Porn: A Personal History

I am by no means a porn fiend. I have no enslaving compulsions that keep me shackled in front of a computer screen pulsating with digital smut. In fact, my feelings about porn in general are on par with the same ambivalence I reserve for the release of another Fast and Furious movie, which is probably the reason why the whole idea of porn addiction baffles me.

I’m not denying that pornography has tragically ruined lives, marriages, and families. It's just that when I think of addiction I envision gaunt junkies shooting up the second they get out of bed in the morning or douchey Wall Street brokers snorting lines in the company washroom during lunch—quick fixes that keep you high throughout your day. In contrast, it seems to me watching porn would require something of a significant time commitment, and who can free up those kind of hours these days? By the same token, another part of me, the part that tends to gravitate to morbidly extreme consequences, views addiction within the context of death. With drugs, you can OD. Alcoholics can get cirrhosis of the liver. Cigarettes lead to cancer. And porn? Heart attack maybe? Friction burn?

To be fair I’m not downplaying the reality of porn addiction. I’m only saying I don’t understand the mindset much the same way I don’t understand why anyone would take anything that comes out of Ann Coulter's mouth seriously or how so many viewers could manage to keep The Mentalist running on TV for seven seasons. Then again I have so much wrong with the dysfunctional chemical fruit salad that is my brain, a porn addiction might be welcome change.

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What's The Deal With Me And Kentucky Basketball? TuneIn

Fun fact: For a short (I emphasis short) period I attended Liberty University. Yes, that Liberty University, which, given the school’s history and depending on what side of the liberal-conservative fence you’re planted on, may or may not seem like an interesting choice for perusing my degree in—I think it was political science? Who knows anymore? It was 20-some years ago, but whatever the case, apparently that one semester was enough to qualify me for frequent (mail) flyer miles on LU’s alumni donations list. (I swear, I could move to outer Mongolia and those guys would find my mailing address within a week.)

I do, however, recall without relying on raw brain math, that it was the spring of 1992. Why is this particular bit of trivia so prominent in my mind? In a word: basketball. More specifically, March Madness. Even more specifically, The East Regional Finals in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on March 28th between the Kentucky Wildcats and the Duke Blue Devils. And to be even more specific I’m referring to “The Shot.”  


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Gone Girl

I took a writing course at Rice where the instructor explained that real life couldn’t be strictly followed as the script for a novel. Real life, she contended, is “too messy” which is why the closest any writer can get is to say their novel is only based on true story.  Blog writing, of course, isn’t constrained by such conventions and is, in actuality, the ideal canvas for capturing all that messiness of real life.

If my life were a novel for instance, then Ashley and I would’ve met, fell deeply in love, and overcome crushing obstacles together on our way to a satisfyingly romantic ending. In reality, however, my life is a blog with buckets of greasy, smudgy messiness that ruin the chance at a pristine story, and in this version Ashley and I are no longer together.

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6 Things I Want My Sons to Know About My Depression [TODAY Show]

As it did to so many, the news of Robin Williams’s death came as a great shock to me. How could a man with such talent and charisma who brought me to tears, both of joy and sadness, on so many occasions be gone so suddenly? Then details of his depression came to light, and I understood. The National Alliance on Mental Illness estimates that 6.7 of American adults live with major depression, and of those, 2.6 percent, or 6.1 million people, are afflicted by bipolar disorder. I understand, because I am one of them.

When I initially informed my first wife of my diagnosis and the associated concerns I held for our three boys, she expressed strong reservations about saying anything to them. This, however, is exactly the problem for men with depression. It actually needs to be talked about more, and if I don’t talk with my sons about the twisting despair brought on by depression, who will? There’s actually a lot they need to know. So, boys, listen here:

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