Tools for Taking of ‘The Man’ Vol. 1

three images - jessica chastain in miss sloan, minnow pond tarot readings and dick movie

“The Man” isn’t always “a” man or even a “man,” but regardless I sometimes have to re-center myself when I’m in the midst of battle — whether I’m fighting good ole boys, broken systems or writer’s block and customer service hold times. 

I have to remind myself that a. I can do this thing, b. I can do it better than a lot of people can, c. this thing is worth doing and d. victory is necessary.

Here are three of the tools I use to get myself in that mind-frame. These are my war touchstones … the places I go to when I need the motivation. 

If you don’t have war touchstones, consider cultivating some and then reminding yourself that they’re very specifically yours … they really do help. Feel free to use mine if they work for you …

1. “Miss Sloane.”

Jessica Chastain is Elizabeth Sloane, a star lobbyist who cuts throats better than most. She decides to quit her high-priced lobby firm to work for a lost cause at a boutique agency. She’s going to take on gun reform. It’s one of those movies that’s on a slow burn until the end.

Every time I watch it, I see new elements of it that resonate with me. For me, the movie is about the ending — about the SATISFYING twist. But it’s also relatable for me because of how alone Miss Sloane not only is in her battles but how she feels like loneliness is the only way to win at what she does. The movie is not for everyone, but I highly recommend it. It might take you a few times to fall in love with it.

2. Minnow Pond Tarot readings on YouTube.

Look … this might be a bridge too far for some of you and I get that, but it’s the right bridge for me. I’m not religious but this comes close to the sermons I need. When I’m lying in bed and I can’t settle my mind — because I’m worried about things in life I can’t control — I find solace in listening to Chris Reck read the cards for every Aquarius in the world because when he does, I feel like I’m the only Aquarius they apply to. The messages always feel tailored to what I need to hear and it settles my anxiety. They remind me what I’m capable of. And they give me hope. 

3. “Dick.”

For the less serious battles — the ones where I’m enjoying the fight and not exhausted by it — I turn to Kirsten Dunst and Michelle Williams who star in a reimagining of Watergate and the end of an American Presidency. Dunst and Williams star as Betsy and Arlene, 15-year-old girls who were the REAL Deep Throats — the real sources for Woodward and Bernstein.

By the way, I LOVE LOVE LOVE how Will Ferrell and Bruce McCulloch depict Woodward and Bernstein. I always wonder if the buffoonish and self-absorbed way they characterize them is indicative of what their co-workers “actually” thought of them.

“Dick” is a palate cleanser (that’s what she said). But really, it’s like mental sorbet. It’s not the usual fare but it’s refreshing. To this day when I hear the opening notes to Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain,” I think about Betsy and Arlene screaming “You suck … Dick!” at Richard Nixon’s departing helicopter ride out of Washington. Oh! Right!

One more thing about this movie: whenever I watch it now, it makes me think about how Betsy and Arlene are basically Mandy and me taking on Team Murdaugh and the Good Ole Boys. “You suck, Dick” REALLY works on that level too hahahahaha.

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