Straight Guys Get Trained in Acting Straight

Discussion on what it means to be straight acting, whether it's good, bad or indifferent.

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Re: Straight Guys Get Trained in Acting Straight

Postby nimby » Tue May 18, 2010 8:38 am

HunterAndCamper wrote:Once you get inner confidence you stop giving a sh*t. And THAT, my friends, is the biggest 'straight acting' thing of all.

Hunter


Bravo!!!!!
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Inner Confidence

Postby Learning » Wed May 19, 2010 3:53 pm

HunterAndCamper wrote:Once you get inner confidence you stop giving a sh*t. And THAT, my friends, is the biggest 'straight acting' thing of all.

Hunter


Thank you for joining in, Hunter. You have me curious about what things build your confidence. Could you fill us in more?
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Warnings about Confidence

Postby Learning » Sat May 22, 2010 6:32 am

David Wygant warns straight guys not to drive away interested women by failing to show confidence. Wygant recommends seeming relaxed, smiling, standing tall, with shoulders back, moving slowly, and focusing on the person being spoken to.

http://www.davidwygant.com/blog/the-bod ... -off/4493/
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Confidence and Power

Postby Learning » Sun May 30, 2010 7:03 am

Art Malov defines confidence as "not trying too hard," not "being afraid to lead," " and not being "afraid to initiate, to approach." Being unafraid, willing to approach, and willing to lead involves showing and exercising power.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7oEfcjd ... re=related
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Re: Straight Guys Get Trained in Acting Straight

Postby butch » Sun May 30, 2010 2:09 pm

The first 4 months of my training in officer school in the navy was mostly all about learning confidence and "taking charge". It was all very, very, very, very difficult... constant harassment by senior class men, constantly pushing us to physical exhaustion, constant pushing us to mental exhaustion. And all the while one's uniform had to be meticulously spotless, one's quarters so squeaky clean it seemed unreal. We were even taught how to eat and behave at the dinner table. As an officer we ate off real china, and the silverware was... ta da, REAL silver. Best of all, no dishes to wash and servants who waited on us. Of the 91 guys who started my year, 21 survived. Made me really proud the first day I got to wear the gold stripe on my arm.

The point is, one can be "trained" to change one's attitudes and self-esteem. It does require intent on one's part and a willingness to learn and change.

The basic rule is this: " If you act like you're in charge, people will be inclined to believe you actually are".

:shock:
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Re: Straight Guys Get Trained in Acting Straight

Postby J » Sun May 30, 2010 9:27 pm

butch wrote:and the silverware was... ta da, REAL silver.


I hope they didn't make you polish it. I imagine that can get mundane if there's a lot of it...
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Re: Straight Guys Get Trained in Acting Straight

Postby butch » Mon May 31, 2010 1:53 am

J wrote:
butch wrote:and the silverware was... ta da, REAL silver.


I hope they didn't make you polish it. I imagine that can get mundane if there's a lot of it...


No... the joy of being an officer. People wait on you and you get to tell them what to do. Suits me quite well. I like being the boss.
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Being in Charge

Postby Learning » Tue Jun 01, 2010 3:30 pm

butch wrote:
The point is, one can be "trained" to change one's attitudes and self-esteem. It does require intent on one's part and a willingness to learn and change.

The basic rule is this: " If you act like you're in charge, people will be inclined to believe you actually are".

:shock:


Thank you for filling us in on Navy training, Butch. You have me wondering what you were taught about looking like you are in charge and what strategies you learned for handling challenges to your authority.
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Re: Straight Guys Get Trained in Acting Straight

Postby butch » Fri Jun 04, 2010 11:13 pm

Learning wrote:
butch wrote:
The point is, one can be "trained" to change one's attitudes and self-esteem. It does require intent on one's part and a willingness to learn and change.

The basic rule is this: " If you act like you're in charge, people will be inclined to believe you actually are".

:shock:


Thank you for filling us in on Navy training, Butch. You have me wondering what you were taught about looking like you are in charge and what strategies you learned for handling challenges to your authority.


In the military, challenges to one's authority is called treason, so it's not usually a problem... the maximum penalty being death.

That said, let's see if I can offer a few words of advice without being my overly wordy self.

You must look like you are in charge, so dressing the part goes a long way. You shouldn't expect others to do anything you wouldn't do yourself. If you expect others to keep a certain standard, you must keep it yourself and then some. Be on time. If not, apologize and try to explain why. You expect others to be on time, so you must set an example. If you say you are going to do something, do it.

Communication is key. Talk clearly and loudly in short, easy to understand groups of words. Obama does this perfectly. Listen to him talk sometimes. Groups of words with breaks between the phrases. Try to offer reasons to the troops before the challenge why you are doing what you are doing and what the expectations are. Include praise and encouragement with your words. When speaking to someone, try to say their name so they feel you care about them. Tell your troops that you are proud of them. Tell them you expect them to do their best. Remind them we are a team. And always dress properly. Notice that Obama almost always wears a dark blue or black suit when speaking. The dark coloured suits make him look important. No grey suits for him when he's trying to look powerful.

Define what is expected... assign specific tasks to specific persons. i.e. don't tell a group to go clean up something but assign each person specific tasks, or assign someone to do that if you have assistants to help you. Assign each assistant specific and clearly understood expectations you expect. An example. When I was a naval cadet, we had "rounds" each night... a kind of final clean up inspection. Each division of cadets took turns from day to day.

And one cadet from the division would be in charge... it rotated from day to day. If the Officer of the Day found something not properly clean, then the cadet in charge was put under punishment... or the person responsible was put under punishment (running laps around the parade square at 6am).

So... no day had gone by without the person in charge ending up under punishment until the day I was in charge. I wrote down the names of the guys in my division... about 20 of them, and assigned each a specific cleaning job and was quite clear, that if I ended up under punishment, then the person responsible was going to run punishment with me. We were perfect and the very first time no punishment was handed out. The other cadets immediately adopted my system. ( I do have a big ego, don't I?) And there were no further incidents of something not being properly clean the rest of the school year.

If you are in a non military situation and someone challenges your authority, challenge them right back with a question. Ask them what they would do... put them on the defensive immediately... force them to be specific in detailing what THEY are would do.

I was the captain of an adult novice hockey team. I was not the best player... likely the worst puck handler, but good on defense and face-offs (I ALWAYS got the puck on a face off).

I was in the habit of talking to every member of the team, every week by phone when I advised them of the next game time and place etc. Rumour got back to me that some didn't accept my being the captain. At the very next game I raised the issue as we were getting ready for the game.

I told the team that I was aware that there seemed to be a challenge to my authority. I said I accepted the challenge, then handed everyone a pencil and a piece of paper and told them to immediately write down the name of the person they thought should be captain and I would immediately bow to the majority. We had about 12 players. The papers were handed in. My name was on 10 pieces of paper. And that was the end of that. What the few who were unhappy about didn't realize was that, because I was in constant communication with everyone, the majority trusted me. And the mutineers wouldn't have been in touch with everyone so they really weren't aware what the big picture was.

You must confront any challenge to your authority immediately and with confidence. You must also try to learn what the actual problem is in the dissenter's eyes with your authority. Often it is just some misunderstanding, or simple jealousy.

You can have a group meeting and explain to everyone why you are in charge and from where you authority comes. If there is a higher authority than yourself, you can let the others know they have the option of complaining to that higher authority and you will comply with any outcome but, until that happens YOU are in charge. Tell people why you are in charge... i.e. you were hired to be in charge and that's that.

Your underlings need to know what is expected of them. They need to know you care about them no matter how mean a bastard you are. They need to know they are appreciated no matter how hard you are on them. You need to let them know you expect them to die for you and you will be there for them. They need to know you are a team and you need them and together we will succeed.. but YOU are and charge and they'd best not forget it. You have the knowledge. You have the experience. You know how to get the job done.

Always confront a challenge to authority immediately. Tell the challenger you want to hear their grievances. Often this is best done in private so arrange an immediate meeting and ask them to tell you what's on their mind and ask them how THEY think the problem can be resolved. Remind them you are the boss but remember to tell them their opinions are important to you.

OK... I've gone on enough. And don't forget I'm the boss, you're doing a fine job, and I'm proud of you.
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Leadership Training

Postby Learning » Sat Jun 05, 2010 5:23 pm

butch wrote:
OK... I've gone on enough. And don't forget I'm the boss, you're doing a fine job, and I'm proud of you.


I appreciate the time you put into explaining those key points about leadership and establishing authority, Butch. Many routine things in the military involve leadership. I suspect that things like saluting, standing at attention, marching together, and giving commands also help in conveying a strong presence and building trust. If you think of other things, please let us know.

What impact does being gay have on the ability to lead?
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Re: Leadership Training

Postby butch » Sat Jun 05, 2010 11:49 pm

Learning wrote:
butch wrote:What impact does being gay have on the ability to lead?


IMO being gay makes no difference on the ability to lead. Julius Caesar and Alexander the Great were gay.

If one proves to others that one has ability, knowledge and courage, others will follow.

That said, one requires the opportunity to prove one's self in the eyes of some (the ignorant types). There will always be ignorant types who have their prejudices but, among males, proving you have skills, courage and guts will usually overcome those problems. In the military sex and sexual conduct are not tolerated so the situations where one male may be worried about another guy coming on to him is less likely to occur.

A rule of leadership is that a leader must not fraternize with the troops... you aren't their friend, you're the boss.

The saying goes: "familiarity breeds contempt".

And if you are the leader it's quite normal for a rising star to want to knock you off your post. It is true among animals and humans and it's just normal. One should expect competition for the job. Empires come and go.

When a coup occurs it is quite common for the new leader to quite literally kill off anyone that might be competition. If not, keep your friends close and your enemies even closer.
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Skills and Courage

Postby Learning » Sun Jun 06, 2010 5:12 am

butch wrote:
If one proves to others that one has ability, knowledge and courage, others will follow.

That said, one requires the opportunity to prove one's self in the eyes of some (the ignorant types). There will always be ignorant types who have their prejudices but, among males, proving you have skills, courage and guts will usually overcome those problems...

A rule of leadership is that a leader must not fraternize with the troops... you aren't their friend, you're the boss.

The saying goes: "familiarity breeds contempt".


Proving skills and courage would be harder for gay people because people tend to assume the opposite if they know someone is gay. You probably have strategies for making your skills and courage clear too. What things seem to work in showing skills and courage?

People have said there is a difference between being friendly and being a friend. What are some indications that someone has gone too far in fraternizing with the troops?
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Re: Straight Guys Get Trained in Acting Straight

Postby butch » Sun Jun 06, 2010 1:15 pm

Learning wrote:
butch wrote:
If one proves to others that one has ability, knowledge and courage, others will follow.

That said, one requires the opportunity to prove one's self in the eyes of some (the ignorant types). There will always be ignorant types who have their prejudices but, among males, proving you have skills, courage and guts will usually overcome those problems...

A rule of leadership is that a leader must not fraternize with the troops... you aren't their friend, you're the boss.

The saying goes: "familiarity breeds contempt".


Proving skills and courage would be harder for gay people because people tend to assume the opposite if they know someone is gay. You probably have strategies for making your skills and courage clear too. What things seem to work in showing skills and courage?

People have said there is a difference between being friendly and being a friend. What are some indications that someone has gone too far in fraternizing with the troops?


You are asking complex questions.

Leadership is pretty much grounded in good management whether it be the military or civilian life. And there is a big difference from that and what I will term "playground dynamics".

In the military, or a well run business, there will be a management structure. Everyone will have a clear indication who is in charge of what, and who has what responsibilities. Who has to report to whom and when and how. That is just good management. Who is in charge will often be similar in business and the military. Entry level people will receive some limited promotions after a given level of time and experience but promotion will be by selection from higher management after that. For instance, in the Canadian Navy, a regular seaman will automatically rise to the rank of Leading Seaman after a certain amount of time served and courses taken. An officer will rise to the rank of Lieutenant Commander but after that it will be by selection. In the Navy there is also another set of rules... Sea Command (the right to command a ship) is limited to those who have that designator (a kind of hidden qualification).

An example: I was the navigator of a repair ship for a little over a year before I was sent for submarine training that I had volunteered for. On my ship there were about 12 officers including two Commanders. One Commander was in charge of the repair crew which was the majority of sailors aboard. The Captain of the ship was also a Commander, the XO was a Lieutenant Commander, the Deck Officer was a Lieutenant and there was me... the Navigator and Communications Officer who was a brand new Sub-Lieutenant (in order to become a full Sub-Lieutenant from an acting one... a half-stripe, I had to pass a navigation exam and be given a watch-keeping certificate by any commanding captain who would give me one).

I (a lowly Sub-Lieutenant) was fourth in line of command for the ship. At sea, I had command over the (repair) Commander. That was because I was of the branch of officers that had a Sea Command designator. I knew how to navigate. If the three other Sea Command officers above me (the captain, XO, and deck officer) were killed, I was the only one who knew how to drive the ship and how to navigate home. We were the actual "pilots" of the ship who knew how to "fly" it. If the officers above me were killed I would automatically become the captain of the ship in spite of there being a half dozen officers with rank senior to me on board. This is an example of management structure... everyone knew who was whom and why and what their responsibilities were.

In a business, or the military, one's sexual preferences should always be a personal and private affair and if you keep that in mind no one will know what they are. Hiding the colour of one's skin is more difficult but there are many things that can undermine authority in the eye's of some.

In business and the military, fraternization between management and workers is a recipe for disaster and there must be NO level of fraternization. That said, there are always occasions where there will be company parties etc. The leaders must know their place and be friendly, but not overly familiar. You can't command your friends. It just doesn't work.

That said, there are democratic situations that require leadership among friends. The most obvious is committees and in politics. In those cases, once you become leader you MUST separate yourself from the crowd.

It's lonely at the top so you must learn to fraternize with other leaders like yourself or be a loner.

No one said it's easy but there seems to be some people who like being in charge and others who prefer to follow.

If there is someone who seems to want your job they need to be eliminated or promoted. Those who seek authority are already good management potential and should be given roles that will help them grow. If they have the talent and potential they should be put in positions where they report directly to you so you can keep an eye on them and develop their talents. You will retire some day and the organization will need experienced talent.

When it comes to "playground dynamics" it's a whole other story. Bullies rule and might is right.

Now... if you don't have the strength to be the top bully, then you need allies. This works in all levels of life.

Ten weaklings can overpower one bully.

That involves developing relationships with others and one can learn to do that. A very good book on the subject is "How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie. It is still a very popular book and easy to find. I highly recommend it.

In a group dynamic situation where there are a lot of unknowns, one's sexuality should be kept to one's self. Just like your own particular likes and beliefs. One's religion can hinder one. Keep it to yourself. It's exactly the same if you are gay. It's the price of being the top dog.

How far is too far in being friendly? Pretend you are talking to your great auntie. Just what kinds of things are you likely to tell her? Ironically there is a big difference between being polite and being friendly.

As regards showing skills and courage... in the military and business you will be (hopefully) where you are because you have earned it and the management structure dictates you be there. You have earned it and everyone should be aware of that.

On the playground it can be a different story. In that case, you "have it" or you don't. You will have trouble pretending.

You will require a record of achievement. You may be the local sports hero. You may be the person who consistently gets the top marks in school. You may simply be the biggest and toughest. If you are a little guy you may just have to fight dirty and be willing to take on anyone.

That happened to me in grade school... ironically "on the playground". I was the nerd who had the highest marks. That did not impress the locals. One day a guy much bigger than me was harrasing me. I went at him tooth and nail and he kept knocking me down. I just kept getting up and ran straight at him... kicking and punching. A teacher intervened. He never bothered me again and I "suddenly" gained respect from everyone. No one would dare take me on after that.

Leadership requires courage. You must be willing to step up to the plate. That requires a strong ego and sense of self. You must learn to believe you are as good as anyone else and you have the right.
Last edited by butch on Sun Jun 06, 2010 2:05 pm, edited 24 times in total.
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Re: Skills and Courage

Postby Rico » Sun Jun 06, 2010 1:19 pm

Learning wrote:What things seem to work in showing skills and courage?

Results.
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Re: Straight Guys Get Trained in Acting Straight

Postby Rico » Sun Jun 06, 2010 1:58 pm

butch wrote:I knew how to navigate...

I know this is off-topic and I'll delete it later, and since I don't do PM...I have to tell you this, Butch: my guess is that you and I are the only ones here who have actually used a sextant to navigate from point A to point B. Now they have GPS to do the job. If all the satellites suddendly become disabled, then you and I have jobs. Would like to talk more but I have to go wind the chronometers. Thanks for the memories, seriously! :D
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Re: Skills and Courage

Postby butch » Sun Jun 06, 2010 2:15 pm

Rico wrote:
Learning wrote:What things seem to work in showing skills and courage?

Results.


Exactly.
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Re: Straight Guys Get Trained in Acting Straight

Postby butch » Sun Jun 06, 2010 2:19 pm

Rico wrote:
butch wrote:I knew how to navigate...

I know this is off-topic and I'll delete it later, and since I don't do PM...I have to tell you this, Butch: my guess is that you and I are the only ones here who have actually used a sextant to navigate from point A to point B. Now they have GPS to do the job. If all the satellites suddendly become disabled, then you and I have jobs. Would like to talk more but I have to go wind the chronometers. Thanks for the memories, seriously! :D


I think about that from time to time. My first navigation was from Halifax to England. My only long range aid was LORAN which was out because the weather was so very bad (January on the North Atlantic) that I had to do the whole trip by DR (dead reckoning). I was really very, very happy when the light house at Land's End appeared over the horizon where and when I predicted it would.
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Re: Straight Guys Get Trained in Acting Straight

Postby butch » Sun Jun 06, 2010 7:49 pm

Learning wrote:What things seem to work in showing skills and courage?


Leaders are people who are organized. Leaders are people who are good Boy Scouts... as in "Be Prepared".

Know your enemy, make plans, have a back-up plan and have an exit strategy in case it all goes brown. Know yourself and your limits. Don't be afraid to use experts to help you. Don't be afraid to ask for help.

Never stop asking questions about everything. You can't know too much. The more you know the better prepared you are.

Take the lead without asking. Do everything better than was expected of you. Be better than the people around you.

There was a large sign above the entrance to the Cadet training building where I trained. It said "Follow me".

There is no room for the lazy among leaders. You must be Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger.

You just can't fake it.

Believe in you. You can do it. You must believe that.
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Taking the Lead

Postby Learning » Mon Jun 07, 2010 8:51 pm

butch wrote: You must be Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger...

Believe in you. You can do it.


Butch, you've given leadership a lot of thought, and your advice is invaluable. You've mentioned key points of leadership including top performance, politeness, courage, caring, honesty, privacy, independence, appreciation, and willingness to learn. Usually, people want someone who can help them get the job done or get along better in the group.

I'm glad you're willing to share your experiences. This discussion here makes a striking contrast to the topics put in common gay magazines. Gay guys aren't encouraged to take leadership roles or to think of themselves as better, stronger, and able. Gay guys are expected to cower and worry about their hair not to "be a man." What things encouraged you to take leadership roles?

Is it fair to say that the military does a lot to train guys to be "straight acting"?
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Re: Straight Guys Get Trained in Acting Straight

Postby butch » Tue Jun 08, 2010 12:47 am

butch wrote:What things encouraged you to take leadership roles?


When I was young we moved around a lot and I was a nerd. I didn't know I was gay, but I was pretty terrified of girls. So the moving tore away friend relationships I managed to make but one thing I did do was stick with my Sea Scout Troop. I commuted to attend. It was great. We had canoes and a motorboat and the troop was right on Lake Ontario.

Anyhow, by fate, a lot of the older scouts became 17-18 at about the same time and the troop was suddenly without a lot of patrol leaders. The scout masters called me over one night after a summer meeting (we played around in the canoes... we were all quite expert canoeists) and asked me to jump right into being a patrol leader.

I accepted and appointed one of the guys in my brand new patrol to be my seconder (we needed a new seconder too). I had always been intimidated by the older scouts... not bullied but they had never accepted me and it was pretty typical older/younger teenager role modeling.

I decided my patrol would be different and it was. I tried very hard to get to know the other guys in my patrol and form a tight unit. In time I even made my seconder the leader and took over seconder myself. I actually demoted myself because I wanted to give my seconder the experience of being in charge and because I had joined the Navy Reserve at 16. I became the scout troop leader soon afterwards but turned it over to someone else because I was away most of the summer months with the Navy Reserve.

The Reserve was more important, time-wise, for me and I just loved it. One had to spend a minimum of 2 weeks full time training each year but I soon had connections and took extra courses and it became a full time 8 week summer job for me. I began thinking about leadership quite early on. In the reserves another signalman my age (very popular guy, very handsome, very friendly, natural athlete) buddied up with me... we just seemed to really get along and we were both signalmen. He was very outgoing and taught me not to fear authority and rules. One day, when the regular forces on the base were getting new ID cards he said to me, "let's get a regular forces ID card". We simply lined up, no one asked us why, as reservists, we were there and next thing you know I had a permanent forces ID card. That was a great help. In the summer we were able to purchase cap names (sailors had the name of their ship on their hats) so we got the ones for the base and the regular reservists started assuming we were regular force personnel.

I had thought about going to university through the Navy (student loans weren't invented yet and we were poor) but since I never did any homework, ever, I flunked a final graduation math exam. However, my mom noticed the Navy was looking for officer recruits (they were short handed) and all you needed was high school graduation. Technically, I had already graduated.

The only reason I was still in high school was that my province required university entrants to complete a pre-university year at high school (that is no longer the case now that Canada has standardized education a bit between provinces). So I was a high school graduate, I applied to the Navy plan... had to go on a short trial where hundreds of Air Force and Navy candidates were screened for officer potential (pilots don't have to have a degree, but all pilots are officers). I passed with flying colours and next thing you know I was on my way to the west coast Navy base to take a one-year wonder course to become a Naval Officer.

That year brought me out of my shell. I was already ahead of most of the other candidates in that I already had over two years Reserve training as an sailor (I was an Able Seaman Signalman) and I excelled at that. I was already 2 trade levels ahead of everyone else of my rank. So I already knew morse code, semaphore and the flag signal system the Navy used. And I had experience with being on a ship yadda yadda.

I just loved the Reserves and had a really great time. As a signalman I was sent to reserve training ships as the onboard signalman. I had no real boss... I was the ship's only signalman so I spent a lot of time on the bridge with the Officer of the Watch. I was used to being the officer's right hand person.

The first few months at Officer training were very hard but I just tried to keep my uniform spotless and keep out of trouble. One could run punishment for almost any reason. If a senior cadet didn't like you he would come up to you and rub his hands on your white lanyard (the indicator you were a junior cadet) and say "Your lanyard is dirty, give me 10 (pushups)". The seniors didn't ever pick on me... maybe it was because I was 6'3" and I tried really, really hard to be spotless and do my yes sir, no sir, three bags full sir routine.

On survival courses I tried hard to excel. I was already a very experienced camper so I tried to outdo the survival training officer. I would be up in the morning before him to ensure I could serve him coffee when he woke up. I did a lot of other things... too many to talk about. I was the boy wonder of survival training among all the cadets. I have some interesting stories I could tell. I was determined to make my mark in something I had experience doing.

We went on a three month training cruise to South America to learn navigation at sea. There were 3 ships and I was on the ship that carried the Commodore of the West Coast Fleet. Everyone was terrified of him so I volunteered to stand watch during the first dog watch (4-6pm) when he was always on the bridge. The Commodore came to like me... he was a really, really tough bastard. One day he asked me what kind of sea birds were flying around. I didn't know. He told me to get back to him on it. I asked the cadet training officer if he knew. He said he didn't and expected the Commodore was just kidding me. He suggested I make up a name so I did and next watch told him they were "black backed Gallipagos Terns". The Commodore was amused and knew I was faking it. "No" he said... "they're Stormy Petrals". But he was amused. I also led the cadet signal team on my ship and we were so good we were permanently disqualified from competing against the other cadets after a competition of my team vs the ship's REAL signalmen. We beat them.

One day, shortly after my senior class mates had graduated I was late falling in after lunch to go to classes. I had been at the seamstress getting a fitting for my #1 new dress uniform. In order to fall in, I had to report to the duty officer, salute him and ask permission to fall in. He said something like: "permission granted Cadet Captain Blair (my original name) but you should be setting an example by being on time". And that is how I found out I had just been promoted to Cadet Captain.

Obviously, the officers who ran the school saw potential in me and I suddenly had rank over my fellow cadets. I really, really, really liked that. I liked being in charge and I could scream loud orders with the best of them.

I had proved myself in survival trips and the fact that I was conversant in signaling.

I'll shut up after this:

Early in the school year all the cadets were out on the parade ground in pairs reading morse code being sent by a Petty Officer signalman. My buddy was a guy I had gone to Communications School with in the Reserves. He was a radioman and I was a signalman but we both knew how to read morse code pretty fast. We were totally bored and I guess we were talking up a storm while everyone else was struggling to get the signal decoded.

So the Petty Officer called us out... in the mean and nasty way we were used to being treated (it was part of the program... if you couldn't take it, you shouldn't be there). He said he was going to send some signals "just for us" and if we failed we'd be on punishment for a long time. So he belted out the morse code as fast as he could. It was great. At that speed people like my buddy and I no longer read the signal in individual letters but started reading by whole words. We both scored a perfect score. So the Petty Officer said to us, why should he waste his time sending the signals and my buddy and I were assigned the duty of doing the signal stuff which happened twice a day... before breakfast and after dinner at night. We got out of having to read the signals and we did the sending.

Are you seeing a pattern in my life? Did I mention I was the only Sub Lieutenant navigator in the entire Canadian Navy? Navigators were usually Lieutenants.

Did I mention that while I was training on a destroyer I was the only trainee acting Sub Lieutenant allowed to stand my own watch on the bridge? None of the other trainees were ever given that opportunity. It was fun and they usually pulled a drill when I was on watch so I got to drive the ship... things like practicing a man overboard where I got to turn the ship in a tight circle and order changes in engine speed or steering gear breakdowns where you steer the ship by varying the speed of the two propellers.

Did I mention I was a qualified submariner while still a Sub-Lieutenant?

I like being in charge. Works better for me. Then I can separate myself from the riff raff and not give a damn what they think.

It seems to be my style.

P.S. I think Eric Cartman on South Park is an interesting example of leadership. He always acts like he's supposed to be in charge and usually is. If you act like you're in charge people will be inclined to believe you actually are no matter how incompetent you may actually be.

:shock:
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Re: Straight Guys Get Trained in Acting Straight

Postby butch » Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:29 pm

An interesting book for those seeking to advance themselves against the rest of the rat race, or those trying hard to separate themselves from the crowd....

the fame formula:

FAME 101 by Jay and Maggie Jessup
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Group Influences

Postby Learning » Wed Jun 09, 2010 5:48 pm

butch wrote:Are you seeing a pattern in my life? . . .

I like being in charge. Works better for me. Then I can separate myself from the riff raff and not give a damn what they think.

It seems to be my style.


Yes, I see the pattern, Butch. You're achievement oriented with a record of accomplishments. I also see that you've been involved in a number of groups that encouraged you to develop your leadership skills that would contribute to your "straight acting" style.

Thank you too for mentioning the book by the Jessup's. It might take a while to get a copy. Maybe you could let us know what key points you found useful in it.
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Re: Group Influences

Postby butch » Wed Jun 09, 2010 9:14 pm

Learning wrote:
butch wrote:Thank you too for mentioning the book by the Jessup's. It might take a while to get a copy. Maybe you could let us know what key points you found useful in it.


To be honest, I've yet to read the whole book, but it's time I did. I'm busy reading about the General Theory of Relativity, trying to learn more about studies on the speed of light and, besides trying to teach myself piano and painting, also working on a book length essay on the nature of reality and the errors of General Relativity as proposed by Einstein. I'm old but I keep busy. I also make videos for my 4 YouTube channels. But that is in line with what the book is about... getting one's self noticed. I'm looking for the right blend and am trying 4 different approaches. I'm starting to get the hang of it and only recently started earning a bit of money from Google. Very little but I'm studying those who have been successful and working on "branding" myself as something unique on YouTube. Will I succeed? We'll see.

But all that kind of relates to the idea of making yourself famous. I didn't get the name Silvercloud by accident. I wasn't born with that name. I want to be famous, I just haven't got there yet. Note I said "yet". I find humanity so screwed up the only reason I keep going is in quest of fame and satisfying my own ego. I don't much give a damn what anyone, anywhere, thinks... unless they have a lot more knowledge than me. And I want their knowledge. The only way you will get any respect from me is to prove you are harder, stronger, faster and better than me.

The book is a bit like a Tony Robbins course... getting you to think about what fame is... as opposed to celebrity.

Fame is about recognition from those in power and those who count. Celebrity is about being noticed by those who don't really matter in the scheme of things. Celebrity is fleeting. Fame lasts longer and has, or can have, its own rewards.

You may be competent in some field. You may be the best there is in your field. But somehow you are never noticed. What you need is to learn how to become noticed. That is, more or less, what the book is about. How to become noticed.

Which is why I should get down to a serious read of FAME 101, I guess. I already understand a lot of what it is about. It is why I changed my name. Who will remember a name like "Blair" my given name? You don't think "Cher" was born with that name do you? You need to find ways to stand out from the crowd and there are lots of possible things one might do. While I was well known in Toronto by my chosen new name "Silvercloud" (in the world of professional commercial photogaphy, we're talking very serious photography here, cars, stars, booze, fashion and food photography) when I moved out west no one knew who I was. So I legally changed my name and I try hard to promote it.

I try hard to make myself present on YouTube and am working hard on trying to learn how to do it better. To a certain extent that is pursuing celebrity which may be a bit misguided, but the more people who know who I am the more idiots out there who will think I'm actually someone.

If you want to get ahead in a job, you need to find ways to get management to notice you. You have to find a way to be different and in a good way.

Watch what others do and don't do it. Try to find the people who stand out and ask yourself what it is that they are doing, do it... and do it better.

You want to find ways to be more visible to others. Otherwise no one will notice you exist.

You have to be your own brand, not someone else. Oprah is Oprah. Ellen is Ellen. I don't have to use more than one part of their name for you to know who they are. They have branded themselves with their own style... so style is very important. Image is everything.

You have to get it through your head that most people are actually shy and not that smart. You have to develop enough self confidence to do that. Start by not worrying about what anyone thinks except those who can advance you. You shouldn't worry about what others think. They are mostly idiots anyway. I hate to say it but it's a fact of life. Get used to it. Nice is nice but it won't likely get you anywhere. Learn to be polite and keep your mouth shut in the presence of your inferior humans.

Moving around a lot when I was young made me shy. Also my dad was from the back woods with a grade 4 education. I knew nothing about sports and consider that a liability in growing up. Sports teaches confidence.

Getting back to the book. It is a bit about using Hollywood type publicity to bring attention to one's self. One of the authors quotes is: "People who promote and publicize their personal brand enjoy three strong benefits... greater visibility, enhanced credibility and increased income". This means you need to be entertaining which may sound weird... but you need to get people to pay attention to you, in a good way. You can't promote the idea that you are "better" than others. They don't like that. You need to promote the idea that you are competent, or even expert at what you do. You don't dump on others, you simply do a better job than them... at everything.

Let me get back to the idea of branding one's self. I've been too stupid to pursue money and wealth. Missed tons of opportunities because I was too busy pursuing love and my art. But... here is another story from my life.

I was working at a huge photo retail store.. presently the biggest in Canada. I had worked there once before as their very first salesperson when I had been hired away from yet another big camera store but quit the job after a few months because the new boss was difficult (extremely smart but difficult). Anyhow, I started working there again because I needed a job. I went to the boss (from whom I had been hired away then quit) who owed me a big favour because I had got him connected with Kodak and Ilford who had refused to deal with him in the early days for reasons I won't go on about here. He owed me and I went down to his office, stuck my head in the door and said "Ron, I need a job" and he said "OK you can work in rentals". I was hiding out from revenue Canada at the time for reasons I won't bother you with. After about a year there the comptroller came to me and told me Revenue Canada was asking about me and they couldn't afford to have problems with them. I was being paid cash while the other 30 odd employees were on a payroll with all the usual deductions. I was working "under the table" as it were.

So... I decided to become self employed as a professional photographer's assistant. There was no need for yet another assistant in an over crowded market so I needed to brand myself in some way. One way to get work was simply to post an ad on the main bulletin board on the store where I worked. All the big name photographers shopped there. But how could I be different when few pros knew who I was?

I made a business card completely different from everyone else. I bought a bunch of light brown shipping kind of tags... the kind of thing about the size of a business card but with a hole already punched in it. Bought them at a stationary store. They are used for tagging items. You can pass a string through the hole and write on them. I bought a kid's lettering set... rubber stamp set of the alphabet. I made a rubber stamp that said "professional photographic assistance" with my home phone number and my pager number on it. I made a little holder box which I pinned to the bulletin board to hold my "business" cards. So my cards were totally unique. I got work right away. When I quit the assistant business to move out west to retire, another guy who was getting into assisting asked me if he could use my card style since I would no longer be in the business. You see... if anyone else tried to copy me, it would be well known in the trade (Toronto commercial photo trade) that they were copying me because I had already branded myself that way. And by the time I left Toronto I was already working for one of the biggest name photographers as his regular assistant anyways. I became very well known in the Toronto photo community very quickly and it was that silly little business card that started it all for me. I had branded myself with my business card and, once I worked for a few big name people, word quickly got around that "I knew my stuff".

Well... enough for today.
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"Straight Acting" Beliefs

Postby Learning » Thu Jun 10, 2010 10:51 am

butch wrote: You need to find ways to stand out from the crowd and there are lots of possible things one might do. While I was well known in Toronto by my chosen new name "Silvercloud" (in the world of professional commercial photogaphy, we're talking very serious photography here, cars, stars, booze, fashion and food photography) when I moved out west no one knew who I was. So I legally changed my name and I try hard to promote it.

I try hard to make myself present on YouTube and am working hard on trying to learn how to do it better. To a certain extent that is pursuing celebrity which may be a bit misguided, but the more people who know who I am the more idiots out there who will think I'm actually someone.



Using your Butch Board link, I found your youtube channel and book. At least among gay people, mentioning that you've done photography for Freshmen would probably make you stand out.

Themes of competition and hierarchy come through in your book and even in the things you write here. There are basic beliefs about the world, other people, and ourselves that guys are encouraged to accept. Those ways of thinking help guys stay in charge and drive a lot of "straight acting" ways of doing things. George Lakoff calls those beliefs the "strict father model." Here is how Lakoff describes this outlook in his book Don't Think of an Elephant.

"The strict father model begins with a set of assumptions: The world is a dangerous place, and it always will be, because there is evil in the world. The world is difficult because it is competitive. There will always be winners and losers...What is required...is strict obedience. It is further assumed that the only way to teach kids obedience-that is, right from wrong-is through punishment...The same discipline you need to be moral is what allows you to prosper."

Does any of that sound familiar? Maybe you could expand on your own beliefs about competition, proving oneself, hierarchy, differences in people, and equality and on what pushed you toward those beliefs.
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Re: Straight Guys Get Trained in Acting Straight

Postby butch » Thu Jun 10, 2010 2:31 pm

"The strict father model begins with a set of assumptions: The world is a dangerous place, and it always will be, because there is evil in the world. The world is difficult because it is competitive. There will always be winners and losers...What is required...is strict obedience. It is further assumed that the only way to teach kids obedience-that is, right from wrong-is through punishment...The same discipline you need to be moral is what allows you to prosper."

Does any of that sound familiar? Maybe you could expand on your own beliefs about competition, proving oneself, hierarchy, differences in people, and equality and on what pushed you toward those beliefs.


You seem to have a penchant for analysis and ask complicated questions. That's a good thing, IMO.

I should probably think about an appropriate answer but patience is not one of my virtues.


The world is a dangerous place, and it always will be, because there is evil in the world. The world is difficult because it is competitive. There will always be winners and losers...What is required...is strict obedience.


I agree the world is a dangerous place and it always will be. In the world of other living things... animals and plants, the fundamental rule seems to be survival of the strong and adaptable. Evolution is ruthless and there is no time to rest. There seems to be an assumption among many humans that that stability is both common or achievable but stability in anything is an illusion. There is no guarantee, at all, that humans will survive as a species. It isn't looking good but I expect the strong will survive and adapt and good riddance to the weak and stupid and lazy. I'm a bit of a "Spartan" that way.

There is an assumption, particularly in our western minds, that people should be treated equally when it should be obvious that equality is an illusion. There are no equals in the animal or plant world. The strong eat the weak.

Everyone seems to want what everyone else has and seem to feel they are actually entitled to it. The smart people know that is ridiculous. One thing Stalinist communism should have taught us is that trying to level the playing field for all will result in stagnation, greed and laziness. Even Cuba seems to be seeing the light. Progress (and I'm not saying progress is always a good thing) has been stagnant there for years and one can't blame the U.S. embargoes for that. There's an entire world out there which could be engaged if the will existed to engage it. Europe has no embargo against Cuba. But the state of mind is one of letting the government take care of everything... in the case of Cuba, it being the government, itself, doing the dictating. I'm betting the people would choose a different path if they could. Then, again, one wonders why there have been no serious uprisings or resistance to the status quo.

People are not equal. It should be obvious. Some are strong, some weak, some smart, some stupid... the list goes on and on.

Strict obedience has its limits. It can severely restrict innovation and progress and does. China seems to be country suffering from strict obedience that seems to derive from family discipline. Tribal communities have the same problem... but, ironically, it is the same discipline which often protects them from outside forces and problems. What I see in tribal communities with strict discipline is akin to herds of animals. They survive but they don't evolve.

It seems that what is required is a strong government that allows certain levels of freedom. As humans we seem not to have evolved the best type of government but I've been watching China over the past few years and have a feeling they are moving in the right direction. The big problem they have is extreme overpopulation. Killing off half of the present population seems to be politically incorrect and the attempt at controlling birth has not achieved its goals. If I were running the government I'd make Stalin look like a stand-up comic and would begin an immediate sterilization program. But I digress.


Does any of that sound familiar? Maybe you could expand on your own beliefs about competition, proving oneself, hierarchy, differences in people, and equality and on what pushed you toward those beliefs.


Competition is a good thing. It is a natural thing in the plant and animal world. Only humans seem to want to fight the forces of evolution.

Hierarchy is required to maintain stability... anarchy can't work. Establishing a hierarchy which can evolve and be fair is the difficult problem. More often than not it is the greedy who rise to power and their interests are their own, not those of the general populace.

A strong and flexible system of laws can remedy the greedy from usurping wealth and power, but it requires a strong moral fabric among the populace. That requires an education system to be in place that teaches the population to be morally "good" people. IMO it requires a separation of powers "at the top". To a certain extent the western nations are moving in that direction by separating the judiciary from the lawmakers.

Why do I have the beliefs I do? I'm not certain. I expect my moving often as a youth let me drop into a variety of social situations to which I found I had to adapt. For me, it seems my natural intelligence caused the moving not to be so difficult but, socially, I became a recluse in my own way. If I could attain leadership I could better control the situation around me. Being gay (even though I didn't know I was gay) forced me to adapt as well. I had no interest in the things the other boys had interest in. I wasn't into sports (through no fault of my own... it was never introduced to me while young) though I tried to play basketball in my teens for a while. But I just wasn't good enough compared to my peers. I started too late.

My Sea Scout time was different. I was introduced to canoes with others my equal and was very good at it. In order to be accepted one had to prove oneself by going out on the water, overturning and swamping the canoe then righting it by yourself and emptying it of water. Then, without a paddle, one had to be able to "gunnel bounce" to shore. It was expected one could walk around the gunnel with the aid of a paddle... i.e. walk completely around the canoe on its edges without overturning the canoe. So I could do all that. My mother used to get a little freaked out seeing us out in high waves playing around in canoes.

I've just never been "one of the crowd" in my life so I can't really give that good an assessment why I am the way I am. I guess because of my latent gayness in my youth and my nerdiness (interest in science, electronics yadda yadda) I've always been a social recluse. We follow the path of life we do and end up where we are. Hannibal was one of my heroes as a youth... someone who didn't seem to notice or care that the odds were against him. He believed in himself.

Alexander the Great has been another of my heroes and Audie Murphy as well (the most decorated soldier, ever, in the U.S. army). When I was a kid he made a lot of "dusters" (the Navy term for a western movie) and I guess my "gayness" caused me to fall in love with him. He was always the hero and a bit of a loner.

I've never been good at forming social relationships... people have always seemed just too immature and dumb to me... even the adults seemed stupid to me. I just don't relate to people easily but I have a habit of falling for really tough guys who are good looking.

I type really, really fast but I'm guessing this is getting long-winded.

I like hierarchies but believe they must be tempered by some kind of separate justice and evaluation means. I don't believe in equality for all but believe in laws that protect the weak and stupid. I believe in competition and evolution.

I wouldn't, for instance, have the slightest problem with nuking northern Pakistan to eliminate the backwards and violent peoples there. The world has enough problems and we don't need them. I wouldn't have the slightest problem with sterilizing people to control population growth. Making babies is not a right. I would have no problem with licensing people to have a child... forcing them to take courses, proving they have no genetic defects etc. Like I've said, often, I'd make Stalin look like a stand-up comedian. The world is in very, very serious difficulty and only desperate measures will save the future population from some horrible difficulties. But I believe nature always self corrects and I honestly expect the planet to lose at least half its population in the next 100 years.

I don't know that I've said anything intelligent, but this kept me busy for a while while the painkillers kick in and I make another cup of coffee to get going for the day. I spend most all my days alone in my own little world. My boyfriend died over 16 years ago and I've not found anyone to take his place. Now I'm old and am mostly interested in completing some projects in my attempt to make my mark on the planet.

Using your Butch Board link, I found your youtube channel and book. At least among gay people, mentioning that you've done photography for Freshmen would probably make you stand out.


I used to think my photography would be taken more seriously and, perhaps, it will show up in gay history books... but digital media have rapidly changed things. I'm happy to have achieved some of my goals. I used to do a lot of photography (for free) for the Body Politic which was the predecessor of XTRA, the national gay newspaper in Canada.

I'm in this book... Image

and this was the Italian edition of one of my portfolios... a magazine kind of thing where all the photos are mine.

Image

which I found on a collectables sight while Googling myself one day. It dates from 1993 and I found it here... http://www.rickysports.net/apps/webstore/?page=4

8)
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