Asheville Daily Planet
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The Daily Planet's Opinion: November 2015
Wednesday, 04 November 2015 14:24

Multimodal efforts need push

While Asheville has made much progress in recent years in providing multiple ways to interconnect places, it still has a long way to go.

We encourage City Council to keep the ball rolling with more greenways, bike lanes and mass transit service.

A multimodal transportation system has aesthetic, environmental and practical benefits — and is a big factor in making a community a highly desirable place in which to live, or to locate a business or industry.

From a health perspective, it has been well-documented that walking or riding a bicycle not only cuts down on obesity, but pumps out endorphins that give individuals an emotional and mental lift.

Also, by reducing the use of motor vehicles, the city reduces the overall carbon footprint, given that CO2 comprises the majority of these greenhouse gas emissions.

To its credit, the city also has invested in its transit system lately, expanding hours and routes along major corridors, while keeping rates low. It even added long-demanded Sunday service this year.

For those who like to walk, the city, which now has 4.5 miles of greenway completed, has another 4.5 miles scheduled for construction between 2015-17.

For bicycle commuters, the city has completed 15 miles of on-street bike lanes, including 7 miles of streets that have lanes on both sides of the road. Another 5 miles have shared lane markings on both sides of the road.

Asheville already is terrific, but having lots of  healthy, economical options to reach places would make it truly outstanding.
The Candid Conservative: Toys for little boys
Wednesday, 04 November 2015 14:16
Special to the Daily Planet

“Anything may happen when womanhood has ceased to be a protected occupation.”
— Virginia Woolf

The Problem

eptember was not a good month for Asheville’s Waking Life coffee bar. Seems the hipster baristas were actually not-so-hip predators.

Confusing sexual mischief with manly man stuff, these over-caffeinated Lotharios doubled down on their mischief with braggadocio on a traceable blog.

Real men are different than pretend men like Arabica beans are different than Sanka.  Asheville’s West End brouhaha has lots to teach on what being a man – or woman – is really about.


Confusing Times

The lessons start with recognition this event was a team sport. None of the ladies in question were kidnapped, drugged or mugged – well, in the beginning they probably were “mugged.”

Everyone involved was a volunteer — and as Mordecai Jones, the Flimflam man, once suggested, “Only cheat the cheaters, boy —you can’t cheat an honest man.” That goes for women, too.   

Like all before it, this generation has set about creating a new path toward enlightenment. They similarly retain an imagined immunity from the Law of Unintended Consequences. Vanity makes us vague on the notion reality can arrive as a happy field of wildflowers or a cliff.


Man Stuff

Insight interested males may want to embrace a little history.

For as long as we can track mankind’s ascendance, guys have had two primary roles – to protect and provide. Sure there are lots of other things we do, and women can do those things, too, but it remains that real men are first-stringers when it comes to guarding the fort and plowing the lower forty. We’ve transitioned poorly to modern equivalents.

Today’s men hang out at mom and dad’s longer than at any time in history. We are much more likely to skip productivity and real love to cite sports, videogames, partying and sleeping-in as measures of “the good life.” These and other versions of timeout – like beer, sex and weed – are addictive. Addiction makes people selfish, immature and more about bad than good for their fellowman – and woman.

By available accounts, Asheville’s dynamic duo may have discovered the cutting edge of sexual addiction. Whatever you put your primary energy into is your God, and these guys were clearly more invested in pee-pees and vanity than coffee and stewardship.

Had they paid closer attention to other organs, they might have had earlier cues. The heart and mind are almost always better sources of insight than the nether regions. Though ladies commonly stumble into the net, good men trying to be better men don’t lay a trap, much less spring it.

Really good men have a simple formula on how to treat women — think about how you would like others to treat your mother, sister or daughter, and repeat the behavior. Most other man-woman social equations come out of middle-school thinking predictably producing adolescent outcomes.


Woman Stuff

Though today’s ladies love to trumpet their liberation and men’s contrasting feebleness, you might want to ponder who’s really on top of today’s boy-girl dance. It isn’t you.

Thanks to the pill, abortion, free sex values and other social “advancements,” we are the ones who’ve been truly liberated. But by that “we,” I mean men.

We get to rent you, play with you, treat you as toys and then discard you like an old Barbie when a new model comes along. If you get pregnant and abort your child, you’re left with the hole in your heart, not us. If you find your courage button and have your child like your mother had you, in today’s world we men can find a million ways to dodge the job of helping out.

Today’s women have also been swindled into believing they should be more like men. Whereas there’s no problem with the idea that women should be free to do everything we can, it remains a lot of things we do are stupid. It’s not smart to duplicate stupid.


So What Should Barbie and Ken Do?

A better place starts with ... that men are “protectors and providers” thing  ... and the question – “For whom?” No one much – just the civilizing force of the world.

That’s what women do – you civilize life. Not only do you reproduce our species, you teach, polish, nurture, mold and motivate every last one of us. We are all suffering from today’s parade of misguided social change agents busily bashing your compass.

You also make men better men. If you do what you are designed to do, we have to work to earn your grace and gifts. Without your rainbow, men descend from becoming knights in shining armor to brutish little boys.


Casual Sex Is a Lie

One of the great myths of modern times is that sex can be a casual thing. That’s not true for men and it is extra-specially double-humongously not true for women.

Men who limit their physical intimacy to friction find the act increasingly hollow. The phrase “empty calories’” comes to mind. One can fill up on sex, but in the process your soul will starve to death.

For women, casual sex is disastrous. Hate to break this to the uninformed, but there is a direct pipeline between your private parts and your heart, brain and spirit. Sexual intimacy without the foundation of commitment and emotional intimacy has a mutating impact on women. It’s sort of like using a Cadillac to haul firewood. You can do it, but it’s bad on the Cadillac.

In case you’ve wondered how the caffeine boys were able to churn a procession of bright and worldly ladies into clueless and passive sex kittens – reread the paragraph above.


A Better Place?

Roasting two noodle-heads on a social spit is fun – not productive. A better outcome finds the two guys in question pursuing a path to recapturing their footing and finding better ways to fill their cup. 

Winston Churchill once offered applicable advice, “My greatest success was pressing through my failures.”

For the ladies, consider that anger and male bashing will hurt you more than them. Rethinking how and where you plan to invest your gifts is a better play. Pondering the possibility your head, heart, spirit and body work together, and that careless sex messes you up, will also pay dividends. Recognize that everyone involved in this deal was careless with women.

No matter how much we try to homogenize the genders, men and women are very different and will remain so.

Yet we are forever linked in the business of living and each have a part to play in making sure we do it right. Whether it’s over a cup of coffee or….

Carl Mumpower is a former member of Asheville City Council.



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