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MOVIE BOOBS!

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Seth Macfarlane oscars

Catch the Oscars this past weekend? I was watching and absorbing the fascination of our culture with celebrity and pageantry and beauty.

AND Boobs…

Such a Brouhaha!

Much like a high school prom, a Horde of Hollywood Honeys assembled and preened on the red carpet prior to the ceremony. We were given a dazzling display of their fine physical wares including a good deal more than cleavage, all of which complemented the apparent theme of this year’s Oscars…BOOBS!

We have Seth MacFarlane to thank for shining our collective consciousness on breasts. Honestly Seth, you have a great smile, but I don’t really get off on your style or sense of humour. But let’s be clear kids… he was just noticing something that we all, male or female, observe and gawk at…boobs.

Heidi Klum

Sorry Heidi Klum, which category were you nominated in?

Truthfully, when the musical number “We Saw Your Boobs” began I kind of chuckled… with just a tinge of annoyance … and male-lust guilt.

A common sinuous thread that runs through moviedom is whether an actress has exposed her breasts in a film. It’s like a Bar Mitzvah- you haven’t reached womanhood in Hollywood until we’ve admired your nipples. Seriously though, some moviemaking requires skin exposure to develop a story more fully. Many actresses agonize over this decision to bare it all, and hopefully we receive it in a respectful way.

Western culture is absolutely obsessed by mammaries and yet we have a love-hate relationship with the idea of putting them on view.It’s a contradictory conundrum. Women appear to want them to be noticed and admired when out on the red carpet, and yet get offended when we do notice and comment on them. There’s no hiding place (especially for men) when you’re screwed if you do and really screwed if you don’t.

Despite my early tee hee, I was initially a bit indignant with the song routine about womens’ breasts…it felt like it was lowering the dignity of the Academy Awards. And it was…but come to think of it, Billy Crystal and Bob Hope and the myriad of the other (mainly male) hosts through the years have made denigrating and crass jokes to mixed reviews. Is this year any different?

And of course, America is the worst offender when it comes to outlandish broadcasting choices.

The U.S. allows just about any degree of violence or drawn out blood-purging death scenes imaginable, but show a boob or say “shit”, and you are fucked. Break a guy’s arm or leg in the Super Bowl and everything is A-OK, but parade a nipple accidentally and kiss your broadcast licence goodbye.

Sexuality and beauty are wonderfully enriching aspects of the human experience that should be celebrated, so long as intellect and sensitivity come hand-in-hand too. And yet we act all outraged when scenes or acts of love and sensuality are portrayed.

So what is my deep-rooted issue in all of this?

My indignation stems from a sense of MALE EXCLUSION.

Just what’s SO wrong with the male penis that prohibits ITS exposure on our movie and TV screens (but not our computer terminals!). Breasts get all the press as if men have no taboo parts to be shown. I’ll grant you that the personable penis is not the most esthetically pleasing piece of human anatomy ever evolved, but I see lots of less attractive items on TV, like Steven Tyler, or Dog the Bounty Hunter. No censor has had the balls to scrub those scenes from my set.

I never get to feel like my penis is being celebrated in serious cinema. It makes me feel less of a man when I don’t feel the love that breasts are afforded in tinseltown. It’s outright discrimination.

oscarfashion

I look ahead to the day when sober and thoughtful male actors like George and Brad stroll the red carpet with their penis’s and testicles wrapped and adorned in luxurious fabrics with just a hint of forbidden skin showing. The rapacious interviewers will seriously query them about who their “Johnson” designers are.

And I am so looking forward to next year’s Oscars already (I’m just like William Shatner, I can see next year’s headlines). Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will do a song and dance routine about viewing mens’ testicles to the tune of “Do Your Ears Hang Low“.

This equality stuff just feels so good.

George and Amy

“To breasts and testes in 2014”

Welcome Aboard Virgin Air

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I was seducible.

She seduced me.

End of story…sort of.

She was a cute, long-haired blonde nurse from Alberta, a couple of  years older than myself, and for some unexplicable and unexplainable reason, she wanted ME. So, on that icily frigid Yellowknife-arctic evening there was very little romanticism or long, languid looks involved. Love didn’t play a part for either of us. Lust held the key this night. We were young and friendly and fun. It was dark and chilly in her bedroom when our limbs and externals and internals mingled and tingled together.

In my later teens, I’d been close to the final destination on a number of earlier journeys with other sweet travelers, but never quite finished the trip- by choice. I was now 20 years old and decided the time had come for the train to finally enter the station.

What made me think about this stuff is that I’m currently reading Richard Branson’s autobiography “Losing My Virginity” and his stories of starting the VIRGIN business empire. He’s one bold and flamboyant dude, that Branson. But here and now, we’re talking about a different Virgin version.

Every life and every lifetime is filled with firsts…first tooth, first walk, first grade, first kiss, first job. Firsts can be scary, exhilarating, illuminating, freeing, intimidating, terrifying. I’m choosing to dive into one of the FIRSTS on most of our taboo lists when it comes to sharing with others.

VIRGINITY.

Virginity box

To be more accurate here, we’re talking about the loss of virginity.

The language we use around this is full of negative context and confusion. For many – especially men I guess – virginity loss is more like a gain. And in another bizarre twist we talk about women as being deflowered, defiled, impureWords from a different century. Having crossed the Rubicon makes you a Non-virgin. It’s all loaded in a way that is so generally negative that I find annoying and distasteful. In a world that celebrates BDSM stories like Fifty Shades of Grey, this just doesn’t cut it .

I propose we coin some new terminology on the Virginal vanguard.  How about some bright new positive terms for non-virgins like Bloomer (a pregnant female could be called a “Baby Bloomer“) or Coiticulated, or Post-Nooker or Carnalist or Intercourvet?

I haven’t heard or read any statistics, so I’m only guessing, but it seems pretty clear to me that 90+ % of us will experience this “loss” at some point in our lives. Virginity is one of those areas that is tied in with much of what explains us. The adjectives that describe our personalities can often also define or describe the time and nature of our first sexual intercourse…timid, bold, distant, careless, cautious, energetic, enthusiastic, patient, polite, considerate, cold, adventurous, sensitive.

RELIGION-SEX

Now I’m describing the heterosexual experience here…I don’t know if the term virginity even applies to gay/lesbian relationships. I’d appreciate any guidance you might offer on this front for people like me who are ignorant. Just one more qualification here…I’m a naive old fellow and I tend to think of sex as an equal, reciprocal, and consensual adventure. I can’t conceive of a violent or forced event and won’t address this in this blog. It makes me feel too sick to think about.

Anyway, loss of virginity is all tied up in a maelstrom of religion and social mores and pregnancy and love and alcohol and hormones and insecurities and elation and pain and drugstore condoms and the meaning of relationships and experimentation and modesty. The circle of meaning and importance is HUGE and so most of us agonize or at least contemplate deeply what, where, when and with whom this first will occur.

My early years were bounded within an ideology of family and social mores that dictated marriage prior to consummation. So even though I lost my belief in a god and a heaven just as I was entering my teen years, the belief that intercourse was something we save until marriage was deeply ingrained. Anything less would bring about great guilt, shame, and regret. And probably pregnancy and gonorrhoea to boot. Sex was a pool filled with circling piranhas.

Bunny and pope

There was huge discord between what I was being told in my home, school, and church, and what the movies, TV, books and Playboy were laying out for my hormonal schoolboy absorption. Sex was liberating and fun and blissful in those arenas. Who do I believe and who is right was the fulcrum on which I balanced precariously. The devil had begun to sink his horns into me and I was horny.

But human decency suggested that anything beyond self-stimulation (blindness be damned!) necessitated taking into account the physical and emotional needs of my potential partner…this tango was not an easy dance.

And it shouldn’t be, but not for reasons of religion or moral righteousness. Sex at its best is fun and it’s fantastic and a hundred other orgasmic adjectives. But we’re all complex beings with needs and desires and an assortment of very heavy baggage. Having intercourse has many different meanings (even within the same person), loaded meanings that can change depending on the time of our lives, the time of day, who we’re contemplating doing it with. Paramount, for me, was respect and knowledge of what sex meant to me AND to my lover-to-be. For years, I struggled hard with carrying virginity into marriage until one day… I didn’t. Sometimes, just waiting brings a clear answer in its own time.

 I used to be Snow White, but I drifted.”

………………………………………….— Mae West

My days spent in the Arctic as a young person threw me into a foreign milieu with lots of attractive, confident, young ladies and attitudes towards sex that I’d never encountered before. This was happening at the same time that I was jettisoning my own internal voices and shackles of religion and guilt.

My virginity wasn’t a holy grail to place on the altar of life to observe and protect at all costs. Sex, whether solely for recreation or serious intent, was one more additional benefit to a full life. It always has risks – swimming and driving have risks too but at the appropriate time we take precautions and dive (or drive) in. Sex doesn’t have to be ALL or NONE, but I was finally released from the NEVER.

Life spent in the teeth-chattering cold and long nights of the north made me sometimes question the wisdom of my decision to take my first professional job in the Arctic. I realized that virginity wasn’t a Boy Scout badge I needed anymore on that frosty Yellowknife night.

one-cold-day-in-yellowknife

This was one way to stay warm in the Arctic…

love-in-the-arctic

…this was another…

UGLY Ducklings Become The SWANS

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It was the Age of Innocence.

There was a time when little girls were just…little girls. They weren’t creations of Victoria’s Secret, or Estee Lauder, or Valentino, or Hugh Hefner.

I think I discovered girls in Mrs. Putns’ Grade 1 class at Glen Echo Elementary School in Hamilton. But I didn’t discover the right girls until much later.

Larry Grade 1 Glen Echo 2

Grade 1 Glen Echo School 1962…me in bottom right holding the ‘S’…

Kindergarten and Grade 1 girls in my classes played hopscotch and hot-pepper skipping rope with all of the fanciful rhyming verses that went with it:

 Ice cream soda pop , Lemonade Punch,

Tell me the name of my honey-bunch .. A, B, C, D ….

girls-jumping-rope

We boys played tag and road hockey and Red Rover. They didn’t like the same things we liked, and yet there was something about them that made us just want to chase after them, hit them and pull their hair. These were the heartfelt signposts of love in the kindergarten fraternity. I think the girls knew this, but we boys were woefully ignorant of any deeper meaning to our intentions.

We told everyone including our best buddies that we hated girls, but who were we kidding. Girls were different, but they were a GOOD different and we wanted a piece of their action.

These curiously perplexing creatures were usually smart and attentive, often pretty like spring daffodils, they wore colourful wool plaid skirts and white tights that they were always yarding up. We hadn’t experienced hormonal tides just yet. So while we wanted their attention and to interact flirtatiously, we didn’t really know until a few grades later what the outcome of the flirtation involved. It was innocent, and it was exciting.

But we were young and we were boys which meant we could often be callously cruel to girls. Just like we would be savagely heartless to the boys we called fags and homos later in high school. Bullying was an expected repercussion of showing up at school most days.

female-bully

We teased the pretty girls for sure. But it was light-hearted and harmlessly playful teasing. The, shall-we-say, less appealing or less cute girls received a much more vitriolic approach. Not only were they less mouth-wateringly tempting in our boyish eyes, but they often came with strange sounding names. My  school was in an area that attracted many European immigrant families from places like Italy, Yugoslavia, Hungary, and Ukraine. I grew up with girls named Zdenka, and Bozica, and Jadranka, and Eunice, and Gunta. We didn’t even TRY to pronounce their last names.

It was the cutesy little blond girls with pig tails named Dale and Cathy and Linda and Anne that drew us in like slightly confused moths to a flame. We were smitten and as the years went by we sent our best buddies across the playground to ask if they would be our “steady”.

It was the rare and very courageous boy who would make the direct approach to express his love wishes. This was early diplomacy at its best. Once the arrangement had been made and agreed upon by both sides, the brief courtship then got underway. At the next recess or lunch break, the conventionally-handsome couple would be found wandering the playground, holding hands and being admired and sometimes jealously hated by the other kids. The affair would usually last two or three days and then dissolve like strawberry Kool-Aid in cold water.

swan

And then something quite strange happened in early high school (Glendale was its name). I learned something very important about the physical maturation of girls. And it was more startling to me than the swelling of breasts and curvature of hips. Health classes in which we boys snickered throughout had forewarned me about the expected, and gloriously welcome feminine changes. The nasty and unexpected part was when all, or at least most of the ugly ducklings that I and most of my pals had cruelly teased, transformed into delicate and beautiful swans over the period of a year or two. Faces and bodies remodeled, rejigged, and reorganized themselves. Awkward features morphed like larvae into radiant butterflies. Beauty emerged where we boys least expected it and it was time for our reckoning.

My bridges were burned.

I paid the price for the evil I had unleashed in years gone by.

My earlier cruel deeds of teasing, mocking, and ridicule now came back to haunt me. My teenager hormones were swelling to a high-school crescendo. I wanted the attractive girls, both the cute ones from earlier days (who often didn’t seem as attractive as they once had) and the newly-minted swans with fresh appeal. I wanted them badly. In a savagely cruel twist, the same hormones that were responsible for pumping blood in enormous quantities to regions below my waist, were also triggering ugly, pus-filled facial eruptions that I couldn’t hide from.

My pre-adolescent sweet looks were tumbling into an abominable reversal and I was becoming the UGLY Duckling!

And maybe worse, the new swans weren’t teasing or heckling me as I had them earlier, they were merely ignoring me. SOME…ANY… attention would have been better than none at this point but I became invisible for the next 3 or 4 years of high school. WOE was me!

Shakespeare couldn’t have written a more heart-rending tragedy for an adolescent young man.

It wasn’t until Grade 12 that I finally began to emerge from my well-deserved visit to the penalty box. A new maturity and understanding of peoples’ dignity was developing. Any tease left in me became more sophisticated and gentle. My face, though still somewhat pimply, began to take on  more manly proportions and appearance. The old and new swans with whom I had grown to this stage, never really came around to the realization that I could be a keeper. My bridges had been truly burned.

But fortunately, brand-new swans blew into my realm who had never experienced my earlier, less comely stages. I was now an unknown entity with no history of cruel intentions or pock-marked face to recall. It was like starting kindergarten all over again, and I was older and a smidgen smarter this time.

Larry Grade 13 3

Me…A Grade 13 grad with just a few pimples and a new attitude…

Finally I was able to swim with the swans, of all types, again – but I wasn’t only graduating from academic high school. My education in life and people had now begun. Pretty swans still had their appeal, but there was a greater depth to relationships than just the beautiful plumage. The complexities and richness we encounter daily when we trace our lives by passing through others’ was beginning to settle in.

And here I am decades later, a whole lot wiser (in some ways!), yet still working daily to fashion poetic rhyme and reason of the people, the words, and the images from my past.

If Hillary was President…

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Congratulations U.S.A.!

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You guys got my heart racing faster than when Sexy Clint Eastwood and Slutty Honey Boo Boo came trick-or-treating at my door this HalloweenThe rest of the world and I screamed at the possibility. But you thankfully came through in the end, and elected Barack Obama. 

50 years from now, I believe that Obama will be seen as an extraordinary president in the pantheon of Lincoln and Roosevelt. His legacy today is obscured by the day-to-day flotsam thrown at his feet and in his face that prevents us from seeing his skills and accomplishments. He does have his faults for sure. But he sees the forest and not just the wind-blown trees that keep toppling in his way, making his forward momentum a frustratingly difficult but worthwhile slog.

And for this, I’d like to give thanks:

(From Monty Python’s “The Meaning of Life”)

Chaplain: Let us praise God. O Lord…
…Ooh, You are so big…
…So absolutely huge.
…Gosh, we’re all really impressed down here, I can tell You.
Forgive us, O Lord, for this, our dreadful toadying, and…
Congregation: And barefaced flattery.
Chaplain: But You are so strong and, well, just so super.
Congregation: Fantastic.
Chaplain: Amen.
Congregation: Amen.

And so, shall we move on?

I’m not a real “politico”, but the US election involved major issues that transcended politics. Issues that affect real people in real ways. There were national, international, and intensely personal matters that would have been disturbed significantly by the election of a Republican president. A rip in the fabric of time like Marty McFly returning to Hill Valley, California and marrying his own mother.

The Republicans would have slashed taxes to 0% for the top 1%, made carrying of automatic weapons to school compulsory for all kindergarten students and I’m pretty sure they would have made hiring of women at anything above minimum wage an indictable offence subject to the death penalty. I read all of this on a FOX News network blog (or was it the National Enquirer?), so it must be true. My head hurts thinking of what could have happened with a sequel to George W. Bush. U.S. voters made the right choice on November 6, but the undertow currents are still pulling ferociously, trying to drag the electorate under.

But isn’t the US still a great country?

Sure, I think it is in a (dwindling) financial and military sense. But socially it’s trying to emulate Dickens world of Scrooge or Oliver – it lives in the 19th century and refuses to wake up from a bad dream. Its education system is fraying at the seams. Millions without medical coverage are at risk of financial ruin (and unable to get the liposuction and breast augmentations they so desperately want!). Crumbling infrastructure is compounded by HUGE deficits and debts.

Yet fear of the changing colours, social mores, and languages of its burgeoning immigrant population has people walling themselves off from the new reality.

Despite all of the problems that exist, the US made a wonderful choice 4 years ago in electing not just a smart, charismatic guy, but a black-skinned man who knows his basketball too. I was mightily surprised when Obama won, but pleased.

Each person needs a sense of hope in their world. The election of a black man told millions that there was hope in theirs’ and their childrens’ lives. It reaffirmed the “American Dream” that says that anyone can rise through the social, economic and educational ranks with perseverance and determination. Electing just another rich, white guy tells half of the population that they don’t really matter…21st century slavery may be against the law, but it really lives on if you are black or brown or anything other than white, and your leader is ALWAYS a rich, white dude.

But, with the shifting demographic tides, will the next momentous move in 4 or at most 8 years be the election of a woman…and could it be Hillary Clinton? Or in the Trudeau, Kennedy fashion, maybe Chelsea Clinton.  Let me rephrase thisplease let it be Hillary  or Chelsea and NOT Sarah…yes, Sarah Palin, the “Dan Quayle” of the 2008 election.

Twenty five years ago, the thought of an elected black president would have been a laughably outrageous, outlandish, foolish concept. The same was true for a woman president. Silly as a computer in every home, and phones without cords. But throw in a burgeoning hispanic population from Cuba, Mexico, and a few other Latin American countries and a couple of decades later…SHAZZAM…little Barry Obama wins.

Four years from now, statistically, the skin tones of the population will continue to darken and the aging demographic and longer lifespan of women will push the percentage of women vs. men voters to a higher level than today.

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Bada bing bada boom!!…a woman President.

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I want a woman president elected who has strength and integrity, but still has some woman in her (Margaret Thatcher need not apply!). She should be empathetic, and smart, and worldly, and mature, and have vision. But especially, she should be able to have a disagreement with the other little tykes in the sandbox and still find a solution that makes everyone at least reasonably happy. Half a tootsie roll for everyone. We men aren’t very good at this. If my kids borrow my car and it comes back with a scratch…my response?:

YOU SHALL NEVER DRIVE THIS CAR AGAIN, EVER! DISCUSSION OVER…

My good wife’s response:

WHAT WILL YOU DO TO MAKE UP FOR THIS SO THAT I CAN TRUST YOU IN THE FUTURE?

Now which of these approaches is likely to have the most long-term success? I know I don’t have to answer the question because it’s obvious. Well, obvious except when you’re a manly rage of hormones in the heat of the moment. So, my next question becomes:

WHO DO YOU WANT WITH THEIR FINGER ON THE NUCLEAR WEAPON BUTTON, OR REGULATING THE NEW YORK STOCK EXCHANGE?

Our world will become a kinder, gentler, saner place with Barack and then Hillary and Chelsea (but not Sarah) in charge.  And we’ll all laugh when Hillary gets caught checking out the man-thongs her male interns are wearing … take that Bill!

But of course she won’t do anything of the sort because…well…because women just don’t do that sort of thing… I don’t think… do they?

There’s no time like the present…I’m starting to wear my HILLARY 2016 button next week.

An Olympic Dream of Equality

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Last night I had a dream:

The badminton teams played their hearts out start to finish…the Australian

and Japanese teams flew BOTH their men’s AND women’s teams to the games

in business class…soccer referees had great judgment at critical points in

matches…women could happily pound the s**t out of other women in the

boxing ring…Cock fighting was a huge success…”

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Business class meal - appetizer

The modest but reasonably tasty repast consumed by the Japanese Men’s Soccer squad and Australian Men’s Basketball team en route to London Olympics

The equally sumptuous spread provided to the corresponding women’s team members…YUM!!

That last one about cock fighting?… you can probably safely ignore…but it was MY dream!

The Olympics are finally over. Life can now return to normal for the many anonymous highly-trained and conditioned athletes who pop up out of the woodwork every 4 years to impress the bejeepers out of me. There are substantial sacrifices that the athletes and their families make to arrive at this level of competition. I tip my hat to their remarkable dedication.

As a Canadian, I’m disappointed that my home country athletes won only 1 Gold medal, and I’m disappointed in myself for feeling this way. I wanted them to win so I could feel like I’d won. I train my feeble little legs and heart out for minor running races and I never ever come close to a winning time.  I can understand some of the torture that goes into achieving a world class standard. Huge physical and mental energy. It hurts, big time!

BOXING…The aspect of this Olympics that truly intrigues me in regards to equality is Boxing. Boxing in general and boxing for women. For the first time, boxing is now an Olympic Womens’ sport. Blood sports are nothing new; we’ve witnessed death struggles in the arena for millennia from Gladiator times to high-tech wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Humankind thrives on battle and the outcome of a victor.

Equality means women never having to say they’re sorry! You Go Girls!

Boxing in today’s world is ludicrous. The Objective? Punch at each others’ faces until blood spurts, eyes glaze, and an opponent is knocked unconscious with a concussion…something like a typical hockey game but played in a tiny square arena with no ice! Olympic boxing is a bit more refined since the athletes wear head protection, but the primary object still remains to knock your opponent senseless.

We heap high praise on a competitor who can render his opponent unconscious on the mat and ignore the potential brain damage that doesn’t materialize until much later. Muhammed Ali didn’t show signs of Parkinson’s disease until years after his career ended. Somewhere around 15 to 20% of boxers develop a syndrome akin to Parkinsons called chronic boxer’s encephalopathy. It usually takes about 15 years or so to materialize. Rock ’em, sock ’em, knock ’em down now…but kill them later…the perfect result!

An NBC boxing analyst was rumoured to say during a network broadcast,

Sure there have been injuries, and even some deaths in boxing, but none of them really that serious.”

So, what to do?

The civilized approach would be to quietly remove the little square arenas and turn out the lights on this so-called sport. Better to let the fighting occur more naturally and spontaneously outside the football fields where London hooligans really know how to fight. But civility lost this fight.

The less-polished and ludicrous way about it is for the IOC  (International Olympic Committee) to EXPAND the sport by declaring it a gender equality issue and put women into the ring. This demonstrates that men aren’t the only ones who know how to create brain injury. After all, up until now women were only allowed to cuss, not concuss. Women have progressed in so many areas of today’s society…THIS is not a step forward.

You’ve Come A Long Way Baby! But Not This Time!

Memo to Jacques Rogge:

In order to make some progress, I have a few suggestions for the IOC to move towards gender equality in the world of sports:

  • Make the burkha the official uniform of both the women’s and men’s beach volleyball teams. Let’s find out if this sport is popular because of the skill involved or the Tits & Ass. I’m a guy…I know why I’m watching girls play in the sand!!
  • Make Rhythmic Gymnastics and Synchronized Swimming both women’s and MEN’S sports. We don’t exclude men from the world of ballet or opera. I want to see macho men with nose plugs and hair gelled high! A man flinging a hoop sky high into the air could be very sexy!
  • It’s time for men to zip circles around the gymnastic uneven bars and do fancy spins and flips on that long 4 inch wide balance beam. We men can thrust our chests out and make delicate ballet-like movements before performing a quadruple flip on a razor-thin chunk of hardwood too. Who says a man looks any less swashbuckling wearing a skin-tight glittery leotard that conforms to his genitals? Just give us a chance Jacques!”

What guy couldn’t do this?

I’m hoping that last night was my final Olympic dream. After tying myself up in sheets with backwards flips, and giving my significant other a nasty eye shiner with a perfectly placed uppercut punch, it’s time to move on.

Perhaps tonight I’ll find myself on some distant planet, riding around on the Curiosity Rover and still attempting to figure out why Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus!

Household Chores Make Men Happier??

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LIES, LIES and MORE LIES…a pack of lies (wolves)…a murder of lies (crows)…a colony of lies (rabbits)…a business of lies (ferrets).

      I’m sorry, have I made my point clear yet?

There is nothing happier than a man with a broom in his (?her) hands.

Cambridge University researchers have recently released an intriguing study . It says that men were found to have an improved sense of well-being and work-life balance, as well as less work-life conflict, if they helped more around the house.

Excuse me while I pick myself up from the floor laughing!

The academics expected to find that men’s work-family conflict rose, and their well-being fell, when they did more housework. In practice, they found the opposite, with conflict falling, and well-being going up.  The study suggests that this may be because more men support gender equality, so they feel uncomfortable if the woman does most of the housework, and because women are becoming more assertive and making their dissatisfaction with lazy partners plain (more of those MAN-BOYS!).

Men are actually HAPPIER when they cook, clean, wash, shop and look after household maintenance.

What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult for each other? George Eliot 

Paul Harvey used to have a renowned syndicated radio spot called, “And Now You Know…The Rest Of The Story”. So please allow me to explain what the researchers didn’t say in their report…so that YOU know The Rest Of The Story.

We men are fairly simple beings, but not totally stupid. Happiness to a man, from the time he hits puberty until I don’t know what time in his life (I can only speak to the age of 55) means GREAT SEX and lots of it. We’ve figured it out girls…hormones and housework have a direct correlation. The more vacuuming performed by the man= more parting of the legs by the woman. 1+1=2…simple arithmetic!

(This is pretty cruel of me to suggest all of this and also grossly generalizing. But I’m able to state categorically that men want lots of great sex because we men are afraid to say anything less for fear of feeling de-masculinized. Any man who wants to refute my points here, please step in!)
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I could go on and on about my own sexual desires here, but I have to remember that I have three adult kids out there who still don’t believe that their mom and dad get down and dirty…so why totally ruin their lives for the sake of the truth!

“Soon as I finish here…how ’bout a rendezvous on the Workbench?”

“Society today is witnessing an ongoing paradigm shift in gender relations“, Jackie Scott
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MEN don’t like doing household work.

WOMEN don’t like doing household work.

Doing chores is a dull, repetitive experience for most people…hence folks don’t like to do them. According to an MSNBC survey:  74 percent of men said household chores were shared; 51 percent of women said chores were shared. Twenty-six percent of men said one person did the housework; 49 percent of the women said the same. Hmmm…interesting juxtaposition.

So, who’s right?

I’m going to come down on the side of women here. This is my personal experience. When I wash a sink full of dishes, I feel like I’ve accomplished a week’s worth of work. I do! I look around and see the product of my effort and I pat myself on the back. What a good boy am I! Hence, I don’t need to clean, or cook, or vacuum, or iron clothes for another week. I’ve done MY half.

And in my mind, I’ve just shared half of the housework.

And since most women are kind and generous to a fault, they’re just so pleased that Mr. Mom has helped at all that they accept that this is a reasonable contribution…my significant other excluded (not the kind and generous part, but the reasonable contribution!). Girls have been conditioned to believe that ANY contribution from their partner is wonderful and they are the luckiest ladies alive…

-Of course I’ll let you sex me you hunky house-husband!

But to be fair, women should know that men are struggling somewhat in today’s world. We too have been conditioned.  We believe that looking after and out for a woman is part of our “job” in life. Men in the study were less likely than women to report that gender equality was an issue in their relationships. For them, the notable cause of distress was being in a lower socioeconomic position than their partners. Men who aren’t bringing home the bigger part of the slab of bacon can be a bit lost and feel a loss of face and hurt ego.

This scares some men…

This is an era of tumult for the roles of men and women and how they relate to each other. Both sides struggle. Both sides want to pull their hair out with frustration. Sometimes they want to pull each other’s hair out in frustration.

So, for all of the Mr. Moms and Mrs. Doubtfires out there, I leave you with the following:

The world has changed. Your job has changed. Your partner is just that…a partner. Partners pull their weight  50:50. It’s time to make the transition to the new reality. You don’t get a job for life, people are gay, women do housework AND men do housework.

After all of my initial outrage, if you think I’ve done a 180 degree turn in my original statement in this post, then you would be correct. Ultimately, both men and women will feel more satisfaction and intimacy in their PARTNERSHIP, if both contribute equally, or at the very least, equitably.

But as men let’s not pretend that we’re happy washing dishes any more than a woman should feel privileged to do it. Let’s just do it…and then…

LET’S DO IT !!!

Coffee, Tea, or Me… Sadly Seeking The MRS. Degree

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(A wrinkle-free ME in 1974…a true Chick Magnet!)

Yesterday I received a FACEBOOK friend request from M, a former school classmate of mine from Glendale Secondary in Hamilton, Ontario.

I immediately went and checked my 1974 high school year book to see if the new friend was who I envisioned. She was.

(Pet Peeve Time…I hate that I can’t identify or locate my female friends from years gone by because they now have a married name. Can we stop mucking with peoples’ identities?). 

I began reading through the little written blurbs accompanying the photo of each of my graduating classmates, telling of their pet peeves and aspirations for life. My blurb really sucked. It said absolutely nothing meaningful about me…which, when I think about it, maybe best summed up who I was at the time. I was chubby and pimply, and truly HAD little meaningful to say! Precious stuff, that! But I digress…

My new “friend” M (who, BTW, was much cuter than I was handsome… I wasn’t in her league), along with most of the girls from my graduating cohort, wanted to be a stewardess or a secretary… and a Mom. What young lady wouldn’t want to be paid to serve a man- whether on an airplane or in an office, Mad Men-style–  until Mr. Right comes along and puts a ring on it? Both fine occupations while waiting to obtain their MRS. degrees… but neither holds a financial candle or esteem-building heft approaching that of a “man”‘s career.

Girls were 2nd class citizens waiting for a man to make them whole!

This reminded me of the old teaser question from my youth: 

A boy is brought to the hospital ER needing emergency surgery after a horrific car crash. His father was badly hurt in the accident as well. When the boy is rolled into the OR for the operation, the surgeon ambles to his bedside and says, “I can’t operate on this boy, he’s MY SON”.

Whoa…the big perplexing question posed here is…how is this possible?

The answer is EASY, the surgeon is the boy’s Mommy.  Surprise!!

AND WE WERE surprised…In those days…

Today, this scenario doesn’t raise an eyebrow, which is as it should be.

Imagine, the youngster’s mother was neither a stewardess nor a secretary- she was a high-powered surgeon, a man’s lofty profession. There’s nothing wrong with these career choices from an earlier era but if I envision the almost inevitable future single Mom (or newly “Gay Mom“) with these jobs, I don’t see a solid financial future. I abhor that too many girls have raised their kids alone and on minimum wage pay.

But things change. There are now more young women enrolled in medicine, law, education administration, and accounting across North America than men – but not yet engineering. In today’s world, the bigger problem for both young men and women seems not a shortage of career choices but a surfeit…how does one narrow down the selection and actually come to a decision?

If I read the yearbook of today’s young graduate, how many of the girls’ blurbs would demonstrate a burning desire to be a secretary or flight attendant (the least I can do is update the jargon from “stewardess”)?

I was reading another blog (Analyfe) the other day that contained this quote from Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar:

“I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn’t quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn’t make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.”

And like Sylvia Plath’s figs, many of today’s young women and men struggle with the fateful decision of which occupational road to choose. They go to university, or take year or two out of school, not knowing or able to decide a direction to follow…frozen like deer in the headlights.

The huge Wal Mart-esque academic shelves are filled to overflowing with possibility and they can’t decide.

And so I have some thoughts to pass on to the girls of today.

  • Don’t be Afraid to Decide– as Nike ads state, “Just Do It”. We all make bad choices, but a bad decision is better than no decision at all. Career choices can be changed 5 times or more in today’s world.
  • Don’t Look For a Man To Save You– we men have shown in recent years that we don’t have the balls to support ourselves, much less you and our kids (Man-BOYS). Love us but don’t be dependent on us.
  • Dream Big, Work Hard– realize that you probably have more potential than you give yourself credit for. Persevere, be tenacious, and make yourself proud.

The ending to this story is that my Facebook friend M didn’t become a stewardess… sorry, flight attendant, after all. She made a career selection that allows her to use her creative strengths and shows that she can be a determined supporter for herself.

Finally young ladies, I’d like to say, be better than me…hell…it’s just not that hard!

50 Shades of…GREEN?

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In the name of research, I’ve just finished reading “Fifty Shades of Grey“.

Uh-huh, sure, you say…research!

FULL DISCLOSURE: For decades, men (including me) have bought/read PLAYBOY magazine, all the time insisting that it’s all about the great articles we find there. LIARS! As one man representing every other man on this earth I’m going to boldly state that men buy PLAYBOY because we like to look at pretty, naked, young ladies. We drool a bit and fantasize about what we would like to do with them or with someone who maybe resembles them in some part of our life (come on guys, you remember the waitress at that restaurant last week…the one you gave the big tip). This is news to you?…I think Not!

GREAT…there’s that article on Samuel Jackson I’ve been dying to read…

Women didn’t embrace the nude photos of hot young men in PLAYGIRL magazine in the same way that men flocked to their girly mags. Which brings me to the shock I feel about the sensation that Fifty Shades of Grey has become. I’ve always believed women fantasized in the Harlequin Romance sense of love and sex only in the sweetest and most romantic ways; daydreaming about handsome men with rippling muscles who sweep them up tenderly in their arms and occasionally whisper a naughty word to get the juices flowing. Then along comes a book like this that romanticizes BDSM (Bondage, Discipline, Sadism, Masochism) and becomes a mega-colossus hit.

The fact that it deals with what we might call kinky sex is fine, and I’m not surprised that it would strike a chord with a small’ish sector of society…to each his or her own, I say. BUT…Fifty Shades is selling at a faster clip than the paperback versions of any Harry Potter book released, and that was a huge phenomenon. Women are snapping it up  (or downloading onto their Kindles and Kobo’s, perhaps fearful of the world’s passing judgment on them) and passing it along to their (female) friends and relatives for a shared experience.

What’s really weird is that I can’t help substituting Tom Cruise into the role of “Dominant” Christian Grey and Katie Holmes as his “Submissive” Anastasia Steele. Maybe this is what the tabloids have been missing all along. Katie has just grown weary of her own Mission Impossible of sitting on BDSM-thrashed buttocks while Tom takes our breath away with another dazzling- might we say CREEPY– smile.

English: Cropped image of Tom Cruise and Katie...

Are we certain this isn’t Christian and Anastasia?

Ultimately, it shocks me that I got it all so wrong. We men with our walloping dollops of testosterone are expected to enjoy the heady mixture of rough, hurtful frolics with lustful fornication. Down and dirty sexual activity is an integral part of the male evolutionary climax, so to speak! If men got off on this book, it wouldn’t surprise me, although there is WAY too much dialogue and internal “female-speak” to hold the male readers’ attention.

It’s what this says to me about today’s “Womanhood” that has me worried. Do intelligent ladies really fantasize about being denigrated and dominated by a handsome behemoth, seeing this as a desirable interconnection with their men. This is not romance and lust between equals where “you can tie me up if I can tie you up” affair, it’s a one-sided version of sexual slavery combined with mental and physical abuse.

In reference to the title of this blog, I’m not GREEN with envy (I don’t think!),  I’m just GREEN with distasteful and  bilious thoughts. Why haven’t women torn into this as they have so many issues that portray them as anything less than equal?

Maybe I’m crazy and should just accept it- life is full of surprises and this one is at the top of my list right now. Have I missed the point?

(THIS kind of romance makes me feel GREEN with envy)

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