Archive for October, 2011

I think I was concerned about this TV series plot from the start.

From Wikipedia Person of Interest (TV series):

Mr. Finch (Michael Emerson), a mysterious billionaire, has developed a computer program for the government that predicts Terrorist threats to the US.  The computer has a side effect of all the information it collects also happens to hold the identity of people connected to violent crimes that will take place in the near future.  As this information is not seen as relevant it is dump from the system into a program separate file.  However, this separated program file has its limitations; for example, it does not transmit whether the person will be a victim, perpetrator, or witness, nor when or where the crime will take place.  Unable to stop the crimes on his own, Finch hires John Reese (Jim Caviezel), a former Green Beret and CIA field officer who is presumed dead, to help stop the crimes from taking place.

So, we have two reliable male stereotypes being showcased here:  man as a carefully trained physical avenger, able to subdue any foe, handle any situation, react in a split second (even while drunk on the subway – see first episode) with complete accuracy, always in physical control of any situation; then man as a cerebral intelligence, able to out-think, our-smart, manipulate through insight and shrewdness, perhaps not with physical prowess (in fact somewhat infirm) but more than making up for this in intellect.  Both of the male version in this show seem devoid of feeling, personality, heart, yet they pursue an honorable outcome in each situation (as if it is just so obvious what is right/wrong as they discover the details of events they are observing).  Not a single ounce of sweat is wasted struggling to determine what they should do to make things come out ‘right’.  While searching an apartment of a ‘person of interest’, Finch asks Reese where he would hide things he cares about – Reese’s response is I don’t have anything I care about.

I suppose we’re to see that the combination of these two men made a single super-human unstoppable force.  Seems to me that there are some important parts still missing.

It remains to be seen if either of these men will ever reveal something personal about themselves, or it the writers of the show will allow us to care about it.  Are these role models for our future men, or a huge step back before our more enlightened times?

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This week’s meeting is a little different than usual.

Ken Solin, the guy I’ve talked to you about, will be visiting the group to talk about his experience in starting/participating in a men’s group for the past 20 years.  More information about Ken can be found here and here (you might find some of the exchanges between the men in these videos seem familiar!)

Ken will be here to share his experience with groups like ours and to satisfy his curiosity about what we’re doing.  Aside from writing about this whole business, he is also interested in helping encourage groups of men coming together to talk about their issues.

We’ll plan on doing our breif check-in from all those in attendance and then move onto to sharing ideas about groups of men with Ken.

Please let me know if you plan to come.  Looking forward to meeting.

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The book Bart brought to share:

You Are The One You’ve Been Waiting For: Bringing Courageous Love To Intimate Relationships, by Dr. Richard Schwartz


The book Seán mentioned:

The Soul’s Code (1996), by Dr. James Hillman

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With all of the various events in the Arab world, our recent partisan political debacles here in the USA, and a recent contact by another men’s group praising us for being a peer-led group, I thought it would be timely to talk about Leadership.

Male stereotypes are rich in leadership figures.  Do we feel the burden of and expectation of leadership?  Have you shouldered the of leadership of others in your life?  Does it energize you, or is it a burden?  Do you feel connected to those you lead, or alienated?  Do you feel you have natural gifts in this area or have you figured out a strategies to overcome a lack of natural talent?

  • Do you wish you could acquire more leadership qualities?  Do they elude your grasp?  What prevents you from exerting yourself as a leader?  How do you react to leadership?  Do you prefer to guide your own life without interference from leadership figures?  Do you have latent anarchistic tendencies?  Or do you crave the clear direction provided by leadership?
  • Have you had leaders in your life that you’ve admired or tried to emulate?  Or have you been the victim of unfair or irresponsible leadership, possibly still carrying a grudge?  What do you want from leadership?  What are the qualities of a perfect leader in your opinion?
  • Are there leadership issues in your relationship with family, friends, lovers, work, our group?
  • And finally, are you able to ‘self-lead’ – to lead your life where you want it to go instead of following your reactions and repeating the same steps over and over?
Look forward to meeting with you all.

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