What Cometh To The Coward: Battle of Fraustadt

               History is something that we must learn from and the lessons we should embrace are given to us enmasse. I was watching a cool history video on the Battle of Fraustadt, presented in the Sabaton History YouTube channel. (Yes, I like power metal and history. Two thrills in one).

               It was interesting to hear who was involved and how one army suckered the other army into chasing them. They set into motion a battle that made an awesome backdrop for beautiful artwork. It involved a moderate number of soldiers from a few different geographical areas. And yes, it involved one of my favorite historical leaders; Charles XII or Carolus Rex.

               The armies lined up for battle. Cannon, muskets, cavalry, men in the cold. The Swedish had the territorial advantage. The Swedish didn’t have the numbers that the Saxon/Polish/Russian side did. I left out how all of the people involved got there but that is for a different lesson. It isn’t the size of the dogs in the fight but the bite of those dogs. And yes, the Swedish bit hard and fast.

               The Swedish flanked on both sides and went to proverbial time. The fleeing troops were caught by swift movements. The cavalry and infantry surrounded the combined forces. The Saxons ended up surrendering after a short fight, many had been set upon panic.

               The Swedes had used the Saxon’s weapons against them. The Saxons had surrendered. The irony is that a commonly known even handed set of soldiers accepted the surrender of thousands. But the rub lies in the several hundred of Russian soldiers were executed.

               The arguments were made that the Russians had tried to turn their uniforms inside out, disguising themselves as another army’s troops. I had read somewhere that the other side, noticing the Swedes lacked the numbers and artillery, had boasted that quarter need not be given. Every side had been in conflict and everyone had an ax to grind.

               In our modern times, we had been given guidelines amongst inviolate rules on how to be soldiers and conduct ourselves. It was to fight with a sense of propriety and not enflame the opposition to the point that they know not when to stop, encouraging the worst in humanity. But I have times that deviate from what a gentleman normally prescribes.

               I think it was proper for the Swedes to execute the Russians. It was often cowardly in appearance for a soldier to change uniforms, such as it looked cowardly for a supposed soldier to throw his weapon down and run in surrender in his underwear. (As in the OEF conflicts in Iraq). It was considered unmanly in the 1700’s. And we have our own equivalents in our current times.

               I think that it would have been merciful to dispatch a few of the marauding bandits that were caught in the civil disorder being laid forth in major cities. The supposed adults, specifically men, are far removed from the civilized set of rules that they benefitted from. And the cowardice showed through their uneven combatant actions and in limited circumstances; crying when caught (even after being given mercy at the hands of those that they attacked).

               If one wants to show themselves as a soldier and commit to a Crusade, one must compose themselves as a Crusader. If not, one should never expect to be treated as one. Just as a person who wants to be treated as a gentleman or a lady, one must act as one and treat others appropriately.

               To transgress earns the stern actions and one should never expect mercy, not even the weak that line up against those that can be found right.

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Inhumane Resources: Veterans Virtue Signaling Scam

My posting today is meant to be part warning and part humor. I am writing in regard to something I find a boil on my proverbial posterior; the military recruitment “ultra-hustle”.

               I know that many of the well-meaning non-military folks among us will think that it is great that some companies are trying to include veterans amongst their midst, after much of society had looked the other way when faced with the battle fatigued warriors of Vietnam and other conflicts. I am not going to badmouth those that genuinely want to help veterans but there is a cross section of people that need to be badmouthed: The Blatant Advertisers and Virtue Signalers.

               There came a point in my life that I had to bring this up. When passing through the scurrying halls of my local tech school; I would often pick up a print copy of GI Jobs. Often I read articles from former servicemembers that seemed to make a “W” in their lives win/loss column. I was always, as I still am, inspired by their successes and ability to spin something positive from their military experience. But their stories were often broken up by huge, vibrant advertisements, often with some imagery of a smiling clean-cut person in camouflage (or similar) dress. (Never mind my favorite that is putting someone in a military uniform side to side with someone in a pantsuit/boardroom suit). This stuck in my mind and I had to dig deep why it mattered.

               I had picked one of the biggest companies advertisements, a trucking company. (There have been a few that advertised in here and a few were “survivable”. I have picked one to highlight today). Instead of opening up myself for lawsuits from those certain companies; I will use the made-up name: Happy Dogshit Trucking Company (HDTC). It isn’t nice but neither are the reviews from many experienced truckers that have worked for them. As you can tell; I dug into HDTC and it wasn’t pretty. (Please note: HDTC wasn’t advertising in the latest issue, to the best of my knowledge).

               I made a token attempt at digging into the industry. The logistics industry as a whole isn’t as pretty as it was. A beloved source inside of the logistics industry told me blatantly that it was a race to the bottom. In their words, many drivers get yanked around and my source doesn’t know why many of them put up with it. I had mentioned that many don’t know better or are used to the abuse. I learned this about HDTC.

               Their pay and benefits suck. That is why the better drivers don’t stick around and shop their options. I read into their driving school, which at one time the company wanted people to pay for. (I may have been mistaken but one of the trucking companies that advertised “accepted” GI Bill money for payment in their trucking school). While I do understand the apprentice model for trucking training; I learned that it wasn’t a guarantee for driver success. The instructors could often leave people behind, in the middle of nowhere, stranding the student and making them have to find their own transport home. (Often finding themselves worse off than when they started). The successful still had to survive another set amount of time driving with someone you might not be able to stomach and someone that might fit every trucker stereotype imaginable.

               Buying your time is a given and the people that survived often found themselves leaving for greener pastures. I am not writing a scathing review of the trucking industry, but I am writing a scathing interview of the concept of recruiting veterans. In this industry, among others, companies/HR personnel employ slick advertising, not out of some sincere love for veterans, but out of a dire need for warm bodies. The argument can be made that veterans are versatile and steadfast in terrible conditions, but the truth lies in what I had already stated: warm bodies are needed, veteran, especially poorly educated ones, fill this requirement.

               Hiring veterans and advertising the fact that they do, let many companies feel like they have done something. It is virtue signaling at best. (I have dealt with defense industry people that have proved this. Honestly, many of them don’t seem to like anything about military people, preferring to wall themselves off from an ugly part of our country’s history, only coming around when they can make money off of it). If this company really wanted to do something; they would drop the infantile advertisements and get “honest”. They should tell veterans that they can make a check and help their company make a buck.

               Don’t patty cake around. Tell people the truth, they will figure it out. Veterans do talk to each other. The truth comes out in grass roots, not AstroTurf. I would rather have people give it to me straight instead of acting like veterans are the most unique employees. To the contrary, many of us aren’t. Many of us are assholes and are a challenge to work with.     

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The Matters w/ Matt: Bad Mouth Reading

Every Wednesday: I never fail to be disgusted with advice columns. I will pat myself on the back this week for being on schedule. As always; I am in awe when it comes to awful examples like Dear Abby and Ask Amy. The columnists seem to get rewarded for giving you bad advice. I think that people, especially men, get terrible advice from them. I don’t blame anyone that calls advice column responses garbage. I use my postings to correct these responses and help society by being an utmost asshole, (as always, a hat tip to Aaron Clarey at Asshole Consulting).

Consider this piece from Slate’s Dear Prudence (Danny Lavery) from September 15, 2020:

https://slate.com/human-interest/2020/09/dear-prudence-relationships-covid-conspiracy-theories-anti-mask-protests-advice.html

Dear Matters w/ Matt,

Q. Am I being overemotional and possessive? My husband of eight years was briefly married previously. He got a divorce when she got pregnant with another man’s baby. He doesn’t talk about her much, but when he does, he speaks disparagingly. For as long as I’ve known him he has mentioned that she texts him periodically to tell him how much she regrets her choices, that he’s better than her current boyfriend, or, oddly enough, that she wants my husband to be her children’s godfather. Her messages always end in her asking him to come over and have a beer with her that evening. He never takes her up on her offers but always offers a specific excuse as to why he can’t (work, previous plans, etc.). My husband is a flirty guy, and I have no problem with that in general. I also don’t mind that he has maintained friendships with a number of his ex-girlfriends. Her messages with him bug me, though. I spoke with him about it last year and told him that it feels disrespectful to me for her to say the sorts of things she does and then invite him—and only him—to drink with her. He responded by assuring me that she means nothing to him and that he likes the feeling of her chasing after him after what she did.

This week I was using his laptop when a message popped up. Forgetting I wasn’t on my own computer, I opened it. It was a text from the ex. I was about to close it and move on when I realized she was responding to a message he had initiated. He opened with a flirty greeting, told her he was thinking about her, and then, when she once again asked him over, responded by saying that he couldn’t that night but soon. I told him what I saw and he responded as if I were being clingy and possessive. He told me he doesn’t think it’s wrong for him to have fond memories of her (neither do I—that wasn’t the point), that I was misunderstanding his greeting (it was silly, not flirty!), and that I shouldn’t be upset because he declined her invitation. I know for certain they haven’t seen each other in person for at least four years, so I’m not worried about some sort of affair, but am I wrong to have my feelings hurt by this? He has definitely insinuated that I’m overreacting.

—“Over Emotional and Possesive”

Dear OEP:

You aren’t wrong to be hurt by this but I think you are reading this wrong. I strongly doubt that this guy is trying to leave you for this substandard woman but I think that he is liking the power that he has over her. He appears to be toying with her. There are many more things that I would be worried about.

He is on the edge of “getting some on the side”. I am unsure of the health of your relationship but I think that this should be a building point or a reappraisal of your relationship. You can get more active and physical in your relationship or you can lose him. (This is not considering if you both have an open relationship or an arrangement already).

I would also see what you guys could be doing different in your relationship that isn’t of the physical variety. He is missing something in his relationship. It might be control or “fun”. It might be mystique or interest. I am not accusing you of being a poor significant other but his eye is wondering. I don’t hold you responsible for his actions but you can have a great amount of influence over him.

I would encourage you to look into additional reading about submissive relationships and various BDSM subjects. This isn’t a traditional solution and his actions are his but I believe that you can sleep soundly knowing that you have taken great action to attempt to shift his mental frame. You can become the woman that he can’t forget.

—————————————————————————————————————————————–

I don’t imagine that I will have a shortage of emails to answer. I would love to start doing this for anyone that sends me an email. If this is you; email us at freemattpodcast@gmail.com

If you hate advice columns; I don’t blame you. If it isn’t soft people giving advice; it is someone trying to justify acting like an insensitive asshole. Till next week.

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Why do I Loot?: A Satire

In my community, a man with a bandanna tied tightly around his mouth, valiantly is photographed acquiring well deserved goods from a majority fascist owned store in the main drag of my town. For simplistic reasons, we will call him “Rob”, which is the name that the oppressors gave him.

               I stopped him for a few short questions. He angrily told me that he didn’t have much time before other less deservingly downtrodden people wipe out the local Target. He mentioned that he needed socks, since his “sole” pair were soiled from his part time position at the local soy mine. He sang a familiar song. And he informed me of his serious dilemma.

               I had a good feeling that he was truly fighting the man. He seemed to shuffle with glee in his extra slim selvedge jeans and his vegan Stan Smith sneakers. There was an air of “reality” to him. Rob was trampled by the world’s meritocracy. It was wrong to expect for him to pay for the things that he deserves. He does the bidding of a local feminist organization, seemingly deserving pursuits. He feels that he is on the front line and he fights the good fight.

               I ask Rob if he thinks that he will ever see the end to this. Rob tells me that why would he. He tells us that he is seeing things finally get equal and that the oppressed are coming up in this world. No one will have property and the little man will bask in the glory. Power will be put back with the powerless.

               Rob seemed a little taken aback when I asked him about those that put in investments for the businesses he was looting. Like a common ignorant backwater slack jaw, Rob gives me a blank look. I ask him if he understands what it takes to have the great little things in his life. He presents the following argument: “F*ck You”. I seemed to either struck a nerve or mistakenly asked the wrong question.

               To be honest with you, I had known Rob in another life. He has been an angry force that serves as thorn in the side of those that dare to do. He desired to be the chaos among us, and he has been successful when the opportunity arose.

               As we enter the freshly broken into liquor store whose opening was erroneously attributed to a local Liberian family, I notice that Rob had slowed down considerably. His trip to Target was fruitful. His vegan Stan Smiths were no longer being soiled by toe jam, but his newly acquired socks were taking the brunt of his trip. He shuffled through the broken glass of Aftershock bottles and other fascist made booze. Chaos was not the appealing factor for him after all.

Rob found what he was secretly looking for. He walked up to the near middle shelf of liquor, one of the few that wasn’t ransacked by glassy eyed weirdos. He silently paws the glistening bottle. It would have cost him around $370. He dreamed of this day. He would have never saved enough money from the soy mine and his attempts at exchanging money for feminist pussy had left him nearly destitute. Rob sighed and told me that all was well. He seemed to be enthralled in his moment of peace.

We both turned around to leave, our feet shuffling a return path through the glass we had trod through before. I believed that I had enough words to falsify a story for the fledgling left leaning startup that was going to change the news world. We both step outside into the burning world that we both have resigned to live in.

I remember fondly of hearing a loud bang, hoping that it was a locally downtrodden soul taking his revenge on those worth of it. I grew tense, staring at my oversized flannel shirt. I noticed that I had a hole in the sleeve. I was wasn’t hurt but I look behind me. Rob was on the trash strewn ground. He had a pool of blood, growing in size. Much like a terrible action movie, he asked for me to hold him. Rob was blinking and he was using the last bit of strength he had to hang on to his bottle of Macallan Rare Cask. He cried out:

Forgive them, for they know not what they do. I loot for I am in need. My life has no meaning. I had never found purpose.

He expired, right then and there. I dropped his lifeless body. I grabbed his bottle and went home. I pondered what the rest of my life was going to be like.

I knew what I needed to do. I tendered my resignation from the startup but I don’t have a stamp. The post office is engulfed. In the meantime I will at least have this bottle of whiskey.

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Halls of Montezuma: What Happens When You Lose

September 14, 1847 was the day that the US Army and a generous contingency of US Marines celebrated their victory during the Battle of Chapultepec, lending the insights that would lead Francis Scala to write the “Marines Hymn”.

               The greenhorn squid in me never knew the basis of the song. I had heard it sung a few times, (and a decade plus later I found out that it wasn’t the Halls of Montezuma but the Halls of Spain). But I will stick with the song for now.

               I had to dig around a little bit for the history. There were a few notable faces involved with this battle. You may remember Ulysses S Grant, Robert E Lee, Antonio de Santa Anna. But there we a few people that you haven’t heard of that were involved: the Batalión de San Patricio (Saint Patrick’s Battalion).

               Not that many people from Irish descent , that I know, even knew about them, (minus my buddy “The Mick”). Saint Patrick’s Battalion consisted of defected/deserted US Army soldiers, many of whom were from Irish descent, among many other backgrounds including escaped slaves. (I had read that many of these soldiers were not US citizens). They had been caught up in a few other Mexican-American War battles. There were reports that these soldiers were some of the best fighters found.

               But I have to get back on the main trail here. These guys gave me an idea on a lesson that we all could learn: People are the first to celebrate those that are successful in their defections, but we are loathed to talk about the price of those that are on the losing side.

               The Saint Patrick’s Battalion lost in their fight at the Battle of Chapultepec. And a few of those that were executed after this battle had been involved with the Battle of Churubusco. (I wasn’t sure on how many were whipped after Churubusco instead of being executed but I know it wasn’t great) (It depended on when folks had defected, before or after a declaration of war).

               Regardless of the fight that was put up, they ended up on the losing side. They lost their lives and very few of the SPB lived to see the US troops leave the Mexican territory.

               The real lesson is that the vast majority of these gamblers either lost their lives or lost their livelihood (if any was had). Death is not a bad thing but a death after a life’s capstone loss would be worse than one in support of an eventual win. The SPB were seen as traitors and people that weren’t willing to put in hard work for the chance to have a better life in a growing country, (noted that many of their members jumped at a promise of a land grant among member’s of their own religion).

               I think that many people look at the sunny side of history and fail to learn from the losers before they throw their lot in with a certain side.

               I make that argument for our current events now. The spoils go to the winner, why throw your lot in with someone that has a track record of losing? I have every reason to believe that many among us will lose decades of their lives for “shitty pipe dreams”. The people engaging in these battles will end up like those that came before them; without the gold or glory.

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What I’m Reading, Listening to, And Concerned About

Reading:

 Our friend at Barbarian Rhetoric echoes a sentiment that I learned over time: If you are not sorry, don’t say “I’m sorry”.

Listening:

Robert “The Duke” Fedoruk hooks us up with some knowledge on how we should be more aware of the employment contracts we sign. Know your worth!

                                                             Additional Reading:

Zac at The Family Alpha hooked us up with a piece that rang close to home. He shares about some of his favorite reading material about drinking, that helped him get sober.

Additional Listening:

Nathan at Barbarian Rhetoric was joined by Doug McCoy to talk all things in the mechanic world .

Concerned:

People are trusting folks that operate full time in a contrary world. You shouldn’t trust someone who invites you to a party in a burning house, so why do you trust someone that does something in the polar opposite of what they say?

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FreeMatt in Review: 9-7 to 9-11

Know when you are winning, many of those that we think are on top of the world are actually holding an avalanche. In the meantime, check out this week’s FreeMatt in Review.

Praying For Peace When Haunted By Horrific Visions

            Other people salivate for civil war while I desire a peaceful resolution. I have already seen the worse in horrific visions. Learn more in this posting.

https://freemattpodcast.wordpress.com/2020/09/07/praying-for-peace-when-haunted-by-horrific-visions/

Semen Retention Pond: The Post No One Wanted

Semen retention is a weird, counter intuitive jive hustle. Men were supposed to fight and fuck. I give more sordid historical details inside this unfortunate piece.

https://freemattpodcast.wordpress.com/2020/09/08/semen-retention-pond-the-post-no-one-wanted/

The Matters w/ Matt: Queer For Queers?

A woman is wondering if she is queer, then she feels bad when she benefits from working with queers. Yes, it sounds as convoluted as you would think it to be. Read more from brutal advice:

https://freemattpodcast.wordpress.com/2020/09/09/the-matters-w-matt-queer-for-queers/

Navy Story: Unhappy Sailor or My Frank Grimes Story

I had a terrible experience with a fellow sailor that mirrored Homer Simpson’s experience with Frank Grimes. His inability to be happy and his heavy hand of judgement was his downfall.

https://freemattpodcast.wordpress.com/2020/09/10/navy-story-unhappy-sailor-or-my-frank-grimes-story/

The Lost Metaphors of a Trump Flotilla

               A ship lost at sea, through peace time and war, is a tragedy. We must be careful among friends as we are among enemies.

https://freemattpodcast.wordpress.com/2020/09/11/the-lost-metaphors-of-a-trump-flotilla/

Guys, it was time yesterday. As always, we should be getting on with our lives. Have a “good one”.

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The Lost Metaphors of a Trump Flotilla

I promised myself that I wouldn’t “swamp” those among me with ship’s stories or tales of insanity from my tempestuous times in the Navy. I am immensely puzzled when I look at ships that run aground and smash into each other. Mariners have governed by rules on how they are supposed to operate; (note that these rules are called Rules of the Road, commonly put out by the US Coast Guard but often observed by many other maritime organizations around the world).

               These “rules” are supposed to keep us safe in the water and to keep others safe as well. It struck me off, that after reading the news, that many mariners in easy times become complacent. And in many of these instances, I find parallels to our modern life.

Several boats sink at Trump parade on Texas lake

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-trump-boats-idUSKBN25X00S

I read this article on the Reuters website. Having a bit of success getting a few other Trump 2020 “celebrants” together in Florida and NY/NJ, many well meaning people got together in Texas at Lake Travis. My interpretation of the write up is that the attendance was in the thousands. People out “wheeling around” and seemingly having a nice time. Several people’s vessels capsized.

The lesson is from my personal experience in the Navy in regard to navigation. You must be aware of the intentions of another vessel, even those in your battlegroup. Their maneuvers can sink the best of missions and derail your future.

The More Not The Merrier

I had the pleasure of visiting Boothbay Harbor, Maine near the late summer or early fall of 2002. The town had a festival or celebration of sorts. There also was a boat parade of sorts, featuring sailboats and beautiful vessels of many types. It was well organized. To the best of my memory, our ship was anchored during this parade. My ship was 400 something feet long and displacing 4,200 tons. A behemoth of combined steel/aluminum with formidable weaponry and capable sailors. For us to join this flotilla would have been madness, our steering was not kind to tight turns and we would have created waves of asshole proportions. We avoided our own Lake Travis disaster, lending kind smiles instead of throwing our literal weight around. The smaller boats carried out maneuvers and went home happy.

A Time To Turn and a Time To Hold On

Many people don’t know that there is always a correct time to turn and let someone pass. To give way or stand on. There are a myriad of ways in which ships signal intentions to each other and rules of when someone can move. These rules, barring an engineering failure, help people steer and stay safe. To ignore these rules causes chaos. It lends to calmer waters and a small amount of assurance in that someone may make it to their home port. In these common courtesies and rules acknowledged, making waves is usually something a sailor does not try to create and a bigger ship is always aware of the danger to other mariners, (unless they are complete dickheads). This is true among ships of your own fleet and for mariners under a strange flag.

Impaired Sailors Do Not Make For The Best of Judgments

I am not outwardly accusing the sunk boaters of drunkenness but I must warn of the complacency that alcohol use and fun times brings. Stories are easily resurrected to account for collisions and injuries when it came to impaired operations, arguably a recent collision had sleep deprived sailors on watch, causing damage to an unsuspecting freighter. It doesn’t matter if it was strangers or friendly units. Boats and ships alike don’t come with brakes like cars do. The water is the medium and it is often unforgiving. It applies to small boats upon Lake Travis and the welcoming waters surrounding St. John’s River buoy.

I will part with saying as I always have; this is not an all encompassing list but a warning to those that one should not be complacent, even when one is in company of friends and compatriots. Fair winds and following seas.

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Navy Story: Unhappy Sailor or My Frank Grimes Story

I am loathed to say bad things about many people I knew in the Navy. For most of the people I knew in the Navy, I wouldn’t trade for some of the best I knew from the outside world. Even when it came to the worst of the Navy, they were family. Yes, the practical jokers. The smart asses. The jerks. Fruitcakes. It doesn’t matter. But I wanted to specifically talk about the one’s that made their lives worse for themselves and for “us”.

               As you would remember from many of my other stories, I have to use an alias for this one dude. I will call him “Archie”. I faintly remember when he came on the ship, he replaced a really cool sailor that most people had a decent amount of respect for. His fellow sailors in his division were survivable and some loveable characters. (Their chief was someone you could ask for help from. When he departed the ship, they spelled out in signal flags: “I.R. Chief”). But he wasn’t quite the best fit. I learned this when I first met him.

               He was clean cut. His tried to be cordial and polite. I think that he was a little taken aback by the nonchalant nature of many of our sailors. Our command wasn’t the strictest when it came to the minutia of everyday life. Junior sailors weren’t hung out to dry over many things that were damnable offenses on other ships. He seemed a little puzzled over this kind of thing. Not a lot of worry here, it takes a little adjusting.

               He seemed to get along “okay” with others. Some folks voiced concerns that he seemed a little high strung. (Please note: He wasn’t a first command sailor. He had previously had orders to another ship where he was able to get promoted, apparently did a good enough job). He was a little snippity with guys he worked with, that he looked down at. There were plenty of people that he would badmouth that had a level of respect among other people in our berthing. (If you had a history of badmouthing people that other people didn’t mind, you would be labeled a “hot one”). It wasn’t long until he started on other people outside of his division.

               I happened to be one of them. He seemed to team up with someone I seldom if ever had any communications with, to try to be a thorn in my side. (The guy he teamed up with was one of the most effeminate straight men I have ever met. Most women have less skincare products than this guy). They seemed to joke around, which isn’t bad, but they stepped over the line. The line that most people don’t cross, unless they are real brothers, which he wasn’t.

               I had came close to handling this dude. I didn’t have a habit of bothering other people. I gave people a wide space. I also knew that there was a line I didn’t cross if I wasn’t your friend. One of these was calling someone a homosexual pre-DADT. I had my share of issues with women but I wasn’t a closet case or a twink. These clowns did just that. If it wasn’t that, Archie crossed another line that was a declaration of war.

               He attempted an audible wet snitch. He called our senior corpsman on me and complained that I was creating health problems for other sailors. Think not taking showers, not washing my clothes, and not changing sheets. I never had complaints from my bunk mates nearby. Most people had seen my in the buff, to or fro the showers. I had a full laundry bag. The irony is that our senior doc told him that laundry wasn’t running and that he didn’t see anything of concern. Of course, I smiled.

               I saw this guy when we finally got off the ship at the local McD’s. He was a sour guy towards me in front of his family. He was an ass in port, around everyone in the better times. No worries, he wasn’t around our ship for much longer. I went snooping around the office and found an updated projected gain/loss sheet. (Incoming and outgoing personnel). It wasn’t always accurate but it got close. Archie’s name was on it. Transfer to the reserves. Yes, eventually he saw his way somewhere else. And yes, his flamboyant friend was transferred off also.

               Their replacements were pretty dope. Folks I could tolerate. If they came to my front door today, they would at least get a bottle of water out of it.

               If you didn’t remember who Frank Grimes was, it was one of the saddest characters off of The Simpson’s. He was a smart employee of Homer’s. The guy hated when lazier and less inspired folks got ahead. Frank’s bad attitude ended up driving him nuts. Just like Archie, his sour attitude and inability to embrace coworkers hurt him.

Archie had a chance at being a real leader. He was intelligent and had good military bearing. He could have set a great example if people could tolerate him. But he broke a few unwritten rules, like not being a snitch and respecting boundaries.

Please learn from this. Don’t be the poison among us. Remember that every new place full of new people is a unique opportunity. It is up to you to adjust fire.

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The Matters w/ Matt: Queer For Queers?

Every Wednesday: I never fail to be disgusted with advice columns. I will pat myself on the back this week for being on schedule. As always; I am in awe when it comes to awful examples like Dear Prudence and Ask Amy. The columnists seem to get rewarded for giving you bad advice. I think that people, especially men, get terrible advice from them. I don’t blame anyone that calls advice column responses garbage. I use my postings to correct these responses and help society by being an utmost asshole, (as always, a hat tip to Aaron Clarey at Asshole Consulting).

Consider this piece from Slate’s How To Do It (Stoya and Rich)from September 9, 2020:

Dear Matters w/ Matt,

I’m a woman who has only ever had sexual relationships with men. I’m married to a lovely man and have no current desire to be nonmonogamous. Up until about four years ago, I would have said I was firmly heterosexual. More recently, I’ve become aware of my possible attraction to women. I’ve always thought women were just more beautiful than men, from an aesthetic standpoint. I find some of them quite alluring. However, I’ve never had the desire to touch female genitalia. I love a good dick. I can’t tell if I’m sexually attracted to women, or if I simply like being around them.

I don’t feel a pressing need to answer this question in my private life, where I accept that I may just dwell in the “questioning” part of the LGBTQ spectrum, that sexuality is fluid, etc. I don’t feel a need to officially ever “come out.” It gets stickier when I’m asked by other people. I work in the arts, and there are many award and grant opportunities specifically created for members of the queer community. Many of my good friends and associates are openly queer. I don’t know that it’s ethical for me to publicly define myself as queer, and thus potentially “take” money or opportunities from people who are definitively queer (what if I’m not?). This question does get asked occasionally, from simple forms I need to fill out to people assuming my queerness (I dress androgynously from time to time). How do I behave ethically? How do I gently correct the assumptions about my sexuality coming from a well-intentioned queer person, without taking up too much time or making it a big deal?

—Spinning Wheel

Dear Spinning Wheel:

I think that you are becoming a product of a social contagion and your environment. You are finding a benefit for the condition but you are leaving out a more important question: Did you feel this way before you started working in the arts and having friends that were “more accepting” of being queer?

The monetary and social benefits also might be pushing you in this direction. Although it is a trope of sorts, many people find it advantageous in being an imposter. The band Bloodhound Gang “came out” with a big hit in 1997 called I Wish I Was Queer So I Could Get Chicks, highlighting this behavior.  It isn’t an instruction manual but a warning that you may lose face engaging in that level of lying.

I think that the first person you should have a discussion with is not your friends, but the “lovely man” you are heterosexually married to. Any constructive talk will start and end with him. Honesty is the policy and not a suggestion. I hope that you can read further into ethics and draw yourself boundaries for the future. (The Golden Rule applies).

https://slate.com/human-interest/2020/09/dating-during-covid-advice.html

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I don’t imagine that I will have a shortage of emails to answer. I would love to start doing this for anyone that sends me an email. If this is you; email us at freemattpodcast@gmail.com

If you hate advice columns; I don’t blame you. If it isn’t soft people giving advice; it is someone trying to justify acting like an insensitive asshole. Till next week.

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