Monday 30 September 2013

Desirability: Don't we all just want to be wanted?

The more people you to talk to and the more writing you peruse, the more you see patterns. You see common themes to the human experience. And I, for one, reflect on the significance of such themes in the grand scheme of things. It's one thing to have an anecdote or two, but it's something else if you see the same issue over and over again.

A trio of female bloggers recently penned articles in which the idea of personal desirability cropped up. I couldn't help but identify with this. Don't we all want to be desirable? Don't we all want to be desired? Doesn't having somebody want us feel good?

Oh yes, somebody likes our work; somebody admires our clothes. All of these things stroke the ego to a certain extent, however I'm talking more about the primordial: somebody desires us. Yes, relationships consist of many things like commitment, sharing, love, etc., but there is something fundamental to being sexually desired by another human being. This seems to be a basic building block of our character, a part which craves to be longed for. We want to be loved. Our family love us. We want to be admired. Our friends admire us. But we do so want to be the object of somebody's desire.

Ms. Jeffreys has written a profoundly touching and erotic personal story. It is must read.

Chloe of the Mountain - Sep 24/2013 (from Wayback Machine - Internet Archive)
Take Me! I'm Yours! by Chloe Jeffreys
I was once a beautiful young woman that men wanted to fuck. And as much as I might rail against the archaic notion that my value should have anything whatsoever to do with how fuckable men perceive me to be, I was/am still under its thrall. I feel the loss of my fuckability sometimes very acutely. For most of my life being fuckable was a big part of who I was, and I derived power from it. Having it gone is like having an amputated limb that still aches from its phantom pain. Being an aging woman in a culture that worships at the altar of firm-fleshed, estrogen-fueled youth is just plain hard.

Likewise, Ms. Gaines offers her own personal adventure.

The Perils Of Divorced Pauline - Sep 22/2013
What I’m Thankful For: My Younger Man by Pauline Gaines
Given that Nick has had a colorful, and varied romantic history that boggles the imagination, I asked him why, oh why, does he want to be with a 50-year-old single mom when he could have a 30-year-old tart every night of the week.

Finally, PollyAnna started out blogging about her divorce, but has taken to talking about her life. Here is a woman who has had a hysterectomy, gone through breast cancer with a double mastectomy, and suffered what appears to be a traumatic split with her husband. Now in her early 40's, she is rediscovering herself while being a single mother, a businesswoman, and a writer. In her latest column, "So that's why they call it a rebound", she writes about her transition from divorced wife to single woman and rediscovering men. I couldn't help but smile when she talks of a relationship that led to a special moment by saying, "Sex is AWESOME."

But more importantly, she makes this most revealing of statements: remember that attractive, successful men will be attracted to me? ... priceless.

Of course, anybody reading this is going to immediately point out that these three writers are all women while I'm a man. Despite this difference in gender, I see a commonality of the human experience. I am reminded that while we all talk of the battle of the sexes and differences between each side of the sexual divide, there are still many similarities between men and women. Life is life and we are all human beings. All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players.

my blog: Sex: What men want. Okay, what I want. - July 22/2012
Touch me as a man. Give me the sense that we are connected. Give me the sense not only that you are available, but that you want me. I'm not asking for sex twenty-four by seven, I am asking for the possibility. I'm not stupid. I am mature and yes, I can delay gratification. I am cognizant of children, family events, financial matters, job problems, health issues, headaches, and yes, the latest episode of Desperate Housewives airing in 10 minutes. ... In the same way a woman wants to be wanted by her man, a man wants to be wanted by his woman. I don't mean love or friendship, both important ideas, I mean sexually. Sex is primordial. Sex is a fundamental building block of a relationship.

Final Word
All three of these women, and I imagine all of us, face the problems of life: health, finances, and marriage and possibly divorce. We also must face that unstoppable problem of getting old. As I write these words, I can think of other writers not mentioned, male and female, who have echoed these ideas. Life is short; let's make it a good one. And part of a good one is our desirability. It just feels damn good to be wanted.


Chloe Jeffreys, Pauline Gaines, and PollyAnna have written very personal and intimate stories. I would strongly recommend reading all three in their entirety.

Chloe of the Mountain - Sep 24/2013
Take Me! I'm Yours! by Chloe Jeffreys
“I have a crush on another man.” My words, hanging there between us, seemed to have suddenly sucked all of the air out of the restaurant.

The Perils Of Divorced Pauline - Sep 22/2013
What I’m Thankful For: My Younger Man by Pauline Gaines
I have a new paramour. He is a complete romantic departure for me: younger (by eight years), blue-collar, and unfettered by children.

PollyAnna Shines - July 26/2013
So that's why they call it a rebound
I haven't been writing here, but there has been plenty to write about. Let's start with the juicy bits, shall we? I know you want to know. Luke.

And to the ladies, I would some of my own takes on how one feels about themselves.

my blog: Gettin' old, man boobs and Vladimir Putin - Aug 20/2011
We men like to strut our stuff once in a while. Even though we get older and start fading, we still have our moments when we like to relive our former glories, the time when other men would tremble before us and women would swoon.

FYI: This blog entry has an interesting clip from 1983 television mini-series The Thorn Birds.

my blog: An open letter to (older) women about body image - Jan 27/2012
Body image, mental image: I'm not perfect but I'm beautiful anyway.

my blog: Body Image: Being comfortable about yourself - July 19/2013
I do not believe that any one of us truly appreciates the effect society, media, and our peer groups have on us. When I say we are the sum total of our experiences, those include a myriad of outside influences. Whether it is friends or colleagues, TV or the Internet, news or entertainment, we are constantly bombarded by a slew of messages which influence how we think and how we behave.


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Saturday 28 September 2013

Pauline Gaines and the Economy of Sex

Does a goldfish know it's living in a fishbowl? I've brought up this pithy metaphor numerous times to succinctly describe our own state of affairs. We live in a world defined by tradition, by religion, by the force of our peer groups and the moral codes passed down to us by our parents all without understanding what that world is or objectively assessing whether the world is the way it should be. Our society, rightly or wrongly, is the way it is. We must accept the status quo and do our best to live within those rules or face the consequences. When in Rome, do what the Romans do.

Nevertheless, we do sometimes question the status quo. We do sometimes realise things aren't quite right. Something smells fishy in the fishbowl and we'd like to change it. That can turn out to be a nearly insurmountable task: one person against the seven billion plus other people on the planet. Inertia is quite a force to be reckoned with. However the way water slowly wears down rock, one person's voice can become two and those two voices can become four. Yes, change can happen but it usually is a very, very slow process. Patience and persistence eventually will pay off. Unfortunately, it may not always be in one's lifetime. How many have put themselves out there, bucking the trend and ended up being stoned by the unruly mob? Yes, they are the sacrificial lamb but hopefully at some point in the future, as I said not necessarily in their lifetime, their ideas will be vindicated.

In a 2011 Washington Post article "Economy of Sex: It's cheap these days", the author Cheryl Wetzstein (disturbingly?) describes that love has little to do with how we collectively pair up. Sex is a commodity and Adam Smith's theories of supply and demand are determining the value of goods and services. Sex is an exchange and a woman holds out for the best price. Ms. Wetzstein points out, referencing academic sources, how sexual markets are linked to marriage markets: men want sex; women want commitment. While the sexual revolution has skewed traditional values, this idea of exchange persists and sex can be used by women to get what they want, presuming long-term commitment and marriage are their ultimate goals.

Is this idea of sexual economy farfetched? I can't help thinking of this cliché: "Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free." As Pat Benatar sang, "Love is a Battlefield" and whether you are a man or a woman, you want something and you are going to plan your strategy to get it. Romance? Hearts and flowers? This is war!

Okay, I'm being a little tongue in cheek here, some wording to make this a tad melodramatic. But the authors cited in Wetzstein's article are serious about looking at sex as part of an exchange between men and women which drives how our relationships work. We may not want to admit to something other than true love, but standing back to look at the collective we and you start to see patterns of behaviour which can be explained in a manner less romantic and more scientific. Does a goldfish know it's living in a fishbowl? When we think of "love", are we even the slightest bit aware of how we barter with each other to satisfy our own demands? It's another cliché that men are hunters and women are gathers, that men want to spread their seed far and wide while women want to create a nest to raise children. If any of these concepts are remotely true, would we know it? Magazines print articles about how to romance your partner. Should we instead be taking courses in economics and business negotiations? Where is Desmond Morris when you need him? (author of The Naked Ape)

Take everything off the table
In one corner we have a man: a regular job, his own place, totally independent. In the other corner, we have a woman: a regular job, her own place, totally independent. He doesn't want to get married and raise children. She doesn't want to get married and raise children. He wants to enjoy life, have a good time, and possibly have sex. She wants to enjoy life, have a good time, and possibly have sex. They arrange to have a date: dinner, sparkling conversation, a libation or two, some entertainment such as a movie or show, maybe some live music in a bar with dancing, and, if things are clicking, some personal time together.

Anything wrong with this? Sounds good to me.


What about the economics of sex? What about the barter? What about the negotiations to get what one wants? In other words, we fall back on our traditions and the dictates of our society.

Pauline Gaines
This is the pseudonym of a 50 year old divorcee. She runs the blog The Perils of Divorced Pauline where she talks about divorce, being a mother, raising children, and living her life. Her articles also appear in online publications such as The Good Men Project and Huffington Post. Her Alexa score currently stands at 833,731. You can also find her on Pinterest and follow her on Twitter @divorcedpauline. FYI: Ms. Gaines explains why she blogs anonymously in her About.

What I’m Thankful For: My Younger Man
On September 22, 2013 as part of an on-going series of articles "What I'm Thankful For", Ms. Gaines published this piece about her current interest.

I have a new paramour. He is a complete romantic departure for me: younger (by eight years), blue-collar, and unfettered by children. We have absolutely nothing in common except for smouldering chemistry and a genuine fondness for each other.

What does nothing in common entail? Pauline is 50 while Nick is 42. Nick seems to be a "free spirit" with multiple piercings who smokes and occasionally does drugs. He is non-monogamous. In other words, he may be considered a bit of a bad boy. Pauline goes on to describe this relationship in terms of "now".

One of the reasons I love hanging out with Nick, besides the obvious, is that I have no illusion, nor desire, to wind up his life partner.
I don’t wonder “where we’re going.” I don’t worry if my kids will like him, because they’re never going to meet him. I don’t storm around the house seething with dashed expectations, because I have none. There is something positively exultant about needing nothing from a romantic partner. There is just wanting in its most distilled, erotic form.

The entire article is charming. It is fun; it is exciting. It is erotic. In her own words, she talks of a "seize the day" attitude and that is precisely what this is about. As the rock band Jesus Jones sang, "Right here, right now, there is no other place I want to be.

Who would have thought that at 50, I would discover myself in perhaps the healthiest relationship I’ve ever had. We really, truly enjoy each other’s company.

This isn't a story about tomorrow or next week or next year or forever. This is a story about today. Today's weather report says it's sunny. Obviously tomorrow will be a different story.

On September 22, 2013, Ms. Gaines published this piece on both her own blog and on Huffington Post. As of this writing, September 28, her blog posting has received 22 comments and the Huffington Post reprint has 265 comments. Oops, I note that Ms. Gaines herself has responded to some commentators so I suppose her comments are part of those counts.

While Ms. Gaines' article is a delightful read (You go girl!), it is the comments which truly bring an interesting perspective on the entire question of our relationships, our views on what's acceptable and not acceptable, and this (odd) idea of the economy of sex. In other words, the commentators are mirroring our society.

As I scan down the entries, I find that people are, for the most part, supportive. This is an adventure and yes indeed, carpe diem. The term "friends with benefits", FBW, crops up periodically.

Robin Young
“The best relationship I've enjoyed in my life, was as a 'Friend With Benefits.' We had no agenda or expectations, and disappointments. Both of us looked forward to spending time together, because we wanted to, NOT had to. When the relationship ran it's course, we parted ways, and...remained friends.”

But not everybody saw this is a good light.

wittyusername 29
“Is there something wrong with me that I don't want to have sex with someone who doesn't think I'm "good enough" to date? Surely if they cared about me and respected me, they'd want more than just sex? Chaps, help me out please :)”

This woman is concerned about something. A good time just for the sake of a good time? Sex for the sake of sex? Pauline and Nick are dating in a fashion. It is just that Pauline is keeping her family and Nick totally separate. Does everything we do, does a relationship have to be regarded in terms of a long-term goal such as marriage? Is sex itself an integral component of this social model?

I work at a Uni. and know the sexual habits of college students is more casual about this, and less-guilt-ridden, than it was when I were a lad. To many of them, having sex with random people they meet in a bar is no more odd than having lunch with someone.

Nobody would complain if Pauline had lunch with Nick. But people are questioning this because of the sex. Why?

“Yeah but those college women who have sex with everyone, then when they find NO one wants to marry them because all the man's friends have slept with her, then they're mad at anyone who will speak to them. Double standards abound, but I wouldn't want a man who had 100 women in bed and betcha he doesn't want a woman who does that either. So when these college women can't find a serious relationship because everyone in their group has been to bed with them, they whine.”

What? Where is that coming from? Do I hear the voice of Rush Limbaugh calling Sandra Fluke a slut?

The Trolls
Geesh, how some people love to go nuts in their comments, their negative comments.

“"He spends his days doing Hot Yoga and his evenings rolling on Molly" And yet more evidence why this woman needs to be kept at least 500 yards away from her kids. Wow. He may be a drug addled loser, but he is young and wuilling to bang her in exchange for whatever pampering she can provide him by siphioning finances away from supporting her kids. What an awful excuse for a parent. But wait, it's all her ex's fault, right. We keep hearing how he is controlling, narcissit, blah, blah blah. Meanwhile, only one person blogs hate rants on a weekly basis in between banging her promiscuous STD incubating drug using tattooed and unemployed toy boy....sheesh.”

Later on I read the following comment and response.

Tracy Schorn
“More power to you, Pauline!”

“Because if she has power, maybe she won't notice the complete lack of self-respect, self-worth, or value as a person?”

Excuse me for being perplexed, but how did anybody arrive at the conclusions EinChicago makes?

But EinChicago is not alone. He is part of a tradition which sprang from the patriarchal mindset of our forefathers. The double standard is very much alive. Slut shaming is still the norm. Nick can be sexual but Pauline as a woman cannot. She shouldn't. But why?

FYI: I looked up the comments of this EinChicago on other articles on Huffington Post. This gentleman - I use the term loosely - could use some therapy. Pauline herself in a response to a comment from EinChicago, says, "You're doing an awful lot of projecting here.". Yes, indeed. Commentators don't seem to realise their comments say more about themselves than about the target of their criticism. People have issues and they show them in public with their unwarranted attacks, acerbic remarks, and illogical conclusions. As I have said about trolls elsewhere, in my experience happy people are kind, generous, and sympathetic if not empathetic. Unhappy people are angry, mean spirited, and critical of anybody other than themselves.

Since a few commentators brought this up, I have to comment. Nick has admitted that he occasionally uses drugs, specifically Ecstasy. Pauline is a smart woman; I have no doubt she will properly deal with this situation.

I know people who do drugs. I, myself, do not. What they do in their private lives is their business. I only ask that they respect my wishes and keep that aspect of their lives away from mine. But let me point out, I did have my wild years so I am sympathetic and pass no moral judgement on anyone who indulges. I think the war of drugs is a misguided and unfruitful exercise in social control and another example of how society makes something illegal and fails horribly in dealing with an issue. Prohibition is a perfect example of how out of sight out of mind does not work. But I digress.

Oh, and by the way, I don't want to know about you driving when intoxicated, cheating on your taxes, smuggling purchased goods across the border, stealing office supplies from work, your double prescription for Xanax, or your infidelity. Drugs? Let he who is without sin...

Casual Sex
If I haven't made my point clearly, let me reiterate. I am not proposing, as critics may insinuate with hyperbole, that everybody should mindlessly start having sex with everybody else. I am proposing that sex does not have to be a commodity as dictated by our traditions and sex between two people does not have to happen strictly within the confines of marriage.

Stanley Siegel is a psychotherapist, LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker), and author. As a minor point of interest, he is gay. In the November 2012 issue of Psychology Tomorrow, Mr. Siegel penned the article "In Favor of Casual Sex" in which he explains how at the age of 65 he has shared extraordinary tenderness, generosity and affection without long-term commitment.

Among the greatest myth is that sexual intimacy can only exist within marriage or a committed long-term relationship, an idea that has entered into popular culture in the form of the ultimate prescription for happiness. How many times have you heard marriage advocates cite research purportedly showing that spouses are happier than single people or its corollary, single people are “damaged” by their fear commitment.

But long-term relationships or marriage do not guarantee a satisfying emotional life or sexual intimacy. Everyone knows someone stuck in a barren marriage, whose members have lost their autonomy and in which sex has disappeared. Despite this, many of us still cling to the belief that sexual fulfillment and happiness can only be found through commitment. As a culture, we refuse to consider any alternatives to traditional relationships as meaningful or valid.

It is thought-provoking to realise that our traditions, very much marriage-oriented, may have been preventing us from fully living our lives.

Final Word
The collective we stands astride the gulf between the past and the future, between tradition and a brave new world. We think there is something wrong and we think we need to change something but we have one foot stuck in the safety of the familiar, our traditions, while the other foot is tentatively exploring the unknown. Women are not supposed to be sexual creatures. Women are not permitted to be sexual creatures. Sex can only exist within the confines of marriage. A woman who does not follow these rules is of a lesser quality and looked down upon by everyone else.


If Pauline had lunch with Nick, nobody would say anything. Pauline has sex with Nick and people, okay some people, are scandalized. At the end of August, pictures were posted on social media of a young woman performing oral sex on a young man at a rock concert in Scotland. (my blog: #Slanegirl: sex, (double) standards, and sluts) The young man remained out of the spotlight while a number of slut shamers piled on vilifying the woman to no end. While this cruelty was certainly surprising, it was a measure of hope to see the extensive condemnation of the slut shamers by those who want to get rid of the double standard, who want to stop slut shaming, and who want to foster sexual equality. Female sexuality is a good thing not a bad thing. Rush Limbaugh called Sandra Fluke a slut but he was soundly trounced for it.

Pauline is a responsible adult. Pauline is a good parent. Pauline is also a woman but more importantly, she is a sexual creature. I do not in any way roll out any of the traditional views of sex and relationships in some attempt to categorize this situation as good or bad. I judge it on its merits alone, the merits as defined by Ms. Gaines in her article.

"I'd rather regret the things I've done than regret the things I haven't done." -Lucille Ball

If Pauline has lunch with Nick, nobody is going to ask if lunch is going to lead to dinner, a proposal, then a wedding next spring. A lunch is a lunch to be enjoyed such as it is without asking the question as to whether Nick is going to be having lunch with Pauline thirty years from now. Sometimes a good time is just a good time. It should be enjoyed as such. And that includes sex.

"The greatest thing in life is finding people that turn small moments into great moments. Nothing in life must be eternal only unforgettable." -Unknown


Wikipedia: Sexual economy
Sexual economy is in reference to the resources men offer to women in order to acquire sex. In this sense the heterosexual community is considered as a marketplace where sex is bought and sold. The marketplace is defined by your gender role, and in the sex economy men are the buyers, and women are the sellers.

PsychCentral - Mar 21/2013
How Common is Cheating & Infidelity Really? By John M. Grohol, Psy.D.
In any given year, it looks like the actual likelihood of your relationship suffering from cheating is low — probably less than a 6 percent chance. But over the course of your entire relationship, the chances of infidelity may rise to as much as 25 percent. Twenty-five percent — over the course of an entire relationship — is a far cry from the 50 percent number we hear from many so-called professionals.

The Pervocracy - June 18/2011
The invisible dick of Adam Smith
[This now 30 something woman offers an interesting dissection of the Washington Post article.]
re: Washington Times: Economy of sex: It's cheap these days: See, if you say "all women are whores," you're a misogynist or something, but if you say "all women participate in the economy of sex," then it is a penetrating insight.

Amazon: Jan 2011
“Premarital Sex in America: How Young Americans Meet, Mate and Think About Marrying.”
by Mark Regnerus (socilogoy professor, University of Texas) and Jeremy Uecker
The period of young adulthood, from ages 18 to 23, is popularly considered the most sexualized in life. But is it true? What do we really know about the sexual lives of young people today? ... Regnerus and Uecker pay special attention to two important concepts: sexual scripts, the unwritten and often unconscious rules that guide sexual behavior and attitudes; and sexual economics, a theory which suggests that the relative scarcity of men on college campuses contributes to the "hookup" culture by allowing men to diminish their level of commitment and thereby lower the "price" they have to "pay" for sex.

Wikipedia: The Naked Ape
The Naked Ape: A Zoologist's Study of the Human Animal is a 1967 book by zoologist and ethologist Desmond Morris that looks at humans as a species and compares them to other animals.

The Guardian - Sep 28/2009
Why Women Have Sex by Tanya Gold
Cindy Meston, a clinical psychologist, and David Buss, an evolutionary psychologist... have interviewed 1,006 women from all over the world about their sexual motivation, and in doing so they have identified 237 different reasons why women have sex... Masters and Johnson observed people having orgasms for most of the 60s. But they never asked why. Why?

"People just assumed the answer was obvious," Meston says. "To feel good. Nobody has really talked about how women can use sex for all sorts of resources." She rattles off a list and as she says it, I realise I knew it all along: "promotion, money, drugs, bartering, for revenge, to get back at a partner who has cheated on them. To make themselves feel good. To make their partners feel bad." Women, she says, "can use sex at every stage of the relationship, from luring a man into the relationship, to try and keep a man so he is fulfilled and doesn't stray. Duty. Using sex to get rid of him or to make him jealous."

"We never ever expected it to be so diverse," she says. "From the altruistic to the borderline evil." ... Who wants to have their romantic fantasies reduced to evolutional processes?

"The degree to which economics plays out in sexual motivations," Buss says, "surprised me. Not just prostitution. Sex economics plays out even in regular relationships. Women have sex so that the guy would mow the lawn or take out the garbage. You exchange sex for dinner."


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Friday 27 September 2013

Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dali: Un Chien Andalou

I moved to Toronto in 1975 and began my brief and intense love affair with the arts. I studied music both at the Royal Conservatory of Music and the University of Toronto. I hung out with other intense people striving to lift themselves up from the mundane with all that was artistic: literature, painting, sculpture, and of course, music. Yes, there were sex, drugs, and rock'n'roll, but at the heart of it all was a passion for those creators of lasting works which gave anyone the pretentious idea that they too were worthy to walk among the gods. This was my artsy fartsy period.

Treavor was a sort of art student who had sold his soul to the system by working a regular job doing drafting work. Short hair, clean cut, he fit right into the standard mold. But Treavor was one crazy assed dude. Once in a while, he'd invite me over for one of his Saturday night happenings which consisted of drinking wine and smoking dope while watching old back and white movies on TV with the sound turned off as his ear-splitting stereo system would blast out some fringe rock album. I still remember watching entire movies and having no idea what the dialogue was. What exactly did Charleton Heston gesticulating to the heavens mean when set to the music of King Crimson? You haven't really experienced Casablanca until you see Humphrey Bogat kiss Ingrid Bergman with Stairway to Heaven pummeling your senses.

Every Saturday night, the New Yorker Cinema on Yonge Street (now gone) would show underground films at midnight, the witching hour. Treavor got me started and man, this was some really weird sh*t. Of course, one's level of comprehension may have been a tad altered by various substances and in retrospect, I am sure the majority of the audience were feeling a little more than just groovy. I remember seeing stuff so bizarre, I would occasionally turn to Treavor and ask, "What the f**k is going on?" Pink Flamigos by John Waters, El Topo by Alejandro Jodorowsky, and others where I can't remember the name, left me wandering the streets with Treavor at three in morning in search of fast food while debating the aesthetic merits of cinematic imagery and Freudian plot development.

It was there, I saw this 1929 silent black and white surrealist film made by the famed movie director Luis Buñuel and the artist Salvador Dalí. "Are you trying to mess with my head?" I remember being shocked by the image, yes, "that image" in the opening scene. It gave me the willies then and I just now watched it for the first time in decades and thought to myself, "Whoa!" Talk about visceral. If you are unfamiliar with this 15 minute film, buckle up, hold onto your hats, and please keep your hands inside at all times. The pocket in front of you contains a barf bag.

Final Word
If you're like me, your reaction is going to be a perplexed, "What the hell was that?" Apparently Buñuel and Dali were inspired by their dreams but I have to ask myself who here was stoned? This certainly was appropriate fare for the New Yorker Cinema. "Far out, man." I think the aptly titled 1966 debut album of The Mothers says it all, "Freak Out!"

Where are they now? Treavor dropped out, moved to Berlin as in Germany, and became a promoter of local rock bands. Like I said, one crazy assed dude. (I haven't seen him in over four decades.) And yours truly ended up here: working stiff, respectable citizen, and blathering blogger.


Published on Jun 30, 2014 by Cursos de Cinema Fantástico

Wikipedia: Un Chien Andalou
Un Chien Andalou (An Andalusian Dog) is a 1929 silent surrealist short film by the Spanish director Luis Buñuel and artist Salvador Dalí. It was Buñuel's first film and was initially released in 1929 with a limited showing at Studio des Ursulines in Paris, but became popular and ran for eight months.

The film has no plot in the conventional sense of the word. The chronology of the film is disjointed, jumping from the initial "once upon a time" to "eight years later" without the events or characters changing very much. It uses dream logic in narrative flow that can be described in terms of then-popular Freudian free association, presenting a series of tenuously related scenes.

Wikipedia: Luis Buñuel
Luis Buñuel Portolés (22 February 1900 – 29 July 1983) was a Spanish filmmaker who worked in Spain, Mexico and France.

When Luis Buñuel died at age 83, his obituary in the New York Times called him "an iconoclast, moralist, and revolutionary who was a leader of avant-garde surrealism in his youth and a dominant international movie director half a century later". His first picture—made in the silent era—was called "the most famous short film ever made" by critic Roger Ebert, and his last film—made 48 years later—won him Best Director awards from the National Board of Review and the National Society of Film Critics. Writer Octavio Paz called Buñuel's work "the marriage of the film image to the poetic image, creating a new reality...scandalous and subversive".

Wikipedia: Salvador Dalí
Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech, 1st Marqués de Dalí de Pubol (May 11, 1904 – January 23, 1989), known as Salvador Dalí, was a prominent Spanish surrealist painter born in Figueres, in the Catalonia region of Spain.

Uploaded on Dec 10, 2011 by Mikey Gleason
Everything I Learned In Film School In Under 3 Minutes
Thinking about film school? Regretting not going to film school? Comedian and film school graduate Mikey Gleason tells you everything you need to know to survive in (or skip) film school.


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Wednesday 25 September 2013

Streetheart: Hollywood

Hollywood, whoa yeah yeah yeah
Such a strange girl, you're sure looking good
Turn on your radio and throw out your gum
I don't know where you're goin'
Or where you're comin' from

Hollywood, what's your real name girl
How'd you get the car, those diamonds and the pearls
Magazine baby, why you lookin' at me
I don't believe I wanna be a part of your mystery
Hollywood, Hollywood, Hollywood, Hollywood

Hollywood, is it true what they say
Eat 'em up, spit 'em out
And then you just throw them away
Ooh Hollywood, you love when you make the rules
Step right up ladies and gentlemen
Here comes the stumbling fool
Hollywood, Hollywood, Hollywood, Hollywood
Hollywood, Hollywood, Hollywood, Hollywood


Uploaded on Jul 17, 2009 by GordonYYZ

from the album: Under Heaven Over Hell (1979)

Wikipedia: Streetheart (band)
Streetheart is a Canadian rock band, from Winnipeg, Manitoba that got its start in Regina, Saskatchewan. Their best known songs include "Action", "Hollywood", "Teenage Rage", "One More Time", "Tin Soldier", "What Kind of Love is This", and their cover of the Rolling Stones' "Under My Thumb".

Keyboard player Daryl Gutheil and bassist Spider (Ken Sinnaeve) formed a band called Witness Incorporated in Regina, and then relocated to Winnipeg, where singer Kenny Shields joined the band. After renaming the band Witness, the group finally became Streetheart when guitarist Paul Dean and drummer Matt Frenette joined in 1977. The band released Meanwhile Back in Paris the following year and Under Heaven over Hell in 1979, after which Frenette dropped out to join Dean in Loverboy. John Hannah played guitars on Under Heaven Over Hell (1979), Quicksand Shoes (1980), and Drugstore Dancer (1980). In 1980, Streetheart won the Juno Award for "Most Promising Group of the Year".

official web site: Kenny Shields and Streetheart


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Monday 23 September 2013

Elton John: I'm Still Standing

You could never know what it's like
Your blood like winter freezes just like ice
And there's a cold lonely light that shines from you
You'll wind up like the wreck you hide behind that mask you use

And did you think this fool could never win
Well look at me, I'm coming back again
I got a taste of love in a simple way
And if you need to know while I'm still standing you just fade away

Don't you know I'm still standing better than I ever did
Looking like a true survivor, feeling like a little kid
I'm still standing after all this time
Picking up the pieces of my life without you on my mind

I'm still standing yeah yeah yeah
I'm still standing yeah yeah yeah

Once I never could hope to win
You starting down the road leaving me again
The threats you made were meant to cut me down
And if our love was just a circus you'd be a clown by now

Don't you know I'm still standing better than I ever did
Looking like a true survivor, feeling like a little kid
I'm still standing after all this time
Picking up the pieces of my life without you on my mind

I'm still standing yeah yeah yeah
I'm still standing yeah yeah yeah


Uploaded on Sep 1, 2010 by EltonJohnVEVO

Wikipedia: I'm Still Standing
"I'm Still Standing" is a song by British rock musician Elton John, from his 1983 album, Too Low for Zero.

Promotional video
The video, directed by Russell Mulcahy, was shot in Cannes (InterContinental Carlton Cannes) and Nice on the Côte d'Azur in France and features the colours of the French flag.

Wikipedia: Too Low for Zero
Too Low for Zero is the seventeenth studio album by British singer/songwriter Elton John, released in 1983.

Wikipedia: Elton John
Sir Elton Hercules John CBE (born Reginald Kenneth Dwight on 25 March 1947) is an English singer-songwriter, composer, pianist and occasional actor. He has worked with lyricist Bernie Taupin as his songwriter partner since 1967; they have collaborated on more than 30 albums to date.

In his five-decade career John has sold more than 250 million albums, making him one of the best-selling music artists in the world. His single "Candle in the Wind 1997" sold over 33 million copies worldwide, and is the best selling single in the history of the UK Singles Chart and the US Billboard Hot 100. He has more than 50 Top 40 hits, including seven consecutive No. 1 US albums, 56 Top 40 singles, 16 Top 10, four No. 2 hits, and nine No. 1 hits. He has received six Grammy Awards, five Brit Awards (including two awards for Outstanding Contribution to British Music and the first Brits Icon in 2013), an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, a Tony Award and the Kennedy Center Honors in 2004. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked him Number 49 on its list of 100 influential musicians of the rock and roll era.

official web site: Elton John


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Saturday 21 September 2013

Movie Review: Prisoners

I had heard the film was good. Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal are starring and that's double the Hollywood hunkiness. Both Jackman and Gyllenhaal were guests on The Daily Show this past week, so I made up my mind. There I was, the first showing of the opening day. From there, things got weirder and weirder and in places I was feeling not just a little uncomfortable. Is evil evil? Or is evil psychotic or amoral? What in heaven's name motivates people? I'm sitting back in my apartment writing this up and as I look around, I quietly say to myself, "Whew, at least something is normal."

Of course, in the cold light of day, you have to wonder just what it is you've watched. Was it weird just for the sake of being weird? Are there real people as weird as some of the characters? In a nutshell, without any spoiler alerts, this is a film about two little girls being kidnapped and what the police and what one father do to track down the culprit. Hmmm, if you are a parent, would you go ballistic and lay a beatin' on anybody you thought was guilty? Just how inhuman would you become to get your little girl back? It occurred to me that normally, with a kidnapping, the perpetrator wants something, a ransom perhaps or revenge. But when your bad guy is evil as in crazy far from anything normal evil, the author now has a plot device to do just about anything they want. I'm coming back to that weirdness factor.

The acting throughout this film is terrific. The initial part of the film with its kidnapping has you immediately hooked and you want to figure out the mystery. Who did this and why? It's dark. It's brooding. There's a constant dread that something really really bad is going to happen but you just don't know what. Anybody who would kidnap a little girl has to be one sick puppy and you're shaking your head knowing this one isn't going to turn out too good. The police plod along doing their investigation, following procedure but is it fast enough when there are lives at stake? Apparently not if you're a parent and when dad number one goes rogue vigilante, you have to wonder if fight fire with fire also means fight evil with evil. The powers of darkness must be fought with darkness, police procedures be damned. What's left unsaid in the film is that any happiness at the end of the story is going to be tarnished by Dad having to pay the price. The law is the law even if you're supposedly the good guy.

While the story is well written, there are some twists and turns which went by so fast I didn't get them. It wasn't until later, in reading a synopsis of the plot, I got what I had missed. Was I not paying attention? These few oddities were thrown into the mix to be what? Just odd? I come back to the film being good but not quite terrific. Somehow the connection between the various parts of the mystery seemed a little tenuous and I had the feeling the author reached into a grab bag of plot devices and stirred into the mix whatever was lying around. Is this an original dish or a meal of leftovers? I don't mind an oddity or two but are they well connected to the whole? But, let me be clear that despite this personal peeve on my part, the acting was topnotch and brought the whole affair to life.

Final Word
This is a good film. The acting is superb. The plot keeps you engaged and there is this continuous apprehension about what's around the next corner. It sometimes gets disturbing. Just how far would you go to get your daughter back? I would recommend the film but keep in mind, this isn't your regular type of date night film. I would sum up in one word by saying, "Whoa!"


Rotten Tomatoes: Prisoners: 79%
Haunting, suspenseful, and masterfully acted, Prisoners has an emotional complexity and a sense of dread that makes for absorbing (and disturbing) viewing.

Wikipedia: Prisoners
Prisoners is a 2013 American crime thriller film directed by Denis Villeneuve, from a screenplay written by Aaron Guzikowski, and executive produced by Mark Wahlberg. The film stars Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, Terrence Howard and Paul Dano. It premiered at the 2013 Telluride Film Festival.

official web site: Prisoners


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Friday 20 September 2013

John Green: Why Are American Health Care Costs So High?

Wow. John Green and his brother Hank are busy boys indeed. Mr. Green is an author (His January 2012 book The Fault in Our Stars reached number one on a New York Times Best Seller list.) and with his brother release videos in their YouTube channel covering all sorts of topics. Rather than blog, they vlog.

I ran across the following video the other day about American health care costs. Isn't everybody still debating this? - Geesh, how many times have the Republicans tabled a bill to repeal Obamacare? They are never going to give up. - When I reposted this video, I added that you Americans are f**ked. You have the right to bear arms (I question that interpretation of the second amendment) but you do not have the right to be healthy. Yes, think about that one for a second. The GOP says that Obamacare is going to bankrupt the nation but the U.S. costs for health care are astronomical in comparison with other countries. The status quo is going to bankrupt the nation. You never should have left the health of the citizens in the hands of private industry. Like other services, roads, electricity, food stamps, welfare, etc., health care should have always been the jurisdiction of government, something the collective we provides all of its citizens. United we stand, divided we fall. United we're healthy, divided we're sick.

John Green (almost) raps through a number of startling statistics, the sources of which he has documented in the notes for the video. These stats have been detailed before and seem so incredible, it's no wonder anybody is not incredulous upon hearing them. How could this be true? It is completely against everything anyone would believe. Is this just not more liberal B.S.? But one source, Aaron Carroll, associate professor of Pediatrics and health services researcher at Indiana University School of Medicine, doesn't seem like a nutbar. In fact, he seems like he knows what he is talking about. Could it be that the GOP are not telling us the truth? Could it be that the GOP don't know what they are talking about?

Published on Aug 20, 2013 by vlogbrothers
Why Are American Health Care Costs So High?
In which John discusses the complicated reasons why the United States spends so much more on health care than any other country in the world, and along the way reveals some surprising information, including that Americans spend more of their tax dollars on public health care than people in Canada, the UK, or Australia. Who's at fault? Insurance companies? Drug companies? Malpractice lawyers? Hospitals? Or is it more complicated than a simple blame game? (Hint: It's that one.)

John Green's References
The Incidental Economist? The Commonwealth Fund? Never heard of them. But in the References section below, I discover that these sources of information are legitimate and respected.

The Incidental Economist - Sep 20/2010
What makes the US health care system so expensive – Introduction by Aaron Carroll
You all wanted to know what makes our health care system so expensive. You all want to know where the money is going.

The Commonwealth Fund - May 2012
Explaining High Health Care Spending in the United States: An International Comparison of Supply, Utilization, Prices, and Quality (PDF) by David A. Squires
This analysis uses data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and other sources to compare health care spending, supply, utilization, prices, and quality in 13 industrialized countries: Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The U.S. spends far more on health care than any other country. However this high spending cannot be attributed to higher income, an older population, or greater supply or utilization of hospitals and doctors. Instead, the findings suggest the higher spending is more likely due to higher prices and perhaps more readily accessible technology and greater obesity. Health care quality in the U.S. varies and is not notably superior to the far less expensive systems in the other study countries. Of the countries studied, Japan has the lowest health spending, which it achieves primarily through aggressive price regulation.

NY Times - June 1/2013
The $2.7 Trillion Medical Bill by Elizabeth Rosenthal
"Colonoscopies Explain Why U.S. Leads the World in Health Expenditures"
Whether directly from their wallets or through insurance policies, Americans pay more for almost every interaction with the medical system. They are typically prescribed more expensive procedures and tests than people in other countries, no matter if those nations operate a private or national health system. A list of drug, scan and procedure prices compiled by the International Federation of Health Plans, a global network of health insurers, found that the United States came out the most costly in all 21 categories — and often by a huge margin.

Final Word
Obamacare is going to bankrupt the United States? The current health care system is going to bankrupt the United States! Leaving the health of the nation in the hands of private industry means that profit comes before health. Being healthy is no longer a right of every citizen; it is now the privilege of those who can afford it.

In June 2012, in my posting "Obamacare: Congratulations on doing the right thing, America!", I wrote about how the U.S. needed this change in its health care system, that health should be a right. 50 million Americans are uninsured and I pointed out the following.

A report from the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies states: "Lack of health insurance causes roughly 18,000 unnecessary deaths every year in the United States." (Wikipedia: Uninsured in the United States: Consequences)

I remember posting the above stat and somebody tweeted back: "I don't believe in that liberal BS." There's the problem. Does your average voter know what's going on? Do voters see the big picture? If you're a Republican, is your party objectively looking at the facts or are they merely sticking to their ideology? Health shouldn't be a privilege; it should be a right. A healthy nation is a productive nation.

But what to do about any of this? After all, I am but one person and what can one person do? Vote Democrat? Support Obamacare? Demand that Republicans look at these numbers? I repeat: being healthy should be your right.


Wikipedia: John Green (author)
John Michael Green (born August 24, 1977) is an American writer of young adult fiction and a YouTube vlogger and educator. He won the 2006 Printz Award for his debut novel, Looking for Alaska, and reached number one on a New York Times Best Seller list with The Fault in Our Stars in January 2012.

Wikipedia: VlogBrothers
VlogBrothers is a video blog style channel on YouTube. The Internet-based show is created and hosted by brothers, John Green and Hank Green. The first incarnation of the brothers' online broadcasting was the "Brotherhood 2.0" project, preceding the establishment of the pair's regular vlogging activity through the VlogBrothers channel.

Wikipedia: Hank Green
William Henry "Hank" Green ll (born 5 May 1980) is an American entrepreneur, musician, and vlogger. He is best known for his YouTube channel Vlogbrothers where he regularly uploads videos along with his brother, John Green. He is also the creator of the online environmental technology blog EcoGeek, and the developer of Subbable. He is involved with several other channels on YouTube, including Crash Course, SciShow, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries,The Brain Scoop, and Sexplanations.

YouTube channel: vlogbrothers

Twitter: John Green @johngreen
I write books, including Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars. (Books are like tweets, except longer.) I also make videos with my brother.

web site: John Green Books

web site: Hank Green Internet Guy

Wikipedia: The Incidental Economist
The Incidental Economist is a blog focused on economics, U.S. health policy, politics, and law, though posts in other areas are common. It was founded in 2009 by Austin Frakt, a health economist and Boston University assistant professor. Austin has been joined by Aaron Carroll, associate professor of Pediatrics and health services researcher at Indiana University School of Medicine, and Don Taylor, associate professor of Public Policy at Duke University, as the blog's principal authors.

Wikipedia: Commonwealth Fund
The Commonwealth Fund is a private U.S. foundation whose stated purpose is to "promote a high performing health care system that achieves better access, improved quality, and greater efficiency, particularly for society's most vulnerable" and the elderly. It is active in a number of areas related to health care and health policy. It is currently led by David Blumenthal, M.D.


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Thursday 19 September 2013

Vincent Ingala: Wish I Was There


Published on Jan 14, 2013 by Sulify7

official web site: Vincent Ingala

album: Can't Stop Now
Though by the 2010s, the terrestrial Smooth Jazz radio format was long on the wane and most of the festivals and cruises were headlined by previously established A-listers, a batch of promising younger talents began popping up – a new generation of funk-filled “smoothies” who could keep the grooves and melodies hopping, with the potential to attract younger fans. Among the most dynamic of these was Vincent Ingala, whose rise in the genre as an indie artist was probably destined from the time he was 16 and asked to open a show for genre superstar, Dave Koz. His second album, Can’t Stop Now, is full of infectious melodies, irresistible pocket grooves, and a sense of self-assurance that bodes well for the multi-talented saxophonist to create his own destiny as an artist, no matter the fortunes of the format itself. One of the ways new fans can tell when a young urban jazz artist is going places is his ability to get well-established genre artists to collaborate with him. In this case, he hits the trifecta of keyboardists Jonathan Fritzen (the elegantly soulful, midtempo duet “Kimi Trick”) and Gregg Karukas (the soulful, eloquently tropical “Groovin’ U”), and saxman/superproducer Darren Rahn, who lends his mixing expertise. Key tracks that dig deep enough to be emotional but are light enough for extensive radio play are the opening title track and the bouncy, danceable “Wish I Was There,” both of which feature the extra sizzle of horn doubling on the hook. Another score for Ingala is his unique choice of R&B cover tunes (in a genre where most artists aim for the obvious when they do this). He mines funky jamming gold from the O’Jays’ “This Time Baby” and gets gritty yet sexy on a fresh take on the Moments’ “Sexy Mama” — both of which define an era but could use some fresh appreciation by the likes of a hot young artist like Ingala. The title of the album says it all about the momentum he achieves with this solid set. ~ Jonathan Widran

Amazon: Wish I Was There by Vincent Ingala
Format: MP3 Music: From the Album Can't Stop Now: $0.99


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Wednesday 18 September 2013

Unique Marriage Proposals

Everything is all right with the world. Life is beautiful. Your heart sings and for the moment, you forget whatever may be bad.

The other day, I heard a catchy pop tune by an artist I had never heard of, Betty Who. Loved it. The tune was used in the novel marriage proposal of video number one. It made me smile and I could feel that familiar welling of emotions as the film clip arrived at the critical moment when the question was popped. Ah, do I see a tear in the corner of your eye?

Intrigued by the extensive preparations for this once-in-a-lifetime moment, I thought to look around and see what others had done to make their moments memorable. It would seem that a number of suitors have gone to great lengths to make this singular event earth-shattering or heart-stopping. My impression is that everybody involved enjoys participating for the vicarious thrill of what we seem to consider in our society as the most important moment of one's adult life. Okay, it may all be a bit of a fairy tale as sooner or later the reality of life will rear their ugly head, but for this one moment, let's not spoil it, shall we? On with the show and on with the question!

Published on Sep 11, 2013 by Spencer Stout
Spencer's Home Depot Marriage Proposal (5:41)
Dustin arrived at the Home Depot in Salt Lake City thinking he was there to help his roommate pick out some lighting for a party. When he was taken to the lumber aisle, what he found waiting for him was a mob of friends and family as his marriage proposal unfolded to the song, "Somebody Loves You" by Betty Who.

Published on May 25, 2012 by Isaac Lamb
Isaac's Live Lip-Dub Proposal (5:53)
On Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012, I told my girlfriend to meet me at my parent's house for dinner. When she arrived I had stationed my brother to sit her in the back of an open Honda CRV and give her some headphones. He "wanted to play her a song"... What she got instead was the world's first Live Lip-Dub Proposal.

Published on Jun 15, 2012 by ccjone01
SURPRISE ENDING - Flash Mob Marriage Proposal (5:54)
On June 9, 2012 I told Allison to meet me in Bryant Park for lunch. When she arrived I had her close friend meet her and walk her toward the steps of the park. Then, a woman unknown to Allison, came up and led her to the center table for a little show. I also had family and friends waiting on the side with instructions to pop out and join the band when they heard the song "Hey Baby, I wanna know if you'll be my girl"!

Uploaded on Jun 4, 2010 by Ellenfunhouse
Can You Believe This Wedding Proposal? (4:38)
Proposals are always memorable, but this guy wanted to make sure no one forgot when he popped the question! He put together one of the most elaborate marriage proposals ever.

Uploaded on Sep 26, 2011 by flashmobamerica
OFFICIAL Trang and Nam Proposal Flash Mob at UCLA 9-24-11 (8:03)
Nam and Trang met eachother on the campus of UCLA. He decided to bring her back to where they met for the ultimate surprise!

Final Word
What did I say in the beginning? It's a bit of a fairy tale as sooner or later the reality of life will rear their ugly head. Ha, ha. A colleague told me this joke, or bit of wisdom depending on how to look at it:

If you want to always be happy, never get married... or never get divorced.

Wise words, indeed.


Wikipedia: Marriage proposal
A marriage proposal is an event where one person in a relationship asks for the other's hand in marriage. If accepted, it marks the initiation of engagement. It often has a ritual quality, sometimes involving the presentation of an engagement ring and the formal asking of a question such as, "Will you marry me?" In western culture (or rather the anglo-western culture sphere), it is traditional for the man to propose to the woman while kneeling on one knee before her (occasionally referred to as genuflection), and sometimes putting the ring on her finger, as opposed to merely giving it to her. Often the proposal is a surprise.

my blog: Flash mob - 2010-11-16
According to Wikipedia, the term flash mob or flashmob means "a large group of people, who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an unusual and pointless act for a brief time, and then disperse." We can say that spontaneous or impromptu gatherings have always existed; however the phenomenon of the flash mob seems rather modern, part of the Internet age.


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Tuesday 17 September 2013

Betty Who: You're In Love

Imagine driving down the one lane road
Down by the chapel we could be alone
And with the rain there's nowhere else to go
We'll watch it fall
Don't try and tell me you don't want to see
What it would be like to grow old with me

You're in love every other day
Cause you smile at me like you're dying to say
That your heart beat stops when I'm walking away
So don't walk away
You're in love
Every other day you're in love

Imagine drinking wine in Sicily
And you'll be kissing me on New Year's Eve
Nothing but cobblestone and red brick streets
You'd like the cold
Just tell me what it is that's holding you back
If we get lost we'll follow old train tracks

You're in love every other day
Cause you smile at me like you're dying to say
That your heart beat stops when I'm walking away
So don't walk away
You're in love
You're in love when you're holding me tight
But you're out of love when we're saying goodnight
And you don't know why I make you feel so right
But it feels right
You're in love
Every other day you're in love

Imagine you and me
And how beautiful we could be

You're in love every other day
Cause you smile at me like you're dying to say
That your heart beat stops when I'm walking away
So don't walk away
You're in love
You're in love when you're holding me tight
But you're out of love when we're saying goodnight
And you don't know why I make you feel so right
But it feels right
You're in love
But it feels right
You're in love
But it feels right
You're in love


Published on Apr 16, 2013 by Betty Who

Wikipedia: Betty Who
Jessica Anne Newham, known as Betty Who (born 5 October 1991), is an Australian American singer-songwriter and musician.

Betty Who's debut EP, titled "The Movement," premiered on Billboard on April 9, 2013, one week prior to its April 16 official release date. The EP garnered more than 12,000 streams its first week online, and received rave reviews from countless major blogs and magazines. Idolator described the EP as "A spine-tinglingly euphoric 80's pop nugget," indie pop blog All Things Go claimed she was "charting new musical territory," and the famous UK outlet Popjustice called it "the best proper EP so far of 2013".

official YouTube channel: Betty Who

Twitter: Betty Who @bettywhomusic

Facebook: Betty Who Music

my blog: Betty Who: Somebody Loves You (Spencer's Home Depot Marriage Proposal)
video, lyrics, references


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Monday 16 September 2013

I'm waiting with baited breath

Sometimes, I just can't resist opening my big fat mouth. Even before I open it, I realise I'm running the risk of the other person looking at me askance. Askance? Oh hell, they very well could pop me one just on principle. Shaddup, ya persnickety poindexter!

All of this started when a friend of a friend writes on Facebook

Are you waiting with baited breath because it sure smells like it.

Ha, ha. Yes, quite funny. Except... the word isn't "baited", it's "bated". I thought about it. I mulled; I cogitated, then, with this little voice in the back of my head saying, "Don't do it," I commented:

I hate to be both a buttinski and a stickler, but you have committed a common homonymistic mistake. While what you say is amusing when spoken, it is incorrect when written. The expression is "bated breath", bated being an adjective meaning in great suspense; very anxiously or excitedly.

Sure enough, not thirty minutes later, somebody chimes in:

William - don't spoil David's fun!

But then, the original poster of the joke responds

no, thank you very much William.............wherein I do fully understand the improper usage of the word "baited", the intent was to inject some humor and interchange words un-homonymistically.

Do I look like a complete doofus for bringing up my killjoy point about spelling? If the author of the joke had written "baited/bated", I would have understood he was aware of the homonyms, but if he had written that, would it have detracted from the joke?

Over the past few years while blogging, I have spent a bit of time (maybe an inordinate amount of time: I'm such a nerd) researching various points of interest. What got me started with this literary quest was that I discovered people were running around making statements which weren't necessarily true. I guess I always knew that to be the case, but taking up the challenge to discover the so-called truth led me to the realisation that finding out the truth is not so easy. I began to see that what the collective we knows and understands to be fact is more based on superstition that we would care to admit. In other words, the average person in the street repeats stuff without doing their own fact-checking. We ofttimes blindly accept what we're being taught and carry on living our lives based on those lessons. It represents our traditions. It represents how we pass on from one generation to the next our so-called wisdom. But what if we're wrong?

In my posting "The Sex, The Whole Sex, and Nothing But The Sex", I point out how only a couple of hundred years ago, people thought a tobacco smoke enema would cure cholera. (You heard me!) I also brought up the female ailment know as hysteria, a well accepted truth in the late 1800's. And yes, we once thought the Earth was flat. I asked the question: What beliefs of today are people going to be laughing at two or three hundred years in the future?

Okay, I'm getting a little heavy duty here. After all, I started talking about the homonyms baited and bated. No big deal. *slaps forehead* God, I am being such a nerd. Ha ha.

Your an idiot
When you write anything, whether you're a blogger or even a journalist, you leave yourself wide open to differing opinions. Sometimes those opinions are not well-balanced, carefully crafted logical assessments of the author's ideas but more of a visceral reaction to whatever the commentator disagrees with. Kind of a literary F.U.

Back in 2010, I seemed to have raised the ire of a few readers of an MRA (Men's Rights Activists) web site and received some uncomplimentary, incendiary remarks. - Seriously, my penis is normal. - What struck me as both hilarious and ironic was one commentator's attempt to put me in my place and belittle my literary contribution to the world as the ramblings of either a madman or somebody whose I.Q. is measured in the double digits. I found this comment on my blog:

Your an idiot.

In my so named posting, I had something of a field day with this grammatically incorrect rejoinder.

Grammar: The difference between knowing your shit and knowing you're shit.

There's nothing like questioning somebody's intelligence by showing off your own lack of it.

Final Word
So, baited, bated? I wisely shut up after my first comment. I didn't add anything else. Let sleeping dogs lie as the old saying goes. But I did pen something. I just didn't post it. And what witty biting rejoinder had I come up with to counter all those who deride me being critical of homonymistic mistakes and all things grammatical?

Ha ha. "don't spoil the fun" Your rite their. I gnu it. I wuz beeing a grammer killjoy. :-) (Ain't I infuriatin'?)

I am proud of my self-control. No need to piss people off and start a war of words over what's funny and not funny regardless of what's grammatically correct. I can be impulsive and don't always know better, but this particular time? Yes, I can shut up and that's good gnus.


Wikipedia: Homonym
In linguistics, a homonym is, in the strict sense, one of a group of words that share the same spelling and the same pronunciation but have different meanings. Thus homonyms are simultaneously homographs (words that share the same spelling, regardless of their pronunciation) and homophones (words that share the same pronunciation, regardless of their spelling). The state of being a homonym is called homonymy. Examples of homonyms are the pair stalk (part of a plant) and stalk (follow/harass a person) and the pair left (past tense of leave) and left (opposite of right). A distinction is sometimes made between "true" homonyms, which are unrelated in origin, such as skate (glide on ice) and skate (the fish), and polysemous homonyms, or polysemes, which have a shared origin, such as mouth (of a river) and mouth (of an animal).

In non-technical contexts, the term "homonym" may be used (somewhat confusingly) to refer to words that are either homographs or homophones. In this looser sense, the word row (propel with oars) and row (argument) are considered homonyms, as are the words read (peruse) and reed (waterside plant).

Wait. What!?! "Same spelling, same pronunciation, different meaning" or "different spelling, same pronunciation, different meaning" or... "same spelling, different pronunciation, different meaning." Whew! I think I'm having a Tylenol moment.

Al Cooper's Homonyms
An alphabetical listing of English homonyms.

About Al Cooper's Homonyms
I consider homonyms to be the prime numbers of the English language. Like primes, they cannot be predicted by any rules of grammar or diction. In the way that you can't search the number line for primes, you cannot systematically search the dictionary for homonyms. You just have to find them, like Easter Eggs in the dictionary.


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