Saturday, May 14, 2011

The "Global War on Terror" is really "The Global War on Identifying/Catching Nut-Jobs'

A reply of mine to a comment on an Atlantic article brought to mind by the always-switched-on John Glyde of Mollymook, NSW, Australia on the subject of how people who lean left are just as prone to dogmatic thinking/rhetoric as those who lean right.  Here's my comment:
To your point about analyzing human motivations vs. cause and effect, you raise the most telling point about human nature in all of these debates, Omaryak, the underlying barrier to rational, impartial analysis being that we are social creatures with 'unnecessarily' large capacity brains (an 'accident' of evolution). That brain power leads us to be storytellers by nature and to imbue everything we experience or hear about with meaning. That fabricated 'meaning' is most often coloured by our predilections: some people's personalities make them lean towards loving tragedies, others to upbeat romantic story lines (happily ever after). Once some individuals are 'dyed in the wool' tragedy-lovers, everything becomes part of that tragic story -- conspiracies, big/small government, etc. Oliver Stone filters world news through his now-immutable predilections and cannot be objective. Christopher Hitchens, as he alludes to in his aside about his kids' school march, does as well.

Given the enormous complexity of geo-politics, most people look for simple stories in order to have some kind of 'handle' on why things happen. Some simple-minded people in the developing world (and developed world!) hang their hats on the notion that imperialist governments are responsible for propping up the dictators of their home country. They see mass-murder of citizens in the 'imperialist' country, who are as innocent of collusion as they themselves are, as being the only way to bring attention to their nation's plight. (Yes, re-read that last line and run it by some of these simpletons and they'll fist-pump enthusiastically while his 'al Queda' neighbour is busy strapping on a suicide vest to blow up civilians in his local market, the irony lost on both of them.)

My point? "Clouded by emotion" and "rhetoric of evil". Even now, after so much time has passed, after bin Laden has finally been found and killed, our predilections continue to drive us to want to legitimize bin Laden's "cause" as having a valid political platform, yet he was simply a very wealthy psychopath who had the means and motivations to latch onto a regional 'cause celebre' and leverage it to recruit suicide soldiers (each of whom was similarly, though not identically, disturbed). While there are innumerable 'causes' out there that lead to 'effects', in general the trigger-pullers are not legitimate banner-holders (Timothy McVeigh, the Shoe-Bomber, etc.), they're just murder-loving nut-jobs. "Evil" is not the possession of anything, as most people believe quite passionately, it is just the absence of both innate human empathy and our group 'socialized empathy'.

If we had a global "War on Nut-Jobs" we'd all be a lot safer from the Ghaddafi's and Kim Jong Il's, as well as the Una Bombers, McVeigh's and Waco's, let alone the bin Laden's. More in my post from September 2009 here: (Click to read post)
But my convictions wouldn't sit well with military and intelligence type's huge egos, would it? They'd go from being "Geo-Political Spy Lords" to "Nut-Job Identifiers/Catchers". No real romance/thriller story line elements in that!

The real reason that political forces around the world will never name the on-going battle between what is good for the masses versus the small, but exceedingly dangerous percentage of our human population who are murder-loving nut-jobs and megalomaniacs, is that there's not much political capital/leverage in admitting that these people have zero legitimate political motivation, that their motivations are merely to satisfy a deep-seated urge to take lives, or to be all-powerful, or both.

Friday, May 6, 2011

A "Connection Experience" for Adult Singles That Actually WORKS!

I'm  going to show you that there's a better way than Online/Internet Dating for single adults to connect in a natural, more stress-free way:
  1. Put a large group of eligible adults together, sober, for couple of hours for an interactive seminar. 
  2. Share a lot of the stuff I've learned about how to increase your professional exposure online quickly and simply.
  3. Talk about what works and what definitely doesn't with dating past 35-40, 
  4. Then let them have a drink or two and meet each other for an hour after the seminar.  
How'd I arrive at this notion?  Some of my readers have wondered why Rex is languishing, where Regina came from, and why I haven't continued the post series: "I'm Pregnant With Charlie Sheen!"  that I threatened to write about my re-invention on what I call my "professional" blog outlet.  All good questions!

I haven't been away on holiday, I've just been busy with intense re-invention activity.  I recently read a Newsweek article "The Beached White Male: He had a BIG job, a BIG office, a BIG bonus.  Now he's all washed up and doesn't have a freakin' prayer."  Ouch.  "Dead Suit Walking: Can Manhood Survive the Lost Decade?" shouts the article header.  Hello? 

This article comes a bit late for me, as I hit the crisis point quite some time back, but I've lived it and one day not long ago I woke up and realized something that we all kind of know, intuitively, but sometimes don't articulate to our inner selves: I'm not alone.  No, I don't mean romantically (we'll get to that in a moment), but rather as another underemployed Ad Guy who's industry basically imploded as the 'push marketing model' we'd suckled at the teat of for countless decades vanished with a click of the Internet.  ("What?!?  You mean you didn't ENJOY us playing the same TV ads at you over and over and over...?" -- and for all of you still suckling, it really is over, folks.  Figure it out fast as the end is 'nigher' than you are currently prepared for.)

I don't have all the answers on what my cohort can do next (though I've got some pretty solid notions), but I do have enough peripheral answers that I can certainly be a lot more help than mere blogging alone can do for them.  All I've been doing to help so far is blogging, and there is SO MUCH SHIT out here on 'the Internets' that NO ONE can aggregate and filter and select the most helpful shit (and certainly not many people are reading mine!).

To really help you have to sit down and have a long chat about the subject, face to face, 'holding hands', so to speak.  And another key challenge that I hadn't really thought too much about in the past, is SOBER.  That's right (horrors!), our cohort is getting to the point where trying to talk about important life-altering stuff can no longer be done effectively (with clarity of thought and a useful level of recall) over beers or a bottle of wine, we have to do it cold-hard sober, and maybe with a notepad in hand.

Another tidbit of statistical info for you: most of us are single.  Yes, the majority of us over 35-40 are divorced, or even never-married.  Who'd have thought?  We're unattached, really quite desperate to find a new partner, yet most of us aren't about to return to the methods we used to use to 'hook-up': the bar/party/club scene.  Partly this is connected to my SOBER point above, but not entirely, the real reason is that our needs have changed, or should I say our demands have changed.  Our demands back then were: "Is he/she HOT enough and willing to date me?", with maybe a secondary consideration of "Is she/he nice enough to seem like he/she will be a good partner/parent?"

And VOILA!  A long-term relationship was born!  No -- seriously.

Yes you'll argue that I'm oversimplifying, that considerations about earning potential and emotional stability did come into the equation.  Bullshit!  If the other person was hot enough, you 'projected' onto them all the hopes and dreams you had about what they could become with your incredible support and pushed past those concerns.

NOW things are different.  You learned from the mistakes you and your friends and siblings made.  You have a very stringent list of criteria, NOT exactly the early-30's woman's list of 300 demands for a second date (I call them 'queens' and interestingly they haven't given a passing whiff of consideration to what they offer in terms of character or conversational skills, because they're still 'hot' and now also have a job, a condo and a car, so you better score 299+!), but you do have a fair number of 'deal breakers' standing in the way of getting to date three.  What that means is that you have to evaluate potential mates in sufficient depth to uncover the subtle clues you are looking for.  New news, you can't do so with a new prospect in a bar once you've had a few drinks.

Another news flash: you need to meet a LOT of prospects to be able to come across enough who titillate you visually.  One person is going to find that geeky prospect kind of interesting, while another is after a super-hottie, and neither really finds the opposite type very appealing.  Who hasn't walked into a cocktail party with 60 people milling around, done a quick appraisal and said "Nope, there's no one for me here"?  We have to first get in front of the 10-15% of the population who we find attractive and only then try to find the few of that group who are both single and seem interested in us.  We have to get in front of a TON of eligible prospects to turn up a few appealing, mutually-interested ones who we can then further evaluate.  It's a tough, highly selective process.  Frustrating.

Many of us thought that this new online dating thing would simplify and streamline the process, making it supremely 'efficacious'.  Ha!  NOT!  Turns out Internet Dating is fatally flawed and can't work the way we all hoped it might.  It's not a bad secondary tool in your dating toolbox, but we shouldn't be putting more than about 20% of our total available date-making time and energy into it.

So, what does all this lead to with regard to my future career?  We've got a bunch of under-employed adults struggling to adapt in a new world of 'social media', and a majority of them are single.  I've got a few strengths: I'm good at hyper-analysis of new technologies and of human behaviour.  I'm a strong presenter and writer, quite good at teasing out human insights.  For me to help a bunch of 'mature singles' learn more about how they can leverage what I've learned about increasing their online presence to help their careers, plus how to best approach the challenge of meeting eligible prospects online and off, I have to get them into one place in large numbers, initially sober, explain what I've learned with entertaining stories, examples, straightforward instructions and tips, then facilitate their meeting each other. 

So what have I been so busy inventing and re-working?  (Click pic for the link.)

If you think there's any merit to it, sign-up and come out this fall on a Tuesday evening at an auditorium on UofT's downtown campus. 

Hope we'll see you there!

Cheers, Kevin

In My Not-So-Humble Opinion, You Should Read This

Why invest the precious time?
  • Because I'd like to think we all deserve to have our last living missive to the world read, especially if we are taken before we've had the chance to live a decently long life (and because, irrepressibly, the loss of my friend's 2nd son, Simon-Paul Blue, floats back to the surface).  
  • Because every time I read something like this it inspires me to try to do more with my life, to shake off the fears that holds me back from 'living large' and being all I can be, my innate human egotistical reticence to try and fail.  
RIP, Dennis K. Miller, aka "PenMachine", though I never knew ye:

Many thanks, as always, to my blogmate, K, for bringing it to my attention, and hence to yours.  And, in one of her cuter posts titled "Hug Blog: 'I Love My Blog'", for her re-posting of this thought that my life coach shared with me some years back and that I still need to remind myself of on a daily basis:
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.' We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? 
Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we're liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
Marianne Williamson

Shine, friends.  
Life is short.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

As You Struggle to Cross the Queen-Courtier Barrier, Ladies...

Read this lovely poem entitled "After A While" posted by my blog-mate K, in Sydney, Australia on her blog, The Single Ladies Diaries:

It speaks to the ego metamorphosis women go through as they mature from demanding, self-centered 'queens' to charming, lovable 'courtiers'.  ;-)


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