Today's blog comes from one of my mentors, Dan Sanders:
Jack White is one of the more talented of the recent crop of rockers. The song "I'm Shakin'" takes one listen, and it's stuck in your head (in a positive way). I've been shakin' for days through Rambling Harbor, looking a little strange, as difficult as it might be to look strange here. The video is a lot of fun. Check out the featured dancer in the video on YouTube, and if you're in the mood for a mind minder, watch the video "Sixteen Saltines" or "Would You Fight for My Love." Jack White's videos are strange, to say the least, and there seems to be some element of Nick Cave running through his mind. Sometimes I find it disconcerting to relate to people like Nick Cave, his album Push the Sky Away, and his cover of Bob Dylan's "Death Is Not the End." There is an unsettling genius in people like Jack White and Nick Cave.
Recently I had to disagree with a statement made by Jack White. In an interview with Dan Rather on The Big Interview, he recalled once saying to Bob Dylan, "In a way, you guys had it so lucky in the sixties. All these recording techniques that had never been tried before, the Civil Rights movement was coming to a head, the Vietnam War…the whole world was changing…. There was so much to sing about. It was like shooting fish in a barrel."
Jack White was right about the recording techniques, but he was wrong about the artists and the people of the sixties. Artists wrote songs about the issues, political and social, of the sixties, and many people latched on and got involved to make things better, but it wasn't any easier then than it is now. What is needed now is the spirit of the sixties: artists who are willing to say something about issues that matter, such as peace and equality, and people who are willing to lose the apathy, step outside their own comfort zones, and offer support, as we did in the sixties.
In New England recently we saw the power of protest and peaceful demonstrations as the workers of the Market Basket food chain went on strike even at the risk of losing their jobs, and they won. McDonald's employees are starting to fight peacefully for better money. Someone should write a song about these things. Write about what people are doing now and what needs to be done. "Blowing in the Wind" may have been inspired by the people, but the song kept the people believing. It starts with a whisper, Jack, help make it a roar.
There are more words on this, on football violence, and on Kanye West, who can't make the crippled stand (so much for the Jesus thing, Kanye). Come join me on the shores of Rambling Harbor.
Howdy once again, good people! Let's see if we can help out a fellow Rock-A-Holic with some Group Therapy!
Today's situation comes from 21-year-old Eric, who has been dating his girlfriend for two years. Eric's girlfriend and his mother have become very close: shopping, talking on the phone, and just generally getting along like the best of friends. For some guys, this might seem like one less hurdle in the way of a relationship, but Eric is experiencing the downside: the last few times that he and his girlfriend got into an argument, she called the mom for advice. Even worse…Eric's mother takes the girlfriend's side!
Eric's girlfriend insists that this kind of mother-girlfriend relationship is common amongst her friends, but he isn't feeling too great about that. I'm a little bit surprised by that, but it's different for a father. I've said it a million times, but most dads don't want to acknowledge the fact that another man is involved with his daughter. Even though it's a mother-girlfriend dynamic, I still lean in the direction of this situation being inappropriate. Maybe if they were married, I could cut the concept a little slack, but I don't know.
I believe I'm on Eric's side in this instance, gang. What do you have to say about it?
Hey there, Rock-A-Holics! Can I just say that you are looking f-i-n-e FINE right now? Seriously, your face is just so beautiful, reflected in the screen like that. I've always found you attractive, but you are ROCKIN' IT today!
Why, yes…I have been hitting the caffeine and sugar extra hard today. Why do you ask?
In all seriousness: Jamie needs some Group Therapy, folks. It seems that her boyfriend's pal (a guy, of course) met them at a bar for some drinks recently, and was starting to be a little insulting to the boyfriend, as he tends to do when he gets drunk. He didn't finish his beer before he left, so Jamie's boyfriend gave her his number, and told her to text the pal a picture of the unfinished drink. Jamie sent the picture, along with a text joking about how disappointed she was.
(I'm just going to jump in here and plant a warning flag. Please continue.)
Is anyone surprised to learn that the drunken friend responded with some eyebrow-raising conversation starters? This fine gentleman suggested that Jamie should get in touch with him if she ever gets bored and wants to have some real fun, promising her an amazing night if she's interested.
Jamie's boyfriend was seeing these texts in real time, and they didn't bother him a bit. He claimed that his friend was just drunk, and didn't know what he was saying. The friend apologized the next day, but Jamie feels like things will be eternally awkward.
Jamie's other big complaint is with her boyfriend. She thinks that he should take his friend out behind the woodshed for a good old-fashioned warning conversation. The fact that he's not upset about the whole thing has Jaime pretty irked, and she wants to hear your opinions.
Here's my take on it: I think the boyfriend is choosing to avoid the type of drama that some women tend to seek out in their lives, and I applaud him for it. The stereotype of the jealous boyfriend is a real thing, and there are many women who won't allow that kind of thing in their lives (and rightfully so), but I think there are more than a few of you ladies out there who actively encourage that kind of behavior.
As always, your mileage may vary. Let's hear it from you, gang!
Today's blog comes from one of my mentors, Dan Sanders:
One in every 4 women in the United States has been severely or physically assaulted by an intimate partner. It's appalling.
I know abuse. I was an abused husband. My first wife was not cruel, she was sick. We were married some 46 years ago, and she was 15 years older than me. I carry the scars, both emotionally and physically. Some people need help, so why stomp them when they're down?
Domestic violence is in the news, as it should be. In no way do I condone the actions of Ray Rice, but he does need anger management and counseling, and his wife, Janay, probably needs counseling too. It's not uncommon for a domestic abuse victim to defend the abuser, and she wrote, "I woke up this morning feeling like I had a horrible nightmare, feeling like I'm mourning the death of my closest friend. To take something away from the man I love that he has worked his ass off for all his life just to gain ratings is horrific." Maybe we need to help Ray Rice and his wife, and not make him a scapegoat for all the abusers and other offenders in the NFL.
It's fall, a time of spectacular color in our land. There are fairs, pumpkins, and colors of blue and yellow and red, as in blue and yellow bruises and red blood. It's fall, it's football season. Imagine what a 6'1"man of solid muscle, weighing 198 pounds, who can run forty yards in under 5 seconds—under 5 seconds!—could do.
Deion Sanders ran a 4.27-second 40-yard dash in 1989. Now here comes Deion at that speed colliding with another man who is just as fast and as big, and each one, as my coach use to say, is going in hell bent for leather, and smacko! Is this normal behavior? Or does it take a certain mentality to even think of doing this?
I loved playing football. If I could have, I would have gone pro. We all have a current of violence running through us. It's human. A lot of opposing players took a good beating instead of my math teacher. I saw this gladiator charging at me, I could see his face, his eyes, and suddenly this Irish preppy football player turned into my Professor Isosceles Triangle, and whack! he would go, whack! I would go, arms and legs, contorting through the air. Oh, what sweet relief! But I left it on the field (no, not my brain but the mindset).
Michael Vick could kill dogs and still play, and Dante Stallworth, convicted of manslaughter and DUI, served only 30 days. Ray Lewis, at a Super Bowl party, got into an altercation with two men who were later stabbed to death. Lewis became a prime suspect after blood was found on his suit as well as in his limo. He went to trial and had all counts dropped, and the murder remains unsolved. Don't make Ray Rice pay the price when others have gotten away with a slap on the wrist. The NFL should treat players equally, and then, when appropriate, offer help.
There are more thoughts on the mud and the blood of football, and who knows what else, on the shores of Rambling Harbor. Come on over and give a listen.
"I farted on the first date, and the guy hasn't called me in four days. Should I be worried?"
Please read that again, and then continue on with the rest of this blog.
There are times, my friends…oh, so many times…when I think that I could just post the new Group Therapy topic without any additional comments, and let all of you have a field day. That isn't what we do here, but…well, there are times, and this is definitely one of them.
I'm going to do the right thing, and take the high road. After their first night out, Heather was alone with her date in the car. He was planning to come in to her place, but she let out a massive gas explosion, and he ended up just walking her to the door, suddenly remembering an early morning meeting.
Heather is mortified, because the date was great otherwise. The guy hasn't called in 4 days, and she's not sure what to do. Help this poor gal out with some advice, won't you?
Life may change in many ways, with no shortage of twists and turns along the path…but Group Therapy will always be here for you.
Kelsey writes in with this dilemma: It seems that Kelsey's BFF has started dating a new guy…who happens to be Kelsey's ex-boyfriend.
Kelsey and her ex ended their two-year relationship about a month ago, and she discovered this new relationship via a Facebook status change. Kelsey is extremely angry, because the ex-boyfriend used to say that her BFF was loud and obnoxious. She texted the BFF to verify this news, but has yet to receive a reply.
1) Let this be the first and last time that the term "BFF" appears so many times in one Group Therapy blog.
2) Why do some people seem to crave drama like a kid craves candy?
My advice? Let it go. At the end of the day, that's all you can do. If your friendship can survive this new development, then move ahead with your BFF; if you can't move past the situation, just move on.
Welcome back to another session of Group Therapy! We need your help today, because we're trying to cut to the heart of a big question. There's no need to get snippy about it, just try to have a knife time!
(Why did half the men reading this blog just cross their legs uncomfortably? Very interesting.)
John and his wife just had their first kid. He loves the little girl, and has found being a father to be something that he enjoys very much...but the delivery was extremely rough on John's wife, and she's still dealing with postpartum depression, months after the fact. The couple had intended to have two kids, but 27-year-old John is feeling like he's ready for a vasectomy.
John's wife feels this measure is a bit extreme, even though she agrees that a second pregnancy is probably not a good idea.
I don't get this one, folks: if both parents agree that one child is enough, then what's the problem? Here's a man who is willing to take an extremely responsible stance in birth control, and he's getting resistance from his wife, who went through hell and back having their first child.
John wonders if he's being naïve, and is now second-guessing his desire to have a vasectomy. In a world that's nearly overrun with kids whose families can't take care of them properly, I applaud his choice, but your mileage may vary. What say you, Rock-A-Holics?
Today's session of Group Therapy seems like it will inspire a slew of responses, and they may be all over the map. I'm curious to hear what you have to say, gang!
Kim writes in, looking for advice because her boyfriend is always texting other women. They've been dating for seven months, and they've been living together ever since they met (she gives no details, but says it's "a long story".)
I read that as, "don't judge me, because you would roll your eyes if you heard this story", but what do I know?
So, this dreamboat boyfriend doesn't have a car, and he texts other women constantly. He recently texted back and forth with a woman he went to high school with for FOUR HOURS, with Kim lying right next to him. Kim admits that she's an extremely jealous type, and knows she needs to manage that issue, but she feels like this is out of line.
The boyfriend says she's too jealous, and he won't let her see his messages, because she has invaded his privacy on multiple occasions. Naturally, the suspense is killing her. The boyfriend says he isn't doing anything wrong.
Let me just say a couple of things before I turn it over to the peanut gallery. First off, I don't fully understand why a man would spend much time communicating with any woman that he's not in a relationship with, and certainly not for hours on end. I'm not saying this guy is automatically a cheater because of this, but it certainly makes me scratch my head.
To Kim, I offer this: you're fighting invisible enemies here, and the worst of these enemies seems to be your own self-esteem. You have to decide what works for you, and what doesn't; if you can't live with your boyfriend's texting habits, maybe it's time to move on. You're at a crossroads of trust, and you need to choose a path before one is chosen for you.
Today's blog comes from one of my mentors, Dan Sanders:
Just when I thought the great Justin "Dweeber" may have grown up, he proved me wrong when his ATV collided with a mini-van in Canada on August 29 and he was arrested on assault and dangerous driving charges stemming from an alleged fight after the crash. Justin Bieber's lawyer said the singer was being chased by people with cameras when the incident happened.
You may have thought I would never say anything in defense of a rich kid who thinks he can get away with anything, but if the statements by Bieber's lawyer are true and he was being chased by paparazzi (and even if they're not true in this case), there really needs to be some type of protection from the privacy-grabbing, picture-taking creeps we know as paparazzi.
The word paparazzi originated in the 1960 film La Dolce Vita, directed by Federico Fellini. One of the characters is a news photographer named Paparazzo. Robert Hendrickson, in his book Word and Phrase, said that Fellini took the name from an Italian dialect word describing a particularly annoying noise, that of a buzzing mosquito. As Fellini said in his interview with Time magazine, "Paparazzo ... suggests to me a buzzing insect, hovering, darting, and stinging."
There have been many incidents where paparazzi may have caused an accident. We all remember the death of Princess Diana and all the theories that have whirled around that for years. An inquest that began in London in 2004 and continued in 2007–2008 attributed the accident to grossly negligent driving by Henri Paul and the pursuing paparazzi.
No degree or license is required to work as a paparazzi photographer, but the job requires that you consistently capture professional-quality photos of celebrities in a variety of situations. Often the subject you attempt to photograph is uncooperative or even hostile to your efforts. If you have a camera, a good camera, you could go out stalking some celebrity and call yourself paparazzi. What you would really be, though, is a loose nut with a camera who wants to make a buck with little regard for your safety or anyone else's.
I still think "the Bieb" has a lot of growing up to do, and I think old friend Kanye West had his brain screwed in backwards when he said the way he is treated by the paparazzi is like being raped. But I also believe a jerk with a camera and a desire to make money at all costs should be legally restricted from blatant buzzing and stinging and possibly causing the death of an intended subject. A certain amount of lost freedom and privacy comes with billion-dollar paychecks or fame or both, but even the super-famous are human beings.
There's more on this and other things on the shores of Rambling Harbor. Join me there and give a listen.
Sea…well, you know what to say next.
The season opener kicked off in serious style, with a giant free concert by Soundgarden and Pharrell Williams, followed by a great Seahawks victory!
Meanwhile, we found ourselves receiving a Group Therapy request from Russell, a conflicted Rock-A-Holic football fan. Russell was heading to the big game, and found himself with an extra ticket after a pal had to bail out for the birth of his child.
Russell had another friend who asked to take the vacant seat, but this particular buddy has been going through a rough time after a bad breakup. Russell likes the guy well enough, but he wasn't looking forward to the potential babysitting job that comes along with a depressed friend…especially during an insanely awesome Seahawks game!
On the other hand, Russell felt pretty sure that inviting a hot, flirtatious, female co-worker would almost certainly lead to a night of something more than just football. After all, he's made out with this woman before, so it's not like he's just imagining the interest they share in each other.
The game has ended, and we don't know which option Russell ended up taking…but we WOULD love to hear what you would have done in the same situation!
Hello again, good people of the Rock-A-Holic community.
Everyone's talking about the nude celebrity photos that were recently stolen and posted online. The titillation and excitement died down fairly quickly, once the world came to its senses and started to realize that the whole thing was not only a serious violation of privacy, but also a cut-and-dried crime of theft.
Well, now it's worse.
The person who hacked their way to possession of the intimate photos had better hope they're not tracked down by the authorities, because new information indicates that one of the victims was underage in her pictures. Gymnast McKayla Maroney is pursuing legal action, due to the fact that her nude photos were taken before she turned 18. That means that the photo thief, if he or she (let's not kid ourselves, it was almost certainly a "he") is caught, will face more serious charges than simple hacking and invasion of privacy; this could easily turn into a child pornography case.
Personally, I am finding a little bit of joy in the thought that this jerk will pay a hefty price for the crime. Maybe if we're lucky, society itself will learn a much-needed lesson about privacy and respect, too.
I'd love to hear your thoughts about this scandal…
The topic of today's Group Therapy is a subject that offers unquestionable proof that we are living in the future.
A Rock-A-Holic named Mark brought us this topic, which concerns the funeral of a close family friend. Mark's sister was particularly close to the dearly departed, but she found herself unable to fly out in time for the funeral. Not wanting to miss the occasion completely, Mark's sister asked if she could be part of the proceedings via Skype.
Mark isn't exactly onboard with the idea, so he's looking for some advice. Should he pursue his sister's request to have a Skype feed from the funeral, or is it simply unacceptable?
Honestly, my first reaction is to remember the episode of The Big Bang Theory in which Sheldon has his face transmitted to a video screen on a robot while he was away from his friends, and the end result was less than optimal for everyone involved. I'm not making light of the loss in this case, but I'm really not sure about this whole scenario. I definitely think that the sister should be asking for this accommodation herself, rather than asking her brother to address the issue.
Welcome back to Group Therapy, gang! I'm glad you're here, because we have a Rock-A-Holic in need of some serious advice.
Holly's a little bit worried about one of her boyfriend's exes…because the ex in question just happens to be a man. She says she feels guilty that she's a little bit weirded out by this recent discovery, but the whole thing makes her think that she's in competition with EVERYONE. Holly is especially concerned that her boyfriend will cheat on her with another man.
Our societal views on gay (and bisexual) life choices have certainly loosened up over the last couple of generations, but there are still some stigmas left to shake off for some people. Personally, I think that Holly's comfort level with her boyfriend's past shouldn't be affected by his flexible sexuality, because that doesn't have any direct correlation to his trustworthiness as a partner.
Does anyone have some feedback for Holly? Is she overreacting? I'd love to hear from all kinds of people, but I'm especially keen to hear from those of you who have experience with this kind of situation…
Today's blog comes from one of my mentors, Dan Sanders:
We've watched and left behind the MTV Boobs, I mean Video Music Awards, which some of the females almost got dressed for. Don't get me wrong. It worked for me, and I'm sure it gave many males across the country a reason to watch yet another awards show for zillion-"dolly"-ers. Though I admit I gave up on the boob tube broadcast early on, I did see Justin Timberlake, who thankfully was clothed, win Music Video of the Year for "Mirrors," a case where a really good video saved a mediocre song. (Traveling in time, the first winner of that award was The Cars in 1984 for "You Might Think.") Oh, and let us not forget Miley Cyrus, who presented a new twist on jail bait. She chose Jesse Helt, a homeless Salem, Oregon, native to accept her award to draw attention to the homeless youth problem in this country. Almost instantly, it was discovered he was being sought for violation of probation, stemming from previous charges including criminal trespassing and criminal mischief, and he turned himself in to police the next day. Good idea, Miley, but next time, get 'em after they've been in jail.
The 66th Annual Emmy Awards, with Seth Meyers as host, was way more worthwhile in at least some respects. Sofia Vergara, spinning around like desserts on a Lazy Susan (take your pick from the goodies), no doubt kept many male viewers watching, but most noteworthy was the film The Normal Heart, originally a Tony Award-winning play written by gay activist Larry Kramer, which deals with the rise of the HIV/AIDS crisis in 1981 New York City. The film received 16 nominations (almost every actor was nominated), and it won two Emmys, the top honor for Best TV Movie and a Creative Arts Emmy for Outstanding Makeup (Non-Prosthetic)in a Miniseries or Movie.
A sad note in the world of entertainment was the passing of Lord Richard Attenborough, President of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, on August 24. With such great film credits as Miracle on 34th Street, The Flight of the Phoenix, Gandhi, and Chaplin as Actor, Director, Producer, and Father, it bothers me that he might be most remembered for Jurassic Park.
In other news, Allstate Corp. has confirmed my belief that Boston has the worst drivers in the country. According to Allstate's recent survey, a Boston driver will get into an accident every 4.4 years. The full report included 200 cities, and Boston ranked 199, ahead of only Worcester, Massachusetts, an industrial city of 181,000 people 40 miles west of Boston. The large U.S. city that boasts the best drivers is Phoenix, where a driver, on average, will get into a collision every 9.5 years. Could it be that all the retirees there don't drive fast enough to hit each other, or are they just better drivers?
The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, an event that seems ridiculous on the surface, at least to me, has raised $88 million, which proves that stupid behavior can pay off if the reasons are good enough.
There's more on boobs, drivers, spinners, and actors, as well as whatevers, on the shores of Rambling Harbor. I hope you'll grab your favorite driftwood seat and give a listen.