A further insight on this essay - Tom isn't trying to tell people how to be happy. he's trying to tell them how to get laid. Happiness isn't something one finds instructions for on commercial transmission mediums. It doesn't pay well, you see.

Anyay, on with my mutterings:

A while ago, one of my friends suggested I listen to Tom Leykis. I gave it a shot - actaully, I listened for several days to almost his entire show, and then have listened on and off driving home from work since them, and I've decided that I both like and hate the guy.

Of course, that's how most people feel about him - he's one of those people that gets things about half right, and about half wrong in my opinion. Of course, I have no idea what his real beleifs and feelings are - because of the way capitolism works, for all I know he's actually a pretty decent guy. Hard to tell - because all you hear on the air is whatever sells more advertising minutes.

Anyway, I thought I'd write about why I like him, and why I hate him, in order to answer the person who suggested I listen to him. And of course, since I'm forever trying to imbue actual content into my web page, I thought I'd publish it on the web and send him the URL. Maybe I'll send it to Tom, also.

I like him because he discourages single motherhood, which I think is one of the most broken ways to raise a child I've ever heard of. (Apologies to my friends who happen to be single mothers, sorry I feel this way - but I really don't see how you can pull in a paycheck big enough to support a child and raise that child well at the same time - there just aren't enough hours in a day. Memo to people where both parents work full time: same thing probebly applies to you.

I hate him because, like so many of my friends recently, he seems to feel that if you try to be nice to your lover, and cater to their whims and desires, you are a 'pussy'. Actually, in his beleif system, any time you aren't being a machochismic asshole, you're being a pussy.

Well, first of all, I'm a pussy, and I'm proud to be a pussy. I'm proud to say that I try to treat my lover well whenever I possibly can, and as far as I can tell, she tries to treat me the same way. I feel it's important to treat all people, regardless of race, color, creed, or political affiliation, with at least a basic level of respect (exceptions made for George Bush, who can't seem to earn any from me) and that furthermore, it's neccesary to treat the person you live with and care for with as much respect as you can muster. Not to mention as much kindness, love, gentleness, and sanity.

Which, among other things, means you really shouldn't yell at them, belittle them, or try to make them feel unattractive or less of a person. (Does this mean you should lie to them about being fat? I don't know - Like leykis, I wish women wouldn't ask this. Most Americans, myself included, are overweight... A better question would be 'am I beautiful?'.)

One of Leykis's basic 101 tenants is that you should try to make women, especially attractive women, have low self esteem. I kid you not, he encourages you to belittle them every chance you get. The problem with this is that once you get in the habit, once you get involved in a long term relationship, you're going to keep doing it. And this is just _dumb_.

Look at it this way.. when you're in a long term relationship with someone, one of the basic things you should be trying to do is build them up as a person - just as they should be trying to build you up as a person. You should each be supporting each other and helping each other to grow and improve as humans, because this is one of the basic goals of life. Making fun of each other, being cruel to each other, these make you both less happy people, and result in making your relationship worse. This results in lots of divorces, and therefore lots of single-motherdoms. Which is what Leykis proports to be against, so why does he encourage people to do these things?

Another reason I dislike Leykis is that like many talk show hosts, he spends a lot of time belittling his callers. Actually, this seems to be the new wave of talk shows. We all love to sit there and laugh at the poor schmucks who call in, don't we? But a question we should be asking ourselves is _why_ is this funny? Would it be funny if we were the ones being laughed at? Hr, probebly not, no...

And more importantly, it shows the same basic lack of respect for other people that is tearing our relationships apart. Not to mention, listening to this sort of thing as a primary activity strikes me as a collosal waste of time.

Actually, there's another talk show host who spends a lot of time belittling groups of people.. named Dr. Laura. And, if you think about the fact that she and Tom are basically the same in that they like to run down anyone that's not like them, maybe then you'll ask yourself if you really want to listen to someone who has basically the same theory on running a talk show as Dr. Laura. But I digress.

Another of the Leykis 101 suggestions that I don't buy is that anyone under 25 shouldn't be involved in a long term relationship - they should just be trying to get as much tail as possible. (his phrase). Okay, I beleive that getting married young is probebly a bad idea (and the statistics will bear me out on this) but I don't beleive that young people should avoid long term relationships, and here's why: Being in a long term relationship takes practice. Almost everyone I know has to be in a few before they get it right - not just because you have to find the right person, but also because you have to learn what the right attributes that make the right person are. And also because you have to learn basic couple survival skills - these aren't wired into us, we have to spend time trying things and getting them wrong before we learn them. At least in my case, I have to change several things about myself before I was a good canidate for a lifelong relationship. And I'm still working on this - I suspect it's basically a lifelong project.

What Leykis is suggesting people should do (just screw anything that moves, but avoid any long term commitment) will NOT teach people the skills needed to be in a long-term intamate relationship with another human. Thusly they will also result in less lasting relationships, thusly resulting in more single mothers, which he proports to dislike the ideas of

So, basically, the guy's inconsistant. I probebly will send him this URL, because maybe he'll shred this document on the air (possibly using some questionable logic, but hey, who am I to care) and that'd expose more people to brassrat.net, and my other thoughts, including my steadily developing page on making my own electric vehicle. But I think his Leykis 101 course is ultimately countra-happiness.

Because, let's face it, getting a whole lot of tail will not make you happy, except maybe when you're actually involved in the act. Most of the happiness that comes from sex comes from having sex with someone you love, respect, care about, and enjoy being near - that strange glowy feeling that's hard to describe - you've either been there or you haven't.

(For those of you who haven't, by the way, you have no idea what you're missing. And I can't explain it, any more than I could explain a rainbow to a blind man. But consider trying to learn about how to live in a good, positive relationship with a person of the opposite sex - the human race has been doing it for a long time, and we're evolved for it - it really does make people happy.)

Apologies to gay people for that last paragraph - obviously there are people that are wired such that they enjoy being in this type of relationship with a person of the same sex instead - and obviously that's just fine too. The point is that humans in general seem to be happier when paired off in positive, reinforcing relationships.

Anyway, back to Leykis and my love/hate relationship with him. One of the things his callers constantly talk about is his dislike for the women - his lack of respect for women - etc. His response is always that he has never said he hates women, and that he is only saying 'most' women do X, where X is whatever his current topic is. But he NEVER encourages people to talk to their significant others about his topics - only to leave them. (She's gotten fat? Well, time to kick her to the curb.. she wont let you go out with your friends? Time to change the locks..). While it is true that there are some problems (physical abuse, verbal abuse) that are so extreme that the best solution is generally just to leave first and ask questions later, it's also true that for lesser problems, sometimes it's far, far better to try and educate the person you're with. Even if you ultimately end up leaving them over the issue, at least the next person they end up with will have a somewhat better chance of having a working relationship with them.

Remember, people can be taught. Sometimes it takes several lovers telling someone something for them to consider changing it - but if no one ever tells them what's wrong and everyone just leaves them, ultimately the person will just be miserable and have no idea what's wrong with them.

This brings up another point. There is no time when it is more critical to be gentle with your lover than when you are telling them of a fault they have. We're all somewhat fragile people, even the non-pussies - and there's no one we're more sensitve to criticism from than our lovers. And this is as it should be - why would anyone's opinion be more important to you than the person you live with, share your body with, see several hours out of every day, and potentially if all goes well will spend the rest of your life with?

Therefore, using the Leykis 'just lay it on the line and get your balls back' approach - implying that to be careful with the feelings of your lover is to not have 'balls' is also contra-relationship survival and contra-happiness. People, there's ENOUGH unhappiness in the world already. We really don't need more.

Therefore, friend of mine who listens to Leykis - you know who you are - I think you should at least consider turning the station when he starts giving relationship advice. As I recall, you've recently entered into a relationship that you think may last - you really don't need Leykis's peculiar brand of logic entering into that relationship. At the very least, please remember that the guy is human, and could very well be wrong. As he points out, his show is based on years of making every mistake except haivng children.

By the way, for those of you who read this and don't know me, I am NOT a right wing nut or a convicted felon either. If you read the rest of my page, you'll find I'm actually fairly liberal, in my own way. I just like to think about what I beleive. In fact, thinking in general is one of my favorite hobbies. You all should turn off your televisions and try it. ;-)

Also, in case any of you might have gotten the wrong idea, I'm not christian. In fact, I beleive christianity is fundamentally broken. My religious views, should you for some _ungodly_ reason want to read about them, can be found at plur.us. S.

P.S. I'm not living in a fantasy world. I understand that Tom says the things he does because they are the things that sell. And I also understand that the things I have posted on this web page will never sell - but I can always give them away for free, and so can you.

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