Shots of Wisdom, Part 3

#YourDailyGame. A woman with institutional authority over you such as a supervisor — or one with a psychological imprint on your psyche such as your older sister  — might get bratty in a group setting. When that happens, look at the others with a Kevin Spacey deadpan expression and say: “And they ask me why I drink.”

Beer. Not all golden ages are in the past or in the future. We are now living in a golden age — of beer. My occasional indulgence is an imperial stout. More commonly, I order an east coast-style IPA to ride a buzz with my friends; Michigan’s Bell’s Two Hearted epitomizes that type of citrusy hops taste. If German-style Witbier is your thing, Maine-brewed Allagash White is the best. When slumming it, we Chesapeakians reach for Natty Boh. Old Bay seasoning on the rim if you dare.

Boycott. East Indians secure an area’s liquor store market by gaming anti-collusion laws. Bangladeshi-owned breakfast and sandwich franchises invoke an image of Ganges hands handling my food. Local roofers and electricians grab their morning coffees to banter with the gregarious manager, who mimics the working-class rapport in his sing-songy accent. The SBA greases the track for foreign ownership with incentive structures nominally envisioned for African-American urban core enterprises. South Asians ride that train with their chain immigration labor force. Up a few tiers in venue hierarchy, a faux-upscale national coffee shop chain does not welcome traditional families. We go elsewhere on all counts.

Fortune 500. Big corporations attract executive talent through the limitless opportunities and resources at a large company’s disposal, and they retain the best skilled overhead staff via the job security inherent in a bureaucratic corporate structure. However, those big companies struggle with retaining their most talented billable staff — actual consultants, project managers, designers, engineers — who are drawn to smaller companies in which they spend more time doing what they love with a greater degree of creative control, and less time spent filing TPS reports.

Infertility. A clique of thirty-something mothers meets weekly in a coffee shop or in one of their houses, indubitably humble-bragging complaining about their husbands. One of the girls in the group just had her second baby and another has been unable to conceive in almost a decade of trying, starting at a young age and even losing a lab-assisted pregnancy. As I hear it, she had cut off contact with the circle upon that new baby’s arrival. One lives righteously and yet one is denied. Babies — her own and then her grandchildren — is all a good woman gets from life. I don’t know her well but I can imagine her pleading why??

Nostalgia. This very day will give you nostalgic feelings later because it is the tangible specifics associated with a strong emotion that fill a memory. There were moments in my thirties and even my teens when I wondered if this passing moment’s exquisite satisfaction will ever be equaled. My girlfriend looking fresh in that funny checkered blouse. The joking and smoking with the guys in the parking lot after work, nobody feeling like splitting to go home quite yet.

Poolside. I was poolside. Precisely, this was a late summer afternoon last year and it was an outdoor pool at a leafy community center, which I’ll euphemistically describe as a family-friendly environment. The two lifeguards weren’t even European work-study students; they were nice-looking young Americans. The sky was crystal clear and a song I hadn’t heard in ages evoked a high school memory, an autumn trip with my parents to northern New Jersey: the leaves were crimson, my new varsity jacket was stiff and smelled of new material and I was too preoccupied with my sophomore sports team stuff to notice anything.

Signals. After getting home from the pool, I looked up the video for that song. I never cared much for the artist but I hadn’t seen the video in decades. Times change and historic artifacts reveal a previously sealed message. You can find gold in unlikely places. The faces in the video were now emphatically transmitting an encoded dispatch to us across time. I looked at the video like a radar operator catching the faded, distant signal and amplifying its instructions over waves of noise and static, decoding the scrambled directions for the struggle over death in which we’ve found ourselves unwitting and then unwilling belligerents. Like a honeybee grasping at a spoon, crawling out of a glass in which it was drowning.

Teenagers. This was yesterday. I place my order and sit at a table near a solidly-built man in an orange Orioles shirt and a little boy with him. He gives me a glance. I get it, papa bear. Me too, man. Up-tempo music is playing from ceiling speakers, hard to hear it over the noise of the fryers. Rockabilly or alt-country? A teenage couple approaches the pick-up counter. The girl is slim with lovely legs in her dark jeans, a bright frisky grin. The boyfriend’s face upturned a bit to keep that rock-star hair out of his eyes. He’s wearing a black tank-top. Is that look coming back? He goes over to the drink machine, the girl stays at the counter to chat with an employee who hands her their to-go order. They know each other. Probably classmates. In contrast with the boyfriend’s brooding musician look, the boy who works at the restaurant is ruddy-complexioned with a crew cut under his grill hat. I dub him “baseball player” on account of his precociously masculine hands and confident bearing, which transform his work uniform into something you’d see on a diamond. They chat as the boyfriend is pouring drinks at the fountain.

I wonder if I’m witnessing a playing out of Game in the wild, with the girleen leaning on the counter, twisting her legs, rocking her hips, pivoting on her heel and laughing with the athlete, who fixes her with the familiar smile of a natural player. The rocker comes back with the sodas. Sulky mate-guarding next? But oh me of little faith. The rocker says something to the baseball player, the three of them laugh and then the couple walks out, she leaning on him, her arm around his waist and looking up at him as though the key to the puzzle is under the locks of hair over his face.

Waiting for my food, I started composing that scene in my mind and the unifying theme of this post becomes clear. Sometimes yes, dulce et decorum est indeed.

***

Shots of Wisdom, Part 2 spied on angels and devils from a cautious distance.

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26 thoughts on “Shots of Wisdom, Part 3

  1. I like the drinking line I think I will use it at my workplace. There’s a girl who works in the office adjacent to my warehouse. She’s nice to me but I will use it when she gets bratty

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  3. We are now living in a golden age — of beer.

    I’m only in the “enthused layman” level, in terms of knowledge and contextual analysis for points of comparing and offering quality opinion, ‘ but this beer neophyte has always liked the ‘pilsy’ beer, clear but strong brews, that come from northern Germany, the Netherlands, Scandanavia and, yes, Poland —- Tyskie was a pleasant random find in my Upper Midwestern neighborhood liquor store.

  4. My taste in beer rotates. Sometimes I like strong Irish beer. Sometimes light Mexican beer. When I’m hot and thirsty I like fruity apple or lime beer that other men would make fun of me for.

    I often tend to alternate between a glass of bourbon or rye on the rocks and a can of light or fruity beer. I just stopped drinking for while as I need to save some money and lose some weight.

    I’m fortunate I’ve never been an “alcoholic” or had it cause me acute problems in life, but I have that “Joe sixpack” tendency where one isn’t quite enough, and if there’s booze in my house I drink to a comfy buzz every evening after work. A half-dozen a night tends to take a lot out of my pocketbook and add a lot to my gut.

  5. What was the song, PA? It will be meaningful to some of us too I’m sure.

    [I omitted naming the song in the original post on purpose because it would have been a distraction from the rest of the post. Something I noticed is that when one work of art (story, pop song’s lyrics) references some other song to borrow its emotional effect, it falls flat at one remove because a verbal medium doesn’t carry music’s effect. Some examples are “Walking in Memphis” and “Make Me Lose Control,” where the singers try to transfer another song’s feelings into their own song. Hearing the song at the pool last year triggered a high school memory by a purely random, subjective process that would be too idiosyncratic to write about for an audience and expect them to relate to the specific song. Another reason I didn’t name the song is because I never into it that much. What got me was the video, which is a window to a different era. I’ll reveal what that song and video were though because a day has passed since this was posted: Madonna’s “Papa Don’t Preach.” — PA]

  6. I got the truncated crib from Horace. Not sure of your meaning in context. Unless you’re dying, which would suck.

    Here’s a hard one. My dad was cheating on his horrible troll of a wife. Divorce underway. He’s 62, in good shape, girlfriend is 38. She’s lovely … as is her 14 year old daughter. Who now has a vivid crush on me. We went for a walk after dinner and listened to some birdsong. She’s a cute kid trying to come out of her shell. Poor uh can’t do his father wrong by helping her out though, I guess. Thing is, I have a crush on her, too. Of course I want to perv out on her, but I’m enjoying the feelings which grow around the boundaries of the relationship. Like the other night I stayed over, her room down the hall, and of course I couldn’t sleep a wink until 4am. I found out this evening she couldn’t sleep, either. We didn’t have to say why.

  7. — I got the truncated crib from Horace.

    Right. The original Latin line said that it is sweet and proper to die for one’s country. Wilfred Owen uses that line in his WWI poem to reject that notion, having witnessed a young soldier’s death by mustard gas in a fratricidal war. Here I suggest that there are things worth fighting and dying for.

  8. Further: Owen was reacting against older men like me sending boys like the ones in the story above to their pointless deaths. This post’s point is that older men like me have a grave obligation to boys like the ones in this story.

  9. The original Latin line said that it is sweet and proper to die for one’s country. Wilfred Owen uses that line in his WWI poem to reject that notion, having witnessed a young soldier’s death by mustard gas in a fratricidal war.

    The flu and dysentery that spread in the aftermath of WWI probably killed more humans than any other act or diseases combined.

  10. In high school Wilfred Owen was normally studied along with “Death of the Ball Turrett Gunner” by Randall Jarrell:

    From my mother’s sleep I fell into the State,
    And I hunched in its belly till my wet fur froze.
    Six miles from earth, loosed from its dream of life,
    I woke to black flak and the nightmare fighters.
    When I died they washed me out of the turret with a hose.

  11. Oh. I studied Latin in school a bit and read Horace on my own when I was young, so that’s what comes to mind first when I see it, not Owen.

    Anyway, I really enjoy your writing. Going back to read all of it. If I had a blog, I’d want it to look like this. Vignette style.

  12. OT part 2 @Camlost:

    From today’s nytimes.com voting-day roundup:

    A last-minute scramble

    “No, no, no, no!” said Omarosa Manigault, perhaps the most famous former “Apprentice” hopeful, who is now an almost full-time advocate and Friend of Donald on cable television shows.

    She was standing near him in the lower lobby of Trump Tower on Monday afternoon, talking to members of the Trump “diversity coalition,” a group formed by Mr. Trump’s longtime counselor Michael Cohen to, in part, rebut claims that the candidate is racially insensitive. Two of the members were trying to wedge between the tables separating Mr. Trump from the group. Ms. Manigault put a stop to it.

    Mr. Trump was grateful for the support. “You look at the other folks running, they couldn’t care less about New York. We care about New York, a lot,” Mr. Trump said.

    I’m telling you, man; she’s being groomed for a cabinet post, if not a potential V.P. candidate during the final stretch come fall….lol!!

  13. LOL, I only saw like 1/2 of an episode with her but I know her type. And I will take her over a lot of what we’ve had serving in various “Czar” and cabinet capacities for the past 7 years, that’s for sure. I’ve dealt with a lot of Omarosas in my time and it’s sometimes nice to have a crazy, contentious and easily offended person on your side – kinda like having Ron Artest or Dennis Rodman as an NBA teammate in that it draws fire off of others so they can do their job.

  14. @PA Thought I’d share this with you and spark a thread about watching movies through a Red Pill perspective. I just watched this movie recently on the plane because I’d watched Gladiator 50 times before.. I hadn’t heard of it: “5 to 7″…. It’s about a younger beta writer who sucks up the courage to game a slightly older French woman who as the plot unfolds is in an open marriage. They start banging and she sets up the “rules”. Every week they meet at a hotel and bang, then she goes back to her husband. At one point the husband invites the kid to their home and introduces him to the family and his own mistress. All good.

    Then the beta blows it all by declaring his love and proposing to her. She naturally hems and haws and is all set to dump her husband…but stays with him.

    From a Red Pill perspective I was fascinated at how this sappy love story demonstrated the AF BB dynamic so perfectly.

    She’s ok with all of the extra-marital banging and so is hubby right up until the point where beta boy declares his love.

    The movie ends with a passage of time and the beta is married and runs into her with her now grown up children and husband. All is pleasant and she discretely takes off her glove to reveal she still wears the ring he sent her as a declaration of love.

    I would have loved to have seen a more realistic ending where he runs into her, he’s married, she’s with her latest Alpha stud…

    But the whole concept struck me. Women don’t want certainty they want it all. The film tries to claim there’s a French concept of marriage as being a relationship between 3 people.

    But as I continue on my own game journey, the only wisdom to share from watching this is ….keep options open…keep her happy by banging her and be ready to lose her.

    Again the Feminist Imperative is on full display with the mistress of the French woman’s husband taking the beta under her wing and grooming him as a successful writer she can then publish. But he never bangs her. Instead she nurses him when a Red Pill alpha would have been running beta provider game to bang her.

    So many ways this film is a fascinating study in how NOT to behave with women.

  15. Walawala: thanks for the tip. French romances have a twisted edge to them and I used to watch them a lot in the 90s. Many were female-centric but Red Pill nevertheless. One of my favorites, for the atmosphere and the soundtrack (which centered on Umberto Tozzi’s song “Ti Amo”) was the 1997 “After Sex.”

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119923/

  16. More commonly, I order an east coast-style IPA to ride a buzz with my friends; Michigan’s Bell’s Two Hearted epitomizes that type of citrusy hops taste.

    Michigan has become a microbrew mecca of sorts. My favorite IPA at the moment is Frankemuth Rock the Cashmere. If you can find it out east definitely give it a try.

    http://frankenmuthbrewery.com/blog/beer/8620-2

  17. Pingback: Emotion And Writing – PA

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