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No, it’s not fair

by Greg Krehbiel on 8 March 2017

I went out to get a banana and I saw a decent-looking, well-dressed guy kissing an unattractive woman. It reminded me of something my sister said at dinner when I was a lad.

She said that if you see an attractive woman with an unattractive man, you think, “He must be nice.” (She should have said “popular or rich” rather than “nice.”)

But if you see a good-looking guy with an unattractive woman, you think, “He must be a loser.”

5 comments  ::  Add your comment  ::  2017-03-08  ::  Greg Krehbiel

Thoughts on the #DayWithoutAWoman thing

by Greg Krehbiel on 8 March 2017

The pay gap thing is nonsense, as anyone who has spent any time looking into it knows. It’s been debunked so many times it’s interesting to ponder why people still repeat it.

The 77 cent thing is based on taking what all men make and comparing that to what all women make. It doesn’t take into account any of the things that affect salary, like the types of jobs men and women choose to work, the hours they spend on the job, the years they spend on the job (e.g., taking time off to raise children), etc.

As a general rule, women tend to choose jobs they find personally fulfilling while men tend to choose jobs that pay better. So women tend to work in jobs that don’t pay as well.

The women who will be taking time off to protest obviously work in jobs where … honestly … we won’t really miss them for a day.

There are some exceptions. Alexandria City public schools are closed today because so many people asked off. That will inconvenience a lot of people — including mothers who now have to deal with the unexpected kid at home.

But for most of them … yeah, so you took a day off. Big deal.

If nurses took a day off, that would be a problem. If mothers took a day off, that would be horrible.

As a contrast, imagine what it would be like if we had a day without a man? Would the lights come on when you throw the switch? Would the oil rigs stop production for a day? Would the firetrucks or the police arrive when you called?

Women are a valuable part of the workforce, especially as we have more and more white collar jobs and fewer stay-at-home moms. But … let’s be honest … men keep the world running. Men maintain the infrastructure.

I ran across this quote a few years ago. I’m not sure who the original author is or I’d give him credit. It’s cited here. It’s a little over the top for my tastes, but it makes a good point, which seems relevant today.

A woman wakes up in the morning, in a house built by men. She starts the water to boil on a stove built by men, and sits at a chair and table, put there by men, to read a newspaper written, in part, by women … but printed and delivered by men … She nibbles some toast, made from grains, grown and harvested by men … .whoops … Time to take a shower. She turns a faucet handle installed by a man, and lo and behold … out comes HOT water, delivered by a vastly complicated water system, built by men. She drives to work in a car built by men, on roads built by men, powered by petroleum, drilled and refined and delivered by men. She arrives at an office building built by men. Walks to her desk, fires up her computer, and glances out her window at a city … built by men … full of potential customers for her service business … Out of the corner of her eye, a table in the conference room, that seems awkwardly out of place, snags her attention. She strokes her ear lobe. At that moment, the janitor scoots by in the hallway.

“Bob! Oh Bob. Could you PLEASE move that table, further into the corner. You’re such a dear.” She pins him, with a delectable, and utterly phony smile. Bob, oblivious to the cheapness of the words, and falseness of the smile … thrilled to get any attention at all, from such an attractive person … pitches right in. And as he lugs one corner of the heavy table, across the carpet, she exhales a comfortable sigh. Her day, has begun.

She will spend the next 8 to 10 hours telling OTHER people, what to do. That’s HER understanding of work. This creature, who has NO idea WHERE things come from, HOW they are made, and has not the slightest knowledge, about HOW the world works, has been put in CHARGE of it … because there is really nothing else, of any specific value, she COULD be doing.

If she lived in a world built by women, she would be sitting in a tent, watching her breath in front of her face, stitching animal hides. But … she lives in a world BUILT, almost ENTIRELY, by men … and, AMAZINGLY, she has NOT the SLIGHTEST appreciation, or GRATITUDE for that fact. She never even stops to THINK about it. Never stops to think, that if all the things men make and do, were MAGICALLY removed, right now she would plodding through a MUDDY SWAMP, looking for red-wing blackbird eggs.

She thinks the world is made out of proper grammar, and attractive clothing, and polite conversation, and correct opinions … instead of rivets and concrete and copper and petroleum. From the day she picked up her first teaspoon, she has been learning how to manipulate the things men provide, as if they were put in front of her by God or Mother Nature. She has NO IDEA what men actually do. Yet, according to her, and the media she consumes, men are assholes.

5 comments  ::  Add your comment  ::  2017-03-08  ::  Greg Krehbiel

I was going to say …

by Greg Krehbiel on 8 March 2017

… that while I’m a fan of Trump’s travel ban, I’m still pleased to see states asserting themselves. (See Hawaii to challenge Trump’s new travel ban) The federal government has arrogated too much power to itself.

But in this case it really is a federal issue and the complaints don’t seem to have much merit.

Still … go states, go.

 ::  Add your comment  ::  2017-03-08  ::  Greg Krehbiel

A few thoughts about men and their emotions

by Greg Krehbiel on 7 March 2017

Many people — perhaps most — think that men are less emotional than women. I’m not so sure about that. I think men might be more emotional than women, but they have fewer outlets for their emotions and they keep them inside.

(File this among my crazy theories offered not entirely seriously as a point for discussion.)

Imagine a man as (to borrow a line from James Taylor) a churning urn of burning funk. A boiling cauldron of confusion. A steam engine about to burst.

He has all these feelings bubbling around inside and he doesn’t know what to do with them. In adolescence this all comes pouring out in various ways, but as he becomes a man he learns the deal. He has to keep a lid on it. He has to stow it away and keep it under wraps. That’s what being a man is all about.

I don’t mean to say that men are always full of this emotional turmoil. There are times of peace. But there’s a hot rod engine inside ready to rev up when needed.

As he goes through life he has these times of internal pressure and turmoil, but there are only three relief valves that he can understand: sex, work and conflict. Those are the big ones, anyway, and that’s where we get the notion that men are simple.

There are some smaller relief valves, like art or hobbies or things like that. But those things only do so much good. Men can’t bleed off emotional tension very well because, constitutionally, they’re not very good at either understanding or expressing their emotions, and, socially, they’re expected not to.

So yes, men are simple. You only have to worry about a few basic things with a man on the outside. But inside, it’s a different matter.

I’m fairly decent with words and with expressing myself, but I still often feel this way. I find myself feeling some emotion and I don’t even know what it is or how to explain it.

That’s my theory, anyway. Another explanation is that I’m crazy. Which is probably more likely.

If this theory is correct, it’s reasonable to ask why things would be this way. What’s the benefit to the man or to society for men to be such pressure cookers?

To ask it is to answer it, I think.

Think of the things we ask men to do. We ask them to sit in a stinking, wet, cold trench for months on end, with little or no sleep, with the mutilated bodies of their comrades beside them, and then, when some idiot back in his warm office decides it’s time for another hopeless advance, he has to get up, stick a bayonet on the end of his rifle and charge across “no man’s land” into almost certain death. If he happens to survive this ordeal, he goes home and doesn’t talk about it.

Yes, I realize that trench warfare occupies an incredibly narrow slice of human (or male) experience. The point is that these men were capable of doing that crazy stuff, and that society was willing to ask them to. That speaks volumes.

Thankfully I’ve never had to do anything like that, but I can imagine it takes two things: a lot of emotion, and a lot of ability to channel that emotion in one, specific direction. There’s no time to cry it out or have a chat with your friends.

So my theory is that men are emotionally dysfunctional by design. They’re supposed to not be good with their emotions because that’s what the race requires. In order for the man to have any chance of success when the saber-toothed cat attacks, he needs two things: a fire in his belly, and the ability to suppress all his other emotions and channel that fire in one direction.

The side effect is that all these emotions rattle around inside, unresolved and unexplained.

If you’d like to read more crazy theories about why men are so horribly messed up, try this: Eggs are Expensive, Sperm is Cheap.

 ::  Add your comment  ::  2017-03-07  ::  Greg Krehbiel

The secret sauce of persuasion

by Greg Krehbiel on 7 March 2017

No, I’m not going to pull a Scott Adams on you and explain the logic of persuasion. I couldn’t if I wanted to, and that’s not my point here.

I accept that there is some sort of science to persuasion — that some methods or tactics work better than others, and that by studying these methods you can become more persuasive. But I will also claim that there’s a mysterious layer beneath that probably can’t be explained. At least not yet.

Imagine two very similar people — from the same culture, with the same education, with comparable intelligence, and from similar backgrounds. Put those two people in the same room and have a lawyer present the same case to them. Will these two similar people come to the same conclusion?

Maybe, but maybe not. The very same arguments might convince one of them but not the other. Why?

Because the idea of “similar people” is flawed. People bring different prejudices and memories and thoughts and feelings into that room. The same word might have a different connotation to the two of them. “Patriotism” might make one of them feel warm and fuzzy and make the other feel threatened.

These prejudices mean they’re not even hearing the same argument to begin with, and they’re applying different rules and standards when they evaluate it.

Now, rather than having two different people in the same room, do a mental experiment with the same person hearing the same argument five years apart.

The exact same argument is different now … because the man is different.

Scott Adams deals with the general rules of persuasion — i.e., what is likely to work on most people most of the time. And I’m sure there’s a lot too that. (I’ve read about similar things in sales and marketing books.)

Frank Herbert’s Bene Gesserit took this to the individual level. They could read a person and know how to manipulate them.

And nowadays Facebook can do precisely that, so ….

No, that’s not my point today. My point is rather that we need to keep all this weird stuff in mind when we find ourselves persuaded (or not persuaded) by some argument. We all have a bewildering array of prejudices that we’re not even aware of.

Given that — and I think most Crowhill readers know about this — on what grounds do we get so upset with people when they disagree with us?

 ::  Add your comment  ::  2017-03-07  ::  Greg Krehbiel

Trump and the debt ceiling

by Greg Krehbiel on 6 March 2017

Whenever there’s a controversy, Republicans always want to fast-forward to the place where they surrender. I’m sure they feel a tremendous sense of relief after they quit pretending they were going to stand for something.

This jelllyfish-like behavior from Republicans is usually on full display when there’s a budget battle, and especially when there’s a battle over shutting down the government. Republicans know they can’t win. Democrats will always outmaneuver them and Republicans will always get the blame.

But that was before Trump, who seems to gain energy from a fight, and who doesn’t have much to lose from one.

The media already hates him. Democrats are inventing controversies that they’re using to attack and undermine him. There seem to be a lot of Obama holdovers in his own administration that are trying to derail him. No matter where he looks, it’s trouble.

What’s one more fight?

Unlike Jellyfish Republicans, Trump has at least a little skill in turning a controversy around on the opposition.

Think of this faux Russian scandal. He’s turned it around so that now the story is whether Obama illegally wiretapped him. If there’s an investigation into the alleged connections between his campaign and the Russians, there will also be an investigation into Obama’s use of surveillance.

Trump’s response to an accusation is to make a bigger accusation. He escalates. So I don’t think he’ll cower before the threat of a government shut-down.

The debt ceiling has to be raised soon. I have a feeling we’re going to see a different sort of fight this time.

28 comments  ::  Add your comment  ::  2017-03-06  ::  Greg Krehbiel

New cover on the way

by Greg Krehbiel on 6 March 2017

Thanks again for the comments on my book covers.

My brewing book has a new cover, which will go live in the next day or so.

Angie at pro_ebookcovers does a lot of my book covers. She does good work.

It would be nice if Amazon allowed authors to split test book covers. I’ve done some of that in my real job, and it’s often surprising what works best. It’s not always the prettiest or the most professional.

But … while Amazon does split tests all the time, they haven’t figured a way to work it into their publishing platform. We just have to guess at what we think will work best.

3 comments  ::  Add your comment  ::  2017-03-06  ::  Greg Krehbiel

The Stupid Party, at it again

by Greg Krehbiel on 3 March 2017

Wesley Pruden has it right.

The poor old Stupid Party. The Democrats are trying to pick off the new Republican administration, one officer at a time, and some of the Republicans in Congress imagine that once Jeff Sessions is packed home to Alabama Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi and the editors of The Washington Post and The New York Times will pat them on the head, say “well done,” and leave them alone to enjoy their privileges of life in Washington and the perks of office.

Republicans are like desperate, lonely, unpopular kids in elementary school. “If we’re nice to the mean kids and do what they say, they’ll decide to be nice to us. Won’t that be lovely.”

 ::  Add your comment  ::  2017-03-03  ::  Greg Krehbiel

People get paid to make you mad. Seriously.

by Greg Krehbiel on 3 March 2017

This is an interesting article that’s worth your time. I don’t agree with a lot of the things the author says, but it’s an important perspective. 5 Ways To Stay Sane In An Era Of Non-Stop Outrage

 ::  Add your comment  ::  2017-03-03  ::  Greg Krehbiel

Full employment for men is more important than full employment for women

by Greg Krehbiel on 3 March 2017

Yes, yes, I know that sounds horribly sexist and all, but it’s better for society when men have good-paying jobs.

The reason is fairly simple. A man without a job is not a good marriage prospect, but the same doesn’t apply to women.

See When Factory Jobs Vanish, Men Become Less Desirable Partners

So when men don’t have jobs we have fewer marriages and more children born out of wedlock. Both those things are bad for society. Consequently, public policy should focus on creating jobs for men.

If you’d like to read other unpopular ideas about men and women, try this book.

4 comments  ::  Add your comment  ::  2017-03-03  ::  Greg Krehbiel

2017-02-28 :: Greg Krehbiel // General
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