Retro Relapse: The Failure of Modern Relationships

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2014.

I may not be the best person to talk about relationships, as most of mine have been short-lived, existed in spurts or were an insane adventure that had to end for my own survival. The subject I am talking about here though, isn’t the reason for any of my relationships ending, at least not from my side of the equation. It is more of an observation I see in the behaviors of people and something I’ve discussed at great length with friends lately.

I see the relationships of many of my friends and acquaintances lose steam quickly and end pretty abruptly. Many times, the couple looks incredibly happy and everything seems to be peachy. All of a sudden, almost out of nowhere, there is a rift which almost always leads to a pretty quick exit from one partner or both. Relationships themselves are becoming a lot like speed dating but in a broader, slightly more long-term sense.

I can’t count how many times a friend has come to me and told me, “Hey, I think I’m going to end it.” I ask why and I get responses like, “I hate that she does this or that” or “We have different paths for our future.” Sorry, but for the most part, that’s weak and I see a lot of these assessments as bullshit. Rarely, do I hear legitimate things like, “She is a complete psycho” or “He’s a violent asshole.” No one can argue with those things, well unless they seem uncharacteristic of the person being profiled and the one saying it is either a “psycho” or “asshole” themselves.

Why do I think statements like the ones above are weak bullshit? Well, if you are committed to someone, the road isn’t always going to be easy. Relationships are a road that two people take together. Sometimes the road can be rocky. It doesn’t mean that you bail at the first sign of turbulence. The strongest relationships are the ones that take the rocky road together and come out on the other side, hand-in-hand. People seem like they are way too eager to quit before anything even gets to this point. “Aw man, she’s got an asshole baby daddy. I don’t even want to meet that dude, so I’m out. I can’t have that shit in my life. I just wanna play Titanfall and fuck, brah!”

There’s also the impatience factor. Everyone wants instant gratification and everything has to be “Now! Now! Now!” and about “Me! Me! Me!” Fuck all of that. Real relationships and long-lasting bonds take time. That old adage about how a relationship is always the best in the very beginning is bullshit but people seem to hold that ideal pretty strongly. I’ve seen a lot of good people toss other good people to the side pretty easily, when things weren’t as magical as they seemed in the beginning.

The two best relationships I was ever in, took time. One relationship took seven-to-eight years before we realized where we had come together, the other took four-to-five years before we had an incredible bond, a tremendous amount of respect and a lot of love for one another. We split up but that came after a good year of really debating if it was best for both of us because we had an almost inseparable bond. It was a really hard decision but it came with a lot of thought and a lot of respect.

If two people become married, their respect and love for each other should magnify. Theoretically, they shouldn’t be holding on to such impatience and lack of tolerance for one another. The essence of marriage is about choosing a life-partner. “Life”, as in for your entire life going forward. Nowadays, people get married young or quickly, as they make decisions at what appears to be the height of their still new relationship. Ultimately, most marriages today, fail. I don’t know why people expect instant gratification in something that is supposed to last a lifetime. “I want a baby now before it’s too late, but he won’t be ready for another year due to school.”

So to all the failed married people out there that left over something really kind of trivial, was it worth ending the whole thing because you wanted instant gratification and instead of being patient, threw it all away to start from scratch again? Seems like a big waste of time to me but this mentality also brings me to another point: selfishness.

Everyone is selfish to a degree, it is human nature. Some people are completely selfish and don’t care how their behavior and attitude affects other people, as long as they get what they want. These assholes should never get married. They expect the world to bow to them and a partner to obey and respect their wishes while they don’t do the same. A real relationship clusterfuck is when two of these monsters get together. Unfortunately, these monsters are in abundance.

I just don’t get the urge to rush and get married. Why rush? You have your whole lives to be together if that’s the person you truly want to be with. There is absolutely never a reason to rush into it, unless your partner is going to get deported or something.

The problem I see today, is that people are just so quick to quit. This isn’t even just with relationships. People are quick to quit their friends, their jobs, a task, a diet, a workout regimen and pretty much everything else. I’m guilty of it too, as I’ve struggled with my weight for several years. This doesn’t make you a bad or shitty person but when someone else is involved, like in a relationship, the game changes. It isn’t just about you when you quit.

Look, people evolve – they change. The same happens to people in relationships. Some couples grow together and some grow apart, that’s only natural. When two people do grow apart, dissolving the relationship isn’t necessarily a bad thing. However, growing in different directions doesn’t mean that it’s the end either. I’ve seen several couples thrive because of their contrast to one another. Those are the people that have survived the hard shit and still stick together because despite their differences, their respect and love transcends it all. The one thing they have in common is each other. How can you ever have something that strong with someone, if you quit the second you encounter a bump in the road?

You should never stay in a bad or unhealthy relationship. However, you also shouldn’t be looking for constant signs that you’re in a bad or unhealthy relationship. You also shouldn’t simply bail out at the first sign of trouble. Your formula is weak and you will never find happiness this way, other than in small bursts in a string of short-lived relationships that seemingly never evolve or go anywhere.

Life isn’t a cakewalk. So what makes you think that love should be?

Retro Relapse: Pete Rose: A God Amongst Old Men

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2015.

Pete Rose is one of the greatest players to ever play the game of baseball. He is the all-time hits leader with 4,256, as well as games played (3,562), at-bats (14,053) and singles (3,215). He also has 1,314 RBIs and a career batting average of .303 over 23 seasons in the majors. Then there are also his three World Series rings with the infamous “Big Red Machine” Cincinnati team of the 1970s. He also has three batting titles, one MVP, two Gold Gloves, was the Rookie of the Year and also made 17 All-Star appearances playing five different positions (2B, LF, RF, 3B, and 1B).

The word “legend” is almost too small for Pete Rose.

The problem is that he’s banned from the sport of baseball because he bet on games during his time as a player and a manager with the Reds. Due to being banned, he cannot go into the Hall of Fame and cannot participate in any Major League Baseball activities. He’s been exiled from the sport for decades and the league has been pretty adamant about their decision.

Rose’s situation has been pretty controversial since this all went down in 1989.

Back then, he was questioned by MLB commissioner Peter Ueberroth. Rose denied the allegations and it was dropped. Ueberroth’s successor, Bart Giamatti decided that the matter needed to be investigated further. As the facts came out, Rose continued to deny the allegations. Eventually, it was proven that he had gambled but he still refused to admit to the crime. Although in August of 1989, he voluntarily accepted a permanent place on the MLB’s ineligible list because he really didn’t have much of a choice.

For some time, the debate as to whether or not he ever bet for or against the Reds went unresolved. In the end, it was discovered that he did but it wasn’t until years later that he finally admitted to it. Long-standing MLB commissioner Bud Selig often times entertained the possibility of Rose’s reinstatement but nothing ever happened during his tenure.

Now, with a new commissioner in power, Pete Rose has applied for reinstatement.

Will he get reinstated? I doubt it. And frankly, that is a shame.

What Pete Rose did was wrong, as it went against the rules of the game. Regardless of that, there probably aren’t many players in the entire history of the sport who haven’t broken a few rules. That’s not to excuse what he did but to bring to light the harshness of the punishment and ridicule he has had to endure for decades.

Worst-case scenario, Rose directly had a negative impact on the integrity of baseball – something the purists and old school nerds hold as ultimately sacred. However, there has never been any proof that Rose deliberately sabotaged games as a player or manager in an effort to make personal profit. People can speculate on that and they have for years but Pete Rose lives in a land of innocent until proven guilty and correlation isn’t causation.

How many baseball players have gambled throughout history? That’s impossible to answer but one doesn’t have to go far to make a comparison.

Babe Ruth, considered to be the greatest baseball player of all-time by most, gambled a lot. Did he bet on baseball? And furthermore, did he bet for or against his team? No one knows for sure. But considering his questionable moral character, it does raise speculation. But as I said before, correlation isn’t causation. And the difference here, is that Rose got caught: Ruth didn’t. Or at least, people were willing to turn a blind eye to Ruth’s antics in his day. The same way they turned a blind eye to racism, drinking on the job and douchebags like Ty Cobb who would maim opposing players deliberately.

Looking at the Hall of Fame, I already wrote extensively about the lack of character many of its inductees have displayed in my monster article about PEDs (see here). I’m not going to rehash all of that but feel free to read it. The point is that there are many players who are honored and held in high regard but their highly questionable antics are worse than Pete Rose having an addiction to gambling. If anything, Rose needed help.

I get it though, it is about the integrity. But it is hard to preach integrity when most of those doing the preaching are guilty of something.

New MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, when asked about Rose’s recent request to be reinstated, said, “I think the gambling rule is so fundamental to the integrity of the game that it should always stay where it is.” He also said that PED offenses were treated too harshly and that gambling was a bigger offense (article here). Manfred sounds like he’s a member of the old guard and not very progressive in regards to the changing times and evolution of the sport and the world in general. Somewhat hypocritically, when asked about the MLB’s partnership with DraftKings.com, a sports gambling site, Manfred said that fantasy sports are not the same as gambling, even if there is money involved. Yeah, okay, bro.

So why is this so important now?

Well, as stated earlier, Rose requested his reinstatement once again. Considering that there is a new commissioner of baseball, it is now the decision of that new head honcho. Additionally, this year’s All-Star Game is being hosted by the Cincinnati Reds. So what better venue and place is there to finally bring Pete Rose back into the Major League Baseball fold? And think about the press and attention it would bring to that event. People may actually take baseball a bit more seriously and respect how the sport is ran if Rob Manfred can show that it isn’t some archaic bureaucratic shit show anymore.

But more importantly than all of that, Pete Rose deserves recognition. He deserves to stand among his peers, many of whom he is better than. Considering his crime in comparison to the crimes of many of his peers, he has served his time and his debt to the sport has been paid ten fold.

If the answer is “no”, then Rob Manfred and Major League Baseball are just being uptight jackasses. And ultimately, they are denying fans what they want, denying Pete Rose what he deserves and proving that they are cherry-picking hypocrites.

Talking Pulp Update (1/1/2020): It’s New Years! So I’m Kind of STILL On Vacation… and Might Even Take a Permanent One

On Christmas, I mentioned that I was on a bit of a vacation and that my posts may slow down. But then I didn’t do much except vegetate, drink and watch movies, so it didn’t slow down too much.

Now it’s New Year’s but I’m still probably not at full strength, so whatever.

Posts might not come as regularly but I’ll still post as I create new content.

However, looking at the bigger picture going forward, I have to focus on a lot of other stuff and since Talking Pulp doesn’t pay any of my bills, I have to re-prioritize some things and the site might have to take a step back, as I sort through some real life shit and what my future needs.

I have a few things I want to accomplish, like finishing up my long ass journey of reviewing every film featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000, which I am very close to doing. Beyond a few goals, though, I may take an extended or potentially permanent break from this site in the very near future. It’s a hell of a lot of work and even though it started out as a hobby, it’s evolved into a non-paying full-time second job that just doesn’t feel as rewarding and fun as it once did.

I feel like blogging is dying, as attention spans shrink and people can only retain clickbait headlines without any real context. I hope the 2020s change this, as we need a cultural renaissance because entertainment and art are dying as well.

But with all that, my drive and motivation to put so much into Talking Pulp is dying as well. I’ve thought about transitioning into YouTube, something I once excelled at but with all the constant Google shenanigans and algorithm alterations, that’s probably a waste of time at this point.

I don’t want to sound like the future is bleak, as we enter a new decade, but if my 2020s are going to be brighter, I might have to say goodbye to something I once loved pretty immensely.

Anyway, Happy f’n New Year! Don’t waste your time with some pointless resolutions that will just lead to your own personal disappointment and just rock on into this new decade with no fucks given.

Retro Relapse: Be A Man By Being Your Own Man

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2014.

I write about manliness a lot on here. It seems to be a topic not only popular with men but also women. In fact, I find more positive responses from the ladies than the guys on some of the things I write. It seems like manliness is in short supply and men and women are wishing that there was more of it to go around in the modern era.

There are a lot of blogs, websites, books and other media that thrive on the subject of manliness, what it is and how dudes should embrace it and employ it. The truth is, there are a lot of opinions about what a man is and how he should behave and carry himself. Different sources say different things and to take it all in can be confusing, as there are a lot of contradictions depending upon where you chose to get your information from.

I read a lot of the stuff out there. I agree with a lot but I disagree with a lot more. However, my opinion, as well as the opinions of those I am reading, is all subjective. I outlined what I really think it takes to be a man with my post Misconceptions of Manliness. I wanted to expand on some of what I said there though.

In it, I outlined what character traits a man should have above all other things. I can talk about beards and sports and steaks and booze and cigars and knives and all types of “manly” shit but none of that stuff makes a man. A man is what his character is. One of the best traits a man can have, in my view, is not giving a fuck about what other people think. Before that is taken to an extreme, let me elaborate.

By not giving a fuck, I don’t mean to be an asshole and look at those who disagree with you or offer criticism as useless assholes. Often times criticism and others’ opinions can be beneficial. A man doesn’t walk around with a holier than thou attitude, looking down at everyone else as some sort of lesser being. When I say a man shouldn’t give a fuck, that’s in reference to the negativity and the haters out there. And just because you don’t give a fuck, doesn’t mean that you need to be a douchebag about it.

The thing is, not everyone is going to like you. Being universally loved isn’t possible and you have to recognize that – the sooner, the better. Again, this isn’t a license to be an asshole. The point is, you can’t be negatively effected or hindered by the shit that those people say. Many assholes are just being douchebaggy because they are miserable people – negative husks with nothing going for them other than trying to hold others down. You shouldn’t give a fuck what these people think or say.

However, you should also be able to realize the difference between the good people and the assholes and where their feedback is coming from, whether it is a good place or a bad place. If you’re not sure about someone yet, take what they say with a grain of salt. On the flip side, it also doesn’t mean that you have to take everything that the good people say to heart. Analyze the information and do with it what you will because good people can also give bad critique and advice.

You can’t go through life overly concerned with others’ opinions. There comes a point where you have to find enough confidence in yourself that you know how to steer your own ship. When there, it doesn’t mean that you don’t listen, it just means that you know where you are headed, who you are and does the feedback your getting enhance that or go against it? That’s the question we should all ask ourselves: men and women.

Going back to the different views of what manliness is and how you should be, you should really apply the not giving a fuck rule. Everyone has their opinion on what a man is and how you should apply it. Fuck them. Who do you think you should be and what is a man to you? There isn’t some man factory pumping out templates for all of us guys to jump into. Besides, in my opinion, just following what someone else tells you to do isn’t the action of a man anyway.

Retro Relapse: Fuck You, I’m A Beer Snob

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2014.

On the eve of the Fourth of July, I’ve already been freely handed a few beers by a few different people. I’ve had to decline because ultimately, I am a prick and an asshole. More correctly, I am a beer snob.

Sorry, amateurs. Even in the spirit of camaraderie, I just can’t get myself to physically touch a Coors Light, Bud Light, Mic Ultra or any other low calorie Yankee swill that broke ass dude bros chug while pretending they know something about soccer. Sorry, I’m also frustrated with the know-nothing World Cup cheerleaders who just so happen to be in every bar I’ve walked into in the last two weeks. Maybe I’ll write about that next.

Moving on, there is so much beer in the world. There are so many varieties, types and different nations with beer-making expertise. Even if you’re broke as shit, there is still affordable stuff out there. But these guys don’t want to experience anything new. They’re boring-as-fuck individuals that live boring-as-fuck lives and can’t stray too far from the norm because they’re way too comfortable being mediocre. They want their turkey sandwich for lunch everyday, they only fuck missionary style and they are more than content in a collared shirt and khakis picked out by their girlfriend. She’s boring-as-fuck too. She always wears capris and plain unflattering t-shirts. She took her hair out of a ponytail once but that was just because she had to change out her Stephanie Tanner scrunchie.

I don’t hate you people, I just hate your boringness. I hate that you are perfectly fine doing the same fucking thing everyday… for the rest of your lives. I don’t hate Budweiser but I hate the fact that it is goddamned Coca-Cola and it is the automatic default thing for “beer drinkers” to grab because it is the most recognizable. I hate that assholes drink up light beer while eating two dozen buffalo wings. It is a light beer because it is lower in calories. If that’s why you drink it, good for you – this may also make you a chick. But to those of you pounding a case of Bud Light every night while stuffing your face with fatty foods are ignorant fucking assholes. Ignorant fucking assholes with no taste buds, apparently.

Yeah, I’ll drink this shit too on occasion. For instance, one time I was doing manual labor in the Nevada desert and I was dying from the heat, was super parched and felt like I was going to collapse. A friend tossed me a Miller Lite. I popped that motherfucker open and it was the best goddamned thing I have ever drank. It serves a purpose: survival. Also, I’ll grab one of these American flagship beers when I’m at a baseball game and the vendor walks by because I’m too caught up in the game and too lazy to walk all the way to concessions to wait in a long ass line.

To all you hardcore IPA-drinking snobs jumping and cheering at my words, you guys can go fuck yourselves too. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good IPA but it isn’t the only thing out there. Also, many IPAs, by “many” I mean most of them, are way too hoppy. Yes, I also love hops but when it is so extreme that the beer becomes some bitter piece of floral shit, you can throw it in the goddamned dumpster for all I care. In the IPA department, I’m really enjoying Cigar City’s stuff right now: Jai Alai and Invasion to be specific.

Look, life is short. My point is, buy something besides the same crap. Expand your palate and your life experiences. The same goes for you goddamned Johnny Walker, Jameson, Jim and Jack drinkers. Stay away from the 4J’s and try some other whiskies.

Tomorrow is the Fourth of July. Celebrate your freedom by being free to choose something else in life.

And fuck your turkey sandwich.

Talking Pulp Update (12/25/2019): It’s Christmas! So I’m Kind of On Vacation

Being that it is Christmas, I’m taking it easy for the next week. I should be back to normal fairly quickly after New Year’s Day.

I’ll still post but not as frequently because I’m tired, I want to focus on the holidays and my aunt keeps making so much food, it’s hard not to be moderately comatose.

I’ll still probably post daily Vids I Dig stuff, as well as some comic and movie reviews, as I read and watch things this week. But honestly, can’t I just be lazy for once? Haven’t I earned that?

So anyway, I’ll be around but I can’t make any guarantees as to how much.

Retro Relapse: New Year? New You? Keep It Simple

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2016.

Resolutions are stupid and 99.9% of us fail at keeping them. They are too extreme and come with too much pressure. And then we beat ourselves up over some impossible task that we were so certain we would do before coming to the realization that we underestimated the difficulty of the change or we just didn’t think it through well enough.

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. I haven’t since high school, when it was pretty much customary to return to class after winter break and tell everyone what your resolution was. Back then, it was better grades, to be better at sports or the one you didn’t say out loud, to get with that hot chick in your chemistry class.

As an adult, people join the gym on January 1st, go on some extreme juice cleanse bullshit diet or decide to do some sort of extreme behavioral modification – thinking they can completely change on an instantaneous whim like magic. Shit just isn’t that simple. Well, joining a gym and staying fit is fairly simple but those who fail seem to push too hard, too fast, right out of their comfort zone – physically and mentally.

There is nothing wrong with bettering yourself. Hell, one of the key points of life and growing older, is bettering yourself. You learn from your mistakes, you make changes, you adapt and you improve as a human being and at finding what you’re good at, what you enjoy and who you truly are. That is why growing older is truly fucking awesome.

And yeah, it is January 3rd, as I write this. Maybe I’m a few days late at reaching out to people regarding the New Year’s resolution hysteria. But then again, many of you may have already faltered at your annual promise already. That’s fine. Fuck it. Don’t hate yourself over it. Instead, be a bit more realistic because maybe you went hardcore out the gate and immediately crashed into a wall.

Think about the end result of what you want to achieve. If it is weight loss, getting diesel or something else, think about the end result of your ideal goal achieved. Forget about the time, the amount of work involved and trying to take it all on at once. Make it your decision to reach that goal, no matter how long it takes and at what pace. If you fall today, move forward tomorrow. Starting at an extreme rate usually has an equally or greater extreme rate of crashing and burning. Know your pace and don’t kill yourself over it.

Again, I don’t do the whole New Year’s resolution thing. I make goals around the beginning of the year that I want to achieve. They aren’t resolutions and they have nothing to do with it being a new year. It just so happens that New Year’s Day is just after the holidays and my birthday, a period of time where I am the furthest away from being a master of diet and fitness. In fact, I am pretty much drunk from Thanksgiving till around January 2nd or so. It just so happens that the beginning of the calendar year is a good time to hit the reset button.

Anyway, I look at where I am, decide where I want to go and I work towards it. I don’t try to hike twenty miles on a mountain trail on day one; I start slow and work my way up. I approach it realistically. If I ran out of my house, hungover but gung ho, in an effort to scale mountains and epic distances, I’d probably fall down the side of the mountain sliding down a trail of my own bourbon-scented puke.

If you’ve already quit, get back on that damned horse and get back to it. Just slow your roll. Exist in reality, you aren’t a superhero.

My time for getting my shit together is tomorrow morning. I always start on my first day back to work after the holidays. Besides, who wants to actually start their “new you” bullshit on New Year’s Day, hungover and fiending for a bag of McMuffins and a bottle of Excedrin Migraine?

As long as you keep working towards your goal, you are succeeding. And failure today doesn’t mean failure tomorrow. Unless you continue to choose failure.