The London Professors: When Communication and Psychology Collide

episodewhateverPlease join the podcast for a discussion with fellow London and Human Sexuality Professor, Dr. Ken Guttman, as we discuss sex (duh!), education, studying abroad, and what students should call us…amidst many other topics.  Though you cannot tell, his eyes are beautifu, believe mel. Help me Jordan!

 

The Gay: A Progressive Approach To Instructing The Conservative Mind

I must say that I am getting both simultaneously softer and harder, accepting and rejecting, in my old age.  Softer and accepting in the sense I really love people of all different varieties yet harder in the sense of catching a serious case of the TOFTS (must read that blog if you have not) as in, “Too Old For This Shit.”

 

This soft/hard dichotomy was never more evident than just a few days ago while teaching an online course for a private University. Each year I teach this persuasion course (which I have done for many years), within the first five online minutes, many conservative students will voice his or her strong aversion to homosexuality. Did I ask for their opinion on this matter? No. Did I bring up the subject at all? No. Do I ever talk about any sexual issues of any kind in the course? Believe it or not, no.

 

I strongly suspect it may be a case of “thou protesteth too much.” But what do I know? I do know anti-gayness seems to be, no, IS, the rallying crowd favorite issue in many conservative religious circles.

 

I have seen this trend for many years yet for some reason this year I have had enough of this crazed, obsessive, homophobic slander.  At first, I just wanted to log-off, send in my resignation and say “sayonara” to some mean-spirited, gay haters–-yet that was the TOFTS side of me thinking as I do not have any more time in my life for narrow minded ignorance.

 antirainbow

However, that softer and sensitive side of me realized that ignorance does not necessarily imply mean-spirited nor that those who might disagree with my take come from a place of meanness, even if it does result in oppressing a large group of people. So I guess I did what any decent educator should try to do: Educate. Share some ideas and understanding.

 

Today I want to share with you my attempt to educate conservative religious students on the issue of homosexuality in America. Look, I know some think it is sinful behavior and all, yet this is America and we all retain the right to engage in legally protected sins, thank God; outlawing all sin would have a devastating effect on the economy, not to mention my personal life.

 

So this is a letter I included in my lecture last week. Keep in mind these are are extremely intelligent students, most of whom are professionals and older than the Community College crowd. They have good hearts and intentions…I think.

 

Hello All…
I must say that each year I teach this course the issue of homosexuality gets brought up within the first few strokes of the keyboard, like clockwork, and I ask myself why? I never bring up the subject. It is not provoked. Why it is always homosexuality first and foremost served up as the primary example of corruption in American Society?  It would seem like we are quite selective in the “sins” we want to rail against and the “sins” we do not. Why do we not first and foremost rail against the corrupt Wall Street investors who steal billions of dollars of people’s hard earned retirement money? Or the sleazes that engage in underage sex trafficking? Or even the bully politician who shuts down a bridge for corrupt political payback while making stressed thousands late for work? What about the pimps who mistreat women?  The murderers and thieves? Why are not some these groups first and foremost? No, it is the gay.
I am so pleased to hear a few of you bring up the idea of love. I am a person who believes in love first and foremost. As one who has family members who are gay and have seen the discrimination up close and personal, the last thing I would want to do is hurt or marginalize any minority community, whether I personally agree with them or not. If one is against homosexuality then do not practice homosexuality; it is that simple. I am far more interested in railing against those who would steal from me, hurt me or exploit the weak than those with a different sexual orientation than my own.
It is important to keep in mind that we live in a pluralistic, democratic society that is built on free speech and tolerance of diverse groups and opinions. It sounds to me like some of you are claiming—and dreading—that we are evolving into a closed, intolerant society as you simultaneously speak out against the rights of the homosexual community. Can we see the irony here? If we fight for the rights of some and not the rights of others, are we not part of the democratic problem instead of the solution? Again, we live in a democracy (of sorts) not a theocracy. When do we realize that homosexuals have as much right to their lives (democratically) as anyone else? It sounds to me like it is THIS thinking that is promoting a closed and intolerant society. So society should/can discriminate against the homosexual but absolutely cannot discriminate against the Christian? What is the logic behind this?
It was written in a response, “As  a result the bakers were placed in a very precarious position since to agree to bake a cake for this homosexual couple would be to support and facilitate the mockery of true of true biblical marriage.” We must remember that many in our country are not interested in “true biblical marriage” and they have every right not to be interested in true biblical marriage. As a US citizen, this is their constitutional right.  In addition, I fail to see how baking a cake for anyone supports anything except the flour and sugar industry, and eventually Jenny Craig, even perhaps the insulin makers–but the gay community? The baker’s job is to bake a cake, not take a moral stand for or against anything. One could even argue the baker and his cake is far morally worse for society as it serves to fatten us and clog our arteries leading to obesity and heart disease. The gay is, well, just gay.
As this is a course in persuasion, we must get to the heart of the persuasive process in American society. Persuasion is all about enacting change in others towards our purpose and objective. As a critical thinker, one has to look at the strategies engaged thus far concerning homosexual rights and have an honest self-reflective dialogue on the results. As more and more states legalize gay marriage, we must consider if these anti-gay strategies –such as California’s Prop 8 in 2008, the overall vehement anti-gay dialogue, and situations like the baker refusing to bake a gay couple a cake, have been effective.
I think most us would agree they have not.  Homosexual rights are only the rise.  
Gays do not flock to Christ because they are refused a baked good.
Therefore, what is a good persuader to do? It seems to me we have several options: First, reexamine the strategies we have been using and seek more effective ones; secondly, keep doing what we have been doing yet likely only to yield the same results; or finally, reexamine the overall nature of the objective in the first place. What is the great threat of gay community? If the objective is to “win” all people to Christ, how does denying a group their rights assist in that process?  It would seem intuitively to me to have the opposite effect.
I certainly do not expect everyone in this course to agree with me; in fact, I would hope not. Disagreement and having different understandings of people, concepts, ideas and issues are what make this country great. Engaging and being open-minded to different ideas are the foundation of critical thinking skills.  The important thing is that we stand up for the rights of these concepts, ideas and issues to be expressed and heard. If we want the right, we must fight for the right for all.
Sincerely,
Prof

Sex! Nudity! Cheating! This and Other Affairs….The World According to Ashley & Madison

Recently, while listening to one of my favorite podcasts, the quite interesting and provocative guest for the hour was AshelyMadison.com founder and owner, Noel Biderman.

For those of you unaware of AshleyMadison.com, (good for you!!) it is essentially a dating website for “cheating” married spouses. The site assists those wanting an extramarital affair in the process… akin to secretly opening up the textbook for people taking a closed book examination.

AshleyMadison.com unabashedly proclaims to be the “most successful website for finding affairs and cheating partners,” boasting over 22 million members in 25 countries.

Ashley Madison

I can only conclude there are a  lot of people taking closed book tests who prefer to secretly use their cheats sheet underhandedly.  Humans just like cheating. Sneaky devils.

The first reaction of many towards Biderman and AshelyMadison.com is one of disgust.  The name Noel Biderman and words such as scum, repulsive, sick, and messages relating ideas of how decadent the world has become are frequently found in the same sentence.  Is that fair? For this is why I blog…to ask such questions. In a world where so many seek out extramarital affairs and one comes along to provide an easier and more efficient means to achieve it, well,  are such labels warranted? Hmmmmm…

Let’s take a looksee  at this among other things, shall we?

According to Biderman, “We can’t create consumption like most businesses. We can’t convince people to have an affair. We don’t try.

But we can provide a credible, confidential, avenue for people who want to have an affair. think about it: The traditional ways people went about have affairs were definitely not effective. They were having affairs in the workplace. Or they were having affairs within their circle of friends. Think about how well those tend to work out.

So our mission was to say that if you’re thinking about having an affair you’re not alone. It’s part of the human condition. We’ll help you meet someone and not get caught. If you want to be clandestine, we’re an intelligent choice.”

So Mr. Biderman, you are married with children, what if you caught YOUR spouse cheating on you?

“I would be devastated. But I would not blame a website or inanimate object.”

Touche’ oh soul less one. Or is he?

Damn there are so many different ways to go with this topic; we could discuss business ethics, sexuality, monogamy, marriage, polyamory, the list goes on people.

What I find most fascinating (and I find a LOT fascinating regarding this topic) about AshleyMadion and Biderman is the response he receives from so many.

As mentioned, emotionally charged words such as sick, twisted, reprehensible, etc… are used to describe this whole endeavor. And that is what fascinates me most….the self-righteous, indignant, disgusted response. Can’t we even think about it rationally for a moment before the indignation?

Here are a couple of examples of such responses taken from a blog after an interview with Biderman:

“…to all his followers/people who have signed up to Ashley Madison, hope karma comes your way very soon. This sort of thing just shows how messed up the world is becoming.

Or, even more succinctly:

“This guy is scum. You shouldn’t promote businesses that promote infidelity. Pathetic.”

Ok, I get it.  “Cheating” sucks and devastates marriages. 

Perhaps we can look at it from an analogous perspective. Heroine also sucks and devastates lives…no one, including Biderman, is arguing this point of it sucking and being devastating.

So just because we are against the use of heroine does not necessarily imply we are against giving clean needles to drug abusers to help stop the spread of disease.  Likewise, we may not be for minors having sex yet it would be reasonable in the “real world” to want teenagers to have access to birth control. So does it not stand to reason that an argument can be made that people are going to cheat regardless -so Biderman provides a safer and, arguably,  less destructive way to do it?

Can at least we have a discussion before everyone gets all high and mighty on our ass?

This final blog comment reflects everything I love in a critical thinker. It is not for nor it is against; it asks the questions to promote a civil and rational dialogue:

“Very interesting indeed, and on the business front, certainly much to take away from it. Market segmentation and niche are essential business survival tools nowadays.

Though within the business culture, there does remain a question of what is acceptable. If people are going to make the mistake all the same, is it alright – and I dare say, moral – to profiteer off of it? The ends of the spectrum are too far apart for one standardized answer, but it certainly raises a question when boundaries of social dynamics are breached and when such an act is legitimized, better yet, facilitated. I would not argue for or against at the moment, but I would simply struggle with the CEO dismissing the issue so indifferently.

Great post indeed! Food for thought.”

I freaking love this guy, or gal, because dialogue is so damn important.

Can’t we all approach all issues in this same level-headed manner? Or would that just make  us to “Spock-ian?”

Ashley Madison ad

So, my take:

I would tend to agree with the overall tone of this last response.  The respondent asks some very good questions riding the tension between business ethics and consumer demand. However, if the problem is cheating and millions of people do it all the time, perhaps there is a far more fundamental problem in society… AshleyMadison.com is just a symptom of deeper more socially cancerous issue. It has 22 million members in 25 countries and this is just one of THOUSANDS of such sites; it is only the tip of the cheating iceberg,  Now if we include all those who still prefer to cheat the old-fashioned way, the cheating non-techies by way of pool man, cabana boy and those old schoolers who still put the secret in secretary, we have an epidemic on our hands.

Maybe we need more civil dialogue about relationships, fidelity, sexuality and realistic expectations?

If cheating is the problem (effect), a certain dissatisfaction -at some level- must be the cause. What is that dissatisfaction and let’s TALK about THAT.

Perhaps we need to reexamine traditional marriage as so many see it? To learn how to become satisfied and honest partners in a relationship?

Maybe we need to ask ourselves what the roles of complete transparency and honesty mean in a relationship.

Maybe we need to be asking why society keeps accepting the tradition of marriage as we know it, when it fails so miserably at so many different levels for so many different people.

Perhaps we need NOT be discussing the social acceptability/morality of an AshleyMadison, rather we need to be asking WHY so many people want and do cheat.

Perhaps we need more classes with open book tests?

Get to the bigger issue and sites like AshleyMadison will eventually go away. All they are doing now is exploiting and feeding off society’s dystopian vision and dysfunctional view of love and relationships. What is that dystopian vision and dysfunctional view? I will not address that (at least in this blog), yet all the evidence points to something gone terribly wrong.

Above all, these types of questions need to be discussed amidst a conversational context and tone of reason, openness and honesty without judgment. Or we will just continue the insanity and keep doing what we are doing with the same miserable results.

One Guess Who’s Twerking All The Way To The Bank…

I try SO HARD to avoid blogging about superficial, media-induced, means-nothing-bullshit, yet Miley Cyrus getting down and dirty at the 2013 MTV VMA has all the elements for a good old fashioned opinion –nudity, sexuality, good girl gone bad…all this short of her 21st birthday. Sorry everyone, though I am taking the bait on this sensationalized and very unnewsworthy event -as it is not often you can opine about Hannah Montana twerking.

The opinions I have read, namely through Facebook, range from the conservative one side (“that was a disgusting and awful display of sexuality that was entirely inappropriate”) to the other, for lack of a better term, liberal, side of the spectrum which likes to point out the double standard we have in society regarding demonizing a female’s display of sexuality (slut) while championing a male’s equally sexual behavior (playa).  Ah, such tension…I love it.

Please read this blog entry in entirety before you think you may agree or disagree with me. I do play both sides of the fence and attempt to find the merits and weaknesses of both points of view. In fact, I feel somewhat schizophrenic in this regard.

To my conservative friends and readers I will offer 3 general reasons why you need to chill out on this. First, the aforementioned double-standard argument is a valid one. Now, you would likely retort, “I don’t like it when males behave publicly like that either.” To which I respond, in love, bullshit. I believe you when you say you do not like it…I really do. Yet the guttural, deeper, and more visceral response is clearly reserved for the female demonstrators of sexuality. You may not like it when Kanye mimics a grind for his audience, yet you are repulsed and write letters when a Miley Cyrus does it. This is gender prejudice, plain and simple.

Secondly, what is wrong with sexy? Particularly when sexy comes on MTV?….M FREAKING TV people -the station that has been pushing the envelope for decades. Should we really be shocked? This was not the Disney Channel, Nickelodeon or network television where such displays of sexuality would be inappropriate (think Janet Jackson’s nipple).  This is the MTV Video Music Awards where, in 2003, an older woman (a 43 year-old Madonna) makes out with a much younger woman (a 22 year-old Britney Spears). Can you say taboo? I knew you could. Do 14 year-old girls watch MTV? Yes, they do watch, yet that is on the parent’s for allowing it, not the entertainer’s for providing what they do best. And believe me, with what kid’s see and hear today, as they say, that ain’t nothing.

Lastly, and if you read a previous blog I wrote on porn, I will once again share a similar sentiment. Sex is something (most) everyone of sexual age engages in, all the time, particularly if you count when you are alone. We are sexual beings. Sex is a part of life. We would not be reading and engaging in these words right now if your sperm and eggs donors were not terribly turned on and wanted sex. If sex is good, sexuality should be discussed and there is NOTHING wrong with sexy. I understand some people believe sex is a private matter -I don’t. Leaving issues in the dark can have nasty consequences. We are all the result of a good old-fashioned orgasm.  This is not crass…it is FACT -with this understanding, a young girl coming of age and exploring her sexiness and sexuality in performance, is exciting and titillating. And you blowhard, self-righteous zealots who want to claim a motive for her behavior…just shut up. When you armchair judgmental psychologists get in her head let me know. Don’t like it? Don’t watch it.

Now, to my liberal and feminist friends, a few things for you all. Which way is it going to be? Do you want women to be seen as exclusively sexual beings and objectified…or not? If you want to champion Miley’s performance for any variety of reasons, you must realize the fallout from this is it does nothing to move forward a social egalitarian agenda. Does having the power and the right to do something make it a wise and profitable thing to do? Hell no. Stop supporting that performance on the grounds of a feminist worldview. If anything this sets the movement back in terms of “desexualizing” women, not forward.

Secondly, I have yet to see the male equivalent of what Miley Cyrus did. If you want to compare apples to apples to make the double-standard argument, you would need someone like a 19 year-old Justin Bieber to come out in a clear speedo and shake his package while simulating sex. I believe he if did do this (please don’t Justin, please) the reaction would be equally, perhaps moreso, deemed in a disturbing and negative light.

Finally, I realize I have more progressive views on sexuality than most and, to be frank, if one of my adult daughters were to pursue performing in such a way, I would have no problem with it provided she were in no way mislead or diabolically coerced. That being said, I realize I am the very rare father in this regard; still I would not be terribly pleased with this prior to her 21st birthday. How many of you who defend Miley’s performance would be as supportive if this were your own 20 YEAR OLD daughter? Or future daughter? Is this the path you would want them to take before they are allowed to legally drink alcohol? That’s what I thought….not many of you.

In the end, this is all so much ado about absolutely nothing and I fell for this bullshit hook, line and sinker. However, such sensationalized stories that mean nothing in and of themselves can lead us into deeper discussions of the underlying social and psychological issues involved. Or not. Feel free to disagree as such discussion only gives Hannah Montana all the more reason to twerk all the way to the bank.

Understanding the Transgendered

I have not met anyone in my life quite like Georgia McGowen. Born a biological male -George- though inwardly always believed herself to be a female, she certainly defies convention and traditional ideas of sex and gender.DM&D Author Pic2

I was introduced to Georgia through a mutual friend, Christine, who knew I was looking for an LGBTQ person to speak with my “Communication in a Diverse World” class a couple of years ago.  At first sight you do not know quite what to make of Georgia as she has constantly struggled, particularly early on in her life, with her identity between George and Georgia. What thoroughly impressed me about her, though, was the absolute comfort she felt in her own gender-bending skin. I have rarely met an individual with such a profound level of self-awareness, which probably comes from a lifetime of asking herself WHO she really is…I would assume she just knows her subject matter very well.

Georgia is disarmingly honest and genuine, while fully realizing she violates mainstream social norms. She has exhaustively researched how and why she is who she is. She speaks as if there is no new stone that can be thrown at her, no new insult that can be hurled and no new derogatory name she could be called -as she has heard, and felt, them all; particularly hailing from the mid-west, Texas, Oklahoma Dearmomanddadand Utah.

And for those in and around the Crafton Hills Community, Georgia will be speaking on her life at the Crafton Campus, in LRC 231 at noon on Wednesday, February 20. She will specifically be speaking about her new book, “Dear Mom and Dad…you don’t know me but...”

I so respect those whose path and lot in life is in many ways an uphill battle as it goes against mainstream norms. Let’s face it, being a straight white male in America means you have an entire culture catering to you on hand and foot. Our culture is fitted like designer jeans for WASPS such as myself. I truly respect those who have traded in their designer jeans for a designer skirt because that is truly who they are.

Porn in the USA

12505535-triple-x-neon-sign-illuminated-over-dark-backgroundPorn. It feels weird even writing the word; something not to discuss in polite company. But this is a blog. And most of you are not polite. So lezzz go.

I realize that statistics are essentially random numbers waiting for an argument, and porn numbers are extremely difficult to ascertain given the still very much underground nature of it, yet it is safe to conclude that there are very few things in life that we spend SO much money on (billions and billions annually), that millions engage in and, yet, ironically, never really discuss in a serious and open minded manner.

To summarize, there is arguably nothing we engage in MORE that we about talk about LESS.

We can actually learn about human nature from our cultural experience with porn -if we do not carry with us an underlying agenda either propagating its ills or singing its blessings. There are so many questions, which include:

  • Why do so many enjoy it?
  • Why is there still shame associated with it?EmberEB943
  • Why do so many try to hide it?
  • Why do we not discuss it?
  • If we are to believe the numbers, why are so many people against it in public though engage in it in private?
  • Why are people such hypocrites when it comes to porn?
  • What social influences cause us to remain largely puritanical in our public persona about porn?
  • Why is it such an emotional issue for many?
  • Does it really damage the person or society?

In the late 60’s when the porn business was in the early stages of threatening to enter more of the mainstream entertainment arena, many politicians were displeased. This motivated President Lyndon Johnson to set up “The President’s Commission on Obscenity and Pornography” in hopes of finding that the viewing of obscene materials conclusively determines to cause harm both to the individual and society. What did they find? In a nutshell? Nothing. No evidence to suggest it is harmful to anyone or anything.

Of course President Nixon and congress then did what most of us do when we are faced with apparently reliable data that flies in the face of what we would prefer to believe (see cognitive nixondissonance) they simply reject it; which they did in a landslide vote of the senate, 60-5.

Things that make you go hmmmmm.

Then, in 1986, the tables were turned. A commission set up by conservative Ronald Reagan to perform an essentially similar study, perhaps then fueled by the rising VCR porn industry, called The Meese Report, found pornography to indeed have harmful effects on the individual and society, particularly as it relates to its relationship with organized crime.  Of course, these conclusions were widely criticized for their biases as well (I must say that I do find it suspect that several on the commission were clergy; perhaps not the best source for an unbiased perspective). For an interesting read comparing the two reports, check this out.

Who was right and who was wrong? In the face of conflicting information most of us simply fall back on our personal preferences. If our ethical system does not allow for pornography, for any variety of reasons, most will go with the latter Meese report. If one enjoys porn, one will probably say the President’s Commission in 1968 was spot on.

Most of us seek out information to justify our preferences rather than seek out information to assist CogDigin determining our preferences. It’s called dogmatism.

Whether for or against, it is a big business, millions view it, and it does not appear to be going anywhere anytime soon. In fact, in 2009 the UK DailyMail reported that a Canadian University had to cancel a study on the effects of porn because they could not find a single man in their quest to create a control group of men who had not viewed porn. I have heard of several such canceled studies since.

I am no statistician though looking at it from the macro, consider:  We have seen an exponential increase in the porn industry over the last 20 years, primarily via the internet, yet we have seen a dramatic drop in violent crime. Of course I am not making a direct cause and effect argument, as there are far too many variables to draw a direct correlation. BUT, if porn, which is so pervasive and at epidemic proportions in our culture, were so devastating and degenerating as some suggest, would not violent crime go up…at least a little?  Is it possible to study if porn may actually assist in bringing crime rates down? Pretty hard to murder or steal with only one hand available.

Since there will likely always be rapists on the street, I would far prefer them to be in their mellowed refractory periods; a much more likely condition in the era of porn proliferation.

I am not advocating porn. And God knows I am not saying I enjoy it. God forbid. That might make me like most men, yeccchh. I am advocating taking the ethical and emotional punch out of the word and objectively asking the questions.

When anything monumental enters a culture it contains both a blessing and a curse. Let’s acknowledge both….and get the conversation started. Porn. I said it.

One Nation Under Sex Or Happy MLK Day!!

One-Nation-Under-Sex-How-the-Private-Lives-of-Presidents-First-Ladies-and-Their-Lovers-Changed-the-Course-of-American-HistoryBy far and away, one of the most interesting and insightful books I have read in the past couple of years has been “One Nation Under Sex” by Dr. David Eisenbach.  The author most associated with this work is Hustler porn man Larry Flynt, yet he has as much to do with writing this book as Garfunkel had with the success of Simon and Garfunkel…or that other Wham! guy with George Michael.wham

I am saddened that Flynt gets most of the credit for the writing of this book because Columbia University lecturer and historian Dr. Eisenbach is primarily responsible for this wonderful historic account of how sex has played an overwhelmingly large role in our nation’s history -from changing public policy to winning or losing wars.  The book is academic in every sense with all claims sufficiently backed with reliable historical accounts. It is neither lurid nor appealing to prurient interests; it is flat out eye opening and educational.

If I were an American History professor, this most certainly would be either required or suggested reading.

To summarize this work in as few words possible, sexuality has played as much a part in American politics as any other underlying force; to be unaware and uneducated on this, as many prefer to pretend the great majority of our nation’s leaders were NOT horny bastards, is to be left ignorant and gullible. It is a magnificent study in basic human nature and its interplay with public policy.

And by horny bastards, I mean normal men. And I’m not talking about the members of the Philanderer’s Hall of Fame, appropriately named, Kennedy and Clinton’s Club. No. Names you would clinton-kennedyhave never associated with such behavior.

Oh, but the ladies do not get a free pass on this either as the book reveals plenty of female forays.

The one chapter that was obviously authored by Flynt is actually an excellent one as he reveals the grand hypocrisy of the modern day politician. I do not respect Flynt for much, however in this sense, he is a hero. Several times he has offered a one million dollar reward for information leading to the “scandalous” sexual lives of elected leaders. The first time he did this in 1997 it lead to the resignation of incoming Speaker of the House Bob Livingston.

Flynt has no problem with congress having sexual dalliances; he has trouble with those politicians who publicly rail for purity while privately getting a lap dance from Puritee down at Little Darlings;  the politician who votes for no gays in the military as he or she privately carries on gay love affairs.

I bring this up on Martin Luther King day. Why?  MLK was quite renowned for his “activism” in the bedroom, at least if we were to believe J. Edgar Hoover’s reports. The man who carried the weight of the Civil Rights movement on his own shoulders often carried the weight of several mistresses on his shoulders, and probably his back, perhaps legs, and maybe even occasionally his arms as well.

Martin-Luther-King-Jr-9365086-2-402I mean MLK absolutely no disrespect; conversely, there are few that admire the man more than I do.

MLK had one problem, he was human.  I do not support lying or cheating or any other “flaw” (is it a flaw if we all have it?) we humans have in our make-up, however, I support people who are real people. Unafraid.

I have found that for every valuable trait we possess there exists a shadow to that trait, an often troubling flipside.  The attractive strong and silent type is also the uncommunicative prick.  The overly romantic man is eventually the wimp who needs to get his act together.  The witty and funny female is concurrently the woman who cannot keep her mouth shut. Thus a passionate man is a passionate man, whether in front of the Lincoln memorial or in a downtown no-tell motel. Passion knows no bounds.

I am a quote guy and the following one MLK delivered has been etched in my mind for years:

“I say to you, this morning, that if you have never found something so dear and precious to you that you will die for it, then you aren’t fit to live. Well, you may go on and live until you are ninety, but you are  just as dead at 38 as you would be at ninety. And the cessation of breathing in your life is but the belated announcement of an earlier death of the spirit.”

WOW. And would anyone want to rob someone of what makes them great?

Today I honor the man. The MAN. Not the larger than life mythical figure we have created that cannot possibly live up to our high moral expectations. I honor the “flawed” individual whose passion knew no bounds.

I honor that passion. I admire that passion. That passion was a wake up call for an entire country. Even if we are one nation under sex, that underlying driving passion can take us where we need to go. Happy MLK day everyone.