Identity and Setting Boundaries

There are few things that can send people through the roof more than a perceived attack on their identity. I’ve long observed that my atheism can upset Christians who take my disbelief personally. Recently, George Takei (Lt. Sulu from the original Star Trek) ruffled feathers when he referred to African-American (and arch-conservative) Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas asContinue reading “Identity and Setting Boundaries”

Liberals Against Free Speech (But Not Me)

Left leaning students started the free speech movement at the University of California, Berkeley in the 1960s and faced opposition from conservative administrators who didn’t like what the students had to say. As a child in the 1980s I remember conservative campaigns to ban books that conservatives felt promoted liberal ideals. But somewhere along theContinue reading “Liberals Against Free Speech (But Not Me)”

Which Accent Has the Worst Reputation?

Most of us are familiar with the BBC accent, the more refined version of which is sometimes called posh. It’s long been the standard for the British Broadcasting Corporation. But if you listen to the BBC today, you’ll hear a variety of UK accents (in the US, NPR sometimes broadcasts BBC News). Some accents are stigmatized,Continue reading “Which Accent Has the Worst Reputation?”

Psychology for Men

Writing for the Telegraph, Martin Daubney asks, “Why isn’t there more of a focus on male psychology?” Severe mental health problems are more likely to affect men, and more common issues such as depression occur equally in men despite men being underdiagnosed. Men have a reputation for not opening up. But people will open up whenContinue reading “Psychology for Men”

Why Are Mass Shooters Almost Always Men?

We are struggling with the senselessness of yet another mass shooting. The shooter at the Charleston Emanuel AME Church identified race as his motivation. We find ourselves asking again why it’s always a white man doing the killing. Yet, there’s no evidence that race is a factor in most shootings. Based on data Mother Jones compiled, whitesContinue reading “Why Are Mass Shooters Almost Always Men?”

Just Your Garden Variety White Guy

That my family has a certain amount of Native American ancestry has long been a legend. It goes back at least as far as my great-grandparents, who told it to my grandparents. And perhaps further back for all I know. But it turns out that I’m your garden variety white guy. Where do family legends likeContinue reading “Just Your Garden Variety White Guy”

Lone Wolf & the Myth of the Alpha Male

The Grey starring Liam Neeson was a good action flick, but its portrayal of the wolf as a lone psychopathic killer was way off base. Dogs, after all, are simply domesticated wolves. Disney’s 1983 film Never Cry Wolf was far more accurate in its portrayal of wolves as social animals, though I more enjoyed the non-fiction book by FarleyContinue reading “Lone Wolf & the Myth of the Alpha Male”

Men & Suicide

In the United States 77% of people who commit suicide are men. In every country (except China) men are more likely to die by their own hands. Why? June is men’s health month, and mental health is as important as physical health. So let’s take a look at men, depression, and suicide. Some answers are facile. Men areContinue reading “Men & Suicide”