Sunday, December 28, 2008

Dec/ Chapter 5: Groundhog day

Just a warning, there are spoilers in this post, so beware if you haven't seen Groundhog day, but I strongly suggest you go see it because it's a classic.

I was watching this movie the other day, and was reminded again how great this comedy is. With most comedies it no longer stays funny after the punch lines are revealed, but in this movie the story is ao thoughtful and meaningful that watching the movie many times doesn't seem to make it dull.

Bill Murray is Phil Connors, a mean spirited and cynical weather man (roles Bill Murray often play), and he has to travel to a small town outside Pittsburg to report on groundhog day. It's an annual festival where the locals use a groundhog to predict if winter will end early or last several more weeks.

After the report and festivities, Bill attempts to leave town with his camera man and his producer, Rita. But they find a blizzard has moved in so they can't leave town. After going to bed, Phil wakes up the next day to find it's Groundhog day again, and then is forced to relive the day over and over again.

The absurdity of Phil discovering that he's repeating the same day is amusing enough. But every time that alarm clock goes off, and the radio starts playing, "I Got You Babe," and Phil goes through the same motions and meets the same people and then goes out into the street to be accosted by the same annoying high school buddy, with different outcomes is pure genious.

Then Phil starts to take advantage of the situation firstly by breaking the law and seeing if he can get away with it, and then by finding out all the details of the local girls, so he can date and have sex with them. Since he relives the same day again and again his ability to chat up the women is almost guaranteed, because if he makes a mistake he can just simply start fresh the next day, and the girls are unaware of his intentions.

After seducing other girls in the town Phil tries to seduce his producer Rita. He tries to do the same things he did with the other girls, but fails miserably, because Rita is too smart and sees right through him. He tells her that he loves her, only to get slapped because she realizes she's getting played. She may not understand the full supernatural implications of what he's doing, but she senses that he's somehow manipulating the situation. Phil may think he's a god, but he isn't all-powerful.

Seeing his failure, it finally dawns on Phil that he's in a depressing inescapable position, so tries to kill himself over and over again, and even fails at this because he still wakes up on groundhog day again and again.

Eventually he tells Rita one night whilst she is asleep, knowing full well she can't hear him that he probably doesn't deserve her love, but if she could only love him, then he would learn to love her forever. Phil realizes because he loves such a sincere woman as Rita, the only way he can finally impress her is by genuinely changing himself rather than faking it. To make himself kinder and more caring to everyone around him, to stop all the lies and manipulation, and turn into a genuine nice guy.

It is only when Rita falls in love with him, and buys him in an auction at a party, that Phil's curse is finally lifted. They wake up together the next morning (there was no sex) and find it's the next day, and Phil is able to get on with his life, and he now has Rita to share his life with.

Moral of the story?

Phil Connors must live the same day over and over again, and is forced to realize that the only real change that will ever be possible must happen within himself. It is interesting that Phil is a weatherman, the weather is a perfect metaphor for something that changes constantly...without, in the long term, changing at all. We can be distracted by the superficial changes in the world around us, and forget that real change in our lives must come from within.

If a guy is good at seduction and manipulation, he can get himself laid with half the town, but ultimately he's cursed and destined to live the rest of his life self centered and lonely. If he truly desires a wonderful woman, and true love, then he has to genuinely change himself to being a decent man.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Dec/ Chapter 4: What's with Vivian Chow?

For those of you not familiar with Vivian Chow, she's a local actress that was very famous in the early 90's in Hong Kong.

She has to be one of the best looking women in her 40's in the world. When I was in highshool, most of the guys loved her, and that was when we were 12.

For an entire decade she disappeared, and it was only in recent years that she started working again.

Recently she was on the cover of every gossip mag in Hong Kong and talk of the town, because her boyfriend (on and off) of 20 years was caught in Azure making out for 5 minutes with some 20 years old university student.

The guy has a reputation for dating beautiful women, and rumour had it that he's cheated on Vivian numerous times with other women. This time was different only because he was caught red handed.

I can't understand it. The guy is not good looking, he's not rich, Vivian Chow basically takes care of him financially. Plus he's a cheating womanizer who's done it to her, not once but numerous times. She should never have gotten back together with the guy after the first time they broke up.

Then to make things more surreal, less than a week later the two of them are all over the gossip mags again! Now she's going to get married to the guy! He obviously used all the moves I've detailed in this blog included crying his eyes out and begging for forgiveness. It's just shocking in terms of the stupidity of it all.

She's spent 20 years of her life on a guy that can't stay faithful, when she could have found a decent guy and had a chance to find happiness and have a family. It's not like he's going to stop cheating because he's marring her, some guys will never change, you just have to accept that's their nature.

Now, the guy's laughing to the bank because he's married someone that will feed his poor sorry ass.

Love is like a drug, and sometimes some relationshisp look more like tragedies.....

Monday, December 15, 2008

Dec/ Chapter 3: Love is like a drug

So people often ask why would anyone want to stick to someone that's treating them badly. I've written about it on this blog, some of you have been in that situation, and a lot of us have given advice to friends that can't seem to tear themselves away from a truly unhealthy and hurtful relationship.

The answer is this.

When we are attracted to someone, whether it's infatuation or love. Our brain releases dopamine, (a neurotransmitter) for those that aren't familiar with the scientific term, it is basically like a drug that acts on the body. This drug is extremely powerful and acts on the body and mind with similar effects to cocaine and speed.

It's why some people have suggested that falling in love is like being on drugs, because we literally are on drugs when in love. It leaves us wanting more of it, and hence we want to be with the person we're deeply attracted to. If the person rejects us, or we have to break up with that person it leaves really negative feelings of withdrawal we normally call heartache or heartbreak.

The drug is the most potent when you first start to like someone, and is so strong you can almost feel the physical effects, hence the heart pounding and butterfly in the stomach feeling.

It exlains why when someone treats us well but we're not attracted to them, we're indifferent. We simply don't have any of the drugs in our head to get us hooked. Adds new meaning to the term, "no chemistry". Meanwhile, if we're attracted to someone and they treat us like crap we're addicted to them.

The problem for us is that on the surface we all seem like logical beings that are in control, but our bodies evolved over millions of years, and our animal instincts have an aim different to our own conscious aims.

Whilst we consciously seek out happiness, and try to avoid anyone that might hurt our feelings. Our body has the aim of driving us to go forth and multiply, to find a partner and mate. Consciously we might not even want to have kids but out body plays tricks with our minds to drag us in that direction. Therefore it pumps out drugs that keeps us hooked to someone which before we had contraceptives would keep the couple together long enough to procreate.

So what does all this tell us?

1) Since the mechanism is based on attraction and not on whether someone treats us well or not. We're in big trouble if we become deeply attracted to someone that's a jerk or a bitch. When that happens they can treat us like crap for extended periods of time and we might struggle to leave them.

That's why it's very important who you pick to become a partner. Pick a good person or else they will turn against you and treat you badly one day.

2) The effects of the drug generally last a few months, and in some cases up to several years. Which partially explains why some couples are fall out of love after a period of time. Once the drug no longer has any effect then unless the couple has become very attached, they'll drift apart.

3) Some guys are constantly looking for a fresh new hit, and hence why players are unable to settle down and connect with one woman. It also explains why it's pointless to ever change a man. If a guy's acting a certain way, ie unable to commit then to get him to commit is no different from trying to change a drug addict.

4) If you get hooked on a guy or girl that's not treating you well, then the way to leave the person is similar to other methods used in getting off other forms of addiction.

a) Realize you have a problem. That the person is harmful to you and will hurt you more and more.

b) You need to stop thinking about that person, just like you need to stop thinking about an addition.

c) Find distractions

d) Link the person to negative things rather than positive things that reinforce a need for them. Ie, Stop thinking about all the happy memories together and remember that they're treating you badly.

One more thing that's explains a lot of things we experience. The more two people have sex together, the more likely they are to bond emotionally. The thing is, this mechanism works much stronger in a woman's head. Men are generally more capable of treating sex as a purely physical act that doesn't involve any emotions.

Whilst most women are also able to have sex without falling in love, the more sex you have with the same person the higher the chance you will get totally addicted to them.

For men it can be the opposite. They get the sex that they want, they don't feel connected and thus move on.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Dec/Chapter 2: The 30 year old virgin

The attached picture is from a funny scene from "The 40 year old virgin", where Steve Carell's character is trying to remove his body hair in order to look right for his date.

By the way, they actually shot the scene whilst removing his real hair to get real (painful) reactions from the actor.

I doubt there are any 40 year old virgins alive, they probably all died from sexual frustration. But I'm pretty sure there are lots of virigns in their late 20's.

In Asia I hear a lot of girls complaining that there're no nice guys, I assume they are complaining there are no nice eligible guys. After all most of the really outgoing guys I know are players. It's almost hard to believe that any virgins even exist in a place like Hong Kong, because even a guy that's totally clueless about girls can pay for a ferry ticket to Macau and pay for a pro.

So what's the deal here? Why are there guys that can't seem to get women even by their 20's?

People often forget that the dating scene is a lot tougher in Europe and North America for the average guy. There aren't as many players, in fact lots of guys have a serious problem even attracting women. When Neil Strauss wrote "The Game", it immediately became a bible for players all over the world. But it was also salvation for the average frustrated chump that lived in areas of the world where getting a girl is a lot harder.

Sometimes women forget that there are guys out there who's middle name is "rejected".

Recently friends were telling me how the dating scene is very different in Vancouver and a lot tougher on guys. A girl was telling me how a lot of her female friends were the ones cheating on their boyfriends rather than the other way around. Whilst a guy friend was telling me how he posted up a personal on an internet dating site with zero success (my friend is from Hong Kong). In the clubs there the girls can have their pick of the guys, whilst in HK girls have no idea if the guy that's hitting on them is going to be a player or not.

Things are just tougher over there for Asian guys for various reasons. The Asian girls have the choice between caucasian guys and Asian guys, whilst Asian guys have very little success with the caucasian girls. That means the available male/female ratio is immediately skewed in the Asian community.

Interesting that the sex ratio can change social dynamics so much, and give one sex so much power over another. In Hong Kong slightly more single females mean a lot more guys can act insensitive towards the girls, and can live a playboy lifestyle if they so wish. Over in Vancouver, the vice versa is true.

The only country where it seems a skewed male/female ratio doesn't change things much is in China. I still have female friends in China that complain they have problems finding nice guys. Unlike their Western counterparts, Chinese men with money will be guaranteed to attract lots of women. In the US or Canada, unless you are totally filthy rich, even if you have a nice job you might not be able to get a girlfriend.

Things are rough for both sexes, just depends on where they happen to be in the world. Most people I know are pretty mobile, but fail to look into prospects for their love lives when they move to a new country. Certainly, a place like HK is not a good place for a single girl to go.

On the other hand, some of the men that could be 30 yr old virgins in the West, and can't meet women in their home countries, come over to Asia and are like stars here.

Maybe, we should just solve the problems that affect both men and women over the oceans. Maybe we should just ship 50K guys from Vanvouver to HK, and ship 50K girls from HK to Vancouver.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Dec/Chapter 1: Growing up

Last Sat, I turned 30. I had a big party at one of the local bars, if I know you in real life then you probably went. Over a hundred people showed up and the place was packed. I was pretty happy with how the whole thing went. Having a massive party is a good way to get over the fact that I'm no longer all that young.

To be honest, even if I've changed, in my mind I don't feel much different than from when I was 25, I hardly notice the difference.

The day after the party, I had dinner with my grandparents, and my granddad told me how when he was 30, he was already raising four kids. I find it interesting that in the past people seemed to be able to get on with the important things in life a lot younger. Right now my major accomplishment is I can down a yard glass full of cocktail, plus a dozen drinks and I can still stand.

To be honest, I want to settle down, but life seems so much fun as well. As soon as kids come along then everything changes.

Which makes me think about this particular point. When does a guy settle down?

The first school of thought is that if a guy meets the right girl then he'll be ready to settle down with her. If these guys can't find the right girl then they never settle down. The idea, if I may add is probably a dangerous expectation for girls since it fuels the idea that girls can change guys.

The other school of thought is that some guys aren't ready to settle down till a certain age. Which also appears to be a bit of BS. If a guy suddenly is ready to settle down at a certain age then doesn't that seem a little forced and artificial?

You tell me, I'm not sure. I'm still recovering from the weekend.....
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