On Gym Etiquette

Posted: April 14, 2011 in New Millennium Man

Being a gentleman means taking the high road when it comes to our basic instincts of masculinity. While being a man is somewhat about personifying a masculine attitude, a gentleman knows where to draw the line. This brings us to gym etiquette. Our social perception is that men must remain locked inside a weight room pushing heavy dumbbells off their chest until they’re as ripped as the rapper Marky Mark.

I believe men should remain in the weight portion of a gym but should be free to sample other types of workouts if they choose too. Men should take certain precautions when joining a gym to find out what are the social norms for each one, and how members interact. There are no strict guidelines for this because each gym has a different code that all the members abide by.

A gentleman should bring a hand towel with him to wipe up any excess sweat he might leave on the machines. A man can spot others waiting to use his machine and either picks up his workout pace or asks if others would like to rotate in.

I think the most annoying practice at any gym is guys who are there to socialize. While gyms can be a great place to meet people, a real man knows that others come to work out and not to talk about how bad the raiders look next season. Men are also not trying to meet the love of their lives at gyms, and avoid flirtatious overtones with young women they may engage in conversation. The main rule here is to remember that you can flirt or friendly, but most women don’t think you’re a hot stud because you just benched about 135 pounds. Women want to have a pleasant time and they are trying to be nice to you. I will cover more on conversations with women and how to read that in a later post.

Most of all men must know that they are there to make everyone have an enjoyable time if they can help it. This doesn’t mean that you have to be running up to be everyone’s favorite spotter, or refill the water cooler when it gets empty, but that you should be mindful of others around you.

Men are known for swelling up in the gym and trying to impress the local harlot that’s been pumped more than the town’s water well. Remember that most women are not impressed with your actions, that you should be mindful of others while working out, and that you should pay attention to the gym’s social rules and you will be known as the gentleman that everyone wants their locker to be next too.

Author: Jordan Wendt

Jordan Wendt is a writer for the Y Generation blog. You can follow him on twitter at twitter.com/jordanwendt or email him at jordanawendt@gmail.com

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Author: Jordan Wendt
Jordan Wendt is a writer the Y Generation blog. You can follow him on twitter at twitter.com/jordanwendt or email him at jordanawendt@gmail.com

On Workplace Conversation:

In today’s society men are inundated with proper protocol and advanced etiquette that they haven’t bothered to learn. What our generation considers polite behavior has changed drastically from what our fathers’ considered acceptable. I plan to alleviate stress that might accompany any gentleman in his modern settings by covering such topics as cuff links to concubines and how to handle each accordingly.

Any gentleman should expect to hold an office job at some point in his life. While there is nothing wrong with working with your hands or working outdoors, a gentleman should have the necessary knowledge and know how to hold a conversation around the water cooler that does not exacerbate or offend his coworkers.

A true man knows that others in the office might not share his political or ideological beliefs and he does not engage them in conversation which could easily spark animosity between coworkers. A man may talk about which sports team he supports or which movies he enjoys but these are the few things he may actually argue about. If a man is prone to confrontation, he understands that he should not engage in argumentative discourse in the office but rather save that for after work cocktails with friends.

A gentleman understands that people like to discuss current events so a man is updated with the world around him. This is good advice for the gentleman at any point in his life and is sure to come in handy sooner rather than later. A man will come off as intelligent and sophisticated if he knows the current trends of the stock market, or he will be seen as dull and inattentive if he cannot answer who recently won the Masters Golf tournament.

The man engages his fellow employees around him with questions that will lead to them answering things about themselves. He never asks something that he would not want to answer himself. He questions his fellow workers on subjects that he remembers they like to talk about, such as a hobby they have, or a social gathering they might have attended the previous weekend. He never asks a woman about a budding relationship she might have with another man as this is none of the gentleman’s business.

A man knows that he is not what most coworkers want to hear about, so he keeps his personal remarks to a minimum unless it is relevant to the conversation. As always, a gentleman is someone who makes others feel comfortable and is a person who is easy to talk to. He is there to be a conversationalist and makes others feel as if they are being heard.

Public Displays of Affection

Author: Jordan Wendt

Jordan Wendt is a writer for the blog The Y Generation. You can follow him on twitter at twitter.com/jordanwendt or email him at jordanawendt@gmail.com

In today’s society men are inundated with proper protocol and advanced etiquette that they haven’t bothered to learn. What our generation considers polite behavior has changed drastically to what our fathers’ considered acceptable. I plan to alleviate stress that might accompany any gentleman in his modern settings by covering such topics as cuff links to concubines and how to handle each accordingly.

Public Displays of Affection:

Men have been struggling with Public Displays of Affection (PDA) for thousands of years. There have always been rules for how a man may behave towards a woman he fancies in public. While hand holding was punishable by death just a few short centuries ago, today’s societal norms are much more carefree.

To be considered a true gentleman, one must never forget that they are not a gentleman for themselves but for those around them. A man must show restraint while engaging a woman in public. Women in today’s world will want to display affection for a variety of reasons but one thing a man must not allow to happen is to let it to progress to a level that is uncomfortable for those around him.

A gentleman should show restraint in public places by being polite but firm to the woman he is with. Even among strangers, proper protocol suggests that a couple should not be showing their love for one another by engaging in a glass fogging make-out session. A good rule of thumb is to allow some touching, but never overt hands-grabbing or groping. A couple might exchange a short kiss, but never to the point where it lasts more than a few seconds. And a couple never decides to dance in a way that genitals are shown grinding if they are at a place where everyone around them is not engaged in the same behavior.

The main rule to follow is to look around you to find what is acceptable for that moment. If a strong majority of couples are engaging in a certain romantic display, then such a display would be acceptable. If you find yourself among single people not looking to display their sexual prowess like peacock feathers, then you should pocket your kisses until a more private moment presents itself. As always, be conscious of those around you and the rules for being a gentleman will fall into place.

Obama Warns Libya, but Attacks Go On (article from the New York Times)

I saw the word ceasefire and immediately dismissed it.

Two days ago, the UN instituted a ceasefire over Libya, and in return, Colonel Moammar Gaddafi said he would respect a ceasefire.  In theory, ceasefires are a good way for both sides of a conflict to ponder their next course of action, gather their resources, and consider peace.  In practice, ceasefires are only respected when they benefit both sides. 

A ceasefire does not benefit Moammar Gaddafi.  He wants authoritarian control over his country, and giving the rebels in Benghazi time to recuperate is not in his best interest.  Furthermore, the international community has vowed to stop him by any measures short of occupation.  He is running out of time.  If he can exact his power on his people, crush the opposition, and reestablish loyal government officials, no one in his country can hold him accountable.  No one would expedite him to International Court, and in a way, it would be illegal to do so.  If he is the only legitimate government in his state, he and his officials will use the international right of sovereignty to stay in his country free from trial. 

Then, everything becomes tricky.  No state wants to give up their right to sovereignty.  Any event that can be seen as a precedent for the infringement of sovereignty rights will cause powers (especially some members of the UN Security Council) to reconsider the situation. 

So what do we do?  What are the externalities that are caused by the Libyan crisis?  What are the international community’s options?

The Backlash:
1) Europe is facing a major refugee crisis.  France, Spain, and Italy, in particular, are having to deal with scared people trying to find a better life in a freer, more developed country.  This is a backlash, because Europe is trying to deal with major immigration reform and resurging nationalism.  That means that they don’t want new immigrants, especially refugees, who, despite their plight, cause a major drain on domestic resources.  Should they take them in or should they not?
2) Civilians are dying.
3) Libya is now a weak state with an internationally recognized belligerent group.  The government no longer has control over all of its territory, and the international community has legitimized the rebels.  Basically, almost everyone wants Gaddafi out.
4) The government, by liberal democratic standards, is no longer legitimate.  The core role of a government is to protect its citizens, and the regime (despite Gaddafi’s claims to the contrary) is doing the exact opposite.
5) The international community has been moved to take military action.  The UN is known to be slow and, often times, ineffective.  If they can agree on military action, then the consequences on the opposing party will be potentially brutal.

Major Options: (as reported by the news)
1) The UN’s operations can be led by the US.
2) The UN’s operations can be led by Britain and France, two members of the Big 5 who are also in close proximity to Libya.
3) The Arab League could help this UN resolution by taking control of the operation.

There is no doubt that someone should do something.  Civilians are dying at the hands of their own government, and they don’t have the necessary resources to defend themselves.

The question is: who?

I’ve seen many political analysts/bloggers wax lyrical about why NATO, and specifically the US, shouldn’t be involved in this situation.  Some view it as another war, another way to benefit from a weak country.  Firstly, the US has been practically silent and extremely cautious regarding their international policy towards the “war” in Libya.  The UN decided to enforce military actions.  To say that the US is blindly charging in is a false accusation.  Secondly, the arguments for US hypocrisy aside, this is a major humanitarian disaster.  Gaddafi, unlike Hosni Mubarak, has completely disregarded international and domestic pressure and has mobilized his forces against his own citizens.  It isn’t just riot policemen and a couple of army men; it is an army.  Moreover, the people in the army probably have family members that are a part of the opposition group, forcing them to fight their own brothers.

Gaddafi is using propaganda to his advantage.  He’s using his control over the media to convince the Libyans that their brothers in sisters that are resisting him have been brain-washed by Al-Qaeda.  

Simply put, it’s tearing the country to shreds. 

Another question is who is going to help the rebels and the citizens caught in between them?  The US has a history of helping rebel groups, but now, with increasing anti-American sentiments over what the world views as imperialistic tendencies, the US is reluctant to provide military support on its own.

The problem with this attitude is that the UN is only as strong as its member states’ participation.  The US has the best military infrastructure in the world.  I’m not talking just guns.  I’m talking transportation and technology — aircraft carriers, planes, boats communication.  If the UN doesn’t have that guarantee, then it has to look elsewhere.

Britain and France can certainly topple the Gaddafi regime on their own, but having extra leverage against a crazy dictator might push some sense into him.  They will most likely be sending troops today.  However, Britain and France would like to see the US participate.  Libyans have also been caught on YouTube and on blogs expressly asking for help from these three countries.  This creates a potential problem.  Since Russia and China abstained from the UN vote on Libya, the operations could be seen purely as a greedy NATO mission. 

This is why Obama has been so reluctant to make foreign policy decisions.  I’m not condoning this; I’m just saying that I can see how recent events have forced this mindset on the President.   Several news sources are reporting that the US would like to see the Arab League participate – reason being, if the Arab states take the reins in this catastrophe, then it won’t be seen as another Western intervention. 

So that leads me to my conclusion….. 

There is no conclusion.  The international community is at a crossroads in Libya.  One of the most frustrating aspects of the international regime is that it is a slow decision maker.  The UN has to accommodate several different perspectives on life and politics from its member states, and it has a different set of rules when it comes to military engagement.  Right now, we know that several major powers and important minor powers have abstained from the vote to intervene in Libya.  However, this has still allowed the West to act against Gaddafi’s atrocities.  

Will the West be successful?  Will the West be able to uphold the UN Resolution?  Will the West prevent itself from being involved in what essentially is a Libyan Civil War? Will the West allow Libya to split in two (Gaddafi controlled territory vs. rebel controlled territory)?  If the West succeeds, how will the new Libya look like?  Where are the Arabs?  How much is the Arab League willing to give in these operations?  Will the Arabs play a major role?  How will regional issues affect there ability to participate? 

We will find out in the coming days how this situation will play out.  The Middle East is on fire.  It’s been on fire for a couple of months now.  People are angry.  People are suffering.  A power vacuum has been created.  The internal political make-up is changing. 

What should the international community do?

The world is in a major economic slump, and the last thing anyone wants to do is spend.  It’s common law for any liberal microeconomic market.  Things are pricey, people spend less.  Wages drop, people spend less.  Job loss, people spend less.  These three components and many other factors have contributed to the tightening of the American pocket. 

 

Though this phenomena can’t be helped, it is obviously not a good idea to stop spending.  Now that the economy is projected to do a little better this year, people can start reconsidering pumping money back into the American economy.  Along with providing our government with some revenue, spending also helps local and international businesses stay afloat – businesses that are trying to make an honest living while providing us with our needs and wants. 

So, in the spirit of good old economics, I have compiled of list of things that I like to consume. 

Farmer's Market Orange

1) The Farmer’s Market

I won’t lie; I’ve only started shopping at farmer’s market recently.  Usually, it’s a lot easier for me to go to Kroger or to a name brand organic food store.  However, since my University is surrounded by farms and has one of the best agricultural schools in the nation, I’ve found some real merit in shopping at a farmer’s market.  America is a farming country.  We subsidize a lot of our agricultural products, because we have a strong farming community; but, subsidies aren’t usually given to farmers who don’t farm commercially (because they can’t feed large amounts of people).  So, in order to support the local farming community, go to your local farmer’s market and spend.  It’s cheap,  it’s good produce, and it helps a major part of our economy locally.

Coffee, A Necessity of Life

   2) Coffee 

I’m a college student, so naturally, coffee has become a daily ritual.  If I’m not drinking it (though most of the time, I am) then I’m watching others drink it or trying to hold it steady as they rush to class.  I’m not picky.  I can enjoy Folgers just as easily as I can enjoy 1000 faces coffee.  The point is, there’s nothing wrong with having a bit of luxury in your life.  I’m not saying that everyone needs to go out and drop major cash on an Audi; I’m just saying that small luxuries don’t necessarily hurt.  If I buy Folgers, I’m helping the domestic economy.  If I buy locally grown coffee, I’m helping local farmers, local businesses, and the domestic economy.  Luxury is a good thing sometimes. 

Things For the Mind

3) Books 

I love to read, and I’ve recently picked it back up.  I used to think that I didn’t have time, but after what happened to Borders, I made it a point to continue buying books to keep Barnes and Noble afloat.  I also buy used books from local bookstores.  Books for pure entertainment are also, technically, a luxury, but one of the most valuable things a human being has is a mind.  Nurturing and expanding it is definitely worth the money.  Also, being able to use books as a break from a long work/school day is an added bonus.

Home Decor

4)  Things For the Home 

I love to decorate, but my budget keeps me from spending at big furniture stores (even IKEA, which is on the less expensive side of things).  If you can afford to spend there, by all means, go for it.  Home decor helps to lighten the mood, and it increases the level of comfort in one’s home.  However, I’ve had to get creative.  Luckily, since I live in a college town, everyone else knows about my limited budget, too.  I have found great frames and tables at thrift stores.  I have also come across some great deals on shelves and knickknacks at flea markets.  The decoration in the picture above was one of those knickknacks that my family and I found.  It might have been a bit beaten up, but it was beautiful after we cleaned it.  Plus, I gave the person selling it a little extra money, and they will hopefully use that money to spend on something they want; thus circulating money back into the economy.

Bargain Shop

5) Apparel

 I’ll admit, I spend way too much money on clothes.  But lately, I’ve tried to be healthy about it.  Bargain shopping is the best, because you’re spending within your budget.  There are wonderful things to be found at thrift stores and flea markets.  If you dig hard enough, someone might have given up an old Coach purse in perfect condition. 

6) Local Businesses

These pistachios were bought from a family restaurant in my hometown.  Support family owned, private businesses by taking advantage of their delicious food or retail products. 

Good Causes

7) http://www.toms.com/

TOMS shoes are a bit expensive, but they are also for a good cause.  This organization shoes that it is possible to be fashionable while spending for a humanitarian purpose.

8 ) Music 

And lastly, support local music.  The tickets are cheap, and you get a pretty good live show.  It won’t be as visually stimulating as an A-list act, but it would help out a private business (the venue) and a couple of kids who just want to make music.  Also, if they’re playing in a festival or any other town function, chances are some of the money will be given to the city.  This will give the city some of the revenue it needs to carry out public projects.

Those are the things that I like to consume.  I love local products, but I also love to spend money on name brand businesses too.  Where do you like to spend your money?

Helpless.

I usually feel that way when I’m watching the news. 

And it’s not that I feel helpless about my own world; it’s that international news makes me realize how small I really am.  Take Japan, for example.  I found out about their natural disaster last Friday.  First, I read that the magnitude of the earthquake was an 8.9, a colossal magnitude for the island nation of Japan.  Second, I searched for live coverage and found countless of news sources showing what is depicted in the picture below.

Tsunami

The Aftermath

My first thought was that this was absolutely heartbreaking.  Sure, natural disasters destroy property and devastate the economy, but those things are material.  The real, human story lies in the people of Japan.  A lot of them have lost loved ones, entire families, even children.  One woman was telling CNN that she left the house for work minutes before her husband did, and just as she began mounting a hill towards higher ground, the wave hit.  One husband didn’t know if his wife and child were alive.  One son saw his father getting sucked into an oncoming wave.  And now, in the aftermath, many of the Japanese are in shelters and writing messages on boards, walls, and sheets of paper.  What these messages are asking for are links to loved ones.  Have you seen them?  Do you know if they’re alive?  Do you know where I can contact them?  Please help me, because I can’t live without them. 

Those stories are what make me feel helpless.  As far removed and secure as I am living in my cozy, suburban corner of America, Japan’s fate reveals that my status as a normal college student puts me at a disadvantage in world affairs.  It makes me realize that I don’t have much to offer.  I can’t mobilize forces; I can’t mobilize aid; I certainly can’t help pay for the damages; and I can’t expect my words to mean much when people’s livelihoods have been destroyed.

Despite this, I’ve never been one to play the victim.  So, I did some research on the best ways to give to the international community when one is  just an average citizen.

I didn’t have to go far.  Even before I opened google, I immediately saw a Facebook group dedicated to helping the Japanese tsunami victims.  Though a lot of these groups are just for support, there are organizations out there that use social networking sites to raise money and awareness for humanitarian causes.  You can then link to these organizations through networking sites in order to get more information.  A good example of this would be the Red Cross.  The organization has used Facebook and twitter to post statuses and tag themselves in other sources to help spread their cause.   If a networking site isn’t your homepage, then a simple google search will put you into contact with these organizations. 

There are also several organizations to choose from aside from the Red Cross, including the Salvation Army, Save the Children, and Doctors Without Borders.         

Red Cross Picture

The American Red Cross

Once you connect to these sites, most of them will provide some options for helping their cause.  The largest and easiest proponent of this is donating.  Usually, organizations will ask for a small monetary donation, but some will also offer outlets for sending supplies.  In my opinion, money is the best option, because these organizations will use that money to fund their operations.  Providing supplies is noble, but the organizations already have the infrastructure to buy them through their own means of operations.  Also, since people can’t normally give to everyone, it is important to do some background research on these organizations before deciding which one to help.  Personally, I like to give to causes that support children or provide medical assistance to those that can’t afford it.  Therefore, I tend to lean towards Save the Children or Doctors Without Borders and other similar organizations.

Logo

Doctors Without Borders Logo

If donating is not your things, then there is nothing wrong with simply praying.  Religious or not, having these people in your heart is enough.  Japan is being helped; and though material and technical help is most needed, prayer or well-wishing also holds its own healing power.  History has proven that other people’s prayers can change the course of monumental events.  A recent example would be Egypt.  The Egyptian people were alerted by social media that they weren’t alone in their cause, and they used that knowledge as motivation during their campout in Tahrir Square.  Outside prayers, especially from the American Christian community, provided support for those trying to topple the South African apartheid regime.  And even before the internet really took off, during the time of the former Soviet Union, the Polish Solidarity Movement kept fighting for democracy partly because radio let them know that they weren’t alone.  That is why it is a good idea to tell your family and friends about Japan’s plight.  Use connections to your advantage.  Blog about it.  Update your status.  Talk to your friends and family.  Ask them to pray with you.  There is no reason, in a world as connected as ours, for not using the technology we have to our advantage. 

A beautiful thing about the human race is that, at the end of the day, we are still moved by the strife of our fellow human – more so, sometimes, than people in the past.  We should use the advantage that we hold over our predecessors by using our resources to inform and to advocate for causes that we truly support. 

Here is a link to an article with several relief options.  The pictures above are also linked to the websites for the American Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders.  Take care!
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/11/how-to-help-japan-earthquake-relief_n_834484.html

Damage

Introducing the Y Generation

Posted: December 15, 2010 in Uncategorized

Welcome to the Y Generation!

As a short intro, I will impart that I am an average college student that is immensely curious about the way the world works, particularly in the regions of current events and global politics.

However, as classes and friends and life take over, I find myself forgetting to take part in one of my daily joys: reading the newspaper. 

I used to wake up early for it, but, as becoming an adult is becoming more and more of a reality, I have forgone the simple joy of drinking some good coffee and finding out what’s going on in China for cramming in some last minute information for an exam or sleeping.

This bothers me, because, simply put, I do not have time for one of my passions.  And really, not many people do these days. 

So, in comes this blog.  It is my little way of making myself slow down and read the Times, but other than that, it’s to encourage people (including myself) to never stop asking questions.

Weird reason to start a blog right?

Let me explain.  Whether you’re just trying to get a degree or you’re trying to balance work and family, there are always bigger forces at work.  Sometimes, it amazes me that North Korea could launch a couple of bombs while I’m sitting in a cafe and studying for my finals. 

Which is exactly why I want to write.  I don’t want to be disconnected from the world, and I want to understand it and have solid views on major issues that plague us today. 

In my opinion, a large issue in our country is an apathetic voter population.  I’ll even say that I’ve been guilty of voter apathy and unawareness.  However, I also realize that boring-looking articles in the Economist or BBC World News are reporting stories that have a greater impact on people in the world then what they seem at face-value. 

Because of this, and a slew of other reasons, my friends and I have decided to just write and express our humble opinions on news, culture, and life in general — from a younger generation’s perspective.  Thank you for reading, and enjoy the song below!

We Are Young — Mika, RedOne