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Daily Archives: January 16, 2013

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President Obama’s Gun Violence Talk…

Did you notice that every single one of those events that the President Obama listed, every one of those people who were denied their right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, every single one, was killed in a Gun-Free Zone.

Let’s do the right thing?

Somehow I doubt that was done today.

Any nut who gets a hold of a gun to inflict their will on everyone else – whether on the black market (where the vast majority of that happens) or by stealing them – goes to the places where they can inflict the most damage without fear of being caught or killed before their act is complete.  Period.  This isn’t rocket science folks, they call them Gun-Free Zones”.  The proper name would be “Fish-In-A-Barrel Zones”.

Stupid is as stupid does, Forrest.

I will say this, at first blush it doesn’t seem that the president’s proposals were all that unreasonable – though the actual language (not just the purposefully vague outline) will have to be examined before any truth can be laid to that statement.

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Being A Gentleman Doesn’t Suck – A New Fit Recovery Series Begins

Being a gentleman doesn’t suck – it’s just freaking difficult.

This is a very difficult time to be a gentleman.  As men, we are blamed and attacked for just about any problem under the sun.  If a woman has weight issues it’s our fault, for if we defined beauty differently, all would be better.  If a woman lacks the ability to advance in her career it’s our fault, for some man, somewhere, is certainly holding her down.  If a woman commits a crime, certainly the responsibility must fall on a man (somewhere) because it must have been some form of abuse that pushed her to it.  Hell, it’s an odd time to be a man fellas, let alone a gentleman.  That said, we do have our faults and the right thing to do is fix them.

Thankfully, there are answers, there is guidance and there is hope – and fortunately for us, the answers do not lie in some silly notion of how society perceives us.  It doesn’t lie in how our mommy raised us and whether or not she sat us on the toilet sideways as a child.  For us, the answer is to rise above such pettiness, even if doing so is often difficult.  This doesn’t mean that we resign ourselves to being a doormat – allowing abuse, nor does it mean standing silent in the face of the misunderstanding (or misrepresentation) of manhood. For we proud men, the solution lies within.

Several years ago I was in a pretty deep funk over the whole notion of gender relations.  The company I had worked for was the target of a sexual discrimination kerfuffle in which it was claimed that I was responsible for sexual harassment because, after closing my office door and letting a supplier have it verbally (and I mean it, there were two years worth of f-bombs in that conversation), it was said that because I swore in such a manner, I created a sexually tinged environment in which women could not work.  The situation never went anywhere, obviously, because it was ridiculous, but even the idea that that could have ended my career, changed me.  It was an odd claustrophobic feeling, I was a strange mixture of cynicism, disinterest and discombooberation…  Then I read a review of the book The Compleat Gentleman:  The Modern Man’s Guide to Chivalry, on Power Line.  I bought a copy online and it changed my life – though my wife would rightly add that it’s about time to dust that bad-boy off again.  Sadly, it appears as though the book is out of print because new copies are going for upwards of $200.  That’s not a typo – Two Hundred Dollars (actually between $150 and $180) though you can get a copy for $50 if you buy used.  Also, the audiobook is available here for only $18.00.  Now, I must admit, my copy is mint – and I’d have to think long and hard about not letting it go for a couple hundred bucks, but there’s no way I’d let it go for $50 – the book is too good.  It’s a bit heady for my liking, but once you get past the pomp, it’s an exceptional book and a great inspiration to do better.

Here’s the publisher’s description:

At a time of astonishing confusion about what it means to be a man, Brad Miner has recovered the oldest and best ideal of manhood: the gentleman. Reviving a thousand-year tradition of chivalry, honor, and heroism, The Compleat Gentleman provides the essential model for 21st-century masculinity.

Despite our confusion, real manhood is not complicated. It is an ancient ideal based on service to one’s God, country, family, and friends, a simple but arduous ideal worthy of a lifetime of struggle.

Miner’s gentleman stands out for his dignity, restraint, and discernment. He rejects the notion that one way of behaving is as good as another. He belongs to an aristocracy of virtue, not of wealth or birth. Proposing neither a club nor a movement, Miner describes a lofty code of manly conduct, which, far from threatening democracy, is necessary for its survival.

Miner traces the concept of manliness from the jousting fields of the 12th century to the decks of the Titanic. The three masculine archetypes that emerge, the warrior, the lover, and the monk, combine in the character of the “compleat gentleman”. This modern knight cultivates a martial spirit in defense of the true and the beautiful. He treats the opposite sex with the passionate respect required by courtly love. And he values learning in the pursuit of truth, all with the discretion, decorum, and nonchalance that the Renaissance called sprezzatura.

If you have a chance, fellas, check it out – and remember, I don’t think the idea is to fake who you are.  Just remember, starting out, it’s “your approximation of gentleman”.  The rest will work out in the wash.

In part two of this series, I’ll try to take a humorous look at where I’ve fallen short of the ideal…  It’s a long list but it should be good for a laugh.