People I Would Have an Affair With

It’s possible, faithful blog followers, that I might delete this post shortly after putting it out there – the idea of it winding up as evidence in divorce court ala Kim Kardashian-style marital values is frightening.  That said, I would never be in a position to even consider or think about or weigh the possibility of having an affair with any of these people, nor would it even be an option, so really we can all chalk this up to crazy old Heather just being silly …

Right …

A couple weeks ago I blogged about people I have had a secret crush on for years.  Included on that list was Conan O’Brien and the young priests on EWTN (I know, I know – I’m going to hell).  I also mentioned in my post about Tom Skilling that I am insanely in love with Wolf Blitzer.  I have no idea what it is, but I get hot flashes when he comes on the TV.  I’m getting them right now, actually.  Anyway, today I was at a book fair participating on a panel about how authors can promote their books and shortly after the talk, I meandered into the book expo that was going on next to the area where all the panel discussions were being held.  To my surprise, a lot of the books were these women’s lib-type, self-helpish books about acknowledging your inner self, your truest desires, and overcoming social boundaries (like marriage).

So I thought it would be fun to take it even one step further with my crushes and my obsessive desire for Wolf Blitzer’s aging body and express my truest desires by making a list of People I Would Have an Affair With, with reasoning why.  I think the ‘why’ is important because you will note my reasoning is much different than just my weird crushes (which one blogger noted seems consistent with a beard fetish).  Social boundaries be damned, I’m sharing my list:

People I Would Have an Affair With

#1 Any dead philosopher circa 1700 – 2000, also Plato

This includes, but is not limited to:  David Hume, Jean-Paul Sartre, Bertrand Russell (I have a hard on for him right now), and Richard Rorty.  This has absolutely nothing to do with anything other than my extreme mental and intellectual needs, which I am positive an affair with any or all dead philosophers would satiate.  That said, look at that intelligent, bald head on Plato … how can anyone be expected to control themselves around that?

#2 Any dead writer from the Lost Generation

Yes, I’m talking about Fitz, Hem, and that crazy Ezra Pound.  Any of those guys that ran in the circle of artists in Paris just after the war get me so hot and bothered I have to take a cold shower.  Right now I’m reading “Flappers and Philosophers” by F. Scott Fitzgerald; the pages of description literally make me drool.  Again, though, you will note that this is a mental-sexual attraction I have, which is completely irrespective of logic, time, or physical appearance.

#3 King Arthur as played by Sean Connery in First Knight

Note:  not King Arthur as played by anyone else in any other movie about Sir Lancelot.  Note further:  not Sean Connery in any other movie but this one.  Note:  not Richard Geer.  I have no idea why, but the silent pain on the face of King Arthur when he catches whats-her-face with the gerbil-lover is hot.

#4 Wolf Blitzer

See previous blogs, particularly My Crush on Conan O’Brien, and Others, Why I Hate Tom Skilling, and Magic 100, or Things I Want to Do Before I Turn 30.

#5 Anyone high up in the Russian government

For some reason, whenever I see Vladimir Putin I get excited.  Something about that stolid, austere demeanor makes me go wild.  I’m also a fan of accents, almost as much as I am a fan of beards.

#6 Dog the Bounty Hunter

I think that danger and the quality of being a badass is exciting to me.  Dog the Bounty Hunter is a complete hillbilly, and yet something about him fascinates me.

#7 Almost anyone in the NBA, with the exception of Kobe Bryant

This is self-explanatory as to why.  Not self-explanatory, though, is my hatred of Kobe Bryant.  Not only do I hate Kobe because he is an illiterate rapist who cheats on his wife and cannot form a complete sentence without sounding like a fifth grader, but he’s a homophobe and egotistical.  But everyone else in the NBA, well come on – who wouldn’t have an affair with a pro-basketball player?

#8 Chris O’Dowd

Here is a real celebrity that is not only in one, particular position; nor that represents a group of people rather than just himself, who also happens to be objectively attractive and within a reasonable age range.  I love Chris O’Dowd – no idea why, except that whole accent thing really drives me nuts.  The other day I watched Bridesmaids and while I was relatively disappointed with the film, itself (so NOT the female version of The Hangover), on the whole his continued presence in the movie saved it for me.  Chris O’Dowd is to me what Mel Gibson is to our moms and Carry Grant was to our grandmas.

#9 Lars Von Trier

If you know anything about me, you know that I cannot stand Lars Von Trier movies.  He’s a complete misogynist, demeaning to women in every way possible, and somewhat talentless in his direction.  That said, he is weird.  Weird, weird, weird, faithful blog followers.  Something about that makes me wonder…

#10 Ross Perot

Is Ross Perot even still alive?  I can’t even attempt to explain this one.  A free B(itch)Log t-shirt to anyone that can…

Okay, so maybe most of the people listed here are dead or of intrigue to me for reasons no one will ever understand; or maybe inside I’m really a skank.  In any event, there’s my list and I’m sticking to it – Kardashian-style divorce filings or not.

Liar Liar, Pants on Fire

I find the amount people in this world that lie without even having to think about it to be absolutely astonishing.  And disturbing.  When I tell a lie – even a little one – I agonize over it for days.  I told a lie a few days ago and still cannot get over it; not becau.se I feel bad for the person or the consequence of the lie, but just that I truly believe lying is an awful thing to do.  There are quite a few ways a person can lie, but in all of them the only thing really going on is that the liar could care less about the person they are lying to.  Here’s why:

The first, most obvious, case of lying, is simply that the person telling the lie is says one thing while thinking something else.  I’m sure a lot of people would argue that a “little white lie” is okay, particularly when they are worried they will hurt the other person’s feelings.  A woman asks her husband:  “does this dress make my ass look like the size of Texas?”  Of course, the husband responds “no, honey … you look beautiful” while thinking it actually looks like Texas and New Mexico combined.  No harm, no foul right?  Except for the fact that the woman may be on her way to a job interview, or out to her ten year high school reunion.  By telling a lie to preserve his wife’s feelings, the husband could be potentially making a fool of his wife.

In this first case of lying as well, there is the malicious lie:  the lie that is told merely for the sake of intentionally deceiving another for the sake of the liar’s personal gain.  No matter how minor the offense (e.g. lying about taking a cookie for the sake of not getting in trouble), or major the issue at hand (e.g. lying about committing a crime), the intentional deceit of another is not to be taken lightly.  In the DSM-IV, this type of lying is listed in a myriad of mental illnesses, from narcissistic personality disorder to psychopathy, to even bipolar disorder.  A person that lies like this on a regular basis is always questionable in character.

The second case of lying is in omission, or rather leaving out information for the purpose of deceiving another.  It seems that so many people live by the adage “what they don’t know won’t hurt them;” however, again we are confronted with the same problem as in the first case of lying.  Who is to judge what information will or will not hurt a person?  As autonomous human beings in an extremely relativistic world, we are really the only ones who can judge for ourselves what is good and bad.

Now while I am sure there are plenty of cases in which information omitted has not harmed anyone, there are probably an equal number of cases where it has.  I can name off the top of my head a whole host of times in my own experiences that information left out has at the very least made life more difficult, at the most ruined entire relationships.

The final case of lying is when someone lies to themselves.  This is probably the most atrocious case of lying, for in lying to oneself you in essence double-lie.  This case of lying is probably the least damnable, for it is more a matter of the liar’s inability to accept reality; nonetheless, it is wrong.

The thing about lying is that if a person proves themselves to do it, and to do it frequently, there is absolutely no basis on which to trust them.  I can tell you that there are a lot of people I know that lie through their teeth, almost easier than they breath (and you know who you are).  Every time I catch one of their repetitive and often nonsensical lies, I trust them less and less.

From my days as a graduate student in philosophy, I am still plagued with the ramblings of Immanuel Kant – an 18th century philosopher who wrote with such verbosity my eyes bleed at the mere thought of ever reading him again.  The one thing I took to heart from Kant was that you should live your moral life according to the maxim (and I am paraphrasing):  act in a way that you would prefer others to act towards you.  In other words, that “do unto others” Golden Rule that seems to work the best when applied to most of life’s moral dilemmas.  To me, I want people to trust me and my word, just as I want to be told the truth at all costs.  So the old joke is “I Kant tell a lie,” or really I just cannot bring myself to lie without moral reserve because I know that if it were me on the other end, I would want to know the truth.

What’s In a Goal?

Once upon a time, I was a philosophy major.  Of course by “once upon a time,” I mean about a year ago; and by “I was a philosophy major,” I mean I was a graduate school slave.  Regardless of what I did or when it was, a lot of what I learned still sticks with me today.  No doubt it will for a long time.  So when I came across a blog the other day devoted entirely to ways you can sacrifice for some grandiose (yet undefinable) goal so far down the line that you don’t even know if you will be alive to do that thing that you have not even defined, I turned to my philosophical training to determine whether this blog was legit or just more bad personal ethics our generation seems to be addicted to.

Don’t get me wrong:  I’m all for sacrificing a Starbucks a week so that you can stop charging Christmas presents every year.  And I think that saving for retirement is essential in an age when social security is dwindling.  But there are those practical things everyone should do to have a more balanced life, and just making yourself completely miserable by sacrificing everything for goals that you, yourself, cannot even truly and specifically determine.  On this topic, Speiman said something that will always stick with me in one of his many essays on Aristotle’s ethics and the road to happiness (and I am, of course, paraphrasing):  how often is it you attain a goal only to find out that what you sacrificed in the process was not worth it?

What a powerful statement that is.  How often is it you attain a goal only to find out that what you sacrificed in the process was not worth it?  I think the perfect example of this is in the case of a person that sacrifices everything for their career.  Family is put on the backburner, or abandoned altogether; friends are reserved for only when it is absolutely convenient.  Personal health is even bargained when stress levels and the toll of physical exhaustion are ignored in the face of career advancement.  And on many occasions, what seemed to be the right path ended up being the worst road that could be taken, even a dead end.  When I worked in pharmacy, we used to say all the time:  “when I’m on my deathbed, I won’t be thinking I wish I had worked just another day in pharmacy…I’ll be saying I wish I had worked just one day less.”  Truer words were never spoken.

But it goes beyond that.  I had a friend a few years ago that signup up to run in the Chicago marathon.  This is a real fad right now:  everyone seems to be interested in pushing their physical limit in the name of some vague philanthropic goal.  (Kudos to those that do, but the status quo of it all has become a little overkill.)  From the get-go, her physical limitations were at odds with her completion of the marathon.  Ignoring the advise of her physician that said her already-present back problems would only be worsened by running on a regular basis, she decided she was going to do it no matter what it took.  For the five months of training, she was in daily pain – sometimes so bad that prescription strength painkillers did nothing.  In the end, she threw her back out a week before the marathon and was unable to run (barely even able to walk).  It has been two years, now, and her back problems have only been made worse by her stubborn attempts to defy all the odds.  She did not even attain her goal and now contends that even had she it would not have been worth it.  … only to find out that what you sacrificed in the process was not worth it…

Speiman’s whole point is that there is a happy medium, what Aristotle called the Golden Mean.  On either extremes, there is only suffering.  In the case of the work-aholic (what I think is the most relevant for people of the 21st century), on the lower extreme there is unemployment, poverty, and desolation; on the upper extreme there is loneliness, materialism, and a life not well lived.  But in the middle – in the compromise, the best of both worlds – there can be goals attained that do not require such life-changing sacrifices.  Ultimately, trying to live life so grossly out of balance is like an elephant standing on a beach ball:  it may be great for an occasional circus trick, but in the end the elephant just comes toppling down.

How often is it you attain a goal only to find out that what you sacrificed in the process was not worth it?  I think the truth to the whole matter is that sacrifice in the strictest sense is rarely a necessity when a healthy balance is always in sight, in everything you do.  Thus, I think the only real goal anyone should be working towards is in avoiding that problem altogether.  The whole idea of a goal or a sacrifice does seem irrelevant when you consider that in living a life of balance, happiness comes naturally and no sacrifices or goals are even necessary because they have already been achieved.