Feb 232015
 
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While discretion may be the better part of valor, and it will probably save your marriage more than once, that self editing is not cantankerous.

In previous lessons you learned to say what you think and say it when you feel it.  This lesson is really no different, just a re-iteration of what should be an ingrained part of your cantankerousness already.

Say what is on your mind and damn the consequences.

America has been proven time and time again to be a great place to live.  We have a fantastic Constitution that guarantees Citizens the right to free speech.  That has been taken to extremes in the past but it is still a a core value for Americans.

While there are several states that still strive to limit the freedom of speech that Federal law guarantees, the truth is, the pandering, mealy mouthed politicians of this country are trying to play both sides against the middle and make this country a bunch of poofy, we can all get along if we don’t talk to each other mean sissies.

Face it, you are going to piss someone off in your lifetime.  Not everyone is going to like you.  You will not be friends with everyone.  You may be likeable and people will like you, or at least tolerate you but not everyone will.  There are people I can’t stand to be around so I don’t associate with them.

The problem comes when you are trying to use this self editing to change your intent or position to try and get everyone to like you.  It can’t be done.  It is much better to come out and say what you need to say and risk offending people.  It will either work out or it won’t.  Either way it will feed your cantankerousness.

Sure, you may get in trouble, you may even go to jail, but you are still true to your new cantankerous self.  The constitution guarantees it, cantakerousness demands it, but it is still hard to get over that social block that has been beaten into us by our mothers to be nice.  Get over it.  it will be ok.

I would like to quote John Adams or George Washington here, but I can’t think of anything appropriate so I will settle for Denis Leary.  “Life sucks, get a helmet.”  That should sum it up nicely.  Quit editing yourself and say what you think.

Unless of course it will endanger your marriage or send you to federal prison for what promises to be the “longest night of your life” (Shawshank Redemption, look it up) then, discretion is the better part of valor.

Soldier on good people,

Justin

Justin

Justin is the young Coot with a Cantankerous Soul who continues to be educated by older, more cootish Ralph and Bob. His Cantankerosity is his own.

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Feb 232015
 
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Being Cantankerous is not easy.

I it not easy being a Cantankerous Old Coot. You might think that all you need to learn is how to be rude and obnoxious. You would be very wrong. It is a way of life- a way of seeing the world and when you become a master, there are many skills that come into play. One that you might never think about is your facial expressions. Sometimes a look is all that a Coot will need to establish effective communication. In every case a facial expression can add that finishing touch that signals you really mean what you say.

People don’t want straight talk

These days, so many people are superficial. They aren’t serious. Their statements are tentative or joking. People just don’t expect you to lay the truth on them. They look closely to see if you are kidding. They don’t want to deal with the truth. They don’t want to deal with you if you are telling the truth and they will go to any length to delude themselves about your intent. If they think that you are kidding, then they can shrug away your statement and move on, skating away from a confrontation either with you or the truth you have just laid on them. Don’t make it easy for them. You fail as a cantankerous old coot if you let this happen. Your facial expression is the clincher.

Lets Review the Lessons so far

Lets take a minute and review the lessons so far. In Lesson 1, we learned to let your feelings out freeing you to be real. Lesson 2 reminded us all that what other people think is unimportant. You don’t have time for worrying about whatever silliness is keeping them awake at night. Lesson 3 reminded us that polite is just an excuse for lying. Finally Lesson 4 emphasized that immediate response is important. Don’t hold back or reserve your first thoughts. Just let her rip. The importance for Lesson 5, Let your Face show you mean it is that unless you get Lesson 5, you can blow off all the other lessons. Your words may tell the world what you really think and blow away any pretensions from your companions but if you don’t reinforce this with your facial expression, everything you worked for is lost. Break a smile and people will think you are kidding or being playful. Keep your expression neutral and they can interpret your statement as a misstatement.

This brings us to Lesson 5

Lesson 5 is vital because your expression must support and reinforce everything you have learned so far. It must be stern and serious. It can run the gamut of emotions from scowl to downright contempt. It must take no prisoners, leave no stone unturned and be so controlled that no one can have any doubt that you mean exactly what you are saying. Lesson 5 is the hardest lesson because no matter how well you learn the other lessons, we are so controlled by the urge to be nice that almost without thinking our facial expressions will try to make nice. As with most every thing in life, practice makes perfect so observe yourself in the mirror and find your weaknesses. Maybe your eyes twinkle or your mouth just can’t help curling up in a Mona Lisa smile. Whatever they are, find them and get them under control.

Ralph

Ralph is the inspiration for Cantankerous Old Coots and is our Grand Duke of Cantankerousness

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Feb 232015
 
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Jester headinhand
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There are many things to complain about when you get older. Take my knees for example. They just don’t work as well as they used to. On top of that, there are pains that become routine. You learn to ignore them and keep going. That is  a lesson for later  but it sets up the dilemma a Coot faces growing older. It becomes harder and harder to keep doing everything you used to do and on top of that you finally start to accept that the end is in sight.  You are in the home stretch.   You don’t have all the time in the world to accomplish your goals. You have to cut out the shit!

One of the things your mother probably taught you was to respect people, particularly your elders. If you paid attention, then throughout your life, you listened respectfully to worthless advice and suggestions. Maybe you ignored the advice later or maybe you acted on it. Either way you invested time in hearing and considering what somebody else had to say. Most likely they were people without any evidence that they knew how to manage their own life – let alone yours but you remembered what your mother told you. Maybe you got a benefit from this. Maybe you enjoyed the respect from your elders. Maybe you took the advice and steered your way around life’s obstacles or more likely got stuck in a swamp. But maybe you ignored it, did what you damn well pleased and screwed up anyway.  It doesn’t matter much now, does it?

So today’s Coot Lesson is: Don’t listen to advice from fools. Forget what your mother told you.  Like most everything else she said, it doesn’t help you now. After all, at your age anybody older than you is surely senile. Nothing good will come from listening to them. And if they are younger, they are nothing but snot-nosed kids, still wet behind the ears and maybe their bottoms, not to mention being infused with entitlement thinking from our public schools. Stop wasting time and stop listening to fools. At this stage in your life, you don’t have time to play around.  Life is nearly over. You can see the finish line. You don’t have time to waste and you particularly don’t have time to listen to advice from people who have nothing better to do than to give it to you.

From now on, if you insist on taking advice, then only take advice from yourself – the only fool you can trust. You got yourself this far didn’t you?

Ralph

Ralph is the inspiration for Cantankerous Old Coots and is our Grand Duke of Cantankerousness

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Feelings! Whose Feelings?

 Posted by at 11:02  principles
Feb 232015
 
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A teddy bear named Tommy.

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A gentleman is one who never hurts anyone’s feelings unintentionally.

Oscar Wilde

Bob is inspirational.

I’ve been inspired today with our task of exploring the sensitive topic of feelings. Bob was very eloquent in stating that there are some areas of life where feelings just can’t be considered. Life is no cakewalk. Eggs have to be broken and some things are more important than feelings. I wouldn’t attempt of challenge Bob because first of all he outweighs me by 75 pounds and second he is friends with all the judges and elected officials in his community.

Well said Bob!

Still, sometimes, you need  finesse.

But  I like to think that I can add a little finesse and sophistication to the conversation. And I would like to counter the negative slant of Bob’s argument with a positive one. My suggestion for today is that somebody’s feelings are the perfect lever to mess with their mind and leave them slack jawed, dazed and confused.  And to enhance your own feelings.

Feelings are irrational

Nobody can explain why we love kittens and hate snakes or why we happily squash cockroaches but swerve to avoid hitting a bunny. It is easier to understand that we love the sound of our own name and are suckers for flattery. Some of the strongest feelings we have are those of self-love, deluded though they might be.

Which reminds me about the Coots Lessons

I can’t help but be reminded of the series of Coots Lessons here at Cantankerous Old Coots. Some of you may have forgotten those lessons -or worse never learned them. At the core of those lessons is one over riding concept: don’t let the feelings you imagine for anyone else cause you to deviate from your own  principles. First of all, who are you to read their minds and know their thoughts and second, why in heaven’s name would you care?

Coots see the world clearly

Being a Coot means that you have a clear vision of the world you live in and your purpose in it and in case you are confused this means that you are not concerned about what anybody else thinks. You have enough problems of your own. Let them handle theirs!

Let’s review those first five lessons

In case you need a refresher, here is a brief summary of the first five Coots’ Lessons (incidentally available for your own e-library is our beautifully designed E-Book which you can have free of charge when you join our mailing list with all the other cool guys). Coots in training should review these lessons periodically anyway.

Coot Lesson #1 – Let it out!

“Here at Cantankerous Old Coots we believe in letting your feelings out. Maybe your mother taught you to be nice. She may have told you “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” Well, we say forget what your mother said. How far has your mother’s advice got you anyway. We say, if you feel it, then let it out.”

Coot Lesson #2 – We Don’t Care What You Think

“Here at Coots, your opinion is worthless. If we wanted it, we would ask but we don’t have time to waste arguing about it. It’s a free country for now but every second we get pushed further and further into a world where we can’t say something because somebody else thinks different and we might offend them.”

Coot Lesson #3 – Polite is over rated!

“Polite is a synonym for lie. If you don’t set these people straight, they will continue to inflict their shoddy goods on other unsuspecting victims. If they believe you they will have your encouragement to do it. If they don’t believe you, they brand you either as a fool or liar.”

Coot Lesson 4- Say It When You Feel It!

“Lose that internal filter that clogs up with what you “should” say, and just say what you mean.  It may anger people but shooting straight is the best way to deal with society as a whole.  Keep your lies and your equivocations; quit pandering to people who don’t really mean anything to you.”

Coot Lesson 5- Let your face show what you think.

“Your expression must support and reinforce everything you have learned so far. It must be stern and serious. It can run the gamut of emotions from scowl to downright contempt. It must take no prisoners, leave no stone unturned and be so controlled that no one can have any doubt that you mean exactly what you are saying.”

Stand up for your own feelings!

So forget about other people’s feelings and stand up for your own. That is the position of Cantankerous Old Coots and we think that the world would be a better place if everybody lived by that stand. Review the Coots Lessons and make the world a better place. Whose feelings are more important anyway?

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Ralph

Ralph is the inspiration for Cantankerous Old Coots and is our Grand Duke of Cantankerousness

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Jul 072014
 
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Don’t be dense!

This should be pretty obvious if you have been following our lessons. Unfortunately these days most people are pretty dense and seem unable to follow a stream of logic so we are going to be very blunt. Polite is a synonym for lie. It is just that simple. If you choose to remain oblivious to simple truths, we can’t do anything about it. Human nature is pathetic. We continually ask people to tell us things that we know are untrue. If you have to ask your husband whether a dress makes you look fat, you already know the answer. “Of course it does!” So now the poor man has two bad choices. He can say yes which will make you hate him for confirming the truth or he can say no which will make you hate him for lying. Most husbands are taught to be polite and lie through their teeth and most wives delight in making it impossible for them to be honest. No wonder marriage is in trouble these days.

Stop being a mealy mouthed liar!

We always seek to be inoffensive which of course causes us to lie. “That was a great cup of coffee, Carol. Can I have a refill.” The coffee tastes like battery acid. It is luke warm and the cream is curdled. “I’d love another piece of that delicious cake, Mrs. Smith.” The cake in questions is lumpy and tasteless. Who wins with such behavior? The answer, of course is nobody. If you don’t set these people straight, they will continue to inflict their shoddy goods on other unsuspecting victims. If they believe you they will have your encouragement to do it. If they don’t believe you, they brand you either as a fool or liar.

Be straight at work!

You may think that we are singling out women here but men are just as inclined to this foolishness as women. It just attaches to different activities. When it gets into the workplace, it is even worse because we are expected to lie as a condition of employment. Your boss may be a fool but he is unlikely to keep paying you if you tell him. Imagine the chaos if you said what you were thinking. Is the customer always right? Of course not. Could you fix their problem and get them out of your face if they would just shut up and go away. Of course. Because we think that polite is important, we waste everybody’s time and make everybody upset. It is a darn nuisance.

You aren’t getting any younger you know !

Cut out the crap. Tell it straight. Stop the lies and stop pretending that polite isn’t a synonym for lying, You don’t have tine for games. Time is a wasting and nobody is getting any younger. Next time somebody expects you to waste your time and theirs with mealy mouthed and duplicitous politeness, just say no. Tell them the truth and lets get on with life.

Ralph

Ralph is the inspiration for Cantankerous Old Coots and is our Grand Duke of Cantankerousness

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