Archive for April 14th, 2011

Thursday, April 14th, 2011 | Author: lawrence

This study says angry people want to redistribute income. This study is naive. I’ve noticed that some people deny that there is such a thing as Global Warming, and these people are also more optimistic about the future. And yet, what is their optimism based on? It is purely delusional. They live in denial about the various harms that the environment has suffered over the last several thousand years, and so they have an easy time being optimistic about the future. Likewise, many of these same people live in denial about the various forms of social inequality that history records, and so these people tend not see any need for any kind of remedy. But all of their happiness and optimism is based on denial of reality. I’m also suspicious of the self-reported lack of anger. This is a group that tends to live in denial of everything bad, so even if they did get angry frequently, I assume they would not be aware of it. Self reported data always needs to be viewed with suspicion.

The data are broadly inconsistent with the standard belief in the social psychology literature that pro-capitalist and anti-redistributionist views are positively associated with racism.

I then explore an alternative hypothesis, showing that, compared to anti-redistributionists, strong redistributionists have about two to three times higher odds of reporting that in the prior seven days they were angry, mad at someone, outraged, sad, lonely, and had trouble shaking the blues. Similarly, anti-redistributionists had about two to four times higher odds of reporting being happy or at ease. Not only do redistributionists report more anger, but they report that their anger lasts longer. When asked about the last time they were angry, strong redistributionists were more than twice as likely as strong opponents of leveling to admit that they responded to their anger by plotting revenge. Last, both redistributionists and anti-capitalists expressed lower overall happiness, less happy marriages, and lower satisfaction with their financial situations and with their jobs or housework.

Further, in the 2002 and 2004 General Social Surveys anti-redistributionists were generally more likely to report altruistic behavior. In particular, those who opposed more government redistribution of income were much more likely to donate money to charities, religious organizations, and political candidates. The one sort of altruistic behavior that the redistributionists were more likely to engage in was giving money to a homeless person on the street.

Evidence from sixteen national representative samples from 1980 through 2004 tends to suggest that Social Dominance Orientation has been in part misconceived. In the United States, segments of the academic community seem to have reversed the relationship between pro-capitalism and income redistribution on the one hand, and racism and intolerance on the other. Those who support capitalism and oppose greater income redistribution tend to be better educated, to have higher family incomes, to be less traditionally racist, and to be less intolerant of unpopular groups. Those who oppose greater redistribution also tend to be more generous in donating to charities and more likely to engage in some other altruistic behavior. The academic assumption that anti-capitalism and opposition to income redistribution reflect an orientation toward social dominance seems unwarranted.

Thursday, April 14th, 2011 | Author: lawrence

Konstantin is an old friend of Lark’s. She’s known both of us for 8 years but somehow he and I are only meeting now. I find it him to be very intelligent and able to discuss a wide range of topics, some of his interests being suggested by his blog. I’m pleased to say he is staying with me for a month.

Konstantin Prishep

Thursday, April 14th, 2011 | Author: lawrence

My friend Johnny St Ours is staying at my place this week (even though I’m gone for the week). He is one of the most talented videographers that I know. Check out his stuff on Vimeo.

johnny st ours

Thursday, April 14th, 2011 | Author: lawrence

2 very different takes on how to react to other people’s opinion about your sex life:

Simone writes:

And, sure enough, there were some people who felt the need to tell me that my problem is that sex should never be separated from love and compassion. *sigh*

As always, I find that kind of crap tiresome. And yes, I called it crap. And tiresome. I know that sex that happens within a great and loving relationship can be wonderful. And sex that happens for the sole purpose of having awesome sex (with someone you don’t give a damn about) can also be wonderful.

Wonderful in a different way (than sex with someone you’re in love with).

But I’d never try to convince someone who only wants to have sex as part of a loving relationship that they should have casual sex. To each his own and all that.

Catherine writes:

As a woman, I’ve been socialized to believe that I should really focus on keeping my number low. How else will I survive the “How many people have you slept with?” conversation with a new partner? And why do we feel the need to have that conversation anyway? So, I guard my number. Like the Nano Puppy I had in middle school, I feed it and exercise it. I give my number the love and attention it deserves. And it’s always in the back of my mind. Now, should this be the case? That’s a conversation for another day, but for me, it just is what it is.

Thursday, April 14th, 2011 | Author: lawrence

Back in 1993 I was absolutely head over heels for a girl who I was sort of with, briefly (before she ended it). By accident, when we were packing up to move from one place to another, I ended up with one of her tshirts. It smelled like her, and I wanted to keep the memory of her. I kept that t-shirt for many, many years. So I can relate to some of this:

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not judging. I’m in a glass house here. When considering writing this post, I started recounting all the crazy stuff to which I’ve admitted on this blog. Over the past 10 months, I’ve revealed a lot. Perhaps, I’m being a little too honest on here. Maybe I should keep some of this crazy to myself. Like the time I drove by my ex fiancé’s house drunk, or the time I stole a shirt from him right before I moved out and I currently keep it in my closet, or all about my baggage/trust issues where I want to check up on my partner by checking his phone for suspicious messages. There’s plenty more I have yet to reveal, like how when my ex and I broke up, I found out about some lies he told me and then I proceeded to go through every bank account, every email, every phone record, every little slip of paper I could find in our home, to try to find out the entire truth. I wanted to know everything there was to know. So yeah, I’ve done some crazy stuff.

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Thursday, April 14th, 2011 | Author: lawrence

Interesting. I just did the same thing, of year of work and then more work and then more work, 60 hours a week, sometimes 70 hours a week, and no social life at all. I’m just coming out of all that now, and trying to build a social life in New York City (I’ve been here almost 2 years now, but I’ve been working like crazy almost the whole time). I wonder how common that is?

As I started to get better, stronger, I started to go completely stir crazy and figured I might as well use the laptop to keep myself entertained. This was a long time ago. There really weren’t all that many entertaining things online. But there was match.com. And I was kinda desperate to start dating again. My workaholic lifestyle had taken its toll on my social life and it had been (at least) a year since my last date. So I got myself registered with match.com and within a week had found myself a new guy.

Thursday, April 14th, 2011 | Author: lawrence

An interesting post about the blame-the-victim tendency. On a slightly different note, I was at the Queer Music Festival and one of the more interesting conversations that arose (at a follow up conversation the next night at Repop) was that the idea that we need to be more affirmative about our right to define ourselves. Maybe it is impossible to get free of all labels but we should at least be free to define our own labels. This was suggested in the context of the queer community, and some of my gay/lesbian friends were expressing regrets about the extent that the queer community allowed itself to be partitioned into ghettos by label: bear, butch, femme. The goal of the cultural revolution of the last 50 years was (surely at least in part) an honest reckoning with the fluidity of most people’s identities. We are more than labels.

We’ve made legitimate progress. Slaves were freed. The industrial revolution spawned a system for public education. Suffrage gained the right of political voice. The decimation of the male populace in two worlds wars forced women into the workplace. Separate but equal was determined to be essentially unequal. Today the potential for self-advancement regardless of gender, race or sexual preference is greater than ever.

So can anyone explain to me why social memes several hundred years out of date still permeate the id of our modern age?

Fuck that noise. Fuck racial/social/gender inequality.

Fuck Victoria, we are society. It’s made up of the thoughts we entertain, the ideals we embrace. And honestly, we can do better than this.

Define your own humanity: don’t simply accept what’s been handed to you. Understand your limits for the intent purpose of defying them; know your nature and grow beyond it. Every human being shares the miracle of individuality: you are a unique creature, a curious and irrepetitive blend of genes and circumstance. You owe the universe the obligation of exploring the fullness of self as payment for having been born. Anything else is societal imposition.

Seriously, fuck society. Let’s create our own ethos. Let’s level the playing field, eliminate the double standard, hold everyone equally accountable.

Thursday, April 14th, 2011 | Author: lawrence

I like this post over at Women Are From Mars:

I’m not here to discuss the why of it, but instead what actually bothers me (and Simone): Boys are allowed to do this – the Blow Off. Instead of saying anything or doing anything, they just disappear. Or don’t text back. Or text back randomly. I already know this bothers Miss Esme, and Jess from City Girls World has dubbed the worst offender of the Blow Off the Ghost Man.

But fine. You know what? I’ll allow the Blow Off. OK? It can certainly be argued as a clear message that you’re no longer into this (for whatever reason). But… if you’re pulling a Blow Off, why not just go through with it?

Why send the random “hey what’s up how’s it going sorry I haven’t called” text?

Or, why call randomly for no real reason?

Or the “I swear I’ve just been busy, please don’t give up on me yet!” response when all we want, at this point, is our fucking Pyrex back.

I’m serious. I want to know why boys do that.

Until it is explained to me, I have a few theories:

They don’t want to be the asshole, and they feel guilty.
They don’t know yet if they want to blow you off, so they’re keeping you around on the back burner.

As for #1, let me explain it for you, if you haven’t already received this memo: You will be a bigger asshat if you blow us off later, after feigning interest.

#2? Another effing newsflash: Guess what? You are totally allowed to not know if you want to keep dating us. That is completely and utterly your prerogative.

…You are allowed to tell us you’re not interested. In this day and age, it is reeeediculously easy to send a text or an email that simply says you’re just that or you’d rather be friends. That is your choice, and even if we’re bummed? That isn’t your problem any more. Yes, we might be angry and upset – and if you’ve given us reason to think you were more interested than you were, that’s kind of a consequence of that behavior. Sorry – man up and deal with it, and maybe, in the future? Don’t spew bullshit you don’t mean. However, in general? People are allowed to lose interest. It just happens. If we’re upset about it, that’s for us to deal with if you’re up-front and tell us about it. Really.

In terms of the guys who start sending mixed messages, I think the guys all belong to 2 groups:

1.) clueless, flailing, disorganized, confused and immature (such an attractive combination!)

2.) game players who really enjoy manipulating women. For these gusy, it’s not even about the sex or the interest, it is purely an exercise in power.

Thursday, April 14th, 2011 | Author: lawrence

I’ve seen this so many times, someone gets into a relationship and then fails to develop some other friendship, even though the possibility of that friendship is something that they mean to give great value to. And the offer of friendship never lasts forever — it might be there a year or two, but you can’t just put it on hold for 5 years and then expect it to still be there. I wonder about this a lot, why we give such priority to our romantic relationships. I’ve done it as much as anyone. And then the romance doesn’t work out, and then you look back on those years when you were unhappy but trying to make the relationship work, and you have to wonder about the friendships you could have invested time and energy with, and maybe that would have been more rewarding, over the long term?

This is well said:

Then there was H. She was smart, funny, grounded. She had beautiful, rockin’ tatts (that she still rocked at 34 – that was ground-breaking at the time (p.s. I’m seriously cringing at my 24-year-old self right now)). She still worked as a bartender to support her new but burgeoning massage therapist career, while also still working as McRockerPants’ tour manager when appropriate.

She had a conglomerate career; a non-traditional career path.

But she was clearly happy.

This blew my mind. I didn’t have to go the route that I thought I had to. I could do whatever I wanted.

I know this sounds small. But it wasn’t. And I think we were pretty close; we got along really well, and I think both looked forward to our Saturday nights together at the bar (I barbacked for her).

Yet… fast-forward to now… and here I was… seeing her for only the 4th time in over 3 years.

How did this happen?

Why did I spend so much effort keeping in touch with and “getting-to-know” McRockerPants … while giving so little effort keeping in touch with H.? Why could I not see what was important to me? Or, maybe more realistically, that that was important to me, too?

Why do we take friendships for granted? Why do we assume these people will be there “when we come back”?

H. certainly isn’t “there” anymore. I tried to reach out to her via facebook when I had this realization… and she never responded.

I blew it.

In the long run, even though I had less, in terms of literal time, of a relationship with H., I’m finding the loss of her friendship matters much more to me than the fact that my “relation-friendship” with McRockerPants is pretty close to extinct.

Or we could invest our work, instead of bad romances. I do that too, though my friends tell me I should not.

Thursday, April 14th, 2011 | Author: lawrence

Such a sad story!

On Saturday, 2 April, 2011, my sister injected herself with an overdose of insulin. Her roommate found her unconscious in her room.

She has suffered from anorexia, depression, and anxiety for most of her life. In the last five years, she added bulimia to the mix. She has been in rehab twice.

She has also been running marathons and triathlons for the past decade. She always places in the top five, usually winning her age group.

The mind over the body is an incredible thing. It can be a terrible thing.

My mom asked me when the last time she was happy. I don’t know. She never found a way to love herself. Ever.

But even all of her unhappiness… it can never fill the void her absence will leave.

I never felt like she committed herself to getting better. I always felt like she was looking for a quick fix, whether that was rehab or religion. Or a boyfriend. I always said she needed to find a way to fix herself, that she just needed to finally put in the goddamn work. I never felt like she was committed to putting in the goddamn work.

Maybe she just couldn’t. Maybe I never understood.

I have to tell myself there is nothing we could have done, that we did what we could. She is was 28 years old. An adult. We tried. We did what we could. Her way-in-over-her-hear therapist (someone I swear my sister chose because the woman was in over her head and wouldn’t challenge her – but what do I know?) basically told us we couldn’t do anything. That we needed to figure out how not to put our shit, our worries, our concerns, on my sister.

Thursday, April 14th, 2011 | Author: lawrence

The guy described here is working hard to manipulate the woman who is writing:

I was speechless. My palms were sweaty. My mouth was dry. I felt nauseated. I hated this e-mail. I hated everything about it. I hated that he had taken a week to respond to me. I hated how distant and mechanical it felt. I hated that he had just told me he was dating other people. And I hated that he still planned to join me at the theatre, despite that disclosure.

It’s not that he was dating other people. Of course he was. I’d assumed he was, and I’d be an idiot to think otherwise. It’s that he’d felt the need to tell me. I’d only ever told one person whom I was newly dating that I was dating other people. And that was to get him to back off. To tell him, without telling him, that I wasn’t that interested in him. And now, this had just been fed back to me. By someone I liked, or thought I liked.

And then much later:

He was there waiting when I arrived. He looked so handsome. Handsomer than I remembered him being. He had dressed for the theatre and looked so distinguished and charming. My stomach was turning somersaults as I entered the door and forced a smile upon my face. I figured he’d greet me with a kiss on the cheek, if anything.

I figured wrong.

He walked over, smiling, took me in his arms and kissed me. Really kissed me. It was hardly what I’d expected after basically being told he’s not that into me. I was flustered and, once again, confused.

I’d have to wonder, why would anyone ever give someone like that a 2nd chance? I understand that the guy is very handsome, but still, he’s intentionally inflicting mental suffering. And he’s going to continue doing so. And he probably enjoys doing it. Why give him the chance to continue? (Anyone who thinks he’s mixed signals were maybe just an accident is being ridiculously naïve.)

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Thursday, April 14th, 2011 | Author: lawrence

There is a range of disrespectful behavior that I used to find exciting in a mate, but which I no longer do. If my partner treated me disrespectfully, my friends would say, “Hey, that behavior is a red flag, a warning.” But I wanted to ignore the warnings. Drama was exciting. I think some of the excitement arose from the extent to which the other person’s recklessness let me off the hook for a whole range of things, and some of the excitement arose from the kind of intimacy that is offered by someone whose behavior is self-destructive — because that suggests that they could never live without you. They need you. But I find, none of that interests me anymore, neither the disrespect, nor the needing.

None of this appeals to me, nowadays:

There are certain things I can overlook in a relationship. Psychotic behavior. Rambling stories about the ex-boyfriend. Threatening me with an empty Heineken bottle. Having to be carried out of your best friend’s wedding because you drank 15 Jaeger shots and proceeded to vomit on every inch of carpeting in the reception hall. Rambling stories about how the ex-boyfriend liked your blowjobs. Erratic, almost irresponsible driving. Refusing to tip the paperboy because he “seems Mexican.” Throwing all my clothes out into the driveway because I was a half-hour late coming home, even though you knew I was tending to my sick aunt.

Thursday, April 14th, 2011 | Author: lawrence

I also ended up working on New Year’s Eve, just like in the passage below. I worked all night, alone in the office, I actually slept under my desk, then worked all day the next day. And for what? I was fighting back against the burnout and the boredom that I felt with that job. Trying to make some progress on a project that was already a month late. But to what end, really? It’s important to me to be good at what I do, and to be seen as good at what I do. I think the lesson for me is that from now on I need to be more selective about what projects I take. If I only take the projects that interest me, or I only work short stints, then I probably won’t face burnout again.

Instead I found myself working on New Year’s Eve, later beating myself up for going out to dinner and movie that night instead of working on a regional story that no one would be reading until the morning anyway. Instead of allowing myself a well-deserved holiday yesterday or even a day off weekend day the day before, yesterday, I wrote three stories and wound up with more stories than I usually have in my publication on any given day.

Is it any surprise that I literally couldn’t drag myself out of bed this morning to write my second article of the day? Normally I would have already had that story in the can so I wouldn’t have anything to worry about, but I couldn’t muster the energy to do it last night. I, wait for it, actually was so burned out, I sat and watched an entire movie without a laptop in my hands. And I didn’t feel one bit guilty about it…until the last credits ran, and I realized I needed to put something up there the next morning.

Both my wrists felt broken all day today. The stories I was expecting to come in from others weren’t coming, yet I didn’t have it in me to push it. My second story wasn’t finished until almost 2 p.m. instead of 10 a.m. I didn’t chastise myself over it.

Thursday, April 14th, 2011 | Author: lawrence

I can relate to this:

Not only am I hard on myself. But I don’t always take very good take of myself or my home. I forget that I deserve to live in a clean home, surrounded by stability and peace. So I go days just ignoring what’s around me. Eyes glued to my computer. Living off of whatever scraps of food I have in the kitchen and take out. Letting the sink pile up with dishes, the dirty clothes pile up in the closet, and the clutter overtake EVERYTHING.

What’s frightening about this chaos is that it sincerely upsets me. I look around and it causes me stress. And then I go back to whatever I’m working on. It functions, in a way, like my own special form of self-sabotage. Like me telling me that I don’t deserve a nice orderly life.

And then, other times, my apartment is spotless for months at a time. Because I can be a bit of a neat freak.

My situation is ridiculous because I have a very high level of quality to live up to. I’ve previously linked to photos of what the apartment looked like when the previous tenant lived here. The woman who lived here before me was an artist with remarkable taste and the place looked amazing while she was here. I look at those photos and I think, “Damn, it’s going to take some work to get this place looking that good.” Right now I have not even unpacked, I’ve got cardboard boxes everywhere.

I am pleased to say, the one part of my apartment that currently is in good condition is the kitchen. Last Saturday, for breakfast, I had the whole crew connected to Brooklyn Dry Goods come over. That was good times. Good people. Lots of food (2 dozen egss, 4 boxes of sausages, and Konstantin made for us traditional Russian ladkis. He grated the potatoes and we had it with sour cream — very good.) I really love the fact that so many cool people live on my street, either in my building or across the street in the Chocolate Factory. That everyone lives so close makes for casual get togethers, or late night work sessions (the night before the Brooklyn Dry Goods web shop launched, we worked till 4 AM, at my place, to get the code and the design right).

Thursday, April 14th, 2011 | Author: lawrence

I missed this story. A single woman ran for mayor in Tampa. I wonder if this flyer is real?

Unmarried: Rose Ferlita has put her political ambition first and foremost, while her opponent is a dedicated family man with two children — Ferlita is an unmarried woman with a suspect commitment to family values.

Thursday, April 14th, 2011 | Author: lawrence

I always find it curious how those who talk about dating online are majority female. Men seem to have less to say? I’m noticing that at the moment Bad Online Dates has a front page where 7 of the stories are from women and only 1 is from a guy.

Thursday, April 14th, 2011 | Author: lawrence

Wow. This wins the prize of most embarrassing anecdote that I’ve read today:

“I want 2 lick every inch of your body. I long to have u inside me.” SEND.

What I didn’t realize at the time was that my mother now thought I wanted to lick her body. I’d like to think that my mother and I have a fairly close relationship but not THAT close. This is what happens when you are trying to send a dirty text message to someone named Mark and you accidentally send it to Mom instead. While mortifying as this may have been, after I explained to my mother that I thought we were better off as friends we had a good laugh and never mentioned it again.

Thursday, April 14th, 2011 | Author: lawrence

I can relate to this:

“I’M SOCIALLY AWKWARD I was a late bloomer and a over-analytical Capricorn that thinks way too much. I tend to plot out my every move. While that comes in handy when writing and being creative, in social settings that can be a crippling. I’m the wallflower that observes the room when in unfamiliar places and for years my crutch was alcohol, which made my overactive brain shutdown and just let loose. While that led to a great time, it also led to the birth of Taco Meat, my drunken alter ego. I’ve since learned that I don’t need to drink to have a good time but I still have my awkward moments. Plus, my father was/is an alcoholic and I don’t need to follow in his footsteps.

…I’M NOT AN ALPHA MALE If that’s what you’re looking for then you’ve come to the wrong place. My personality is laid back and calm. It takes a lot to get me riled up and I’d much rather play the quiet observer than the loud mouthed center-of-attention seeker. That’s not to say I’m not a leader I just lead differently and recognize that I have a tendency to get overshadowed by your typical alpha male. I’m just another wolf in the pack not the one you notice right away.”