you happy, then make yourself happy -- and then make others happy too!  Just do something -- don't let this trance steer you into an altered state where you lose control! 

Someone who's using the Four Pillars can defeat porn addition.  I EXIST in the real world, and not racing through some WiFi connection.  I MATTER, so I can talk to real women.  I BELONG in the real world, not in the fantasy world.  I DESERVE to respect myself enough not to get trapped.

So gentlemen, let's pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and . . . I won't say it, you get the idea.

Comments are welcome, as always!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Finallly . . . The Rock Has Come Back!

At a wedding I attended last night, my friend brought something to my attention that I was not aware of previously.  Having recently gotten married and been very focused on my job, I'd left behind a guilty pleasure of mine -- pro wrestling.  I mostly watched it for the story lines, and the characters, and one of the best characters ever created in the WWE was in the process of making a triumphant return!  For those who missed it, please go to YouTube -- it's like your 5-minute jolt of ego!

It made me think -- when I was growing up back in the Hulk Hogan days, I would watch wrestling all the time.  Not because of the moves and the competition, but because of the characters!  And the catch-phrases!  They were so flipping funny!!!!!

Years later, the Rock was no exception!  He had his moves, like the People's Elbow and the Rock Bottom, but he had the words for every occasion.  He always referred to himself in the third person, called lesser-talented wrestlers "jabroni," and always had the greatest lines to electrify the crowd!

So what can a former, and now current, professional wrestler and Hollywood star offer to men and boys with low self-esteem?  Hopefully, an improvement!

In no way would I expect someone to "talk smack" like the Rock as a way of resolving confrontations, or to show off his moves, for that matter.  But his character does teach us that when challenged, sometimes we need to show some backbone and stand up for ourselves -- reciting the Four Pillars is still an excellent way to start, but maybe playing a few of the Rock's videos on YouTube would be an excellent reinforcement!

I've said before that men and boys with low self-esteem need to be surrounded by positive affirmations.  Well, what "the Rock says" tends to consist of disses and insults aimed at his opponents.  But try to repeat just one of his rants to yourself in front of the mirror and see if you don't bust up laughing!  Come on, we all know it feels good to tell someone to "know your role and shut your mouth," otherwise you'll turn something sideways and shove it . . . I'll let the Great One finish that for you, LOL!

Sometimes these positive affirmations must come from within, if not from someone else.  if you need an extra boost, then recite the Four Pillars, and then repeat, word for word, what the Rock recently said about John Cena.  If need be, repeat it along with the YouTube so you can hear the audience in the background!  Not only will you be reinforcing your self-image, you'll also be cracking yourself up at the notion of a 6'5 gentleman full of hilarious quotes and catch-phrases "electrifying" his audience. 

Not that you should go around telling your loved ones that you are the "People's Champion."  They might think you've turned socialist, and it's a tad over the top.  But sometimes if you aim over the top, you might actually reach a healthy increase in your self-image!  And the belly laughs that I've always experienced whenever the Rock raised his eyebrow definitely make it worth your while!

So guys, don't be afraid to add some funny to your increase in self-worth and self-image.  If you smellllll . . . what this blogger is cookin'!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Now They All Get It . . . .

On Thursday, the White House held a Conference on Bullying Prevention -- could somebody please say, "It's about time?"

One obvious reason why many men and boys have low self-esteem is excessive bullying. It's almost like a Stockholm-syndrome effect, where a kidnapping victim eventually starts to sympathize with his or her captors -- when exposed to excessive bullying, mobbing, or harassment, a victim can start to believe that his or her tormentors are right in what they're doing. This state of mind is completely self-destructive.

If you take a look at the government sponsored website covering this conference,, you'll be treated to proposed administrative solutions that every school in the country, if not the world, should implement. Goodness knows, it would have been nicer if the schools I went to in my youth had them!

But unless and until every school in this country makes it clear that bullying is unacceptable and that they won't be looking the other way, men and boys with low self-esteem have to expect some of it to fall through the cracks and into our faces. Repeated reference to the Four Pillars is needed to prevent you from falling into the trap that bullies set for you -- adopting their opinions and admitting that their intimidation is somehow correct.

Some of the lesser-watched TV talk shows have sometimes had "look at me now episodes" -- they'll invite on the show someone who used to bully someone else back in school, and describe how nerdy, geeky, pathetic they used to be. And then they'll bring out the victim -- if the victim was male, he'll have developed into a bodybuilder, or had plastic surgery to correct his facial alignment; if the victim was female, she's now a stripper, and not the ugly girl who didn't make cheerleading.

You can't expect shows like that to solve this kind of problem in a constructive and intellectually sound manner. However, this concept in and of itself is so egregious, it requires comment: THE VICTIMS FAILED! They did not decide to be "themselves," they made themselves into what the bullies WANTED!!!!! They became something they weren't, just because they thought the bullies were right and they were wrong! For all intents and purposes, they might as well have said that they "turned out" to be prostitutes, because they sold their values and self-respect to become something attractive only to their enemies!

Men and boys with low self-esteem need to be surrounded with positive affirmations reaffirming their strengths, and not by intimidation and distortion to overemphasize their shortcomings. If it's not coming from the "cool kids" at school, find some other kids and deem them "cool" instead. If it's not coming from your parents (shame on them), find a teacher or counselor to speak with to remind you of your strengths. If it's not coming from your boss, update your resume and work for someone who will respect you. If it's not coming from your girlfriend, break up with her. If you don't see it happening now, then get busy looking for it until it does happen!

Your time on this earth is more limited than you may realize. You can't afford to allow bullies and predators to poison your mind and weaken your self-esteem even further! If you can leave the situation, do it asap! If you can't, then wait until you can!

One disclaimer is needed here, since I can already anticipate some opposing comments: Even with low self-esteem, you must learn the difference between destructive bullying and constructive criticism. Constructive criticism is commentary that is delivered (a) WITH respect for your efforts, but (b) with the intent of pointing out something you did not realize before. None of us enjoy being called out, proven wrong, or shown that we made mistakes. But so what if you made one?!?!? The Four Pillars say that we Exist, Matter, Belong, and Deserve, but they don't say that we're perfect or blameless! We're all human, including the criticizer. But instead of attacking you, this person is trying to show you a better of way of doing things.

If you've had too much bullying in your life, it's not easy to know the difference. One good way to test it is to inquire as to the other person's motives (in a civil and respectful tone of voice). "You think I was wrong? How so?" "What do I need to know?" "What would you do if you were me?" "How would you suggest I go about doing that?" "What's a good way to do it like that in the future?" "Why do you think I should do it that way?" If they can't respond favorably and respectfully to questions of this nature, then they're bullying you. If they can respond with respectful answers to the above, then they're on your side.

Gentlemen, you must be open to constructive comments, but you must also keep our guard up against bullying. As long as you have low self-esteem, people can sense it, and will use it against you. Do everything in your power to NOT allow that to happen.


Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Four Pillars: I Exist, I Matter, I Belong, I Deserve.

Welcome to the New Blog, gentlemen. Firs things first, to set the tone, I've imported (and somewhat revised) the post that started it all back in the MySpace days.

As I've grown older and reflected on the course my life has taken, I have realized that every man, in order to survive into adulthood, must accept and adopt the following Four Pillars of Life:

(1) I Exist.

(2) I Matter.

(3) I Belong.

(4) I Deserve.

I Exist.

It would appear to go without saying that we exist. Cogito Ergo Sum, for all the Latin speakers out there. But this first element is too easily taken for granted. There are too many men who fall short of their potential and resign themselves to lowly or insignificant roles in life because they have incorrectly resigned themselves to the role of a "nobody." Someone's son, someone's brother, someone's husband, someone's father. They either stopped trying to attain dreams, or failed to dream new ones, or both.

When boys are small, they are very aware of their existence. In fact, it's what they're most aware of in life. However, when their parents do not fulfill their obligations correctly, these boys learn to believe that they either do not, or should not exist. Sometimes this happens when a parent complains about his or her lot in life in the presence of that boy, about how being a parent is too stressful and/or expensive within the child's earshot, or how he/she "can't take it anymore" because the boy, and not the parent's inability to cope, is "driving me crazy." When this is done more often than the occasional outburst, confusion envelopes the boy's mind. If not corrected in short order, this confusion leads to guilt, doubt, shame, self-loathing, and other emotions that boys should never experience. Otherwise, when that boy becomes a man, after enduring great hardships, he must re-learn the value of his existence, and understand that he is here for a reason, no matter how self-absorbed his former caretakers might have been. Unfortunately, this is sometimes made more difficult when the boy, now a man, finds himself attracting people who treat him the same way as an adult.

I Matter.

Even if such men come to terms with their existence, they still may not be convinced that their existence is relevant. Someone may have told them they were "slow," "underachieving," "learning-disabled," or the worst euphemism of all, "special." They may have their weaknesses shoved in their faces by predatory elements, reinforcing the notion that they are "losers" or "useless." If their strengths are not reinforced during childhood, and their primary caregivers do not provide sufficient positive affirmations to build confidence, the boy will be convinced that he does not "matter," again endure great hardships, and must again convince himself otherwise during adulthood. Again, as an adult, he may find himself attracting those who continue to convince him he does not matter, making the process even more difficult.

I Belong.

Belonging is something that only the boy can decide for himself -- not only that truth that he belongs, but where and with whom he belongs. However, if the boy does not know where or with whom he belongs, he will "settle." He will associate with those who do not help him achieve his potential, but instead merely "accept" him and allow him to occupy space within their ranks. He will not develop as a participant, or even a leader, but will only be a follower, unable to think or reason in a manner different than the rest of the "herd." Or worse, he will associate with individuals who are toxic towards him, and derive pleasure from continuously rejecting, abusing, and bullying him, or forcing him to continuously fight a losing battle. Resigned to a mistaken belief that those who truly would accept him will only reject him instead, and vice-versa, he sabotages this component of his development and fails to make valuable contacts and friendships that would otherwise serve him well.

Again, this must be reinforced during childhood. However, unlike the prior two Pillars, the caregivers cannot select with whom the boy should and should not associate. If a caregiver continuously blasts "that crowd," the boy will either (a) become a recluse, believing that no friends can be approved by the caregivers; or (b) rebel, and ONLY associate with "that crowd," to dismantle and overthrow the caregivers' authority. Otherwise, even more work will be required during adulthood, because if "that crowd" take the place of the boy's parents, the future will include not only difficult, but disastrous consequences.

I Deserve.

The final Pillar, to deserve, simply cannot stand if the first three have not been properly erected. It is by no means a notion of entitlement -- I have met too many plaintiffs/claimants and their attorneys who adopt entitlement as a way of life and a source of revenue, therefore I do not place the Pillar of Deserving on that premise. On the contrary, to deserve is to use the faith, belief, and courage needed for plain and simple success. This is the underlying theme of everything that our friends Anthony Robbins, Joel Osteen, and Dr. Phil have been telling us for years in their own words -- beyond just being, mattering, and belonging, in order to ADVANCE, you must BELIEVE that you DESERVE to have what you want! Don't write yourself off saying "it never happened" before you even tried! And even worse, don't just go around telling people you're doing it when you have no intention of doing so! DON'T LIE TO YOURSELF OR OTHERS ABOUT IT! DESERVE IT, PERIOD!

Why state the obvious? Don't most guys already know this? Not if they're faking it they don't! As for those of us who grow up with one or more of these Pillars missing, we tend to wait on longer lines than the ones our more well-adjusted neighbors occupy. And it HURTS. And since all four Pillars are interdependent, you can't have one missing. For a plane to fly you can't have three out of four engines working!

And why am I focusing on these Pillars for men and boys, but not for women and girls? Why am I not being politically correct? Because life and nature are not politically correct. Even if this is the 21st Century, society does not penalize women for having low self-esteem or confidence, simply because society does not expect women to have them to begin with. That is because nature has equipped men and women with different perceptions towards life, and geared them towards different roles.

If a women does not have all Four Pillars, she can get away with it. She will most likely depend on a husband, a partner, or a family member to support her while she possesses the luxury of wallowing in self-pity. If she finds she's able to overcome this, she will sometimes reach out from behind this cloak of helplessness, showcase bullying and aggression, and retreat behind the cloak to enjoy the impunity it provides. MEN CANNOT AND DO NOT HAVE THIS LUXURY!

Unless your mother raised you on a lesbian commune, or you were taught daily by some Hipolyta-esque figure that all masculinity is evil, and were sheltered from ever interacting with other males, a man must learn to keep his self-esteem intact merely to avoid being preyed upon.

So how does a man with low self-esteem survive? Childhood is over. Pointing fingers at our parents and their failures is not effective. Repeating these Four Pillars, contemplating them at your job, feeling them during your social interactions, and just plain living them WILL WORK.

Let's review, gentlemen:


This is not the grunt of an animal who cannot respect those around him. This is also not the wail of a spoiled child who is granted everything without earning it, and only becomes more and more demanding. This is the battle cry of a man who seeks to live and profit from life. This is the song of redemption, fulfillment, and self-actualization. This is the eviction notice to the thoughts of defeat and rejection that have been squatting rent-free in men's subconscious minds for decades. This is the death sentence to the ill effects of bad childhoods, worse adolescences, and unpleasant adulthoods. Again!


Don't just say it, USE it!