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93 entries from August 2008

August 31, 2008

The Claustrophobic Vestibule of Doom & the Information Age

It was during the Olympics coverage, or after the coverage, in the quiet wee hours of the night that I watched Billy Connolly, and I remember one sketch that rang true. It related to the information age and the rate we receive information, and man did I laugh. Connolly said something to the effect of, ‘why do we need the extra worry about something that occurs on the other side of the world? Isn’t it bad enough that we have our own fucking worries to deal with?’ Anyway, he said it better, added more expletives, and used a few international examples, and you can’t help but see his point.

Take the current presidential election campaign. Now I live all the way down here, at the arse end of the world, and really, why should I even care about the US elections? I’m not living in the US, I’m not voting and before anyone tells me ‘but it will affect you too!’ I’d like to say, so what, every politician is a pain in the ass at some point, most leaders make decisions that half the population disagrees with anyway, it’s like a form of customer service - magnified ten million times. So what, but the discussion in our house, during the evening news no less, always turns toward this subject each time housemate sees Obama. He goes on…“There’s something about him I don’t like,” “I don’t think he’s sincere,” and the ultimate - “McCain is going to win.”

Then I’ll say something like, “What the eff would you know?” and hope it’ll end there, but it doesn’t, he’ll start his political philosophies and I’ll say I don’t care, and I don’t, but I can’t avoid thinking about the way some things gain momentum and become a big deal when they aren’t a big deal in everyday life. It isn’t difficult to describe. I feel that way each time I come across a smoking Nazi; why should they care about me? But they don’t really care about me, even though they make out they’re concerned (“It’s going to kill you, you know,” bla-bla), they’re more concerned about themselves, like polishing off junk food, inhaling pollution on a daily level, drinking three times a week, isn’t going to harm them or anything like that. What do I do? Do I argue back? Do I compare my drinking habits to theirs, offsetting the fact that I drink whenever I feel like it, which isn’t even a weekly thing for me (or monthly). No. I just don’t care about their habits. I don’t comment about them and I’d really fucking appreciate it if they shut the hell up. Anyone would think that I begged them for money to buy a packet of the smokes the way they go on, and on, rolling their eyes and making sweeping hand gestures in the open air (as though they’re standing in The Claustrophobic Vestibule of Doom).

The information age has made everyone a freaking expert on everything. Admit it. We think just because we have Wiki at our fingertips and the God of Google onhand, that we know everything. But how well do we retain the information we come across? I’ll tell you - poorly. Each day, you’ll come across a different survey telling you that you’re likely to die if you drink five cups of coffee, and on day six you’ll come across a different survey that tells you that coffee is beneficial to your health - even the researchers don’t know if they’re coming or going, so why should I care? I just drink coffee.

If you’re a bit of a hard arse like me, someone who has seen people meet their maker in various ways - usually unpredictable and ironic - then you’re accustomed to the weird irony of life. Call it Murphy’s Law or whatever floats your boat. There is no point sitting there dwelling on potential disaster and obsessing about it because something is likely to grab you unawares. Take Dave Freeman as an example. He co-authored 100 Things to Do Before You Die and how did he die? He fell down inside his house, hit his head and died. It didn’t take place during a bungee jump or an ascent to Mt Everest.

There are many things now that go through one part of my brain to exit at the other; I don't go into a tailspin about warfare, for example. I mean, it happens and if I add that dark cloud to the rest of my everyday concerns, then what sort of life do I have to look forward to? Because it doesn't stop. One look at the evening news is enough to prove that.

So far, I've avoided playing into housemate's game and agreeing to a bet (on the presidential campaign) because I know that should he be right, he'll be doing his bath towel dance all over the house.

The Re-Education of the Female: Misogyny Disguised As Self-Help

Reeducationcover1 There have been many male authors advising women on relationships; from John Gray, to Dr Phil, and the latest wank-job, Dante Moore, is another to join the ranks of suave (snake oil salesmen) car salesmen promising to cure relationship woes.

I came across an article relating to The Re-Education of The Female (yes, that's the title) in The Daily Telegraph. The DT alleges that this book has become a bestseller. Where is the proof? But more importantly if this book is a bestseller, then it makes me wonder how many insecure women are out there who'd buy this bullshit; Jezebel isn't impressed with this book, and I can't say I'm surprised. Which functional women would take a book like this seriously? Some of the content is enough to cause irritation, anger and outright derision, and really, I don't care what the author's ethnicity is; being an asshole is an equal opportunity quality. It exists in all ethnicities. Here is one idiotic quote from this idiotic book that was published by a female erotica editor and author (Zane):

"When you go to the grocery store to shop, do you pick out the nastiest-looking, most rotten, smelliest fruit or meat you can find?  "Oh you don't? Why not? It's the same with men when they see  ... baby elephant-sized, out-of-shape women."

So Zane presents us with this idiot, Dante Moore.

The Re-Education of The Female; can you believe the title? It's one thing to publish a self-help book but this book's sales rely on controversy. Is the author a psychologist, health professional or therapist? Why no, he's a frigging computer engineer. The book, according to Dante (in an online interview) seems to be targeted toward African-American women. The motivation behind this book, according to this author:

"Today’s black woman has no idea what it takes to have a successful relationship with a black man or any man for that matter. They are clueless."

But the title of the book, irrespective of the cover, is general: The Female. The last time I checked there was only one type of female of the human species. The Female. If the book is aimed at African American women, why not use The Re-Education of the African American Female as a title?

In the Read My Lips interview, Moore replies, saying that no one is an authority on relationships. If that is the case, then why do these 'authors' (yes, authors in inverted commas) act like authorities that know everything about relationships to provide step-by-step advice? The ironic thing about these relationship authorities is that they have more relationship disasters than any other person (that doesn't read these shit books), and most of them have a history of crap relationships (examples: John Gray and Barbara De Angelis have each had numerous relationships during their public speaking on 'how to have relationships').

I don't know what I find more offensive: the fact that these books are sold based on controversy or that this book is published by a female author/editor.

One key quote, real sage advice from Moore:

"Here's a little secret, ladies: men never really ask for anything. They command…And believe me, what you won't do, ten broads around the corner will."

The above quote or 'advice' is about as stupid as John Gray's comment about men going 'into their cave.' Fuck the cave. Today's men don't chase beasts for food, they don't even face death on that prehistoric level anymore. Every man can get a Viagra prescription in five minutes, but it's practically IMPOSSIBLE for women to obtain RU486 in most parts of the world. The cave...pfft. The wuss alternative; come out of the cave, like a man, and face the issue.

In my experience, men (and women) will do whatever they have in mind irrespective of all the bells, whistles, baubles, sex toys, porn and accessories/apparel will use – if they have a compulsion or craving for straying that is, and no book will prevent that. That's how it is. There is no point sugar coating this reality. It happens everyday.

As for myself, I'm sick and tired of seeing relationship books telling women to act like doormats, and the said books to be written by pathetic douchbags. Life is too short to be a doormat (for me); if it ever came to that then there are vibrators, pets and sperm banks thank you very much. I'm pretty much over the submissive bullshit and now over-the-top submission is supposed to be indicative of independence; hello, that's an oxymoron.

It's amazing how females 'ought' to be 're-educated' and assholes like Moore are allowed to roam the earth to create relationship manifestos and women publish them. Yes, assholes, because only an asshole would talk down to women.

These types of male authors are an insult to men.

August 30, 2008

Saturday Links: To Shock, Amuse and Boggle the Mind

Saturday...well the week so far:
Housemate has been sick with a dreadful virus, that I haven't caught. I've only caught a minor cold from the natural -chilly - elements. I completed my taxes for the last financial year and Zelda, our new kitty, is now three months old (and adventurous: she breaks plates, accidentally of course, and has managed to find her way to the topmost kitchen cupboard via the folded ironing board). So today I'll be cleaning house; it's gone to hell this week, but before I do, here are some news/links:

  • You don't want to be gay and live in Bosnia-Herzegovina. It's quite amusing (on a sarcastic level) because Serbs, Croats and Bosnians are finally united on an issue even if that issue concerns homosexuality; it's not a low thing to say when it's the truth. Bosnians, Serbs and Croats have are known for their feuds; I used to have a Serbian female friend/flatmate, and in her quieter times at home, during the Yugoslav conflict, she'd froth at the mouth about Croats and Bosnians.
  • Happiness is kinky sex...(I kind of doubt this for myself because if anyone tried to clamp my nipples, I'd slap them silly).
  • In Jezebel, a post about the fashion industry and its need for revolution makes for an interesting read but I doubt that Kate Moss can be a fashion revolutionary.The new wave of misogynist gay male designers still need rake thin models so they can save money on yards of fabric and make women feel inadequate; it explains how Marc Jacobs unleashes his aesthetically nauseating (and overpriced) designs each season.
  • Okay, here it is...I think John Mayer is a TWAT and although I'm completely over this John Mayer/Jennifer Aniston thing, I do wonder why women like Aniston date dickwads like Mayer. If it's about his dick size...can't she buy a vibrator? I mean, come on! Spare yourself the humiliation girl!
  • First it was watermelon. Broccoli may not have Viagra-like effects (after you ingest ten million kilograms of it), but it's now considered a miracle It Veg. I've tried to convince my son about it, but it hasn't worked wonders at home.
  • In the realm of blogs,I found a (non sex related) blog Bête de Jour this week that had me laughing at the ironies, tribulations and observations written by La Bête, and it's just my luck that this blog is currently on hiatus due to a technical glitch (due to a flood disaster). I'm hoping La Bête returns soon, but in the meantime there are plenty of archives to roam.

And that's all for now. It will take me hours to get through housework, I do housework in 2 hour bursts, take a long break, and assess the situation (whether I'll continue or not, if it's reasonable, I don't do a third or fourth hour). What can I say? I'm a domestic disappointment to my mother's side of the family (zealous homemakers that could take on Martha Stewart blindfolded - I'm not lying).

Genetically Modified Orgasms

I'm not going to comment about the Labor Federal Government's latest (idiotic) education policy or how Julia Gillard pisses me off. You really can't blame me for thinking politicians here are twats...Labor...Liberal, I'm an equal opportunity person...actually, all politicians around the globe; it is as though these people are born with a twat chromosome. I can't understand how a portion of the human population even bothers to take these people seriously. Look at what we have to put up with in Australia. Now, imagine if Dubya made a gaff like this:

Getting Over the C-Word: What Did Cindy Say?

How do you become desensitized to the word 'cunt'? Take a few tips from these people in the video below. The video is based on an outburst made in 1992. John McCain and his wife were having a row in front of aides and she told him about his thinning hair, and he took it personally and called her a cunt. I don't really see the big deal, to me, it's part of what marriage can be, many other marrieds say worse things. I wonder how his wife responded? What's the bet that she said something equally 'controversial?' but that part is never discussed. You're free to leave suggestions in the comments below.

The lesson of this domestic verbal prang? Don't get married. Oh well, it doesn't like like John McCain will be approached by Advanced Hair Studio in the future:

August 29, 2008

Girls Gone 'Wild' or Girls Gone Stupid?

If I found my son in a similar predicament as the ‘lingerie’ teens at the Hooker's Ball in the Northern Territory, I’d turf him out of the club by the ear, he’d be grounded for a year, and I’d confiscate (read: toss out his ‘gadgets’ and luxuries) his junk. Then in the definite rebellious discourse of ‘you cannot ground me mum!’ I would come back with the ultimate rebuttal: get a job to pay for all your clubbing expenses. I’m a wog; I don't have the Anglo politically correct thing happening at all. I react this way because there is that minor segment (Genetically passed on? Cultural?) that goes off every now and then, a bit like a short circuit. It's not a matter of teenagers being 'seen' and not heard, or to be locked away until they're adults, but more a case of teenagers developing some manners, decorum and self-respect.

Is it too convenient to blame the Paris Hilton’s of this world and the nightclubs? Some girls do look over the age of 18, which is the legal age for alcohol consumption in Australia. If it was me, I’d be blaming myself as a parent, but I can see how convenient it would be to blame everything else, to distance oneself from the core matter: how do two girls actually manage to leave a house scantily clad in freaking lingerie? That was my first thought, and girls aren’t the only ones that are displaying bad behavior; there is a percentage of teenage males that are the same. It’s like they’re trying to negotiate a sexual Formula One race with training wheels.

I’m sorry, but I don’t buy the ‘these girls are innocent children’ excuse. Deep down, I view that type of behavior as tarty, cheap, and what have you, that will undoubtedly upset the militant feminists that may (or may not) think that these poor little tarts were brainwashed by aliens (the males the entire patriarchy), but it’s a worrying trend. In one of my previous posts, discussing an underage girl using Adultfriendfinder, to sleep with an older man, whom she later reported to the police, I pointed out the Lolita aspect that unfolds online, but it doesn’t have to unfold online.

Continue reading "Girls Gone 'Wild' or Girls Gone Stupid?" »

The New Marlboro Man?

Whether controversial or not, one of the most powerful or recognizable branding image of the 20th century happens to be The Marlboro Man.
Introduced in 1955, the Marlboro Man ad campaign was created by the Leo Burnett Company. If you mention The Marlboro Man in certain quarters, you'll receive responses like disgust, derision and outright rage, and it is quite understandable, the campaign promoted cigarettes but even non-smoking ad men and women of this era will concede and admire the campaign for its global success; it is responsible for increasing Marlboro cigarette sales. Cigarette smoking has always been attached to other images, usually sexual images or ideas. In one of my past posts about smoking, you'll find a YouTube image with Dita Von Teese seductively sucking a ciggie. Fashion, sex, image, status, masculinity, femininity, 'female liberation/feminism', it goes on. The cigarette companies have used these ideas to their advantage, and created ads to further enhance their product.

The era of the Fifties (60's and 70's) didn't bat an eyelid over cigarettes. Even as I watch my DVD's of classic Twilight Zone episodes, I see Rod Serling promoting Chesterfields because the cigarette company sponsored the television show and one can see that he doesn't look 100% ecstatic about introducing 'next week's story' to follow that through with ad spiel. The usually eloquent Serling, even a smoker himself, is awkward as he delivers the lines and that was what it was in the Fifties and Sixties; many television shows relied on company sponsorship, or the networks relied on advertising/sponsorship. The only difference between that time and today is that there are so many other products in our world, due to technological innovation and population increase, to advertise – networks don't really need cigarette companies and cigarette companies know this very well but that doesn't stop them sponsoring other events like MotoGP.

Continue reading "The New Marlboro Man?" »

I See Sick People...

I accompanied a friend to the hospital the other day. It was a routine day surgery procedure, and that meant waiting around for an hour or so. I'm quite comfortable within hospitals because I've spent four years of my life working in them, and that usually means that I often have to bite my tongue whenever friends (that are unaccustomed to hospitals) air out their anxiety when they go for a minor ailment and magnify it to mortal proportions.

"You're not even having a mole removed. It's an overgrown blood vessel. Superficial."
"But what if something goes wrong?"
"What can go wrong - you're going to be under local anesthetic (for god's sake)," I replied.
"You could be more sensitive!"
My eyeballs involuntarily rolled upward.

Royal Prince Alfred Hospital is a hospital with a history; its contemporary add-ons weirdly compliment the older buildings, but my little beef related to the designated smoking areas, and I must admit that this was my concern because I can't really sit perfectly still in a hospital. It doesn't unnerve me, but some sick people tend to create an aura of exaggerated doom. Their air takes on a leaden quality after a while. It's difficult to illustrate or explain. It simply feels like you're sitting in an alternative cosmos, and if you don't bring anything to read, you're stuck with the vintage magazines. It reminds me of my shrink's office.

I don't know what is more depressing: depression or being stuck with Time Magazine in a psychiatrist's waiting room. If you flick through Time Magazine, you're bound to read about the latest phase of human butchery - how uplifting is that? Hospitals may differ; their magazines tend to revolve around celebrities and glamorous lives (Hello Magazine, OK! Magazine, Famous, Vogue, Vogue Living, etc); a startling contrast to the sterile surroundings. So I brought my Nintendo DS, and everything was going well. My friend was being checked over by the nurse, but when she returned:

"Turn the volume down, it's too loud."
Can't even do my Nintendo Brain Training, I thought. My friend would have had apoplectic fits if I slotted in my Mario game.
"I'm going for a smoke."
"But I haven't been called yet."
"Don't worry, if you're called, I'll be here when you're out."
"Is it going to kill you if you wait another half hour?"
No, it's not going to kill me, but you're panicky state is going to drive me nuts, I thought, feeling a sliver of guilt immediately after. This person hadn't had an operation in their life; they never broke a bone, so their anxiety was understandable, but it didn't really erase my frustration.
"Okay, okay I'll wait," I said, trying my best to cover up my irritation. I wasn't hanging for a smoke. The source of my irritation related to the drama. Then I thought about the worst case scenario, and what a drama it could be if the situation was serious (and it wasn't). If my friend faced a more serious ailment, the chance of making it to the operating theater would be lowered by the advanced state of anxiety. Their anxiety is based on their view of hospitals: people die in hospitals. And it's a view I don't get because I see it as an even balance: the majority of humans are born in hospitals. It kind of cancels out, doesn't it? Then you have the portion of hypochondriacs that sit in Emergency waiting rooms demanding attention for a common head cold.

At uni, I was studying a biomed degree majoring in anatomy and physiology. A portion of our labs and lectures were attended by medical students who took on an additional science degree, and these medical students were amusing because they'd enter their second year, enter their clinical training and realize (d'oh) that they'd be surrounded by sick people every week, for the next six to seven years. I remember my first anatomy lab in my second year. The lab next to ours contained a small group of medical students, and as we were viewing our first wet specimens we heard a loud thud. We thought someone dropped their backpack, but the next few minutes revealed the cause: two lab technicians were practically dragging a medical student past our lab - the poor dear fainted. We didn't laugh as in 'ha-ha how funny,' it was more an ironic laugh, along the lines of, 'why pick a profession filled with bodies, blood and organs if you faint at the sight of blood and can't stomach innards?' Every med student that experienced queasiness was immediately enrolled in a desensitization program run by the faculty of behavioral science.

Hospitals can increase one's exposure to illness, that's for sure. I waited until my friend was called, my arse already being out of my seat.
"Can't live without a smoke," the sarcasm was palpable, but that doesn't faze me.
"Think of it as motivation. If I start a rigorous gym routine, train up, and do a few courses, I can climb Mt Everest with the same motivation."
"Please! How can you equate having a fag with climbing the highest mountain?"
I don't know how I equate it, at that moment I wanted to get out and have some fresh air because the high drama was bugging me something solid.
"Bye-bye, see you later."
"Don't say that - bye bye."
"You're not having a heart're having a segment of your skin snipped, sutured and you'll be out in no time."

Well... their face! You'd think that I said I molested their dog.

I finally made the break, walked over to the designated smoking area further away from the main building and tolerated the chill. Put it this way, by the time the evening was out, I started sneezing and this was followed by the sniffles; snot overload requiring a box of tissues on standby. Today...full blown cold. You don't see me complaining do you?

August 28, 2008

If You're Feeling Blue...This'll Cheer You Up...

Tilda Teethamywinehouse400a071807

To think...these celebrities are swimming in money...


Tilda can't afford a stylist and Amy can't afford a dentist...

Celebrities have everything...huh?

You have to hand it to the paparazzi. A lot that is written about them is negative, and fair enough, many of their actions question ethics, but they do - in some perverse way - offer some sort of community service to us mere mortals. If you think you're having a bad hair day, you can feel comforted by the fact that Amy Winehouse has them year-round, and no, I don't care what fashion sycophants say about her being a trend setter. That isn't a beehive. It's a roach motel.

Lift and Separate....Your Ass...

Ass_bra It sounds pornographic when you say, ‘lift and separate your ass,’ out loud doesn’t it? But I’m not referring to porn here; if you’re disappointed by that, then you’re free to depart, and take your sulky expression with you.

The ass bra is here. Yes. The ass bra. Bras are meant to lift and separate boobs, and now there is a butt bra that promises to do the same thing. I don’t find the engineering that revolutionary; it is a girdle with the ass cheeks cut out. What a fashion nightmare. Imagine wearing this contraption beneath jeans? Why do women accept these developments within fashion, I’ll never know, but they’re accepted and they’re often given great reviews by online fashion sites. Yeah, women are buying these things. This thing makes Bridget Jones' granny undies look sexy - if that was possible, but it's possible now. I mean, look at the thing on the left will you? Girdles are unsexy; they're a pain in the butt during intimate moments.

This ass bra reminds me of the jeans in the Ryan O’Neal film So Fine.

This goes out to all the women buying these girdles: Ladies, learn to live and love your butt - without the weird girdle.

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