I’ll get to the advice column in a second, but I need to get in some thoughts about last night’s fight. We had a few friends over to watch UFC 196 and it did not disappoint. The undercard and early fights were relatively tame, but the co-main events were absolutely thrilling.
Miesha Tate’s victory via rear naked choke over heavily favored defending champion Holly Holm exemplifies the unpredictability of fight math. Rhonda Rousey stopped Tate in two earlier fights, but was completely outclassed by Holm. Tate picked up her well-ground axe and came for Holm’s head. It’s the biggest cliches in the sport, but styles make fights and challengers are always hungry.
We’ll likely see Rousey vs Tate 3 at UFC 200 with Holm challenging the winner at a later date. I was sad to see Holm lose the momentum, but I’ve always appreciated Tate as a fighter and will be happy to see if the pressure of holding the belt can give her a little more juice against Rousey. Holm showed the way and if Tate can keep it standing, I think she’ll force Rousey to retire.
My favorite fighters of all time are the Diaz brothers. I don’t think I’ve ever been happier to see a victory than last night’s choke out of Connor McGregor by Nate Diaz. McGregor might be one of the all time greats at 145, but Diaz is undeniable anywhere.
McGregor represents the apex of all the various new age training methodologies. Flipping around on rings and shit is pretty cool, but there’s something to be said for concentrating on old school Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and old school boxing.
Diaz represents the victory of a team. He constantly talks about his training partners and their work ethic. McGregor is definitely a rock star, however, the streets of Stockton came for him last night and it didn’t go well for the King of Dublin.
Diaz gave a shout out to Monetzuma’s Revenge in his post-fight interview, claiming he was suffering on a yacht in Mexico when he got the call to fight and it helped him be light enough to make weight. People are so stupid and trendy with their training, I wouldn’t be surprised if some supplement guru starts selling “Mexican Weight Cut Water.”
Ok, on to the advice. The first question I’m going to answer comes out of a conversation we had after the fight and is probably one I’m not as qualified to answer as there is a low level, but persistent unkemptness that keeps me from attracting attention from gay men.
I think my new friend, who is gay, likes me in “that way.” What should I do, I’m straight?
This one is interesting because women have been dealing with this since shortly after Eve picked the wrong fruit and got humanity booted from the garden. The fact that this is a gay dude is really irrelevant. It’s just you scorning the affections of someone who likes you.
Basically what you want to use is a technique women call friend zoning (FZ). This is a favorite of women who like having pet beta males around to boost their self esteem. It also keeps their alpha lovers on edge. Unless you are flexible on touching another man’s penis, you should easily be able to casually assert your heterosexuality in conversation.
The basic technique works something like this:
- Confide in your friend about your interest in someone else. Since this is probably a woman, this may be enough.
- Indicate that you value their advice because they’re such a good friend. This is infuriating for the victim, but it’s ultimately a compliment and is a clear shut down.
- Finish up with something like, “some dude who isn’t me will be so lucky to date you one day. I sure hope I can find a lady as cool as you. Yep. definitely looking for a lady, not a dude.”
If this guy is really your friend, just be cool and they will be cool, too. Unless they’re a psycho, there’s not much you can do about that.
What should I be when I grow up?
This question comes from someone currently in medical school, so the acute answer is definitely “be a doctor when you grow up.” If you’re reading this, you should know how proud I am of your dedication. No one exemplifies victory through grinding more than you. Medical school? No problem. Medical school while raising a new baby? Easy peasy. I couldn’t be happier for you and your family and if I had to do it over again, I’d do it just like you did. Except the baby thing. I don’t even like walking our dogs, so I can’t imagine I’d enjoy a kid much.
Medical school is an awesome choice for smart people. If the world dips into any sort of zombie scenario, you are immediately valuable beyond imagination. If things keep trucking along with the doomsday clock hovering at two minutes to midnight, you’ve still got a sweet career. But not everyone is smart, and the world needs ditch diggers. The problem is most people don’t recognize the goodness of their natural shoveling abilities because the culture tells us we can be rich with little more than a big butt and a sex tape.
From a broader or generic perspective, there are two things to explore in this question: what should you be and what is growing up?
As a 37 year old man who is currently wearing a Star Wars t-shirt and has a hairstyle that resembles what my friend Dr. Headland calls that of an “apocalypse druid,” I’m not sure I have a handle on grown up. I’ve liked the same stuff since I was ten and all I’ve ever wanted to do is write for a living. In some ways I was done growing up in 8th grade.
The real question is, “I have realized time is short and we are not promised tomorrow, what should I do?” You should go hard and throw yourself into what you love while making sure you can be there for the people who count on you. That last part is key because the top dreams can only be achieved by the most dedicated and talented (though dedication can beat talent). Odds are that’s not you, so you need a backup plan that you can tolerate.
Just look at the UFC. Every champion falls. Everyone eventually wakes up from their dream. At that point, you should have a solid, financially stable plan. It’s no different for muggles.
I’d love nothing more than to make an income that could support my wife and our two awful dogs through writing on this blog or a similar outlet. Right now, I write things for companies and money shows up in my account. That is a pretty good result considering where I started. I’m appreciative for this, but will continue grinding away at the real goal. My perspective is realistic and somewhat conservative, but it doesn’t mean I’m not going hard on my goals.
To some creative types this may sound like I’m advocating a shadow career. If you’re unfamiliar, a shadow career is having a job that in some way resembles your dream, but ultimately keeps you from achieving your dreams. An example might be you start working at Guitar Center because you want to be a famous musician and you know about guitars. Time passes, you get a promotion and all of a sudden you don’t have time for band practice anymore. You quit the band and always wonder what you could’ve done if you had been more focused on your real goal.
Boo fucking hoo. If having a job that’s close to your dream makes it hard to achieve your dream, your hustle is the problem. Charles Bukowski wrote his first major book while working as a Postman. If someone can over come the drudgery of a government bureaucracy like that, you should be able to overcome a few late shifts at Chipotle or whatever if you ever had a chance.
Deciding what to do is much harder because there are so many choices out there. I say go with whatever you have some natural talent at. That’ll make your life much easier.
Why do bad things happen to good people?
It’s one of two things: either God is testing us or there is no god and these random things happen without meaning. Choosing between these two basic ideologies will have some significant influence on your behavior.
Is this a pimple or boil?
Without getting my eyes on the affliction, it’s impossible to tell.
Why should I vote for a demagogue?
Ok, let’s start by violating a good rule of writing, which is to open with a definition straight from the dictionary:
demagogue |ˈdeməˌgäg| noun.
a political leader who seeks support by appealing to popular desires and prejudices rather than by using rational argument.• (in ancient Greece and Rome) a leader or orator who espoused the cause of the common people.
This basically covers everyone running right now, so if you want to vote, you’re going to have to vote for a demagogue.