Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Surrounded By Energy Vampires

 A book review. So today I finished a book by Thomas Erikson, a Swedish author, called Surrounded by Energy Vampires, which is a part of a series. I read it in Dutch so there won't be any direct quotes, you'll have to believe me:)

Normally I don't buy and/or read modern secular popular psychology/self-help books, but I made an exception for this one; first, because of the name (some people do drain your energy) and, second, because one of the chapters deals with narcissists (if you ever have been a victim of them, you'll understand). 

So what can I say? My general impression of the book is positive. There were things which I liked/found helpful, but also some things I didn't particularly care for.

The book is well-written and quite engaging and I managed to finish it in 4 days (!). It discusses different types of so-called "energy vampires", i.e. people who emotionally drain and manipulate you and gives you some advice on how to deal with them. In doing so, the author uses DISC model, an international model which divides people into 4 basic types represented by 4 colours (red, yellow, green and blue) or some combination of the above, dependent on whether they are intro- or extrovert and relationships or  objects-oriented.

 The main problem for me was that this book's target audience are office workers. It goes into detail about modern office politics and all the drama it creates, which made me very happy that, thank Heaven, I don't have to deal with any of it. To be fair, Erikson also gives examples from normal daily/family life and mentions other occupations besides "middle manager", albeit briefly. But never a housewife:) In fact, they don't at all exist in his universe and he several times goes out of the way to make his book as unis8x as possible, including such  examples as a genius IT lady and men making breakfasts for their families before going out to work (must be normal in Sweden). It's also secular and the existence of higher powers is only mentioned once and rather skeptically at that.

 That said, he isn't entirely politically correct, or in any case, less than I expected which is quite refreshing. He does mention that men and women can differ in displaying certain character qualities and does hint that certain "energy vampire" types are more common for males or vice versa. 

Some of the author's observations are very interesting, e.g. when he claims that our society sees being extrovert as a virtue in itself and encourages everyone to behave accordingly and be constantly "on the move"/ run around instead of sitting quietly at home, or that it rewards "victim mentality" and thus creates more people who are proud to have victim status. 

I also liked his suggestion to punish a teenager who passively-aggressively shirks doing domestic chores by doubling the amount of work and supervising him doing it. I mean, I know enough mothers whose teenagers have no domestic duties at all and the thought of punishing them by making them actually do something at home would horrify them, even "the good Christian conservative types", so I was amused when a liberal Swedish feminist guy suggested it. 

When dealing with bullies Erikson mentions how the society nowadays likes to present them as the victims (they were abused by parents, had a difficult youth etc) but the reality is quite different: they are toxic sociopaths who get a kick out of abusing those below them on the social ladder and should be avoided at all costs. He gives the same advice about narcissists and adds that they can't be changed (though I'm not sure I agree they were born that way) so the best thing to do is to avoid them. He also points out that modern "cancel culture" is wholly driven by narcissists who pretend to be holier-than-thou but in reality, are nasty, evil individuals.

On the other hand, when one has a difficult (marriage) partner, his advice is not to right away run to a nearby divorce court but rather to try and fight for your relationship, which, again, is quite refreshing in the times of easy divorce.

The chapter which I found particularly helpful was the one about the news and social media. Erikson gives some interesting info: 90% of all news is negative and is designed to be so to trigger you and keep you in the constant state of stress. He recommends news/media fast of 30 days to try and find out if you are feeling any better and claims that his quality of life has improved considerably after quitting following news cold turkey several years ago. He also warns about the dangers of (excessive) social media use and the general unpleasantness of having to deal with "smartphone zombies" at the dinner table etc. 

Go out and help your neighbour instead, he recommends and I agree wholeheartedly.

He also gives some tips on how to avoid procrastination which are quite helpful. And then, his last advice: remember that you can't really change other people or to avoid all irritating types altogether. The only person you can really change is yourself. Change your attitude to life and others and you'll feel better.

I'd say "amen" to that.

Friday, January 26, 2024

What's Happening In Texas?

Is this a real thing? Will it lead to something bigger? Or is it just a political stunt???

Thursday, January 25, 2024

A Ban On P0rn?


 An Oklahoma state senator has proposed a law that would make watching pornography a felony and ban sexting among people who are not married.

The bill, set to be introduced next month by state Sen. Dusty Deevers (R-Elgin), would prohibit consuming or producing sexual content that “lacks serious literary, artistic, educational, political, or scientific purposes or value” in any medium.

The measure defines “obscene material” as the depiction or description of any “acts of sexual intercourse,” including those that are “normal or perverted, actual or simulated.”


Friday, January 19, 2024

Donald Trump And Alcohol

 I can actually credit my recent teetotalism to Donald Trump. Seriously. As you probably know, he doesn't touch alcohol at all (here is an old BBC article on this topic). Trump is quite old, overweight and likes eating at McDonald's but he is still remarkably fit for his age. 

I remember before he was elected folks online had been discussing his unusual health. He was campaigning all over the country and flying a lot yet always looked full of energy. Someone asked: "How comes he doesn't suffer from jet lag?" And the other guy said it was because of Trump's total abstinence. 

Well, that made me think. It certainly flew in the face of everything I ever heard about "moderate drinking" and how it's supposedly good for you. Then I did some research and decided to quit. I've been doing it on and off but have now come to the point when I don't enjoy drinking even small amounts of alcohol. At all.

I think my health has improved because of it. It could be a conformation bias, of course. D. Trump is meanwhile 6 years older and appears to be as fit as ever, especially comparing with his chief contender. Alcohol has been linked to brain damage and dementia, btw.

So what do you think about it all? Feel free to share!

Monday, January 15, 2024

The Thick Web Of Conspiracy Theories

 Really most of them don't make sense. You know what they do though? They make Right-wingers look bad. 

Let's start with the most recent one. Covid-19. I had been reading stories about how it was a conspiracy since the very beginning of the pandemic. Apparently, such different countries that normally can't stand each other as the USA, Russia, China and Iran all united in one big conspiracy together with WEF, UN and probably aliens to oust President Trump or hurt the Western economy or make us all digital slaves or something something. 

Listen, I agree that many of the measures taken by the Western governments (don't know about other countries so won't judge) were retarded and overblown, however, corona did exist, and it was dangerous to certain categories of people, such as, the elderly, those with serious diseases (cancer, heart disease), and the overweight. We all collectively had to suffer because those 3 categories are like 50% of the modern Western society, could be more in some countries, lol.

However, I had corona and it did feel different from flu. I was totally whacked for 2-3 weeks after it, and I was told that I recovered indecently quickly. But after you had it once good, the next time you get it, it's really nothing special. 

The next one is corona vaxxx. People are dying left and right from it, right? Except they are not. I know plenty of vaccinated folks and they are all alive and kicking, with a couple of exceptions. One died from cancer, the other one from untreated diabetes type 2. I also heard of those who had side effects from the vaccine, one elderly person even developed a blood clot in his lung. This happened very quickly after his 1st injection, not 2 years later though. His sister didn't vaccinate herself and spent 2 months in the hospital with severe corona (she was in 2 of the groups mentioned above).

Side effects can happen after any vaccine you take. My mother got swelling in her lung after a tetanus shot. You know what, if necessary I'd still take a tetanus shot over developing tetanus. The government had no business mandating corona vaccines (or any other vaccine) though and I'm glad my country never went so far, because we have workers' rights. Trade unions came in force against it and we had a strike which closed some of the havens of Rotterdam for just half a day, and it was enough to make the government change its mind. Collective action wins over rugged individualism every time.

The next one. Raw milk. It will cure any disease and give you eternal youth and pasteurised milk will send you to an early grave (yes, I know I overdrive). Raw milk was prohibited because raw milk spread tbc and diphtheria, among other things.   Raw milk when it was sold widely was usually boiled for a certain amount of time at home. Here you can purchase it on farms. You are advised to boil it. It has a higher fat content.

If you are lactose intolerant, raw milk won't cure it. I never ever had problems with store-bought milk, in fact, I love milk, but started developing stomach issues with the raw one. It's literally not worth the hassle and health risk, despite what "nutrition bloggers" tell you.

Sugar. Sugar has a conspiracy theory of its own, seriously. Apparently, the USGov wants you to eat sugar, for nefarious reasons. Except a very simple Google search will take you to semi-official nutrition advice such as this, which literally tells you 

  • Men should consume no more than 9 teaspoons (36 grams or 150 calories) of added sugar per day.
  • For women, the number is lower: 6 teaspoons (25 grams or 100 calories) per day. Consider that one 12-ounce can of soda contains 8 teaspoons (32 grams) of added sugar!  There goes your whole day’s allotment in one slurp.

I could go on and on, but will keep it short for the purposes of this blog post so I'll add the last one. Vegan conspiracy. Vegans want you to eat bugs. Or the government wants you to become vegan and eat bugs. I'm not a big friend of vegans, but let's be fair. Vegans don't eat bugs. They even refuse to eat honey because it's "the product of exploitation" or something. So while various government may promote bug-eating, it has nothing to do with vegans whatsoever. Also, the French eat snails. I tried them once, wasn't impressed. But one could say that eating insects is a long-standing European tradition:)

Also what did John the Baptist feed on in the desert? Locusts and wild honey? Vegans deny it, btw, and say that he was a vegan, too, and the word "locust" was just mistranslated.

Western governments can certainly be criticised on many things, but personally I don't think they're in the business of genociding us all with covid vaxx, sugar and insect protein:) Take nutrition and health advice from the internet with a grain of salt and do your own research.

Thursday, January 11, 2024

The Importance Of Mothers

 I remember the words of an old song, Mother gave me life, Mother is the most important word in every language. This simple fact is somehow denied in our modern times. I recall reading a magazine about pregnancy and childbirth from a midwife's office where some "child development specialist" claimed that it really doesn't matter for your child who is raising him, you or a nanny. This is obviously a lie, invented to make working moms feel better about themselves.

Here is a simple test. Have you ever being scared witless in your adult life? May be not in real life situation but in a dream? Whom did you call for help? There is a story I read once about American war prisoners in Japanese camps in the 1940s. Japanese were in the habit of torturing them for fun, to break their spirits. These men would call their mothers. Not Dad. Not Granny. Not a baby sitter. Not a nice day care lady. No, these once tough soldiers were screaming for their moms. 

That is not to say that a father isn't important. And, of course, it's a blessing to have loving and involved grandparents. I'm saying it as someone partly raised by Grandma. I loved her to pieces and still do, though she has been many years deceased. She was a real proper lady with high moral principles, feminine but hard as nails if the need called. They don't make them like that any more. Still, Granny was Granny and Mother is Mother if you know what I mean.

If you are planning to have children you should also be planning to stay home with them. And not only "while breastfeeding" or "until they go to school" or any such nonsense. Teenagers need their mothers, too. Your baby won't try alcohol behind your back. Your toddler won't do drugs. Your 1st grader won't have orgies at home. We all know who is prone to try all these things if there is no one around. It's not a modern problem, either. I remember when I was in high school there were certain homes where no grown ups were present during the day where certain things happened. Sometimes working mothers even had to quit their jobs to set things right.

It didn't get better since that time, if something it got worse. 

Whatever pretty lies the society has been telling you, it still doesn't change the real facts. It's not your mother's responsibility.

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Should Marriage Be Based On Love?

 I should say yes, among other things, and if not love, then, at least, mutual attraction. I mean it's incredible to me that some folks push the idea that it's absolutely not important for the future spouses to have any kind of feelings for one another. Because "romantic love" is the root of all evil, don't you know?

Well, I don't know about romantic love, whatever the heck it is, but passionate love is quite important. "Passion" sounds rather old-fashioned nowadays because it's actually an euphemism for s8xual desire, and marriage literally can't exist without s8x. Even Medieval Catholic Church would give annulment if marriage was never consummated. Consummation means having s8x. By the same logic, later on Protestant countries would grant a divorce if one the parties refused the other in bed refused to perform their "marital duties."

How are you supposed to have a healthy s8x life if you aren't attracted to your spouse? I don't think many of us would like to return to the times of "lie back and think of England":) Of course, we all know examples when even arranged marriages turned into stable loving relationships, so you don't always have to be "madly in love" before your wedding day, but a pure marriage of convenience, especially when one of the spouses (usually the woman) is repulsed by the other and married him purely for money or some other reason, is a recipe for disaster, especially in the times of easy no-fault divorce.

Do we really need to drag the worst of Victorianism into our present day and how would it make our family life better? 

Monday, January 8, 2024

It's Not Your Mother's Job

 To raise your children. There, I said it. Things have come to the point when Grannies quit their jobs to babysit their grandchildren while their daughters, the moms of these kids, keep on working. The funny part is that Boomer/early Gen X Grannies themselves kept on working when young and didn't bother to properly raise these daughters because it wasn't cool to be a SAHM or something, but now want to live vicariously through their daughters.

I'd like to quote Darla Shine's Happy Housewives:

Right now I want to talk to all the moms out there who can afford to be at home with their children. Women who have husbands who can support their families...I have to ask you: What are you doing? 

I know you feel guilty about your choice to continue working your way toward that glass ceiling, and I do agree with you that it totally sucks that you have to give it up for your family, but that's just the way it is. I'm sorry...You brought these little people into the world, so go home and raise them. It's not your mother's responsibility. 

Regan, 2006, p. 19. 

I did a review of her book here.

Thursday, January 4, 2024

Real Life Examples Of Alcohol Abuse

 First I want to put up a disclaimer: I'm not telling anyone to stop drinking. I don't think drinking small amounts of alcohol is sin. I don't believe like Baptists do that wine in the Bible was necessarily grape juice. I still sometimes may drink a half glass myself, on rare occasions.

 However, the truth is that alcohol has been a scourge of my people (White Christian Europeans) and now that they are getting less Christian, it only gets worse. So I just wish to give you a couple of real life examples, with some details changed for privacy reason, to explain why I think the best amount of alcohol to drink is none, outside of communion.

A young woman got married and had a child, started drinking and her husband divorced her. Got married again, got another child, The 2nd husband couldn't tolerate her alcohol habit any more and divorced her, too. She hanged herself on Christmas Day and her oldest child of 4 was wandering in the streets asking strangers for help.

A neighbour started drinking after his relationship broke down. Tried to commit suicide, the family talked him out of it. Got drunk on Christmas Day, fell off the stairs and broke his neck.

A woman had a drinking habit, got married and caused her husband to drink, too. Became abusive and beat him up. He divorced her. The children didn't want to do anything with her either, ended up all alone.

A woman started drinking at home, with her husband. Became addicted. Later became sick and had to quit. Went through Hell, couldn't sleep normally for months. 

A young woman started drinking in her student years, ended up a single mom. Had a binge drinking episode which resulted in internal bleeding. Bled out to death all alone with no one to help. Her mother was left to raise her child.

That's just several stories which come to mind right now, I could go on but it would be rather repetitive as it's always the same story. People start drinking in their youth or because they have problems, end up addicted, family breaks down and early death follows. And before you say, but I won't get addicted here is the last example:

two men were friends and cousins. Started drinking at the same time. Both had a tendency to binge. One later got sick and decided to quit, just like that. Without any negative health effects, either. Drinks half a glass on his birthday and that's all. The other one went to rehab several times and still can't stop. The point is, you never know beforehand who becomes an addict and who doesn't.