Sunday, January 29, 2006

I Want to be OWNED, Again.

No, I am not talking like a slave, but like a puppy, owned. To explain, to me (and that is the only person I am talking about here) the feeling of being in a solid, good relationship with a woman? Well I would describe it, metaphorically, like being a well-loved and cared for puppy.

For example, I will talk about the one great long-term relationship I had. I met her one night at a club, we danced we talked. We had a good time.

That was it.

I call that the,"Just looking," phase.

I met her at the same club a week later. We talked more, we danced more, and things got a little more focused. I will call that the, "How much is that doggie in the window?" phase.

And she took me to her place that night.

After spending most of the next 3 days in bed, or perhaps as is likely, sometime during those 3 days, she got to the next phase:

"I think I will keep him!"

And the relationship was mostly very good after that. I liked being wanted, I liked being wanted to be around. I did not exactly move in with her, totally, but spent more time at her place than my own.Yes, she was a little possessive of me. And to me, that was GOOD!

Problem came a while later, when I stopped feeling like a well cared for puppy, and more like one of the antiques she collected. For yet another metaphor, I stopped feeling like a live puppy and instead felt like a stuffed puppy, sitting on a shelf. In any case, she stopped taking me for my necessary walks and playing with me enough to keep me a contented puppy. With a real puppy, that will lead to messes on the floor, torn furniture, and yelping. With a human puppy, the puppy will run off and play with the first person who wants to play with him, once he feels truly like a neglected puppy.

And I must say, this puppy strayed and played. Turns out (for other reasons) I made the ABSOLUTELY worst choice of a new play-partner (but that is another story.) As much as I was dying to play again, part of what made it easy for me to do that was the sense of being cared for. The sense of being Actively Possessed (as by a mindful pet owner), instead of merely Passively Possessed (as by a collector of dolls and nick-knacks) is what I am talking about. And the second "she" started being a little Actively Possessive of me, and that was GOOD.

Ok, that is enough for the self-directed metaphors; now I will make a broader analogy. Women sometimes call men DOGS, and when they do that, they usually mean it in a bad way when the men in question are (seemingly) behaving like bad dogs. What I am getting at here, is the analogy is not necessarily off the mark, but should be viewed broader, and less as a judgment.

Dogs are living creatures.

Dogs are physical creatures.

Dogs need to play, and be played with, for them to be happy pets.

Neglected dogs are unhappy dogs.

So I am saying, generally, it is an error in judgment for a woman to forget any of the preceding points, long before they are in the position of being shocked, shocked, their pet dog is acting like a bad dog.

If you want a dog that will never need any caring, that will sit in the corner and not make any demands of your time, and attention, or effort,


They will stay in the corner, and will not need to be reminded to stay in the corner. They will not whine, yelp or otherwise make noise. You can go for days, weeks, months without even paying them any mind at all, and they will still stare out at you, with their glassy dead eyes, and fixed fake fur faces, and not complain at all, Because . . .

they are dead.

They are as dead as something that was never ever alive, as that is the fact of the matter.

Now living creatures can give more, add more, to one's life. However living things (be they canine or human) need caring, and demand responsibility from their owners. I am not straining this analogy so far to suggest that men are not responsible for their own conduct.

Don't get me wrong.

I say again, that is not at all within my range of desired and intended inferences.

But the point I am making is that between sentient living creatures, there has to be give and take, and there must be some sort of agreement to mutuality of responsibilities; not only self-responsibility, but among and between the two sentient, living creatures. And if one of the two is not willing to recognize any responsibility at all for the other, well that one should get a stuffed animal and leave living creatures to others who are conscious of and willing to accept that responsibility.

Hmm . . . as often is the case, I did not end up exactly where I expected to. So let me try to get back to the place I was originally trying to get to.

Now myself ( I say thusly, if only to keep things from getting too complicated), I have not really truly had that feeling of being properly owned for way too damn long. And I have to say I can live without it, but life can be very lifeless, a lot of the time, for a puppy who has no one to play with.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Friday Quickie

When I think about the BEST moments of my life, they all involve or feature pretty women.

There is one possible exception; the day I was sworn in as an Attorney and Counselor of Law.

Likely was a pretty lady or more there, on that day, taking the oath with me.

I just can't remember them, as being part of the memory of it.

The Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, who was the one who swore us in, definitely was not a pretty woman, that much I recall!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Shit doesn't even belong on the list!

Nods, and apologies to George Carlin, for his seminal work,"7 words you can't say on television." Granted, in the original bit, it was "Tits doesn't even belong on the list," but I am not here to talk about tits (lovely as they are.) I am here to make the case that 95% of the time, at least, shit is not a cuss.

Firstly, my favorite form of the word: BULLSHIT. Even if it might have been usually considered to be a term that was generally not considered a cuss, across wide swaths of American society, the publication of Princeton Professor Harry Frankfort's Essay, "On Bullshit," sealed the word as a legitimate term with a particular meaning.

Next, let us consider the good meanings of the word (or at least neutral.)

"Hot Shit!"

That one is the happiest friendliest form.

"Good Shit."

Hmm according to potheads, that might be better than the previous exclamation.

"No shit?"

Hmm that one is close to the professor's eurdite definition of the real meaning of the word bullshit, as in, "You are not bullshitting me?"

Now for the verb form. Now before I go there, I will say myself, personally, I can speak the best college English with either a Midlantic accent, or a subtle Beacon Hill accent. But I am a Joisey boy. That means I can use any regularly considered cuss word as easily as a sailor. Even not minding that, sorry but I am not alone in using the word shit the way some will use the word crap, or dump or pic-on, or bug, or bother, or tease, or any similar word.

For example, if someone is bugging me in a way that bugs me, I will think if not say, you are shiting on me, or, please don't shit on me, or stop treating me like shit, or say that I am being treated like shit.

It is not me cussin. It is just a basic word that describes a core and visceral feeling.

Let's not forget, the everpopular "You look like shit," or "I feel like shit." Again, it is emotion, but not cuss.

And depending on the relationship and the context, you might get away with calling someone a "Little Shit."

But never say to someone, "You are a SHIT!" Using it that way, it is definitely a cuss.

I shit you not!

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Still Waiting for the Next Semi-original Idea, So in the Meantime . . .

dear reader, enjoy the following parable. You likely have heard/read it before, but it is a good lesson.

Honestly, it has been on and off my mind to post this, for the past few days. Here goes.


A little bird was flying south for the winter.

But a cold front moved in, and it quickly became so cold the bird froze and fell to the ground in a large field. While the bird was lying there, too frozen to move out of the way, a cow came by and dumped a load of shit on it.

As you would guess, the bird was not very happy to find itself covered in shit. I mean, who wouldn't?

But as time passed, the bird began to realize how much warmer it was feeling. The shit was actually thawing him out! He lay there all warm and happy, and soon began to sing for joy.

A passing cat heard the bird singing and came to investigate.

Following the sound, the cat discovered the bird under the pile of shit, and promptly dug the bird out of the shit . . .

and ate him.

Moral of the story:

1) Just because someone shits on you, does not mean they are trying to harm you.

2) Just because someone helps you with your shit, doesn't mean they are not going to harm you.

3) And lastly, when you are deep in shit, sometimes it is best to keep your mouth shut!

Original, but OLD. Well Two Months Old, at Least, Nearly.

This is something I posted on another of my sites a couple months ago.

I am slapping it up here just because I happend to look at that other page, and decided to drag the item here. Maybe I will be up to something brand spanking new, tomorrow.

No worries. I will crank out something soon enough, I am sure. Can't say it will be any good, though.

Anyway, here goes:


Am I JUST Getting Old, or MORE like MYSELF, As I Really Am? Current mood: Semi-dejectedly Weltzschmertzy

On the eve of my 43d Birthday . . . . {Wait! Stop! It has nothing to do with age or any of that balderdash.}

Ok, then, I will start again.

To be more honest (if less evocative) I just want to say Internet Culture is seriously CREEPING ME OUT, these days.

Sure, I like being able to communicate with folk and all . . . well more so if I can see them and/or hear their voices, but since those things are the exception not the rule on-line (unless one insists on only using those sorts of pgms), I am getting more and more creeped out.

I, like many old timers (I have been on-line since, oh, early 1997) started off in chat rooms, and made my way to web page based chat and IRC and such. But I got burnt on that in record time, and only liked chat rooms that at least were tied to someone being on a webcam.

Then I moved on to one of the webcam vid chat pgms. I thought I made it to heaven. Then my range of contacts shrunk to less than a handful. And these days I find myself with few contacts on line, and those who I have known forever I feel are friends, but generally speaking, I can't imagine making new valuable associations with new people (for the most part) if I can't see them or hear their voices (now and then at least, if not frequently.)
I just be wired that way, I recon.

I have been messing around on internet message boards for 3 years now.

Between them and blogs, they are all the rage on the net now. And I have met a handful of interesting people on them, but for the most part, I have trouble even dealing with net people as REAL people, in text only.

Specifically about those boards? Not only do I find 'socializing' that way more alienating than a bonding experience, but like I said above . . .
it is starting to creep me out.




Of communicating


In short


instead of the real time, real face, real voice, way, that people have used since people stopped being fearful animals living in trees, scared for their lives (hmm, & they probably communicated more warmly and clearly even back then, than on the average message board.)

Anyway, to make my point, I will talk about the oddity that I noticed in the early days of the PC revolution.

People getting/spending more that $1,000.00 for a pc, and spending hour after hour playing Solitare on it. Hell you can do that with a 99 cent deck of cards!! That is what I think of, when I think of how no matter how advanced a multimedia, multimode communication pipeline the Net is, nowadays, I just find it WEIRD in the way only humans can be WEIRD, that most folk who use the internet daily for fun,

Just TYPE.

Ok that is my rant. Let me go find a pretty lady to look at.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Balance Theory, Dissonance Theory, and Transactional Analysis

Hey, it looks like I am getting back to my usual pseudointellectual social-critic self. Hmm but looks can be deceiving. I am not totally out of navel-gazing mode, but I am (hopefully) in transition.

Anyway, I was idea-shopping on Google, and found an interesting (and not exactly 100% dry) article.

Here is a sample:


A theory that is similar to Heider's but focuses on somewhat different concerns is Leon Festinger's cognitive dissonance theory. It has a very simple central principle: "An individual strives to produce consonance and to avoid dissonance." We experience dissonance when we become aware that our actions contradict certain beliefs about ourselves. Consonance, as you might imagine, is the peaceful absence of dissonance, synonymous with Heider's "harmony."

If I consider myself an honest person, that belief implies that I don't lie. Yet I catch myself in the middle of a lie. This is dissonant. Or I know that I love my parents. This implies that I write them more than once per year. Yet once a year is exactly how often I write. This, too, is dissonant. Or I don't do things to harm myself. Cigarettes are bad for me. And I am at this moment dragging on a cigarette.

Dissonance, like imbalance, is "stressed to change." I might change my behavior, quit smoking, for example. I might change my belief that I don't do things to harm myself, which is at least honest. But the weakest link in this example is the connection between the two: the idea that cigarettes are bad for me. I have personally told myself such things as "it keeps the weight off," "the anxiety would kill me sooner," "the research had flaws," "cigarettes are just a scapegoat for industrial pollution," "they'll discover a cure soon," "I only smoke a few packs a day," and "it won't happen to me." One way or another, we tend to change our beliefs -- "fix" them -- in an effort to reduce the dissonance: We lie to ourselves.

Most of the research done on dissonance involves a matter of inadequate justification, that is, the reasons for doing something just weren't good enough: I lied to my friend. This is normally dissonant with my belief that I, as a good friend, do not lie -- unless I have "a real good reason" (i.e. an adequate justification), like saving his life, or maybe saving his feelings. Without such a "real good reason," there is inadequate justification.

Yes there is a flow back to me. As in line with what I have been writing about lately, I need to work more on that "inadequate justification," part/thing.

It is a good article on the ideas of dissonance and ultimately on interpersonal games theory.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Confabulation. Now That Is a Great Word, But . . .

that is not really the turn of the screw for this installment. Let us consider:

Choice blindness

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
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In psychology, choice blindness is a phenomenon in which subjects fail to detect conspicuous mismatches between their intended (and expected) choice and the actual outcome.
Writing in Science, psychologist Petter Johansson and coworkers describe choice blindness in an ingenious experiment.

The subject is presented with two cards, on which different (female) faces appear. The subject is asked to choose which one he finds more attractive. In the non-manipulated (NM) version, the subject is handed the card that he chose and asked to say why he chose that one. In the manipulated (M) version, the experimenter uses sleight of hand techniques to switch the cards without the subject's knowledge and give the subject the other card.

The workers found that most subjects failed to notice the switch, and furthermore justified their decision using post-hoc confabulated evidence. For example, in a M trial, a subject might say "I preferred this one because I prefer blondes" when he had in fact chosen (and pointed to) to the dark-haired woman, but was handed a blonde.

They point out that his experiment allows one to investigate the relationship between choice and introspection.

Johansson concludes that he has found that some normal participants unequivocally produce confabulatory reports when asked to describe the reasons behind their choices and suggests that choice blindness affords some insight into the mechanisms behind truthful report.

Sounds like a fancy way to say . . . BULLSHIT. But it is self-bullshitting that seems to be the bull'seye of the target of that article. Elsewhere I have seen it said that some folk say that the ability to bullshit one's self is actually a built in component of the human mind, and might serve as a means to increase survival, and all that. But still, bullshit is bullshit, and I imagine those who can bullshit themselves are more likely to bullshit others.

Not that I am saying I am 100% unable to bullshit myself, but I think I am less prone to that than others.

I usually know the sometimes less-than-flattering truth about myself; and I have been known to admit it, more often than others.

But still, knowing it, and doing something about it shares basically the same relationship as the difference between good intentions, and good acts.


In any event I am still working on all that myself. But I think I need to turn my attention away from introspection here, and get back to more general commentary, soon.

Monday, January 16, 2006

As Said Elsewhere:

On those message boards that are all the rage, people have a chance to publish a profile about themselves. No, they are not as detailed as the long form you find as a sidebar on this page, but you can say a little something about yourself so others can see what you say about who you are.

Now I think my sidebar here is a fairly good synopsis of my self. Particularly, I think the part where I say:

"I strive to restrain my baser nature, and give way to the Angels of my Better Nature, but every now and then, the Angels loose the battle."

Yes, they do loose the fight, which is to say I loose the fight sometimes.
(I think I am way past the point in excessive redundancy, in mentioning that, yet again!)

Anyway, I was thinking about the itty-bitty descrip. I have up on one of the two message boards I remain a member of:

"Biography: Lover of pleasure, comforts, and nice people."

That is entirely true, yet compared to the sidebar here, does not say very much about me.

Still, I will break that one down a bit.

"Lover of Pleasure."

Well who in their right minds are not that? Ya, Ya. I know some folk's idea of pleasure can be odd, strange, or downright scary. Not me. My pleasures are of the ordinary range of the good things in life.

And just to finish this thought off, I know what I like, I know what can give me pleasure, and what doesn't.



Well basically what I said to the first part goes the same, here.

No need to take that any further, I believe.


"Nice people."

This is where it can get tricky, or at least very personally, emotionally subjective.

But what I mean to say here is, I know I am not necessarilly all nice all the time (just look at my prior post, here.) I can not honestly say there never has been an occasion in my life where I have had an unnecessary emotional outburst with only the merest or perhaps only a mistaken provcation. Mostly though, I have to at least feel impinged, or devalued to do that.

Now for me the hard part in my life has been either not letting the feeling of being devalued lead me, or otherwise serve as self-believed cause to commence an emotional outburst.

And whenever that happens, I usually always know it, soon after, and become, for lack of a word I think serves the purpose better, supplicant.

I know that well meaning people, even people who share time and concern with one, can not be all for everyone they hold close. I am not either that clueless, or that narcissistic. And before I ramble on, any further, I will repeat what I said a few posts back.

I need to work on being patient. I think it is the combination of my "gale force emotions" and lack of good, long, deep patience that gets me in trouble most. More so, than any unrealistic expectations.

Speaking of unrealistic expectations, it is time to go buy some lottery tickets!

Sunday, January 15, 2006

My Flaws, Failings, And Short-Comings (not an exhaustive list!)

Well, to any reader who has been keeping up with my progress here (is there any such a one?) I have touched on some of my own short-comings (or admitted peeves, if you prefer.)

Anyway . . . here goes (some):

I am not perfect (that is the easy one!)

I have my sense of pride, and despite a habit of making self-depreciating jokes, I do not like my pride to be used as a target by others.

I do not usually by nature have a bad temper but it is there, lurking beneath the surface. Ordinarily, most people can't "hit the trigger" for engaging anger mode, though. Usually there must be some relationship with trust and connection, before someone can wound me enough for me to expend that much of my energy (or really offend me in some perceived and disfavored way.)

As I said elsewhere, recently:

The difficulty with dealing with people you are very close to is that there is no preventing them from getting under your skin.

They are already there.

Moving on . . . I don't let many people close, as a lifetime general rule. I do not follow the (as I think of it) American Way, which is to my mind blurring the distinction between people one is 'friendly with' and 'friends.' However, when I do consider one a friend, they are deeply held as such. Not to say I can not, do not make mistakes in my friendships. I do. I have. I will in all likelihood do so in the future. However, just because I might not be of a mind to talk with a particular friend on a given day, that does not mean I ever stopped loving them. That only may mean, either I am embarassed, I am still stewing, or I just need a damn break (particularly if thing have got "STRESSFUL.")

Harking back to what I said about anger, the thing about me is I am not an angry person per say. Oh, but baby oh baby, I am an emotional one. My emotions run deep; as deep as the deepest parts of Lake Gitchagumee. And in straining further the reference to Lake Superior, my emotions can blow as fierce as that storm that took down the good ship Edmund Fitzgerald. Not necessarilly, do I say, my emotions are gale force only when upset or such; I love with a gale force wind, also. (Why bother to love if you ain't gonna make it a big deal, I say.)

I can be stubborn.

I can take insult quicky.

I can repeat myself.

I can go on and on and on and on, sometimes.

I can be boring.

I can be sloppy with words, sometimes (that is bad, yes.)

I can be precise with words, sometimes (and sometimes that is worse!)

I can be needy.

I can be lazy.

I can be a LAWYER (said in caps, as to imply the cautious deviousness associated with that profession.)

And I can be impatient.

Shit. I'll stop there for now. I do have some good points too, but I will pass on listing any of them for now. I do sometimes feel less than appreciated in this world, generally by the world or specifically some of the specific people in it. But as a general matter and on most days, I do know I have some value, have done some good in this world so far, and very well will continue to do so in the future.

But like where I started the list, I am well aware I am not perfect, as this partial list demonstrates. And I am never going to try to be perfect, either. I will hope to work on some things, such as are on this list, though.

A Couple Two/Three Quickie Quotes

"Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself." -- William Faulkner

"Be careful what you pretend to be because you are what you pretend to be." -- Kurt Vonnegut

"The one important thing I have learned over the years is the difference between taking one's work seriously and taking one's self seriously. The first is imperative and the second disasterous." -- Margot Fonteyn

* * * * * * * * * *

Hmmm. Now in theory, I have been working on the first one, already. And as far as the second one goes, I am not much of a pretender. I am the odd-ball I have always been (with variation.) Granted, the matter of whether who I really am is a good thing to be, is an entirely different matter, but I am not big on facades.

But that third one? Oh, yes. That is the one I need to work on. I do tend to take myself way too seriously, way too often; even if I like to employ self-depreciating jokes very often, I do tend to take my wants and needs (perceived needs) way too seriously.

Saturday, January 14, 2006


Okie-doke. This is where my mind is at, this morning. Not exclusively, but this is where I think I should take my cue, and hopefully I will have something original and potentially insightful, by the time I finish typing.

Now for the obligatory copy/paste of the definitions:

The ego, superego, and id are the tripartite divisions of the psyche in psychoanalytic theory compartmentalizing the sphere of mental activity into three energetic components:

1. the id being the source of psychological energy derived from instinctual needs and drives.

2. the ego being the organized conscious mediator between the internal person and the external reality.

3. the superego being the internalization of the conscious extenuated by rules, conflict, morals, guilt, etc.

Although psychoanalysis has a variety of views on when ego psychology began, most who identify with the ego psychological school place its beginnings with Sigmund Freud's 1923 book The ego and the id, in which Freud introduced what would later come to be called the structural theory of psychoanalysis. The structural theory divides the mind into three agencies or "structures": the id, the ego, and the superego.

* * * * * * (skip) * * * * * *


In Freud's view the ego mediates between the id, the superego, and the external world to balance our primitive drives, our moral ideals and taboos, and the limitations of reality (ego means I in Latin—the original German word Freud applied was "Ich".) Although in his early writings Freud equated the ego with our sense of self, he later began to portray it more as a set of psychic functions such as reality-testing, defense, synthesis of information, intellectual functioning, memory, and the like.

Hmmm. I sense some thoughts coming.

Ok. Now if the average-ish person thinks of the Ego as the self, they are not really far off the mark. However, I see a new way of describing the Ego; as the "Switcher." I wanted to say Switchman, like the term is used in the world of railroads; the guy who in the old days, literally pulled a lever to make sure the train took the south west spur of track instead of the due west track, but I did not want to be sexist. But perhaps not because of linguistic-gender issues, maybe switcher is better, as it is less of a personalized thing, and could just be a piece of machinery.

In any event, the idea I am leading to is this. In classic Freudian theory, there is no real 'firewall' between the Id and the Ego. Oh, and the Superego is the ultimate 24/7 - 365 creature. That bugger is always at work, even if you are not aware of it. So then what is the Ego, if it really is not a free-standing, independent part of the mind?

It is more of a lever or switch, perhaps. It is the little control room where the conscious part of our minds can ATTEMPT to regulate the rest of our unruly minds, those two other parts that are often at cross-purposes, and direct the mind, and after that, the body, to do our will.

Hard part is figuing out the motivation for any Ego-enabled decision. Mr. or Ms. Id does not sleep either, and we know that Superego is always trying to keep us under control, under the guidance of whatever prime and secondary directives it has loaded into its control center. When Id and Superego are at odds, and Ego is fully self-aware of the conflict, oftentimes Ego nearly-really is calling the shots, particularly if in a state of full self-awareness, Ego engages in the full evaluation of all relevant data, analysis, and projections. In other words, when Ego does all the math and arrives at the precise and correct solutions to all the equations, free will and deliberate choice is being exercised to its fullest.

But how many people are that self-aware all the time that every thing they do, they do with the precision of a scientific, and empirically tested and restested flow chart?

Not me, not not anyone I know!

What I think is more often the case, is one or the other of Id or Superego is dominant (at any point in time), and choices may seem to be deliberate. But they really are not. Choices are often the result of a greater amount of control or force being applied on the mind by either by Id or Superego, and Ego is merly functioning like some 4 cent simple electrical switch, that will either open or close the circut, when it recieves a sufficient level of electrical current to "force the action."

And what about the other scenario? I mean what about the times when both Id and Superego are in sync enough that Ego does not even engage in the minimal level of near conscious deliberation, and just throws the switch, as if on auto pilot?

That definitely happens.

So am I saying that free will and free choice are mere illusions? No. Don't get me wrong. I am not saying that. However, I am saying that a lot of the time, what we may take for free will or free exercise of our will may be something much less than a true, deliberative act.

Just something that is on my mind now.

Thursday, January 12, 2006


Just a short one, for now.

I will try to be more patient. I need to be more patient. I can't expect what I want just because I want it.

Some people get that in life. I might have used to get that (once upon a time, but that time is long, long gone, history.)

Not me, not any more, I have no reason to consider that as being a reasonable expectation.

I will focus the attention I used to place on that, in wanting the world to be more accomodating to my wishes, into myself and my own need to be more patient; and to try to keep myself from entertaining any illusions about the world and my (ittybitty insignificant) place in it.

Oh, and in hitting the lottery. I am way over due for a good hit. But I really don't put much effort into that. I just buy my few tickets a week and just hope the Gods upon Mount Olympus, for whom my misadventures have provided hours and hours of fine aumsement, decide it is going to be in their self interest and endless quest for their own amusement, that I elevate myself to the monied class.

But I am not expecting it. But hey, that is the one dream I have left!

Monday, January 09, 2006

Personal Stuff (Without getting too deep in the messy details.)

Where to start?

How about with the baseline fact? I am very sensitive. I don't think I am one of those with an 'eggshell' ego, but still, I have low to no tolerance for some things that apparently some folk have greater resistance to, or ability to ignore or otherwise tolerate.

Things like:




And that is particularly the case in text-based communication; like the joke I heard once where the idea was that some women can get away with saying anything, because of their cute accents. Unfortunately the accent gets lost in text, as well as context, clarity, emotion. In my mind anything that is remotely not kind (if not clearly is unkind) in text, comes across as harsher than intended by a factor of THREE.

And on top of that, I do tend to get agitated by anything that is a cut. That covers a lot of territory, and it is, admittedly, a very subjective thing. And here is where my particular sensitivity comes in.

At the moment the cut is delivered, when it triggers the expected and natural response (at least on account of the way I am wired), I will start to take offense no matter if I have reason to believe it is intended to wound or not. Perhaps that is not so much a factor of how I was born, perhaps my legal training makes my mind see only the merest of distinction from negligence and deliberate malicious intent; the end result is the important part, right?

And I am well aware of the fact I have that trait. My typing about it here is evidence of that much self-awareness. And my usual way of trying to compensate for that is to let those close to me know that about me, and ask them to respect those boundaries. I do not want to cramp anyone's style. Nor am I trying to control anyone. I let them know. "This is me. This is what I expect from anyone who is close to me. That is what I can not tolerate, so please, do not do that to me. That is the boundary."

Additionally, I will try, when it seems to be a negligent cut (instead of a deliberate cut), to put off the full (alternatively described as) "Fight or Flight" response, "Indignation, " or in plain English, "Bug-out." What I will do, with some variation, is inform the (perhaps unintended) cutter:

"You cut me. Ouch that hurts! "

(And if I am in a tighter state of self-control)

"I FEEL as if you cut me. Ouch, that hurts!"

That is when the clock starts to tick. That is the short period of suspension. When I say something like the one or the other, there is an underlying, implied message, and that is something like: "I need to hear something nice from you soon, or I am going to assume you do not care you cut me." Actually, all that is required, usually, is what I consider to be the "Magic Word;"


And why am I going off on this tanget today?

Because I had one of these episodes on Saturday night.

The cut was likely not intended (which is to say I am convinced it was not intended.) The suspension words were uttered (typed) by me. And instead of a nice quick fix up, I ended up in an escalating round of cut and counter cut that lead to a very ugly fight with someone. As is usually if not always the case, there was a communication breakdown early on, and yes, a large part of that was sucking text problems, and additionally my thinking the worst of the person in question, as once the suspension period starts, leave alone ends, I get tunnel vision. All I care about in that time frame is hearing the kind of soothing words that will tell me everything is ok; honestly the single word "SORRY" is usually all I need to hear (read.)

But speaking of the word sorry, I am sorry that happened, and I am sorry I blew a gasket, after the time for the soothing words had passed, unsatisfied, and I ended up going into full bug-out mode.

But at this point I can't do anything about it but say:

"Fuk'en shit, I hate that shit!"

Well I can say more. I said it in the ecard . . . . that hasn't been picked up yet.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

And Now For Something Completely Different. Poetry.

While lying in bed last night, during the pre-asleep stream of consciousness cool down phase, the bug bit me. Specifically it was the poetry bug that bit me. I did not so much lie there composing, but knowing I needed (maybe not desperately, but still needed) to compose . . . Something.

Anyway, here goes. Whether or not it is any good, I am not going to say. I am just pleased I can still bang out a Shakespearean sonnet in under an hour!

Missing Summer

As Winter's icy grip does hold me close
And life sustaining warmth drains from my room,
The contest seems to me one I might loose
If I can not escape her crushing gloom

For Summer's memories seem far from mind,
The time, the place the touch of something hale
A hush, caress, a warm kiss oh so kind,
The causes for a heart and mind to sail

However lovely Summer's love appears
Those joys are nothing but remberance,
And letting Winter's cold embrace raise fears
Could paralyze my heart, as circumstance

From Mistress Winter's grap I would retreat,
But barring that, I must avoid defeat.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

I ALMOST Feel Obliged to Post Something . . .

As here it is. Four days into the new year of 2006.

I wish I had something interesting to say that was at least semi-original. It being the case that I have nothing very fresh and new in my head, yet, I guess I can pimp someone else's work (always giving credit where due and owing.)

Or, I can revist some aspect of my on-going, never-ending inquiries into the realms of sociology and/or social psychology.

That might work for today.

And if you have been following my progress (using the term academically) here, you might just guess that I, the anti-social (amateur) sociologist might take another whack at an aspect of group behaviour.

You might be right, if you guessed that! But I will borrow a wee bit from some academics:

When Am I My Group? Self-Enhancement Versus Self-Justification
Accounts of Perceived Prototypicality

Melissa Burkley and Hart Blanton

* * * * * *

(from the sub-part titled: Self-Justification.)

Consider people who freely and knowingly choose membership in groups that later reveal themselves to be low-status. Because in-group status can influence personal status, people may feel a need to justify their membership in such groups, possibly by embracing the group identity. Evidence of a self-justification motive can be found in research showing that lowered in-group status leads to increased in-group cohesiveness (Thibaut, 1950), attraction (Turner et al., 1984) and liking (Aronson and Mills, 1959).

Another way of justifying membership in devalued in-groups may be to bring the group closer to the self by defining one’s self as a prototypic in-group member. A number of theories pertaining to in-group identification suggest this might occur. The strongest indications can be found in Turner’s extension of social identity theory, self-categorization theory (Turner et al., 1987). He used the term "depersonalization" to refer to the process whereby people perceive themselves as interchangeable exemplars of their social groups. More recently, this phenomenon has been referred to as "self-stereotyping" (e.g., Biernat et al., 1996; Simon and Hamilton, 1994; Spears et al., 1997).

Admittedly, I am using this chunk of the article as a point of depature. Furthermore, the article is not only concerned with low-status groups, but also explores the idea that people associate with and indentify with groups to in some way enhance how they feel about themselves, by considering their group as good, and by extension, themselves as good (and all that hogwash!)

Then why am I jacking the text?

That idea of "depersonalization." YECCH!

(How is that for an academic term?)

Honestly, I have (for the greater most part of my life) a native, if not at the genetic level, abhorrence for that feeling . . . no matter what word is used for the feeling of becoming less of an individual (save my place in the pecking order of my own biological family.) It is one of those things that I just do not get, on the personal, gut level (despite being able to understand at the intellectual level.)

Food for thought, I guess. I am just a one-on-one kinda guy. I might not be a happy man, but I am happy with that part of my personality, at the least!

Now if I were to write a paper or book on group behaviour it would likely be on the aspect of group behaviour I find to be most interesting (and weird):

Why doesn't the process of depersonalization always trigger defensive countermeasures, as a means of self-protection of the individuality of the self?

Maybe in the ancient past when our ancestors were barely human, the need to sublimate the sense of self and just roll along with the group was more necessary for survival? Is this some residual lizard-brain thing? Or maybe it far older than that; some residual bacterial colony thing?

Hmmm. Maybe I ought to look into applying for a grant?

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