Sunday, October 25, 2009

Thoughts of the day

Shoe recommendation: I've been using Florsheim Jamie shoes (size 12 3E) for work for about a year. I've probably exceeded the recommended lifetime of the shoe, because the inside liner is shredded and the fancy Comfortech insole pads have holes worn into them. I've even paid to change the heels and back inside liner to extend the shoes' life. The shoes have served me well. The shoes are exceptionally light, they're comfortable - more than running shoes even, and I like their traditional look. Downside is that the soles are on the thin side and prone to wear out.

Interesting blog: Half Sigma, a pseudonymous blogger who's a Stuy grad and NYC lawyer. He often discusses human biodiversity and links to other thought-provoking, non politically correct blogs. One of the blogs he regularly references, Roissy in DC, reminds me again how wrong I've been about women. I still find 'game' repellent and resist it, but it's hard to deny the obvious. His observation fits my experience. On a recent night out with co-workers, a female co-worker spoke derisively of an ex-boyfriend's pained reaction to her initial rejection; while my romantic idealist reaction was that he displayed deep romantic feeling, she responded women want men who are "strong". From Roissy's perspective, my attempted "court" in Korea, which I've viewed as the best I could give Traci, would be the opposite of what I should have done. In the lingo, my actions were classic "beta", and I can't deny that everything I tried to bring us closer not only failed, but actually made her colder towards me. Moreover, the pattern has been that as I've tried harder to earn their love, my room for error and their tolerance for me have shrunk. Add: Indicative of things I know but have refused to accept, two of my years-old Spec columns back up Roissy's message: Undercover Brother and A Love Story. From Undercover Brother (Iceberg Slim): "some quantum of pimp in every man would perhaps enhance his approach to women". From A Love Story (SPC Sanders): "it is far better to be with the woman who loves you than to be with the woman you love". Add: Words to live by: "For the man who truly wants the life that most men dream about, a multi-front attack improving his finances, physical well-being, and game, with one eye on the ticking clock, is the only way to go."

Barefoot running makes sense to me - I'm going to look into it. When I was in Basic Training, a drill sergeant (who had a busted foot!) made fun of me for running on the balls of my feet. At West Point, an upperclassman criticized me for walking on the balls of my feet. Others in my life have pointed out, less meanly, that I tend to walk on the balls of my feet. My intuitive logic was that landing on the balls of my feet and easing onto my heels provides more spring and less jolt on the landing, whereas a heel strike transfers energy directly through the heel up through my joints. Indeed, although I'm not an athlete and suffered from occasional bouts of knee pain as a teenager, I seemed to experience fewer foot and leg problems than most of my fellow soldiers. Eventually, I was shamed into walking with a heel-toe step and I wonder if that contributed to my foot problems earlier this year.

Stuy bowling - my high school obsession and my biggest regret. I just happened to be walking by Stuy on Thursday night and just happened to pick up a dirty copy of the Stuy Spectator off the steps by the turn-off to BMCC. In it is an article about the boys varsity bowling team, now called the Hookers. EXCERPT: “Last year, the school had very little money to practice, maybe two practices each season for the past couple of years,” coach Timothy Pon said. “This year, we have a bit more money for practices.” According to Pon, each player on the team gets to bowl one game at practice, making the total cost of each practice $69.70. The extra money allows the team to schedule more practices in order to improve their game. My first impulse was to get on the phone Friday and ask Mr. Pon or AP Larry Barth how to donate 100 dollars to pay for an additional practice. Reviewing the team's performance this season, though, I doubt it'll make a difference for the play-offs. The team's best bowlers are 150 average level, no Noel Vega's or Jeff Piroozshad's among them. I'll probably try to donate money for an extra team practice, anyway, because that's what nostalgic, loyal, aging alumni do. 09DEC09 Update: Stuy deposited my $100 check. Not surprisingly, the money didn't help their play-off performance, which was okay, because my donation was mostly for my cherished memory.

I’m thinking about the Second Amendment. On the ground level, it seems downright dangerous to allow the “right to bear arms” when crime and anti-social behaviors are facts of life, moreso in the cities where millions of strangers co-exist uncomfortably in close proximity. In other Western liberal societies, gun control is a non-issue: private ownership of firearms is not allowed. But our American founding fathers codified the right to bear arms as a means for the American people to resist external threats and the individual citizen to protect against a potentially tyrannical government. A presupposition of the 2nd Amendment was the universal participation of a universally armed citizenry in militias ready to respond at any time to a call to arms. Within those classic opposing arguments, I tend to fall on the side of gun control, i.e., there’s more to fear from uncontrolled guns on the streets than from government oppression or an invading foreign army. Recently, though, I’ve been thinking that the Second Amendment serves an important cultural function in American society: a placeholder for the preservation of violence as an essential component of what our men need to be. We men are the natural providers, competitors, enforcers, and defenders of home, family, and community. Within the context of our social duties, we should each value and understand how and why to use violence. My model for this aspect of manhood is soldiers. Soldiers are one of the principal manifestations of manly social responsibility and they are taught simultaneously to master violence and control it. I fear abolishing the Second Amendment would have the destructive effect of removing violence from the culture of American men. I want to think more about this.

Closing thoughts: Gotta do my laundry; I'd like to catch some of the Yankees and Giants games.


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