Category Archives: Commentary

Please Join The Bully Project!

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Today, I’m donating space on my blog to promote this film and this movement. Everyone needs to care about this…kids are bullied relentlessly all across this nation every day, even sometimes to the point where they end up taking their own lives. 

Here is the description of The Bully Project copied and pasted directly from their website….

“The Bully Project highlights solutions that both address immediate needs and lead to systemic change. Starting with the film’s STOP BULLYING. SPEAK UP! call to action, The Bully Project will catalyze audience awareness to action with a series of tools and programs supported by regional and national partners.

The Bully Project is a collaborative effort that brings together partner organizations that share a commitment to ending bullying and ultimately transforming society.

Help keep The Bully Project alive by donating to the film’s social action campaign through our nonprofit partner, Creative Visions Foundation (CVF). CVF is a publicly supported 501(c)3, which supports Creative Activists who use the power of media and the arts to affect positive change in the world.  All donations are tax deductible”. 

Click Here To Visit That Nonprofit Organization’s Webpage: Creative Visions Foundation 

A link to the film’s official trailer…Please Watch! 

Finally, a link to the official page for the movement: The Bully Project Please go there, donate your Twitter and Facebook status to the cause for a day, and share this with all your friends and family. 

A lot of attention nowadays goes to bullying of kids who are gay, and that has been wonderful for anti-bullying efforts. Although this is one group of kids who are bullied, it also happens to anyone who is different in any way…special needs kids included. Please care enough to get involved and take action to combat this very real problem! 

Pretentious Like Oprah; A Few Of My Favorite Things

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The Original Diva Who Told You All About Her Favorite Things

While there is always a lot to be annoyed with and stressed out over during the holiday season, there are those aspects of Christmastime/Holidaytime that I truly look forward to every year. And, if Oprah Winfrey can hold her head high and publish lists of things she simply cannot live without and simultaneously assert that you shouldn’t either, why can’t I? 🙂 So here is my list…be it ever so humble…

FESTIVE CHAMPAGNE ON ORDINARY DAYS

Around Thanksgiving, I start to crave champagne, so I drink it all month instead of whatever else I’d normally drink like wine, beer, and the occasional shot of my beloved Jack Daniels. Hey, I gotta support my home state of Tennessee! 😉 Champagne is festive…it tickles your nose…and it feels fancy. And Korbel Brut is, hands down, the best lower priced champagne substitute on the market. Because, as all the year round fancy people will tell you, it’s not really champagne unless it comes from Champagne, France. But, truth be told, I’ve tried Dom–once. And I wasn’t convinced that it was any better than this.

FUNNY CHRISTMAS MOVIES

You know the ones…those Holiday themed gems that make you laugh every time, no matter how many times you’ve watched them. A Christmas Story and Home Alone top my list….

SPECIAL HOLIDAY MAKEUP PALETTES

They always come out this time of year, just in time for wallet emptying. And they’re always too beautifully packaged and marketed to resist. This year, being a huge fan of Bare Minerals makeup, the Ready collection eyeshadow compact in “Playlist” got me. But, luckily, it was worth every penny!

MERRY TUNES

I think we all have a favorite holiday song that always makes us sing along…mine is Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

CHRISTMAS MOVIES THAT HELP YOU GO ON

When the season gets you down, like it does so many of us, these are the movies that you watch to get the inspiration to rock around the Christmas tree another day….

My two favorites are It’s a Wonderful Life and, of course, the tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, that has been done by literally everybody….




AND…AN OLD FASHIONED GUMDROP TREE….

These are nearly impossible to find now (the good ones anyway), but I got one from Signals a few years ago. If you want to find this kind (chrome plated) just search Google with those terms “chrome plated gumdrop tree”. Retailers will fleece you for one nowadays, but I daresay it’ll be worth it. I looked around for the history of them, but couldn’t find it. If you can, please post a link in the comment section. I seem to remember that they gained popularity during WWII. Anyway, what a fun holiday decoration! You simply decorate them with a package of multicolored gumdrops, also known as “spice drops”, and you’ll have a really great, apparently highly unique Christmas decoration. Oh, you’d better buy a few packages of drops, because they tend to get emptied pretty fast. 🙂

So, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy Winter Solstice to all! Because, however you celebrate it…however you feel it in your heart, you ought to be able to say it and wish it to others without an eyeroll, or a citation from the PC Police, or offending anybody. And I’ll leave you with that thought this year–please let people wish you good cheer in the way that makes them feel good. Because at this time of year, of all times, we all really need to lose the militant, uptight ‘tude over what is correct and is or is not “offensive” and just try to be happy…

Until next time…

The Beginning Of The End Of The Cougar Trend?

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Cougar, Before Cougar Was Cool

A couple of years ago, I wrote a member contribution article for MORE Magazine: Multiculturalism And The Cougar Please don’t be impressed–you shouldn’t be. Anyone who signs up with MORE online as a member can write and submit articles for their online site, so trust me, I’m nothing special there. In the article, I offer my own observations and theories about the so called “Cougar” trend, completely invalid scientifically, as always. I was taking a course in multiculturalism at the time and it occurred to me that while there seemed to be an uptick in middle aged women dating young men that was getting a lot of attention, this particular phenomenon always seemed to be characterized by said middle aged romantic partner looking/acting/being anything but what she really was–a 40+ female. This is a reality which is in direct opposition to the concept of multiculturalism, in which differences are embraced, even emphasized, and thought of as equally desirable to the former ideal. I do this a lot actually when I’m taking a class–when immersed in a lot of hard facts and academic research, I whimsically apply what I’ve learned to pop culture, probably to stave off boredom and narcolepsy during class. This was especially puzzling, albeit entertaining to my decidedly left brained Armenian astrophysicist professor when I took Astronomy during my undergrad adventures. Needless to say, I didn’t take a lot of hard science in school–only what I had to have to graduate. 

At any rate, I thought I was onto something then, and today, with the tabloid and social media rumor mill working overtime to cover a possible Demi Moore/Ashton Kutcher split due to his alleged serial cheating with young college aged women, the buzzers are going off again. Now, first of all, who knows if there is truth to this story or not? Nobody, that’s who. None of us knows what really goes on in relationships outside our own, and that goes double for celebrity gossip that is often spun up by tabloid “journalists” on slow days, or even the stars’ own publicists when increased attention is needed to promote this or that new project. This could certainly be the case here, as both halves of this May/December couple have something new to promote right about now. But, that’s not the point. The point is that, given the nature of the Cougar trend, this is a very plausible outcome…

It’s my opinion that in the vast majority of relationships, the Cougar/Cub (god help me) thing is simply not built to last. Certainly, “women of a certain age” can be very attractive, even to much younger men. Why wouldn’t they be? Women who take care of their appearance can be beautiful at any age. And here I’ll insert a very Kelso-esque exclamation–DUH! But, it’s my feeling that a fleeting (and flattering) sexual attraction does not a lasting relationship make. Those natural, healthy differences between people with 15 or more years difference in their ages will always come back to bite them in that body part that you can bounce a quarter off of–in the case of Ashton’s 23 year old alleged girlfriends, that is. This is particularly true when the younger man, as in Kutcher’s case, doesn’t even act his own age (33), instead his public behaviors resemble that of his former television character, Michael Kelso, a high school student who was none too bright to boot. I’m just a couple of years shy of Demi Moore’s age. She’s 48 and I’m 46, and he strikes me as really immature, perpetually partying, punking people sophomoric-ally….cheating or not, living with him and being his wife would get on my nerves pretty quick.

For the past several years, I’ve seen a lot of media that holds this twosome up as some sort of golden couple…a shining example of how and why the Cougar trend is here to stay, and something that middle aged women should aspire to. But, in reality, what I see is that it doesn’t really work as well as they’d like to believe it does. As I covered in my piece for More.com, the only way it works to begin with is if the older female half of the equation spends an indefinite amount of time and energy on convincing herself, and everyone else, that she’s something she’s not. Can a 40+ year old woman be attractive…”hot” even? That goes without saying. Can a 40+ year old woman be happy in a relationship with a man many years her junior, long term? The answer is maybe, but I rather doubt it. And it’s for those reasons I mentioned in the article–an atmosphere of multiculturalism is not yet present when it comes to middle aged women. Meaning those of us willing to admit that we are 40+ in every way, including all the inevitable changes in our looks, our personalities, child-bearing inclinations and capabilities, our entertainment and lifestyle preferences, etc.


Cartoon by Jeff Berry, http://berrystudio.blogspot.com/

The reality is that people do change as they age. A 23 year old woman isn’t really the same as a 43 year old woman, just like a 43 year old woman isn’t the same as a 63 year old woman. And despite what popular media would have us all believe, it really is a rare romantic relationship with a multi year age difference that will work long term without the older woman exhaustively working to be 40+, but look and behave only 18+. And that’s sad, for all concerned. Over the last couple of years especially, I’ve watched Demi Moore age, yet frantically diet and exercise to the point of being thinner than she ought to be, constantly tweet sexy photos of herself, and in general try to project an image that she naturally exuded as a 23 year old–when she was 23. And what it looks like to me is part of an overall futile, and I believe completely unnecessary campaign to hang on to that infamous Cougar/Cub relationship of hers. Not to say that these two don’t have a deep affection for one another, which they may genuinely share. 

This makes me sad because I think Demi Moore is better than this. We all are. I hope that she sees herself as she really is, and lets her middle age flag fly in all its glory. That would serve as a true inspiration to women our age, I think, rather than the phony, fleeting one that has been served up to all of us for the past few years, in order to keep up the Cougar image. What I’d like to see is all of us being who we really are, in that true spirit of multiculturalism I talked about. Then, if intergenerational love happens, it happens…and it’d be real for a change….maybe it would even last, who knows? But, my gut tells me that it would be the beginning of the end of the Cougar Trend…a trend that would probably fade away on its own for the most part, having run its course. With a few exceptions that fall into the “you don’t choose who you love” category, I think we’d see a better trend…one that is characterized by women coming into their own, no matter what age they are, and going out there and getting everything they truly deserve, romantically and otherwise, with men who are their equals and are mature enough to appreciate authenticity. 

Trading the Cougar Trend for an Authenticity Trend…hmmm….that’s a trend I could promote! 

 

You’ve Come A Long Way, Flaky

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Are You A Flake? 

Like a lot of other people, especially women, I stared in horror at my t.v. screen yesterday when I heard Chris Wallace utter one of the dumbest interview questions of all time…”Are you a flake?” For a minute there, I wanted Michele Bachman to retort, “I know you are, but what am I?” I probably would have…but, that is why I am not presidential hopeful material. I also had a fantasy that Chris-y Poo would follow it up with a Barbara Walters-esqe save…”And if you are, what sort of flake would you be? Snow? Coconut? Parmesan Cheese?” Quite honestly, that would have been the only thing that would have made his line of questioning even slightly okay with me…

Now, I know that most of the critiques of news these days follow a predictable pattern…It’s usually one side saying that one network isn’t “real news”, or the other side saying that one network is “socialist”, bla, bla, bla. I’m sure you’ve heard all that too, and that’s not what this is about. So, for the love of God, let’s put all that aside for awhile, shall we, and focus on what actually happened in the FOXNews studios on Sunday. Now, I should state up front that I’m not very fond of Chris Wallace to begin with. I think he’s rude and haughty, and he consistently delivers rude and haughty interviews and commentary. I’ve seen him come off this way with a lot of his interviewees….male and female, Republican and Democrat, and so on. I think that’s just the way he is. But here’s the real issue–why did it occur to him to be rude in that way? The word flake is typically attributed to females, and a reasonable substitution could be, oh, I don’t know…airhead? Somehow I can’t see Wallace asking Donald Trump the same question. That is, not unless he wanted his toupee to be tossed into the Fox Newsroom shredder, toot sweet. 

To her credit, Bachman, although clearly taken aback by the question, handled it with class, grace, and intelligence. Thus demonstrating that, no matter which way you lean politically, she is clearly not a flake at all. She is what she says she is–a serious candidate, not Congresswoman Barbie, playing dress up complete with a red suit, podium, and campaign button. Take that, Chris Wallace! 

I have to wonder though, how prevalent is Wallace’s perspective? How many people out there, while not dumb enough to say it out loud, still secretly think that men are always better than women in professional roles? More than any of us care to believe, if you ask me. I see it play out subtly in workplace situations…a lot of women tend to ever so slightly defer to men when decisions need to be made, leaders need to be chosen, etc. Most of the time, I don’t think that they realize they are doing it either, and would probably deny it if confronted. And I’ve also seen women behave just a little differently when men are around too. That’s just my own personal observation, and endlessly debatable to be sure. But, I think that what happened on Sunday, along with the unusually virulent media scrutiny of other political women such as Sarah Palin, Laura Ingraham, Hillary Clinton, etc. begs the question…how far have we really come

As usual, I don’t have all the answers. Far from it, my observations and musings usually just lead to more questions. But I will say this. I think that we as women need to, as a group, stop spending all our time arguing over which political party is the party for women with a feminist mindset, and broadly refocus our myopic attention that sees only one or two political issues and tends to ignore the rest. True, we have come a long way…not so very long ago we had to fight for the right to even vote in a political election. And ever since, we’ve fought a less clear cut war with several battles and skirmishes, to, when it comes right down to it, be taken seriously. In my opinion, that means being taken seriously in whatever we choose to do with our lives…our choices as independent individuals. Michele Bachman has chosen to pursue a political career. She’s an attorney, and has had a lot of successes in both her life and her career. She also, much to the dismay of many left leaning women out there, has chosen to be a conservative. And we, every last flake in the snowglobe, owe it to her to support those choices, whether they are our choices or not.

And, right about now, we need to stand up and unite to fight for her right to a fair, equitable interview that is in no way related to or based upon her gender….