Saturday, February 07, 2015

El Old-Manecdoto: The Origin Story to The Modern Battle-Feel


Note: This was cribbed from my civilian Facebook account where the artistic soldier occasionally pokes his helmet out.




Just thought I'd share El Old-Manecdoto. Warning: Old Men often like to share fairly full stories and feel the satisfaction after like they ate a big meal.

Actually, I don't want to waste time thinking I'm getting old yet. I think I'll start when I'm 75 and spend a couple of years fussing about it. If I feel like it.

On the crowded Queen Streetcar this morning near the front and a mom and her 4 yr old son and 2 yr old daughter are near me. Since I'm an old (fashioned) man - so don't worry about what I'll do just respect what I can - we were all casually friendly.

People nicely gave up their seats so the boy and mom holding her baby girl could sit, which was great. However, when the boy asked if he could stand on his seat to look out the window, his mom said no just sit down, or something like that.

As a minor argument started to bubble, I gently but firmly, with a little Johnny Gravitas bass in my voice, said "Young man, it's a lot more stable when the bus is moving if you sit down and you don't want to fall." He was cool with it and sat.

After that he got a bit curious and we started chatting, then the girl got into it, then we all had fun as mom was helpfully encouraging her kids to communicate about the playpark they were going to, friends, etc. It was a lot of fun for everyone.

There. What's the point? Well now, I'll wait for you young whipper-snappers to ask.

Or not. So maybe there isn't one. Or, maybe you'll think of one. Or, kids are fun! :)




[Ms. Redacted] - I could so see you as a dad [BK]. You would be a great dad !! Don't waste time thinking about getting old, but start checking off that bucket list my dear friend. :)


[Mr. Redacted] - [BK] that was the right approach. You treated the child as an adult and your communication was adult to adult. Perfect TA.


Thanks [Ms. Redacted], [Mr. Redacted], I appreciate your comments which is why I'm sharing a long and cathartic response that you helped inspire.

Please note: this isn't to punish you for sharing, so if you don't feel like it don't bother reading it. But, I tried to make it interesting and informative for you and others. Nobody's perfect and I'm definitely not "humble" enough for damn Canadian, but perhaps enjoying the odd slice of confidence in what we can think of and say on behalf of ourselves and others can (may? might?) help too.

Plus, I'm adding one of the first songs I recorded in 2003 which was a poem that evolved that also speaks to this to some degree and birthed my stage-name when friends were wondering what to call me as a performer and settled on it. I coincidentally woke up and felt like listening to it anyway, so I've been doing so on repeat for the hour I spent writing this. Sometimes I'll do this with different songs to sustain the mood and energy I want. While my opinions have obviously been more informed and evolved since, I still stand by most of it.

Since I'm a great listener in-part to make sure I have good things to say and have learned from many, the following helps explain "why" I'm good with kids and others in/and my own unique way - with options for how others can be.

Or, (finally!) this isn't just being written to get stuff off my chest. It's for others to benefit too since a unique individual can share different options for people to ponder.

Ladies first...

[Ms. Redacted], you're lovely as always and right and helpful. I shouldn't waste my time; or the poor young lady and our kids' who I could be trying to take care of and make happy; or upset my parents and others waiting to finish their jobs of settling me down.


I've always been wary about getting married, or having a roommate for 50 years who you'd better get along with. However, I love committed relationships, which means I get close with "MY Girl!" (Dammit!) regardless of who it is.

So, I'm 0 for 5 in conversations when it comes to this with girls who say "Well?" usually after a couple of years of dating, and when I say "I'm not ready yet..." we usually fight for a couple of months and break up. I think 3 out of 5 would've worked great; the other 2 are maybe's.

Still, I like the idea and even heard confirmed bachelor Jerry Seinfeld, who was rich and famous and casually dating anyone he wanted for years, say that getting married and having kids was better than anything else. However, that's because they're probably doing it better than most and I always admire that.

(For example, he semi-comically and semi-seriously says stuff like "Your wife??? Why the hell would you want to argue with your wife??? Someone else you don't like or seriously disagree with maybe, but your wife? That's crazy!" Sure, it's probably hard to do this, but it's also probably great to try.)

This has been a recent concern that I think we have trouble dealing with since many seem confused and disempowered and don't respect each other the way we generally should. My foolish pride won't let me put up with this, so I'm glad I still have it and I'm just trying to make my pride less foolish.

To wit: I NEVER want to lose my ability to act like a MAN.

Like when I hailed a cab for a young lady on the street yesterday who was being casually friendly in her own "She moves in mysterious ways..." (U2) way, who thanked me.

Or, when I automatically direct traffic when needed so everyone can relax and drive and walk comfortably.

Or, when I often stand first and try to give up my seat on the bus to avoid a woman or girl having to make the choice to agree to the idea of making me stand while worrying about "what it might mean" or "what might happen" or "what she owes me" or "do we have to talk after?" or whatever. It doesn't always work, but I'm cool either way and know the females who agree are much happier than the ones who don't who just stand there quietly fuming about what they're sadly losing instead of happily getting like many others there.

Etc. Etc. Etc.

As an old man, I don't even think about it. I just keep sitting or walking and minding my own business unless there's an organic and friendly reason to interact more.

This messy situation isn't exactly or always our fault since we have many influences, so I don't want anyone to think my constructive critiques are because I hate people. It's the exact opposite, or I love people which is why I think of this stuff. I think the normalization of dysfunctional relationships is problem we should fix and I don't want to just go-along to not-get-along. This is one reason why I've been too distracted to focus on "settling down" - I don't want to do it badly to get by. Plus, it makes it harder to.

I'll say personally it can be hard to fix this when many seem to prefer to suffer in silence than fight for what's right. When I talk to many married peers, they seem stressed out and beaten down by their relationships as opposed to having them be a consistent source of empowerment after work beats them up. I think I know what works better than what's normal and have expressed it for years.

For example, most of my girlfriends learned to say "Relationships are work!" to which I responded "Hell no - I already got a job! Relationships are fun! We just have to occasionally work on keeping them that way!"

In the old days (like 10 years ago) when women would show up already impressive with how they look and gracefully act and men had scramble to try to think of something clever to say to impress them and get credit for at least trying, this was a lot easier and it still works. I even did and said this to a cute girl at Starbucks yesterday who laughed and quietly appreciated it.

Plus, I've said stuff like "You can laugh with me or at me honey - I'm okay either way and I just hope you laugh at a silly boy trying!" for years as opposed to going along with people - especially girls - being "offended" by interactions that are not boringly "normal" who then get bored by them - which shuts men up.

While I often play the "strong and silent type" and it's comfortable too, as you can see from this response and more the "Shut up!" thing hasn't happened to me. (Yet?)

As-said, I think there's nothing more important to fix than how we communicate and relate, so I've gone into more detail recently and it often seems an appreciable bit of fresh air. Heck, I even rap and sing a bit at work for fun as the guys usually puff out their chests and share a compliment while the girls usually quietly smile or giggle.

But, this stuff is also controversial these days, so it's hard for many to discuss and easy to go "too far" when we're generally getting hyper-sensitive and infantilized. So, many don't know what to say, or may feel bad thinking they can't do anything better even if they hear it.

So, while I tried and there's plenty of money here and people who probably want to relax and exchange respect and feel more pride, this made it hard to get the resources necessary to widely implement and promote options that positively impact people even though I know from performing that they work. This leaves me a bit stuck between sensibly giving up and sensibly continuing to try to work on it.

I'd love to have more diplomatic conversations to find comfortable happy mediums - which used to be more normal when we spoke more pre-shortened attention spans and cultural homogenization.

But, since many don't seem to be able to, I tried artistically taking more extreme positions and having my testicular fortitude and gravitational pull drag more of us back from the brink to where we're not acting the same - but - more of us can beat some of garbage we've been fed and be more comfortable with more options to respect and choose from when it comes to defining our individual relationships.

For personal, moral and culturally practical reasons, there's nothing I hate more than seeing women threatened and men disrespected (and vice versa) becoming normal. So, I tried to change that and I'm proud of my efforts.

I'm not saying that I and others who have similar opinions have the exact "right" way to do things, just one of many "right ways", or perhaps just "good ideas" that deserve to be respected in our diverse world along with many others.

[Mr. Redacted], that's part of the reason I shared this anecdote, or a "point" to make, which is - as you suggest - that men speaking to young men (or boys) like the men they want to grow into is something they relate to.

Plus, even young ladies (or girls) like it since that's the man they want to eventually be with who provides certainty (Sirtainty?) with what they say, especially since they're still just kids who don't know better and want to learn and be reassured and get approval instead of bullying adults they're supposed to trust, or dealing with whiny and frustrated ones.

I have countless examples like this since it's just "life" for me interacting with lots of people in a big and busy city and lots of people on the streetcar were watching me and the kids having fun and seeming to wonder how.

One problem is - from what I've heard personally and from many friends - that it's less in style these days for men to have an authoritative role when it comes to raising their kids. Or, it's a role that's now often seen as "competing" with their woman's ideas - instead of "complementing" them which was the case for thousands of years.

So, many people feel frustrated and relationships collapse with mostly women trained to hate to "feel wrong" when it comes to other options; or to let their man act like one or respect him; which obviously goes back and forth as men learn to respect women less; and so on.

NOTE: Men are messed up by what we've learned too, so don't think for a second that I haven't tried to scold, help and educate many too. The response has been the mostly the same save for getting quietly worse for years. People recognize and respect that I'm trying to help, so nobody really steps to me; or wants to argue and lose; some want to discuss things; and most just quietly respect it.

Years ago on my radio show, I used to say "Oh ladies... while it's not your fault since you may have learned to do this, but if you don't let your men talk and act like men with you and your kids they'll leave... either physically... or mentally check out and hide in the basement... or just get really quiet while you get really miserable. Plus, your kids will be messed up."

While some obviously get upset at possibly thinking they've being doing some things wrong instead of happy to have the option to do things better, what's funny is by taking these positions I manage to keep my respect even though it costs me a lot of "normal" things others have - without the respect they crave.

Or, it seems like we're losing our balls and mind, so I'm happy to try to save them as an artist when I can and with the support necessary; or mostly ignore it happening as a civilian unless I feel like commenting on it. It's a trade-off I've accepted for now as I continue to work on finding a happy medium; plus work on other completely unrelated things

If you're still here, thanks for reading, share any thoughts you'd like and enjoy the song! :) --