Archive for March 26, 2022

Denying our inner self

Posted: March 26, 2022 by ng36b in Uncomfortable Truths

Unherd had a rather interesting article about young men and war, making the claim that as war (at least, large scale conflict) has become more infrequent due to the threat of nuclear weapons, men are increasingly struggling to find ways to prove their manliness. The military was always an outlet for manliness and a way to prove that one was no longer a boy. It’s a good read, albeit a bit long and heady. I particularly liked this part:

And while that has many upsides, it has also, paradoxically, created disaffected young men. For when national identity is infra dig, and open warfare is discouraged lest it set off nuclear Armageddon, what’s left for young men who thirst for danger and intensity?


The author isn’t in the military, so there’s actually two additional points that she could make to even further strengthen her argument. First, when the military has responded to conflicts, we purposely ratchet back what we’re doing. Look at Afghanistan or Iraq as an example: rather than go all out and push hard to win, we were content to conduct “policing actions,” or use drones, or do a variety of other things that don’t look like real battles in World War 2. If you’re a young man fighting in a war like this, after the initial invasion, it simply feels like you’re never making progress. It makes the conflict feel pretty hopeless, not dissimilar to how men felt in World War 1 simply holding the lines day after day.

The other point is that the military spends most of its time in non-war oriented industry. Your chief of staff probably cares more about whether medical records are updated and mandatory transgender, human trafficking and suicide awareness training is completed than if you’re actually ready to fight your next conflict. This sad state of admin comes from a giant defense bureaucracy that is larger than any other nations defense budget, yet can’t seem to stay ahead of its adversaries despite all the money foisted on it. Worse still, the same bureaucracy can’t audit itself and can’t seem to trim any fat when called to do so.

But I think Ms. Harrington has hit on a much larger, much more important point, perhaps without even realizing so, and that is that our society seems hellbent on putting young men in a box where they can’t use their manliness. Some quick examples:

  • The trades (electricians, plumbers, HVAC, etc.) are all “manly” jobs, and they make really good money and require a lot of technical expertise…and yet they are viewed as lesser jobs compared to an office worker.
  • All male organizations barely exist. Remember when the YMCA was only open to men? Yeah, me neither. Having a fraternal organization is deemed sexist, but “safe spaces” for women are still open.
  • Speaking of male organizations, remember Boy Scouts? Nope, its Scouting BSA.
  • Remember all the shooting, hunting and boxing clubs we used to have?

These are just a few points, and I bet you could find more. Traditionally male activities have been pushed away as second tier. It even trickles down to schools, where boys don’t get enough outside, running around and being wild time, and then we are shocked when they have behavior issues. We’re then totally surprised when many of them don’t want to sit in a college classroom, so they can get a safe office job.

If it sounds like the plot to “Fight Club,” well, that might be why that movie became a cult classic.

Western society is wasting male talent. Society takes male energy and tells men it is bad. Surprisingly, many men rebel against that, putting that energy into everything from crime to underground boxing. Many take that to the military, only to find a bureaucracy more focused on sustaining itself than on fighting our nations wars. In a sick sort of way, the military bureaucracy seems quite happy to destroy young men in the meatgrinder of endless conflict as a way of keeping them out of the higher ranks either due to dissatisfaction or death.

Instead of continuing to denigrate men, we ought to help focus them. Bring back the shooting clubs and fraternal organizations, where older men passed on skills and wisdom to younger men in a non-judging way. Stop denigrating the hard working men in tough industries like construction, mining and forestry, which are the bedrock that a polite society rests on. Rethink how we fight, and capture that imaginative energy from young men to dream up better plans and technology so that our wars can quickly come to an end.

Most importantly, stop telling men that their desires, passions and anger are evil. One of the best books I read was Make Anger Your Ally by Neil Clark Warren (yes, the dude that built eHarmony). In his book, he doesn’t tell the reader to deny his anger. Instead, he talks about how anger gives us additional strength when we need it most, and how to channel this strength towards good. Rather than denying our emotions as some sort of remnant of poor evolution, Dr. Warren teaches that these emotions are put their by God for a good reason, and we should be using them to the maximum extent possible.

Society works best when it embraces all the strengths of its population, especially its young men.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency. If you like this article, please support the author by purchasing one of his books on Amazon or Audible.

For only the 4th time since 1985 and the first time in the 21st century I’ll be heading to the World Series in our face to face league as my Washington Nationals will face the well rested Colorado Rockies for all the marbles.

The Rockies who won their division by winning the final series against me two games to one made short work of the Cardinals sweeping them in three.

My path to the big game was more complicated.

Finishing in a three way tie for the two wild card berths as the B team I defeated the NYY 7-2 with Max Scherzer dodging bullets the entire way to get me the home spot in the wild card game. In that game Yu Darvish who was acquired at the cost of a 1st round pick early in the season pitched a complete game shutout to give me a chance at a pennant against a NY Mets that had only swept the season series against me this year but one that I had only managed two wins against in the three years since the league was revived.

It was a classic series

In game one I jumped to a 4-0 lead after two but starter Lance Lynn who had lost the wild card game the previous year was jumped on for three runs in the 5th to make it a one run game. Mets relivers Valdez shut me down the rest of the way while my bullpen bent but didn’t break TJ Antony getting out of a bases loaded one out jam in the 7th and after a 9th inning leadoff walk two big defensive plays kept the tying run on first.

Final Washington 5 Mets 4

Game two was a scoreless pitching duel into the 7th until Nolan Arenado singled in Anthony Rendon and a Molina Sac fly scored Lindor to give me a 2-0 lead. In the bottom of the 8th Mookie Betts completely misplayed a Ramirez liner putting him on third where he scored on a Trey Turner ball that went to the warning track to make it a one run game. In the bottom of the 9th Jeffries allowed a one out walk and followed that with a two out walk a single loaded the bases bringing up Ramirez. With Washington about to go up 2 games to none he hit a shot deep into the hole at short that was just out of the reach of the diving Lindor and just like that the series was tied at once each

Final Mets 3 Washington 2

Game three in Washington started well for the Nats, Merrifield singled home Guriell in the 1st and promptly stole 2nd & 3rd with nobody out but Zac Gallen retired Betts, Rendon and Abreu in order to get out of the jam. Meanwhile Max Scherzer who dodged a bunch of bullets vs the Yanks was not so lucky giving up five runs in 2 2/3 innings including a monster 3 run shot to Trey Turner who had an incredible series. Meanwhile Valdez came in again with one outs in the 5th and after giving up a single that made it a one run game retired the next 14 in a row to make the Mets insurance run in the 6th superfluous.

Final New York 6 Nationals 4

Darvish came back for the do or die game and thanks to another big hit by Merrifield was staked to a 3-0 lead until Trey Turner once again hit a 3 run shot to tie things up in the 5th. That’s how it stayed till the top of the 12th when with runners on 1st & 3rd and two outs manager Gionet surprised everyone calling for the suicide squeeze. Josh Bell laid it down perfectly and everyone was safe so even when Washington turned the 6-4-3 double play to end the inning, the Mets were still only 3 outs away from a trip to the series.

They would only get one of them, Rendon and Betts would both walk to start the bottom of the 12th and with one out and the runners going pinch Hitter Didi Gregorius would smash a double down the line scoring them both and tying the series at 2

Final Nationals 5 NY 4 (12)

The rain clouds looked ominous for game five but they decided to try to get the game in anyways. That decision looked poor for NY when Betts and Hosmer went back to back to give Washington a 3-0 lead (they scored first in every game of the series) but with Lance Lynn finally finding his pitching groove giving up only one hit in 4 innings the sky opened up and the rain didn’t stop. The Game was called to be replayed the next day.

Washington surprised everyone by throwing Scherzer who had been roughed up the last time on three days rest while the Mets did the same with Gallen. Washington scored first on a single two wild pitches and another single to make it 1-0 but Acuna Jr.’s two run shot (his only big hit of the series) was enough to chase Scherzer in the third. The Mets went back to Valdez who had shut down the Nats in game 3 but it didn’t work out that way this time A solo shot by Abreu tied the game up and a critical error by Jeff McNeil led to another two run double by Gregorius followed shortly by a 3 run shot by Betts made it 7-2 and it looked like it was all over but the shouting .

It wasn’t Tejay Antone who had been excellent in relief came in with two on and one out in the 7th and after coaxing a force out to third gave up two walks and a double for three runs before the 3rd out was caught against the left field wall just short of giving away the lead.

Down by two the Mets started the 8th with a leadoff single when McNeil an excellent bat handler trying to make up for his 5th inning miscue hit a liner with the runner going that looked destined for left field but Lindor remembering the ball he couldn’t get to dove to his right to spear the liner and managed to get the ball to first to double off the runner. This turned out to be a critical play as the Jeffries arm stiffened up and he had to come out Rosentall was rushed in and threw a fat pitch for his first offering which was promptly deposited into the left field stands. 7-6.

Washington went quietly in the 9th and Trey Turner who already had 7 rbi’s in the series came up and put a 2-1 pitch into the gap to lead off the 9th. Alas what would have capped a sure MVP award for the series never happened as Trevor Rosentall decided to prove the wisdom of deadline trade that sent him to DC retiring the next three batters in a row for his 2nd save of the series and completing the biggest playoff upset in years.

Final Washington 7 Mets 6

Well my pitching staff isn’t well rested and Colorado who leads the season series against me 4-2 is but on the bright side my starting center fielder who was injured on the final day of the regular season has been cleared to play adding both power and defense to my lineup.

I’ll need it.