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good charlotte

Young And Hopeless—I’m Angry At My Father

I know I'm making something out of this life they called nothing.

A few years ago I was living in Tilburg, The Netherlands. This is a small town in the middle of the country. The one amazing thing they have is a large pop venue that is a favourite touring venue for punk bands. It is one of the few places in The Netherlands that my son, a punk drummer, has been to. One night I went to see ‘Good Charlotte‘, the US punk band based around the Madden brothers. I had an envigorating, rocking evening, even though I was in my sixties! The song that remains with me from that gig is ‘Young and Hopeless’. It is a personal song that aches with teenage angst and disconnection.

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the shame of being a man

Today I Felt the Shame of Being a Man

What it is like to be woman who is not listened to and suppressed. What men can do to fill this gender gap. Today I felt the pain of being a woman… Today I felt the shame of being a man…

We sat in the cafe, me drinking an Americano and she a Capuccino, talking about our past, feeling our way through the pain and shame of our previous lives. The partners we had mistreated and been mistreated by. The parents who had shamed us into submission, who had distorted our views of reality. Mostly we talked about how long it had taken us to understand and accept the culture of domination and suppression, the culture we had both, unknowingly, bought into many years ago.

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An Angry Man: Understanding and Helping Your Partner

How To Love An Angry Man - Part 1

We all get angry at times. When we feel we’re threatened we react with anger. But we know people who get overly angry or their anger causes problems with their relationships at home or at work. I was one of those people.

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cars

The Cars That Made Me a Man

From mountainside picnics to curbside views of conflict to getting to know the girl of his dreams---cars have always shaped my memories.

This faded photograph is from 1958 and is of a memorable family holiday in France. Taking pride of place is my father’s favorite car, the Ford Zephyr Mark II. This was a UK produced car of distinction, it was in production from 1956 to 1962. My mum and dad are in the picture wearing sporty hats with me, in the middle, and one of my brothers.

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fatherhood

Fatherhood—Does It Matter? Yes, Now More Than Ever!

I posed in a boat with my father, I wonder now whether fatherhood matters. Reading 'Why Fatherhood Matters' in Esquire I understands why it does.

It was 1984, my birthday, I was 36 years old with 2 sons 5 and 3 years old. I was in the office at work on a lighting project when my colleague brought me a cup of coffee and suggested I sit down. She put a call through from my wife who told me that my dad had died suddenly in the night. He was only 72 years old, exactly twice my age, and very fit and healthy. Bang—just like that—no warning—a heart attack.

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ode to joy

Ode to Joy – Sometimes the Old Ones are the Best Ones

I look at the power of ‘Ode to Joy’ written in 1785 by German poet, Friedrich Schiller.

The poem uses language generally rejected today with its focus on men and brothers, but it does align with the reality of its time. What is interesting, though, is its focus on the feminine as offering the solutions to issues we face. In that it pre-dates much of what is spoken about today.

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Anger and the Superior Man – Is it about Gender or Personal Inadequacy?

I look at the anger surrounding the recent shooting in the US, and explains how it all relates to an expression of personal inadequacy.

Anger is a part of all our lives whether it comes from inside or whether we experience it from other people. Anger is a recurring theme in relations between men and women both on a personal and cultural level. The recent shooting in the US has generated countless pages both about the shooter’s anger and the anger of those reacting to him and what he did. Much of that anger has been directed at a perceived battle between men and women, some of it has been about the pressure of men’s entitlement and the effect this has on women.

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Do Men Cling To Their Mask of Masculinity?

I used to regard the life I was leading as a lie. My fear was that people would see me as weak, indecisive and scared. I wonder whether this is typical for men?

According to Tony Robbins we all have a Primary Question. It’s a question we ask ourselves everyday of our lives, one that controls our focus and the direction of our lives. For many years my Primary Question was, “What if I’m found out?” I regarded the life I was leading as a lie, a mask, an attempt to bolster my male power. My fear was being found out by someone, by anyone. My fear was that people would see the real me, the weak, indecisive and scared me.

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grandfather

Being a Grandfather—The Joys and the Lessons Learned

I recently became a Grandfather for the first time. I am overjoyed about this but aware that it is not as simple as it seems.

A year ago I became a grandfather for the first time and I am still in a daze about it. It is over thirty years since I became a father. I loved it at the time but I have no desire to go through it again. Being a grandfather is, however, completely different, I am glad to say.

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