Keep Telling Yourself That

Many among me are quick to throw an insult at those of the opposing wing of the US Uni-party. I often hear that the wing spends money on “x” and they make moronic decisions. In a sign of sheer superiority, those among me sing the praises of their wing of the US Uni-party. I find it humorous.

I know few among me that are capable of noticing this. The hypocrisy, not the humor. Finding humor would be good. I remember the stabbing words from someone I would call a friend.

“Keep telling yourself that. It won’t make it come true any quicker”

Politically and personally, it rings true. It works for people that make excuses for themselves or has expert level delusions. It works for idiots that love when their political representatives spend money on pet projects, then gripe about someone else’s constituents “needs”.

I do worry, at times, that I would be like one of the delusional Uni-party followers, but the saying reminds me to take a minute.

I stumble at describing things. I understand the pull of hyperbole. I want to label an adversary to not benefit them, but repeating an insult won’t make it stick. But repetition does not make something true, contrary to what one side of the Uni-party says.

Just take a second to remember this. If you want to keep a delusion as long as possible, keep telling yourself that.

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The Matters w/ Matt: Wrong Man for The Right Job

Every Wednesday: I never fail to be disgusted with advice columns. I am unsure why they still get paid to do what they do. As always, I am in awe when it comes to awful examples like Dear Prudence and Dear Abby. The columnists seem to get rewarded for giving you bad advice. I think that people 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 Ask Amy article (courtesy of Amy Dickinson @ Tribune Content Agency ) from November 30, 2022:

Dear (Matters):

I am shocked and hurt by comments my brother-in-law made to me during the recent otherwise wonderful trip my husband and I took with him and my sister.

He is the most physically healthy of all of us, but perhaps he is losing his filters as we aging people sometimes do.

We live in separate states and have traveled extensively as couples over the last 15 years – usually twice a year. Both couples have been married for 50 years.

We have a great time together. I thought we always enjoyed each other’s company. My sister and I are best friends.

At the end of our most recent trip (outside of others’ hearing) my brother-in-law insisted that I had married the wrong person.

I was shocked, denied this, but was too taken aback to ask why he thought this. I love my husband. He is a wonderful, loving, kind and generous man.

He would be extremely hurt by this comment, since he believes that the two men have developed a close friendship over more than 50 years.

I don’t know what to say to my husband and sister. I have been obsessing, perhaps grieving, over this comment. I wonder if we should stop traveling together, though this would be very painful for at least three of us.

What do you think about this? What should I say or do?

— Saddened

                         Dear Saddened:

I watched the right man woo my ex-girlfriend’s family. The right man won the heart of that redhead’s father. He was picked over a heartfelt sailor. The father told me to move on.

The right man knocked up my ex-girlfriend and brought more to the table. He was able to promise her comfort and understanding, all in a familiar setting. The wrong man was left to move on.

You might have picked the “wrong man”, but you got the right man for the job. I can tell you that in the long run, it doesn’t matter what those kind of people say. I grew comfortable being the wrong man.

I would take being the wrong man to heart. I would suggest that you speak frankly to that brother in law and tell him what you wrote in your letter to us. After being upfront and honest, I would think hard about the correct words to tell your sister what you said.

I would tell her that you felt like you have done well with the wrong man. I would say a pithy saying like “If he is wrong, I would rather not be right”. I wouldn’t punish the innocent, though. Even the “wrong” kind of man wouldn’t do that.

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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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The Man Who Hates Flowers Sees No Beauty

I am loathed to start a “fight” due to knowing that I am nowhere near pure. I have misquoted people. I have had “laughable” lovers. I have “drowned” those in my life with misplaced intensity. But I feel that I must talk about someone that completely has overanalyzed something in their life to the detriment of men amongst them.

I imagine that I had spoken about it before and I won’t apologize for calling this “bottle up from the cellar”.

The weird reference was one gentleman badmouthing another man’s choice of “liaisons”. Both gentlemen were active at one time in the “pick up” community. I believed that both had a different idea of “purity” in their movement. But I believe that the gentleman who applied the critique of the other man’s woman missed the mark for completely different reasons.

I understand that many people have a desire to be seen as authorities, or some type of leadership vision. I have known of men who were loaned a temporary label of authority when they highlighted another man’s departure from an observed mean. This was supposed to be one of those situations, but I flinched for good reason.

One of the worst elements of the pick up community is that many men seem to not know when they are winning, or how to be happy when they meet someone that “strikes their fancy”. This applies even if their paramour fits in that “top level pull” or if it falls well outside of embarrassment.

Self loathing for purposes of purity (or ideological reinforcement) is stupid.

I think that the one guy realized something about himself. He might have though that there was an intangible bit of something that struck him. He might have found value in something, instead of selecting for elimination.

I even dared to think that the man in question was enraptured by this woman for some trait. I personally found her to be physically attractive and having traits that a man might value. (She seemed to have an earnest zeal for the man or at least was able to manifest this physically).

I would dare to think that the one man found a reason to accept the beauty in something. I honestly hope that the other man has his own “moment” that shakes him, or at least comes to a point where he is challenged.

I did my best to enjoy the romps that ended poorly. I loved a few women that were never going to be models or would owe a plastic surgeon money for decades. I believed in beauty as others couldn’t. I am not prescribing angelic qualities, but I can tell others that I could find “beauty” in that part of my life.

I’m not much of a “philosophizer”. I was inspired by an Art of Manliness post and wanted to put a quote from it below.

“When we don’t apply our hearts to understanding and rely exclusively on academic explanations to plumb life’s depths, something fundamental about the Good and the Beautiful becomes lost to us”.

Sunday Firesides: Stop the Vivisection of Beauty | The Art of Manliness

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Mattsgiving Monumental Sh*tshow Extravaganza

I didn’t feel like typing up a Matters w/ Matt yesterday. But I had forgotten that I owed you all a Thanksgiving message.

I wanted to share some things in my life that I am thankful for.

(1) A Handful of Intellectually Honest People In My Life

I have one friend that reminds me to not take myself too seriously. I have another that reminds me to not slide into a nihilist waste land. I have another that reminds me to laugh. I have another that shows me what happens if you can’t laugh with those that laugh at you.

I would be a lot worse off if I didn’t have some of those people in my life

(2) A Semblance of Health and Welfare

I have caught some stupid illnesses when I had traveled. I’ve been lucky to not get sick after being around the coughing and wheezing jerks, the same that should have stayed home. I’m paying my bills and I’m not poverty stricken. I have my omelet in the morning. I take a decent crap most days. I’m not dying yet.

(3) Snowmageddon Has Avoided Me, For Now

I haven’t been swamped with snow yet. Most places I have been have given me decent weather. I’m not trying to chance it, but I have been lucky.

(4) People Are Waking Up In Small Ways

Many people I am around are slowly moving away from the phony connection world contained in the electronic existence. I have seen people using some social skills and critical thinking, choosing to not be self imposed autists or anxiety ridden robots. When I am out and about, I get surprised when I meet them.

(5) The People That Convert Into Real Life

The internat is a mere tool. It should have nver been a substitute for real life. I am thankful for those that realize this and are able to have something that compares to a real life, value for those that are flesh and blood. That and anyone that breaks the mold, has lovers in their arms with no shame.

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I’m Glad That Your Business Failed

I am not fond of schadenfreude, but I have my days. I don’t wish ill on people often. I find that it is very negative and counter productive. But I remember one time I helped tank a dying, fledgling business.

My reasons were not the best. But I am not about to apologize.

A buddy of mine mentioned that he found a new place to get a haircut at. He has a second sense for when new places open or someone leaves another. He always tried to get me to go to a local place for a high cost treatment. I took him up on an offer.

We had a new business move into an old basement barber shop. I thought that the place was neat, but that was about it. But the owner and the business sucked. The proprietress did her best to milk my buddy for money, using behavior short of what a low grade stripper would use. My facial hair didn’t look better when she was done and my friend didn’t become bulletproof all of a sudden.

The owner would say things and then roll back on them. I noticed her waffling the first 30 minutes I was there. It rubbed me the wrong way.

I let my friend know that I didn’t trust her and I thought she was shady. My buddy wears rose colored glasses most time, but I refused to let him go back there. I blatantly told him what I caught. He dropped that place from his list of places.

(I also let other men know to steer clear of this. I let them know that they were overpaying for the service).

I don’t think it was petty to tell other people that the people running the place weren’t the kind of people we needed to support. I haven’t noticed anyone frequenting that basement shop in a few years and I don’t feel bad about that. I also don’t feel bad that their business failed.

Against my best judgement, I did not include a video of Dongo’s Barbershop here.

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Better Late Than Friday Edition

Outside of screwing up a good weekend by going to work, I had a decent day. Weird that I was the only one who went in for my 530 class at the gym. Lifted decent and sweated my ass off. I didn’t Mickey Mouse around and I hopped in my car to head home.

I didn’t feel like plugging in my phone and put on a podcast, or music. I flipped the dial around on the radio. (It was a short drive, chatholes). Most of the music was dreadful, one decently comical song. But the crappy part was talk radio. I used to listen to that shit and it was killing me. It is/was a waste of time.

The little bit of talk radio reminded me of a conversation I had with a family member that wasted their time with talk radio/24 hour news channels. I told him that he should do something better with his time.

Back to the drive home…I wanted to tell many of you that you are wasting your time on stuff that wasn’t worth wasting on. I pondered that there was better stuff that I could be wasting my time on.

I had thought that I should have been wasting my time watching women walk in slow motion. I could have been wasting my time singing a song that I liked. I could have wasted my short drive screaming out the window, which was something that I used to do years ago when I was driving the backroads of Georgia. I could have wasted the time calling a friend that is too damn quiet at the moment. I easily could have wasted those precious moments doing breathing exercises.

If I had to take the high road and chew you out for wasting time on anything dumb, it would be reading an article about a guy dreaming up ways to better waste time. He should have been watching women walk in slow motion.

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The Matters w/ Matt: Tryout Bigamists

Every Wednesday: I never fail to be disgusted with advice columns. I am unsure why they still get paid to do what they do. As always, I am in awe when it comes to awful examples like Dear Prudence and Dear Abby. The columnists seem to get rewarded for giving you bad advice. I think that people 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 Dear Abby article (courtesy of Arcamax) from November 16, 2022:

Dear (Matters):

I married for the second time two years ago to a younger woman. Seven months after our wedding, she announced she didn’t like my dominating personality, which is why she was stepping out of the marriage. She then went back to her deadbeat ex-boyfriend for six months. I went for counseling and have made a major change in how I treat, talk and make decisions with her. I love my wife with all my heart. I want to protect our marriage and move forward from the affair.

Our second anniversary is approaching, but she has been interacting with other men. She takes her daughter with another man on play-dates along with his daughter, and goes to the park with another man for three hours. (He was a single dad having a BBQ.) The third one is a guy she goes with to the park, splash pads, public swimming pool and a water-slide park. They text each other often. One guy is a married stay-at-home dad. He has cheated on his wife before.

Am I wrong to think this is unacceptable for a married woman? Any advice would be absolutely appreciated.

  — Bewildered

                         Dear Bewildered:

I once saw a half man riding a half horse. He jumped off of his half horse and half slapped me. He yelled an incoherent sentence at me. He yelled the following:

Your ____ is___ on__, you ___ dummy!!!

I never knew what to make of it. I had thought he was a phantasm, or a hallucination. But it hit me one day, he was telling me that it was my job to see when things are falling apart. It was my job to be aware of what was happening in my own life.

The half man was telling me that my woman was cheating on me. I ignored the subtle hints, to my own detriment. It was one thing that I had no boundaries and I failed to see that I was largely nothing to my partner.

Your half man might yell that your woman is really married to the benefits you bring. She is also married to your lack of boundaries. Your concept of marriage may not survive. You have let her “shop” for different husbands.

You are more than welcomed to try to save your marriage, but you might want to be realistic about what might happen. Chalk this up to a learning opportunity. Don’t bury your head in the sand and act like nothing happened. When you plant shit trees, you get shit acorns.

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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.

https://www.arcamax.com/healthandspirit/lifeadvice/dearabby/s-2748687

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The Results Varied: Things Didn’t Fall Apart As I Wanted

A well meaning neighbor told me that I should pick flowers for a girl friend of mine. Days later, the gesture went south of what I wanted. I was largely “PNG’d” from her “set”, which wasn’t much of a loss. I did miss the interesting conversation but it served as an example of “results may vary”. (That and blue pill ideas from the media are stupid).

I knew of this to happen more in my life at certain points. I found myself drawing a figurative blank when I dressed well for a job interview. (Irony is that I was punctual and prepared for the interview). Not only was I not considered for a job, I got ugly remarks for what they considered “someone who doesn’t work with their hands”. (In reality, I have done some mechanic work and put together pressure systems equipment). I found that my words fell on deaf ears plenty of times. The romantic notions often rubbed the wrong way. But the weirder turns were when I tried to use the proven failed strategies to fail on purpose.

I was polite and courteous to a woman I ran into at a charity event. One of my instructions was to share knowledge of our product (beer) with people if we knew. The woman in question had seemed to throw a “bid” at me. I did my best to sound like a beer geek, thinking that this wasn’t conducive for “extra curricular” relations. She “poured” it on more, eventually grinding on me and nibbling on my ear. I ended up having a heart to heart talk with her. She was puzzled at first, but I had to level with her. She was relieved when I told her the absolute truth, which was that I didn’t have room for a paramour. (She was a hell of an example, though). I gave her a hug, as I was honored by the notion.

Another time was a woman at a bar that seemed to have “pre-selected” me out of a crowd. I had thought it had to do with she was fishing for customers on a slow day. I noticed that she seemed to hover around me and wanted to strike up a conversation. She had asked me if I liked country music. I had said that I didn’t specifically like it. I had noticed that she had selected country music for the bar’s music selection. I had figured that I needed to do something huge to turn that situation sour. She had mentioned that I could pick a song if I wanted to. I had thought that I could pick a song that would flip her opinion on me. I chose Little Texas’ What Might Have Been. That song was a slow and cheesy song. It wasn’t a shit kicker song or what most people think of country to be. I was hoping that the blue pill cheesiness would rub her the wrong way. She didn’t care, even after I shared a stupid story connected to it. She didn’t take the bait. She smiled a warm and happy smile instead. I couldn’t shake the new friend.

I had thought that a hyperbolic series of comments would move someone to not engage in business with me. The opposite happened. The person told me that they were used to lively people and they actually acted excited to have me around. I was surprised to get great service and a great product.

I found that interactions (and the results) often fall into a 5-10% category of “Ressults May Vary”. Life isn’t always cut and dry.

(Yes, I easily could have just been brunt, but I also want people to have come to their decisions without an excessive amount of blatant interactions/words. I believe that the “dance” of our interactions used to be the paydirt and that it is often missing in our modern day).

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As The Gray Makes Its Way II: Veteran’s Day 2022

This is the second part of my Veteran’s Day post. This was to talk about sacrifice and the departure that service brought some of us.

I had been listening to En Livstid i Krig from Sabaton. (Swedish version of Lifetime of War). I found the translation more fitting to describe what I (and a friend from my hometown) went through.

I never saw the war, outside of a personal nature. My classmate Mike, who was in the USMC, saw some conflict. But we both saw our lives change and it often wasn’t what other people knew of.

I wanted to share some of the translated lyrics that described situations.

“I look around and see my home fade away. My time at home seems too short”

Even the first time I was able to come back home, it looked like somewhere I didn’t belong. I did see the last vestiges of loved ones, but it looked like a series of places I would drive past. It didn’t look like the places I used to hang out at and throw empty bottles around.

“Amongst friends from my village, I went out to fight”

Mike and I weren’t the only ones who considered the military. We had several join us in several military branches. One of the biggest jokers joined us, I saw his smiling face for the last time. He is around somewhere, but our lives took us from that normalcy.

And the world burned

I would read about the place that we came from. It seemed to change in strange ways. There was something missing as we were gone. Many missed us and what we could have been to all.

For war can destroy a man, I give my life for my homeland

Mike is a strange shell of a man. He is estranged from his daughters. He went through a divorce after he seemed to lose the last grasp of what he had been. (His now ex wife is someone I cared about immensely. She was a bright spot in the past. It hurt her to this day). I didn’t have much of anything waiting for me back home. A few people treated me like I was a spectacle. I couldn’t speak their language. No one wanted me for work. I lost some of the good things that I was constructed of when I was younger.

Who will mourn me? So see me as a husband, a friend, father, and son…who never comes home.

Mike didn’t come home. He went elsewhere with someone else. He doesn’t have anything from the past with him. I felt like someone passing through when I went to my family’s church. It wasn’t my place, although I had been confirmed and “blessed” there. Most of my friend’s parents, (at least the one’s that didn’t have military family members), looked at me like I was trash. (Construction workers and frat boys were their people, even though they had flaws galore).

Who will mourn for me?

Other veterans. A few family that have adopted me over time, including a Vietnam veteran.

Out there, were death awaits, not heroism

I knew of a few Navy servicemembers that died in the Pentagon attacks, Cole bombing, and ship collisions. I expected to have my chance like they did. It never came for me, but those that we forgot joined the Legion of the Eternal Young. A few of their shipmates carry a huge burden as the years go on.

A part of us didn’t come home. I lost some of what people knew me for. I never had to shoulder the burden of taking another’s life, but part of the good left. I was rewarded for looking the other way ethically.

And when my time runs out… who cares then?

I learned that few do. We lose multitudes to suicide and overdoses. Ignorant people and scum sucking corporations care enough for lip service marketing schemes.

Does a soldier get a worthy end?

Often not. Heart disease or a car crash at the end of struggling decades is what you get. It would have been better that Mike been a statistic on Fox News or I would have been a service to someone with a Colombian neck tie. We are walking zombies in a way where we are at.

Some of us gave more than time for our country. We lost a part of us and we lost people. We became strangers. We also became cold to the lovers who once knew us. I left years ago.

On this Veteran’s Day, embrace those that are trying to find what is left of themselves.

Thank you, friends. Many of you have made it survivable. I may be a long way from home, but I am a short walk from the comfort you offer.

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As The Gray Makes Its Way: Veteran’s Day 2022

I technically had two separate posting for Veteran’s Day 2022. I wanted to salute two veterans that I feel that I owe more than I could give.

Bruce*

Bruce was accidentally roped into a bad situation that I created. I ruined his night. He never held it against me. I was going through one of the darker times of my life. I had considered giving my life to alcohol at the time. No other things seem to go well. Getting trashed made sense. Back in 2001, during our deployment, I broke an alcohol consumption record. Within an hour plus, I had nearly consumed twenty six beers and a few shots. Take a wild guess, that was lights out level drinking. Someone made sure that I made it back to the ship, steered more toward medical. Bruce was one of the guys. He had to fight me somewhat. I got a chance to apologize, but I never got a chance to thank him.

(I am not 100% sure of this, but I think he ended up getting discharged after I left. Not sure if things were bad, but unreliable sources mentioned that he had family issues/might have been kicked out for popping a drug test).

I wish I could do more for the people that gave me a second chance.

*Dusty

Dusty did me a bunch of solid favors. I could never pay him back for them all. He stayed up all night to make sure that I didn’t die of alcohol poisoning. He fixed administrative issues for me. Dusty kept other people off my back until I left the Navy. He kept me laughing. Those that chose to be a comfort in my life were few and far between. Dusty was one of the few. His life after the service was okay, boring.

If I had a chance to pay him back…

I don’t memorialize the living on Veteran’s Day. I celebrate those that helped me make the best out of my enlistment and those that held the flashlight when I was running through hell.

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