Category Archives: Featured

Infidelity and the Morality of Children

I have no memory of how this woman’s blog got into my list of RSS feeds, but it is certainly an interesting read on one view of infidelity. I haven’t had the time to read through all that many of her posts or comments, but I’ve got my own opinions as it is.

A dear friend of mine had the misfortune to have been a newly wed who had to suffer through the trauma of learning that her husband cheated on her. The details are irrelevant (to this piece at least). I am more interested in discussing the role of “the other woman”. The question I’m contemplating is whether or not the mate poacher is the enemy.

For the sake of discussion, let us say that a woman (the “other woman”) named Sophie seduces a married man named Kevin. Kevin is married to Lisa, and they have two young children, Monica and Nick.

Is Sophie the enemy? In some ways, yes, she is. If Sophie is aware of the Kevin’s marriage, then she must enter into (or continue) the relationship with the Kevin knowing full well that her actions could result in the breaking down of Kevin’s family. To come to any different conclusion would be simply an exercise in mincing words and twisting logic in order to mitigate the consequences of such a relationship. Anyone who doesn’t consider the risk of a family breaking up over infidelity is being unrealistic.So if Sophie is awful for getting involved with a married man, what about Kevin? Kevin is to be held accountable just as well. In fact, he is at greater fault. For a relationship to exist, both parties involved must give their consent. It’s not like Kevin is going to forget that he has a wife and child at home. His consent to the relationship is a decision that he must be accountable for. The fact is that Kevin is the one who holds the responsibility to remain loyal. He cannot claim to be a victim. His infidelity is one which he must take an active roleOne could argue that Kevin’s wife Lisa could be cold and withholding, that she is a neglectful partner, hence driving Kevin to engage in extramarital activities. Perhaps she is herself having an affair. I don’t consider this a valid excuse for infidelity (there are no valid ones in my book). For one, fidelity should be considered more than just a promise to another person. It should be considered a moral value. When one takes on the vows of marriage, they should consider it a promise to the institution of marriage as well. If you are religious, it becomes a promise to God as well. And if one has children, the promise of fidelity is a promise to the children as well, the promise to provide a stable and loving home life. Besides, as the adage goes, two wrongs don’t make a right.

Three months ago, I was having dinner with my friend Luanne and her friends. In conversation, I accidentally and tangentially brought up the topic of marital infidelity. Needless to say, I opened a big can of worms. I was actually quite shocked at the opinions that were offered around the table. I of course, keeping in line with my observer status, kept my mouth shut as I knew that I would not rest should I engage in such a discussion. Besides, in all honesty most people have very poor debating skills and a ‘debate’ would only serve to exasperate me when people flounder with flimsy premises and poorly constructed arguments.

More importantly, I observed adults often find the need toplayaround with the circumstances surrounding morality when facing moral dilemmas. When someone offers an opposing view, a person often offers a different set of circumstances that would seemingly make their own moral stance valid.

I say that adults often do this because it is something that children do not. Viewing things through a child’s eyes can be rather insightful. Adults often lose their clarity of vision, the truth obscured in layers of winding self-soothing logic and justification. Why is it that children of divorce wish that their parents would get back together, even twenty years later when they are full grown adults? Why is it that children often have problems accepting and integrating a step-parent into their lives? Why is it that children feel bad when mommy and daddy are fighting, or when someone puts the moves on their parents?

The answer is simple. Children, at their age, have yet to be tainted by the complexities of adult life. They have yet to engage in self-deception and justification as ways to deal with cognitive dissonance. Although children can at times be reductionistic, they are undoubtedly more likely to see the truth of matters. Their observations at times exceed an adult’s vision obfuscated by ego defense mechanism. Children are the ones who make obtuse observations.

In Spielberg’s Hook, there is a scene where Captain Hook’s trying to seduce and win the loyalty of Peter Banning’s children, Jack and Maggie. Maggie is a little girl, no more than six years old. Hook antagonizes the parents by explaining to the children that their parents tell them stories in order to shut them up so that they can have time for themselves. He says that before the children were born, the parents were happier and freer. Young little Maggie knows that this isn’t true. She looks at him with a fearful disbelief and says, “You’re a bad man.” Jack, perhaps ten years of age, is not as disbelieving. Captain Hook’s words have a clear effect on Jack. Why? Because Jack is more grown up. His mind, being more mature than Maggie’s, can be engaged and therefore tricked by various forms of logic and debate. But Maggie knows only to believe what’s in her heart, and in her heart is the truth: that her parents love her.

Infidelity is wrong. A child’s sense of right and wrong is a simple measure. If you asked a five year old girl if it would be okay with her that Daddy hug and kiss a woman other than Mommy, I feel comfortable saying that she is more than likely to be a little uneasy with that idea. It’s why when little Jane catches Mommy kissing the postman, she feels something is wrong with that picture. When Daddy takes an hour to go get some milk and eggs, Jane knows something isn’t right about that. Perhaps she feels uneasy or a little upset, and she probably doesn’t know why. This is cognitive dissonance, evidenced even in children as young as five years old. And it’s a simple measure of morality.

People can dress up infidelity all they want. Adults are more than capable of silencing the internal voices that cry out when they do something wrong or witness a wrong being committed. Children, though, are far more truthful. Perhaps that is the ugliness of adulthood…deception, a loss of innocence and truth, and the disappearance of a simple and pure love.

Thanks to Katie Tegtmeyer for the photo.

The Bible’s Methods of Social Control

Oxford Study Bible - The First Letter of Paul to the Corinthians
Just thought I’d post my paper on the Bible’s method’s of social control. I wrote it last semester, got an A on it, though I have to admit that it could use a lotta polish. I have a bad habit of waitinguntil the last minute and skating by. Not my best work, and I actually intend to improve the paper when I’ve got some time. I also intend to actually read through Friedman’s The Hidden Face of God.

The Bible’s Methods of Social Control

Wistful Writer

Easy Class 231

Professor Kevin Smith

17 December 2009

Religion is defined as an “institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices”. A religion is inherently a type of system: it has rules and laws that its believers must abide by. It is a system of organized doctrines and ideas that shape the psychologies and guide the actions of its followers. In order for a religion to be established as an institution, it must be defined, and order must be established. To be organized, a religion needs a definitive body of written text, something that becomes a sort of rule book if you will, so that the system will have order and a source of authority. In the creation of an organized religion comes the effort to control those who believe in it, to ensure that its followers act in accordance to a codified set of behaviors. A religion could not exist as an organized system without a base of power or the authority to assert that power.

In Judeo-Christian religions, the Bible is one such “rule book.” It is a collection of books that contain stories and laws that help define, portray, and promote values that are important to a specific belief system. The contents of the Bible contain text that serves to codify and legitimize a particular set of rules and laws in order to give organization to a religion. Moral codes are established and a particular set of behaviors are defined and prescribed to followers in these scriptures. Although the exact intentions of those who compiled the Bible can be debatable, it is not unreasonable to believe that the Bible was put together to create a unified body of work as the basis of the doctrine that is central to Judeo-Christian religions. In fact, the Bible contains many methods of social control.

Without getting into the debate of the actual existence of deities, religion is ultimately a social construct that is defined by humankind. Factually speaking, the Bible was written by humans and its laws were enforced by people in positions of religious power. These scriptures were deemed sacred, and is taken as “the word of God.” They were written as a definitive and final authority to be referred to in order to govern the constituents of a system based on it.

It would make sense that these scriptures are written this way: it is not unnatural for those in power to wish to retain their power. Therefore it would make sense that those who would create a social construct for others to submit themselves to would create one that allows for the retention of their own power. To that end, the Bible is useful in the way that it is structured because it is written in such a way that allows for just that: the retention of power and social control. Let us examine what methods the Bible employs to achieve such ends.

Starting in the very beginning, in Book of Genesis, we have the story of Adam and Eve. God places these two humans, the first of their kind, in a garden. In the middle of that garden is the “tree of knowledge of good and evil” (Genesis 2:9). God forbids Adam and Eve from eating from this tree. Eve is tempted by the serpent and ignores God’s wishes and eats from the tree. God exacts his punishment on both Eve and Adam.

Here, we see that God interfaces very directly with the first humans. He provides for them by planting trees for sustenance. He speaks to Adam and Eve personally. And when these first humans disobey God, He punishes them in a very direct way. In the story of Cain and Abel, God speaks to Cain as He did with Adam and Eve. We see that Cain is able to speak to God Himself as well (Genesis 4:13). And again, we see that God punishes him in a very direct way: God exercises His power over His domain by cursing Cain. This is a show of God’s coercive power (Raven, 1999).

Later, when we come to Abraham’s story, we see even greater interaction between man and God. Abraham goes so far as to challenge God’s intentions to destroy the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 18:23). He in fact engages with God on an interpersonal level that has not been exhibited before: Abraham “questions whether God can act inconsistently with His own standards” (Friedman, 1995, p. 33).

All of the above is an illustration that humans at one time had divine experiences. This establishes the legitimacy of the existence of God, and therefore the legitimacy of the Bible itself. The stories are used to illustrate that God exists and that at one point there was very obvious proof of His existence. Without these stories, the existence of God would be more questionable.

However, God slowly becomes more hidden and withdraws himself from having direct contact with humans. In the Book of Deuteronomy, God says to Moses, “I shall hide my face from them.” According to Friedman (1995), personal and public miracles (which serves as proof of divine existence) diminish in occurrence and by the Book of Esther, God is not even mentioned. Over time, He vanishes entirely and isolates Himself from humankind.

This achieves several very important things. For one, it is a clever explanation of why we do not see any signs of the divine anymore. The Bible conveniently removes human access to God as an opportune way to explain why God does not appear to us after the Bible was written and compiled. Because God has effectively disappeared, believers cannot reasonably expect miraculous and spectacular divine experiences like the ones they read about in the Bible.

It also aids in a very important factor of the survival of a religion: longevity and sustainability. Removing access to God and the expectation of evidence of the divine reduces the opportunity for people to challenge the legitimacy of the existing social structure. If God has been written to have disappeared and people are to understand that God will not show himself anymore, people cannot use the lack of miracles as an argument against God’s existence. Additionally, people may not make claims that contradict anything that was written in the Bible: the Bible is “the word of God”, and because God no longer appears to humans, it cannot be refuted.

By removing access to the deity, you remove a problematic source of authority in the event that anyone makes any serious religious claims that would disturb the stability of the religious system. This denial of access is especially usefulindebunking self-proclaimed prophets or anyone who may make his or her own divine claims because it makes it far more difficult for anybody outside a position of authority in the religious hierarchy to refute any existing beliefs or doctrine. Thus, the removal of access to the deity is important to the retention of power and legitimacy.

In order to further protect the religion from challenges to its power, the Bible must protect itself from those who may dispute its validity and from naysayers who may lead their followers astray. To that end, the Bible itself dictates that it is indeed the final authority of the religion; and that those who would challenge the Bible are not to be trusted or believed: in the Book of Matthew (7:15), the Bible warns of “false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” In the Book of Deuteronomy (18:20-22), there is a passage dealing with prophets as well:

“If you wonder, ‘How are we to recognize a word that the Lord has not uttered?’ here is the answer: When a word spoken by a prophet in the name of the Lord is not fulfilled and does not come true, it is not a word spoken by the Lord The prophet has spoken presumptuously.”

This is an incredibly expedient passage designed to ensure the image of infallibility, an important part of the retention of power. More specifically, it defends the expert power of the Bible (Raven, 1999, p. 168). That is, the Bible holds the definitive word in the same way an expert does. The passage has a logic that is designed to protect the religion from making any mistakes by putting its faith in the wrong person. Put another way, it states that if someone speaks in prophecy but that it does not come true then he has not spoken for God. With logic like this, it is impossible for the religion to be wrong and the religion proves to be infallible. All predictions, given enough time, can be proven as either true or false. If a prophecy predicts a particular event, and that event indeed passes, the prophecy is proven true, and therefore the prophet who spoke is a true prophet of God. However, should that predicted event not pass, the prophet is proven to be a false one. Either way, the passage in Deuteronomy is correct: it covers all its bases to ensure that. The passage is seemingly infallible. Additionally, the passage scares people away from attempting false prophecy by threatening such an act with death, with death being a form of coercive power.

God’s coercive power is also very clearly demonstrated in the Adam and Eve story (Genesis 3). The punishment for disobedience is harsh: He burdens women with great difficulty in childbirth and the slave-like submission to their husbands; and men with eternal toil and labor until the day that he dies (Genesis 3:16-19). In Exodus, God states that he will punish “children for the sins of the parents to the third and fourth generations” (Exodus 20:5-6). This is a display of the immense amount of coercive power that comes with the power to punish to such a degree. In this case fear is used to aid in the objective of retaining power.

Aside from coercion, the Bible shows evidence of encouraging an incredibly insular style of worship. In the First Letter of John there is a passage that says, “The way to recognize the Spirit of God is this: every spirit which acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and no spirit is from God which does not acknowledge Jesus. This is the spirit of antichrist (1 John 4:2-3).” The passage starts off warning about false prophets and seems to promote intolerance: it can be interpreted to mean that anyone who does not align themselves with the belief in Jesus Christ is an enemy. This fosters a belief in which members view outsiders (spirits that do not acknowledge Jesus) as hostiles (the antichrist), driving them further into their belief system. The Bible in fact encourages the idea of stratification and separation of believers versus non-believers later in the passage (1 John 4:4-6).

Further evidence of attempts to control followers can be seen in the First Letter of Paul to the Corinthians. By saying that “the folly of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God stronger than human strength” (1 Corinthians 1:25), the Bible reduces the power and wisdom in humans. This is actually an efficient invocation of two types of power as defined by Raven: the enhancing of God’s expert power and the minimizing of the target (the target being humans). The Bible also discourages people from becoming too confident in themselves and places God as ultimately superior to even the smartest and wisest of humankind (1 Corinthians 1:25-29).

In the same vein of removing power from followers, the Bible tells followers to “look to the Lord and be strong; at all times seek his presence (1 Chronicles 16:11).” In fact, the phrase is repeated in Psalms 105:4. It is implied that one should find their strength in God, and that one should always be mindful to look for God in times of weakness. If one is expected to rely on God to find strength, then it stands to reason that one would develop a dependence on God. It comes as no surprise that this is yet another way to garner power and control over followers.

Finally, the Bible preaches that “adherence and complete acceptance of the literal word of God and the Bible is an absolute necessity” (Raven, 175). In fact, intellectual engagement is discouraged: spiritual conviction and faith is encouraged instead (1 Corinthians 2:4-5). By removing the need for independent thought, the Bible further reduces the risk of its followers questioning the doctrine set forth before them. Raven calls this the “rejection of reasoning and informational power” (Raven, 175).

Upon closer examination, the Bible appears to be structured to retain as much power as possible. The scriptures use various techniques to promote this objective. The faith that is encouraged in the Bible is one that relies not on a healthy understanding of religious doctrine but blind acceptance of beliefs—some may call this faith. The Bible makes use of tautologies to reduce the possibility of dissent. It preaches to its followers not to rely on themselves but on God to create an emotional and psychological dependence. There are far more examples of the manifestations of various types of power in the Bible than have been covered here. Ultimately the Bible, through its careful composition, design, and choice of content, can be used by religions as an effective tool for social control. This is not to say that all religions are merely attempts to control people. Rather, this is only a recognition and observation that the Bible has much potential in allowing for interpretations that endorse a particular belief system’s power and hold on its constituents.

The Shy One receives unsolicted advice on The Frisky

I was reading The Frisky (Dear Wendy: “The Only Guys I Attract Are My Best Friends’ Boyfriends”) out of random boredom. Just look at those comments.

I know that Internet trolling is probably as old as ARPANET (I kid, but you never know…), but these people sure have a lot of gall…it’s intensely irritating to me whenever people rail on someone asking for advice. These commenters are just absurdly rude. Self-absorbed? Telling someone to “chill the fuck out”? This is not constructive criticism. It’s called “just shitting on someone”.

Then there’s this: “Psych studies have been performed (I will post later) that suggest most men (>90%) seek out a partner less intelligent than them…” Well, “psych studies” don’t mean diddly. There’s been that “study” going around that say that most successful marriages show that the woman is smarter than the man. There’s always going to be some bullshit study that says one thing or another. Most of the time, these studies have such a small sample size that it’s statistically insignificant when you try to apply it to an entire population.

It’s also annoying to me how everybody likes to think that they are qualified to give advice. To be honest, most people are simply not. They can have all the experience in the world, but it takes a specific type of mind to dispense advice in a useful way. Amongst many other things, one must have the discipline to understand someone’s situation thoroughly before attempting to provide a solution. People are so quick to offer their two bits, especially when it’s unsolicited. Boy do I find unsolicited advice irksome. It’s insulting and forces the person receiving the advice into the difficult position of having to be polite. I find that those who perform society this unjustice are people who just like the sound of their own self-proclaimed wisdom. The saying goes, “Never give advice: fools don’t heed it, and the wise don’t need it,” and I think it’s served me quite well.

Then there’s the armchair psychologists who like to dissect the letter’s wordi ng and come to the conclusion that she is conceited or a narcissist. I wish people would just stop. Please, you are telling all of this from one letter? Judging one’s personality from a single letter, probably written in a state of discontent, is going to result in a flawed profile. There’s no two ways about it.

On another note, it’s a coincidence that I came across this article since I get lots of hits on my article about how a woman can move things along with a shy man. I also had an honest and realistic look at the circumstances factoring into my own singlehood. Perhaps the Shy One should spend some time introspecting: I don’t imagine it’s too difficult what with being shy.

Anyway, on the topic of asexuality. Being asexual is not exactly “anti-sex”. Of course, the term itself isn’t even all that well defined just yet. But to my understanding, being asexual is, at its most basic, simply having the lack of sexual desire or not acting on sexual impulses. Asexual people are not necessarily against sex. It’s just that sex is either the last thing they think about or something they don’t think about at all. Sexual desires may motivate others to chase the object of their desire, but not for an asexual person.

I personally am borderline asexual. If I never had sex again, it wouldn’t bother me in the least (hence making the possible decision to become a clergyman much easier). Sex is not what motivates me. Sex is like a luxury to me. I can do without it. And if I don’t ever have it again, I wouldn’t care. Whether this is a product of my self-induced transcendentalism or some other weirdness, I’m not sure, but I suspect it has to a lot to do with my refusal to become a slave to the basic instincts of the animalistic drives of humans.

I value and am attracted to intelligence and artistic qualities in women. And while I believe extroversion would balance out my own introversion, I have always been more attracted to quieter and more reserved women. Hmmm….does anyone have The Shy One’s number?

Thanks to Scott Snyde for the image.

5 reasons why women have it easier than they think

In the interest of following blogging trends, I thought I’d write up something more…contentious. Anyway, for some reason, a lot of the classes I take consist mainly of females. Why I’m still single is beyond me (as well as the scope of this article). Well, actually, I already know the factors contributing to my unattached state. But I digress.

A couple of weeks ago, my professor (a vibrant and youthful 41 year old woman) started a tangential conversation about how hard it was for women and how unfair things were for women. One of her examples included how all the men on The Sopranos are “fat pigs,” yet their wives are with them. According to her (and the ladies in the class agreed wholeheartedly), weight gain is much more a woman’s issue than a man’s: “If we gain like, five pounds, the guys go, ‘Whoa, what’s going on there?’!” This tall Jewish fellow jokingly balked. “Five pounds?” he said, implying that a five-pound weight gain was rather significant and worthy of breaking up over. The guys in the class—myself included—chuckled heartily while the ladies gasped and chastised him for his insensitive comment. You could tell it was funny because my very quiet and serious visage actually cracked a grin.

While I would contend that women should simply leave men who are that superficial, it brought to mind these so-called inequalities women face. Today, I challenge that idea. Before I get started, let’s just get some things out of the way. Firstly, I’m going to disregard anything related to physical aspects (i.e. hormones and that time of the month). There’s absolutely nothing we can do about this short of pumping men full of estrogen and giving women birth control pills and anabolic steroids. Secondly, I am, for the record, very respectful of women and do not mean in any way to denigrate females. The point of this piece is to simply offer a different perspective.

Now let’s get to the good stuff.

1) Mate retention
I haven’t done the research, but I don’t think it’s unheard of for a woman to divorce her husband because he lost his job and couldn’t get another one. I wouldn’t be surprised if “He just couldn’t provide anymore” is a common reason women divorce.

For women, mate retention behaviors involve maintaining a healthy and youthful appearance. Her ability to do so lies solely within herself. Staying young and healthy is in her control. She can make the decision to not eat fatty foods and to go to the gym for an hour every day. Am I saying it’s easy? No, but just bear with me.

Male mate retention behaviors involve resource display. This means a man must show that he can provide for his family. Men buy their wives expensive diamond bracelets and a new sports car to get her to stick around. They shower their wives with flowers and take them out to expensive restaurants when they are in trouble. When things get rocky, he’ll probably try to bust out first-class tickets to some far-off tropical destination.

If he loses his job, he risks losing his family. When you work a job, you are working with other people. You have to deal with a boss who could have it in for you. Your livelihood depends on pleasing your boss. This means that your ability to retain your mate is tied in to the will and whimsy of others. A man cannot make his boss like him. He can bribe him, beg him, pray to God Almighty, but at the end of the day, if his boss is a prick and just doesn’t like him, there is not one goddamned thing he can do about it. For women, it becomes a simple matter of self-discipline.

2) Creative careers
Like I said, men are expected to provide. To do this they must have resources. In today’s day and age, this means money. That money in this day and age comes in the form of a paycheck. The best paycheck is a steady one, and if it’s big and fat, all the better.

Us creative folks are passionate people. We all believe we are artists and that we should be able to express our artistic genius. In fact, if we don’t get to express ourselves, we feel as though we are being stifled and oppressed. To the most hardcore of the creative, the artist who chases a paycheck is a sell out. The artist who becomes a slave to some sort of normal career is chastised and spat upon, his black beret taken away and his goatee shaved off. But being an artist means not having a steady paycheck. The starving artist may be a stereotype, but it is also a serious reality a man must must consider if he is to pursue his art.

Those who consider academia their calling also seem to have this issue. So far, the majority of the young male adjunct professors I have met joked about having to marry a rich woman in order to pursue their goal of becoming a tenured professor. It isn’t too far from the truth: adjuncting doesn’t pay diddly. To be frank, I want to learn these guys’ secret: all of then were neither lookers (though some women might find them cute) nor Casanova’s. A couple of them were downright goofballs. Yet they were able to marry rich women. But, as usual, I digress.

For men who are creative or scholarly, life can be difficult if you intend to raise a family. You don’t get paid an annual salary for peddling your screenplay to Hollywood executives or passing your manuscript around to all the big publishing houses. There is no steady paycheck. Starving artists can’t afford to have a family, so a creative man who wants a family must make that decision: do I want to make art or make babies?

3) Freedom of choice: children, career, or both?
Women have more freedom of choice than they may believe. If she wants to get married and be a stay-at-home mom and make a career out of raising her children, she can. Yet today, she also has the choice to join the workforce and to pursue her career in the workplace instead of the home. Yes, it will be difficult, but hey, at least she can try.

Men on the other hand, don’t really have the choice to be a stay-at-home dad. Even without any hard data, I am damned sure that the percentage of married women in the workplace easily outnumber the percentage of married men guarding the home and hearth. I’d also like to know what percentage of women would actually be comfortable with their husband staying home to take care of the kids.

4) Psychological health
Women who are emotionally expressive or vulnerable are more desirable than women who are cold and stoic. Women are free to express their feelings. Tears are acceptable, whether they are from joy or sorrow. “Women are emotional creatures,” goes the common saying.

Men on the other hand are expected to be forever strong and vigilant. Weakness is not an option. I’m not talking about that intimate vulnerability that may win the hearts of women. I’m talking about a hard case of complete decompensation. A man who has a nervous breakdown is less a man than the one who takes all the hardships of life in stride. For a woman, people may look at her funny, but she isn’t really any less of a woman for it.

The expression of one’s emotional state is important to mental health. I’m not suggesting that we all become emotionally transparent to each other, but let’s face it: an emotional man is considered by many to be less masculine, and by extension, less desirable.

5) Sexual selection
This one is simple. The role of women in sexual selection is to choose her mate. The men come to them, they do not go to the men. Unless a woman is unusually ugly, I can say with great certainty that all she has to do is exist and she will be propositioned.

From an evolutionary standpoint, it sure looks like the males of the human species are the ones that have their work cut out for them. A man’s got to do the chasing. This requires considerable amount of resources, both emotional and material. A man is forever a slave to the evolutionary instinct to pass on his genetic material to the next generation. He must always strive to be better than the men around him, lest he suffer the fate of the dodo. For men, life is a struggle to reproduce. Women are the gatekeepers. They can just sit back and let the action unfold in front of them. Put quite factually, even a woman with just average looks will be asked out if she just sits around long enough. Men on the other hand, will decompose into a narcissistic state of delusion and loneliness if they think they can expect women to just come to him. I would know.

And there you go folks. There are five reasons women have it easier in some ways. When you think about it, women hold plenty of power. It’s just a matter of recognizing it and knowing how to use it.

Of course, before all the feminists start bashing me, let me just say that my personal opinion of how difficult it can be to be a man or woman in this world can be best summed up in this classic addage: “Them’s the breaks.” Men have got it tough in some ways, and women in others. Life’s not fair to either sex.

Now, off to write an “angry young man” screenplay…

A custom made Portal desktop theme for Rainmeter

Click here to Download the Aperture Laboratories Corporate Desktop Rainmeter Theme (RMSKIN format) on DeviantArt

Click here to download The Portal 2 Desktop Theme for Rainmeter AKA the Aperture Laboratories Test Chamber Signage for Real Life Use

Instructions to set up Rainmeter configs here.

For details and updates on the Portal 2 Desktop Theme, please visit the DeviantArt page here.

February 2010. Well, here’s a little preview of what I’ve been working on for the past two days. My own Portal desktop theme.


I actually started off with just a wallpaper: this guy’s Portal wallpaper Portal wallpaper. Then I started looking for themes and couldn’t find any. So then I started crafting icons for ObjectDock. And well, things just started getting crazy after I decided to delve into Rainlendar. I quickly discovered that Rainlendar wasn’t flexible enough for me and moved on to Rainmeter.
The central piece (at least for me) is the massive date sign. It’s based off of the signs you see at the beginning of every level. It took me a hell of a long time to figure out how to make an image based clock in Rainmeter. I took the numbers from a texture I extracted from the game’s data files and stitched them together into my own little array of numbers for Rainmeter to slice up. The images were a little rough around the edges though, so I had to blur them just a touch. That resulted in a little artifacting near the edges, which I had to clean up if I didn’t want stray pixels lining the bottoms of all my numbers.

Then come the icons. I spent a good amount of time creating them, especially the folder icons. At first they were just folders sitting in my dock, and then had a great idea to create a floating tabbed dock. There weren’t any blank/transparent docks that came with ObjectDock, so I made my own. The little black square is the “custom tab” that I actually have to keep there if I want to be able to drag the dock around. I also had to make little boxed variants of the folders.

Portal Theme - created by Wistful Writer (Secondary Display)

There’s this nifty little “serial number” thingamabob that I created too. It’s basically a random three digit number plus the date and time mushed together into one string. It updates every minute. Presto, you have a custom serial number for your desktop!

I’m still trying to figure out how to create a RAM meter that looks like that sectional bar underneath the week counter. But I might just give up on that because I’ve got better things to worry about.

ADDENDUM: I completed the theme to my satisfaction, including the meter. Actually, the meter has been set to reflect the progress through the year. You can download all of the wallpapers and icons here: