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Archive for the 'Culture' Category

May 17 2010

My Sacred Texts

Published by under Culture

We all have sacred texts.   For many of us, they come from Holy Books.  But not for all of us. A sacred text, for me, is something someone said or wrote that contains something so profoundly true that I return to it again and again for guidance and inspiration.

The poem that follows is one of my sacred texts.  It  was written by the poet, Stanley Kunitz, when he was 92.  That’s important. He ends the poem saying that “the next chapter in my book of transformations is already written.”

At midlife we tend to underestimate the richness of life that is to come.  It’s important, I think, to look to those who’ve lived well and long.

Also, after the poem are comments. It’s advice Kunitz has repeated to others and often. In this quote he is talking to Bill Moyers.

The opening sentence is profoundly important to me and wisdom I have drawn upon often when talking to people who are at midlife and trying to create, or re-create, or  invigorate, their intimate life. He says, “The first task of the poet is to create the person who writes the poems. ”  Similarly, the first task of the person who wishes to create a beautiful relationship is to create the person, who will be a version of their authentic self,  who will be showing up for that relationship.

Enough said for now:

The Layers

by Stanley Kunitz

I have walked through many lives

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Sep 24 2009

The Science of Advertising and Internet Personals

Published by under Articles,Culture

The Science of Advertising and Internet Personals

By Philip Belove, Ed.D. (all rights reserved.)

In this essay we’re going to think about composing one of those Internet personal ads. These days running one of those ads can cost around $25.00 a month and people usually run these ads for a year or so, so you are looking at spending maybe a few hundred dollars on personal advertising. How will you know if the money is well spent?

“Well,” you say, “it attracts responses.” Fair enough. But mere responses aren’t enough.

A year ago I told the story of a woman who put up a bland profile with no essay and no picture, just answers to the multiple choice questions and within 24 hours she received a letter from a man who said that she was the woman of his dreams and he was just about to give up on Internet personals but then he read her profile and realized he’d found his dream partner and so on…So, clearly, just showing up on the pages can be like walking into a bad bar.

Eliminating the bad and attracting the good are two separate processes requiring separate skills. So , we’re going to talk about personal niche marketing. Looking for a match is not like running for class president or home-coming queen or state representative, or any other activity where you want to generate a huge list of positive responses. All you want is that one person who is good enough and capable enough to partner with you so you can create a great relationship.

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Apr 25 2009

What Harry Sanborn can Teach us about Some Single Midlife Men.

Published by under Culture

By the end of Nancy Meyer’s movie. Something’s Gotta Give, the lead character, Harry Sanborn, Jack Nicholson’s character, shows promise of finally being a mensch, a man of honor who can be trusted. We don’t know if he’s there yet, but he’s there enough that when Erica opens up to him again, at the end, we aren’t afraid for her.

When I was in Rome I saw the statues of Greek Heroes. Seven feet tall. Enough larger than life to be heroic, but close enough to human scale that I could relate and feel cowed. Harry is like that, just bigger enough than life to carry a movie, but close enough to people I’ve known, including, me.
Before the midlife wake-up call, a charming, and immature guy.

When we meet Harry, he’s a sixty year old guy who has perfected an adolescent male’s dream. He’s got the money, the power, the fame, the car, the pad and the impossibly gorgeous trophy women. The fact that he’s as much a trophy screw for the women as they are for him doesn’t bother him. It’s how he likes it.

I had a chance to see a pre-shooting script of the movie and the planned opening had him speaking about being afraid to grow old and a cruel fantasy about him being seen with a woman his own age. I liked the final cut better. It opens with him musing about mature young women at the height of their sexual powers and him uniquely positioned (to coin a phrase) to sample the batch of them.

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