Things that are ridiculous today

Killer Whale: I know I shouldn’t be amused by someone dying, but you’ve got this “killer” whale (named Tilly) who’s already “killed” two people before at other aquariums and then gets confine to yet another swimming pool and is forced her to learn stupid tricks in order to amuse people and make lots of money for  Seaworld and then everyone is shocked (the crowd, reportedly,  gasped) when she kills her trainer? 

Why don’t we leave these animals in the ocean where they belong? No Killer Whale has ever killed a human in the wild.  It is really important to anyone’s life to watch a captive whale bounce a beachball on his or her nose? Okay, so this one turned out not to be so funny after all.

See how happy and unkilly they are in the ocean?

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Mel Gibson:  He’s been making me laugh for a long time in an “why are people still paying money to watch this guy” way. Now we get to laugh even more because he’s written some poems which are being set to music for his girlfriend’s latest CD. Mel says:

I always felt the poetic urge coming, so I’ve been providing lyrics and stuff for a few of her songs. I’ve been writing poetry and stuff since I was a teenager. Didn’t want to admit that to my friends.

And by “poetic urge” I think Mel means “insane racist rant”.  I don’t know what he means by “and stuff”. Maybe that’s just an example of the poet in him talking.

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Maxime Bernier: Former Conservative cabinet ministers are almost as hilarious as current conservative cabinet ministers and former and current prime ministers. Bernier issued this statement the other day:

The Conservative government would be irresponsible to spend billions of dollars to reduce greenhouse gas emissions given the contradictory science available.

Bloc Québécois Leader Gilles Duceppe said, ” Mr. Bernier’s expertise lies more in Jos Louis than climate change.”  Sounds like some sort of inside joke.  I wish he’d explained the inside joke, because it’s probably pretty funny. Here’s a Jos Louis for those who may not know:

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Wieners: Turns out wieners aren’t as funny as we thought they were. As Lebowski mentioned in a comment last week, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) wants manufacturers to redesign hotdogs so that they stop killing our children. Apparently, wieners kill 1.6 children a year in the US. That’s only the ones killed from choking on wieners and doesn’t include the ones killed by the sodium nitrates and/or internal beak lacerations.

 Other killer items the AAP is looking at changing are: hard candy, nuts, grapes, popcorn, marshmallows, peanut butter, chewing gum and raw carrots.

Seriously. That’s what they said.

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Oprah: I know, I know – it’s really old and boring to mock Oprah, but it’s just so damn easy. Now Oprah is auctioning off her clothes, purses and shoes. The online auction will  run from March 1st – March 11th on this eBay site.

How awesome would it be to be able to wrap up in an old bathrobe that actually enveloped Oprah’s wet, naked flesh?

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Cows for Christmas

Have you gotten a flyer in the mail from some organization like Heifer International or Oxfam or Send a Cow? Or maybe you’ve seen Oprah begging you to spend your Christmas money on donations to Heifer International?

If not, you’ll soon get a brightly coloured catalogue from at least one of them. They urge you to donate money in someone’s name as a Christmas gift and that money goes to buying livestock for poverty-stricken people in Africa. For instance:

  • $500 buys a cow
  • $250 buys a water buffalo
  • $120 buys a goat, pig or sheep
  • $20 buys a flock of chicks
  • $5000 buys an “ark” of 15 pairs of animals

Heifer international has been around since the late 1940s. They were responsible for first sending cows to Japan (a largely vegetarian country) after World War II. Neither dairy nor beef had never been part of the Japanese diet before and the cows caused a lot of health issues for the Japanese people.

When I first heard about this livestock scheme, I was dumbfounded. Livestock farming isn’t even sustainable in wealthy, industrialized nations. How the hell is this going to work out in the poorest nations in the world?

The Heifer International catalogues show cute little farm animals being embraced by smiling African children. Little African children who haven’t seen rain in three years, have no drinking water,  who are malnourished, uneducated, unhealthy and whose parents have died of AIDS.

And we’re sending them cattle?

Livestock is the most inefficient, expensive and environmentally destructive way of producing food. Cows, goats and chickens can only add to the problems of drought and desertification in this countries – no matter how much support and education these charities promise to provide along with the animals.

Sure, the poor, starving African kids will pounce on these animals and maybe in the short-term will get some milk, eggs or meat from them. But in the long-term it can only be devastating. For one thing, globalizing our preventable diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes for which an animal-based diet is largely responsible, doesn’t seem all that charitable. Two-thirds of non-Caucasians on the planet are lactose intolerant and cannot digest dairy. Does that hungry African child really need gastro-intestinal cramping and diarrhea from cow milk to add to its problems?

These animals need food, large quantities of water, shelter and veterinary care? But we’re  sending these critters to help people who don’t have any food, water, shelter or medical care? Does this make sense to anyone?

One cow drinks about 90 liters (24 gallons) of water every day. A goat will eat all the grass and shrubbery on two hectares (5 acres) of land, per year. Cows and goats destroy the fertility of land and any value the milk may have is minimal compared to the destruction they wreak. Two goats can reduce the amount of farmland available to local people to such an extent that people have to abandon that village.

A few years ago, in one area of Africa 80% of the cattle died in a drought. The rest were washed away in the floods that followed. Many recipients of livestock animals are unable to feed an animal to maturity, let alone able to feed and raise offspring. And what about the issue of introducing non-native animals to fragile habitats? How does that impact the indigenous plants and animals?

There must be hundreds of better, more direct ways to help feed these people and improve their lives. What about sending and helping them plant trees that produce fruit and nuts? What about providing appropriate agricultural technology or supplying drought-resistant, sustainable crops? What about sending money for health care or education?

I think the idea of spending your Christmas money on something useful that will actually help save someone’s life instead of buying your mom giant fuzzy, bear-paw slippers or your sister a collection of novelty lemon zesters is a fabulous idea. I love, for instance,  that Meanie’s daughter asked to have a third-word foster child for her Christmas gift.

But sending farm animals to poverty-stricken countries?

I didn’t make any of this up

I’ve been doing my best to furiously sock away money for when the kid finally escapes high school and can enter the wonderful world of post-secondary education. We talk about where she wants to go. We browse through university websites to see who’s offering things she’s interested. We figure out what she’ll need to pack into her schedule and what kind of marks she’ll need to pull off over the next couple of years to help her get into some of these places.

There are some strange courses and programs being offered at the college and university levels these days. Most, thankfully, are not as bizarre as these:

  1. Nonviolent Responses to Terrorism (Swathmore College, Swathmore PA – a Quaker-founded college). They use the model of the blacks’ struggle in the 1960s (because that worked out so well for them) to“ deconstruct terrorism and build on promising nonviolent procedures to combat today’s terrorism.”
  2. Mail Order Brides: Understanding the Philippines in Southeast Asian Context (Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore Maryland). America’s foremost research university offers this “deep” look into Filipino kinship and gender. Maybe we could take a “ deep” look at helping these women earn a living so they won’t have to sell themselves to creepy white guys.
  3. The Art of Walking (Centre College Danville, Kentucky) From the birthplace of chicken deep-fried with 11 herbs and spices comes a course to help you “appreciate the power of using your feet so that you will become closer to nature and slowly transform your life.” Kewl.
  4. Arguing with Judge Judy: Popular Logic on TV Judge Shows. (University of California, Berkeley). Students are warned that this is not a law course, but rather an “exploration of logical fallacies that are often presented by defendants and plaintiffs on court television shows.” And we need to know this because…?
  5. Far Side Entomology (Oregon State University). Somebody in the field of higher education in Oregon believes that The Far Side comic strip features “a rich universe filled with interesting animals and bugs through which to explore interactions between humans and insects. The anthropomorphism in the cartoons makes an immediate connection between insects and people. Students take those connections farther, connecting to ideas and relationships they wouldn’t have imagined.” Right-o!
  6. The Phallus (Occidental College, Los Angeles, California). This course looks closely at the relationship between “the phallus and the penis, the meaning of the phallus, phallologocentrism, the lesbian phallus, the Jewish phallus, the Latino phallus, and the relation of the phallus and fetishism.” The…..what now? Huh? Um…Eh?

And my personal nightmare favourite from one of my own alma maters

7.  The Oprah Effect (McMaster University, Ontario Canada) They read all the books Oprah recommends and analyze how Oprah has “influenced the literary world and the concept of race and body image in America.” Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How I Know For Sure That Aliens Live Among Us

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Dog poo in plastic grocery bags by the side of the road. I’m human and no matter from which angle I examine this phenomena, I cannot explain it. You walk your dog. Your dog poops. You go to all the trouble of bringing a plastic bag; wrapping your hand in the bag; picking up the warm poop, tying a knot in the bag; and then you just drop the bag? Why not just leave the poop so it has some hope of biodegrading in the next thousand years?  Only aliens could do something so inexplicable. capers

Capers. What are these things? They taste weird. They look like nothing else on earth.How do they end up in jars? Where do they come from? No one knows. I checked with my grocery store manager and one or two restaurateurs and they all claim jars of capers  just show up periodically at their back door. No one orders them. No one asks for any payment. There are no bills of lading. No one has any idea where they come from. But people buy them, so nobody has made too much of a fuss about this. Go ahead, try to explain it. I think they’re little alien scrota. That’s what I think. And this is their way of impregnating earthlings. Watch out for capers.sponge toffee

Sponge toffee. Again, no human would have invented such a thing. It looks like insulation. It feels like insulation. You can’t eat it.  Your tongue gets stuck to it. Yet it’s sold as candy. The ancients tell tales of an alien space craft circling the earth once upon a time and suddenly exploding, sending a shower of debris throughout the universe. The ancients go on to tell of a wily convenience store owner who gathered this debris and wrapped up the chunks in cellophane. And then lo, he sold it in his shop.   And the people from far and wide bought it. Well, not really far and wide. In fact, a lot of it was left to gather dust for hundreds of years. But it’s still occasionally being bought to this very day;  so they say.

yoga

Yoga. So a bunch of aliens living down in SoCal back in the 1960s were sitting around one night talking about how bored they were getting with life on earth. So, after a big night of drinking and hilarious brainstorming they came up with this awesome practical joke to play on the humans. The next day, after  a few Bloody Caesars,  they waved their magic alien wands and opened up a “yoga” studio. (“yoga” in alien, means “huge practical joke” — from the same root word as “yoke” or “joke”). Anyway, that very afternoon, the  aliens went on a big marketing binge and managed to convince a bunch of human hippies to come into this yoga studio and then they bent and twisted them into all sorts of unlikely shapes and played really quiet zitar music in the background and babbled in hushed voices about chakras and stuff. And then they charged the humans money for it all! What fun the aliens had. But, never in a million years did they expect the humans to take it so seriously and for so long! Ha ha! When they finally got tired of laughing about that one, someone came up with “yoga clothing” which sent them all into fresh spasms of laughter.

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Cats. No, not the musical, although Andrew Lloyd Webber and many, many, many, many (too many to mention) other well-known people are obviously aliens or at the very least, bi-planetary. No, I mean these kinds of cats:

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It’s no coincidence that cats and the pyramids appeared on earth at the same time.  Cats have to work very hard to seem just stupid enough that they’re amusing and endearing without being maddeningly stupid like fish.  Cats seem to spend most of their time just sleeping, but when you think about it, what real earthly animal could survive in the wild if it just slept all the time? Especially a purely carnivorous animal? It’s all an alien misdirection.  Cats are sent here to spy on us and report back to their planet.  That’s why  they’re not allowed to get too involved with humans.  And why we sometimes catch them looking at or listening to stuff that doesn’t seem to be there. And why the longer they’re here, the less interested they seem to be in everything — they’re like long-term public servants, just putting in time until they can retire and get beamed back to their home planet.

News You Might Have Missed

  • A guy in Florida just won a $2 million law suit because a chair collapsed under him. He was at his lawyers office at the time. The law firm tried to blame it on the chair manufacturer, but were found liable in court. See what I mean about the universe balancing itself?

 

  • The graduating class at Oklahoma State University will not be getting a handshake with their diplomas this year due to H1N1 paranoia. Paranoia seems to be working because so far no one in Oklahoma has been felled by swine flu.

 

  • Turns out right-brainers will be the successes of the 21st Century according to Daniel Pink in his Oprah-approved bestseller, A Whole New Mind. He talks about the 6 six abilities individuals and organizations need master in an outsourced, automated age. I’ve been saying this for ages, but did Oprah pay any attention? No. With all our techie/number crunching jobs going overseas where they can do these things much better, faster and less expensively than us, we need to get creative. And that’s why I say nothing when you scoff at my daughter’s career aspirations in the arts.

 

  • And speaking of brains – right, left and tiny — gun shops all over the US are running out of ammunition as citizens stock up in anticipation of Obama’s tax increase on bullets.

 

  • Obama, Obama, what will you think of next to piss off the red-necks? Oh ya – having Dijon mustard on your cheeseburger. For shame. Extreme right-wing nutjob and FOX newsguy,  Sean Hannity is vilifying the President for being an elitist un-American by shunning good old American yellow mustard.

 

  • Women with breast cancer in Toronto can thank breast cancer survivor Emmanuelle Gattuse for donating $12.5 million to the Princess Margaret Hospital to fund a “rapid tissue processor” along with more pathologists and technicians. Women can now have imaging, biopsy, results of both and a treatment plan, if required, all on the same day. This may not sound like a big deal on the surface, but for anyone who’s been through it, it means the difference between waiting a month or more for a diagnosis. It’s awesome. And something, apparently policy makers would never invest in.

 

  • And, in these hard economic times, (Don’t you love how almost all sentences start with that phrase lately?) it’s good to know that at least one industry is still booming: Tim Horton’s first quarter profits were up more than 7%. Yup, no matter how poor we may get, it will never outweigh the fact that  we’re also too lazy to make our own coffee and/or can never get enough of lard-fried dough and sugar.

 

  • Remember that Best Job in the World contest? Turns out The Whitest Man in the World, and all-around dork, Ben something won it.  

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Yes, this guy fresh from under the grey, rainy skies of the UK is going to spend the next 6 months on a sunny Australian island.  Again, the wonders of balance. Don’t forget your spf 112, Ben. 

 

Finally,

Happy Mother’s Day Sunday

to all you Mums out there.

Bedtime Stories for the Stout-Hearted

My old mum, coming from the land of the Brothers Grimm, liked to tell us the most gruesome stories of true horror when we were kids. Stories about things she saw, heard and experienced as a child during the war. Or parables that always ended with children waking up dead in the morning to show us what would happen if we engaged in certain behaviours.

Not even normal kid behaviours like not eating your vegetables or disobeying our parents, (Dr. Hoffmann had that covered), but weird stuff involving pointless superstitions like not drinking water in the same day as eating pitted fruit (you’ll wake up dead the next morning…it happened to little Fritz she knew from next door).

Or not singing before 9:00 a.m. or you’ll die before 9:00 pm. (It happened to her cousin Karl-Heinz).

Or not eating during a thunder storm or the food would choke you and kill you because God was trying to tell you something and by, jiminy, you’d better pay attention and not be stuffing your face, or else. (Yes, it happened to several people she knew in her childhood).

Then there were the stories about historical figures that she, or someone she knew had some close personal knowledge of. Most of them, I think had been passed down to her from her own gruesome parents.

One of my favourites, and one which was probably responsible for my sleep disorders for several decades, was the Terrible Tale of Rasputin. (She even had a song that led into the story itself. It’s all in German though, and doesn’t translate well, so I won’t recount it here).

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Anyway, the story begins once upon a time, in a land far away, in the dead of winter, when a freaky kid was born. They named him Grigori Yefimovich and he was a most strange child from the very beginning.

He had an older brother and a younger sister. One day while he was playing alone with his little sister, Maria, she drowned in a nearby river.

Some years later, while Grigori was playing alone with his older brother, Dmitri, he ended up drowning in a pond.

Now Grigori was an only child and none of the neighbourhood kids would play with him.

Spending so much time by himself, Grigori managed to developed mystic and psychic powers. He also got all religious and hung out with monks. They were mostly crazy-assed monks were into self-flagellation and something called “rejoicing” which was a ritual they used to overcome their nasty sexual urges. The ritual involved engaging in group sex because by “consciously sinning together, the sin’s power over the human was nullified”.

Gotta love that holy roller logic!

Anyhoooo, Grigori eventually got married and had two kids with his wife and then another kid with another woman. Then he pretty much went on a debauched rampage of binge drinking, promiscuous sexual escapades and rather horrifying rapes, including a well-publicized rape of nun.

He claimed that yielding to the temptations of sex, alcohol and humiliation/violence were necessary to proceed to repentance and salvation. And damn if the man didn’t need a hell of a lot of repentance and salvation. No one was safe.

For his day job, Grigori became spiritual leader to Tsars and society ladies and other big shots. (Seems like religious fanaticism and debauchery have been travelling hand-in-hand for centuries).

Of course all the while Grigori was accumulating a shit load of enemies. Hob-nobbing with royalty and such in 19th century Russia, didn’t endear him to a lot of people, never mind the raping and pillaging stuff.

One group that really didn’t like him were all the women he’d abused over the years. They sort of got together in an Oprah-like support group and decided to kill him. One of them won the right to wield the knife. (I don’t know how they picked the winner – maybe it was the one who’d had to give birth to his evil demon-spawn bastard child).

Anyway, she jumped Grigori one dark and baleful night when he was good and drunk and unable to defend himself. She basically gutted him, stabbing and slashing until his entrails hung out of his belly and lay on the ground in front of him. (Here’s where the story starts getting really good).

The gang of women watching and cheering-on this murder were euphoric. They danced around his disemboweled body for a while, kicking him and spitting on him a few times and then left him bleeding in the streets to go home and get the first good night’s sleep they’d had in years.

Dude wasn’t quite dead though and managed to drag himself off to a surgeon. The surgeon fixed him all up. Everyone totally freaked out. His wife said he was never quite the same after that.

His enemies didn’t give up that easily though. They re-grouped and came up with an elaborate conspiracy to lure Grigori to a fancy dinner party (a la Agatha Christie) at the home of some guy Grigori thought was his friend.

Murder was on the menu.

They fed him a cake filled with cyanide. (Mwah-ha-ha). And waited. And waited. But Gregori kept on partying.

So they fed him another cyanide-filled cake and still he kept on truckin’.  Feeding him a third poisoned confection also seemed to have no effect.

A hurried conference was called in the kitchen. They brought out a goblet of poisoned wine. Grigori drank it up and complained that he’d suddenly developed a sore throat. He asked for another glass of wine. They gladly gave it to him. (Also poisoned, of course. I’m thinking by now they must be running out of poison. How much poison does the average Russian household keep on hand anyway?)

So the evening had turned into night and was now turning into morning. Guests were getting restless, anxious to get home to bed, but Grigori showed no signs of getting sleepy, let alone dropping dead.

Someone got the bright idea to just shoot the bastard. They grabbed a gun and blasted Grigori full on, close range, smack in the heart.

Grigori fell down. The party suddenly got its second wind. Everyone had some more drinks and whiled away a few hours pointing and laughing at the dead guy on the floor.

Then suddenly Grigori got up, scaring the crap out of everyone. (Yes, it scared the crap out of us every time Mum told it, too).

Finally cluing in that this wasn’t his kind of party scene, Grigori decided to get the hell out of there.

He took off at a quick clip. But his party friends weren’t letting him get away. They all grabbed their guns and ran after him, shooting. They got him once in the shoulder and once in the neck. He fell down. Again.

Phew.

Then he got up again and started running some more.

His buddies were well and truly fed up at this point and caught up with Grigori and beat him to a bloody pulp with any and all available sticks, logs, lead pipes, wrenches and candlesticks. Then when he was quite pulpy, they hacked off his penis, (which  apparently was 13 inches long). They wrapped penis-free Gregori in a blanket and tossed him off a bridge, managing to crack his head open as he bounced off the railing on the way down[1].

Grigori went into the frozen river far below and sunk under the ice.

Of course, he rallied once again and tried to swim for it, attempting to find a way out of the ice. But he failed. And died. Finally.  

When his body was recovered his friends and neighbours built a big, old fire in a local field and chucked him in to burn. Halfway through the cremation, Grigori suddenly sat up and grimaced!! (But that was just because of the shrinking of ligaments or something and not because he’d come back to life, though it makes for a good WAKE-UP point in the story, if anyone had the chutzpah to fall asleep). There was also some talk of him having shaken his charred and blackened fist at everyone, but that was never substantiated.

The End.

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I was kind of pleased when that cute German Boney M band wrote a song about Grigori. Ra Ra Rasputin, Russia’s greatest love machine. It was a shame how he carried on….

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It meant that I was probably not the only German kid who grew up with stories like this. 


[1] Somehow, Rasputin’s penis was rescued by some women who kept it in a wooden box as a holy relic. Rasputin’s daughter won a law suit to have her Dad’s penis returned to her (who wouldn’t?) and she kept it until she died in California in 1977. It now supposedly resides in a jar of formaldehyde in the Russian Museum of Erotica. Click here if you really want to see a picture of it.

What I’ve Learned from Women’s Magazines

My very wise young friend from abroad commented on last week’s Coffee and Chocolate post saying:

I think i never liked chocolate [at least not that much] till women’s magazines taught me that women are supposed 2 crave for them.

This is exactly what makes me crazy about women’s magazines, books, advertising and TV shows like (do I really need to say it?) Oprah. Women are constantly being told the who, what, why, and hows of being a woman/human being.

 Here are the top 10 best-selling women’s magazines.[1]

  1. Woman’s Day
  2. Ladies Home Journal
  3. Cosmopolitan
  4. O, The Oprah Magazine
  5. Redbook
  6. Glamour Magazine
  7. InStyle Magazine
  8. Woman’s World
  9. First for Women
  10. Self Magazine

Because I’m dedicated, I went out and did some field research.  What women apparently need to know about on a regular basis are:

  • Fashion: Women do not know how to dress, that much is clear. They need to be told at least 12 times a year by various sources what colours are “in”; what clothes will best hide their unnatural body shape; what they need to buy if they want to look like a real women like the celebrity flavours-of- the- month.
  •  Beauty: Lots and lots and lots of make-up. And sometimes surgery. With the right collection of products and the skills to apply products like a pro, women can do anything from catching a man, keeping a man, disciplining their children and even getting a dream job. My favourite article on beauty is in this month’s Cosmo: How to Pimp a Boring Ponytail.
  •  Health: This always means weight loss. There are usually at least 3 articles in each magazine on how to lose weight and/or secret techniques or surgery to help you get your dream body. The other thing that “health”means in women’s magazines is articles on mysterious syndromes with vague symptoms which you could possibly have and which you should check with your doctor about.
  •  Sex: We’re doing everything wrong, all the time. There is so much to know that it’s probably best if women just stop having sex altogether until all the tests, polls, surveys and new pop-scientific data is in. We could damage ourselves and our relationships forever if we just plunge in and enjoy plain, non-psychologically evaluated sex. My favourite article on sex is in this month’s Glamour: “What’s better than his O face? His O line…”7 things He Says When He’s Just… About..To….” (I don’t think they’re talking about Oprah)
  •  Celebrities: Every magazine features some celebrity every month (except O, which only features Oprah every month and really, she’s like 50 celebrities rolled into one anyway.) These celebrities are always hotter, smarter, more successful, more courageous, more spiritual, more generous, more savvy, more everything than any ordinary woman could ever hope to be. The celebrities are held up as inspirations for us all so we can try our humble best to emulate them and then in next month’s issue of the magazine, related articles will help you on your journey. Next month’s Self, for instance features Taylor Swift’s Playlist. Can’t wait.
  •  Makeovers: All of the above can be resolved with the ubiquitous MAKEOVER. No women’s magazine can go to print without a makeover feature. Out with the old, in with the new.
  •  Quizzes: Then there are scattered articles on how messed up your kids, spouses, home décor, career, and cooking skills are and how you can easily fix everything by taking a quiz and following the 10 steps recommended by the quiz. Quizzes contain much ancient wisdom.

The real problem with these magazines is that they give the impression they’re educating and empowering women, when to me, they’re doing exactly the opposite. They tell women month after month that they’re not good enough in pretty much all aspects of their lives. And then show them in the most patronizing manner possible how they could turn that around if only they were better and applied themselves. Why do all these magazines read like they’re written for 14-year-olds? (No offense intended toward 14-year-olds).

Next month they start all over again.

This month on top of all our other problems it’s quite evident that women aren’t happy because almost all of the magazines feature articles on how to enhance your gloomy mood, how to “get happy”, how less sex or more sex or a hot bath or some chocolate or whatever will make you feel better.

This month women also all want to know how stretch their household budget in these scary economic times while still dressing, looking, skinnying-up, eating, exercising, thinking, smelling and shopping like Oscar winners.

So, hearkening back to my wise young friend‘s comment: How do women know that we’re supposed to love and crave chocolate; that it’s not only our right, but our obligation to be bitches for one week every month; that we’re too fat and droopy; that we’re suffering from stress; that our hair’s a disaster; that we’re emotional eaters; that our spouses are not doing everything they should be doing to make us happy; what we should and should not be buying/reading/wearing/feeling; or how and what to think about stuff?

How much of what you think you know, think or feel has been influenced by this propoganda? Can any woman, no matter how intelligent, no matter how much they avoid popular media, be completely free of its influence?


[1] The top selling men’s magazines are:

  1. Sports Illustrated
  2. Playboy Magazine
  3. Maxim Magazine
  4. ESPN The Magazine
  5. Men’s Health
  6. Field & Stream
  7. Popular Science
  8. Car and Driver
  9. Rolling Stone
  10. Motor Trend

Being Comfortable in Your Skin

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 Is anyone out there completely happy with, and proud of the shape their body is in? It’s a hot topic this time of year as people suddenly realize their clothes don’t fit anymore.

Oprah is reportedly mortified by how she’s looking these days. Larry King had her whole team of fitness/medical/spiritual gurus on the other day. They were trying hard to explain what happened to Oprah. Bottom line seems to be that Oprah eats too much.

Yes, that’s grossly simplified. I know there are a lot of emotional issues around food. From day one we’re taught that food is a big part of celebration. We find out “little treats” make us feel better when we have a boo-boo. And then we carry that on to greater or lesser degrees throughout our lives.  They call it “emotional eating”.

So this is Oprah’s thing apparently. It’s kind of scary that she has all the money in the world to buy gurus and trainers and chefs and any doctor she needs and she still has major weight issues. What hope is there for the rest of us?

Urban Panther was also recently mortified to discover she’s packed on a few pounds since she hooked up with a man who’s cooked his way into her heart. Like Oprah, she’s going public with her battle of the love handles.

I, too, have been overindulging the last few months and am feeling a tad more confined in my clothes than I’m comfortable with. Whenever I get to this point, I always find it’s the perfect time to do something about it. I refuse to go out and buy new clothes in a larger size. I don’t know why people do this. It’s a very slippery slope.

For me, when my clothes get too tight, that’s when I know I  have to cut back on the amount I’ve been eating; knock off some of the crap that’s crept into my diet; and maybe throw an extra walk in every day until I can zip up again without passing out.

The trick is finding a place where you feel good and strong and energetic and healthy (never mind what Hollywood tells you you’re supposed to look like or what the scales say) and then maintain that through conscious eating and regular physical activity.[1]

Maybe I’m just lucky that I come from a family of 7 and my mother only ever knew how to cook for 5. Or that we grew up on old country fare with tons of fruits and vegetables from the garden and nothing at all in the way of junk food. Of the 7 of us, only one brother has a real weight problem, (and that didn’t start until he married the she-witch). So, there’s probably a lot to be said for learned food behaviour (and marital stress).

But now we’re all grown up now. And we’re carrying around all this emotional baggage and the resulting physical baggage. And we really want, and need to do something about it but are too depressed or stressed or tired or overwhelmed or otherwise messed up to know where to begin.  

I’m in awe of all the people who’ve managed to drag themselves out of this place and emerged healthier and happier and feeling good about their bodies. I’m in awe of everyone still fighting to get to that point.

I know there are lots of blogs and websites devoted specifically to this topic, but it’s an important issue with a lot of different perspectives and I reckon it never hurts (and sometimes helps) to talk about it in a friendly place like this.


 [1] For a long time now I’ve been all besotted with the book, French Women Don’t Get Fat. It’s kind of silly and the author is a bit annoying, but the overall advice is good. It just talks about living in a way that will help you be comfortable in your own skin. No crazy diets or insane exercise routines. It’s all very gentle and very sensible.

10 Things You Need to Know Today

 

1.  Celine Dion in on Oprah today! The world’s two most annoying loved people together in one room talking and stuff.

2.  There’s a winter storm watch in effect for Ottawa and outlying regions. With any luck our TV signals will be down for the day.

3.  The Urban Dictionary defines XUP as: “an alternate to sup, or wassup. (e.g.:yo dude, xup witjoo? i had a wikkd night man!)”

4.  Ontario is thinking it might be a good idea to ban the use of cell phones, Blackberries and GPS devices while driving. GPS devices?

5.  Scientists have genetically engineered purple tomatoes containing shitloads of “anthocyanins” which help fight certain kinds of cancers and other age-related diseases. Usually anthocyanins are found in blueberries, cranberries, purple grapes and other darkly pigmented fruits. Oh ya, that should work out well. Couldn’t we just, um… eat blueberries? And what happens to that lycopene stuff that’s so good in tomatoes? Will they maybe have to re-engineer bananas to include lycopene then?

6.  Sears is recalling the “Cool Touch” toaster because it’s a fire hazard. Bwah-ha-ha.

7.  Roy Pearson, a former district administrative judge, is suing a Washington dry cleaners $67 million for losing his pants. “It’s not about the pants,” says Pearson. The law suit says he’s suing because they lost his pants. I have trouble following all the legalese here. I also have trouble envisioning 67 million dollar pants.

8.  Gerard Damiano, director of the movie “Deep Throat,” died yesterday at the age of 80. That was one freaky movie. And it set some pretty high/low/unrealistic standards for fellatio.

9.  A woman in Japan playing the online game, Maplestory, was furious when her virtual husband divorced her. So, she logged into the game using the man’s ID and password and “murdered” his character. She has been arrested and faces up to five years in prison. “I was suddenly divorced, without a word of warning. That made me so angry,” she said.

10.  Celine Dion in on Oprah today! My god people! What sort of sick, twisted mind organizes stuff like this?