Ralph Higgins

Ralph Higgins
color pencil sketch by Gayle Higgins

Quotes I Like

"If you do not take an interest in the affairs of your government, then you are doomed to live under the rule of fools."

– Plato

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Saturday, February 22, 2014

From Men to Geldings


        The emasculation of the American male has become a national sport.  A typical TV commercial will show some poor guy, tucked in bed with a thermometer sticking out of his mouth as his sympathetic wife comforts him, sings a lullaby, and provides just the right medicine for his ailment.  Mothers always know what’s best.    

            Sitcoms show feminized males flitting around with their roommates, giggling, and struggling against the urge to grow up.  Married men are confused and brow-beaten by their wives, who always have the right answer to their struggles, punishing them when needed.    

            I don’t watch these shows, but my wife does occasionally.  Fortunately my wife likes masculinity. If I asked her to comfort me after a bad dream, she’d grab the car keys and leave me alone with my blankee.  And I wouldn’t blame her.

            But that’s how men are portrayed in the media.  It’s always the man who can’t fix the leaky faucet.  It’s the man who gets lost driving until his wife helps him find his way.   He’s the poor wimp who must ask his wife if he can go out and play.

            I’d like to see a commercial where the pathetic husband, squirming due to hemorrhoids, pleads for help and his loving wife runs in with a hot hair curling iron and says, “Stop whining!  Bend over.  I’ll fix it once and for all.”   

            The media would never have the cajones to make a woman look as stupid as a bumbling man.  I have to be careful here, because Gayle will remind me of the time I thought I could change a light switch without turning off the power and I actually melted a screwdriver.

            My wife was in the design business most of her life and casually dated a few of her male homosexual associates.  She says they were “safe” and they liked to dance, shop for clothes, and talk about girlie things.

            I remember in college my buddies and I were glad for homosexuals, because they left more women for us, but then the lesbians came along and screwed that up.

            What many people don’t understand is that women need love and security, but men need respect. Men don’t get respect by being pusillanimous in the face of female attempts at domination.  That can be loosely translated to “wimpy,” but I like the word, “pusillanimous.” 

             Radical feminists have confused gender roles and resisted the natural aggression and masculinity in men.  This has resulted in a delightful compromise- behold “the metrosexual.” 

            John Wayne has been replaced by Johnny Depp.  From Reagan to possibly . . .Hillary?  The fact that this is even possible should scare the hell out of anyone with a brain!  But it is certainly consistent with the trend.   

            Men are not even needed to inseminate a woman now, let alone help raise a child. Soon women will be able to clone themselves by parthenogenesis like komodo dragons and pit vipers. 

            The attack on men is coming from the establishment and is designed to disempower men in order to force women to be dependent on the government to provide for them and protect them. 

            Notice that women overwhelmingly vote for more intrusive government, i.e. the Democrat party.  After all, someone has to take care of them.  They sure don’t want to depend on a bewildered dingbat who would rather watch football than talk about feelings.

            In the UK married men suffer more abuse from their spouse than married women.  The statistics are surprising in the U.S. as well.  It’s less reported, because what male would want to admit that his wife beat the crap out of him?  If it went to court, a female attorney and a female judge would just continue the flagellation.

            Obviously the legal system favors women and discriminates against men.  From divorce to equality in sentencing, it’s no contest.
           
            Masculinity is a dirty word in our society.  Even America has become feminized and look at the results internationally.  America is no longer respected or feared.  Our leaders would rather that America be loved by our adversaries than respected - a female trait, as I’ve said.  Obama would rather sit with Putin, smoke a joint, and talk about feelings than take a stand.

            I’m having fun with this article, but there is truth in it.  I think men should be masculine and women should be feminine.  It’s as simple as that.  Isn’t that why Adam and Eve frantically ripped fig leaves off each other in the Garden of Eden?

             

Saturday, February 15, 2014

To Live in Peace



“If you are depressed, you are living in the past.
“If you are anxious, you are living in the future.
“If you are at peace, you are living in the present.”

     The above is a quote from Lao Tzu, the legendary founder of Taoism. Legend says he was conceived when his mother gazed upon a falling star.  That excuse sure wouldn’t work today.

            This guy supposedly remained in his mother’s womb for 62 years before being born while his mother was leaning against a plum tree.  He was said to have emerged as a grown man with a full grey beard and long earlobes, both symbols of wisdom and long life.  From his mother’s perspective, this gives new meaning to the pain of childbirth.

            Based on this story, I would suggest that a young woman stay inside at night and if she happens to catch a glimpse of a falling star, stay away from plum trees unless she wants to be pregnant for 60 years.  Of one thing we can be sure - after spending 62 years in a womb, old Lao Tzu wasn’t afraid of the dark.

            I guess I got carried away on this guy Tzu, but the message in the quote is profound.  Sometimes it’s difficult to let go of the past – especially negative things that come back to haunt you.  Regrets can ruin the pleasure of the present, or as Tzu says, “The peace of living in the present.”

            Anxiety over the future can be debilitating too.   I can’t count the messages I get via the internet related to living life in the present.  Most of these messages have flowers, sentimental music and poetic encouragement to enjoy the day, be loving to others, and if you don't forward this message of love to ten other people, lightening will strike you and you will die.

            I think it takes practice to cast out negatives from the past and avoid worrying about the future.  Sometimes it helps to consider how insignificant we are in the context of time and the vastness of the universe.  This is paradoxical if you believe that you are valued by your Creator, who sees a sparrow fall and knows how many hairs are on your head.  His task of counting my hair gets much easier as time goes on.

            F. Scott Fitzgerald said that “the test of a first rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”  Cognitive dissonance is when contradictory beliefs cause mental conflict.  That’s the point here.

            The idea that we as individuals have value to our Creator while the solar system we live in doesn’t even register in the context of the known universe, may be difficult to grasp.  Frankly, I think it makes our relationship with God more significant, not less.  Think about it.

            I don’t know how I veered off topic, because I planned to write about motorcycles.  I was going to get into good things from the past, a la Tzu, but once I start writing, some tangential thought pops up and I begin to extrapolate from that thought until I’m well into the weeds.  Maybe I’ll write a motorcycle story next time.
                     

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Words


      Have you noticed how language, like climate, is always in a state of flux?  Sometimes this happens gradually with no malevolent intent.  Maybe it’s just an evolutionary change in meaning over time or when a slang term suddenly hits a receptive audience and becomes part of the vernacular.

            It’s a cold and snowy morning and I began to think of words that have been altered to be politically correct and some that are used to change the thinking of a population. These are off the top of my head and I know that you’ll be able to add many more to this list.

            Changes in language can result in changes in thinking and can be used to manipulate people.

            Take “global warming.”  That didn’t seem to work out so well after warming scientists got stuck in an ice cube, so it was changed to “climate change.”  Can’t go wrong with that.  Climate has been changing since time began.

            Carbon dioxide is necessary for life on the planet. So now we are introduced to “carbon emissions.”  Or just plain, “carbon.” That sounds more ominous.

            “Obama Care” was proudly unveiled and promoted with Obama’s smiling face until it was shown to be a disaster.  So the program became “Affordable Health Care,” in the hope that the uninformed public will disassociate Obama and feel safe and secure in the government’s warm and loving arms. The “believers” feel healthier already and are planning on how to spend all the money the government will save them. 

            Does anyone remember the term, “Gravitas?”  That word popped up like a pimple on a teenager, but it disappeared just as fast.  It had a run from 2000 to 2008.  Every talking head on TV and radio repeated “gravitas” endlessly.  Dick Cheney has “gravitas.”  The word was meant to add stature to the Bush campaign.  Dick Cheney’s vast experience was “gravitas” and added weight to the ticket.

            The term “gravitas” miraculously appeared in 2000 then mysteriously disappeared when Obama and Hillary came on the scene. Not much gravitas with those two.  Has anyone heard that word since Bush/Cheney?

            Many words are changed to be more politically palatable, for example:  Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, that paragon of intellectual prowess, wants to change the term “Welfare” to “Transitional Living Fund.”  There must be a whole lot of transitionin’ goin’ on somewhere.  But where?

            “Homosexuality,” has migrated from queer, fag, fruit, etc., to “gay.”  “Socialist” changed to liberal then to “progressive.”  “Mental retardation” is an “intellectual disability,” which is actually better.  “Manic Depressive” sounds scary, but “Bipolar Disorder” is benign and vague.  “Handicapped” is now “Challenged.”  “Baldness” will soon change to “Follicle Deficit Disorder” to be covered under Obama Care.  You’ll think of many others. 

            The evolution of definitions is interesting.  Going way back in our history, the term “darkies” turned into coloreds, black folk, negro, until it landed on “African-America.”  Coming soon - “hyper-pigmented.”  Get rid of the hyphen.  How about simply “American?” 

            Doesn’t “African-American” define a race down by implying something less than full “American?”  Does it unify or divide? Just a thought.  By the way, is anyone completely white in skin pigment?  Put your hand on a piece of white paper and compare.

            Personally, I don’t like hyphenated designations.  If you are an American citizen, you are American.  You are not Italian-American, Mexican-American, Lithuanian-American, Baptist-American, hypoallergenic-American, or constipated-American.

            I’m aware that America is no longer a “melting pot.”  Our country has become Balkanized, i.e. segregated into groups with varied languages, allegiances, and identities other than “American.”  No country can survive fragmentation, so why do we encourage it with “multiculturalism” and the accommodation of languages other than English?

            Some words have changed 180 degrees from their original meaning.  The word “awful” has a negative meaning although it originally meant, “full of awe.”  You’ve heard younger people say, “That’s bad!” or, as in the hood, “That be bad, Bro,” when they mean, “That’s good,” or “that’s cool.”  Are you “down” with that?
                                                                     
            Another term that drives me nuts is the word “wuss” or “wussy.”  Its origin is obvious, but it seems cowardly.  Someone changed a letter to make it politically correct, but come on.  If you don’t want to use the word you actually mean, use the word “wimp” or “coward.”  Using “wuss” is wimpy in itself.

            Politicians use focus groups to see which words work in altering the thinking of people for control. You can change people by changing words. The right slogan can even get you elected.  How about “Hope and Change”? 


            Time for another cup of coffee.  Maybe I’ll pretend to be “middle of the road” politically and add some half and half.  Or does that make me a “wuss”?  Life is confusing