Fun, Amazing, Etc.

This is the official blog of indie author / adventure writer Andy R. Bunch, author of the fantasy book, "Suffering Rancor." As always, I'll post funny or amazing things I find in my travels or from poking around online. This is a great place to kick back and relax a bit. You may note that I’m not too clean or too dirty. For more information on my book, go to Here are links to first two books and

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The deep end of the pool

I was reading a post by my friend Sam today, which reminded me of a story my friend William once told me. William's story come from his childhood in El Cajon, CA. Around age 6 he'd still not learned to swim, and while hanging with some older kids they decided to teach him how to swim. As older boys will, they tossed him into the deep end of the pool and didn't let him out till he drowned his way to the other side. William can relate the story with a smile now, but I can tell he was terrified at the time. Together with the story Sam tells, about his father teaching him to sale and one day telling him to take the boat out alone I started thinking about the trial by fire experiences in my own life. We don't have a lot of rite of passage experiences built into our culture, which causes a lot of men to feel like they never really grew up. In fact most of the women I know would agree that the men in their lives lack some of the confidence they felt from their own fathers. I'm pretty quick to point fingers at the poorly implemented feminism that has sent negative messages about the masculine in the name of fighting for a better view of the feminine. But a ton of the blame goes to our lack of initiation in our culture. I just watched a video the other day, that quoted statistics about sperm counts in men born in the 1940's vs men born in the 1980's. They are detecting an 80% drop in sperm count, with a correlated drop in testosterone. Now there's doubtless several contributing factors including diet, and environmental poisoning, but I think our minds need to remind us that we are men and its ok to be a little more aggressive. In other words, we tell ourselves we lack assertiveness because we are "nice" or "polite" when we actually lack confidence. So what is the difference between Sam's sailing story and William's swimming story? William was shoved into a potentially dangerous situation by near strangers and forced to sink of swim. No preparation. No encouragement. No faith in his abilities. Sam's dad showed him the ropes, and Sam's dad sent him on his solo sailing trip as a sign of his belief that Sam now had what it took. Maybe 10-year-old Sam wasn't ready for everything that might have come his way. Maybe Sam could have used another couple years of practice, but there is a time when a boy must face something he's trained for, but not ready for, which he believe's he can do because the adult male who loves him tells him he can do it. Those are the events in life that help a boy become a man, and we just don't have enough of them in our over-tamed society.

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