Steamed Pink Salmon with Carrots and Rice

… or Barley if You Prefer:
(c) 2015, Davd

One reason i began this series under the name “Bachelor Cooking”, was that i cooked for only myself most times then, and still do now. Sausage soup, the first technique i published, is a good hearty meal that is cooked in one pot1, and keeps well in the ‘fridge: Cook once, enjoy twice, perhaps as many as five times. This steamed-fish technique, which i’m “posting” now because of the fall Pacific-salmon harvest, also cooks a meal in one pot; and much as sausage soup can be made with several kinds of sausage, this technique can be adapted to several kinds of fish, not just pink salmon.

I use the same basic technique with cod, haddock, rockfish (“red snapper” is often its name near Canada’s West Coast; but that name also applies to some different, warmer water fishes) and greenling. It might adapt well to freshwater fishes like pickerel [the one the Americans call “walleye” et les Québecois, doré], and perhaps whitefish, perch and [freshwater] bass. I tend not to use it with stronger flavoured fishes like wild Atlantic, chinook, coho, and sockeye salmon, nor with herring, mackerel or tuna… all of which fishes are better than pink salmon, cod, or haddock, when smoked. It seems there’s a distinction between medium-flavoured fishes that steam well, and stronger flavoured fishes, higher in fat content, that smoke better than they steam2.

The equipment you’ll need are a steaming basket, a cooking pot in which that steaming basket fits well, and “the usual utensils.” If you start with skin-on filets, a filet knife is best for slicing the meat off the skin. (The skin can be boiled a minute or two and given to your dog or cat. Most humans i know consider it to taste “rank.” I would not steam fish, skin-on,)

I usually steam carrots with fish: They taste good together, they cook well together, and the carrots improve the taste of the liquid under the steaming basket—in which, following this technique, you’ll be cooking rice or maybe barley. Your one-pot meal then consists of steamed fish, steamed carrots, and seasoned rice3. Cod and haddock each make a fine meal cooked this way; pink salmon is not so much my favourite, as equal to them4 and in season this month.

For the cooking liquid, i prefer vegetable stock to water. White wine, and beer, make fine cooking liquids, too5. I’d avoid stock that has a lot of beet or beet greens in it, for steaming fish. Broccoli, cabbage, carrot, celery, cauliflower, onion, and turnip are the basic stock vegetables; spinach, chard, beans and beet greens in small amounts can be fine. Beets are OK in sausage-soup and stew stock, but i’d avoid them with steamed seafood, partly because they’ll turn the grain pink.

I put 2½—3 times the volume of stock [or water] in the bottom of the pot, as i intend to add of rice. (If it’s more than three times as much, there’s a risk the rice will be more like a soup than a cooked grain you can put on a dinner plate. Fish varies in moisture content, stoves vary in how hard they boil water at any setting i can name in words; so it is not possible to state exactly what ratio of water to grain, to use.) A little oil or bacon drippings will help the flavour of the grain, and help keep it from sticking to the pot. If you have lots of chive, you can snip some into the water—or onto the grain after it has cooked.

I tend to cut the carrots lengthwise, into quarters. Very thick carrots might be cut into smaller fractions; the idea is to have 2-4 inch [5-10 cm] long pieces of carrot, about 1 cm [¼ -½ inch] thick. which you lay on the bottom of the steaming basket with spaces for the steam to rise between them. The salmon filet pieces are laid flat on top of them, so the carrots get just a little more cooking than the fish.

I sprinkle my pieces of pink salmon filet with dill weed, or tarragon, and cut chive (chopped onion will do6 but chive [even frozen chive], or in second place cut green onion, will be better.) Chive and onion should be fresh or fresh-frozen, not dried; dried dill weed and tarragon, if dried well, will do fine. (If you’re steaming cod or haddock, finely cut sage might also do.) Finally, sprinkle a little black pepper on top.

I put a volume of dry uncooked grain equal to, or less than, the volume of fish i’m cooking, into something over twice that volume of stock. Start with at least 2½ times to be sure.

You don’t need very high heat, on a gas or electric stove, to bring the stock to a boil. It’s fine, probably preferable, to put the grain in the stock before it’s heated; and moderate heat under the pot will make sticking less likely… as will that little bit of oil or bacon fat. Stir the grain when you put it in, and again a few minutes later. When the water comes to a boil, or just before—stir again. (A glass lid on your cooking pot will help you see how steamy the inside is, and how the pieces of fish are going whitish and opaque, and thus, estimate how the heating is going.)

I suggest having a metal plate to stand the steaming basket on, when you take it out of the pot to stir the rice. (A regular dinner plate will do—but you’re likely to stand that plate on a stove element some times; and if the element is hot, metal takes it better. I have an elongated stainless steel plate that i use, and have used for a few decades now.)

If the pot has a glass lid, you’ll be able to see the fish starting to cook… a good sign to stir the grain again, if you haven’t done so lately. Lower the heat to what will keep the water boiling but not wildly7. When the fish looks fully cooked, put a fork into a few of the carrot pieces; and feel if they’re cooked. (If in doubt, stir the grain, and that will indicate if it is cooked.) If in doubt, cook 2-3 minutes longer than your guess as to when it’s done, the first time you use this technique. With experience, there won’t be so much doubt.

The fish and carrots should be well cooked but not “to death”, the grain, fully soft and flavoured with the fish, carrots and stock. Sometimes i snip some chives onto the grain (and onto the fish, if i didn’t cut some on before cooking). Sometimes i put a little soy sauce on the grain, or some salsa picante if i have some in the ‘fridge. Garlic butter goes well with the fish, and rather well with the grain, especially if you’re not that fond of soy sauce.

If you cook this in a shallow pan, such as a stainless steel frying pan, you can eat it from that same pan if you’re eating alone. I prefer to use a plate. (I have a set of four French glass dinner plates and four “soup plates”, and prefer the soup plates [or my elongated stainless steel plate] to serve this meal.) With a large enough pot, i recommend you cook at least two portions (twice as much as you’ll eat alone, or more) even if you’re by yourself. Cold steamed salmon with dill and chive is delicious; the carrots and grain are also quite pleasant eaten cold.–and there’s no law against reheating them.

There are four main ways to cook salmon: Grilled, fried, steamed, and baked. Steaming is the easiest for a man eating alone, because he can cook fish, carrots, and grain in one pot. Grilling is partway to smoking, especially over a wood fire that is more coals than flames; it involves more work, grilled salmon is delicious cold, and you should plan to grill as much as your firebox will “do.” Frying is a fine way to cook stronger flavoured fishes, and is quite good for cod and pink salmon too; baking fish, i think of as belonging to the cooks who have several people at table, nearly every meal.

Also, more people, men and women, believe they know how to fry fish, than are comfortable steaming it. Steaming is if anything healthier than frying, though if you use canola oil to fry it, not much so8. I might get time to post a fried salmon or fried fish blog, later in the fall.

You’re best off being able to alternate among steaming, frying, and grilling—if you’re fortunate enough to have that much salmon. I’ve started with steaming because it’s new to more men; because you can cook a whole good meal with less work by steaming, than by frying, grilling, or baking; because pink salmon has been abundant this September and much less expensive than the other species; and because the technique adapts well to cod and haddock which are more available in the other seasons.

It’s the way i most often cook pink salmon—and cod, and haddock—myself.


1. I recommend having an apple with sausage soup, because most sausage is fairly high in saturated fat, and i’ve read that apples help keep saturated fat from becoming cholesterol deposits in your blood vessels.

2. There are very mild flavoured fishes, like goberge [pollock] that are better cooked in salsa-picante than steamed or smoked. These mildest flavoured fishes will steam and be good, but to my taste, are better with a sauce.

Almost all kinds of fish are good fried; and better covered lightly with flour or breadcrumbs. Bacon fat seems to go well for frying almost any kind of fish—but not necessarily ham fat.

3. Good gardeners should have tomatoes either still in the garden, or picked greenish and ripening indoors in a cool room or the garage; and some chives left in good condition. Very good gardeners should have a fall planting of lettuce near its prime. Thus, i tend to make a lettuce and tomato salad with a sprinkling of chive, to go with this meal.

4. Like my Acadian friend Smitty, i prefer cod ahead of haddock because “it has more of a sea taste”. That’s a personal preference.

5. I’m usually too “cheap” to use wine, but if a bottle has been sitting in the fridge for several days since it was opened, i might well use it for steaming. If beer goes flat, saving it for cooking stock [in my humble opinion] is better than either drinking it flat or pouring it down the drain. And as a home beer and wine maker, i’ve saved the water from rinsing the bottles (which i do soon after i empty them, for easy sterilizing and refilling later on), and boiled vegetable trimmings in it to make stock.

6. It should be chopped very fine (or browned lightly in canola oil or bacon fat before it goes on the fish, in which case it can be added when the fish is already cooked.)

7. If you boil the stock very hard, you might boil away enough of it that too little remains to cook the grain to the softness it should have.

8. I prefer bacon—not ham—fat for frying fish, when i have some saved in the ‘fridge. It is possible, and OK, to put a little bacon fat in with as much or more canola oil. Don’t use olive oil; from my limited experience and what i hear from professional cooks, it doesn’t perform well at temperatures high enough to brown the surface of a piece of fish—or meat.


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Poor Br. Davd’s Salmon Soup

If Salmon’s Expensive, Use This Technique.
If it’s Cheap, in this century, be pleasantly surprised!
(c) 2015, Davd

Salmon (to repeat) is wonderful food. Given its great merits, particularly as to protein and fatty acids, as the previous post detailed, it is worthwhile, in these times when salmon is no longer abundant as it was one and two centuries ago, to use every salmon you get, to the full.

“Poor Br. Davd’s Salmon Soup” is one way to use the bits and scraps from a whole salmon. Since salmon is usually scarce and costly, the happy and healthy cooks and “eaters”, if more nearly poor than rich, will make the most of those salmon they have. At this time of year, that often involves fileting many fish while the price is relatively low, and freezing most of the filets. The bones and fins aren’t so easily stored—but they can be put to use “at the time”. This is my usual way.

Not only is this soup very tasty, and differently so from grilled, steamed, [raw]salted, and fried salmon; it also raises the efficiency of your use of a whole fish—meaning the true price of the salmon you eat is a little lower. Only the wealthy can afford to ignore that.

I have watched the price of salmon, in comparison with those of beef, chicken, pork, and other fish, for a few decades at least. Not to go into confusing detail, the relative price of salmon [and of other fish] has been rising relative to other ‘meat’ prices1. Whole fish, drawn [gutted] are usually much less expensive than filets, steaks, or parts of filets: It’s worth while to buy a whole fish and make soup from the bones and fins, if you’re not wealthy.

This technique begins, then, with a whole salmon, gutted, with or without the head, and now that you’ve read about butchering cabbages, and had two years to try that, the previous post should guide you to get filets and-or steaks from the more complex anatomy of salmon.

Let’s figure that you have some salmon fins, bones after fileting, perhaps strips of belly meat and scraps left from fileting and skinning, perhaps also a head or two. The next step is to briefly boil them to make stock. It will take about as long as vegetable stock, and you can use the same vegetable trimmings, including onion. For herbs, sage, dill, liveche and-or celery, onion or chive, and tarragon are best. . The skin of the head and fin areas may be left on, but remove and discard the skin from scraps if they aren’t already skinned, and from belly meat if used. Skin can make the soup slightly rank (I’ll estimate that if you tried to make broth from salmon skin alone it would be very rank… but my dog enjoys lightly boiled salmon skin as soon as it cools. So treat your dog, or cat if you don’t have a dog.) Add salt to the bones and trimmings now, not too much but enough to help extract flavour from the bones.

Bring all these to boil with dill stems, celery or lovage stems or leafage, and sage stems or leafage if you have them; simmer 10-15 minutes. Leftover bits of onion, chive, garlic, thyme, savory, parsley, bay-leaf, and carrot trimmings, may also be simmered with the fish.

Allow the stockpot to cool, reserve2 the broth, pick the meat from the fish head, bones, and fins, collect other meat that was put to the boil, and put all that meat into the reserved broth. This is the salmon part of the soup. It can go back into the pot where you made stock, once the bones, plant scraps, and any scraps of skin have been removed.

Chop 1-2 small carrots into quite small bits, so the amount of carrot is a fifth to a quarter as much as the amount of salmon-meat; chop chives or onion, fairly fine, and perhaps parsley and celery bits (use at least dried celery leaf or seed if neither celery nor lovage was used in making the stock, and dried sage if no sage was), and add them. A pinch of black pepper or hot red pepper may be included. Bring these seasonings to boil with the fish bits and broth, and enough rice, barley, or potatoes in the broth3, to make a fairly full-bodied soup. When the grain or potatoes are cooked, the soup is ready.

The finished soup should contain enough broth to be sipped, but more body than liquid; and flecks of green [probably chive or onion tops, perhaps celery], and orange [carrot]. The broth should be rich and aromatic; the fish bits small but fairly plentiful.

This is a hearty soup comparable in menu positioning to minestrone, but far different in taste. It is made from cheap vegetables and meat [also herbage] that often gets thrown out; yet it is high in sustenance and enjoyment value. The chive, celery, and carrot can be frozen surplus from other seasons [dried lovage =liveche also substitutes for celery, and in my humble opinion is better in soups and stocks] so the soup is quite winter friendly.

You can add tomato in season, in which case hot red pepper might be preferable to black; and basil and oregano might be tried. As with many of these techniques, i’ve named several ways to vary the soup. and all the possible variations number a dozen or more. Most will be pleasant. Which you make most often, should depend on your likings and what’s in your garden.


1. … though just lately, west of Saskatchewan, beef prices are even more inflated than those of pink and perhaps coho salmon, This is likely a matter of a good wild salmon “run” this year, and i would not expect such prices to persist into next year.

2. “Reserve” is a common verb in cooking; it means “set aside in a clean container, for future use”.

3. The grain can be added any time up to when the broth begins to boil; if you add it when the broth is cold, stir a few times while it is heating. Potatoes should be added well before the broth boils, unless you brown them in bacon fat at the same time the broth heats..

To my taste, rice goes best with salmon, barley and potatoes, next best. Imaginably, you could cook pasta instead, but i’m not convinced that pasta goes well with salmon. Tuna does go well with pasta, so perhaps mackerel would also— but they are both strong flavoured in a quite different way from salmon.


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The Fall Salmon Runs:

…a Bachelor Cooking SubSeries:
(c) 2015, Davd

’round about the time the frost gets the Atlantic and Prairie tomato and cucumber plants, or shortly before, the most important wild harvest in Canadian waters, begins. Five species of Pacific salmon, the chinook, coho, sockeye, pink, and chum, enter the rivers of coastal BC in the autumn and late summer. In August, Alberta supermarkets may have some of these Pacific salmon; in past Septembers and Octobers, wild Pacific salmon was often for sale in Atlantic Canada, the pink for lower prices than the “locally farmed” Atlantic salmon. That’s why this blog appears now.

Salmon is wonderful food. The Finns, the Irish, the Miq’mac, Salish and Nuu-Chah-Nulth, the Scandinavians, knew whereof they spoke… and ate. Among the Omega fatty acids, Ω6 is rather common; while Ω3, the one found in salmon especially, is rare. Ideally, say the nutrition and health sources, the two Ω-acids should be about equally present in your diet…… and it is those who eat a lot of salmon, who can have them so equally present, naturally. No wonder those coastal Native Americans have had such vigorous cultures—they had such healthful “eats”.

Only a couple of centuries ago, very recently in evolutionary or even anthropological time, salmon were abundant in the North Atlantic and North Pacific rivers, and the bays and oceans into which they fed. Indeed, i read “somewhere”, there was a law, less than five centuries ago, that required Irish apprentices be fed something other than salmon at least two dinners a week! Today, nearly all Irish and most other apprentices would be glad indeed to be fed salmon as often as twice a week.

So this is partly preaching the ecological message that as humanity has done far too often, our species has failed to conserve the productivity of the salmon runs that fed our European, North American, and even Siberian ancestors before industrialism. Better ecological stewardship would mean more and better food, at a quite modest cost compared with “meat farming”.

Western Canada (BC) and Alaska have more left of those traditional fish runs and harvests, than Eastern Canada; while the western and eastern USA south of us have very little indeed, and Nordic Europe has lost salmon stocks roughly as badly as has Eastern Canada.

The first thing to know about the Pacific salmons, if you’re neither a fisheries biologist nor an ecoforester, is their different eating qualities. Pink salmon is usually the cheapest to buy, and has a less intense flavour, and less fat, than coho, chinook, and sockeye. Coho has a stronger salmon flavour; chinook, more fat and thus a richer flavour; both are generally considered better tasting than pink. Sockeye has the strongest, most intense flavour of the salmon species, and a high fat content; it is a very good source of Ω3. (All the salmons are good sources.) Chum salmon has the least pleasant taste to most people’s liking (it seems to be known among native peoples as “Dog salmon” because it was the species usually fed to dogs) but it can be cooked into something quite good as a casserole or sandwich spread, with herbs.

Atlantic salmon and Pacific steelhead trout have similar flavour and fat content. Wild Atlantic salmon would generally be counted as about equally enjoyable with steelhead, coho and chinook; while farmed Atlantic salmon tastes more like wild pink (but with a higher fat content.)

If you buy a whole salmon, “dressed”[gutted], it will have 10%-15% waste [skin and bones] if headless; and 25% or less waste [head, skin and bones] if head-on. The head and skin can be fed to your dog or cat, and the animal will probably consider it a treat… so the “waste” is not entirely wasted.

The first thing to do with a whole salmon—is butcher it. If the fish is fairly large, you can cut “steaks” from the front part—back to say, six inches or so before the tail. If it’s fairly small, fileting is the way to go. “Steaks” are cut crosswise—perpendicular to the backbone—usually 2 cm [¾”] to one inch [2,5 cm] thick; and the skin is left on while cooking them. A strong, fairly heavy, sharp knife will cut a salmon into steaks fairly quickly.

Most of the salmon i butcher are fileted: The meat of each side is carefully sliced from the bones, which are then put in a stock pot where the last meat left on them is cooked, The fins and their bones are then cut from the filets and added to the stock-pot. If you bought a head-on fish, the head will go into the stock-pot too. Usually, you’ll cut each filet into portions, but sometimes whole filets are grilled or even baked.

A few chefs i’ve met can actually slice a filet in one long stroke of a big chef’s knife, but if you’ve seen “fileting knives”, you’ll realize that they’re not designed for such fast work. The knife takes many short, smooth strokes along the bones, separating the meat so as to leave as little as practicable, clinging to those bones. (That meat left behind, along with the bones themselves, will give flavour and nutritional value to the stock and the soup that’s made from it.)

I usually begin by cutting through the skin next to the dorsal fin [which is at the top of the back, halfway between the head and tail]. The filet knife then slides tight alongside the bones, slicing free the meat and skin in short, smooth strokes. There are bones supporting the fins, and the backbone and ribs (a fish has far more ribs than a mammal! but they are also much thinner). Eventually, you’ll have a filet completely free of all those bones. Then you turn the fish over and do the same for the meat on the other side.

That paragraph doesn’t tell all the niceties of fileting, but if you read it a couple of times, and then maybe write or print it to have handy while learning to filet, you can work out the rest by observation and experience. Having someone experienced in fileting, present with you, will make the learning go much easier.

If the filets will be “raw” salted*, or steamed, they should be sliced free of the skin as well. If the filets will be grilled or cooked in the microwave, the skin should stay on. If they will be fried, there are techniques for filets with and without skin, but skinless works well for most frying.

You can cut the filets into portion sized pieces if they are large, or leave them whole… and to keep whole filets together, it helps to leave the skin on. If you freeze them, they should be surrounded by water, or more simply and compactly, put in a plastic bag and the air pressed out so the bag wraps the fish tightly. If you’ll use them soon, they can be refrigerated in most any good, covered, glass or food grade plastic container.

After you’ve put the filets in a refrigerator or freezer container, you have the bones, head, fins, and perhaps some skin. The skin can go to your dog or cat; you might cook it briefly in case it has bacteria or tiny parasites. The bones and fins [and head if you got the fish head-on] go into the stock-pot; and the next post in this series will be about salmon soup.

(Don’t worry, there will be ways to enjoy the filets — one of them is right below, marked *)


* Freezing salmon for at least a day, is said to kill any parasites that could harm humans. Since fish put in a freezer will take some time to freeze to -18 [0 Fahrenheit], i make that two days: If a piece of fish was frozen for two or more days before i raw-salt [gravlaks] it, i consider it safe, salt it (about one part salt to 10 parts fish by weight; less will do if you will eat it quickly), add dill or tarragon, and put it in the refrigerator for two days to “sure”. If it hasn’t been frozen, i salt it, add dill or tarragon, and put it in the freezer for two days; when it has been back out of the freezer and in the regular fridge, for one day, it’s ready to enjoy with boiled new potatoes or rye bread, a film of butter or good margarine, and onion. If you use bulb onion rather than greens or chives, slice very thin


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The Apex Fallacy

The Apex Fallacy:
..Sketching and Understanding the Distortion
(c) 2015, Davd

Here’s an exercise to help us understand how Feminists (some of them male!) can seriously believe men are privileged when we plainly are disadvantaged, why so many girls (and even boys) go into debt for college and university studies that won’t get them a job, and maybe even why so many people buy lottery tickets. Doing the exercise should help your learning by including experience—your own experience.

Name a few dozen, even a hundred people you know about but don’t know from meeting them in person. If you have time, actually write down names until you’ve listed at least fifty.

Most readers of this site are men and boys: You’ll likely list some political leaders, some sports stars, and despite listing a few especially good-looking women, a majority of men*.

Women writing their lists are likely to list more women and men, more men… and those of the opposite sex will probably be much more attractive, on average, than those who are of the same sex. Nothing unusual about that: Most people’s non-erotic time is spent more with their own sex than the opposite, we notice people who share our interests and some of those interests are mostly male or mostly female; and we notice people who attract us sexually, or could, more than those who don’t. That’s what attractive means.

Something else that’s normal: We notice the rich and privileged far out of proportion to their numbers and percentage of the total population—and men tend to notice more rich and privileged men; women, more rich and privileged women1. The Apex Fallacy combines these two biases: The attractive, the rich, the powerful, and the privileged are a far larger proportion of those we notice, than they are of the population. (We notice more ordinary people who are near us, because they are near; while we notice the spectacular, even from afar… and the ordinary people who are also far off, don’t get noticed.)

Television and “the flicks” don’t correct this misperception; they tend to reinforce it. People who watch them much more than i do, report that they present viewers with a biased sample of humanity: Better looking, wealthier, and more powerful than average. I can believe that report, partly because i did see an hour or two of the very famous, average looking, working class television series “All in the Family”, featuring Archie Bunker. Those characters were indeed less attractive-looking, powerful, and wealthy, than what i recall as the average of television personages.

So unless we discipline ourselves, our image of “humanity” will be biased—we’ll think the impressive make up a much larger part of the population than they really do. We’ll think other people enjoy more “good looks,” more power, more privilege, more wealth, than on average, they really do. That’s why it’s called the Apex Fallacy: Those at the top [apex] of the distribution of attractiveness, of power, of privilege, and of wealth, get our attention out of proportion to their numbers; and that biases our impression of the human condition upwards.

Stereotypically, men are drawn to attractive women and women to rich and powerful men2. In both cases, the Apex Fallacy gives us a false—an upwardly biased—impression of “average”. If a woman were presented with a random sample of 1000 men from the population of her countrymen, she would almost certainly be surprised how few were rich, powerful—even especially attractive. Likewise, if a man were presented with a random sample of 1000 women from the population of his country, he would almost certainly be surprised how few were impressively attractive.

Methinks rural and small-town people are less subject to the Apex Fallacy than city dwellers. They see, day to day, more people who they know and fewer who they don’t. So women who are good but not impressively attractive, are more likely to enjoy appreciation outside the big cities; as are good men who are neither powerful nor wealthy. As Satchel Paige said many years ago, “Take it easy—the fast life ain’t restful”—and he was impressive in playing major league baseball to an older age than most. His advice might be worth some attention.

The Apex Fallacy also leads to a mistaken rendering of history—“historical figures” are top figures. Describing Europe after the fall of the (Western) Roman Empire, Wells (1949) wrote,

It is not, perhaps, true to say that the world became miserable in these ‘dark ages’ to which we have now come; much nearer the truth is it to say that the violent and vulgar fraud of Roman imperialism, that world of politicians, adventurers, landowners and financiers, collapsed into a sea of misery that was already there. [pp 558-9]

Typically, history books have related the doings of kings and queens rather than those who fed, clothed and served them; and battles from the perspective of the generals rather than the soldiers—thus reinforcing the Apex Fallacy. I favour Wells’ Outline of History because he doesn’t—at least, not as badly as the average history book.

The Apex Fallacy has been mentioned, as an important phenomenon, in The Misandry Bubble…but not defined. Bernard Chapin claimed to have coined the term in 2008:

… a new term for the fallacious way by which feminists comprehend the nature of our social structure. The phrase “Apex Fallacy” sprung to mind as it elucidates fully the inaccurate fashion by which they assess the status of women in America. The error in their thinking arises from a collective refusal to acknowledge that the vast majority of male workers toil in the nether regions of our economy. These hordes of men—who make possible feminist lives of leisure—are totally invisible to the harridans who compare women, on aggregate, to the rich and famous alone. Indeed, when judging female progress, juxtaposition is only made with those males at the apex of our status hierarchy. It seems that feminists can discern none but the elite.

Chapin’s definition is somewhat more extreme, more all-or-none, than what i’ve written above. In proposing a first rendition of how the fallacy comes to be, and what it does to our impression of others and of “average” i’ve described a quantitative rather than discrete phenomenon. Feminists do not deny the existence of garbage collectors and loggers, i expect; but they notice them much less, relative to their actual proportion of the population of men, than they notice elite and High-Status men… and as men notice impressive women more than mediocre women, relative to their actual proportions of the population.*

I would not go so far as to write that Feminism is the result of the Apex Fallacy; but it is clear enough that the fallacy contributed to many women’s acceptance of the very false notion that “men are privileged”, rather than that acting to correct that notion.

When Feminists write of “male privilege,” and we know very well that women are on average, more privileged than we men—the Apex Fallacy may be a reason for some women to sincerely believe in that “male privilege”: They do not notice many, if any, ordinary men. They notice privileged men because those are the men “at the apex.”3 … and compared to their mistaken view of the economic status distribution of men, their greater awareness of ordinary women, leads to the conclusion that men are privileged.

When women consider marriage, the Apex Fallacy leads them to expect a more powerful, wealthier husband than realistically, they can get. Only a few women will be lucky enough to “catch” a man as good as their biased perception of the population of men, leads them to expect. Many women, it seems, keep looking until their own “looks” fail them, where most women in earlier generations became realistic in time to accept a husband of approximately equal social standing. Those women who keep looking too long, could be counted as victims of the Apex Fallacy.

When men “date”, the Apex Fallacy may be a reason for many of us to expect more “looks” than average. If men expect, on average, better “looks” than women have, on average—most men will be disappointed relative to their mistaken expectations. This disappointment, combined with growing awareness of men’s disadvantages in divorce law4, has led many men to avoid marriage; i have heard this especially from men in their 20s.

Marriage and “supporting a family” are major incentives for men to work longer hours and take less appealing jobs, than they would need to support themselves. When i read or hear that young men today don’t have a good work ethic, i ask myself, “Is what work ethic they have, good enough to earn the subsistence they need as single men?” If it is, then a combination of Feminist lobbying success and the Apex Fallacy, by convincing young men that marriage is too risky or not worthwhile, is very plausibly the immediate cause of that decline in diligence. Ordinary workers of both sexes, can’t be expected to think, or be motivated, in societal or macro-economic terms.

.. which may be why the two most recent mentions of the Apex Fallacy i found via a search engine, by “Kid Strangelove” in 2014 and Rollo Tomassi in 2015, were both about how to look and act Alpha [elite] and succeed at dating. There will be readers for their advice, and some of those readers will benefit5; but the importance of the fallacy as a basis for misandry, surely, is much more important. It may be a good thing if a few more men who want to, can succeed with the hypergamous women who insist on “Alphas” (and outnumber them); but it is much more important that men overall, who are not privileged, get treated accordingly—that if there be “Affirmative Action” programs they favour men in fields where women are already more numerous, help boys in schools where girls are already doing better, etc.

So how to fix the “Apexpectations”? Living in a small rural village seems to be one way; and i got the impression that an Acadian village where i spent several years, was realistic in its perceptions of the local distributions of human “looks”, power, and wealth; as was a rural neighbourhood on Vancouver Island, on the opposite edge of Canada. The Apex Fallacy seems to be more an urban phenomenon.

Even in a large city, belonging to a fairly diverse community within that city can bless one with realism.

Standing in a good church in Edmonton, i noticed dozens of married and premarital couples standing there with me; and just as a quite small minority of the men looked rich or powerful, so a quite small minority of the women looked impressively attractive. Yet the couples seemed happy with one another: The community of the church had given them a clearer view of the real distributions of human “looks”, power, and wealth; and the teachings they were there to honour told them that joy did not depend on any of the three. Freed from the Apex Fallacy, at least for the most part, they were happier with realistically humble ambitions.

The Apex Fallacy generates too-high expectations. Modest truth brought them more happiness.

But there remain millions of women who aren’t aware of the bias the Apex Fallacy represents, thousands of ideologues who won’t admit it, millions of men who think they’re privileged and are ashamed how little success they’ve got from privileges they really don’t have. Men deserve the benefit of the truth; ideologues deserve the shame they’ve been loading onto men unfairly.

This is a serious blog, an initial essay on a subject that may well merit more attention in the near future. It’s intended didactically, to give readers an awareness that the Apex Fallacy is real, and how it comes to be. It shouldn’t be the last word or the last one or two thousand words, on the subject; i have only suggested, not nearly detailed, how it affects the mistakes we make about the social world around us or specifically, about “gender relations.” It does seem to be involved in women believing the false notion that men are privileged; and it might be involved in men thinking they are low-down members of a privileged sex when they’re actually average members of an underprivileged sex.

Chapin, if his website is indeed the first place the Apex Fallacy was named, gave us the phrase and a basically sound but overly discrete expression. The Misandry Bubble made the concept widely known. This blog has made a plausible case for its general existence and psychological basis.. Now what shall we do to further develop our understanding of its effects—the examples above are only a start—and perhaps start correcting those mistakes based on a better awareness of their fallacious foundation?


* I did the exercise, myself, in June, and found the greatest difficulty was not to list people i have met, even corresponded with or spoken with over the ‘phone. … for instance, i listed one author and then had to remove his name because we have exchanged e-mails.

Most of the ordinary people i know about, i have “met” at least to that extent. I could name one of my friend Smitty’s brothers, the other, i have met fairly often. I could name a man who posted his name on the premises of his business, another who a friend patronizes and i don’t—but most of those i know by name, i have met. I know there are men who pick up the garbage and drive the snow plows, but not their names. I saw the names of the women who are bank tellers and government front desk sitters, on their desks, but since their dealings with me were stereotyped, i forgot most of them—and anyway, in some sense i have “met” them and so should leave them off the list.

The proportion of men on the list below is more than twice the proportion of women, despite the fact that i correspond and speak with men i know less well. Using the impressionistic categories “Elite” (top 1%), High Status (next 10-15%) and Workers (remaining ≥85%), i counted among those i named 20% Elite vs 1% of population; 62% High vs 10-15%; 18% workers vs at least 85%. (That exaggerates my bias toward noticing apex personages, because i named only people i have not met; and those i have met are much more like the general population in social status. Still—if i do not discipline myself to correct for the Apex Fallacy, it will mislead me, badly, as to the average human condition.)

Names tended to come in related groups—related by subject matter (writers, political figures, church figures, musicians, …) by sound of the name (Lazare Breau, then B R Merrick). I didn’t think of one “jock” — despite the women’s World Cup and the usual baseball scores coming over the radio. Didn’t remember the name of the disgraced FIFA chief, either. The ‘jocks’ i remember, like [Olympic Judo medalist] Mitch Kawasaki, i have met.

Often i thought of someone whose name i didn’t immediately recall, like the successor to Bishop Vienneau. And of course, many more names occur to me since listing those 50: The present and retired Pope, premiers like Rachel Notley and Christine “Yogi” Clark whose names didn’t come instantly to mind,—and notice that these names remembered after the exercise, are also mostly prominent personages rather than ordinary folks.

1. Doubt that? How many men notice ballet stars or fashion gurus by name? How many sports stars does an average women notice? and what fraction of them, are women? (Compared to an average man, she notices fewer sports stars and more of those she does notice are women.)

2. Women are also drawn to impressively attractive men. Some men are drawn to rich and powerful women, some ain’t.

3. The women who believe Feminist rhetoric seem more likely to be sincerely mistaken; those who write and speak it, more likely to be slyly tendentious.

4. In The Misandry Bubble, the author writes: “I cannot recommend ‘marriage’, as the grotesque parody that it has become today, to any young man living in the US, UK, Canada, or Australia. There are just too many things outside of his control that can catastrophically ruin his finances, emotions, and quality of life.“

5…. I’m not sure how many will benefit in lifetime terms, given the dangers of STDs.

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Summer Salsa Variations:

…With Fresh Tomatoes and Herbs:
(c) 2015, Davd

In Edmonton, where i am now, most home gardens have just begun producing ripe tomatoes in quantity; and most Atlantic Canadian gardens are probably at or near the same stage. Summer Salsa variations feature uncooked tomatoes, chives—and in real summertime, even cilantro1.

My basic technique for making salsa from canned diced tomatoes was posted two autumns ago; click here to go to it. It calls for onion “to taste”; some celery, celery leaf, or liveche; one flat to slightly rounded tablespoon of chili powder; and one slightly rounded teaspoon each of cumin and paprika, per 28 ounce [796 ml] can of diced tomatoes.

Using fresh tomatoes, you can cut them up on a cutting-board, with a knife; or quarter them and let a food processor chop them for several seconds. (For an ordinary sized batch of salsa, i prefer to cut them up by hand, because it’s a hassle to wash a food processor.) I slice each tomato about 1 cm to half an inch thick, then cut the slices into strips, turn the cutting-board, and cut the strips into “diced tomatoes.” If you’re used to making salsa from canned diced tomatoes, you know how full one can fills your pot, so cut up about the same amount and use the same amounts of chili powder, cumin, and paprika… unless you’re sure you want a bigger batch, in which case, scale up all ingredients proportionately.

Instead of onions, if you have a herb garden, you can use a fairly generous amount of chives, cut a centimetre or shorter. A knife on a cutting-board will do this work, but i prefer kitchen scissors (which are sharper and more precise than “kitchen shears”. Mine are Fiskars brand, made in Finland, and have served me well for decades.2. I also use a Fiskars vegetable-knife that i bought decades ago at a yard sale, and it has served me well at least as long—but knives are simpler than scissors.) Chives brighten the salsa with their green colour, and i prefer the flavour to that of regular onions3. Green onion tops are second best.

Those kitchen scissors will also cut up thawed tomatoes in the winter—you can literally dump the soggy textureless thawed tomatoes into the pot and cut them up there with the scissors! It takes a little longer than using a food processor; but there’s a lot of fuss to cleaning a food processor, so i prefer the scissors.

Another variation, if you’re using fried onions, is to fry them in chicken fat if you saved some from boiling a chicken or frying chicken legs. Chicken fat gives a flavour to salsa that i find agreeable—especially if i’m eating salsa and barley or rice, with chicken meat. (I myself don’t find pork or beef fat as appealing in salsa, and they are considered less healthy as well.)

If you grow sweet peppers in your garden and have a surplus, you might try adding some to the salsa… (but in Canada outside southern BC and southern Ontario, maybe the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia, that’s not likely.)

The most obvious, and many of you will likely consider the best variation, is to use fresh cilantro at this time of year. You can reduce the amount of cumin you put in your salsa, perhaps even skip cumin altogether, when using cilantro.

Given the many combinations possible among fresh vs. canned tomatoes, chive vs. chopped onion, cilantro vs. cumin vs. both, and perhaps adding sweet peppers, Canadian readers will probably run out of summer before you’ve tried them all. I suggest that fresh tomatoes are the first variation to try, as soon as your garden produces more tomatoes than your household can eat them fresh… but you might find some summers, that you have cilantro ready before you have a surplus of tomatoes; and if you have a big stand of chives, you can start using them in May or June.

What you know of your likes and dislikes will probably guide what variations you choose, and that’s appropriate. Sometimes, the experience of good cooks shows, a combination you tried for the heck of it turns out to be superb, or one you expected would be superb, isn’t. In the case of salsa variations, i expect they’ll always be fit to eat, and those with fresh tomatoes, fit to repeat and to prefer while the abundance lasts.


1. Most summers that i’ve had a garden, i’ve picked red tomatoes even after the first light frosts (during which they were covered with tarps or old fabric [curtain, bedsheet] that was also used as “drop cloths” when painting walls and ceilings.) At the first real freeze, there were usually dozens of green tomatoes to bring inside and allow to ripen in a cool room. So—i had home grown tomatoes later into the autumn, than fresh cilantro.

2. I’ve had less luck with Fiskars and other “good brands” made in China, especially garden shears. My guess is that Finnish industrial discipline is very good; Chinese, so-so.

3. Chives can be frozen for winter use if you have the freezer space. Cut them about the same length—a centimetre or shorter, or about a quarter inch in UK/US measure—and freeze them in food grade plastic containers such as margarine or ice cream tubs. Plastic flexes when thawed, making it easier to get the last of those chives out of the container. I’d say 4-8 litres of cut chives, per person in the household, is the right amount to freeze for one Canadian winter—but if you’re not used to cooking with frozen chive, or you haven’t yet built up a good stand of chive plants, you might freeze less.


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Don’t Be Proud—or Ashamed—of Your Genes:

You Didn’t Make Them.
(c) 2015, Davd

Once upon a time, a young woman gave birth to a baby boy, but as the baby grew, he didn’t develop as his older cousins had done. He was lethargic, slow to learn, insensitive to pain, hard of hearing—but he would eat almost anything. Eventually, she learned, her toddler had something called Prader-Willi Syndrome, and it was genetically based.

Her mother, the baby’s grandmother, searched the Internet and “found that the syndrome was Larry’s fault,” which in Grandmother’s mind, exonerated her daughter. To me, what she located seemed more to show that Grandmother wanted to be proud of her genes and her daughter’s. Larry [not his real name] had not known he carried any genes for that syndrome or any other seriously damaging medical conditions. He himself was healthy and intelligent… as was their other son.

So Larry shouldn’t be ashamed of his genes, nor Grandmother proud of hers. Genes aren’t made by our actions, they are received from our ancestors, who didn’t make them either*. Most, probably all genetic adverse syndromes, are not caused by the sins of the parents of children born with them. They come as dreadfully bad luck; and it is mercy when those around, intervene with help rather than blame.

Those of us who know they carry a serious genetic defect, have some responsibility not to pass it on—once they know. Larry might be wise to have a vasectomy, if indeed what Grandmother found on the Internet does show that he carries a gene for Prader-Willi Syndrome. Prader-Willi is a heavy burden on those around the afflicted person; best that people who might produce Prader-Willi children, not produce children at all. But this is no shame on Larry—because he did not make his genes, he received them from his ancestors; and until his child was diagnosed with Prader-Willi, he did not know.

There is another, better reason than pride, for sires to be fathers: Though we did not make our genes, we do transmit them. A child has more in common, biologically, with his or her father, than with a man who is unrelated. The father’s understanding of his own child will be better, on average, than that of a man who shares fewer genes—because more of the child’s nature, is shared with his.

Don’t be ashamed, nor proud, of your genes—but recognize they are important. Genes in common aren’t all there is to children being safer, and developing better, with their natural fathers than in any other kind of family—but they are an important part of the value of fathers.


* I’m not David Suzuki [who is a geneticist] and don’t know just how genes came to be. I have read repeatedly, that all higher animals have genes, as do higher plants; and that “evolution” refers to their selection by way of differential reproduction. Prader-Willi children do not reproduce; the syndrome includes not experiencing puberty. Choosing not to sire or bear children if one carries a gene for Prader-Willi, amounts to deliberate selection against one’s own set of genes—or one could say, applying intelligence to replace the harsher effects of having a Prader-Willi child.


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Johnny-Canuck Pot Roast

..Something good, reliable, hearty, economical, even fairly quick:
(c) 2015, Davd

Readers in this year 2015 don’t need me to tell you that beef is outrageously expensive compared to pork or poultry. What beef i buy is chosen substantially based on price—and i do like to eat beef. So even in early summer, i bought a “blade roast” about 850g [slightly less than two pounds] in weight, for “last day reduced price” and when i got it back to camp*, popped it into the freezer. It came back out of the freezer before long, and one cool late afternoon and early evening, became a very satisfying meal.

“Yankee Pot Roast” used to be famous; but i’m not a Yankee and none of my Yankee friends ever taught me that technique. This particular roast was cut fairly thin—about 3 cm—as is common in Acadian food stores. I had a good supply of herbs, an onion and some carrots, and some vegetable stock… and of course, some pot barley. (Pearl barley will do fine, too, or you can use potatoes—even pasta, but that’s a little trickier).

A pot roast should be “seared”, or cooked briefly in a hot, preferably cast iron pan, to brown the flat sides; and then it should be simmered. I had a big enough, tall enough stainless steel frying pan, that i was able to sear the beef in a smaller, cast-iron pan and then transfer it to the big pan while i briefly browned the chopped onion on the cast iron. I used less than half of one medium onion and the result was good; more onion, or cutting in chive in addition would have been good also, perhaps a little better.

With the beef, vegetable stock, and some cut-up carrots in the big frying pan, there was room for everything, and also for the onion and barley to come—which there would not have been in the searing pan. If you have a really big cast-iron frying pan or “Dutch oven”, you can and should leave the pot roast in that pan from start to finish1.

I then added first about ¾ cup of uncooked barley, then a third of a cup of salted wild mushrooms, then oregano, liveche, and pepper. Thus the usual herb-spice checklist was covered: Strong Herb [Oregano], Celery [Liveche], Onion, and Pepper.. Mushrooms are optional; i happened to know that these salted Lactarii go well with beef and grain.

The big frying pan, with beef, grain, carrot, onion, spices, and vegetable stock, was then simmered for a half hour or perhaps a bit longer. A simmer, remember, is a gentle, slow boil.

The taste was delicious: The meat, full-flavoured and tender to chew, the barley, rich with the flavours it absorbed as it swelled while cooking, the broth, rich and full without any added “soup powder”. While i do very much enjoy a good beefsteak, especially grilled over the coals of a wood fire2, a well cooked pot roast also qualifies as a top-quality dinner, and the meat to make it usually costs much less.

The mushrooms are optional. Ordinary grocery store mushrooms will do fine, as will most of the stronger flavoured wild mushrooms… or you can leave them out. Cabbage and turnips are also optional, and i didn’t include either this time—but my vegetable stock included turnip flavour, which may have contributed to the good result.

Carrots, onion, and beef are not optional. You could substitute potatoes for the barley; but i myself like barley better, with simmered or boiled beef; and potatoes don’t protein-balance as well with red meat as grain does. The barley absorbs the meat and vegetable stock flavours as it cooks, which is why barley is so good in beef stews3 and with pot roasts.

(The best protein-balance for potatoes is “dairy”—milk or cheese. Baked or mashed potatoes with cheese can be delicious, especially with chives snipped a half centimetre to a quarter inch long, on top. My chef friend Soren used to add milk to potatoes when mashing them. Fried potatoes, whether shredded before frying or fried in slices, are very good with cheese melted on top and some chive snipped onto the cheese just as it melts.).

But that combination—potatoes and cheese—should be the subject of another blog. Beef and barley and some onion and carrot, the beef seared and the onion lightly browned before it’s all simmered with some herbs of your choice (and optionally, cabbage, mushrooms and turnip)—that’s a fine pot-roast, a meal you can cook any time of year and enjoy as leftovers if you haven’t enough guests or housemates to eat it up the day it’s cooked.


* I was preparing to relocate for prostate cancer treatment, so my home of 9 years had become “camp.”

1. I have one, but it hadn’t been used in months and would have needed cleaning and seasoning before i could have cooked in it without off-flavours—so i used two pans.

2. The best woods for grilling meat tend to be from trees that produce food: Apple, cherry, hickory and maple are famous. Alder wood also is widely known as a good barbecue wood. Don’t use pine!—or any wood high in pitch or turpentine content.

3. A beef stew usually contains more grain or potatoes relative to meat, and the meat is cut up into cubes; the techniques are otherwise quite similar. Pot roast very often yields leftover meat, after the grain and vegetables are all eaten, which can be made into sandwiches with mustard or perhaps mayonnaise.


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The Stink Bomb

.. an Old Man’s Reflection on Civil Disobedience:
(c) 2015, Davd

Though i never experienced one myself, i remember them well, announced over school Public Address speakers and local radio stations back in the middle of the 20th Century; and i remember laughing when they were. In their best efforts at proper, even prim “Naughty! Naughty!” tones of voice, The Authorities admitted that their imposed routines had again been disrupted by—a Stink Bomb. Much as they may have been pained to speak aloud to the public, that childish slang word stink, there was no other short clear phrase to use. “A malodorous improvised device” was too formal and circumflatulent; the less intelligent—or to be clearer, the stupider members of the audience might not understand, might even go to see what on earth that long fancy phrase really meant.

Nobody wants to go to a stink.

… which, of course, is why there were boys1, probably small groups of boys, who made and “planted” them. Once a stink bomb “went off” there was nothing to do but get everyone safely away from it. “The Authorities” could not maintain their imposition of their chosen routines in the presence of a well planted, big bad stench… and for many boys, literally “making a big stink” was funny.

Notice, though, please: No one killed, no one injured. The damage a Stink Bomb did was cleaned up fairly quickly by a competent janitor, and perhaps some few people felt they had to wash some of their clothing. The purpose was to disrupt imposed routines, and frankly, the Stink Bombs achieved it efficiently and with a minimum of what now gets called “collateral damage.” Civil Disobedience is the harshest term you can fairly apply to a well-placed Stink Bomb.

Civil Disobedience, in a genuine democracy, is often punished but never severely. The usual charge is mischief, not some crime. Rarely, “the authorities” will concede that the purpose of some act of Civil Disobedience is indeed worthy—that what was disrupted should and could be improved upon—and decide not to punish at all.

To criminalize nonviolent, efficient Civil Disobedience is to confess yourselves a tyranny.

I don’t recall Stink Bombs ever becoming even daily events. It does, after all, take quite a lot of work to make and plant one. To some extent, those Stink Bombs probably did keep school authorities especially from making things even less boy friendly than they already were. Democracy depends on the consent of the governed, and in schools especially, where the governed could not vote, Stink Bombs were a way of saying non-consent. Even the boys who made them were willing to conform to most of the rules, most of the time. Civil Disobedience is part of democracy when the authorities go astray—and “the authorities” too, are sinners who fall well short of perfection.

In political conflicts, similar tactics express dissent but not with authorities. Either the “loggers” or the “environmentalists” in British Columbia, back around the turn of the century when their disputes were important public political theatre, managed an elegant variation on the Stink Bomb: They arranged to get liquid manure spread all over the Provincial Legislature lawn a day or two before the other side was to have a rally there. The manuring had actual merit as landscape maintenance, and for those walking past on the paved pedestrian walkways2, the stink was minimal. For those standing any length of time on the lawn, it was “somewhat worse”, and sitting on the lawn, a common protester’s way to rest, was, er, precluded.

… and like those Stink Bombs in schools and occasionally in places of pompous ceremony, it was funny, at least to those who agreed with the perpetrators rather than the ceremony. Civil Disobedience is in essence, emphatic, attention demanding dissent. Humour improves it.

I don’t recall, if i ever knew, how those Stink Bombs were made. Many things stink; many techniques exist for distributing them uh, quickly. I would count a large plastic bag of liquid manure, dropped somehow onto a stage just before the Premier is to walk up to the podium and announce that funds for medical cannabis for PTSD veterans, will be redirected to support later abortions, to be a Stink Bomb and one well deserved3. But so would be a sulfurous device whose stench is quite different. Just don’t set the theatre on fire: Good Stink Bombs are efficient4.

Perhaps the Stink Bomb example will inspire other, similarly efficient ways of Civil Disobedience that improve on Stink Bombs for many purposes and occasions. I wouldn’t want it to be the only way to dissent from unwelcome “authority” with a minimum of damage done; better there be several.

Several violent ways of dissent have become far more common in this century than they were in the middle of the last. Stink Bombs that were often Civil Disobedience5, in contrast, showed much of the discipline and focus that marked the hunting teams of primitive human societies. Activists can learn from those “naughty, naughty” boys—and for all i know, some of them were those boys.

Better a Stink Bomb than a car bomb, a suicide bomb, or some kind of chemical poison or germ-warfare. Democracy is not puppetry, and voting is not all there is to it. Good if we can improve on those old Stink Bomb pranks; good too, if we recognize that they were better than many of the conflict techniques that have come later.


1. I never heard of girls making or planting stink bombs. In those mid-20th Century days, i doubt any girls did. Today? who knows? but it does seem that stink is more men’s than women’s work: How many women garbage collectors do you see? How many Feminists are demanding gender parity in that job? How many silly references have you heard to the husband’s rather than the wife’s duty to “take out the garbage”?

It may be worth adding, that women’s bodies are equally capable of stinking, perhaps more so—but working with things that stink is not Ladylike, and as Elaine Morgan wrote in 1972: “We’re all turning into ladies; and while people have sometimes jocularly debated ‘Do women make good mothers?’ nobody’s ever bothered to ask ‘Do ladies make good mothers?’ because the question obviously didn’t apply. Well, it applies now, and henceforth increasingly.” (The Descent of Woman: London[UK]: Souvenir Press. p. 249)

2. Ah! the uncertainties of Canadian English! In US-English they are sidewalks, in British English, “pavements”.

3. This is a secular website, but i am permitted to acknowledge myself a Christian, and my Christian faith considers convenience abortions to be evil… as i have explained in secular terms in an earlier blog.

4. As i draft this blog, a series of bomb threats have disrupted the WestJet airline… so let me say “loud and clear” that a Stink Bomb on an airplane in flight is much more damaging than the same Stink Bomb would be among the same number of people in a meeting room or a restaurant. It might even cause serious sickness…. and an airplane is not a public place such as Civil Disobedience normally chooses. There are good ecological reasons to question today’s extensive air travel; but i couldn’t call a Stink Bomb in flight, a non-violent nor an efficient way to convey them.

5. I’m not certain of this recollection, but it seems to me that once or twice, Stink Bombs were used to disrupt school examinations and the suspicion was, that they were planted by students who didn’t feel ready to take the tests.


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Misandry for Profit:

The “Jackass Formula” in Television Programming
(c) 2011, 2015, Davd*

There’s a powerful, subtle irony when Feminists attack capitalism. Capitalist funding [and through funding, substantial control] of television, was one of the first major supporters of feminism and female supremacism, if in a very backhanded way. The first widespread misandric themes in 20th Century mass media were—as best one can estimate—framed, choreographed and broadcast to pander to women’s control over—shopping.

Capitalism tends to have a narrow social focus: It pays too much attention to the money and too little to the “side effects”.

As television became widespread, programming was soon guided by the Profit Motive: The programs that were broadcast were those that advertisers would pay the most to broadcast. There were some social-policy restrictions, such as “no pornography where and when children might watch”, “don’t insult people’s race or religion”; and some imprecise restrictions on violence. These restrictions probably caused more “domestic situation comedy” programs to be shown than would have “aired” without them.

Advertisers pay for television—as they pay for any advertising medium—because they expect to get more profit from increased sales, than they pay out. They aim their advertisements, and choose the programs with which to broadcast them, with shoppers in mind. Excellent television content that does not appeal to shoppers, is a “bad bet” for most advertisers.

(The iron tonic named “Geritol” [a name derived from the Latin word for old age] sponsored Lawrence Welk’s dance music programs. The people dancing were mostly grey-haired. So, we may suppose, was the viewer population, since the makers of Geritol felt that the “Welk show” sold enough seniors’-anti-anaemia tonic to justify sponsorship.)

“Domestic situation comedies” were perhaps the commonest type of programming. They were mostly free of taboo erotica; they were nominally pro-family, but they were not very respectful of husbands. Why not?—because of the money. As regular comment-poster “Rebel” wrote on the Spearhead site,

T.V. will continue to cater to women unless men start outspending women1..

Men shop less than women and have done as long as i’ve been alive. The TV programming aimed at men—sports, especially—tended to be sponsored by the likes of shaving products and beers. There’s a lot less money spent on shaving products and beer, than on all the things women buy, especially food, housekeeping supplies (they called some programs soap operas, for a reason), and women’s clothing. (Ever go through the print advertisements in “content-analysis mode”, counting up the amount of space given to women’s vs. men’s clothing?)

So who did it pay the advertiser to please? Husband or wife?

After World War II, as television was becoming common, came the “Baby Boom”. Women love babies, and prosperity enabled men to support nuclear families without their wives having to earn money. Housewives became the chief shoppers and television programming catered to them—because they were the ones who spent the most money. not men.)

As a student or junior professor in the 1960s or ’70s—i no longer remember just when—i first read the phrase “The Jackass Formula”, meaning that husbands were portrayed as bumbling fools and wives as smarter and wiser. It referred to the conventional structure of “domestic situation comedies”, and the obvious reason why television programming followed it,was that the advertisers wanted to please the main household spenders—who were wives.

Since “The Simpsons” is better known to most readers than the television programming of decades past, i’ll quote a passage i read recently about that program:

‘The Simpsons’ follows the middle-class, Springfield-dwelling Simpson family. Homer Simpson is the caring but moronic head of the household, who works at the Springfield nuclear power plant for maniacal Springfield billionaire Montgomery Burns. His wife Marge puts up with his constant hair-brained ploys which have taken the family around the world and in contact with celebrities, famous athletes, and even presidents of the United States. Lisa is a know-it-all who’s dream is to become the first woman president and save the world of all its evils. Unlike his idealistic sister, Bart is a troublemaker at Springfield Elementary, always avoiding the bullies with his best friend Milhouse. Maggie is the youngest Simpson, always sucking on her pacifier, and who regularly seems to be forgotten by her family which gives her time to explore and cause her own mischief.

[accessed 14 October 2011]

Fair characterization of men vis-a-vis women? Not at all. It would be just silly fun satire, if there were as many programs showing men as wiser and smarter, and women as silly-goofy—but are there?

Nathanson and Young (Spreading Misandry: The Teaching of Contempt for Men in Popular Culture Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2001) go well beyond saying “no, there aren’t,” but they do say: Mass media content, in the late 20th Century, was strongly misandric on average. Nathanson and Young examine the ideology and influence of misandric Feminists; but do they explain why capitalist television networks and sponsors played the misandric game?

Shopping seems to provide that explanation. Cheap shots at men, sadly, seem to have made big money for television producers and sponsors.

There’s much more to misandry than pandering to the shoppers’ dollars. We can ask why shoppers—why any women, any men, would be more motivated to watch demeaning depictions of another sex, or another race,.. and to some extent better content, better chanacterizations did appeal to many. Many more, it seemed, were fooled by the Jackass Formula… or at least, entertained enough to watch the commercials.

The commercials motivated television producers and sponsors to denigrate men and call it humour2, to make misandry so common on TV as to give a sort of public legitimacy to female supremacism; until by the beginning of this century, with the lobbying of Feminist ideologues to direct it politically and legally, it had spread to real life.


* This essay was published originally on the Spearhead website in October 2011, when that site was very active. The language has remained “current as of 2011”; with some edition near the end: The focus on 20th Century television contains the basic argument, which has not changed in the past four years. It is posted here on everyman now, because access to the Spearhead site has recently been unreliable.

1. The url was “” I did not make it a link because since Spearhead became inactive, having the link would lead many browsers to display the text, crossed-out.

2. It’s worth remembering, that a TV audience containing tens of millions of shoppers, meant at least as many millions of dollars spent on programming and advertising. Those misadric “domestic situation comedies”, were very cleverly scripted and staged. Their misandry was sly more than ugly—and men often “kid” each other somewhat similarly (but usually not “when the Ladies are present.”) What was distinctive to “The Jackass Formula”, was that there was little or no balancing “funny misogyny”—women were portrayed as better than men.


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Violence and “Real Men”

Two Lessons from Human Evolution
(c) 2011*, Davd

Human nature formed in hunting and gathering societies, where all adults were producers. Men hunted (e.g Harris, 1989: 278-281), and mostly they hunted co-operatively. Women gathered—foraged roots, berries, and sometimes other edible or useful parts of the natural environment. Most of what they gathered were plants or parts of plants.

Human evolution shifted from being primarily biological to being primarily cultural “at some point during the last 100,000 years, and perhaps only within the last 40,000 years” (Lenski, Lenski and Nolan, 1991: 92) while big-game hunting as men’s work and gathering as primarily women’s work began much earlier (ibid.: 89-90). Hunting shaped men’s nature, and gathering shaped women’s1.

Hunting is inherently violent. Those neat styrofoam trays of meat in the supermarket contain cut-up portions of the dead bodies of animals. A few days ago i spent 3-4 hours turning 47 recently killed mackerel into stored meat; i have killed and butchered fish and game many times, and farm animals a few times. As the meat providers in prehistoric human societies, men used violence to feed their communities. Real men are violent—but disciplined and restrained in our use of violence. Lack of discipline can cause injury, and it can cause tainted meat.

Undisciplined men don’t have the reproductive—the evolutionary—fitness of disciplined men. Men who resort to undisciplined violence have lost some of their humanity. They are not “real men” in the full sense. For anyone, and especially for a Feminist purporting to be expert, to describe a violent rampage as typical of man-nature, is—if not a malicious lie or a self-deception—ignorant to the point of folly.

Real men are co-operative. During the thousands of centuries when humanity evolved, there were no rifles, no shotguns, no compound bows or fiberglass arrows. Our earliest ancestors [and here i refer to the first Homo sapiens, as well as Australopithecus and H. erectus] didn’t even have crude longbows. Clubs, spears, maybe slings were the weapons available, and with those weapons, teams of our ancestors killed elephants!—as well as aurochs, bison, caribou, elk, moose, pigs [which can be both large and deadly], and zebra. Even elk and zebra are too large for one man, armed only with spears, clubs and stone knives, to reliably kill alone.

During those hundreds of millennia of human genetic evolution, human nature was formed. Men [and male pre-humans] needed co-operation, discipline, and restraint to provide high-protein, immensely valued food using tools and weapons we would find incredibly crude. Men would not be on Earth today if we did not have co-operation, and discipline including restraint, bred into us.2


* This essay was published originally on the Spearhead website in September 2011, when that site was very active. The language has remained “current as of 2011”; and given its focus on prehistoric humanity, more recent events or writings would not change the body text. It is posted here on everyman now, because access to the Spearhead site has recently been unreliable.

1. During these hundreds of centuries, perhaps millions of years of evolution, women seldom if ever hunted big game. The co-operation, discipline, and restraint that was bred into men could possibly have their main loci “on the Y chromosome”, such that women are less co-operative, less disciplined, less restrained by nature, not merely for cultural reasons associated with civilization. “Charles Martel” (on The-Spearhead, January 2010) summarized neurological research indicating major differences between men’s and women’s brain anatomy: It is virtually certain that important gender differences in personality are “inborn” rather than learned. Whether men’s co-operation, discipline, and restraint are genetically based in brain features that differ from women “is not [to my knowledge] yet established”. We should keep in mind that they very plausibly might be.)

2. If there were instead, some species of big-brained ape that lacked co-operation, discipline, and restraint, it would not be human as we know humanity.


Harris, Marvin, 1989. Our Kind. NY: Harper and Row.

Lenski, Gerhard, Jean Lenski, and Patrick Nolan, 1991. Human Societies: An Introduction to Macrosociology. 6th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill.

“Martel, Charles”, 2010. “Is There a Female Brain?” The-Spearhead website, January 3.


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