I’m More Of A Beta-Male

April 29, 2013

Though I hate to admit it, I actually have a confession to make.  I, Jason Summers, am not exactly an alpha-male.  In fact, you might refer to me as a beta-male.  Who are we beta-males?

We’re not exactly known for ostentatious displays of valor.  My knowledge of all that’s “macho” consists of an image of Randy Savage snapping into a Slim Jim exclaiming, “Oooohhhhhhh yyyeeaaaahhhhhh.”  If war were to break out, I’m more like Archimedes.  I just sort of look around, try to stay out of the way, and work on geometric proofs in the sand.

I rarely take my shirt off, and all my sleeves remain intact.  I have no tattoos, I’ve never smoked a cigarette, and I can hardly even think of pointing a gun at another human being.  However, I’m pretty epic with fireworks!  We can tie G.I. Joes to 12 oz rockets and launch them across the neighborhood!   Take that alpha-males!  Jerks!

I’m the antithesis of macho.  Late one night I was out walking and I saw my cat, Mama-Boo get run over.  She didn’t die and her two back legs were broken.  She slowly crawled off of the road into my driveway under my car and moaned for a while.  I got out my .22 rifle and aimed it at her head, knowing she was suffering and was surely going to die, but even in those circumstances, I wasn’t able to shoot a mere animal. She stopped breathing soon after the accident and I buried her the following morning.

I found myself building a little memorial out by the creek, reflecting on the memories we shared. She was an old stray who had been abused by someone who lived nearby.  She was terrified of people and always ran away.  But she eventually got to know me because I oftentimes sit on the front porch at 3 AM and stare up at the stars.  I actually got to a point where I could pet her.  I took care of her for several years.

I also have a relationship with a raccoon from the creek.  I leave food out on the porch late at night and it comes to eat.  It’s figured out that I’m the source of these wonderful delights and has gotten a little too comfortable around me.  I’ll be sitting in my chair on the porch and it’ll come right up to the side and put its paws on the chair’s arm.  It then lifts itself just six inches away from me and looks me in the face, almost like it’s asking, “Do you have anymore of that stuff?”

Yep.  I’m a beta-male.  While Fonzie may snap his fingers and the women come running, about all I can do is help you with your math homework.  Even still, if you text that you need me, I’ll come running, though I’ll likely be just as intimidated by the spider in the shower as you are, especially if it’s a big one that jumps.  Do big spiders jump?  I think they do.  On second thought… *shivers*  “You can do this Jason, you can do this!”  After thirty minutes of intense planning and deliberation, I’ll end up trapping it in a glass and release it outside in the backyard.

Thinking about it, I don’t think I’ve ever talked to a woman in the imperative tone of voice.  The only time I snap my fingers is when I’m cooking in the kitchen.  Do my little dancing jig as I make stir-fry!  Shake the pan, “Whoooo”, place the pan down on the burner, spin in place, then snap the fingers.  You hungry?

I do actually lift weights and exercise, but I’m not known for my huge muscles.  I can just barely bench-press my own body weight, yet, even still, I am aware of all the current political events, the state of the economy, and other social issues.   That counts for something.

I’ve never grilled a big steak dinner as I don’t like to eat red meat.  It’s not good for the old heart and I kinda feel bad killing other sentient life.  I tend to stick with a vegetarian diet.

I do have a weakness for nice cars and Harley motorcycles.  No lie.  I couldn’t work on them to save my life, but I’ll gladly go riding cross country with you on a road-trip!  Hop on the back babe, I’ll take you anywhere you like!  How could anyone not like motorcycles?

Harley-Davidson-Night-Rod-Special1

These are just a few of the beta-male qualities.   Actually, I think I’m the only beta-male.

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How To Be An Alpha Male

April 28, 2013

HuffPost blogger Emma Johnson is telling us men that women really want an aggressive, manly man, able to make decisions, and strong in this world.

“When you are an independent woman with lots of responsibilities, many men assume that we want to carry out that strong role all the time. But I need to feel like a woman, and times I enjoy that most are when I am with a man,” Johnson wrote. “If I am being honest with myself, being a woman means — to a degree — being passive. And that requires a man who is — to a degree — the alpha.”

“We feel so afraid to acknowledge that we have this inherent need to be with manly men. We fear that we’re going to give up some of our power,” she said. “I like to be with agressive men, alpha men who are strong in this world and strong with me one on one, but that doesn’t mean I want to give up my right to vote or that I choose to earn less than a man in the workplace. “

So guys, listen up!  You need some role models or the ladies will pass you by every time.  Here’s your first lesson.  If you’re going to be an alpha male, you need to learn how to hold your own, protect your woman, and protect your children — like a boss!

Could you ever picture that man unemployed, depending on a woman to support him?  Are you kidding me?  The same goes with you, alpha-male in the making!  Hoodlums giving you trouble?  You have to whip sense into them, call up your buddies at the construction site and find them all jobs.  You’re not only a provider, you also help other young men become providers as well.  Something breaks, you’re there to fix it.  Grass getting a little high?  Never!  The lawn’s always mowed, flower-beds well kept.  Car needs tuned?  You’re all over it.  Taking notes?

Next you need lessons in loyalty.  When your friend’s in trouble, do you cry in your little corner, “The world’s so hard!  Why are people so mean!”  No!  You own the situation, like the Fonz.

When trouble strikes, you’re there.  You’re there for your friends, there for your children, there for your woman.  And see what he did there?  Snap the fingers, the woman comes.  That’s aggressive, that’s an alpha male.  Strong women worry they’ll be giving up their power when dating wuss-balls.  But what about the Fonz?  He’s glowing with power and authority.

Now you need to learn confidence.  Even if you can barely speak English, own yourself and never back down.  You’ve had so many children, you’re everyone’s father.  Remember that.

And when the forces of evil attack from the shadows, who’s going to protect the weak?  The family?  Who fights for freedom and liberty?  Obviously it’s got to be you, alpha-male, honor-bound protector of the innocent!

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It’s 4 AM

April 26, 2013

What a great song.  Kaskade – 4 AM.

Sleepless gliding
Over the city lights
Watch us flying
Over the streets tonight

And I say
There’s a way, there’s a way I know
There’s a way, there’s a way I know
There’s a way, there’s a way
I know that someday we will surely find it
There’s a way, there’s a way I know
There’s a way, there’s a way I know
Someday, there’s a way
Someday, there’s a way I know it

Sunday morning
Watching the city sleep
Dreams are shining
Finally they’re within reach

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We Need Fusion Power

April 25, 2013

What problem do you hope scientists will have solved by the end of this century?  Dr. Stephen Hawking is telling us we need to perfect fusion power.  I agree with him.

Brian Cox:
What problem do you hope scientists will have solved by the end of this century?

Stephen Hawking:
Nuclear fusion.  It would provide an inexhaustible supply of energy without pollution or global warming.

Brian Cox:
I share that view.  The provision of clean energy is of overwhelming importance.  What frustrates me is the fact that we know how to do it as physicists, we know that it works, and it seems to me to be an engineering solution that is within our grasp, if we want to do it.  I don’t understand why we don’t seem to want it enough, at the moment.

Topics: Physics | No Comments »

How Will It All End?

April 23, 2013

Recently I’ve found myself reading the Hebrew book of Job.  It’s a very powerful work of literature and I think everyone should read it at some point in their lives.  In the work, there is a righteous man named Job who is very prosperous.  He’s married to a beautiful woman who loves him, his children adore him, they’re all doing well, and he is very wealthy.  He respects those around him and is a man of integrity.  Then out of nowhere, all of that changes very quickly.

It’s said that Satan and his fallen angels visit heaven and speak with God.   They tell Him that the only reason Job is such an upright man is because he’s been given such a wonderful life.  They challenge God and tell Him that if He removes his wall of protection from Job, the man will soon be cursing God and everyone around him.  And so, God allows Satan to take anything he desires from Job, except his life.

Tragedy upon tragedy falls on Job.  His children are killed, his wealth is lost, and Satan afflicts him with boils all over his skin, leaving him in agony every waking moment of each day.  Though Job never ends up cursing God, he begins to raise his voice to the heavens asking, “Where is the justice?  What have I done to deserve this?  Why is all of this happening to me?  Why do the righteous in this life suffer?  God, why don’t you fix these things?”

Before long, Job’s friends visit him and accuse him of some secret sin.  They assure him that he’s obviously done something to deserve all of this, but he’s just not admitting it.  So, even his friends lose faith in him and he loses his good reputation.  After a while, even Job’s loving wife loses it, becomes a nagging nuisance, and tells him to curse God and curse this life.  She exclaims that there is no justice in this life and that God doesn’t care about either of them.  They’re on their own.   Job ends up out in the middle of a field, covered in dirt, suffering and in agony, sprawled out on the ground, cursing the day he was born.

He lays out in the field and curses this life.  Why do the powerful oppress the weak, and why does God allow it?  Why do good people get sick and die?  Why is there war?  Famine?  Pestilence?  Natural disasters?  Why do evil people prosper?  Why must people die?  Why did God give man a nature which is so covetous and evil?  What is the meaning of it all?  Job lays out in the field and demands an answer, screaming at the sky.

God comes down from heaven in a whirlwind and mocks Job.  What do you understand, human?  Do you know the end from the beginning?  Where were you when I created the laws of physics and set the stars in place?  Or were you there and I didn’t notice?  Do you know my grand plan for it all?  Do you?  The angels rejoiced when I set this all in motion.  Tell me why that is? Tell me what happens when a person dies?  Tell me about the nature of light and matter?  Tell me about space and time?  What is life?  Do you know?  Tell me!

Job lays there in the dirt, thinks for a moment, and then replies, “Lord, I don’t know the answers to your questions.  I’m just a human, and I’m not worthy to ask these things.  Forgive me.”  God then leaves Job and tells Satan to leave him alone.  Shortly after this, Job’s wealth and integrity are restored, his health returns, and he is blessed with ten times the wealth he had before.  He has new children with his wife, and his daughters were the most beautiful in all the land.

When I think about the universe, and wonder if there is a plan for it all, I think of it all from the perspective I know best — a computer programmer.  I think about writing a computer program which runs by very simple rules, and how likely it would be that such a simple program would create beautiful solar systems, stars, planets, and eventually set in motion the evolution of life, trees, blue skies, clouds, waterfalls, and all the rest of it.  Then I think, “It’s pretty absurd to think all of that would happen on its own.  Of all the possible simple programs I could write, most would just create garbage.  They wouldn’t create anything near as splendid as this, despite all its faults.”

I can just picture atheists reading this and thinking, “Jason, are you becoming religious?”  Then I hear them arguing, “If the laws of the universe weren’t what they are, we wouldn’t be here to even think about them because we never would have evolved a brain capable of such high level thought.  So what’s the problem?”  I don’t find that answer satisfactory or conclusive, but there is logic to it.   All that is saying is that if we weren’t here, we wouldn’t be able to think about the question.   I certainly think about the question, and I don’t feel it’s answered.  I don’t like philosophical answers, acting as if you can just sit in your armchair and answer a question like that.  I want something more substantial.  I want evidence.  I want something conclusive.

I’ve been on the fence on this issue for a long time.  On the one hand, I agree with physicists like Steven Weinberg, who in his book The First Three Minutes, chronicles the events of the Big Bang and points out that eventually our universe will continue to expand and expand until we’re left with the heat death.  Information processing becomes impossible, so all thought and consciousness are extinguished, and all forms of life are obliterated, no matter how hard they struggled, or how much they evolved to get where they were.  Weinberg’s book ends on a rather dismal note, stating, “The more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it also seems pointless.”  On the other hand, I wonder how far evolution may go, and I also consider that there could well be aspects to the laws of nature which are yet to be discovered which would change my mind on things.

The other night I had a conversation with an old friend and we had a conversation similar to the ones Job was having with his three friends.   Where is the justice?  What is the point of toiling away in jobs we hate?  We spend the majority of our lives working, most of us hating what we do.  Then we get old, feeble, and the best we can hope for is to have a comfortable retirement, and that’s not even guaranteed.  Love so often fades away and many of us are left with desertion.  And what do we accomplish moving dirt around here on the surface of the Earth?  Struggling to exist?  Sickness, disease, bombings, wars, violence.  What’s the point of it all, especially when it’s all just going to eventually expand away into nothing once we’re all dead and gone?  The question is worth asking.

I’ve watched this world destroy that wonderful inner joy from within so many people I’ve known over the years.  People once full of life as children, now they’re just dead inside.  I remember going to the park and playing basketball with them, playing hockey, and enjoying video games.  We’d sneak off to the park and hit baseballs in the batting cages.  We’d ride our bicycles around the neighborhoods without a care in the world.  We’d go swimming and look at the girls in their swimsuits.  I remember shyly approaching them, and at other times flirting with the lifeguards.  We’d get bored from time to time, but life was good.  We talked about girls we liked, we goofed off, and we tried to convince the older folks to take us to the paintball range or to Blockbuster to rent movies.  But that was then.  Now what is everyone like?  They’re stuck in jobs they hate, most of them are in unfulfilling relationships, and some of them live in poverty.  They’re bitter and many of them have given into cynicism.  Others have became deeply religious, think Jesus is coming back any day to save this dying world, and have put all their hopes in the next life.  People I grew up with, friends and family members, I’ve watched this world tear them to shreds and spit them out to die.  I’ve also had to watch many of my own loved ones die and felt totally powerless and helpless against it.  Just the other night I looked at my grandfather, who I love deeply, lying in the emergency room, weak and frail, on the verge of death, about to have open-heart surgery.

I can’t bear to think about it.  It sends me into a spiral of depression so deep, I can become suicidal.  I made up my mind many years ago to find answers to why all of this is happening.  I’ve found out how many things got the way they are, but the solutions, if there are any, are beyond what any person could ever fix on their own.  Many things are beyond our control, such as the ways our minds evolved and what makes us feel good inside.  One of the scariest thoughts to think about is that society is evolving on its own, and nobody really knows where it’s going or how things will turn out.  And looking at all the other species before us that have went extinct, we live in a dangerous world where the rains fall on the just and the unjust.

I also learned and later came to appreciate all that my parents did to make me happy.  How both of my parents tried to shield all of us from the pains and suffering of this world.  I remember all my mother did, taking us places, running us to different sporting events, or buying us things we wanted, even when they were difficult to afford.  I recall the spiritual lessons Dad shared, and as I grow older, I find out the truth to most all of them.  Most all of them were true, as far as life lessons go.  I see people who never learned them, or failed to believe them, and I see them destroyed.  That’s to be expected.  He shared with me spiritual lessons that have been taught for thousands of years, time-tested generation after generation.  They’re the greatest things Dad ever gave me.  Love and compassion are the most important things in this world.

I’ve learned many things, but the deepest lessons I’ve learned point to the fact that I’m a very frail and weak creature who is very dumb, unaware of most things going on around me.  People of my species live for an insignificant amount of time, struggle to exist, mainly due to how stupid we all are, and then we die.  We hope to find some degree of happiness in our careers, love lives, and children, but I don’t think many people find deep fulfillment.  The more I learn, I mostly learn all that I don’t know, so I don’t feel qualified to even give advice or talk about things.  It’s like there’s an invisible whirlwind flying above me, “What do you know?”  I always reply, “I know next to nothing.”  “What is matter?”  “Protons, neutons, electrons?  Quarks?  I don’t know.”  “What is light?   What is it that you see?”  “Vibrating electric and magnetic fields?  I don’t know.”   “What keeps the stars in place?”  “Gravity?  I don’t know.  I see things happen and in simple situations, I can predict what may happen with some success.  That’s all I’m capable of.”  Then the whirlwind leaves and I hope He tells Satan to leave me alone.

I find myself wondering if our species (and others in the universe) will continue to evolve and eventually will become something glorious beyond anything I’m able to think or imagine.  Their technology may be so advanced, I couldn’t distinguish them from God.  They may live in unbounded joy and happiness, capable of living any experience they desire.   And they may well reprogram the universe, stop the expansion, and live indefinitely for all eternity.  And who knows, when I die, maybe I’ll reincarnate into that civilization and that’s my reward for helping contribute to it.  I have no idea what happens at death, or what the relationship is between brain activity and consciousness.  What do I know?

I mentioned the other day that I’ve been reading Freeman Dyson’s book Infinite In All Directions.   He has a chapter entitled, “How Will It All End”, and he talks about mind and life infiltrating the universe, and everything bursting into diversity of all kinds.  In the past, he’s speculated that life may be able to exist forever, despite the problems inherent in an expanding universe.  We humans may master genetic engineering and space-travel and plant the seeds of life all over the cosmos.  Beautiful flowers growing in sub-zero temperatures, magical life-forms free-floating through space feeding off starlight, and beautifully terra-formed planets, decorated into gorgeous cities, all as we enhance our intelligence and technology.  Maybe the human race won’t always be so pitiful, and maybe God knows the end from the beginning?  Like Job, I find myself replying to the whirlwind, “What do I know?  I’m unqualified to answer questions like that.”  I remain an agnostic.  I hope I can keep my integrity, like Job, and be a source of good and encouragement, despite what challenges may happen to me.  However, I oftentimes find myself in that field, cursing this life and ever being born.  As Dad taught me growing up, faith and hope are important.   He wouldn’t say it like that though.  He’d quote the scripture, “Without a vision, the people perish!”

Topics: Philosophy | No Comments »

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