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The Cozy Spot

140 posts categorized "Society"

July 31, 2008

A Modern Social Disease

Although past moments may be dead, the lessons from prior phases or periods can (and do) alter the way an issue is viewed. It's quite naïve to believe that we're living in a civilized society when there are many uncivilized things going on. One matter that is quite disturbing, but a growing trend, is bullying. A current case in Sydney concerns Alex Wildman, a 14 year old boy committing suicide due to bullying. I found it a concern because my son is the same age, and his observations at school are a concern for me because I do tread the mad line where I think that bringing back the cane ought to be an option; this political correctness of 'time out' rooms, suspensions (days off school for kids) and teachers turning a blind eye, will lead to devastating social issues years down the track.

I'm not a militant parent, but if I see bullshit, then it's bullshit, and I'm unlikely to remain quiet. It was like the time the head English teacher –who gives out uniform warnings (for minor things – even though it's a public school) – decided to single out my son. Three warnings, and it's the Guatanamo Bay 'time out' room for kids, and it's so freaking stupid. Only private schools have prissy uniforms. Public schools, in Australia, aren't like 'public schools' in the UK (a misnomer if ever there was one). Any-who, I immediately wrote a letter, and used the term 'Guatanamo Bay', as in, "I'm not really impressed with this school's Guatanamo Bay tactics of isolating children due to a uniform issue and if I find out that my son is in a time-out room, I'll take the matter further." There are certain teachers that really drive me up the wall. Their nonchalance or complacency; many of them work as teachers in the same way that office grunts work for the 'rent'. It's not their vocation, but 'it's a job.' Well excuse me, teachers are paving the foundations for children, so it's not just a 'job,' and in my view, if it's simply a job for them, then they're in the wrong job. At my son's school there are teachers that are lazy and have questionable standards where discipline is concerned, but my main concern related to incidents where bullying was ignored. I'd hear about incidents my son would see, things relating to other kids, and I'd ask myself what is happening with the education system? What kind of bullies is it nurturing for future generations?

The idea of entering a workplace in ten or fifteen years time, if the department of education does nothing, will be a dread-filled idea. As it stands, bullying is common among adults in today's workplaces. To some middle managers, it's a philosophy, only because such managers are lazy, incompetent and incredibly fucking stupid to begin with; they take the short cuts, bullying to get a result. In my experience, bullies are often the most unintelligent people I've come across. Ignorant, incompetent, lazy and emotionally underdeveloped, they may as well be sociopaths (as adults) and as children, they're sociopaths in the making.

How many letters can a parent write to an education department? How many letters can a parent write to schools requesting attention be given to a rising problem before one goes the opposite way? It's very difficult to raise children in a world riddled with political correctness. Kids are supposed to stand there and do nothing if they're hit by other students, 'because it's not nice to hit,' but today's demands don't accommodate the age old 'ignore it and it will go away,' and I don't think that mantra ever worked. I really don't know what is worse: sexually transmitted diseases (that can be managed or treated by medication) or social diseases like bullying and political correctness (that tends to condition people to be spineless, eroding the spirit over time).

Maybe families should take legal action against schools. Hitting a person, institution and company in the pocket tends to work better than endless letters that are processed and filed away. The 21st century approach to customer relations involves creating delays in the guise of 'action.' It's always the, 'yes we have received your letter/complaint and are investigating,' but really, that is only the first step in the red tape that rivals the Great Wall of China. And I'm well aware of that, after spending more than seven years in the industry of the non-apology apology, double-speak, company spin and managerial bullshit. I really hope Alex Wildman's parents sue the school and the department of education. We pay our taxes, provide revenue for this sorry arsed Labor State government, and we are entitled to receiving quality education, among other things (like decent public transport and health services). If teachers don't like their jobs, they should find other jobs. If they want to whine and carry on, then go and work in the frigging financial sector (or change professions), if it's more money they want), because having half-arsed and half-hearted teachers is only going to disadvantage children in the long run. And I'm sick and tired of reading about teachers and their 'financial' woes. They have the most holiday time per year and they get paid for it, but they still find time for strikes. Yesterday, my son's school commenced half an hour later due to a strike. A half-hour strike action by teachers. It's a joke.

July 23, 2008

Naomi's Bedroom Bill

What are billionaire boyfriends for?

I, for one, don't believe the latest story about Naomi Campbell. If you check out the price of the presidential suite and dinner, you'd see why. What is two hundred pounds when the nightly rate exceeds ten thousand pounds? I don't know what is more strange. The price of the room, or the fact that the cost of the sheets is two hundred pounds (cheap, in comparison to the suite).

Life is tough at the top...sigh.

Attack of Daytime Television, Bachelor Repeats & Toddler Men

Bachelorromefinale_story Daytime television is weird. I'd forgotten how weird until I took a break and sat down to watch the two-hour Bachelor – Rome. It's a repeat, but I missed it the first time round. The Bachelor – Rome sees Prince Lorenzo Borghese search for the 'love of his life.' The beginning had me riveted. Lorenzo, a resident of New York, stated the difficulty of finding women within his city. Methinks the boy works far too much; then again, he has a mini empire to maintain. A quick introduction to the women, and their excitement at having a chance at a prince, is funny and a little perverse; how many women can recall the little girl fantasy? I know I can. The idea of marrying a prince is fun when little, it brings all the fairy tales to mind, and everything always ends well in Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Cinderella and Rapunzel.

The interesting thing about shows like The Bachelor is the behavioral observation; women compete, they reveal their bitchy side, and will do practically anything to bag the perfect bloke. They go on outrageously expensive dates, dine at places they'll probably never afford to dine in again, and it can lead to danger.

How does a girl return to her normal life after dating The Bachelor? How does a small town girl from Texas cope with European sophistication by way of Italian nobility, and cope with possible elimination, to return to the family farm?  Rosella, a make up artist, from Chicago thinks her selection is a sign; she's Italian, and she thinks flying to Rome to meet the prince is a favorable omen. Other scenes showing the girls walking around Rome, noticing the name Borghese on monuments like The Vatican animates the reality of Lorenzo's heritage – which includes a Pope.

Preening takes on more dimensions as the girls, after meeting Lorenzo, do their best to impress him. It ranges from an operatic balcony solo to a trashy, 'you want to see me shake it.' You just know that 'shake it' girl isn't going to make the cut. Vulgarity and desperation are twin siblings. When two native Italian girls crash the party, the American contenders are slightly livid and I don't blame them. Italian women would rather anger God than wear track pants.

Enough about the girls (who are more in love with the idea of marrying a prince than anything else)…it just makes you wonder. Prince Lorenzo Borghese looking for love on The Bachelor? What the?

What do you buy a man who has everything?

A reality check?

I couldn't be bothered waiting for the repeat-final, watching all the women bitch, complain, compete and the smooch fest; watching shows like The Bachelor and Bachelorette is enough to turn me into Howard Hughes (in terms of developing germ phobia). It makes you realize that the person you're kissing has an entire sexual history, but this show reinforces that more. It's a little humiliating, and women/men can't really avoid feeling like an 'option' when bachelors ask permission from both sets of parents.
Anyway, Prince Lorenzo chose Jennifer Wilson, however didn't propose marriage. Although he expressed his love (and present a 'family ring' but not an engagement ring), he didn't feel he was ready to propose. It makes one think, 'oh Christ, there I am on national television and you don't have the balls to propose!' Jennifer didn't do that. Instead, she transformed into the perky doormat: "Wow, this is so overwhelming but ya, I think you're incredible, I've fallen in love with you somewhere along the way," Jennifer replied. "I'm elated right now and I want to make it work with you and I see myself as a New York City girl!"

Ya! Wow!

It gets better (just when you thought that your past will disappear, the Internet cache is fabulous for keeping records), just like a soapie. He breaks up with his final pick, returns to previous runner up/reject Sadie Murray, dates her for a little while, and breaks up with her, his reasoning based on Sadie's party girl lifestyle as well as her inability to take her job seriously. Marrying a millionaire isn't easy because - and this is a really wild guess - a woman's job is her husband. This doesn't mean cleaning houses, ironing his shirts or cooking lamb roasts: it's about being presentable, demure and a fine accessory. 'Rich men's wives are seen and not heard.'

Returning to the premiere (repeat in Australia) and Lorenzo's reason for being single: the difficulty of finding a partner in New York (population, density, stress, etc), I think men have difficulty concentrating. You put a thousand women in front of them and they experience a short circuit. The idea of playing the field to find the right person tends to backfire; too many people, so little time and the growing panic of not finding the perfect person. It tends to create an existential crisis or paranoia. Even if the person thinks they've found the best match, they second guess themselves, as Lorenzo (and millions of men do) did. Men ought to be placed on an island (I'd say leash, but that would be cruel and unusual treatment that would have PETA up in arms) with a limited supply. Maybe high flyers like Prince Lorenzo should be given a permit with an annual quota. That way, they don't muck about and waste a woman's time. I don't think it's about a man's personal tastes (refined or whatever), it's about indecision. People think women are indecisive? The modern male is more indecisive than a woman shopping in a department store with Pre-Menstrual Tension.

It kind of takes me back to early parenthood and toddlers.

"I'll have that I like that one," for you to by your little boy the red train, for you to go home, look forward to a coffee/glass of wine/smoke/'you time' with your vibe, for them to veer toward another path, "I also liked the green one mum, can we also get the green train?" and before you know it, you're in UN like discussions with a toddler about the entire freaking train set:

"It's not the right time to get the entire set (which is like, 'this isn't the right time to invade nation X')"

For toddler lad to roll his eyes, tense his little mouth and state his case:

"But I want it!" and let's not forget, "It's NOT FAIR!"

The only pisser in adulthood is that you can't put your foot down and tell a man:

"No more back chat or you get no dinner."

This only works in early childhood, and toddler lad doesn't dare risk missing dessert. Unfortunately, adulthood is a different story altogether. Men tend to listen to their mothers or they're conditioned to think they can fertilize every woman within a twenty block radius - that it's their god given right (never mind the delusional aspect of it all: where is the time?), and who are you to interfere with their divine right?

These days, you tell your bloke they're not getting any sex (or dinner), and you're likely to be told, 'hey, that's cool I'll log onto the Internet and have a wank, no skin off my nose.' Either that, or they'll order a Big Mac at the nearest drive-thru McDonalds, and happily settle in front of the computer, television or play with their frigging iPhone.

Where is the fairness?

I'm now wondering if the contestants on the Bachelor and Bachelorette attend special 12 Step Programs to recover from opulent dates. Ordinary dates would never be the same again. It's like the Crocodile Dundee 'that's not a knife' moment; picture a former contestant sitting with her poor date in a regular restaurant, saying, 'this isn't a date! I'm accustomed to a private jet. Don't you know who I am? I am contestant number 12 from season five of the Bachelor for chrissakes.'

July 22, 2008

Nightmare on Park Avenue

Gold diggers are hilarious. The finale to the Tricia Walsh-Smith's plight is apparently final. She has been ordered to leave the apartment. In her April 2008 video Tricia has a tantrum and goes all drama queen but it doesn't really explain the most recent request for more money. She didn't understand the prenuptial agreement.

Ah Tricia, a nice job in an office or in a nursing home will do you the world of good. Maybe she can turn her domestic theatrics into a musical: The Rise and Fall of a Park Avenue Drama Queen?
The height of modern vulgarity is airing out the dirty laundry on YouTube. Maybe Tricia will create a blog and add a 'please donate' button? (like Ugly Debty - married to a banker, but needs donations to 'survive')

Walsh's hilarious quote: "It brought attention to my plight and the plight of a lot of other women," she told reporters. "A woman should not be thrown out of her home for no reason."

Somehow, I don't think other ordinary women would be able to identify with being thrown out of a plush Park Avenue penthouse, not only this, she doesn't really tell the full story. YouTube videos are short and they need to contain the juicy bits. No one really knows the full story of the relationship but that didn't stop Tricia stooping to Stygian depths to humiliate her husband and his daughters.

Then again, poverty to a Park Avenue socialite means being unable to buy a Hermes handbag on a whim, or passing the day at Saks Fifth Avenue. One can't help but sympathize with this affluence effluence.

July 21, 2008

The Crunch to End all Crunches?

People wouldn’t believe me if I say it, but it’s the whole truth, the entire truth, I swear by my morning hair and the fag dangling out of my mouth, but now as I watch CBS News, I’m slightly flummoxed by the dependency on credit cards for basic staples because, get this, I’ve never had a credit card.

Bankruptcy became a reality for me early in life. People I knew found it shocking for someone like me to Credit_card go bankrupt in my Twenties. Did I have a business? No. Did I heavily invest in a project? Absolutely not. Did I overspend on luxury goods? No. I took out a loan. A measly little loan for an amount that was far too much for me to handle at the age of nineteen - two and a half thousand dollars. Such a pissy amount, I know, but that is how it all started for me, and ironically enough, to benefit me in the long run as I see people in supermarket checkouts put their thirty dollar groceries on credit.

The secret behind my bankruptcy is simple, and it was my first lesson in being young, stupid and trusting a bloke. I was sharing a house with three males (two co-workers), and over time they became like older siblings, keeping an eye on my ‘virtue’ and ensuring I didn’t date any idiots, and at one point the eldest flat mate decided I had to find a better job, one that was more savory than serving drinks in a caberet-nightclub bar. He loaned me money, against my will, to enroll in a travel agent course, and although I did learn one good thing (typing), other problems emerged, namely an overseas visitor friend of theirs who was the ultimate sleazebag. Needless to say, I had to move out because I offended them by rightfully accusing the visitor of making unsavory moves. One of my flat mates couldn’t  handle me saying it as it simply was: that their barrister friend was a predator, and that I wasn’t anyone’s whore.

Continue reading "The Crunch to End all Crunches?" »

July 19, 2008

The Bernays Principle: From Religious Sexual Abuse to Feminism

It was the apology that Sydney (and its media) eagerly waited for, and the agitation increased as the days passed by during this week, or World Youth Day Week. Sexual abuse has made headlines around the world, and it seems that there are ways to go in regard to sorting the issues out but an apology is a small and essential step. An apology is an acknowledgment of fault. As for what happens in the future? Hopefully cases will be turned over to the police instead of being internal - but there is a long way to go yet. I don't think the financial 'out of court' settlements really do much justice, when the abusers don't see a day in jail.

How and why clerical abuses occur is a mystery. One would think that sexual self-love would be sufficient. The excuse of clerical celibacy (as a partial cause) doesn't really wash because many other non-clerical people are celibate, and they don't go about taking advantage of minors. The Catholic Church has a lot of things to work on, namely figuring out a way to screen potential pederasts beforehand: perhaps psychological evaluations over the course of a year? Then again, an attitude adjustment regarding sex is another issue; any sort of repression tends to create a bottleneck. It's one thing to be celibate without religious reason, and quite another to force oneself into the fold or compromise. Perhaps the Catholic Church should look at asexual men as better candidates. Yes, asexuality is real.

The definition of asexuality varies, but an asexual person is commonly defined as a person who doesn't experience sexual attraction. Asexual, on its own, is defined as 'without sexual desire or interest.' Is it possible for a person to be asexual? According to Asexuality.Org it is. Asexuality, according to, is an orientation, not a choice (like celibacy). What is the difference between sexual attraction and attraction? Sexual attraction motivates the individual to act on the urge. It all makes for interesting discussions. Sexuality has existed since day dot. After all society has relied on sex to have a steady increase in population. But does reproduction really require sexual paraphernalia for sexual intercourse to occur? I tend to doubt that it does. Many population spikes, or spikes in birth rates, occurred in the era before pornographic saturation. In other words, people don't need visible sexual stimuli in order to reproduce and people can have sex without experiencing the romantic 'swept away' moment. In fact, many people have supplied information to sex surveys of the past to state that they experienced minor thrills during sex. This is usually attributed to mediocre sexual technique, poor anatomical knowledge and sexual oppression.

One person of interest, that is rarely the subject of much debate in the 21st century, is the person who is considered to be the father of 'spin' or PR, Edward Bernays. Edward was interested in his uncle's (Sigmund Freud) work on the unconscious, and was interested in manipulating public opinion by using the psychology of the subconscious. Perhaps one of the scariest quotes attributed to Bernays, is the following:

The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society…Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. . . . In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons . . . who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind."

Bernays developed marketing techniques that are still practiced during political campaigns. His work wasn't limited to politics; he drew upon Sigmund Freud's psychoanalytic ideas to promote (by indirection) products such as cigarettes. In short, Edward Bernays was a propagandist. To this day, he is considered as the Father of PR.

Posterlightofthecross In fact, if the most recent Papal apology on sexual abuse is weighed against all the hoopla and PR of World Youth Day (events, masses and concerts featuring many 'Christian' Australian Idol finalists and winners), one can possibly see WYD for what it is – a massive gathering of people that represent a group mind. This group mind shares the same faith, and seeks like-minded individuals. One can almost taste the buzz in the polluted city air when standing among these people or pilgrims. They are affable, and not the hard boiled city person one would normally come across; many people interviewed for news programs have been quoted to say something along the lines of, 'it's nice to see people smiling in the city.' One cannot argue against the positive vibe. It's pleasant. I'm betting that the issue of clerical sexual abuse won't register strongly among the pilgrims. It will go in one ear and out the other; what they will take home from this trip is the new friendships, fun and the chance to see Pope Benedict XVI. World Youth Day is pure PR, and these sorts of endeavours aren't a surprise in an age filled with uncertainties (environmental and economic) that multiply by the day. One can go further to say that many youth need some form of spiritual sanctuary in order to feel like they matter because it's tremendously easy to feel like being a cog in a world filled with confusion, violence and elephantine sized shit. What or who is the best candidate? Youth. Religion isn't just about God, or whose God is 'best', it's also about maintaining an ordered society. By order, I mean the opposite of chaos.

The Bernay's system of PR –in today's terms- can't be considered 'genius' but it was considered genius for the 20th century. His principles tend to hinge on human vulnerability or human vulnerability is the springboard of every marketing campaign. It doesn't matter if it is religious, non-profit or commercial, the same principles are recycled and applied to just about anything; take the upcoming Sydney Sexpo as an example. The Sexpo isn't about education. There is nothing there to educate the masses about sex or sexual practice, but it is sold as a lifestyle event, but it's a commercial event. Upon entering the Sexpo, people will notice the décor; it is wall-to-wall sex toys, videos and other paraphernalia. There is no literature, other than copious adult magazines filled with women showing their 'pink'. The idea of being a sex dynamo or getting there is enough; it is every modern adult's dilemma – how great am I in bed? Can I be good in bed? Which product will help me be great in bed? Here's news: products aren't a panacea. Intimacy isn't about products.

Virginia_slims The world of feminism is interesting, and more so today. The feminist dinosaurs of the past have faded, some have found other causes, but the shadow of feminism lingers on. Like any ism – there tend to be more splits than the split ends on my scalp. There is pro-sex, there is radical, there is anti-porn, in fact there are many varieties of feminism out there; if feminism was a tobacco industry, I'm sure that women would be able to find their perfect blend of tobacco, which brings me to the next interesting morsel concerning the father of PR, Bernays, and his successful campaign to get more women to smoke in the United States, in the 20th Century.

The dilemma for the tobacco industry was as follows: How do you sell cigarettes to women when smoking is taboo for women? I think many would agree with me, even though I am a smoker, when I say that smoking would have to be a modern evil in the sense of profiteering and corporate greed, not to mention the preference of using crops for tobacco instead of food, in a world rife with hunger.

The Bernays approach or solution to overturning the female taboo on smoking is interesting because it simply shows how feminism isn't exclusive to women. Men have used feminism or feminist ideas to push products, and women fall – and continue to fall – for it. These days, however, women are told to buy something (that is associated to grooming or image) because, after all 'they work hard' and 'they can afford it.' Independence, as a concept, is still used to manipulate women.

In the Twenties, The American Tobacco Company used PR to promote cigarettes to women. A.D. Laskers adverts featured opera singers promoting Lucky Strike cigarettes. Lucky Strike was further promoted as the healthier cigarette (like a 'healthier A-Bomb?'). Then cigarettes were linked to weight control with captions such as, 'Reach for a Lucky instead of a sweet.' And the idea of thinness continues, with the word permeating certain brands like Virginia Slims (remember? The one with the 'feminist' – 'you've come a long way baby' caption?)

When Edward Bernays comes along, the picture changes. It isn't about healthier cigarettes; the campaign took a different direction: sell women cigarettes as a symbol of freedom or liberation. See, men like Bernays didn't have to wait for the feminist Sixties to arrive. It's pure social/group psychology. Even latter feminists have taken advantage of group dynamics to get their points across. The idea of cigarettes as a symbol of independence wasn't Bernays' sole idea; he arrived to that idea by way of consulting a psychiatrist who advised him. Bernays prepared for the PR campaign of THE century. It's a PR 'thang' that is still being taught, and similar marketing methods are used all the time - example: product sample bags.

Bernays hired fashion models to march in New York's Easter parade. Each model held a lit cigarette and wore a banner stating, "torch of liberty " and further on, the photographs from the parade were sent (and published) aroundBlow the world. From that point on, as soon as cigarettes became trendy, female independence and submission walked hand in hand (refer to the vintage advert on the right) Similar marketing methods are used today. I don't even want to entertain how many freebies tobacco companies give to celebrities, but even the paparazzi enters – albeit indirectly/unintentionally – the scene each time a picture of a smoking Britney Spears is captured, sold and published en masse. So much for the torch of liberty when there is clear and obvious manipulation of just about everything and it does raise questions: how liberated are women? How liberated are men? Are you as liberated as you think you are or are you as liberated as marketing companies say you are? Dita Von Teese’s smoking video, depicting her seductively sucking on a long cigarette, didn’t really wash with me; it was like stepping back into a bygone era - going backwards instead of forwards, but when I posted that video on my blog months ago (accompanying a post about the folly of tobacco marketing), some commenters swooned over Dita smoking. Go figure.

It's fair to say that marketing and advertising are needed, but I'd go further and ask myself whether a product does truly alter a person's life for the better. It may be individual. It may depend on the product. I think promoting something like a religion may be positive for some, but it still doesn't actively deal with the issues facing the world. Sexpo may be fun, but it certainly isn't educational for some, and it's more a business venture. These days cigarettes are evil, and aren't the symbol of independence for women (their addictive factor isn't a symbol of independence for any one for that matter), but sex is interesting. Now sex, there's something there. It is the new thing. It's better than cigarettes. Addiction? There is sexual addiction, but it's never really taken seriously. It's not like sexual addiction will increase one's chances of developing emphysema or lung cancer, and if you whack a condom on, the chance of contracting a disease is diminished. But is sex an adequate symbol of independence?

Are we truly independent as individuals?

July 18, 2008

SJP Succumbs to Cosmetic 'Alteration'?

Sjp Judge for yourself, but I don't recall Cindy Crawford being subjected to similar cruelty by certain male reviewers of Sex and the City.

Rex Reed's review in the NY Observer, began thus:

"There’s nothing wrong with Sarah Jessica Parker that couldn’t be cured by wart-removal surgery. That growth on her face just gets bigger with every close-up, and in the full-length movie version of Sex and the City it’s so distracting you can’t concentrate on anything else. It’s not a beauty mark."

It's tempting to critique said male reviewers/critics in the following way:

There’s nothing wrong with male critics, nothing that a penile enlargement can't fix.

Am I mean to say that?

I know one thing. If anyone sent me a review like Reed's for LM, I'd say, 'thanks but no thanks. Send me a review when you've boosted your emotional intelligence.'

Image: Reuters

July 17, 2008

Baby Steps in Sexual Control: Nude Teacher Sues

It may be the way of the modern world, being discriminated against in the workplace, and being pushed toward anxiety and depressive episodes, and the depression may not be classified as clinical depression or organic depression (bipolar, etc), but it is circumstantial or existential, that merges with an individual's goals, efforts and the age old question of 'what will I do in my life?' or 'where is the way forward?' The tunnel appears to darken, and this can be more debilitating for those who have spent years training for vocations like teaching.

Lynne Tziolas, if you remember back to a previous post, is the teacher who was suspended due to her nude photograph in Cleo Magazine. The article that the photograph appeared in discussed the intimacy of couples, and she appeared nude with her husband. The photograph wasn't pornographic or sexually explicit, but it caused a sensation with some conservatives at Lynne's then school and some parents. Many parents who adored Lynne as a person and teacher, were opposed to the conservative act of dismissing this teacher, and rightly so. Lynne didn't reveal her private details (in terms of her profession – school, surname, etc) in the article, but one chance event, someone recognizing her, led to her initial dismissal. Lynne is now taking legal action against the State Government of New South Wales.

Continue reading "Baby Steps in Sexual Control: Nude Teacher Sues" »

July 15, 2008

The Sydney Condom 'Sisters', Minors & World Youth Day 08

Evanspike_wideweb__470x3730 It makes perfect sense to choose this time in Sydney to protest against the Pope. After all there are more than a hundred thousand pilgrims here, and there is a high police presence, which automatically translates to a high media presence, so what better way for these ladies (pictured) to protest after being the legal all clear to approach people to hand out free condoms and rant about the pope.

Wow, Rachel Evans challenged the legislation, and it is what a democratic society is all about, but challenging legislation doesn't automatically guarantee intelligence, as footage on the news clearly indicated. There she was, this supposed sex revolutionary, handing out a strip of condoms to a fourteen year old girl. The female pilgrim was clearly young, as was her friend (possible sibling), and the two kids were shocked as Evans approached them holding a strip of condoms. The girl had to tell Evans that she was only fourteen years old. In other words she didn't need, nor desire the condoms, but Evans was waving them around,and I do find that disturbing. How stupid can a person be not to tell the difference between an adult and a child? And that is what pisses me off the most. These new age hippy uni students (with no kids) are so egocentric. They may make out like their being altruistic, but it's all about their ego and voracious need to conform others. The NotoPope Coalition is not unlike the religious door knocker. Those in the city proper will know that although there are thousands of pilgrims here, they actually keep to themselves and don't make it their business to stick their noses in the business of others.

It's amusing to think that people like Evans go to university. Handing condoms to a child, whose mind isn't on sex or condoms, is about as stupid or zealous as a person can get. I'm leaning toward the latter. I'm not a conservative parent where sexual Q & A is concerned, but if she approached me and my son with condoms in hand, I'd make her eat them and I'm not conservative, but I'm not one who enjoys having my privacy invaded as I'm walking on a city street.

I don't know what's more tragic: the condom giveaways to minors or the style challenged duo.

July 14, 2008

Relationships in the Modern Age: From Christie Brinkley to Frilly Theories on Male Behavior

Christiebrinkleyb Christie Brinkley's divorce has appeared in many shows and magazines. The divorce aired her ex husband's dirty laundry across the world, everything from his affair with a teenager to his addiction to Internet porn, with allegations of his web cam masturbation sessions. It's a tale of yet another celebrity relationship biting the dust for reasons that can (and do) affect non-celebrity couples: infidelity, addiction and humiliation. It's like agreeing to certain relationship terms and finding that the errant partner disrespects the mutual terms, taking a secret detour to find temporary nirvana. Although celebrity relationships are viewed as a unique example, the issues aren't unique or exclusive to celebrities. Infidelity and betrayal are equal opportunity quantities that rear their heads in most relationships, which raise further questions regarding contemporary society, and whether this information driven society is compatible with traditional relationships.

Peter Cook won't be the first or last errant husband to use the Internet to get his jollies off. There are many who opt to reveal their private parts to maintain anonymity, to satisfy their yen for a different partner. The virtual partner or fuck buddy is a popular mod-con; anonymous, distant and open to suggestion, the virtual fuck buddy won't create problems, until Internet histories are discovered or one is busted in the act of preening online. I'm betting that Brinkley didn't see this coming, or anticipated her husband's infidelity or Internet porn addiction. There are things that are impossible to predict, so the statement made by a court appointed psychologist was really interesting because it indicates that some psychologists either have no clue or live on an intellectual pedestal.

Psychologists are renowned for discussing their theories on gender. Some are guilty of promoting their theory of biologically unfaithful men; it's all in the DNA! Where is the proof? Are there any prehistoric cave paintings that prove man's natural need to sow his seed with every vagina he meets? Of course there isn't. Never has been. I feel that the polygamy theory is social and is more closely related to contemporary society. I mean, in an age where all parents are financially responsible for the children they bring to this earth, it doesn't make sense for a man to procreate with every woman, and the same applies to bygone eras. But the present economic world is about disposability, convenience and sales. Thousands of years ago, it was the opposite and closer to the idea of sustainability. Only the wealthy could afford more than one wife, and many royal families featured many wives but the unions weren't sexual or based on the modern idea of romantic/sexual infatuation. It was about bloodlines or maintaining bloodlines within a dynasty. Ordinary men, or men without royal or aristocratic means, couldn't afford to have more than one wife, but not only that, there is no proof to support the theory of men being naturally or genetically promiscuous.

The court appointed psychologist allegedly said (of Brinkley) that Brinkley needed to start working on deeper issues, including her choice of male partners.

I don't think that Brinkley has a bad track record. Her marriage to Peter Cook wasn't an overnight affair and it doesn't seem to be based on whim. Sometimes it is difficult to penetrate the mask that people wear. One marries and sees the bad behavior later. What is the real difference between living together and marriage? Hardly anything. What is the point of cohabiting with a person for years before deciding on marriage? Common law partners are still treated the same way during the separation process and all are legally responsible for the children within a common law partnership. The law in most countries doesn't differ. Why isn't the court appointed psychologist quoted about Peter Cook and his activities? Where is that? Nowhere to be found, that's where but women 'need' to investigate their deeper issues relating to partner choice: here's news for them – sometimes it isn't so easy, and it is impossible to be clairvoyant on such matters.

As a woman, I'm sick and tired of the 'men are naturally promiscuous,' excuse. I think it all a bunch of bollocks, a cop out. Men are conditioned to view women as sex objects, and this conditioning has become something else after research on conditioning was published in the 20th Century. Psychological manipulation is prevalent in the world of commerce. Advertising operates on subtle psychological principles and conditioning and association is popular. You watch a television advert on household cleaning products and you see a woman starring in the advert, in fact you see women in these commercials for decades, so it comes as no surprise that women are associated with housework and cleaning products. Ask a man about the best oven cleaner and chances are that he'll have no bloody clue whatsoever. And no, let's not be rash and blame the entire 'patriarchy' because many executives in the business of conditioning and association are female as well. So it's not that simple to blame the patriarchy. After all, in order for a patriarchy to exist, it had to be supported by the female sector, and by support I mean the subtle support or nonchalant attitudes that exist. The idea of women removing themselves from the patriarchal equation is naïve and tends to be the easy way out or the easy argument. The world isn't about a mysterious Bilderberg-like group named The Patriarchy. It's about commerce, economies and profit. These three things dominate. Take the porn industry as one example: the idea of promiscuity is widely explored in pornography. There are more girls than a guy can handle, but in the ideal world of porn films the guy can handle more than one girl without his dick going soft. In fact, there are no soft-cock episodes in the world of porn, and while a portion of female actresses earn more than men, the idea of 'man conquering' pussy in porn can be considered patriarchal in the modern sense or according to the theory of male biological promiscuity, but it isn't purely patriarchal because women are also making the choice to participate in the films and there is also a portion of women purchasing the films to augment their sexual fantasies. In other words, the theory of supposed genetic infidelity is a fantasy and it is a commercial fantasy.

How can a woman like Christie, or any other woman, anticipate relationship disaster? Is it obvious beforehand, when a person puts on their best clothes for a date or displays perfect manners and conduct? After the relationship enters a regular routine, people find themselves living their life according to the agreements they made, and I'm not talking about wedding vows here, just the regular agreements and they can be anything. Even couples in open relationships have rules. Every individual relies on some code of conduct. It all boils down to knowing where one stands in a relationship.

You're an individual in the contemporary era and you're a female who is advised to analyze choices or the reason behind certain choices. It's what women have been advised to do for many decades but there are never any clear answers, and each relationship is different because people are different. There are patterns of behavior, definitely, but they often materialize differently (different time intervals), and it's not easy to step into the subconscious and demand instant answers. In Christie's case, one can't say, 'oh it's easy, all her partners were philanderers,' because they weren't. Thus, the issue is more subtle or subtle to the point of escaping the individual; the closer one gets to the reason behind certain choices, the reasons elude the individual and when coupled with the modern era of convenience, relationships become more difficult to negotiate in the long term. Is Christie's latest statement, vowing never to marry again, wise? It probably is wise. What does that say about the idea of marriage in contemporary society?

Don't put all your eggs in one basket and always have an escape hatch ready; have your finances sorted, a career ahead of you (and Christie is a great example: maintaining her own career), because we're living in a volatile era, and life isn't a romance novel.

Image: US Magazine

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© Anastasia Mavromatis 2005 - 2008