The Endless Wars: The Descent

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It's Monday and I'm Manly, or so I'm made to think

When I was in the conceptual stage for the new blog format, this was the first idea I had.

I've always wanted to pen an advice column, since there are few joys in this world greater than telling someone else they're doing something wrong since they're not doing it the way I do it.

That being said, you may be wanting to ask for my credentials. Why am I qualified to write this weekly advice-giving wankfest? Because my marriage is not in a shambolic state, which instantly separates from nearly everyone I know.

Let's get to it, shall we?

The first thing I want to address is something that I think is causing many of the problems in today's American marriages, and that is modern men confusing the fad of being a 'sensitive man' with being a whiny, self-obsessed emotional deadweight.

When I was younger, I fully embraced being a sensitive man, to the point that I must have been the single most obnoxious creature in my friends' lives. In relationships, it was especially problematic, because I was never someone that my female counterpart could count on to be someone she could lean on. Looking back, I'm shocked that I was shocked when some of my old girlfriends wanted nothing more than to start fucking someone else. Anyone else.

Nowadays, I feel like I've found a balance. I still try to be sensitive to my wife's emotions (though, to her credit, she makes it very easy, as she's more balanced than most women when it comes to emotionalism and pragmatism) without letting my own spill out on her in a cascade of savage attention-getting. I'll try to relate to her and sympathize when needed, and I've found that by keeping myself more reserved and not blabbing incessantly about things that bother me, it's more impactful when I save those things for the moments when she needs me to empathize.

I've adopted a system in which I don't bother those around me with my problems unless it's something I absolutely need to, and I've benefited from it tremendously. I draw self-esteem from knowing that my friends and loved ones feel that they can count on me, and they feel like they can come to me with their problems without me hijacking the spotlight, as so many of today's whiny fucks masquerading in man clothes are prone to do.

To be fair, there are moments when I need external input. While I prefer the appearance of self-sufficiency (if I don't know, I'd rather research independently than let you know that I don't know something), there are moments in which it is clearly wisest to seek advice, and that is why I've surrounded myself with some amazing people, like my wife and closest friends, and I've been blessed with good, wise parents, as well.

I don't need to know everything, but I do need to know how to find all the answers on my own. I believe this to be the simplest separation between those who are competent and those who aren't.

However, I very much try to limit those moments, and ask myself, 'Do you really need to bother them?' Usually, when I think about it logically, the answer is a clear 'NO.'

Additionally, it helps a lot if you make good decisions. That way, you have less need to bother people with things weighing on your mind.

In short, I suck it up and act like a fucking man. There is no greater honor for a man than to be known as one who can be counted on by his wife, his children, his parents and siblings, his friends, and his coworkers. I learned a lot of this from other men who are older, more experienced, smarter, and better leaders than I am, at least at present.

Cut down on the problems in your life, and when something's bother you, run it through a filter and ask yourself if this something you can manage on your own. If so, move on. If not, then try to be concise and not the waste the other person's time with it for too long. Also, limit the number of people you bother with it. Everyone around you will thank you with their implicit trust and respect, whether they consciously realize it or not.

When you go home tonight, promise yourself that you're going to be the man that your wife and children deserve. She married you for a reason, and you have a duty to validate her decision.

Remember: she can always do better. No matter what man you are, or what woman she is, she can always do better than you.

Now go be a humble bad-ass.

Last week, I solicited questions from you all for Manly Monday, and I got two very good ones from ya'll.

The first one comes from JT in Chicago, and he asks:

I guess my only issue these days is trying to get back in shape. I dropped 20 pounds last year, but gained 7 or 8 back in the past couple of months. I know you struggle with that as well at times, so do you ever worry how weight gain could potentially affect your relationship?

Well, JT, first, lemme thank you for the question. It's no secret that many men succumb to weight gain once they commit to the mono-nail, and I think it's something that bothers those of us that are smart enough to recognize that it can have serious repercussions. Not only does being fat make you unfit to be a role model to your children, but it can kill you, and most lethally, it can lead your wife to desire someone who is not a disgusting butter ball of husky fail.

I worry about that shit all the time. I've recently started the Bodybugg program, and thus far, it's been going well. The main thing about it is that gives me a clear, concise interface for calories burned versus calories consumed. The device attaches to your arm, tracks your calories burnt, as well as when they were burnt, etc, so you can see what activities from which you're most benefiting. There's also an LCD wristband you can get that lets you see where you are in terms of what you need to burn in real-time, so you can adjust your caloric intake on the fly. You need to self-report on what you're eating, but there's a super-easy interface for entering existing foods, plus you can create new entries and store them for re-entering later. You plug in the device via USB, and it provides you with a great UI for analyzing your data. It's a great way for tech-heads like us to de-fatten.

Additionally, I've used it as something with which to partner with my wife. Even if your wife is nice and skinny, she can tone up while you drop your weight to something reasonable for a man that she might sully herself by sleeping with. Not only is it great to have someone you trust watching your back, but it can be fun and competitive.

Now, if you are staunchly opposed to losing weight (which I know you're not, but some idiots might be), here are some alternatives for you.

1 - Get so fat that they have to knock down a wall to airlift you out, and you can end up on a talk show.
2 - Tell your wife that you're just trying to make her feel better about her own weight.
3 - Remind your wife that if you crash on an island, mathematically, you can live the longest without food.
4 - Buy a girdle.

Hopefully, all that helps.


This next one is from Adam in Minnesota (somewhere near the Twin Cities.)

I use a loofah and body wash in the shower. Do I need to hand over my testicles or can I still be considered a man? (p.s. I drive a Mini Cooper, in case that helps you decide.)

I don't know what a loofah is, but if you prefer to overpay for soap, please feel free. I pay less than a buck per bar of soap and less than a buck per bottle of shampoo, but this only means that I am better than you.

When it comes to shower maintenance, really, I rarely criticize other men, unless they're not getting clean enough (meaning your scent is offensive). While I don't spend a lot of money on my showering needs (because, ya know, I'm not a woman), I am rather obsessive about hygiene. And if wasting a bunch of money on feminine products gets ya as clean as I am, then...okay.

Now, let's see what a loofah is. Hang on.

Ah. I see.

Never mind. You're clearly gay, but chicks dig that.

Truth be told, every time my wife turns her nose up at videogames and sports, a little part of me wishes I was gay. How rad would it be to live with someone who shared my rampant appetite for games, sports, and fucking? Of course, I'm not terribly enthused about the actual gay sex, but if he had a lot of money, we might be able to find a compromise.

Of course, I like that my wife and I have about a 50/50 overlap, in which we cross over in about half of our own tastes, and then each have another 50% that is just each our own. It helps reinforce a lot of the themes of our marriage.

Anyway, Adam, I'd say Aymee probably married you for the man you are, and your closet homosexuality is clearly something that she embraces and loves about you.

In Other News

- don't forget that Tony and I are returning to the mics these next two weekends, to record two new episodes of Untitled Podcast: Collector's Edition. We'll be rapping about Tokyo Game Show this weekend and doing a full-on Holiday Preview the following weekend. Have any games you just gotta hear about? Drop 'em here!

- I've been rawking the new Pearl Jam album, Backspacer, which came out yesterday. Goddam, am I loving it. It's their most straight-forward, unforced album in years. It's my favorite since Binaural, and the first one that I can listen to all the way through since Yield. It's fan-fucking-tastic, and the best rock record that's been released this decade.

- tonight marks the return of Heroes and Castle. I must say that while I have issues with both, I'm eagerly looking forward to both. Castle had a reasonably decent first season, and I dig the concept (a writer assists a cop in murder investigations), so I'm eager to see what's in store this year. had that magical first season, issue-laden second season, and the third season was better than the second, but definitely lacked the spark of the first. If the trend of improvement persists into this season, I'm all in.

- tomorrow will be 'Techie Tuesday,' so ask away about anything even remotely tech-related, from computers to TVs to vibrators. Though you'd be better for it, I promise I won't post about Linux. The first time. I can promise there will be first-impressions on Ubuntu 9.10 when it hits next month, but for now, I won't bore you with things like Linux that will only improve your rather mundane existence. Maybe I'll talk shit about obnoxious fucking Mac users. We'll see. What do you wanna hear about from the tech column?

Lemme know about anything you wanna hear about in:

Manly Mondays
Techie Tuesdays
Writing Wednesdays
Thopical Thursdays (current events, sorta)
Fuck-Off Fridays

I'm taking any and all advice questions or topic suggestions, so HIT ME!



  1. Great post! By the way, I don't live somwhere near the Twin Cities. I live in Minneapolis. FYI
    Got a stupid tech question for you. You know I'm completely computer dumb. What in the wide world of fuck is a RSS feed? Will this improve my life like an automatic ball scratcher would?

  2. I use a loofah, sensitive isn't a word often associated with me and I too think life could be less complicated if I were gay. I suppose we live with the hand we were dealt. This post was just what I needed to counter what most people like to call "a case of the Mondays".

    I am really looking forward to the podcast returning for a couple of episodes. The only two games I have pre-ordered for the rest of this year are Borderlands and Dragon Age: Origins. The more you guys can talk about those two games, the happier I'll be.

    I'm a Mac user, but I don't think I am obnoxious. In fact I use a Mac and a PC quite evenly - though I do find my Macbook to be superior. However, I stand by my personal belief that The Zune is better than the iPod. At least for music listening purposes.


  3. @Adam And I was just wondering what today's Techie post was going to be.

    @Laurance I live to serve, and it sounds like you and Adam should shower together. We've already got D.A. in there, so I'll add Borderlands now. Done. Honestly, when it comes to laptops, I find that people are very particular, so odds are, there are some things about your Macbook that you can do on it, that are annoying to do on any other computer. That's why I lug two laptops around. I have my enormous 19-inch Vista Gaming laptop (I've nicknamed it 'the Deathbook.') I also have my 9-inch Ubuntu netbook, which is a glorious, wonderful machine, and my machine of choice when not gaming. I have it pumped up to the point where I can run a Windows 7 virtual machine inside it without it breaking a sweat, and Win7 machine runs beautifully. I've never used a Zune, but not you have me curious.