Saturday, March 26, 2011

If we had more altruists like Andrew Breitbart , the world would be a better place

I received a copy of Andrew Breitbart's new book Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World! and immediately started reading. I find Breitbart's enthusiasm and restless indignation of the liberal media refreshing and candid. His book was exactly the same.

I have heard Breitbart speak about how he became more right-leaning but it was interesting to read the story of his transition from default liberal to conservative/libertarian when he saw Clarence Thomas raked over the coals because of his political leanings. But even more importantly, Breitbart saw what the media did to shape the story line without evidence because they were in collusion with the Democratic party with no regard for free speech or the truth. Breitbart has spent the rest of his career righting this wrong.

He has done it at great personal expense to himself and his dedication and sheer determination in this regard are worthy of respect, even if you do not agree with his politics. Most people have trouble standing up to the smallest of confrontations; Breitbart has taken on the mainstream media and is winning that war. His book is a testament to all that he has done from being Matt Drudge's "bitch" to becoming a one-man army for free speech and freedom for all, despite one's political leanings.

Read the book, it is quite a journey.

Cross-posted at the PJ Tatler.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Airplane etiquette

I just read an interesting article on airplane etiquette entitled "The Middle Seat: So Who Gets the Armrest?" The article talked about the problems with planes these days and why people get so hot and bothered. I saw this first-hand on a flight back from LA last week when a couple with two kids became angry with a kind, older couple who had taken their seats because theirs (and mine) had been given away to other parents with young children. The older couple tried to explain but the dad just bluntly said, "get out of our seats, we have kids, just get out." The mother looked and sounded just as rude and obnoxious.

I was struck by how rude their behavior was and wondered what was up with this couple. Had they been traveling with two small kids from who knows what country and were exhausted? Had they had trouble on their previous flights and couldn't take anymore stress? Or perhaps I was too generous and they were just a nasty pair who treated people with disrespect. As I observed them for awhile, I tended to think it was the latter. Too bad for all that encounter this family. Most of the people on the flight seemed fairly together and kind. I tried to focus on that to keep from getting angry.

Have you had trouble on a flight due to bad behavior by your fellow passengers? How did you handle it?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Network of Enlightened Women is taking nominations for their Gentleman's showcase:
Every spring, NeW hosts the Gentlemen’s Showcase which is an event honoring gentlemen on college campuses. The goal is to encourage mutual respect between the sexes.

Monday, March 21, 2011

PJTV: Ask Dr. Helen: Men and the Media

I have another PJTV show up on men's issues, this time it's the portrayal of men in the media:
Goof ball. Video game addict. Man-child. Men are under attack not only in academia, but also in the media. Dr. Helen asks Andrew Klavan and Joe Hicks about the state of modern manhood. Are video games really that bad? Are men portrayed fairly in film and television? Find out.

You can watch the show here.

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The Male Studies Foundation is having their Second Annual Conference. You can see more about the events here.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Bad Mother

Journalist Nancy Rommelmann wrote me about her new book The Bad Mother: A Novel and wondered if I would be interested in the topic. "Yes," was my answer when I saw that the story centered on the lives of Hollywood's transient population of street kids.

Maybe the street kid angle caught my interest as a psychologist or, more likely, it may be that I just got back from LA and Hollywood last week and I kind of missed it and figured the book would let me know more about the area from a different perspective. A cab driver told me about the kids and characters that hung around in Hollywood who were sometimes on drugs and sometimes lost. I wanted to know more. I was not disappointed. Rommelmann's skillful portrayal of the characters shows their unattractive side in a way that is realistic, shady and pulls the reader into a world they may never otherwise encounter.

The characters in the novel are based, in part, on Rommelmann's experiences chronicling the "under-told stories of Los Angeles's various shadow populations for the LA Weekly and the LA Times; a crew of Mexican gardeners working the Hollywood Hills; cop groupies hanging out at the LAPD's favorite bar, an East Coast heiress-gone-alcoholic begging for change at Venice Beach, and the dream-broke residents of Sunset Boulevard's $40-a-night motels."

Maybe these stories should be untold, they are depressing. The kids in the book are around 13-18 (mainly on the younger side). They shoplift, have sex with older men (and women) for cash, use drugs and have kids that they seem to have no business keeping. The girl, Mary, one of the main characters, has a baby at 13 that leaves the reader wondering throughout the book why in the hell she kept it.

Although the reader has to feel sorry at some points for the lives of these teens, it often seems to be of their own making. The babies who are born to the teen moms on the street never asked to be part of it. Sadly, they are the ones who will probably suffer the most.