Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Beatles Survey

Who is your favorite Beatle?


What is your favorite Beatles song?

That one where they sing about love ... gosh, what is that one called?

What is your favorite Beatles movie?

Ringo Does Dallas.

What is your favorite Beatles quote?

"Honey, come back to bed." (Paul, spoken to John while on tour in France)

Name a Beatles song that makes you cry.

Revolution #9. Revolution #2-8 only irritate me.

Name a Beatles song that always cheers you up.

"Misery." Or ... wait ...

What Beatles photo makes you happy?

What is your favorite Beatles album?

What Beatles picture makes you angry/sad?

The one where they're mocking that small orphan boy.

What are your favorite Beatles outfits?

What is your favorite Beatles era?

I think Paul had a season ERA of 1.48 one year. That's probably my favorite.

Name a Beatles song you know all the words to.

"Love Me Do."

What is your least favorite Beatles song?


Name 5 things you would change about the Beatles?

1) Their minds, 2) their oil, 3) their water filters, 4) their $100 bills, 5) their pace.

What is your favorite Beatles book?

Ringo's first-edition copy of The Tale of Peter Rabbit.

What is your favorite art drawing from or of the Beatles?

Who is your favorite Beatles wife?

Zsa Zsa.

Who is your least favorite Beatles wife?

Brian Epstein.

Who is your favorite Beatles child?

"Little Child."

What is your favorite Beatles instrument?

The protractor.

Who is your favorite Beatles tribute band?

The Rolling Stones.

Monday, July 19, 2010

I Don't Know Why You Say Goodbye

At last: this is the research paper I turned in for my Writing and Research class (for which I was awarded an A+, thank you very much). It's a bit long (eight pages, including bibliography), so consider yourself warned.


I Don't Know Why You Say Goodbye: Why the Beatles Broke Up

On April 10, 1970, the Daily Mirror contained a news article that would shock its readers; the opening sentence of the article simply said, “Paul McCartney has quit The Beatles.” After ten years, “the biggest, most successful act the world had ever known was breaking up.” (Miles, 1997, p. 574). What were the causes behind the break-up? Why would four young men who were arguably at the peak of their fame, their creativity, and their success choose to go their separate ways? In the immediate wake of the news, the idea become quite popular, championed as it was by the Beatles' own biographer, Hunter Davies, that Yoko Ono (John Lennon's second wife, whom he married in early 1969) was responsible for the break-down of the band. As is the case in any break-up, however, we are dealing with the dissolution of a relationship (or, in this case, relationships), and rarely can such an emotional unraveling be neatly categorized and blamed on one person. The Beatles broke up for several reasons: because their founder and leader, John Lennon, lost interest in the group; because John Lennon, having lost interest in the band, became wholly preoccupied with Yoko Ono; because Paul McCartney stepped in as the “de facto leader of the group” (Miles, 1997, p. 563), and his over-bearing, dominant personality irritated the others; because their manager died, and they fought bitterly over the appointment of a new manager who was brought in to handle their business affairs; because each of the Beatles individually had grown apart and found their own interests outside of the group. We will consider each of these causes in their turn.

Brian Epstein had been the manager for the Beatles from the beginning of their rise to fame in Britain, and can be given a great deal of credit for shaping their image and giving them the extra edge that they needed in order to become famous. On August 27, 1967, Epstein died from a drug overdose, and many Beatles historians pin-point this event as the moment when the group began to come apart. Ray Coleman, biographer for both Paul McCartney and John Lennon, writes, “things had begun to go awry for the Beatles after the accidental death, at thirty-two, of their manager, Brian Epstein” (Coleman, 1996, p. 96). Barry Miles concurs, stating that John Lennon's “dissatisfaction with the group seemed to go as far back as the death of Brian Epstein,” after which, Lennon “lapsed into a state of lethargy ... sitting around watching television, reading the papers, smoking pot or tripping” (Miles, 1997, p. 562). Part of Lennon's “lethargy” may have been the result of McCartney's blossoming creativity and natural leadership skills. Just prior to Epstein's death, the group had released their iconic “summer of love” album, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, an effort which one author describes as “essentially McCartney's idea”, even going so far as to say, “it is surprising in many ways that Pepper does sound like a Beatles album, rather than a McCartney solo project” (Egan, 2009, p. 141). Of this period in the group's history, Lennon said, “Only when I became self-conscious and inhibited ... did Paul start dominating the group a little too much for my liking” (Sheff, 2000, p. 175). Already, then, the key components of the break-up were coming to the forefront by 1967: the Beatles lacked a manager, McCartney was beginning to dominate the group's creative efforts, and Lennon was losing interest in being a contributor.

In 1969, the Beatles finally made an effort to fill the void left by Epstein's death, but this too became a point of contention. Lennon wanted to hire the hard-ball-playing, brash American businessman Allen Klein to manage his personal business affairs, and George Harrison and Ringo Starr were content to let Klein manage the Beatles as a group as well. McCartney, however, “was familiar with Klein's reputation and wanted no part of it” (Spitz, 2005, p. 820). Paul had already been alerted to “the case pending against Klein by the American tax authorities, which did not inspire confidence” (Miles, 1997, p. 544). Complicating matters was the fact that McCartney had become involved with a young woman named Linda Eastman, whose father, Lee Eastman, was a successful and well-known lawyer. McCartney wanted Lee Eastman to manage the group, but because of the apparent conflict of interests, Lennon “suspected that the Eastmans would give Paul an unfair advantage over him” (Spitz, 2005, p. 804), and would not agree to McCartney's proposal. Lennon biographer Philip Norman says of the conflict, “John would not back down, and Paul could not” (Norman, 2008, p. 590), adding that “this first-ever real quarrel between them was to prove fatal” (Norman, 2008, p. 591). In many ways, it was fatal. The other three Beatles out-voted McCartney, and Klein was made the new manager; McCartney simply stopped showing up at the Beatles-owned Apple business offices for work.

It would be a mistake, however, to place too much emphasis on the internal conflicts over business affairs and management. Already by the time Klein was hired to manage the Beatles, there was a tangible rift in the group. Ringo Starr had already walked out on the group during the recording sessions for the popularly-titled White Album, but the other three convinced him to return after a few weeks; George Harrison, too, had made a dramatic exit during the filming and recording of the Let it Be album, “tired of the uncomfortable conditions and, as he saw it, being bossed and bullied by Paul” (Norman, 2008, p. 583). McCartney's tendency to be over-controlling in the studio was becoming too much for Harrison, who “felt he absorbed more than the others what an insufferable dictator Paul had become, instructing him exactly what to play, as well as how and when to play it” (Spitz, 2005, p. 808). There are two sides to every story, of course, and McCartney has since admitted to these faults, but with subtle shades of justification: “Yes, okay, in the studio I could be overbearing ... I wanted to get it right!” (Miles, 1997, p. 579) Rather than sacrifice musical quality, McCartney pushed the group hard in the studio, even at the risk of appearing domineering: “Looking back on it, I think, Okay. Well, it was bossy, but it was also ballsy of me, because I could have bowed to the pressure” (Miles, 1997, p. 467). To be fair, however, McCartney's driving perfectionism was only one component that caused tension in the studio. Egan writes of the Let it Be sessions, “It has long been the assumption that Harrison ... walked because of what he felt to be McCartney's insufferable bossiness but more recent suggestions have been made that in fact George was infuriated by the fact that Lennon seemed more interested in his wife than the band” (Egan, 2009, p. 188).

It wasn't only Lennon who was losing interest in the band, however. With the launch of their new Apple recording label, both McCartney and Harrison were getting involved with other recording artists, helping to produce albums and sitting in with other groups as session musicians. They were finding out what it was like to collaborate with artists other than the Beatles, and they were enjoying it. Lennon was beginning to branch out into new avant-garde recording projects with Yoko. Ringo “had been building a solo career in films and getting a taste for a life where he was his own man” (Miles, 1997, p. 537). Reflecting on this state of affairs, Linda McCartney said, “Everybody was obviously growing up and growing away a bit. The Beatles was Paul's job; he and John were a creative team, but John was with Yoko. Paul never had any time alone with John” (Miles, 1997, p. 513).

Yoko's part in the break-up of the Beatles has been exaggerated, perhaps, but it cannot be denied that her appearance in Lennon's life did have significant negative ramifications for the unity of the group. Her impact, however, must be understood in the context of Lennon's own growing apathy and dissatisfaction with the band. Spitz sums it up quite neatly when he says that Lennon's “collaboration with Paul was over … The Beatles' music no longer intrigued him. Yoko offered John a way out” (Spitz, 2005, p. 797). Lennon's childhood friend, Pete Shotton, recalls John's simultaneous enthusiasm for Yoko and lack of interest in anything that was not Yoko after spending just one night with his new muse: “Pete, this is what I've been waiting for. All. My. Life. I don't give a fuck about the Beatles ... I don't give a fuck about anything. I'm going to go and live with Yoko, even if it means living in a tent with her, I'm going” (Spitz, 2005, p. 765). Lennon was obviously already unhappy being “Beatle John” by the time he met Yoko, but he credits her with giving him the extra push that he needed to separate himself from the group: “Yoko … gave me the inner strength to look more closely at my other marriage. My real marriage. To the Beatles, which was more stifling than my domestic life” (Miles, 1997, p. 562). George Harrison would later reflect, “I don't think [John] wanted much to be hanging out with us ... and I think Yoko was pushing him out of the band” (Spitz, 2005, p. 813).

For Lennon, it was a question of loyalty. He had found the love of his life in Yoko, and he felt it was time to grow up and leave his youthful “boy's club” behind. In an interview with Playboy magazine, Lennon famously opined, “When I met Yoko is when you meet your first woman and you leave the guys at the bar and you don't go play football anymore and you don't go play snooker and billiards ... The old gang of mine was over the moment I met [Yoko]” (Sheff, 2000, p. 48). It was a simple as that, for John; he was done being a Beatle, and he was ready to give his new love interest his full and undivided attention. The transition between these two phases of Lennon's life became the context for the most traumatic conflicts within the group. Yoko never left John's side, which meant that for a time, until the Beatles dis-banded, she effectively became an honorary Beatle (much to the irritation of the other three). In the recording studio, Yoko sat next to John, “ordering Mal Evans to fetch her food and drinks and, worst of all, adding her unasked-for comments and musical suggestions” (Miles, 1997, p. 491-492). Spitz paints an even more incredible picture: “There wasn't anywhere he went that she didn't follow. If John entered the control room to speak with George Martin, Yoko accompanied him. If he huddled with Paul regarding a song or arrangement, Yoko joined the discussion ... Studio grunts watched in amazement as she followed John into the bathroom” (Spitz, 2005, p. 778). During the recording session for what would prove to be the Beatles last album, Abbey Road, Yoko had been injured in a car accident and had been ordered by her doctors to stay in bed. This posed no problem in terms of her presence at the recording sessions, however, because “a huge double bed was delivered to the studio by Harrods and Yoko [was] installed in it with a microphone suspended above her face in case she had any comments to make” (Miles, 1997, p. 552). How did the other Beatles react to this unprecedented situation? Spitz pulls no punches in his assessment, saying, “No matter what they said over the years as a show of unity or to soothe injured feelings, Paul, George, and Ringo absolutely hated Yoko's intrusion” (Spitz, 2005, p. 784). McCartney in particular remembered, with some hint of aggravation still present in his tone, that when Yoko “referred to the Beatles, she called them 'Beatles': 'Beatles will do this. Beatles will do that.' We said, 'The Beatles, actually, love.' ... I mean, she even took our personal pronoun off us, you know?” (Miles, 1997, p. 492)

They were fighting over management; they were becoming resentful of each others' personality traits; they were becoming interested in individual ventures; they were growing apart and going in different directions; even in the studio, their formerly impenetrable and private sanctuary, they could not get along. It was obvious that the group was headed for an irreparable splintering, and on September 20, 1969, “Lennon amazed his colleagues at an Apple board meeting by telling them he was leaving The Beatles” (Egan, 2009, p. 199). Because they had just signed a contract extension, the Beatles kept quiet about the break-up for many months. McCartney went to work on a solo album, and when he released review copies of the project in April of 1970, he included promotional notes in the form of a “self-interview” which effectively let the cat out of the bag. Citing “personal differences, business differences, musical differences” and “most of all because I have a better time with my family”, McCartney announced to the world that the Beatles were no longer a group entity, and would not be working together again. This led to the perception, as indicated in the Daily Mirror quote found at the beginning of this essay, that it was McCartney who had broken up the Fab Four, when in fact, it was Lennon who had pulled the plug, as McCartney himself would later admit: “It was John that broke the Beatles up” (Miles, 1997, p. 566). Lennon readily concurred, stating, “I started the band. I disbanded it. It's as simple as that” (Miles, 1997, p. 562).

In the end, why did the Beatles break up? They broke up because the man who had founded the group and been their leader since the late 1950s no longer wanted to be a part of the band. John Lennon lost interest in the enterprise known as the Beatles, and without John Lennon, the Beatles could no longer exist. When John disconnected himself emotionally from the group, he found a ready-made escape route in Yoko Ono, which left a creative void that Paul McCartney naturally filled, but with too much micro-management and perceived “bossiness” that turned the others off. When it finally came time to hire a new manager to run the group's affairs, they found the hill on which they would eventually die, the “straw that broke the camel's back,” so to speak. The Beatles broke up because they grew apart. The Beatles broke up because they grew up. The Beatles broke up, finally, because they ceased to be a united entity internally, and a house divided can never stand for very long.


Coleman, R. (1996). McCartney Yesterday ... and today. Los Angeles: Dove Books.

Egan, S. (Ed.). (2009). The mammoth book of the Beatles. Philadelphia: Running Press Book


Miles, B. (1997). Paul McCartney: many years from now. New York: Henry Holt and Company.

Norman, P. (2008). John Lennon: the life. New York: HarperCollins Publishers.

Sheff, D. (2000). All we are saying: the last major interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono.

New York: St. Martin's Griffin.

Spitz, B. (2005). The Beatles: the biography. New York: Bay Back Books.

Magical History Tour: July 19, 1968

On this day in Beatles history, July 19, 1968, the fabulous foursome went into the studio to record a song called "Sexy Sadie." Naked. (Don't judge - "sexy" doesn't just happen by chance, you know.)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Magical History Tour: July 9, 1969

Today in Beatle history, July 9, 1969, the lads stepped into the studio to record "Maxwell's Silver Hammer." We've been trying to forget it ever since.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Magical History Tour: July 7, 1940

Today in Beatle history, July 7, 1940, Richard "Ringo" "Starr" "Starsky & Hutch" "Rings" "Bongo" Starkey IX, Jr., Ph.D. was born, holding a pint in his left hand and a drum stick in his right. His uncles Groucho, Harpo, Zeppo, Chico, Klepto, Zippo, Bozo, and Brian were there to welcome him into the world. Ringo would later go on to become a drummer for the world's most famous Chad & Jeremy tribute band.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Beatleology in Love

Based on the "I Am the Walrus" personality quiz found in Adam and Roger Jaquette's book, Beatleology, I wrote the following imaginary interview with the Fab Four. The questions all revolve around love and relationships - which of the lads do you find yourself most frequently in agreement with? This may give you a clue as to who your Inner Beatle is.

What are you looking for in a lover?

Paul: "Well, I think I'm always wanting to find that special girl who supports me, you know? You sort of want to have that in a mate, I think, someone who's going to think you're just great."
John: "Seems like that would get a boring, wouldn't it, Paul? I don't want a lover who's going to just be a f*cking 'yes'-person, I want to be challenged. I want to be stretched and made to think outside the box, you know, and if I'm full of sh*t about something, I want to be told that."
George: "Well, I don't know, I just want to keep things easy and calm. I want to have love, sure, but I don't want a lot of drama, and such. There's no sense rocking the boat."
Ringo: "I suppose I just want to have some fun being in love. Love is fun. Sex is fun. That's what I'm looking for."

How do you feel about dating?

Ringo: "Like I said, it's fun. Going out is fun, meeting people is fun, and you never know ... you might get laid."
George: "No, sod that, it's a pain. All that trouble, having to meet someone new. It can be nerve-wracking sometimes. I like familiarity, you know, it'd be nice if we could just skip right to the fifth date or something."
Paul: "It's alright, you know, dating is a good chance to throw on the charm, sort of 'full-throttle'. When she looks at you in that special way, and you can tell she adores you, that's a nice feeling."
John: "I'm with George - it's a waste of time. I just want to know if this girl is my soul-mate, the one I've been looking for all my life, and then I want to spend all of my time with her and her alone. You don't need dating for that."

What does a long-term relationship look like for you?

John: "Well, we need each other very much, and it can be somewhat co-dependent - and that's not always bad. My friends will probably stop hearing from me for a while, because I just want to be with her all the time."
George: "It looks very predictable and routine, which is good, that's stability. I really don't like drama."
Ringo: "I'll commit to the relationship, sure, no problem. I don't want to spend too much time over-thinking it, though."
Paul: "I tend to be the leader, I suppose, certainly the 'driving force.' I always have a lot of ideas about places we should be going, and things we should be doing, and she goes along with my ideas. So that's great."

Alright. You've just gone through a breakup after a long-term relationship. How do you react?

George: "That hurts, there's no question. I need some time alone to think things over and reflect on what happened, maybe try to learn a few things for next time. I definitely would make a clean break, though - get rid of the letters and pictures and all that."
Paul: "Yeah, it definitely hurts, it's a real blow to the self-esteem, y'know, and it doesn't make sense - I mean, who wouldn't want to be around me? Why would you want to leave this? I'm with George, though, I'd have to make a pretty clean break eventually, after I'd gotten the bad feelings out of my system, probably with a song or something."
John: "Oh, it's a crushing blow, Paul's right. It just destroys you inside, you know? I would be out drinking or doing drugs to forget the pain, and probably I'd end up on her front doorstep after midnight, begging to be let back in. I would obsess about it a bit, probably, and have a hard time letting go."
Ringo: "If it's over, it's over, you know? It probably wasn't meant to be. It might take a bit to feel better about it, but there's no sense in throwing a pity party. I'd still keep the mementos, though, because those are still a good time - old pictures or knick-knacks or whatever. I'd want to remember the good times."

What is your favorite sexual position?

Paul: "On top, in control, of course."
John: "On the bottom - I'm a big advocate of equality, and I like her to have a bit of control there."
George: "Well, you two can have that, I'm not going to limit myself at all. I'll be on top, on bottom, on the side, whatever."
Ringo: "I'm probably handcuffed."

What's your idea of a good first date?

John: "Short and to the point. If she's the one I've been looking for, I'll know right away, and I wouldn't mind catching the midnight plane to Holland or France so we can get married right then and there."
Paul: "Oh, I think it should be very romantic. You know, I might sing her a song I've been working on, or read her some poetry I've written, and just be very open about how I feel. I think, if she's the one, it'll be pretty obvious in short order."
Ringo: "I think I'd like to go to the pub and just have a good time, have some laughs."
George: "I don't like dating, it can get uncomfortable. I mean, I'll try to genuine with her and be myself, but I'm not going to show her all the dimensions of my personality until I'm a little more comfortable with her."

What's your idea of a good marriage proposal?

Ringo: "It'll be a public thing, very social, you know. In the middle of a restaurant, or at a big party with all of our friends. Something big like that."
Paul: "I'll propose because I just can't stand being away from her any more, and ... I don't know, I'd have to think about it, really. I'd want it to be really romantic, probably after a moonlit stroll and a dozen roses or something."
John: "It's a big deal. I'd probably have to be drunk to get enough nerve up."
George: "I'm only going to propose after I've really thought about all aspects of the thing and how life will change. I have to be sure I really want this before I say it."

What is sex to you?

George: "It's a very spiritual thing, I think, very intense, the kind of soul-union it gives me with my partner. It's another way for me to express myself and my love for her."
John: "Oh yeah, it's very intimate, and it's an expression of love - but it's also crass, you know, it's a way to get physical release. Even the animals do it, you know."
Paul: "It's a way to strengthen our love, I think, and it's also very affirming for me, too. It's good for the ego, I think."
Ringo: "It's a fun activity, it feels good, it's nice to add that in with other things like having a few drinks or going out to the movies."

Would you ever cheat on your lover?

Paul: "Absolutely not. I don't want anyone to think of me as being that kind of person, you know."
George: "You know, I keep saying, I don't like a lot of drama, really. So, no, cheating is complicated and messy and not really worth the trouble. Keep it simple, be faithful."
John: "Well, that depends, really, doesn't it? I mean, if it's a good relationship I'm in, I believe in it, I'll be true, but if things are falling apart, then ... you know, anything goes."
Ringo: "I wouldn't want to get caught or hurt anybody, but it's also important to be happy, so I think if the opportunity presented itself and it seemed like a good time - and nobody would get hurt - then, yeah."

Magical History Tour: July 6, 1964

Today in Beatle history, July 6, 1964, the boys attend the Royal charity premiere of A Hard Days Night, while Paul quietly begins his campaign for knighthood by repeatedly pointing out to Princess Margaret "what a f**king good band we are."

Thursday, July 1, 2010

We Can't Work it Out: 10 Keys to a Non-Productive Argument

Conflicts in relationships (romantic, familial, professional, etc.) are a fact of life. Hopefully they are infrequent, rather than characteristic, but they do seem to be unavoidable at times. A conflict or an argument can be a double-edged sword, however; an argument can either be a chance to get to know your partner better (and thus create deeper intimacy), or it can be destructive to the relationship.

If your goal is to destroy the relationship and create heartache (not to mention heart-burn) down the road, these ten key principles will help you reach your goal as quickly as possible.

(Of course, if you'd prefer to practice good communication skills with your partner and build the relationship, even in the midst of an argument, I recommend practicing the exact opposite of these ten principles.)

1) Use "you" statements - In order to sabotage an argument right from the start, it is important to make a lot of statements to your partner that begin with the word "you." For example: "You don't care about me," "You are so insensitive," "You are so blind," etc. For maximum effect, pepper these statements with passive-aggressive qualifiers that lessen your responsibility for having made the statement. For example, "You apparently don't think I'm important," "I guess you don't care what I think," and "Obviously, you aren't listening." These are value-loaded statements that cast your partner in a morally deficient light, and are guaranteed to invite hostile, defensive come-backs. Avoid statements that require you to take ownership for your feelings; owning the responsibility for the way you feel leaves the possibility open that you might have misinterpreted something. Never say, for example, "I feel neglected," "I feel misunderstood," "I feel like I'm not being heard," "I feel hurt," and so on. This might leave the door open for your partner to say, "I'm sorry you feel this way, how can I help you feel better?", and that might lead to conflict resolution.

2) Assume the worst - Ringo is the model to mimic here. When he sang, "I'm sorry that I doubted you, I was so unfair," he was giving an example of how to assume the worst about your partner. Your partner doesn't show up on time? Assume it's a personal assault on your feelings, and not that there may have been a hair-losing car crash. Giving someone the benefit of the doubt is a good way to avoid further angry arguments. If your partner leaves his dirty underwear on the floor for the 19th time in two weeks, assume it's because he just knows this will drive you crazy, and he's doing it on purpose just to be insensitive (this is a great opportunity to make another generalized "you" statement, such as, "You always do this, just to annoy me!"). If your partner decides to go out to the movies with her girlfriends and doesn't invite you along, assume it's because she doesn't want to be with you (capitalize on this with another value-loaded "you" statement, such as, "You clearly don't enjoy my company!"). If you assume your partner is someone with good-will, you run the risk of not even being able to start a relationship-destroying argument.

3) Invalidate your partner's feelings - It is very difficult to continue an argument if your partner refuses to follow principle #1 above, and insists on making statements like, "I felt disrespected when you were flirting with that girl at the checkout." However, all is not lost. You can continue to add fuel to the argument simply by invalidating or minimizing your partner's feelings with more "you" statements such as, "You're being too sensitive," "You have no reason for feeling that way," "You're being ridiculous," or (one of my favorites), "You shouldn't feel like that." This is especially easy to do if your partner has misunderstood you or misinterpreted your actions. If he says, "I felt ignored by you today," simply come back with, "I wasn't ignoring you." This effectively removes your partner's basis for even feeling the way they do, and invites further defensiveness: "You were too ignoring me!", to which you can retort, "I was not!", and on it goes. Never surrender any ground by acknowledging the validity of your partner's experience by saying something stupid like, "I'm sorry you felt disrespected, that must have made you feel insignificant," or, "I'm sorry you felt ignored today, you must have felt very alone inside." Just remember, "nothing is real," not even your partner's feelings and experiences.

4) Hide your true feelings - If your partner attempts to validate your feelings and thus bring resolution to a conflict, you must bury your feelings and show no vulnerability. If your partner has done something to make you upset, and he says something sensitive, such as, "You seem irritated right now, is there anything I can do to make you feel better?", deny that he has accurately read your feelings. Say something like, "No, I'm fine," and then walk away, or say, "No, it's nothing, it's just something stupid, don't worry about it," and refuse to go any further into detail. This will allow you to nurture the bad feelings towards your partner, which will help you build a reservoir of hostility over the next few days, weeks, or even months. Only when the negative feelings have fully ripened should you execute the surprise "reveal," preferably in the context of a future argument, thus blind-siding your partner (if he says something like, "I had no idea - when I asked you about this earlier, you said everything was fine," then you know you have succeeded). Emotional vulnerability paves the path to intimacy and conflict resolution. Always, always, always hide your feelings away.

5) Manipulate - Manipulation is a great way to prematurely end an argument, get your own way, and leave issues unresolved so that they can ferment, grow rotten, and be brought up again in future arguments. Be subtle about it, though. If you and your partner are arguing, for example, about how to spend your tax refund, you can manipulate the situation by resorting to a blend of steps 1, 2, and 4. Try a statement like, "Well, I can see why you wouldn't want to spend that money on a new couch, because you know how much I wanted a new couch [assuming the worst], and you apparently don't care about what I want [passive-aggressive "you" statement and assuming the worst], so just forget it about it, I don't care anymore [hiding your feelings]." If all goes well, your partner will key in on the "you don't care about what I want" statement, and, in an attempt to go above-and-beyond to prove the opposite, will surrender to your wishes. Even if this does not work, and your partner takes at face-value your statement, "I don't care anymore," this gives you the chance to nurse the grudge and bring up the incident at a later date. Macca succinctly communicates this principle with the lyric, "While you see it your way, run the risk of knowing that our love may soon be gone."

6) Get your point across - Some people think that the goal of communication is to get to know your partner by seeking to understand them, thus building intimacy. This is decidedly not conducive to destructive arguments, so instead, follow the principle that communication is about stating your point of view, no matter what. Talk longer, talk louder, repeat yourself, and generally do whatever it takes to keep your opinion in the forefront. Once your partner has heard your point of view, disconnect from the conversation. You have been heard, mission accomplished, no further need to listen to your partner or make sure you have reached an agreement. Dialogue is not nearly as important as monologue. Bombard your partner with words and don't give him or her a chance to reflect those words back to you in order to guarantee mutual understanding. If you do it right, your partner will surrender out of sheer exhaustion and just to get you to shut up.

7) Make demands - This is a variation on key principle #1 above, because it relies on "you" statements. The subtle twist here is that these statements will begin with "demand" words, such as, "You need to," "You should", "You can't", and so forth. These are value-loaded statements as well, implying that if your partner doesn't act on what you say, or disagrees with you, he or she is clearly in the wrong. For example, "You should spend less time watching movies" implies that your partner is doing something morally deficient, and is far more punchy a statement than saying, "I would like it if you spent less time watching movies." Or again, saying "You need to quit working so much overtime" is much more conducive to an argument than saying, "I'm worried about how much overtime you're working, I would feel so much better if you were able to cut back." Those kinds of statements imply that your partner has the freedom of choice, which rarely leads to a good, old-fashioned verbal barney.

8) Qualify your apologies - Saying the words "I'm sorry" can diffuse an argument faster than you can wink. However, you can still say the words, which puts you in the superior moral position, while simultaneously qualifying the apology in such a way as to undercut its sincerity. Simply add the words "if" or "but" to the apology. For example, "I'm sorry I offended you, but you shouldn't have gotten so upset." Or again, "I'm sorry if I said something to hurt you, I didn't know you'd take it that way." The "but" quickly shifts the focus away from your partner's feelings and sets the stage for the next point of argumentation; the "if" implies that you really don't empathize or even agree with your partner's feelings (see #3 above, on invalidating your partner's feelings and experience). It would be too easy to simply say, "I'm sorry you felt offended by what I did," or "I'm sorry that you felt hurt by what I said." Always qualify the apology; not only does this leave the door open to continue the argument, but now you can always go back to the statement, "I already apologized for that!" This will leave your partner feeling unsatisfied with the apology (because there was no empathy or validation of feelings), and it gets you off the hook for the perceived offense.

9) Surrender your position - This goes hand-in-hand #4 above, hiding your true feelings. Some people believe that an argument can be resolved in such a way that both parties are allowed to retain their point of view. It's called "agreeing to disagree" or "reaching a compromise." Of course, everyone knows that an argument can only end when one of the parties bends to the other person's will and gives something up. If you cannot manipulate your partner into surrendering to your wishes, you can take the path of conflict avoidance by simply surrendering yourself. Statements such as, "Fine, we'll do it your way", or "You know, it doesn't matter to me anymore" allow you to end the argument without any lasting resolution. It also allows you to play the victim and wallow in martyrdom, while simultaneously giving you a trump card to play in a future argument. If you surrender your position without reaching real resolution, you can effectively put your partner in a position of future obligation ("you owe me one"), or ongoing guilt.

10) Bail out early - Emotional detachment is a relatively quick way to end an argument without reaching resolution or building intimacy. You can disconnect from an argument very early by simply walking away and ignoring the problem, hiding your true feelings (see #4), surrendering your position (see #9), throwing in a terse "I don't want to talk about it," or promising "we'll talk about this later" without ever following through on that promise. Bailing out of an argument sends the message, "I'm not really invested in this relationship, or in you," and reduces the risk of emotional vulnerability; it prevents further honing of communication skills, and creates obstacles to intimacy. This is a sure-fire way to create an environment for future no-holds-barred arguments, in which any one or more of these ten key principles can be put to use again. With any luck, you can destroy a perfectly good relationship within a few short months.