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Movie Boobs and #MeToo

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THANK YOU DONALD!

I love the cinema. I love movies. I love popcorn. I love the Oscars.

I’m a regular viewer of movies at the local theatre. Movie theatres are a dark dream heaven.

Crisp writing and amazing cinematic gifts are skilfully weaved together by hundreds of artists and technicians to deliver a funny or dramatic story… a story that resonates deep inside me giving birth to a magnificent song that elevates and enriches my world, and most importantly, feeds my own inner creative spark.

Of course, some flicks totally suck. That’s a good thing because it allows us to appreciate the really good stuff when it comes along.

And so, after seeing many of the year’s “best” movies, I tune in to watch the Oscars with excited anticipation.

Anticipation of the recognizable faces, the crescendo of orchestral music in Hollywood’s Dolby Theater, the beauty and majesty of sartorial elegance on full display like preening undernourished peacocks…

… and perhaps strangely, I always love the teary poignancy of the musical tableau of the In Memoriam section of the show… I know, how maudlin!

oscar in memoriam

Yes, I love the Oscars. Usually.

I remember five short years ago, in February 2013, I wrote a post (Movie Boobs) lamenting the inanity of the usually decorous and dignified Oscar broadcast hosted by Seth McFarlane.

That celebrity celebratory broadcast was an archaic affront to women (and men) then and if anything has only grown more antiquated and offensive in the short time since.

It’s like we were living a modern version of The Handmaid’s Tale in real life.

It took us 500 years to recognize Christopher Columbus as a race-decimating conqueror lout, but only 5 to see the McFarlane-led showcase for what it was.

Now that’s progress in a social media world.

(ASIDE: Your #Educational/CulturalMoment:

Because Columbus captured more Indian slaves than he could transport to Spain in his small ships, he put them to work in mines and plantations which he, his family, and followers created throughout the Caribbean. His marauding band hunted Indians for sport and profit — beating, raping, torturing, killing, and then using the Indian bodies as food for their hunting dogs. Within four years of Columbus’ arrival on Hispaniola, his men had killed or exported one-third of the original Indian population of 300,000.

Jack Weatherford –  Professor of Anthropology at Macalaster College in St. Paul, Minnesota. )

Sorry… back to our regular program….

Yup, in only 5 years we’ve gone from the gratuitous male-assertive setting where the theme tune sung by McFarlane and a hunky boyish band of singer/dancers was called WE SAW YOUR BOOBS …

… through that prehistoric misty haze all the way to this past week’s Oscar version where confident women and the #MeToo movement took centre stage instead of their boobs.

For sure, not everything has changed.

Boobs were still there and a part of the visual buffet, but they somehow seemed like an afterthought and, if anything, a determined statement that boobs are a beautiful part of strong, forceful womanhood. Feminism doesn’t mean the end of femininity.

You might say there’s been a TIT-for-TAT turnaround.

The tone of discourse on stage this year was far more respectful and balanced, the movement of the gender pendulum noticeable even though far fewer women won awards than men. Momentous change does take some time.

And for this change, just like the Black Lives Matter faction and the DACA lobby, we really have one person – one man – to thank for the surge in protest and anger and long overdue move towards equality…

… the envelope please… and this year’s Oscar for Best Dramatic Bungling That Inadvertently Leads To Progress goes to… Donald Trump.

trump oscar

Smiles and cheers. Cue the orchestra to launch into Pigs. Kiss (but please don’t grab by the pussy) the celebrity sitting next to you.

And as he gloriously struts toward the stage a screen lights up with brilliant quotes emanating from the pursed lips of The Donald:

“If I were running ‘The View’, I’d fire Rosie O’Donnell. I mean, I’d look at her right in that fat, ugly face of hers, I’d say ‘Rosie, you’re fired.’” 

“All of the women on The Apprentice flirted with me – consciously or unconsciously. That’s to be expected.”

“I’ve said if Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her.”

“You know, it really doesn’t matter what the media write as long as you’ve got a young, and beautiful, piece of ass.”

“You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.”

“You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything…. Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.”

Would we be celebrating the successes, the progress towards a measure of equality without the xenophobic, homophobic, sexist and lustful, misogynistic slime bag that creeps the Twitter corridors and nearly decimated hallways of the White House?

I don’t think so.

Trump is day-by-creepy-day galvanizing the world in a unified force against his narcissistic and perverted views.

We love to hate on those who offend our sensibilities.

Seth McFarlane may have started the derogatory Boob Ball rolling 5 years ago but Trump has lifted it overhead like a steaming double cheeseburger and claimed the WWF title belt.

Now we have a seething crowd that is ready to fight back and demand change and respect.

Maybe Trump is a small price to pay to set the world right for the many who have suffered and struggled for an eternity.

Maybe Trump is a blessing in pig’s clothing.

Maybe.

On the other hand, I’m feeling pretty exhausted by his rants.

I think a bit of momentary escapism in a hushed theatre might be a soothing tonic for us all.

I love the cinema. I love movies. I love popcorn. I love the Oscars.

oscars 2018

300… The Vagenda Continues

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300

300 blog posts. 300,000 words. On my way to 10,000 hours and mastery.

HOLY SMOKES! I’ve been writing these weekly missives for almost 6 years now. Thank you for your help in pushing me along this winsome winding road. I appreciate your generous Samaritanism.

One sunny day in June 2012 I sat and pecked out my first blog article .

Genesis began with the obvious hint that I would be exploring and commenting on the Mars vs Venus tangle we find ourselves amidst in the world of men and women.

I know. It’s lunatic foolish of me to think that I – a tiny bobbing boat – could find an understanding where other brighter ships have crashed on the rocks.

My foolishness persists to this day. Go figure.

But let’s be clear. It’s not one-sided although it is unbalanced. Men misunderstand women and women misunderstand men. Human math says it should be an equal equation x=y. That day is not yet today.

And to add to the doggy-pile of confusion is intra-gender misunderstanding. Hell, I’m a man and I frequently don’t get men.

men group.jpg

Yeah, I get frustrated with my own gender. Bigly.

Only last night I was playing my guitar at an Open Mic, watching a couple of middle-aged men guzzle down entire over-sized bottles of beer in one gulp and yelling loudly so that none of us could hear other performers giving their heartfelt best on stage. SHUT UP A**holes !! (Aside: They were kindly quiet for the first 2 of my songs, but couldn’t contain their boisterousness for the 3rd piece I played!)

That doesn’t mean we should throw our hands up and walk away. Attempts at understanding in all directions is what propels us forward. That’s why we should all travel and immerse ourselves in other cultures and religions and beliefs.

It seems kind of fitting today to return to the topic that I began musing on those 6 years back with the maelstrom of news and comment regarding #MeToo and #TimesUp

Women are an unstoppable force driving us forward in the new world of brains vs brawn. The crystal ball is as clear as the chill ice I see on the lakes in the nearby mountains.

The fleeting rise of TrumpWorld has merely highlighted the schism that exists and which will inevitably tumble avalanche-like in a totally new direction. HUGE.

Dinosaurs died out many millennia ago and sadly, men are today’s dinosaurs… of course we won’t die out but we are having to accept, adapt and change our “DNA”. The metamorphosis needed has to occur a hell of a lot more quickly than what Darwin observed on the Galapagos.

darwin.png

Happily, I feel confident it will.

On the flip-side, I know that I… yes, even little me… contain some fragments of that outdated dinosaur DNA just as I’m filled with the brawny DNA that drives my attraction to the female gender and not my own male brethren.

Like you, I’m a product of the generation and the culture in which I was raised.

Adapting to new social realities is like trying to maintain currency with the advances in the software and apps that flood my tech world on a daily basis. Am I the last one left to own a paper printer? I can only absorb and redesign myself so much over a short time frame. For sure I feel the dogs snapping at my heels.

So maybe you’ll understand that while I’m fully supportive of the feminist movements zooming up in my rear view mirror – I condemn the crass stupidity of men where sexuality and harassment are concerned – I’m also fearful of what I say and where I step.

My funny-bone misfires. My explanations sometimes lack nuance or sensitivity. Those times I don’t step on a landmine with my words, generally mean that at best I’ve trod in some stinky shit on the pathway. Some choice, eh?

This is my daily reality now… my emotion, my motivation, my personal experience.

 

  • I’ve never lived a world of gender-linked cruelty or suffering… the infuriating or fearful experience of sexual pressure (not on a true physical or financial level anyways).
  • I’ve never been callously subjugated because of the tint of my skin.
  • I’ve never felt heartless persecution because of some God I do or don’t believe in.
  • I’ve never encountered a curb or a building I couldn’t enter because my legs weren’t capable of lifting me up.

discrimination-fish.jpg

That’s not my reality. Those aren’t my tears.

The best that I can do is to try to empathize and imagine those experiences by observing and understanding what others pass through.

It’s never enough but it’s all I have. This is what I want women to know when I mess up.

#MeToo and #TimesUp are movements I enthusiastically support but will not for a moment be a real part of and will never viscerally know from my own involvement.

So I’ll keep trying to understand.

300 posts down… I’ll continue (until I don’t) writing my weekly words despite the chaos and chatter between my ears… words, sentences, and paragraphs where I’ve chatted about positivity and inspiration and aspiration and music and movies and writing and exercise and creativity… and the lyrical poetry and wonder that exists between men and women… things that I believe to be true in my vision of the world.

… until My Times Up.

Thanks for joining me and the 300 club today.

woman and man

The New Frontier… I Want A World…

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it-was-the-best-of-times

With apologies to Dickens, it’s… A Tale of Two Issues.

I’m repelled by Donald Trump – it’s as if some midnight jokester set a steamy bag of dog shit on my front doorstep – but dammit…

… That A-hole is making me money.

On paper, at least.

It irks me that I rub my hands together joyously in egocentric financial glee.

It’s a conundrum. I feel guilty.

It’s two-faced that I snort happily at the trough of increased wealth as my investments benefit, based almost solely on the market-swelling narcissistic tweets and ramblings of a Bah Humbug man, a man who points and yells out to adoring white-skinned (and white-hooded!) crowds spreading virulent hatred of immigrants and women and parents of dead soldiers.

Since Trump’s election to President last month, my stock holdings have soared skyward like an Olympic pole-vaulter that has finally discovered the tricky technique of gliding over the high bar.

Sure, I did my homework and carefully selected the stocks – the Apples and Aflacs, the L Brands and Royal Banks and 20 others. I chopped the vegetables and set out the spices for the monetary soup, but Trump mixed it together in the pot and magically cooked the soup to an unexpected, unnatural greatness… again, for the mainly white and wealthy.

trump eating.png

…………………

DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old.
Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.
Papa says, ‘If you see it in THE SUN it’s so.’
Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?

…………………

YES Virginia… we all have personal issues of hypocrisy and confusion that divide us internally. I wrestle and spar with my occult demons regularly.

You see, I want a world filled with leaders who respect and desire peace and accommodation and compassion for others.

…………………

VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

…………………

I want a world where we hunger for everyone to do well, for all 7+ billion humans to have a standard of living that reflects a similar paycheque for similar work… in the affluent western world, we fret about women making the same wages as a man for the same work, and yet, we live in a world where we selfishly tolerate billions of men, women and children living in poverty despite working laboriously hard and very long hours.

…………………

Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

…………………

I want a world where the air is comfortably breathable in Boston, Berlin, and Beijing; a world where fish aren’t thoughtlessly killed off by industrial toxins and oil spills, a world where animal habitat is as important as human housing.

…………………

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

…………………

I want a world where women are regarded with the same respect as men in every way, a world that doesn’t victimize and use girls as sexual chattel, prevent them from educating themselves, mere toys for the rich and famous to grab by the pussy.

…………………

You may tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

…………………

I want a world where we can all enjoy the amazing richness of peace and wealth and understanding that a 21st century globe deserves.

Surely we’ve absorbed and learned countless lessons that millennia of missteps and hardships have taught us.

This is our new frontier.

We talk in glowing epithets of Christmas spirit, and births of new hope.

If the true Christmas spirit is what most of us truly long for… I hope… hope looking through my optimistic rose-coloured glasses… that we’ll continue to push and search and work towards a place where we gaze not only inwards, as I do with my investment portfolio – no Virginia, I’ll never be Mother Teresa or Ghandi or Mandela – but outwards too with a generous spirit and a desire of goodness for all.

My sugar-plum dreams are filled with a planet that cries out in unison…

Make The World Great For Everyone“…

… not only America… not only white men… not only Christians, Jews, Muslims, Bahá’ís, Hindus, Buddhists… an aspiration, an inspiration for better…

…………………

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

No Virginia.jpg

 

 

Your Castration Awaits!…8 Reasons Women Will Dominate Men in the 21st Century

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I’m taking this week to recharge my writing chops, so for the first time, I thought I’d re-post an earlier blog post. This is my most viewed post ever from February 2013.

The King is dead… long live the Queen!

.

I’m prepared for the inevitable…are you? Patriarchy is dying…the secret is coming out, and you can say you heard it here first!

…and “I am woman, hear me roar” runs through my Helen Reddy-filled mind…

Helen reddy

The start of the Information Age was the beginning of the end for male domination in western society.

I and my male cohorts are tumbling, tumbling in slow motion down the slippery mountainous slope. Men have “ruled” since before the biblical sighting of the Star of Bethlehem over Jerusalem 2,000 years ago…now, women are the new western Tsars and are going to rule the world.

The golden age of might over right that celebrated physical strength and brawn and ability to dominate by force has come to an end for us boys. Society, business, and government are now ruled by intellect, drive, social acuity, and perseverance — all things that women excel at.

Today, I work with a female boss in my lab (in years gone by I might have said “under a female boss” and snickered with my male comrades) who is a better corporate leader than most men I’ve worked for over the past 30 years or so.

Is it because she’s a woman? Yes and No.

I’ve worked for bitchy tyrannical messes of female overlording that were ball busters. But in most instances, women are more supportive and constructive in managing their charges. There are exceptions to every rule, but as a rule of thumb, women make better bosses.

To win in the world up until 25 years ago you only needed your fists and a loud voice, or a sword or a gun and you would win the game, whatever the game. How did we men do it?

Take over government? Send in 5,000 bulky warriors or blast some cannons at the parliament.

Succeed as CEO? Knock back the gin martinis and go to the strip bars with the rest of the boys in charge of the company.

A few signposts of the future:

  • There are more women Canadian premiers than men today.
  • Hillary Clinton and Condaleezza Rice and Angela Merkel are just the tip of the imposing iceberg preparing to sink the manly Titanic cruising along. The following countries have women Presidents or Prime ministers: Thailand, Germany, Argentina, Brazil, Liberia, Australia, Bangladesh, Iceland, Costa Rica, Finland, Trinidad and Tobago, Lithuania, Slovakia, Denmark, South Korea, and Malawi.
  • Major corporations like YAHOO, PEPSI, KRAFT, XEROX, ARCHERS DANIEL MIDLAND, AVON, DUPONT are all run by women.

Thailand PM

Women in charge is a good thing for the health of the world.

Despite the peccadillos of Lindsay Lohan, Kim Kardashian, and Paris Hilton…women have begun taking the reins and making the world over. And it will be a more peaceful, environmentally friendly, and orderly place.

The ship of patriarchy is now a leaky sinking hulk which is slowly going down and will not likely rise again except to be dredged from the murky depths someday to be placed in a museum and be marveled at.

Going back in time, men were convinced that the female was “the weaker vessel” and that the “seed of life” was contained within the male until the human ovum was discovered in 1826. Woeful ignorance kept women from voting, signing loan papers, owning property.

But it was really all just a surface farce. Reality was distinctly different. Even on BBC’s 1920’s era Downton Abbey, poor anachronistic Lord Grantham is surreptitiously ruled over by women ie his mother, wife and daughters who were truly in charge of the castle despite the full-frontal appearance of men in control.

downton-abbey

Lord Grantham (in front) only appears to be in charge…

It’s only speculation, but I think if there were women in charge of the Middle Eastern countries, we’d have an end to the interminable tensions and war in the region. Netanyahu and all of those Arab lads would be out on their cans just watching the women settle issues and grievances that have been stirring for centuries. Women wouldn’t allow their sons and daughters to be fed to the war slaughterhouses.

Here’s some reasons why women WILL dominate in years to come:

  1. Women don’t waste time playing video games and watching porn. Girls just grow up and get on with life…well, and obsess over shoes but that’s a minor pastime on the way to the corner office.
  2. Women excel at communication and conciliation, whereas mens’ authoritarian style of coercion is outdated. Women are attuned to social dynamics and know the benefits of collaboration vs. competition.
  3. Women are getting educated and at higher levels. In just about every field, women are either in the lead or are charging hard to take the lead. It’s like China vs the U.S.. Get lazy, and complacent and watch the competition overtake you.
  4. Women know how to balance career and family. Both career and social worlds can thrive simultaneously. Men can’t pull off multi-tasking unless beer and a TV remote are involved.
  5. Men persist in thinking they can rise through manual labour. The world has changed and many men refuse to believe or acknowledge it. If men don’t excel and women do, don’t blame women. Wake up and smell that coffee boys!
  6. Womens’ self-definition is changing. Women don’t feel the need to acquiesce to men to sooth their egos. If a job needs doing, women will just jump in and do it. Damsels in distress are so yesterday.
  7. Allowing women to vote, fight wars, run businesses, and play sports levels the field. Women may never be able to build the physical strength of a man, but can equal or better him in every other facet of life if they choose to.
  8. Men want to get rich quick but don’t want to work or wait for it. Men are too impatient and unwilling to take the longer, slower route to a better solution. Too many impetuous mistakes are made by wanting everything now.

Yes, women are coming on hard and we guys are struggling to adjust. We’re fearful and nervous of a world that doesn’t conform to the notion that we are meant to be in charge without having to prove our worth.

That doesn’t mean that men should just lay down on the tracks and be crushed under the coming locomotive. A smooth running train needs an engine with all of its wheels moving in the same direction.

Women spent the 20th century rejecting the notion that they were just pretty playthings.

The 21st century needs a similar awakening by men who need to exercise their brains as much as their brawn. And if we men can retain some status and influence, our male testosterone competitiveness will provide a nice balance of forward momentum. We need both mens’ and womens’ viewpoints and strengths to experience the best of all worlds.

So, good on you girls for taking the world by the balls and making your mark. Hail to you and your efforts, and please try to be firm but gentle on us fellas as we attempt to keep up.

The question isn’t who’s going to let me; 

it’s who is going to stop me. 

                                                          – Ayn Rand.

Woman Boss with Balls

A woman with balls will always be Boss…

What’s It Gonna Be Girls, 50 SHADES or BITCHES? You Can’t Have it Both Ways…

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Today’s WORDS OF WISDOM:

Before sex, a man isn’t thinking clearly and a woman is thinking clearly.

After sex, it reverses. The man is thinking clearly and a woman isn’t.

 

Ana and Christian

Prepare yourself … Christian and Ana are coming to the Silver Screen …

50 Shades of Grey Moments:

Anastasis Steele: “You’re a sadist?”
Christian Grey: “I’m a Dominant.” His eyes are a scorching gray, intense.
“What does that mean?” I whisper.
“It means I want you to willingly surrender yourself to me, in all things.”
I frown at him as I try to assimilate this idea.
“Why would I do that?”
“To please me,” he whispers as he cocks his head to one side, and I see a ghost of a smile.
Please him! He wants me to please him! I think my mouth drops open. Please Christian Grey. And I realize, in that moment, that yes, that’s exactly what I want to do. I want him to be damned delighted with me. It’s a revelation.

…………

“It slips down my throat, all seawater, salt, the sharp tang of citrus, and fleshiness…ooh. I lick my lips, and he’s watching me intently, his eyes hooded.”

Put that thought away, she’s just eating oysters!

 

Why Men Love Bitches Moments:

“Relationship Principle 1:
In romance, there’s nothing more attractive to a man than a woman who has dignity and pride in who she is.” 

…………

“That’s the big picture, your happiness. And health. You should never care what a man thinks of you — until he demonstrates to you that he cares about making you happy. If he isn’t trying to make you happy, then send him back from “whence” he came because winning him over will have no benefit. At the end of the day, happiness, joy…and yes…your emotional stability…those comprise the only measuring stick you really need to have.”

Why Men Love Bitches

 

Are you feeling and smelling the slimy contradiction here?

Sometimes when I’m at work I sit in on coffee breaks and listen to my female co-workers chatter excitedly about their latest reading conquest. It’s fun to be the boy-fly-on-the-wall and catch the girly gossip.

Last year, the long white table surrounded by floor to ceiling windows and overlooking the busy Kelowna street was filled with talk of the lady, or Mommy porn prose of E.L. James. You may have heard of this little sensation – 50 Shades of Grey.

I’m not sure I’ve met a woman yet who hasn’t read at least a part of this beyond-bodice-ripping book.

It surprised me that non-street walking women were feeling quite comfortable admitting they had read the book (or the full series). After all, where was the timidity and reticence of the good girls to admit they were enjoying porn BDSM literature?

Could it be that women have come out of their sexual-inhibition closets?

women-reading-fifty-shades-of-grey

 

This year I’m cocking my ear to the sounds of discussion over another popular book called Why Men Love Bitches.

Bitches, written by Sherry Argov, is like the anti-Christ retort to the 50 Shades Bible, a liberated and strong view of how a woman should want to be treated by a man, and where to bury him if he crosses the bitch-acceptability line.

When I first saw the title to the book, I thought to myself: “Oh, come on … What man loves a bitch? What idiot wrote something stupid like that?

We all know a bitch or two – a spiteful or unpleasant woman – a witch, a shrew, a hellcat, yeah – A Bee-OTCH!

Do you remember how I tricked you by using the word SEX in last week’s blog title? Well, this author hurls out the word BITCH in order to trick us into reading her book.

It’s sneaky deception – she ain’t talking ’bout bitches like you and I know bitches.

But could she sell a book that was titled Why Men Love Strong, Confident, Independent Women?…BLAHHHHH! Boring!

And yet, this is exactly the type of women that she writes 272 pages about. The sensible, strong, sexy, charming, independent, loving woman that yes … many, if not most, men LOVE.

There are no perfumed hints in Why Men Love Bitches of the 50 Shades Ana that comes to thrive on submission to Christian’s every physical and emotional desire:

Christian lays it out to Ana:

 The ownership thing, that’s just terminology and goes back to the principle of obeying. It’s to get you into the right frame of mind, to understand where I’m coming from. And I want you to know that as soon as you cross my threshold as my submissive, I will do what I like to you. You have to accept that and willingly. That’s why you have to trust me. I will fuck you, any time, any way, I want – anywhere I want. I will discipline you, because you will screw up. I will train you to please me.

CFMs on face

Give it back to him Ana!

SUBMISSIVE or BITCH?

Strangely, I’m pretty sure the reading audience for each of these books is similar.

What the hell is going on here … this doesn’t make sense, does it?

Trying to understand the wickedly confusing female psyche, I made myself read both books – such torture for a man to read about explicit sex with beautiful women.

Obviously, I’m now an expert peeking over the other side of the fence knowing exactly what women REALLY want in their men and relationships.

And the short answer is? I have NO IDEA!

Actually, that’s not true. I do have an idea, so hear me out.

Our GREY girl Ana is subservient and plays the submissive princess in the Grey castle where he holds the economic clout and other levers of control. Eventually, like a hostage with Stockholm Syndrome, Ana comes to love Christian and his sexy wicked ways.

The BITCH girl is no one’s bitch. She pays her own way and supports her own castle. As the BITCH says: Work=Money=The ability to choose the way you want to be treated=Personal Control=Dignity. 

These are two hugely popular books with enormous numbers of (predominantly) female followers. And yet, two very different views of how men and women relate on a personal and intimately sexual level.

Contradictory? Yep. But it comes down to this:

We love fantasy as a way of spicing up our lives.

We daydream, we nightdream, we fantasize, we blush inside and conjure up erotic images that we share with absolutely no one – I mean no one – in our real-life world.

It’s a little sweet, chocolate treat we give to ourselves to make our sometimes daily drudgery of working and shopping and cooking and cleaning and vanilla sex tolerable.

50 Shades, like many movies we adore, floats those forbidden fantasies that dwell down deep upwards to the surface and scratches the nagging itch of our inner kinky beings.

But even fantasy-driven people come back to their steady, earthly selves when reading BITCHES, knowing that life – REAL LIFE – is about respect and equality.

Think of it this way:

  • 50 SHADES OF GREY is the Lusty Lord of the Rings trilogy, Star Wars of Sex, Indiana Jones of Intercourse.
  • WHY MEN LOVE BITCHES is the PBS documentary NOVA or Nature of Things or Home Improvement episode.

Sex Wars

 

Before a woman starts into 50 Shades, she’s a rational, documentarian bitch, a librarian with glasses and hair tied up prim and proper.

But find her a couple of chapters into Ana and Christian Grey’s story and the BITCH bondage of her updo transposes into the 50 Shades bondage of wrists and erotically lustful unbounded submission.

It’s a beautiful contradiction, and maybe you CAN have it both ways.

………………..

One last thought.

I can’t resist pointing out the appalling writing contained within 50 Shades. Who can write this stuff and STILL sell a billion copies??:

Ana: “And from a very tiny, underused part of my brain – probably located at the base of my medulla oblongata near where my subconscious dwells – comes the thought: He’s here to see you.”

 

 

 

 

The First Time Ever I Called You Queer …

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In the Elementary School System there are two separate,

Yet equally important groups.

The little boys who pull pony tails and trip girls in the playground at recess

And the little girls who giggle and skip rope.

THESE ARE THEIR STORIES

law-and-order-logo

Almost like the kids’ game RED ROVER, there were inviolable, uncrossable lines at Glen Echo School in Hamilton where I spent my formative Kindergarten to Grade 5 school years.

Truly, SCHOOL laws and BOY laws existed that were unwritten but well heeded until about Grade 6.

These KGB-like regulations secretly stated that boys and girls would never display any obvious signs of admiration, crushes, or lust upon their opposite numbers. Come to think of it, this may have been my earliest encounter with political correctness. Talk about blurred lines.

I was teased – and I teased others –  if I was seen to be currying favour – you know, pulling a pony tail or chasing a girl in the playground, the glaringly obvious signs of pre-pubertal true love.

Boy pulls girl's hair

It just goes to show that we conform to rules, written and unwritten, at an early age. It was clear to us boys that – at least publically – we hated girls because they were YUCKY. ‘Nuff said!

The sadly remarkable yet funny thing is, I knew inside myself that I was attracted to these little cuties in pleated skirts and white knee socks. I just wasn’t sure why.

There were no swelling or developed breasts that shifted my gaze from eye level. There were no curvaceous hips that wiggled seductively as they shuffled in little girl packs ahead of me down the linoleum hallway that, because some Grade 3 kid just puked up a hot dog from last night’s supper, smelled of pungent Dustbane.

It was and is a mystery.

I didn’t really understand these feelings I felt inside.

I just knew that it gave me a warm, pleasant feeling, and had a really strange, stiffening effect on that wee little dangly thing below the belt that I peed from. What was with that?

Louise C. was my first official public crush in Grade 6 – I dished out an extra 10 cents to hold her hand and take her to the Glen Brae Middle School sock hop – but as far back as Grade 1, I was covertly madly and deeply in love with Dale C.

She was that deadly combination of both pretty AND smart. I couldn’t take my eyes off her when she’d come in from recess –  a little whisper of apple flesh clinging delicately to the corner of her lip – and tug her white tights up higher around her waist. I was hypnotized by her strange girly magic.

In Grade 2, she must have gotten pregnant (I always suspected Billy or Jerome of schoolyard lust) or something because her family moved away and I never saw her again. Took me 4 years and a crush on Miss Taylor, my Grade 5 teacher to get over her.

Larry Grade 1 Glen Echo 2

My first crush Dale C is in this picture, but I’ll leave it to you to guess who she is by the “S” we’re holding together…

Things probably haven’t changed a lot on the infatuation front for today’s youngsters, but now I’m casting my sight in a slightly different direction.

Now that I’m an adult (sort of), and the world’s scope of understanding has expanded for me, I find myself wondering.

I was (am) a sexually-straight little guy. We all assumed in my childhood years – again, at least publically – that everyone around us was straight.

My question: When do little gay boy kids start crushing on other little boys, and lesbian girl kids on other little girls? 

The early unwritten rules I’ve just described about not expressing desire or lust must have killed the gay kids.

Why?

Well, for me, Grade 6 came along and suddenly the dam walls that prevented public lust came tumbling down. The classrooms and schoolyards were filled with little conclaves of tender couplings and busy matchmakers.

Billy and Sarah, Blake and Miranda, Frank and Cathy, Nicole and Keith.

Some of the romances lasted for minutes, others hours, the occasional one might stick for a week or two, just like today in Hollywood.

The prison doors were flung open wide, and public yearning was instantly de rigeur. Suddenly, I could drool all over Cathy and Adele and Carol. No questions. No ridicule.

But the dam – the prison walls – never collapsed for the gay kids. I assume there had to be a fair number of homosexual youngsters given what I see in today’s world. But in the real world playground there were no couples walking hand-in-hand like:

John and George, Britney and Madonna, Elton and David, Ellen and Portia.

ellen_portia

If anything, the walls of the dam grew stronger and more forceful for these kids. The level of ridicule and derision for queer youth became more heightened as the volume of sexual hormones rose.

By the time I passed through the front door of Glendale High School, the feelings of anger and mockery for homosexuality were at absurdly elevated levels. I can only imagine the frustration and self-hatred experienced by my LGBT classmates.

I’m living today with questions, and no small amount of guilt, for the way I must have treated my schoolmates who were attracted to their same-gender friends.

For the reality is, there were three, not two equally important groups in the system who had their stories, but we weren’t ready to listen.

Yet.

Are We Now?

 

Before There Was 50 Shades … There Was My Man John …

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When I sat in eccentric old Mr. Batchelor’s Grade 9 English class, I dreamed of my own personal Fifty Shades of Grey scenario with about half of the girls in the classroom.

The short mini-skirts of the ’70’s era, revealing cream-coloured, porcelain-smooth teenage thigh skin were a “blurred lines” invitation to a 14 year-old male pubescent mind.

The scene outside my Grade 9 classroom...

A typical scene outside my Grade 9 classroom…

I was hormonally primed and more than ready to give up elementary schoolyard swings and slides and pounce onto a new sex-charged high school playground.

Yep, I was a squeaky-voiced early version of Christian Grey. My last name “Green”, akin to Grey, was an obvious prescient sensual sign of great things to come.

I was possessed of a totally literary kind of schoolboy perspective with high ideals and best of intentions … NOT!!

I’m pretty sure that not a single one of my imaginary classmates-harem gave this short, cherub-cheeked boy in the front left desk any thoughts close to what I was living in my preoccupied haze.

I was giftwrapped in my brain’s illusion, and there was no one that would take the wrapping off and make it real.

But … aside from my adolescent fantasy world, I enjoyed the class for some of the academic reasons too.

…………………

As a decent student, I relished reading stories and literature that drew me in and took me to worlds of which I knew nothing.

But, to take just one example, reading Shakespeare left me in a a muddled whirlwind of incomprehension and confusion. Good God, what did any of his Renaissance-era Olde English words mean?

I loved it when we travelled on field trips to Stratford (Ontario, Canada … not that OTHER Stratford) to watch the plays acted live, because mercifully, I could eke out an understanding of the story. Live theatre was a pretty reasonable substitute for Coles Notes.

The actions showed me what the words never had.

Plus there was lots of drama, fights, sword-play, and naughty 50 Shades-style bawdy skirmishing.

It was great fun watching the serious-minded Shakespearean actors jettison streams of airborne saliva all over each other in their emphatic acting roles. Strange how live acting never appealed to me as a life choice after seeing one of those plays.

Members of the company in Kiss Me, Kate , 2010. Photography by Erin Samuell.

……………………

Fortunately, I wasn’t a total literary loss — there was one author that we young learners read at various times throughout high school that was understandable for me.

He told empathetic stories with struggling, heartfelt characters like justice-seeking Tom Joad and dim-witted Lennie Small.

He created a world of real life drama that took possession over me, carrying me into a time warp that dramatized my parents’ and grandparents’ era…the Great Depression of the 1930’s.

Who was this wonder author that penetrated the hormonally-charged mind of a teenage boy?

John Steinbeck

.

The Grapes of Wrath. Of Mice and Men. East of Eden. Cannery Row.

Lennie and George...Of Mice and Men... so bittersweet.

Lennie and George…Of Mice and Men… so bittersweet.

I’ve told you in earlier blog posts that I’m not a great fan of Hemingway’s sparse writing.

On the other hand, I loved Steinbeck. I loved Steinbeck then, the way you might love Stephen King or Suzanne Collins or J.K. Rowling today.

By his words, you could taste the bone-dry prairie dust in your mouth. You could feel your heart breaking and tears rising when Lennie panics and accidentally snaps the neck of the boss farmer’s beautiful wife — Oh Lennie, why did you have to go and do that?

But I read his stories with different eyes in a different era from today. Society was a different place then, just as it is in every generation and time.

We look at the past world and see the words and actions of others as if they were occurring today. We judge Christopher Columbus by who we are now, not who he was in 1492.

Steinbeck chronicled an era, not unlike TV’s Mad Men, where women sat stoically in the background and waited for decisions to be made on their behalf.

Like obedient cattle, women were chattel, or sometimes Lady Chatterley, but never an equal co-driver or co-decision maker.

In those high school days, few of us ever saw his characters as being sexist or misogynistic.

Women were just people. 2nd Class people maybe, but it was what it was.

misogynistic-vintage-ads

Chapter 1 of The Grapes of Wrath had this telling scene of prairie folk fearfully surveying their destroyed livelihoods:

Men stood by their fences and looked at the ruined corn, drying fast now, only a little green showing through the film of dust. The men were silent and they did not move often.

And the women came out of the houses to stand beside their men—to feel whether this time the men would break. The women studied the men’s faces secretly, for the corn could go, as long as something else remained.

The children stood near by, drawing figures in the dust with bare toes, and the children sent exploring senses out to see whether men and women would break. The children peeked at the faces of the men and women, and then drew careful lines in the dust with their toes.

Horses came to the watering troughs and nuzzled the water to clear the surface dust.

After a while the faces of the watching men lost their bemused perplexity and became hard and angry and resistant. Then the women knew that they were safe and that there was no break.

Then they asked, What’ll we do? And the men replied, I don’t know. But it was all right. The women knew it was all right, and the watching children knew it was all right. 

Women and children knew deep in themselves that no misfortune was too great to bear if their men were whole.”

It’s a beautifully written passage of anguish and despair, finishing off with insight and hope.

But was this some kind of innocent early non-sexualized precursor to 50 Shades where women were meek and submissive – a place where the dominant male asserted his rightful supremacy?

Could you write a book today with lines like this?

Maybe, but I think that Steinbeck would more likely have this cheerless man and woman standing side-by-side, pondering the difficult choices to be made … together … equals. The man would want to know that she wouldn’t break as much as she wouldn’t want him to falter.

I still admire and enjoy Steinbeck’s stories, but I interpret and absorb the words differently.

The grey matter in this Green man’s head has been altered and shifted by time and experience. When I read a book (or view a movie) now that I took in as a younger person, I see it from the who and the where that I am now.

In a blog post I wrote about a year and a half ago, I told of my shock and dismay that 5o Shades of Grey had become such a popular phenomenon among women of all ages. It didn’t make sense to me that women would embrace a character like Anastasia Steele who would allow herself to be victimized and dominated so willfully.

It surprises the hell out of me that a society that clamours for gender equality, also enigmatically and breathlessly clamours for stories of female victimhood and inequality.

Who knows, perhaps in 20 years I’ll re-read 50 Shades and the words and scenes will look different to my older eyes just as Steinbeck’s stories and characters have changed for me over time.

NAH …

I’ll still yell at Anastasia not to sign that Dominant/Submissive contract with Christian Grey, and turn and run in the opposite direction.

50 Shades of Bad

She was JUST the Wife of …

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Miley Twerks

The Miley in your life just twerked her way ahead over the blistered remains of your poor neglected groin.

Alright, it’s just a cheesy metaphor, but how would you feel about giving your life over to another person who would use you like a well-worn power tool to enhance and build their own life’s ambition, their career, their aspirations?

History is laden with the carcasses of those who have made just such a sacrifice.

What do I know, maybe you’ve thrown yourself on the pile already too.

Instinctively, do you feel a rush of warm, goodwill sensations bubbling up from deep within, climaxing with an enthusiastic,

YES, I must give of myself to do this for my one important person, the constellation of my life“?

I hope NOT.

……………………

The reason all of this is coming to mind right now is that I’m absorbed in reading a book written by Paula McLain entitled The Paris Wife.

It tells the semi-fictional but largely factual inside tale of a woman, Hadley Richardson, who marries a yet-to-be-discovered writer Ernest Hemingway in the early 1920’s. The new Mrs. Hemingway sheds any ambitions or dreams of her own (which included becoming a concert pianist) to be the jock-strap support to dear Ernest.

Young Mr. Hemingway and Hadley, his first (of 4) bride, travel to Paris where they live in semi-squalor so that he can write and mingle with the famed writers of the era: Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, James Joyce, F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Artists of all sorts rightfully want to be around others of their ilk hoping that brilliance will shimmy into them by osmosis, and fame will fall gloriously crashing into their laps.

It was the sign of an era and perhaps humanity to that point in time that a woman like Hadley would willingly leave behind her life, dreams, and family to facilitate the ambitions of her man, with no expectation of equivalent opportunity.

Hemingway and Hadley

Ernest and Hadley with young son Jack “Bumby”

You think Hemingway was a brilliant writer and true example of a REAL man?

His spare verbiage and testosterone-laden images of self-assured manliness — dragging huge sun-sparkling marlins onto a battered wooden fishing boat … or marvelling at the masterful skills needed by the matador to thrust a lengthy banderilla into the heart of a boiling-angry bull within the arena — are legendary.

Many many love Hemingway. I have a grudging admiration for his ability to transpose fully-laden ideas into crisp, compact sentences, but beyond that, I think he was an asshole narcissist.

…………………

I look at the reflection of my amazingly handsome visage in the mirror, fancifully seeing only the wrinkle-free 19 year-old that I once was and no longer am, and I can’t help but reflect on the narcissists of the world.

Can it be right for one “Hadley” person to act as a support, a lifelong appendage with no ambitions or personal goals, other than those that belong to another? Is it akin to becoming a monk or a nun and dedicating your eternal earthly soul to ONE other only?

Conversely, where is the human sense of honesty and fairness of “Ernest” when placing another in the position of servitude to his own talents, and abilities, asking, or even allowing another to sacrifice their own dreams and talents to live life as a crutch-bound Tiny Tim?

There are two pathways we can choose to take in our lives:

  • one is the profound journey.
  • the other is the surface journey.

Lifes journey

It may be a tragedy of human life that some of us allow ourselves to be distracted by the surface journeys while believing them to be the profound journeys.

The profound journeys are internal and substantial; the surface journeys are external and likely not significant.

For the first Mrs. Hemingway,

In many cases, the role was supportive only, sitting in the wives’ corner with Alice Toklas as she attended to her needlepoint—while on the other side of the room the “artist’s” talk crackled with excitement and invention. But some of the literary wives had strange and even toxic power—Zelda Fitzgerald, for instance. It was important to Hadley that she not try to run Ernest’s life but be his ally and his best friend. I think of her as essential to his emotional foundation, and that’s when the word “supportive” takes on a new strength and meaning.”

It brings me to tears to see someone leave a life of untapped potential shelved in support of another. It doesn’t have to be this way.

Hillary Clinton was obviously far more than just a sexy little thong hanging by her man’s side. Hillary was, is, the intellectual and ambition-laden equal to Bill, who lent her support to him for his aims, but didn’t just linger limply in the background.

Too, despite his “I did not have sex with that woman” faults, Bill Clinton also encouraged Hillary’s ambitions and lent his support in equal measure upon completion of his presidential terms.

But Hillary is still the exception, not the rule. It appears that Michelle Obama will be another of those exceptions … time will tell.

……………………

After writing 80 blog posts, I’ve found that the ones that have been the most viewed and probably provocative have been the ones I’ve written about the dwindling power and dominance of men in the western world. This is, and should be seen as a great movement forward in humanity’s development.

I give it a hardy thumbs up, so long as it’s based on women’s freedom and ambition to climb upwards, and not just a result of men’s tumbling off the rocky mountain’s precipice.

An article published in the Globe and Mail by Tabatha Southey this past weekend optimistically suggests that men are not falling back in their interest in higher education, it’s just that women are clambering like high-seas refugees onto the post-secondary boat in far greater numbers than ever before.

This is the future I dream of when I shutter my eyes for the night.

Unlike Hadley Richardson, er, Mrs. Hemingway, women (and men too) rightfully need to pursue their own personal goals and dreams. If the dream cloud can hold them both equally afloat, totally supportive of the other’s lofty ambition, there’s no reason to move like, and sing out like Jagger, “Hey You, Get Off of My Cloud“.

But for God’s sake girls, choose the profound journey.

Don’t ever let yourself become The Paris Wife and settle for saying, when asked what it is that you do: “I’m JUST the wife of …”.

the-paris-wife

Sexy Man in the Kitchen

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SexyVegeMan

I love to cook, but it wasn’t always thus…

…turning the clock back…

There was a harmony of delicious scent when I excitedly pushed my way through my family’s back door on chilly winter Sunday afternoons.

I was still wearing the ice skates that shrouded my icicly-frozen toes. My friends Larry (yep, another Larry…to avoid confusion, he called me Lawrence, I called him Larry), Dave, Jerome, Hugh and I had just finished a game of hockey “shinny” across the road on the seasonal ice rink the city workers built for us each winter in the school park.

Mom was in the kitchen cooking, the dining room windows were hazy with steamy condensation from vegetable water boiling on the stove and all was well with the world … it just was.

From the living room, I could hear the sounds of the black and white console TV and my Dad’s raucous laughter at something a little tyke had said on “Tiny Talent Time”, a prehistoric version of the many “Idol” or “Talent” shows that litter our current TV screens. If I came in a few minutes later, Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom would have a roaring lion or a soaring giraffe crossing the screen.

There were pan-roasted potatoes with a delicious salty-caramelized outer surface sizzling in the oven. A heady beef gravy smell wafted like a culinary aphrodisiac, saturating every room in the house. The dining table was set and soon an oblong ceramic dish would be laid down with large, dark slices of roast beef that occupied centre stage every Sunday evening in our house like a specially-invited dinner guest. I would feel a surge of pleasure when the plate was placed at the table.

downton_table

I’m pretty sure this is exactly what my family’s Sunday dinners looked like…

Idyllic memories aside, there were some downsides to this heaven-on-earth. Squishy piles of pumpkin-orange mashed turnips that I love so much now were a decided turnoff as were insipid soggy pale-green peas delicately served from a Green Giant tin can.

There are what we call comfort foods.

This is what I would call a comfort meal.

It was a warm, friendly, dreamlike scenario that played out once a week, every week. My parents and my brothers and sisters and maybe their partners gathered around a family table. We shared a roast beef and we shared the stories of the past week, both good and bad. This was the scene of many many middle-class WASP families in Canada of the 1960’s and 1970’s.

There were no cookbooks in sight or for that matter anywhere in the house. Food preparation was something handed down from mother to daughter with time worn recipes (sometimes hand-written on cards) that were part of the DNA of any woman worth attracting a man of substance.

But we boys and men didn’t cook. We might help out a bit on the side mashing fluffy potatoes or carrying plates to the table. And on hot summer weekend days, men held dominion over outdoor cooking on the BBQ where clouds of charcoal smoke, beer and red meat encapsulated the spirit of manliness.

danger_men_cooking_

But real cooking belonged to the girls.

In yesterday’s world, men were the bread winners and women were the bread makers.

And yet, something that was taken for granted just 50 years ago, that is, that woman do the cooking, has been totally turned upside down.

Today, I love to cook. Lots of men do.

The reason? Men have finally learned one of the great secrets in life.

Good Male Cooking = Sex

.

I first came to enjoy cooking as a way into a young lady’s pants.

Some guys build big vein-streaked muscles or hunch over greasy car motors to attract cute girls. For those of us non-hulky young fellows lacking any sort of mechanical aptitude, we had to resort to other means to draw sweet bees to our hives.

I developed two strengths that assisted in my often weak attempts to seduce and capture the hearts of young women. I learned to strum the guitar. And … I learned that cooking for the fairer sex could be a powerful aphrodisiac. Go figure.

Women chefs cook with their hearts and souls in pursuit of nourishment of the body and their families, while male chefs cook with their head and their private parts in pursuit of … well, you know. An exception to this is poutingly-hot TV cook Nigella Lawson who has cornered the sexy female side of food preparation. I would devour uncooked scorpions from her fingertips.

My go-to dish was French Onion Soup.

French Onion Soup with Stringy Melted Cheese 500

It was my fishing lure of choice in the sea of attraction. The broth was dark and rich and tantalizingly fragrant, with a hint of fresh thyme. It had the whiff of European sophistication that layered me with a hint of cosmopolitan elan. And there is something very pre-orgasmic about a dish that has a guy and a girl eyeing each other across a table with gooey strings of molten swiss cheese hanging teasingly from a spoon.

I used my cooking skills on one or two (OK, maybe 3!) occasions in my teen and early 20’s years to lure and seduce. Did it always work? I would say yes, although to be honest, I didn’t normally cook for someone until the outcome was almost 100% secured. Cooking just sealed the carnal deal!

Years have passed, and now that I’m older and happily coupled, cooking is a pleasurable part of my everyday existence, and not just BBQ’s! I love to combine spices and flavours to make something exciting to look at, savour, and taste.

My kids don’t see anything sexy or alluring about the dishes I set at the table, which is a good thing. While it’s all simple and straightforward, the colours and textures of foods are still a sensual experience of pleasure.

The sight and scent today of a plate of steaming roast beef at the table takes me inside myself to a warm time of family pleasure and the company of my long-gone parents. I longingly wish that I could make pan-roasted potatoes or apple pie that compared to my Mom’s.

Life has its cycles and rhythms. Yesterday my son in Nova Scotia phoned while walking on his way home from purchasing fresh beets to make Borscht … hmm … could this be his “seduction” dish?

If my kids only knew the thoughts that course through my head when we sit around the table together and I sip a spoonful of French Onion Soup … well, I can hear them now…EWWWWW!

When I grow up, I'm gonna cook sexy food just like Dad...

When I grow up, I’m gonna cook sexy food just like Dad…

 

Judd Apatow is a Pimp! Our Young Men are the Prostitutes…

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Dear Judd Apatow:

You are an ASSHOLE.

But don’t despair, there’s hope.

Apatow and leslie mann

Apatow and wife Leslie Mann…

I know you think you’ve done amazing things with your Hollywood writing, producing and directing career. And if you were 14 years old, I’d agree wholeheartedly. But you just gotta know, Hollywood box office bucks don’t equal quality. OK?

To be fair, you were the driving force behind a TV show years back called Freaks and Geeks that was truly inspired. Your sensitive take on awkward teenagers coping in a COOL and cruel high school world was heartrendingly beautiful. But you’ve plunged to the depths of depravity in recent years making movies such as Knocked Up, and This is 40, that glorify and promote male infantilism, shallowness and immaturity.

And it’s the misogynism of your characters that really bugs me.

I don’t like it when men put down and/or objectify women as you have your ManBoys Seth Rogen, Jason Segel and Jonah Hill do in much of your stuff. To be fair, I don’t enjoy it either when the tables are turned and women gorge on the weakened entrails of us men.

jonah_hill__paul_rudd__seth_rogen__jason_segel

The world is full of assholes…YES, EVEN I AM AN ASSHOLE…at least to some (badly misinformed!) people or at least some of the time. (Please don’t overload the comment section of this blog post with agreeing statements on this point, OK?) I guess you could say that about most of us.

To soothe your fractured ego, I should tell you that you’re not alone. Following is a shortlist of those on my current Asshole list:

  • Lance Armstrong
  • John Mayer
  • Madonna
  • Billy Bob Thornton
  • Tiger Woods
  • Chris Brown
  • Charlie Sheen
  • The Lumineers
  • Stephen Harper
  • Kanye West
  • Donald Trump

For all I know, you are a really nice guy Judd, which raises the question:

Do we, should we, separate the abilities and talents from the person him/herself?

I don’t have a good answer here. Using Lance Armstrong as one example, I greatly appreciate the athleticism and drive that he brought to his cycling career. Watching him pedal his way up the stunningly steep slope of Alp d’Huez on his bike was a wonder to behold. With or without the aid of drugs, I believe he is an extraordinary athlete who just happens to be an ass in many ways. Maybe I could say the same about you Judd if I only knew you better.

Today’s cinematic world is full of great inspirational and aspirational moviemakers eg. Steven Spielberg, Nora Ephron(late), Ang Lee, Martin Scorsese, Kathryn Bigelow, Woody Allen, Jane Campion. These people, through their artistic genius and skill, can have us sit in the dark and laugh, cry, and think, often within the same scene. I celebrate their amazing prowess. Judd, you have it too. I can see it slyly peeking out and seeping around corners in some of your movies. It’s a waste of talent, shedding its tears in a dark secluded alleyway.

Our young men are watching your cinematic product and living the life that you project as appealing and good. Only you, Judd Apatow, are benefitting…you see, you’re making a bunch of “prostitutes” out of men and collecting millions of bucks on the sidelines and laughing your head off at all the ManBoys you’re helping to create.

Sure, we shouldn’t just shoot you as the messenger. We all have the ability to make choices. But just like prostitutes who are forced into doing things they don’t want to because they have limited choices, your writing and filming takes full advantage of the weaknesses and frailties of young men. Our young fellas are struggling with a world that has changed dramatically in a short time span and is pulling the rug out from under their feet. They need help moving forward, not in slipping back into the anal recesses of their own wretched flatulence.

male_prostitute1

Even Shakespeare plumbed the depths of childlike humour, so at least you have some divine company. “O Romeo, that she were, O that she were an open-arse and thou a popp’rin’pear.” –Romeo and Juliet, Act II, Scene I.  Shakespeare generally reached down with subtlety, nuance, and craft. Try following his lead, you could find a worse mentor out there.

I don’t normally rant on about things like this. And please let me finish by repeating myself. I think you have some great talents that have been hinted at at times in films like The 40 year Old Virgin and Bridesmaids. You have the neurons and synapses in abundant supply to do great stuff.  There’s a dumptruck load of money in your back account now, so don’t settle for the low bar. More truckloads of films making manure-into-money won’t make your smile any bigger at this point.

You’ve passed 40 now. It’s time to grow up. Don’t confuse inanity with good-natured and harmless boyishness. There is some wisdom and humour in you that can be unleashed in fine fashion.

Make the second half of your career funny, but uplifting and aspirational. Find your internal wise wit. I hold hope in my heart that your best time is coming.

Take off that Pimp’s fedora and fur coat and pull yourself up from the fetid gutters. The finishing cut of real man’s clothes will fit you better than you realize.

Cheering you on from the Cinema Sidelines,

Man on the Fringe

Steve Martin to Judd

Apparently I’m not the only one who writes to you Judd!

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