Thursday, July 28, 2011

My Review of "Emotional Vampires"

The following is my review of the book Emotional Vampires: Dealing with People Who Drain You Dry by Albert J. Bernstein Ph.D. I gave the book 1/5 stars.

Insulting, Ignorant, and Arrogant

The only way I was able to gain insight from this book is by taking it with a grain of salt. I started becoming sceptical of the claims in this book when I read the following statement on page 97:

“Histrionic vampires invented sexual harassment, both doing it and suing for it.”

This is unbelievably offensive to anyone who has ever been sexually harassed, which is considered a form of abuse. This claim is similar to the myth that victims of rape were “asking for it.”

Apart from making such offensive statements, the author also insults various professions. For example, in the chapter on Narcissism, he states on page 146-147:

“To begin with, the process is called ‘creativity’ only when it generates ideas that are useful, convenient, and cost-effective. The rest of the time it’s called ‘being weird’ or ‘having a bad attitude’ ... Creativity means seeing things differently than other people, and it means believing that your vision is better than what’s already there. Nothing could be more insensitive, irreverent, annoying, threatening, and well, Narcissistic.”

To the Albert J. Bernstein, everyone in the creative professions such as artists, inventors, and writers are narcissists. Not only is his definition of creativity full of errors – for example, lots of talented, creative people such as Agatha Christie and Vincent Van Gogh actually think their work isn’t any good – but the Narcissists I’ve known were the LEAST creative people in the world! They spent more time trying to project an image that society would accept and admire judging the quality of things by the standards of society, and criticizing anything unique and creative than actually doing or developing anything creative.

If I had to guess, I would say that this author is either jealous of people in the professions he criticises, or deeply misunderstands them and has no desire to truly understand them, and thus feels the need to “diagnose” them.

Other than the occasional advice on how to respond to “emotional vampires,” I think the best thing about this book is the illustrations – I would like to see more of the artist’s work, but oddly I cannot find the name of the illustrator anywhere in the book. Could this be due to Dr. Albert J. Bernstein’s obvious dislike of creative people?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Shocking Truth - What a 26-Year-Old Girl Really Wants For Her Birthday

Yesterday was my birthday ... I am now 26. About a month ago, I typed out my birthday list for my family and posted it on the fridge. No sooner had I done so than I immediately began to regret not adding certain requests. It occurred to me to reprint the list with the necessary amendments, but I concluded that I had already asked for so much that it wouldn’t be practical to add anything more.
Nevertheless, I have had a lot more time to think about what I want for my birthday in the last month, and feel that I should definitely list my desires somewhere. So here it is – for anybody curious about what a 26-year-old girl really wants for her birthday, keep reading for some shocking insight:

What A 26-Year-Old Girl Really Wants For Her Birthday


For the last few days, this has been what I have wanted more than anything else in the world and the one person who constantly refuses to give me this gift is my mother. I love my mother very much and I know that she loves me too. But she is getting longer and longer-winded and, for some reason, louder and louder! I would give anything to not have to hear the conversations she has with my dad in the kitchen while I am in my bedroom with the door shut trying to sleep.

2. A Brain for My Dad

This is something I have wanted since the age of 9 or 10, the age where it really dawned on me just how ignorant and thoughtless my father actually is. After watching a documentary a few days ago, I told my dad about what I learned – apparently every atom in our bodies was once inside a star that exploded. This means that we are literally made of stardust! I thought this was amazing, so I informed my dad of this newly learned fact. I should have guessed that he wouldn’t believe it. He thinks that God created the world in 7 days, that we came from Adam and Eve, that evolution is untrue, that science is “a lotta bullshit,” and yet continues to take his medication, use light bulbs, surf the web, and drive an automobile. Yes ... science is a lotta bullshit ... it never gave us anything useful!

3. A Limit Placed On My Dad’s Sneezing

Everyday my dad has sneezing fits at least twice. And these fits contain 10 or more sneezes. If they were politely covered up or relatively quiet I would not have such a problem with this. But when my dad sneezes it sounds like he’s screaming! Is that really necessary? I realize people can’t control their sneezes, but couldn’t they control their voice to a certain degree when sneezing? Every time he sneezes, I want to loudly yell “SHUT UUUUUUUP!”

4. Laws Passed Regarding Annoying Commercials

I am starting to think that annoying commercials are dangerous to the sanity of the public, not to mention prejudiced against the elderly and people with health problems. Anyone unable to work or participate in certain kinds of activities might spend a great deal of time in front of the television. While the programs available may be annoying themselves, the commercials that interrupt them make me want to brutally destroy the television! They are loud (Gillette Fusion Proglide), repetitive (DejaView shows), sexist (Axe Hair Products), poorly acted and scripted (Bump It), mind-numbingly stupid (IntelliEAR), obnoxious (ShamWow and Slap Chop), and lastly, by using excerpts of popular songs they ultimately “promote” their product by ruining a song for the public forever (Swiffer). Some senior citizens like my mother and people with disabilities like me and my brother rely on television at times when we are too tired or physically unable to occupy our time otherwise. It’s bad enough that the shows available appeal to the lowest common denominator, but to subject us to these mindless commercials is unusual cruelty. I wouldn’t be surprised if long-term exposure to these ads actually kills more brain cells than dangerous drugs. I think there should be strict laws passed against mindless, meaningless, boring, loud, repetitive, ads and that if a commercial breaks a law no more commercials for that product can be aired. If anyone could pass such legislation as a birthday gift to me, I would be forever grateful.

5. Better Quality Programming

While I do not despise television shows as much as the commercials that molest them and their viewers, I do long for better quality programming. I want more documentaries about diverse topics aired all day every day: like I said, some people with health problems may rely on television to occupy their time so only airing complete garbage is insulting and cruel. Some people are smarter than to be satisfied with The Jerry Springer Show, which is really just the modern-day equivalent to the barbaric carnival freak shows of the past. Here are the following TV shows that I do enjoy – executive producers take note:

>;- Great Thinkers Of Our Time (The Mark Steel Lectures)
- History Bites
- Art Attack
- Twin Peaks
- The Twilight Zone (1950s)
- True Blood
- Pushing Daisies
- Mad Men
- Doctor Who
- Daria
- The Big Bang Theory
- Alienated

6. Cameron Diaz and Julia Roberts to Stop Smiling On Camera
Okay, I get that these two actresses are famous and attractive, and I get that they appear in chick-flicks. I also get that they have nice smiles and everything but, after a while, seeing their lovely smiles ALL THE TIME lowers their uniqueness. Every time I see a commercial for a dumb chick-flick featuring one of these women, I feel like the voice-over should really just say “See this guy make this girl this happy!” Alternatively, the voice-over could also say, “You probably identify with this girl so if you see this movie, this is how happy it will make you feel!” Even scenes not shown in the ads seem to show these actresses unnaturally happy at moments in the film that don’t seem to be that special! Am I the only one who’s noticed this?!
There are probably other actresses who could show their teeth a little less also.

7. Prohibition on Re-making Old Movies

Apparently some people are way too cool to like any entertainment that was not created this year. Anything old is just disgusting! Well, that attitude is really great for business because that means that the movie, fashion, music, and television industries can recycle anything and still make money off of it! Think about it: if the public is too cool to try and watch older movies such as Halloween, Clash of the Titans, and King Kong, then studios can re-make them employing famous actors of the day and using modern special effects and technology. Then the movie-goers will automatically assume that the hotter actors and better affects mean that the film will be worth seeing, that it would be like taking something old and crappy and making it better! Well ... it’s not. For those of us who can appreciate older movies and aren’t so easily distracted by special effects and beautiful people it feels like HARDLY ANY MOVIES ARE BEING MADE.
Think about it. Imagine for a moment that there was a portion of the public that did not want to see ANY re-made movies and ONLY preferred the originals ... think of how little a selection of movies at the theatres there would be for such an audience! People who are unafraid of entertainment from the past still deserve to have movies geared towards them. If a studio re-makes a film, I think they should have to re-interpret or add something to it so that those of us who enjoyed the original can still enjoy the re-make.

I think that’s all for now. If I can think of any more birthday list amendments I will certainly add them.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Dr. Keith Ablow and Fox News Smear Bill Maher

The clip I am discussing can be viewed at the following YouTube link:

I don't actually watch Real Time With Bill Maher and I DEFINITELY do not watch Fox News, but I was stunned at the above clip that someone posted on the HBO website.

I would like to point out the following observations:

1) The news reporter couldn't even properly name Bill Maher's documentary! He called it "Religiosity," while it is actually called Religulous - it is a portmanteau of the words "religion" and "ridiculous."

2) The psychiatrist, Dr. Keith Ablow, states that Bill Maher is "not affiliated with life at all." How can a living person NOT be "affiliated" with life? He has life, he works with living people, he lives in a society of living people ... am I missing something?

3) Keith Ablow claims that Bill Maher hates or "has it in for" women. If Bill Maher is in favour of abortion, how does he HATE women ... it sounds like someone pro-abortion is in favour of women being able to make their own choices. It also sounds like he would very strongly care about women, as women who live in areas where abortion is not legal still seek abortion from people who are unqualified to perform them. This means that 20 million unsafe abortions are performed every year in places where it is illegal, and each year 67 000 women die due to complications from these procedures. With these statistics in mind, I'd say that anyone in favour of legalizing abortion is actually "pro-women" and"pro-life" for that matter, in the sense that legalized abortion performed by qualified doctors could prevent many deaths.

4) Maher didn't call Bristol Palin a "slut" for being "horny." It doesn't seem like he is implying that there is anything wrong with being "horny." But this supposed psychiatrist is! Ablow practically said that if any women have sex because they are horny then they are sluts! It's obvious to me that Bill Maher is just trying to point out the fear and shame people have of sexuality and sexual feelings. I doubt he would be making fun of this if the young woman simply acknowledged that it's not practical for everyone to wait to have sex until they are married -- after all, not everyone ends up getting married!

Bill Maher didn't actually criticize or make fun of Palin for being "horny." It seems he was doing kind of the opposite - criticizing her for feeling the need to hide the natural urges every human being has.
To Dr. Ablow on the other hand, use of the word "horny" implies that she is a slut ... therefore implying that only sluts get horny. A slut is supposed to be someone who sleeps with MANY people, not just one, but this doctor is implying that a girl doesn't even have to sleep with a man to be a slut ... she just has to have the desire to sleep with a man to be a slut.

I hope no young girls saw this, because obviously Keith Ablow is the one who is ANTI-WOMEN.

I also thought the alternative Ablow suggested was hilarious - he pointed out that Bill Maher could have phrased her not as being horny, but as HAVING FEELINGS for the boy. Let's get serious for a minute: if people only had sex WHEN they wanted to express their love for someone, they wouldn't do it that often. Married people would stop having sex after the first year of marriage! When one partner would try to initiate something the other would say, "It's okay honey, you don't have to prove to me that you love me ... I believed you the first time." Even married people sleep together often because they are horny!

It's because of people like Keith Ablow that this young girl felt the need to cover up consciously consenting to sex before marriage. As a comedian, Bill Maher was pointing out the silliness of this kind of attitude, and as conservatives the news station and doctor had to re-validate and re-inforce this attitude.