TMC Administration Notes - June/July 2016

Letter from the Chair

It's an election year here in the US, so it might seem obvious to say that we are in for many months of fibs, half-truths, deceptions, obfuscations, liberties with the truth, and outright lies. Most Americans just accept this as a matter of course, like they accept that most advertising makes claims ranging from the questionable to the intelligence-insulting. And while it might be therapeutic to spend this column ranting about the demise of the truth, my real interest is how the environment created by politics and advertising makes it difficult for men to make meaningful changes in their lives.

Everyone has had the experience of struggling to find something that was sitting right in front of them. When something lives in your environment for long enough, your brain starts to filter it out so that you don't notice it and it becomes part of your subconscious. So when politicians and advertisers constantly overload us with statements that we know to be suspicious, we eventually stop taking notice of it and even make excuses for it, saying "that's just politics", or "everyone has to make a living".
The problem is that this omnipresent devaluation of the truth conditions us all to care less about honesty. And this can be a real problem when you are trying to make significant changes in your life that require you to be completely honest with yourself. If you want to do a better job managing your anger, are coming to terms with your sexuality or gender identity, or are just trying to get through a stressful time in your life, you will not help yourself by being anything less than honest with yourself. This starts with admitting that it will probably be hard to achieve your goal, but it also means not falling into the black and white trap.

If there's a common theme to the lack of honesty in politics and advertising, it's the abuse of superlatives in which a product or candidate is always "the best" and the competing candidate or product is "the worst". When was the last time you heard a politician say, "Actually, I'd probably be OK in that office"? The problem is that because of politics, advertising, and sports, we are so used to thinking in best/worst terms that we often carry this over into our own lives. The challenges that TCMC helps men deal with are hard, no doubt about it. But these challenges are met and won by honestly confronting them day by day, with small changes that gradually accumulate into big changes. Conceptualizing your challenge as an epic do-or-die gladiatorial struggle because that's how the Presidential election is portrayed does you no favors and makes it less likely you'll be successful. You can in fact be only partially successful in making your desired life change and still be very happy.

When you turn on your computer, cell phone, TV, or radio, you will be overwhelmed with dubious claims and attempts to portray the simplest choices as cataclysmically significant. That's fine. Just remember that YOUR life can be lived and changed with honesty and a personal appreciation of what's really important.

Joe Szurszewski
Board Chair

 

Library Corner

–– Jim Heaney, Librarian

We have a unique and extensive collection of books on men's and general topics which can be checked out by members of the Men's Center. Our periodicals include:

  • Fathering Today
  • Men's Health
  • Men's Journal
  • Lavender
  • Transitions
  • Voice Male.

The books in the Men’s Center Library are sectioned off into 14 categories.  These categories are: Fathers, Children & Families, Fiction, Gay & Lesbian, Health & Therapy, Humor, Men’s Movement & Masculinity, Men’s Stories & Poetry, Miscellaneous, Relationships & Friendships, Reference, Relationships & Friendships, Sexuality, Spirituality, Valued Elders, Women. 

The Men's Center is proud to have a signed copy of Timothy Young's recently published To the Palace of Kings. Timothy is very active in the men's movement. This is the book which was referenced in Men Talk.

The Men's Center Staff and Key Volunteers

OFFICE STAFF:
Office Manager -- Randy Genrich (emeritus), Bill Baldwin (acting)
Office Assistant Mgr-- Bryon Wistrom
Anger Mgmt Director-- John Hesch
Office Volunteers -- Rick Charlson, Jim Heaney, Dick Madigan
Librarian -- Jim Heaney
Bakery Donation Pick-up --
See chart in kitchen area

BOARD:
Board Chair -- Joe Szurszewski
Board Vice Chair -- Tom Weaver
Board Secretary -- Norm Petrik
Board Treasurer -- Rick Charlson
Board Member -- Harry Greenberg
Board Member -- Andy Mickel
Board Member -- Damon Starks
Board Member -- Open
Alternate -- Dan Gorgonow

Alternate -- Malik Holt
Alternate -- Jim Heaney
Alternate -- Jamie Wellik

MEN TALK:
MenTalk Editor -- Bill Dobbs
MenTalk Production -- Bill Dobbs
MenTalk Here/There -- Andy Mickel
MenTalk Advertising -- Bill Dobbs
MenTalk Coord/Database -- Scott Benson
MenTalk Mailing -- Scott Benson, Jerry O,

PROGRAMS:
Program Committee, Chair -- Norm Petrik
Wednesday Present Coord --Randy Genrich

Wednesday Present Publicity -- Rick Charlson

FINANCE:
Finance Committee, Chair -- Rick Charlson
Finance Committee Chair -- Rick Charlson
Fin Comm Grant Writer -- Damon Starks
Fin Comm Memberships -- Andy Mickel

OUTREACH:
Outreach Committee, Chair -- Jim Heaney
Pride Festival Coord -- Damon Starks and Tom Weaver
Media Publicity Coord -- Rick Charlson
Outreach Booth at Locations -- Jim Heaney, Malik Holt
Librarian -- Jim Heaney
Web Site/Technology -- Bill Dobbs, Andy Mickel, Joe Szurszewski
E-mail Responders -- Scott Benson, Rick Charlson, Bill Dobbs, John Hesch, Andy Mickel, Joe Szurszewski

ANGER MANAGEMENT:
Anger Mgmt Director -- John Hesch
Anger Mgmt Grant Writer -- Bob Anderson
Anger Mgmt Publicity -- John Hesch
Anger Mgmt Steer Commit -- Bob Lundberg, John Hersch, David Giancristforo
Anger Mgmt Facilitators -- Tom M, Michael K, Jim K, John H, Art H, Bryce K, Pat G, Dean G, David E, Hoske R, Cory C, Michael I, John C, Lee C, Norm P, Bob L, Bob A, Harry G, Howard B, Tom F

SUPPORT GROUPS:
Support Group Coord -- Norm Petrik
Support Group Database -- Open
General Men's Issues -- Randy G, Jerry O
Gay Issues -- Pat K, Bruce K, Ranslow Z
Transitions --Scott, Richard S.
Divorce/Uncouplng -- John M, Greg D, Gerry W
Sexual Trauma & Abuse Survivors -- Jerry B, Kathleen M
Bi-Men & Gay Issues -- Leo P, David W, Damon S.
Healthy Sexual Boundaries -- Bobby S, Tommy J
Healthy Sexual Boundaries East -- Bobby S
Healthy Sexual Boundaries Tues -- Rich P, Bobby S, Tommy J
Mankind Project Open Circle -- Tim K
Retirement -- Norm P

WE ALWAYS NEED VOLUNTEERS. PLEASE CONSIDER HELPING OUT.
Call our Office Manager at 612-822-5892 and ask how you can help.
We have been a vital part of the Twin Cities community for decades,
and almost all of our services have been provided by volunteers like you.