Do NOT Tamper With Your Comments!

I told my ex-girlfriend not to lie to me… I mean, she was still my girlfriend at the time, and now she isn’t. The reason I told her that was that I was catching her in small, seemingly insignificant lies. VERY VERY small lies… Not even worth telling, to be sure. I explained to her that the most important thing you have in a relationship is trust. Without TRUST, you have nothing at all, because any communication you have with anyone will be tainted… untrustworthy… disbelieved. Lying to me about small things is WORSE than lying to me about important things, because it’s not necessary. If your character can’t stand up to the smallest criticism and you feel the pressure and need to LIE, then you CERTAINLY don’t have the stomach to tell me the truth when it REALLY counts.

WHAT does this have to do with “Technology”, you ask?… Because the same holds true in many situations, *including* posting on the internet. The way a lot of blogs are set up, including this one that I’m posting to right now, after the main entry, there’s a section for comments. This is the place for viewers/readers to weigh in and let you know if they agree OR disagree with what you said, and why.

The benefit of having comments is taking a post from being a soliloquy to being the beginning of a conversation. It’s like having a lecture and then at the end, opening up the floor to any questions your audience might have. *YOU* are just as responsible for and will be held accountable for what happens in your comment section as you will be held accountable for what you post in the main entry. Just like I told my ex… (paraphrasing, hahaha) the way you carry yourself in dealing with comments can make or break your credibility in EVERYTHING ELSE that’s MORE IMPORTANT than your comments section…..

Let’s take a very simple example that everyone should be able to follow:

Let’s say you have a company that sells widgets. Let’s say your business blog is “widgetblog”, and is a blog about widgets. Let’s say you also author “personalblog”, and what you post there has NOTHING to do with widgets, and only to do with your personal life. Unfortunately for you, you can not separate these three things if people know that you’re connected to all of them. Similar to a chain, your credibility is only as strong as the *WEAKEST* link.

Now, let’s say you post that “the sky is blue”. Let’s say that several people post “I agree, the sky IS blue!” and those comments are not tampered with. What do you do when someone posts “the sky is actually grey”? This person has now added their personal opinion to the discussion that you started. Do you leave this dissenting opinion on your site so that people can see the HONEST, TRANSPARENT format of how the discussion actually unfolded?…. OR…. Do you log in as “admin” and CHANGE THAT POST so it now reads “the sky is blue”?

Let’s say you get five more “blues” and two more “greys” and even a “red”… What now? Do you log in AGAIN, and tamper with your comments AGAIN? When someone comes to your post the next day, will EVERYONE be in agreement with your position? Is that fair? Is that HONEST? Is that *transparent*?

Now, in most cases, you can get away with this underhanded behavior. There’s only one thing you have to do to maintain your credibility and look like people agree with you….. Be. Faster. Than. Everyone. Else. That. Reads. Your. Blog!

If you come to your blog, and the dissenting posts have been sitting there for an hour, consider the possibility that SEVERAL PEOPLE may have ALREADY READ THEM and will see you for who you really are and what you’re really doing if you tamper with your comments. :/

What’s the problem if you get caught tampering with your comments?…. “Trickle Up”! πŸ˜€

If you get caught tampering with comments on PERSONAL posts, your credibility is *SHOT*. You can NOT be trusted. If you can’t be trusted with the comments on your personal post, you can’t be trusted in what you POSTED either. Why tell the truth, when you could make up a convenient lie to make yourself look good? Now, your entire personalblog is tainted. Meanwhile, you’re the same person that writes and moderates widgetblog. Why should we believe that you’re willing to risk your business by allowing people to have opinions contrary to YOUR best interests? Now, the posts AND comments on widgetblog are tainted.

Meanwhile, you’re the owner of the widget company. Why should your character in doing business with someone face to face, shaking their hand and looking them in the eye be any stronger than when you’re posting a business or personal blog? So, unfortunately “this person is a liar” trickles UP to where you don’t want it because you didn’t have the stomach to leave your comments alone and perhaps POST A REBUTTAL? Stand up for your own statements? Explain to the dissenting commenter why you think you’re right and they’re wrong? Seriously. :/

Assuming you feel you’re prone to resort to underhanded tactics to make yourself look good in the future by tampering with people’s comments today… Here are some things you can do that will still make you look like you have something to hide, but there’s no PROOF, like when a statement that was “X” for 45 minutes, suddenly becomes “Y” merely by clicking ‘refresh’ in your browser. :/

Turn Off Comments – Your word is law and that’s it. Anybody who comes to personalblog or widgetblog will get what YOU have to say about things, and that’s it. Nobody else has any say.

Turn On Moderation – Make it so that NOBODY’S comments make it to personalblog or widgetblog unless YOU approve them. That way, when everything ends up positive, you just look like you spun the situation by only letting the comments through that you liked. This is DIFFERENT from changing people’s posts because there’s never anything negative for people to see in the first place, AND dissenting comments don’t become agreeing comments with the same person’s name on the top, posted at the exact same time.

Delete Dissenting Comments – MUCH, MUCH better than changing what people had to say from “X” to “Y” is deleting their comments altogether. That way, you look like someone who can’t handle the truth instead of someone actively cheating to make it look like everyone’s on your side in this situation.

Don’t Blog At All – Really, I don’t understand why some people post things on the net in the form of a blog with comments, when they don’t REALLY want to hear what people honestly think about what they’re saying or doing.

Maybe two years ago, I read something I thought was interesting on someone’s blog. I thought it was very interesting….. as well as COMPLETELY WRONG! πŸ˜€ I explained to her very professinally and clinically WHY she was wrong by posting a comment on her blog. Eventually, I got an email from her saying that she was going to erase my comment, and suggested (to her credit, because I hadn’t saved my post anywhere) that I copy it and post it on my own blog and link to hers.

I wrote back to her, thanked her for not deleting my post FIRST, and explained to her (in not so flowery terms) that I thought she was lame for having a web site where all she wanted on it was her opinions and people that agreed with her position. She was doing a disservice to her readers, because with all of them commiserating and rallying around the flag, it was the blind leading the blind, and they were never going to get to the solution to their problem, because they had the question wrong in the first place.

Since then, I’ve come to realize that many people post NOT to START a conversation, but to appear as if they’re an authority in something. They think that as long as they post something and nobody disagrees, they look intelligent or wise. I now realize that a lot of people use the internet to make themselves feel better or to doctor the results so as to convince themselves that they’re in the right and someone else was in the wrong.

That’s all well and good, however, if that’s the type of person you are, don’t think that people aren’t figuring you out. Don’t think that you’re getting away with tampering with comments or juking stats scot-free. Your credibility’s taking a hit, and you may find out down the line when nobody wants to buy your widgets that it’s because more people than you know saw you tampering with comments on some seemingly insignificant post and decided that your credibility as a businessperson has been seriously undermined by your personal character.

Bill Cammack Ò€’ Cammack Media Group, LLC

Tips For The Ladies

I just became aware of a video blog that is geared towards dating tips for females. I thought I’d take this opportunity to give the ladies the only dating advice they need… and here it is……

Go outside.

That’s all. Go outside. Females are always going to be in demand, well… ATTRACTIVE females… because guys are always going to want to have sex with attractive girls/women. Regardless of the latest fads of metrosexuals and all this other weird stuff going on these days, a good-looking girl will NEVER go out of style.

Having said that… There are certain people you should NOT listen to when they hand out advice for women. One of these people is Oprah….

DO NOT LISTEN when Oprah says you are attractive no matter what you look like. Don’t listen. It’s not true. Nope. πŸ˜€ Go ahead and take your chances, but unless you have some kind of mental edge on the rest of the female population, you will be passed up for better-looking girls 98% of the time. It’s a fact. Live with it. πŸ™‚

If it were actually the truth that Oprah believed women were aiiite in whatever state of disrepair they allowed themselves to descend to, she wouldn’t keep dieting every so often. YA HEARD? πŸ˜€

If it’s REALLY all cool for y’all to look like “whatever’s clever”, then Oprah would weigh about 800 lbs by now and be on stage eating bon bons during the commercial breaks. It’s not the truth. Don’t go for the “okey-doke”. πŸ˜€ Stay in shape. Period.

DO NOT LISTEN when your hairdresser tells you you would look better with some form of crew-cut or weirdo hairstyle from out of a 1960s magazine about The Rolling Stones. Having the same haircut as Charlie Watts is NOT cute for a chick. Don’t do it. :/ Don’t go for the “okey-doke”.

If you want to know what looks good on a female, ask someone that likes females. Just because some magazine did an article on some artistic thing that someone did to some woman’s head, that doesn’t mean it’s going to look good on YOU, and it doesn’t mean that you’re going to get ANY RAPS until your hair grows back. πŸ™‚

DO NOT DATE *ANYONE* THAT CALLS YOU “WIFEY MATERIAL”. Don’t do it. Don’t go for the “okey-doke”. “Wifey Material” is an anomaly. It’s a term used by guys that are very familiar with NON-WIFEY MATERIAL. It means I would treat her differently than all the other chicks I run into. It does NOT mean that you’re special. It means you are perceived to be on a certain plateau. It’s YOU and the other chicks that are “wifey material”.

Material is a substance. They may as well call you “ice cream”. I like ice cream. I think ice cream is delicious. That doesn’t mean I’m going to devote myself to ONE BOX OF ICE CREAM. If I like Vanilla, for instance, that means that I’m going to like everything that qualifies to me as well-made Vanilla ice cream. I might treat that ice cream differently, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to eat Chocolate ice cream. Get it?

“Wifey Material” means you’re going to try YOUR DAMNEDEST not to get caught coming out of the next chick’s apartment. It means you’re going to hide your true nature from this chick in order to keep her around as long as possible. It’s almost better for you NOT to be “wifey material”, because you might get a more realistic representation of how the guy really is and what he thinks of you and his relationship to you.

So… To recap….. DO NOT let yourself get out of shape. DO NOT let hairstylists do weirdo things to your hair. DO NOT listen when the guy at the club @ 2am trying do do some ‘parking lot pimping’ tells you you’re the ONLY special girl he’s ever met in his try-to-get-laid-two-days-out-of-every-seven-’cause-he’s-broke-the-other-five-days dating career and that he’d like to “wife you up”.

DatingGenius

Sex Sells!!!

Ladies… When you want your man to do something, make sure you LOOK GOOD when you ask him! πŸ˜€

Guys need INCENTIVE. That incentive comes from either desire or fear. If he desires you, then he’s going to FEAR not ‘getting some’, so you get a double bonus by hooking yourself up and looking proper before suggesting he do things such as take out the garbage or take you out to dinner. πŸ™‚

If you look busted when you ask him, he’s going to be thinking “So what if I don’t do it? Who cares? I’m not trying to tap that anyway :/” Worst-case-scenario, you stop blabbing and go away, which is a double-win for him, because he doesn’t have to listen to your drivel, AND he doesn’t have to look at you anymore and can get back to enjoying his brew and the game he was watching.

If you don’t live with your boyfriend, then make sure you look proper when you go to his house, or you let him come over. This helps you during the times you ask him to do something over the phone. While you’re talking to him, he’s having Champagne Wishes & Caviar Dreams about hooking up with you later on, so he’s liable to do just about anything you ask him to. If you look good, say 50% of the times you’re around him, then you have about a 50% chance that he’ll perform his task properly… IF he does it at all! πŸ˜€

That’s right, ladies! Like the record says… “You gotsta use what ya got… to get what ya want!” πŸ˜€

YA HEARD??? πŸ˜€

DatingGenius

Do guys really care how chicks look?

Roxanne writes:

I’ve heard both. “Guys go for the pretty girls.” But I’ve also heard that guys think girls fuss way too much over their appearance. Like makeup for example. Most guys really don’t care that much about it? What’s up with this big disconnect?

Wow, Rox… That’s a REALLY good question, which unfortunately calls for a complex answer. The first question is “what is makeup doing on women’s faces in the first place?”…….

In the animal kingdom, dogs, for instance, can tell when other dogs are receptive to sex by perceived cues. It might be a smell… It might be a behavior that coincides with being in the fertile phase of the cycle… It might be how the other dog’s skin looks… I’ve heard of something called “flagging”, but I’m no dog-breeding expert.

Anyway… Humans have bypassed these natural cues by utilizing items such as CLOTHES and DEODORANT. In most cases, whatever one’s natural emissions are are completely masked now. This is why people get compliments on their cologne or whatever it is they used in their hair, because all other smells have been suppressed.

This is where makeup comes in. Makeup FAKES certain skin conditions and basically cheats the guy, biologically, into feeling more attracted to her. For instance, you’ve seen someone become embarrassed, and their face turns red (blushing). Some people have naturally rosy cheeks. Others do not. All they have to do to fake rosy cheeks is paint their cheeks red. Same deal for enhancing lips and eyes and essentially coloring shadows onto a woman’s face to make it appear that her face has curves it really doesn’t have. Same thing with plucking eyebrows. HAHAHAHA I can imagine how many guys had kids with women that they THOUGHT had slim eyebrows, and then the kid came out with some kind of bushy unibrow, hehehe πŸ˜€ but I digress……

Now that we know where the makeup came from, we can look at what guys consider to be “pretty girls”. Obviously, that’s subjective. Everyone has their own idea of what’s attractive and what isn’t. Even though I’ve seen makeup do ABSOLUTE WONDERS for some women….. I’m not a makeup fan. Applied stylishly, it can give a girl a HOT look, except the only time you’re going to see her like that is when she makes herself up like that. The rest of the time, she’s going to look like Plain Jane, and you’d better hope you like her that way. We’ve also seen on television when women go to sleep on their “face” and wake up looking like The Joker after he got caught out in the rain without his umbrella. :/ no good. Having said that, there are some guys that won’t be seen with a woman AT ALL unless she has makeup on and her clothes and hair are proper and she looks ‘right’.

So… Do guys go for the pretty girls? Yes. Definitely! πŸ˜€ However, the path to “pretty” doesn’t go through makeupville. Attractive is Attractive. She could look good in a professional suit-skirt. She could look good in sweats and sneakers after playing frisbee for three hours in Central Park. She could look good with glasses on. She could look good with contacts in. She could look good in a box. She could look good with a fox. She could look tasty like green eggs & ham! ;p~~~~~ um… what point was I making? :/

Anyway… the “too much fuss over appearance” thing is that there isn’t much difference for the guy in whether she wears the green shirt or the red shirt. Whether she wears the Manolo boots or the Payless boots. Whether she wears the skirt 3″ above her knee or 5″ above her knee… what belt she puts on… yadda yadda yadda. If the guy’s into whatever her natural beauty is, all extra preparation she’s doing is useless to him and a waste of time. That can include makeup. So, yes… Guys like pretty girls… Pretty does NOT equal Painted…. and women need to give themselves a break and take a guy’s word for it when he says “you look great… let’s go”. πŸ™‚

That doesn’t mean to show up all disheveled and looking like a BUM! :/ Just figure out “when to say when”. πŸ˜€

DatingGenius

Why Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy

A reader sent in a question regarding guys getting money from girls for sex in the same way that girls get money from guys for sex……

————-

The thing about being a ho… male or female… is that you have to understand what you’re going to get and what you’re not going to get. You can get people to spend their time with you and spend their money on you, but you’re not going to be respected AT.ALL.

People that are for sale are worth the amount of money that they’re selling for. Not only that… They’re not selling anything different from the next ho, so there’s no loyalty involved or care or love or anything like that. If hoes are in it for the business, then fine, it works for them. If they’re in it thinking they’re having real relationships, they’re going to be in for a rude awakening when they get replaced by a better or cheaper ho. πŸ™‚

Having said that…

In order for a male ho (called a gigolo) to match the abilities of a female ho (called a ho), you’d have to associate with women on the monetary level of the men that the hoes are dealing with. You can’t “get pizaid” off of a chick that’s working fries in the fast food establishment. It doesn’t work the same way with girls that it does with guys. A GUY could work fries ’till payday, cash his check and blow his entire savings on one night with a girl then eat cereal with water for the next two weeks, with beans for dinner. :/ Girls have things to do with their money… such as SHOP and EAT. A guy can only count on getting A PERCENTAGE of a girl’s money, while the girl can count on getting ALL of a guy’s money. πŸ˜€ Therefore, you have to associate with VERY well-off women if you want to score the perks that females score off of even minimum-wage-earning male ‘tricks’ (guys that pay for sex).

In general, it’s very tough for guys to get paid for having sex with girls. This is why you see so many brothels containing women for sale to men, and you don’t see ANY brothels containing men for sale to women. NONE! I think they tried it a couple of times in Amsterdam or something, but they went bankrupt. πŸ˜€

The other problem is that women are actually into personalities, while men are into bodies. You’ll notice that men have Playboy Magazine and women have Harlequin Romances. You can’t REALLY be a player without having MANY skills to bring to the table. If you’re attractive and stupid, you can’t win. If you’re unattractive and smart, you can’t win! πŸ˜€ Meanwhile, the girls just have to look good, and they’ll have guys falling all over themselves to take them out and buy them stuff in the hopes of getting on.

What should you have done differently? ….. Hang out @ the country club instead of the mall. πŸ˜€

DatingGenius

HollaBack Girls 03

Rox said in a reply to “Hollaback Girls 02”:

I’m all for some consciousness raising Bill and you’re to be lauded by jumping in here. I draw a distinction between “boys being boys” and actual harassment and assault. Women who are waiting for men to change will wait forever to feel at ease on the street. Girls, it’s an inside job! Let’s start building up our “ignoring muscles” and stop letting them get to us. “Aura In” and they’ll either notice you less or you’ll notice it less, or both! Vent as necessary to get back on center. And to those slime balls who cross the line to actual assault, haul ’em into court.

Thanks Rox. I agree with making distinctions in these situations. A lot of what I read was egregious behavior that should be reprimanded, and some of it prosecuted. There were other cases where the women were upset that a guy was looking at them from far, far away or that he added “baby” or “sweetheart” to his verbal greeting to them. They were upset by ANY indication that a guy wanted them, sexually. Unfortunately, except for test-tube-babies and sperm banks, that’s what we’re all doing here…. SOME guy wanted to have sex with SOME girl, and they did it and someone raised that baby and now that baby is YOU. I think those women that are hoping that guys are going to stop being sexually attracted to them could use your “Aura In” suggestion. πŸ˜€

OTOH, there’s tons of incorrect behavior that goes on that should be stopped. Again, I have the benefit of being a guy, so I can walk past construction sites without incident. I can order food or a beer without someone asking me personal questions. I can walk down the street and think without random people interrupting my train of thought because they want something from me. I can walk past a group of guys that I KNOW are going to harass the next attractive female they see without them saying anything to me. It’s easy to not be able to empathize with women in these cases, because A) men don’t get sexually harassed in the street, and B) our reaction to harassment is going to be the buildup of adrenaline and aggression as opposed to fear and just HOPING nothing happens to us or counting on words to get us out of the situation instead of physical action.

There really isn’t a reverse equivalent. Women can’t sexually harass men in the same way. As long as the woman is attractive to the guy, he’s going to be glad she’s kicking it to him. He’s still going to choose whether he has sex with her or not (because he’s married, because he thinks she’s “too easy”, whatever), but it’s a POSITIVE thing that she’s interested in getting with him. From what I read, a lot of women just hate the fact that guys want to have sex with them without knowing anything about them other than what they look like, or in the cases where their bodies are covered, just the fact that they’re females. I’m not talking about the guys that clearly have no chance of getting on and are just saying things to the women in order to be jerks. I’m talking about the guys that have a certain percentage chance that a woman’s going to like how they look and accept their rap and take things from there. They say the same things to women all day and all night, and most of them don’t go for it, but some of them do.

If the woman ISN’T physically attractive to the guy, hahaha, that’s STILL not the same thing, because the element of intimidation isn’t there. If he’s not attracted to her, he’s not having sex with her, regardless of what she says, so it’s more like an annoying fly buzzing around. If she presses him, it’s the same situation as the bum in front of McDonalds. She’s going to have to back off, or there will be “consequences & repercussions”! πŸ˜€ (Eddie Murphy, “Life“)

The point is that many of the things that make women feel harassed, like a guy saying “hey baby” can’t really be understood by guys, because there’s no equivalent. Any pressure put on a guy is going to lead to self-defense. It all falls under the umbrella of ‘disrespect’, and will be dealt with accordingly. Women have too many examples of their own and from other women where a situation started out “just like this” and ended up in a really bad situation for them. The only way around this, IMO, is to increase male awareness about the intimidation aspect that women perceive in what they’re doing. I know guys that will go “hey ma” and “hey beautiful” and “you look good” etc etc ALL DAY, up and down the block… but if they see some guy actually harassing one of these women, they’ll beat the living tar out of him. This is because what they’re doing is SOCIALIZING. They’re making it known to the women in whatever style they use that they’re interested in them, and they’d like to spend some time with them. If the women aren’t interested, they keep going and that’s that. The guys doing it have ZERO bad intentions towards the women, but I’m sure a lot of them don’t connect their socialization style to the women feeling intimidated at all.

OTOH, there are lots of guys that act like jerks just because they can, to guys & girls alike, and they enjoy and abuse the advantages they have over women, so all you can do is “fight the good fight” of education, awareness and rarely, legislation.

HollaBack Girls 02

Having read the archives of HollaBackBOSTON, HollaBackNYC and HollaBackDC, that I found out about the other day and posted about… I gained more of an understanding of what their complaints are.

[Disclosure: Anyone who actually KNOWS me knows that there’s nothing I like more than an attractive chick, and I’ll be the FIRST one to check her out… regardless. :D]

The way I can empathize with what they’re saying is to consider bums that we have on the streets of NYC. For instance, you might have a bum standing outside of McDonalds, who has taken it upon himself to act as the doorman. As you go inside, he’ll hold the door for you and perhaps say something pleasant to you. On your way out, he’ll hold the door again, and then ask you for some change. That’s pretty annoying. First of all, it’s not like he has an actual JOB with McDonalds. Second, it’s not like you ASKED HIM to open the door for you either time. Third, you go to McDonalds all the time and open your own doors, so what in the world do you need HIM to open the doors for, and FOURTH, why would you choose to pay him for a service that you didn’t ask for. That’s a couple of levels more annoying than going to the bathroom in a restaurant or club and finding out that there’s some guy whose job it is to stand next to the sinks and hand you paper towels, and he expects you to tip him. πŸ˜•

The reason I see the bum @ McDonalds as a simliar situation is that he’s attempting to interrupt whatever you were doing, saying or thinking in order to try to get some money for you, totally to HIS benefit, and none to yours. This would be similar to the guy on the street that makes some complimentary statement to a woman so maybe he can ‘get on’ in the near future. The reason it’s NOT similar is that I’m a guy. I have all these fantastic, aggressive male options available to me, such as telling the bum to shut up or mind his business, saying I don’t have any change, or letting him know I take offense to him bothering me and if he keeps it up, I’m going to do something about it.

One difference is that many women are intimidated by male harassers and aren’t willing to attempt to get them to cease and desist. This makes sense, because most men like women that are smaller than they are, so they would be physically intimidating to the women. Another difference is that women can’t act like they don’t have what the guy wants. The fact that the guy has chosen to try to get some from her indicates that he’s already decided she has what he wants. The bum doesn’t know whether I have change on me or not. If I tell him I don’t have it, and he persists, there’s going to be a problem.

This is where I empathize with the HollaBack series the most, because a lot of the women who post there aren’t willing to do anything but talk to or about their harassers. Some guy says something or touches them or does something he knows damned well he shouldn’t be doing, and their only recourse is to talk about how ugly he is or how old he is or how out of shape he is or how badly he smells or how pathetic he is or how disrespectful to women….

The pattern is clear, though. In the vast majority of the cases, by the women’s own posts, the men didn’t give a damn AT ALL what the women thought or wanted, and they still don’t. This is something they understand, but they don’t seem to benefit from this knowledge. Knowing that the guys don’t care what they think or say doesn’t cause them to revise their complaints to a more efficient format that might bring about education and perhaps some degree of change. It’s the same reason why the porno industry is big business. The women look good, do what the guys want them to do, and have ZERO opinions about ANYTHING. It stands to reason that if you take someone whose only interest in women is how good they look and “what they’re good for”, and put him on the street and he does whatever he does, it’s not an effective retort to say stuff like:

“you’re old enough to be my father”
“you don’t even know me”
“your breath stinks”
“you’re disrespectful to women”
“would you treat your mother or sister like that?” (my personal favorite :D)
“have you no home training?”
[flipping the bird or cursing him out]
[some statement to him that she wasn’t “dressed sexy” at all]
“did I ask you to talk to me?”
“I didn’t give you any indication I was interested in you”
etc etc etc etc etc…….

I think HollaBack’s idea of the women taking pictures of the range of guys from pervs down to regular guys just trying to meet a woman he finds attractive is a good idea, although a dangerous one, for obvious reasons that I won’t bother to go into. Apparently they also give speeches and have other programs that they do. I think that’s great, because increasing education and awareness is key, IMO. They’re never going to outlaw guys trying to talk to girls… That’s just not going to happen. Society’s set up so that guys have to chase girls, period. That’s why guys court women and take them out to dinner and buy them drinks at the club, etc etc. It’s all an attempt to gain favor with her so he can eventually get whatever it is he wants from her… sex, a relationship, free food, a place to stay, money, whatever. Biologically, women are more of a commodity than men, simply by the incredible difference between how much sperm men have and continually create, and how few eggs women are born with and then they don’t get any more. It’s never going to be different, so the best bet is to increase awareness that women feel endangered when guys press up on them in the street.

So… With my new understanding of what the issues are for women being harassed in the street, I decided to take a walk tonight and pay attention to the interactions I had. I walked to a bar without incident. The male “doorman” checked my ID without incident. The female hostess greeted me without incident. I ordered my beer from the male bartender without incident. The few people that needed to get by where I was standing, some male and some female, excused themselves, I made way for them and they went by without extraneous comments. I left the bar without incident. I walked around the neighborhood some more, passing individuals, couples walking together and groups… no incident. I went into Barnes & Noble. I asked a woman there with a laptop if she was using a wireless connection. She wasn’t. I asked this guy behind the counter if B&N had wifi, he said yes, and got me a pamphlet on it. I thanked him and left. I ordered food from a female cashier and didn’t hear any extraneous remarks from her or from the waitress that was hanging out near the front of the place. I went to another store, then walked back home without incident.

Just about every one of those situations is mentioned in a story by some woman on those HollaBack sites, and I’m sure whatever other support groups that were created for this kind of thing. I can’t imagine how annoyed I’d be if every time I went to do something, someone tried to strike up a conversation with me or get something from me. For me, it would be like bums standing in front of every place that I want to go into and always asking me for change! πŸ˜€ Still, I can’t fully “get it”, because my aggressive nature makes me see situations like that as a challenge, not something intimidating. I don’t feel pressure… I just feel annoyed.

Anyway… Good luck to the HollaBack Girls. Some of the guys on those pages are legitimate creeps and need to be prosecuted. A lot of the guys are just “boys being boys”, and I can tell you, as one of the boys, a lot of them just don’t get it as far how the women feel physically intimidated by their street raps. A lot of guys aren’t going to care one way or the other, and they’re going to enjoy women as they see fit. I think that there are also a lot that would change their ways of being if they received some sort of education that what they consider flirtation and socialization is seen by many women as harassment and physical intimidation.

ReelSolidTV International

So we got to Uptown Lounge, and decided on Calamari as the fun-food while we “got our martini on”. We tried out the camera in low-light, but it didn’t work out at all, which was to be expected since I hadn’t read the manual. I had no idea of what I might have been able to change to produce the best setting.

Anyway… X hours later, we headed for a pizza shop, where I shot an extremely mellow (for ME) video with my new, fresh-out-of-the-box Samsung NV3. πŸ˜€

When I got home, I plugged the camera in via USB and uploaded the videos really quickly. They open up in AVI format, 640×480, as advertised:

Format: XVID Decoder, 640 x 480, Millions
Audio: Microsoft ADPCM, Mono, 22.050 kHz
FPS: 30
Data Rate: 1615.81 kbits/sec

Here’s where things got tricky. πŸ˜€ Originally, I loaded the clips to my iMac. As soon as they uploaded, I double-clicked one of them and it appeared in Quicktime Player. I played it immediately, and it had these black clipping blotches where the camera was aimed directly at bright lights, like the menu signs in the pizza shop. I figured this had to do with the camera and that I didn’t read the manual before just pointing and shooting. So then, I went to transfer the videos to my MacBook, and they didn’t run at all. Quicktime Player would open the first frame of the cips, but it would “quit unexpectedly” when I pressed play. I tried restarting and rebooting. No difference. I looked in the manual on the disk, which is way more extensive than the hardcopy they give you, and it said to install the XviD codec.

To install the XviD codec, you have to install DivX. I installed both and rebooted. I opened the clip in Mpeg Streamclip, and the “blowout blotches” were gone, except there was a large section that glitched at the bottom of the pizza shop counter, where there were no lights at all. I figured the problem had something to do with interlacing. I could be wrong, but the programs were looking for interlaced video, and the NV3 shoots 30 frames per second. That’s different from 29.97 frames per second, and that’s certainly different from 60 interlaced fields per second like NTSC television has. I decided to render the video that had this one large glitch in it out to DV codec, using Mpeg Streamclip. I could have exported to Mpeg-4, but I wanted to see if it would look good in DV, since most of the time, I’ll want to bring the clips into FCP for editing.

I rendered to DV and resampled the 22 kHz audio to 48 kHz for the same FCP compatibility reasons. The DV file opened up in quicktime player, looked good and ran flawlessly. I imported that file into Compressor and used my iPod settings to make the m4v to send to blip and iTunes. I cropped the end of the video in Compressor.

After that test, I changed the flow. I made it so that all AVI files open in Mpeg Streamclip. I selected in and out points by pressing “I” and “O” where I wanted my in and out to be for the clip. I selected “export to mpeg-4” with the settings of 50% quality, 1100 kbps data rate, sound AAC 44.1 kHz stereo (even though the NV3 records in 22 kHz mono) @ 96 kbps, 640×480, upper field and everything else deselected. I got the same results, except the file was named mp4 instead of m4v.

I was very happy with the results. The colors are a little oversaturated, but like I said, I never read the manual, and the video’s straight out of the box. Insert battery, insert 2gig memory card, spin the dial, point & shoot. I barely knew how to play the videos back on the camera at the time. πŸ˜€

Anyway… A good time was had by all… as you can probably tell from the video! πŸ˜€ I’m definitely looking forward to ReelSolid.TV expanding past the borders of the U.S.A.! We’ll get to find out what’s going on in Japan from Masami, and what’s going on in France from Laetitia. Cheers to both of the ladies for helping me to NOT waste my day! πŸ˜€

Sexism?

A few days ago, I became aware of a… series of comments (because it wasn’t actually a conversation or a debate) that revolved around the reasons someone would choose or hire someone else to be a spokesperson for them. I missed that conversation, entirely, so I’ll just mention my thoughts about it here, and be done with it. Specifically, it pertained to whether a woman should be chosen for the job? and if so, should it be an attractive woman? and if so, should that be the deciding factor in hiring her? To be even more specific, they were looking to hire someone to be on-air talent… not on television, but on the internet. A host of a show. “The Face” of their broadcast.

Anyone could have been chosen to be the host of this show, yet they specifically requested an attractive female. This was called “sexism”. Definition #2 of sexism, according to m-w.com/dictionary/sexism, is “behavior, conditions, or attitudes that foster stereotypes of social roles based on sex”. Could choosing an attractive female to host a show foster stereotypes of a woman’s social role? Could choosing a more attractive woman who knows nothing about the topic (but is going to be fed her lines anyway, via a script) over a less attractive woman who knows a lot about the topic imply things to the viewers or people that become aware of this situation about the role of a woman in this society or what’s valued about her? I think it says more about the people looking to hire this attractive woman and their target demographic than it says about the woman herself or women in general. What could be the reason that an attractive woman was desired for the position? How about RATINGS? πŸ˜€

How about if one of the reasons… if not the ONLY reason to put on the show was to get viewers? How about if they knew that they would get MORE viewers to tune in with an attractive female spokesperson than an unattractive female or a male? What’s their incentive to go with decidedly less effective ‘bait’ when they’re fishing for viewers? Where’s the ROI?

On top of all that, it’s not like they were trying to hire her for some kind of intellectual show
like “On The Record w/ Greta Van Susteren”. πŸ˜€

All this new spokesperson has to do is study some simple introductory lines or read them from a teleprompter. She’s there to wave and smile and look good and ATTRACT viewers to watch the show, which benefits the guys that were looking to hire her in the first place. Mission accomplished. If you’re trying to do a show about lawyers, and you hire a woman that looks good and is NOT and never WAS a lawyer, you’re a fool. If you want someone to turn letters on a game show, there’s no need to hire a lawyer. πŸ™‚

What does that say for the _content_ of a show that needs eye-candy to get viewers? hehehehe… well…… πŸ™‚

However, like I said… I think it says more about the show and the show’s demographics than it says about women. If the show’s topic is appealing to men, then putting an attractive woman in the spotlight is only going to benefit you. Look at Harlequin….


They’re selling fantasies to women. Does Harlequin hire busted-looking, out-of-shape, unsuccessful-looking ‘Joe Average’s to model for the covers of their novels for women? NOPE! πŸ˜€ You know why? Because fewer women would BUY.THE.BOOK. They’re better off using covers that don’t imply anything about the guy’s looks at all than they are using a cover that defines the protagonist as visually unattractive.

That’s not to say that I don’t see the other side of the ‘argument’. Television’s filled with uncommonly attractive people, percentage-wise. Most places you go, people don’t actually look like that. πŸ˜€ I understand that a lot of girls and women feel pressure to attempt to make themselves look like models because they think models are the definition of good-looking, when, in fact, models are models because they fit the ONE.SIZE.OF.THE.DRESS that the designer made for the show. They hire models to fit clothes… they DON’T make the clothes to fit the models. I understand the reasons that women want to ‘fight the power’ and get more unattractive women into on-air-talent positions. However… what they’re missing is that the woman wasn’t being sought because she was a woman. They were looking for someone that would have been attractive to their target demographic… MEN. If you take away the desire to hire someone attractive, that doesn’t mean that the unattractive woman has a chance at all. She’s on the same level (if not lower) than a man now, because neither the man nor the unattractive woman is going to add to the show’s ratings. Unfortunately, even fighting the power doesn’t mean a win for the unattractive woman… it’s merely a loss for the attractive woman. And, yes… I’m aware that I’m using terms that relate to _visual_ attractiveness, because that’s the line that was drawn in this particular case.

Do I think this situation was sexist? No. It would have been sexist if what the new employee looked like wouldn’t have mattered at all to their ratings. If they were hiring a video editor, who was never going to be seen on the broadcast, choosing a more attractive and less qualified woman would have been a sexist decision, benefitting the men in the company that would rather walk in the editing suite and see an attractive woman, and hurting the bottom line, since she would be less effective at getting the job done than the less attractive woman. In the case of hiring on-air talent for a mindless hostess position, go for the gusto. Get all the ratings you can, because that’s where you’re going to get viewers, fame, advertisers, more work… whatever. If you need the new hire to actually DO SOMETHING, go with the most qualified person in the best interests of your business.

Like I said, I missed the boat on this conversation, but it ended with ZERO resolution, whatsoever. Each camp rallied around their respective positions, and no solutions came up that might have gotten a less attractive, yet more qualified female the job. In this case, its absolutely right what the women were saying, that her personality wasn’t being showcased and that she was chosen for her looks instead of her ideas and thoughts. “Someone” also said something that I found interesting and true. One of the arguments from the “good looks” side was that “sex sells”. Her response was that it wasn’t actually sex that was “selling”… it was how attractive the woman looked. I think she’s absolutely right. I don’t think a more sexual or sensual, yet visually unattractive woman would have stood a chance of being hired for this position, because she still wouldn’t have helped the ratings.

What never came up in the conversation is Human nature. Regardless of the technology, it’s still people on the other end of the line. Attractive people get more ‘stuff’ in this world. That’s how it is. Every time there’s a scientific study done, those are the results. All other things being equal, attractiveness wins the position. Even when things AREN’T equal, attractiveness wins the position. It’s valiant and respectable to fight the good fight, but until the society changes to the point where the viewers don’t care what the host / hostess / romance novel cover model looks like, their visual or physical attractiveness is going to be a tool to use to bait viewers into watching something they otherwise wouldn’t even consider taking a FIRST look at.