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Showing posts from May, 2016

Wants, Needs, and Weeds

One of my many weaknesses is a need to feel needed, and a corresponding need to need.

You shouldn't need anyone in your life: philosophers have been telling us this for millennia. You are complete in and of yourself.

Many, perhaps most, people don't feel this way, of course. They feel as if there are pieces missing, and they seek these pieces in many places. Some think if they only had the right piece of stuff, or a certain amount of money, they'd be complete. Some try to fill the hole they perceive in themselves with drugs, licit or illicit. Or food. And the whole of our society teaches us that we can find the "missing" pieces of ourselves in other people.

This piece of faux-wisdom is so common that it's rarely even questioned. We refer to our spouses as "other/better halves"...and although that supposedly refers to the couple as a single unit, it's nevertheless telling. We write songs and poems extolling our need of other people: pop culture i…

Fell In Love

Is this the real life
Is this just fantasy
Caught in a landslide
No escape from reality
--Queen, "Bohemian Rhapsody"

They say it's what you make
I say it's up to fate
It's woven in my soul
I need to let you go
--Imagine Dragons, "Demons"
------------------------------------

When will I ever learn?

Obligatory disclaimer: there are probably still folks out there who will misinterpret and minimize everything in this post. People who don't understand polyamory, people who believe the presence of one love detracts from another, people who think any form of nonmonogamy is unethical.
Trust me: poly people have ethics. In some ways our ethics are perhaps even more finely honed: more people to balance, more hearts not to break. And I love Eva more than I even know how to express...which doesn't lessen my love for the others I love, and it sure didn't lessen this, any more than this lessened that.

I've been hit hard by crushes in my time. Loving t…

You Me Her

You Me Her is billed as a "polyromantic comedy" set in Portland, Oregon.  It stars Greg Pohlear (Amy's brother),  Rachel Blanchard, and Priscilla Faia.

It's the first show I've ever binge watched.  Nine episodes in one night.

I was worried going in. Polyamory on television so far has been exploitative trash, pseudo-"reality" crap like Married and Dating. It makes me feel dirty just watching it: I couldn't make it through one episode.  The news that this show had been vetted by actual polyamorous people mollified me somewhat, but I was still filled with trepidation going in.

You have to understand: well, just that. You have to understand. I was concerned that "You Me Her" was obviously depicting the most stereotypical (even if it's not ACTUALLY the most typical) polyamorous arrangement: one couple, one unicorn. And the synopsis gave me further cause for alarm: short of mutual cheating, it's about the most unlikely entry into polyamo…

It's Not A Competition

What's not a competition?

Everything.

Unless it's explicitly stated...for instance, if you're playing a hockey game or trying to win an audition...it's not a competition. And even if it is explicitly stated, the more you can forget that fact, the better you'll probably do.

We have framed so many things as competitions. We're all competing for limited resources, for instance. Reframe that: there's enough.

There is, you know. There's enough on this planet, allocated properly, to give everyone a reasonably comfortable existence. If the U.S. placed a moratorium on military spending for EIGHT DAYS, that money could eliminate child poverty the world over for one year. In 2006, one percent of the world's population owned 40% of the world's wealth: by October of last year it was 50%.  THERE IS ENOUGH.

We've set up everything from school placements to job interviews to political campaigns as competitions. It even extends past death: our religions ar…

Entitlement

"The world does not owe you a living. You owe the world a life."
--Ken Breadner

"Gimme, gimme never gets
Don't you know your manners yet?"
--schoolyard doggerel

I know of entirely too many people who are labouring under some giant misconceptions about how the world works.

I don't know any of them very well, mind you. I make it my business not to know such people well at all.

But oh, how you run across them. I've seen more than a few people who somehow managed to get jobs, then show up for them all shocked and put upon that they're expected to work. I'll never forget the guy who, on his first overnight shift at Sobeys, wondered when nap time was. The scary thing is there was another guy who worked nights there who, so far as I could tell, actually did punch in and go to sleep for seven and a half hours. He sure as hell didn't do any work.
It took several months to fire him. And that's what's wrong with that particular company. I don'…

From the mailbag: Once a cheater, always a cheater?

You do like the tough ones, don't you? Thanks for this one.

I've written about cheating before, less than a year ago, in fact. Summary of that post: I do not support, encourage, facilitate or condone infidelity; people cheat for various and sundry reasons; often they're unaware of why they do it; and believe it or not, a majority of cheaters of both genders consider their partnership to be a generally happy one.

That last is probably tough for most people to believe. But it's true: in many cases, people are not actually looking to hurt their partner when they have an affair. They're looking to get a need met.

Now, that need is by definition selfish when it involves deceiving your partner. And the selfishness is (of course) the overwhelming focus of the deceived when the affair is found out. The need is often completely ignored.

I have some limited sympathy for cheaters, having been one myself. But it's limited. Cheating is (by definition, again) selfish; and b…

From the mailbag: I bet you say that to all the girls...

Rewording something I put up on Facebook, for those who don't have access to it: I have received a number of private messages asking me questions about my most recent blogs. Thank you so much for those: the Breadbin is only partly mine, and I will seek to answer anything I can here, bearing in mind my respect for privacy is absolute. You WILL NOT be named here; nothing I ever write will permit readers to identify you. 
------------ "How can I really trust someone who says they love me, that I'm beautiful, etc, if I know for a fact they say the same things to other people? Respectfully, it feels like your love is cheap if it's so easy to gain."
Ah. Yes. Good question. Thanks for asking it. 
There are two pernicious assumptions here. I don't blame you for making them, because they're so common as to go almost unquestioned in our world. They're rarely written as baldly as I'm about to write them, however. 
ASSUMPTION #1: WE FALL IN LOVE WITH PEOPLE, N…

Mother's Day

The confessional tone of my last run of blogs has been very much intentional. I've been dreading/gearing up for this one.
Which doesn't mean this blog is going to come easily. I've written and rewritten parts of it in my mind for the last month, ever since I saw the first Mother's Day card display of the year. In the end, I chucked the whole thing out and decided to just write what I'm feeling...which I repeat, isn't easy.
-------------- “You know...it's at times like this...that I really wish I'd listened to what my mother told me when I was young."
"Why, what did she tell you?"
"I don't know, I didn't listen.”
--Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

My mom died six months ago this past Tuesday. As per tradition, my stepdad had to remind me of the date. 
The story of Mom and I is one of ever-increasing distance. Ever since I came out of her, we've slowly, inexorably moved apart. In my early childhood, we we…

Bullshit and Baggage

The world we live in is far from ideal. As an idealist, this inescapable fact by turns inspires, enrages, and depresses the hell out of me.
They say every cynic is a disappointed idealist, and I'll admit to my fair share of cynicism. The word "cynic" is a fascinating study: it derives from the Greek for "dog" and was an insult thrown at people who rejected the fashions and mores of their age. Rather than let the word belittle them, the Cynics adopted it wholesale, even revelling in it. A dog, after all, is loyal and steadfast, as the Cynics were to their philosophical tenets; the dog is also discerning, and will examine any morsel offered to it. This sort of behaviour was rigorously taught in the schools of ancient Greece, and is woefully deficient today. It goes under the modern name critical thinking.
I also have within me a great deal of hope: hope for myself, hope for those I love, and in my highest moments, hope for humanity. (That's a hard one to achi…

Casual sex, part 2 (of 2, I hope)

MEANT TO BE READ IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE LAST ENTRY

Eva reads all my blogs (except the political ones) before they go live. The last one, which took a lot out of me in the writing, she assessed as "powerful...but not clear". Also, she informed me, I was labouring under a misconception. An eight month affair, says Eva, is not casual sex.

"But I went for the sex, and I kept going back for the sex. Sex was the be-all and end-all of that relationship. Judy and I had one Scrabble game: the highest point total (547)  I've ever scored at Scrabble, before or since, and I lost. That game took place in my bedroom, of course, and led to incredibly hot sex, of course."

Judy, says Eva, was a fuck-buddy. Which isn't casual, quite. Casual is a one night stand, a random hookup...which is something I've never done in my life. I think I intended Judy to be a one night stand (it being easier to hide one incidence of cheating than an ongoing affair)....but I succumbed, aga…

Casual sex

Question: "Men: How should we women tell you we're interested in you?"

My answer:

Okay, women, I'm going to let you know something. We know you're interested in us. Or...we think we do. We're about 99% sure. But 99% isn't good enough. The price of inaction on our part is at worst a lifetime of regret. That pales next to the price of action, which could be anything from a crushing rejection to, in certain contexts, jail time. So the best way to show us you are interested is to TELL us. Using those words. Then define "interested". What are you interested in? A hot night of sex? A platonic date? Marriage? TELL US, and that way we can't possibly misinterpret what we think you might be trying to show us.

This yielded the inevitable backlash about a lack of testosterone on my part that I was just talking about last blog. When I questioned it, hoping somebody would come forward and explain things calmly and rationally, I got this from  "curious…

"Nicknames"

My time online is split between Facebook and Reddit (the latter being a jumping-off point for who knows where).
If you're not a Redditor, good for you: it's an enormous time-sink. If you have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about, this video explains the site much better than I can, and just might turn you into a Redditor too. Suffice it to say that its slogan -- "The Front Page Of the Internet" -- is just a tease of what Reddit actually is.

The place has its downsides. The biggest one, as far as I am concerned, is the downvote button.
Reddit comments are supposed to be upvoted (made more visible) if they contribute to the discussion and downvoted if they don't. That's almost never what happens. Usually people downvote stuff they don't like, and much of the time you don't even find out why. Since the Reddit userbase skews young, any post espousing a conservative, religious, or establishment viewpoint (outside subforums devoted to conservatism,…