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Bah humbug!

Society tells men all their lives to control their emotions, to hold it in, to not get all touchy feely. This is especially true at work- when someone does a wrong unto a man he is told to turn the other cheek, play nicely, take one for the team, don't over react, or to just let it go.

In the sports world, especially football, it's oftentimes the wronged player's reaction to a foul that wasn't called that gets Him the flag- happens all the time.

Men used to have cool outlets to let off steam- their weekly poker games, watching Friday night boxing matches with the guys, shooting hoops or playing football- that's where they let it all out so they could take shit the next week. Little by little the women folk, sociologists, and pointy-hat-wearing ivory-tower-dwelling do-gooders have categorized men's stress outlets as Neanderthal at best and discriminatory at worst. Compound these daily stresses over time, keep them bottled up, and you get grumpy older men.

There are two great examples of this phenomenon in popular media. One infamous line, regularly quoted, from the 1976 movie "Network" - "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!" is the pinnacle of a man's rant against the corporate machine dicking him over.

My favorite though, one that can immerse you in this mindset in 60 seconds flat is a scene from the movie "Shrek Forever After." This is a must see scene. The director starts slowly showing the dutiful way Shrek gives and gives- to his family, to others, to the world. And they take, and take, and take- showing very little appreciation for his efforts. These events repeat and speed up more and more over about a minute until Shrek loses it Grumpy-Man style! And he owns it with a capital "O."

So ease up chief- before anymore categorizing, criticizing, and finger pointing take serious consideration of how much shit we regular guys put up with and how little appreciation we get for doing so.

One more thing, more often than not we ARE Santa Clause and we know where the bag of coal is kept. Ah, that felt good. I'm ready for next week :-)

Bensalem PA
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The look: A scowling face, a wagging finger, and a shaking head. The targets: The economy. Teenagers. Windmills.

Some informally dub it “grumpy old man complex.” British author Carol Wyer labels it “irritable male syndrome,” a spike in the outward crankiness of guys of a certain age.

As more baby boomers hit 60 — the age when male grumpiness seems to kick in — be ready for a growing chorus of grouchy flare-ups, like a Donald Trumprant set to explode.

The condition isn’t just a stereotype represented by the proverbial fist-waving shout, "Get off my lawn!" Testosterone levels generally fall as men age, according to the Mayo Clinic. Such hormone drops are known to dampen male moods, says Dr. Ridwan Shabsigh, head of the International Society of Men’s Health and a urologist in New York City. “Testosterone is a hormone that grows muscles, reduces fat in the body, affects energy, and improves sexual desire,” Shabsigh says. “However, it also has neural-psycho effects. And in some men we encounter in our practice, those affects can be mostly visible: low mood and irritability." Grumpiness is even used as a mood description in screening questionnaires for low testosterone. One form many U.S. male patients are asked to fill out is a test for Androgen Deficiency in Aging Men (ADAM). Androgen is the family of hormones that controls the development of masculine traits. Question No. 6 on that form reads: “Are you sad and/or grumpy?” “Patients with low testosterone tell me they feel less capable of concentration. And they feel less capable of tolerating the nuances of everyday life – from family, friends, colleagues and customers,” Shabsigh said. “Whatever you do, you have people around you, and you get irritated sometimes. The ability to tolerate or deal with it is reduced when the testosterone is low.” Certain metabolic and kidney diseases, including diabetes, are known to cause abnormally low testosterone, Shabsigh says, adding the prevalence of those disorders rises with age.

In healthy men, testosterone levels remain within normal limits until about age 60, with a gradual decline after that, studies indicate. According to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, up to 30 percent of men beyond the age of 75 have low testosterone levels. The question of whether to treat such cases of low testosterone “remains a matter of debate,” according to the Mayo Clinic. It's not always hormones or other physical health issues, though. Men aren’t as likely to share worries or concerns about aging which can leave a guy prone to flailing outbursts into the ether. Older-guy grumpiness can also be traced to major life changes like retirement that come with advancing years, Wyer says. “Women have friends and we talk about our problems and we take medication and all that kind of stuff. But for men, it’s something they suppress. It’s a male thing ,” says Wyer, author of the upcoming humor book “How Not To Murder Your Grumpy." Feeling that they no longer are useful, especially, if a man has held an important position in employment prior to retirement, "can result in severe depression at worst and general grumpiness at best,” Wyer said.

Pittsburgh PA
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TOPIC: Grumpy Old Man Complex
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