My Inner Woman has PMS, My Inner Child is Teething, and My Inner Voice Has Laryngitis

plus a million other things that give me a headache.

Mr. Kane: we’re giving Rosebud to the Ghost of Christmas Present December 10, 2009

History keeps repeating, and it gives me indigestion.  In 1963 Bob Dylan wrote the famous words:

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again
And don’t speak too soon
For the wheel’s still in spin
And there’s no tellin’ who
That it’s namin’.
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin’.

Well, at the risk of speaking too soon, I have to say that this bit of history that’s got me all riled up has happened plenty of times before and the end is fairly predictable.

In case you haven’t heard, our Modern-Day Citizen Kane, Rupert Murdoch, is teaming up with our Modern Day Rich Uncle Penny Bags, Bill Gates, to limit content on the Internet, and block access to his information services, pulling all searches from Google and transferring them to Bing. I don’t mind that at all, to be honest.  Good riddance to bad rubbish.  Who needs yellow journalism anyway?  There are plenty of other excellent news services, willing to supply a free-flow of balanced information for many generations to come.  Where there may be gaps, creative human nature will be sure to fill them.  So good luck with that, both of you.

Well, Penny, you say, if it’s not bothering you, why write a post?  Well, it’s not the shift of the information to Bing that bothers me, it’s the arrogance behind it.  The hubris, to be more accurate.  The unfettered greed.  There’s a lot of that going around, and it’s killing us slowly.  That’s what roasts my toast.

This is not the first time in history that monopolies have gotten out of control, but the level it has reached in today’s world, certainly has had a dramatic, damaging long-term impact on Everyman.  I cannot find a parallel in previous annals of history since the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution.  Don’t think in terms of the Great Depression, to me, that is an inaccurate parallel.  During that period large corporations collapsed, and the wealthiest went tumbling down to poverty, and out of windows.  What we are experiencing is much closer to that earlier Victorian age, when the gap between the rich and the poor was widened beyond all reason.

Whether you agree with my particular take on the historical reference point is a lesser point.  We must all agree that it is high time for us to get riled up about the effects this is having on ordinary hard-working people.  Recently, a wonderfully witty twitter, who I enjoy following as she rants and raves through her day, managing to remain fabulous throughout, made an important point.  (If you’re not already following [at]smuttysteff don’t let the name fool you, she’s worse than all that, and well worth the follow.)  Steff said that she was reminded and surprised just how relevant Charles Dickens is today.  I agreed, but it is so sad that it is true.  It shouldn’t be.  We’ve been there.  We’ve done that.  We should have learned something.  Only one word exists for what has brought us to this point: Avarice.

There is far too much of it.  People, like Mr. Murdoch (and he is not alone) have forgotten that there should be a limit to growth in Capitalism.  Not an artificial, arbitrary limit, but certainly a moral one.   These are not my principles alone.  I take comfort in the knowledge that Adam Smith, the father of Capitalism, foresaw a need for limitation on the accumulation of wealth in the hands of a very few.

Monopoly…is a great enemy to good management. The Wealth of Nations, Book I Chapter XI Part I
The monopolists, by keeping the market constantly understocked, by never fully supplying the effectual demand, sell their commo-dities much above the natural price. The Wealth of Nations, Book I, Chapter VII
The price of monopoly is upon every occasion the highest which can be got. The Wealth of Nations, Book I, Chapter VII
People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices. It is im-possible indeed to prevent such meetings, by any law which either could be executed, or would be consistent with liberty and jus-tice. But though the law cannot hinder people of the same trade from sometimes assembling together, it ought to do nothing to facilitate such assemblies; much less to render them necessary.

A regulation which obliges all those of the same trade in a particular town to enter their names and places of abode in a public register, facilitates such assemblies…

A regulation which enables those of the same trade to tax themselves in order to provide for their poor, their sick, their widows, and orphans, by giving them a common interest to manage, renders such assemblies necessary.

An incorporation not only renders them necessary, but makes the act of the majority binding upon the whole. The Wealth of Nations, Book I, Chapter X

More and more, we have seen the growth of unfettered super-corporations as the principle employers of far too many, exert too much power, on too many powerless individuals and smaller corporations.  They squeeze them of both their lives and livelihood, and leave them out in the cold.  Policies, where they exist, tend to favor these Goliaths at the cost of many Davids.  If we do not take action soon to manage the situation, we will see poverty sky-rocket around the world.  When the western nations have ordinary working people rushing to food banks, unable to find food, the problem has gone too far. That is already taking place, in New York City and far too many other cities.

Rosebud, was the symbol of childhood innocence, of Humanity, that Citizen Kane traded in to fuel his hubris and his avarice, only to realize too late that he had given up the only thing of value he ever had.  When we support the monopolies we each put our Rosebuds into the furnace and watch them go up in smoke.  In case you’ve never seen the film this is what I mean:

That brings us back to [at]smuttysteff and her remark about Charles Dickens.  Dickens dedicated his life’s work to exposing these imbalances, these injustices.  I remember the first time I saw a Christmas Carol, and I remember the thing that scared me the most.  Ironically, it is the very thing that scares me today, not just about the movie, but about our society.

There is the Jolly Giant of Christmas Present, outwardly Merry, but with a dark secret under his coat.  Under there we find two orphans, with terrifying, drawn, hungry faces.  It is one of the most horrible sights I have seen in any movie, full of pathos.  They are Ignorance and Want.

We can and must each do our little part to protect the children under Christmas Present’s coat.  Ignorance & Want are still here, every bit as much as they ever were.  Limiting the free flow of knowledge is abhorrent to the elimination of ignorance, but if Mr. Murdoch feels he must do that in order to add to his fortune and the fortunes of the limited few who profit from him, then fine.  Let’s each help to support the institutions which respect the value of the free press, and disseminate information even to those to poor to pay for it.  For all of the other monopolies that are stifling us, there are similar solutions.  Elect to keep your funds in a Credit Union, up and coming Green Banks, Micro-Loan banks, or other community service banks, instead of one of the larger banking institutions.  Elect to purchase items from known Fair Trade companies, from local shops and Independent Grocers, from corporations that respect Fair Wages, and do not use Slave Labor to produce their goods.  There are plenty, and they need our support.

The monopolies will prey on our insecurities, and make us afraid that by turning our backs on them we will lose even more valuable jobs.  This is only a half-truth.  The greatest employers world-wide are smaller and medium-sized businesses, many of which are being put in peril by governmental neglect and unfair competition from the larger players.  If we begin to support them, voting with our pennies in their favor, they will survive this recession, and each of us will survive it along with them.  Perhaps, as the monopolies tumble, some may lose their jobs in those corporations, but if we ensure the safety net of strong small and medium-sized companies, focused on growth, those individuals will not be facing ages in the unemployment lines, and the peril of poverty.  The smaller corporations, who know their employees faces, and their family histories, wince to have to let staff go, or cut wages.  Their larger counterparts only see numbers on a spreadsheet.

In the hands of our neighbors is the promise of the future.  Each of us needs to do his and her part to support those companies who will stand by us, not just the corporations that tread upon and feed off us.

A couple of weeks ago I saw a report about another “great man” who everyone respects so much, backing a new Chinese suit manufacturer.  Perhaps you saw this news report on Mr. Buffet as well, perhaps you didn’t.  It made me cringe.  Not because he was buying Chinese suits, let the man wear what he pleases (although I certainly consider it more responsible to buy from Fair-Trade tailors paying Fair Wages to make suits that cost a little more and last a lot longer) but it was something specific he said on camera that made me nauseous:  “I have thrown out all my other suits.” Really, Mr. Buffet?  It didn’t even occur to you to call the Salvation Army or another local charitable cause.  Did the thought of donating them to help the poor who need suits to go for job interviews, never cross your mind? You just placed them in the trash? Now THAT is avarice.

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway
Don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There’s a battle outside
And it is ragin’.
It’ll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’.

Because I love classics best, I’d like to close with a little Holiday Gift.  I bring you Seymour Hicks who, plays the title role in the first sound version of the Dickens classic about the miser who’s visited by three ghosts on Christmas Eve. It’s the entire movie (duration 1:17:35), so make some pop-corn, grab some cocoa, put your feet up and enjoy!

…and that’s a Penny for Your Thoughts.


Get that D!ck out of Britney’s Mouth… December 2, 2009

Here I go all controversial on you again.  Just to make up for it, here’s a pleasant Dick for you:

You’re, Penny, what does that have to do with anything?  Everything.  It is the very essence of my post.  Sometimes, to be truly happy, you need to clean out the muck from other people’s chimneys.  It’s a dirty job, but somebody has to do it.  (Yes, that was INTENDED to be taken two ways, possibly three.)

The Twitter-verse so far has been fantastic.  I love it.  I’m addicted, even.  Except for one teeny-tiny-almost-insignificant-little-d!ck that keeps showing up right under Britney’s mouth.  It is as persistent’s uniquely persistent.  It changes names, it changes accounts.  It doesn’t change size, it’s always tiny, and that makes me sad for it.  Not sad enough to try to save it.  In fact, I wish to annihilate it.  Notice that I refer to “it.”  “It” is what bothers me.  Britney doesn’t.  She’s a whole other story, but that story is right below this paragraph.  Almost.  And it’s entirely relevant as well, so hang on tight with me here.

My first official blog post on this blog, after a couple of pieces written for “artistic value,” was also my most popular post in the short history of all posts I’ve posted, on all my blogs so far.  (Then again, I’m just getting started, so fingers crossed.)  In case you missed it, it was “Me, The Internet and 69.” The objective of that post was to encourage the continual development of a safer, stronger, more useful Internet for us all.  The “69” was the year of our birth, the Internet and I, but you that the high click results on the post were not because of the word ‘Internet,’ but because of that magic number.  (Also, because I used the tag “bikini” in the post, and that seemed to attract a lot of traffic.)

There I go, bravely braving the soot, so you don’t have to. (See how Dick Van Dyke is relevant?)

Why pick such controversial subjects?  Why attempt such “guerilla tactics” to get the message out?  Because the message matters.  We deserve a safer, cleaner, more useful Internet.  We deserve a safer, cleaner more useful world, for that matter.  But it goes beyond the Internet, to something far more creepy about the Britney phenomenon, something that you may have missed.  It’s not about sex.  The people doing this are not peddling sex.  They are not peddling pleasure.  They are peddling EXPLOITATION.  They are peddling OBJECTIFICATION.  They are TERRORISTS with a MYSOGENISTIC agenda.  (Ok.  I’ll stop with the capitals already, but I really am yelling these words.  Hubby can hear it.)

You don’t believe me?  Ask yourselves: what’s the point?  What is the point of showing that you can, as the perpetrators claim, “hack” into “celebrity accounts” and expose their intimacy.  This is not sex.  It is grotesque violence.  This tantamount to virtual gang rape.  Just because the people affected are “famous” and possibly some of them a bit irritating, does that mean that we sit back and allow this type of aggression to take place?

I am not a prude.  Never have been, never will be.  If you’ve read my posts and inferred any prudishness on my part, get your head checked.  Even so, I don’t want to see any images of people “doing things” in my in-box, or showing up in my Tweet feed when I least expect it.  It isn’t about being open-minded, not when it comes to issues like this.  Legitimate blogs and web-sites that trade in what is lovingly called “smutt” and who do not promote exploitation, rather represent consensual concourse and play time among adults are fine in my book.  Live and let live.

These types of Tweets are not in that league.  I didn’t ask for them.  I don’t want them.  I won’t tolerate them.  Most people don’t, I would think.  But I’m wrong.

I know I’m wrong because I understand how markets work.  If there were no demand for this, there would be no supply.  I don’t believe the demand comes from a bunch of horny people looking to have a good time.  The demand comes from a bunch of angry people looking to validate themselves by debasing others, and THAT is what bothers me about it.  That is what has my panties in a bunch! (“I spit your lingo in your face, chauvenist scum!” — sorry that was my dark-side speaking.  Just a teensy bit more aggressive.  We’ll ask her to be quiet now.)

Clearly there is a problem.  There is a recurring demand, an endless stream of losers seeking to raise their own self-worth by stomping on another’s.  When something becomes viral, as this picture has done, it is because there is a demand for it, whether overt or covert.  Now think about that: there is a demand, a considerable one, to exploit, violate, objectify, degrade women.  You knew that, right?  Here’s what you may not have considered.  What do I mean by covert?  The answer lies in another key question: Why isn’t it stopped aleady?  Why does it perpetuate?

I understand bots.  Got it.  I know that people can write code to generate millions of ID’s and do whatever they please.  But, really, our programming isn’t up to par with squashing that a bit?  Furthermore, the accounts have links to web-sites.  Are those web-sites just floating from server to server like flies, changing IP addresses every few seconds?  Are we not able to track and toast them?

I really don’t know these answers, and I am open to comment.  If we do not have that technology, then that is a golden business opportunity for the next Internet Genius to develop and market.

I’ll tell you what I suspect.  I suspect we’ve become passive about this and similar predatory behavior, to our detriment.  Through our passivity, we perpetuate the problem.  We have not made stamping things like this, like child exploitation, like other forms of regression to a base, low, sub-human form, a sufficient priority.  We have not made safety a priority.  We have not made children a priority.  We have not made women a priority.  We have not made Humanity a priority.

These images are powerful dangerous things.  They are not just an ordinary nuisance.  If they are like mosquitos, they are like mosquitos carrying Dengue Fever.  The objectification they represent is deadly to our humanity.  It is an affront to all of us, regardless of gender.

If you’ve followed my blog, you may have picked up on a theme.  I am a little bit obsessed with the images of two iconic women who have hystorically been objectified.  I’m fascinated by their parallels and their contrasts.  One was a powerful and solid dame, and she handled her image to her own interest.   She managed it entirely.  She OWNED it.  The other one was a divine, intelligent, sensitive soul.  She didn’t handle it well.  Sadly, it broke her.

I might lose the argument, if we had it, but I believe that Marilyn Monroe was an unbelievably intelligent, witty, beautiful woman.  She may have been an unrecognized genius with tremendous potential.  She would have made a wonderful woman leader, if we hadn’t allowed her to be sucked dry and spat out like the frail skin on a grape.

That is what happens when we turn a blind eye to exploitation.  We lose our shining lights.  If we don’t kill them, we drive them to kill themselves.

So what about Britney?  I personally think it’s not her fault.  She isn’t annoying me daily.  What is annoying is how she is being used and abused.  What is annoying me pondering why, with all the power and features we have on this Internet, this kind of thing can go on so often, so easily.  Why should I care?  Why should you care?  Because it’s not just about Britney.  It could happen to any of us.

Even if it were only about Britney, why pick on the poor girl?  She has enough trouble.  She needs help, guidance, hope.  She doesn’t need to the victim of our laissez-fair attitude to this type of viral mail.  She has been exploited enough already, even from childhood, even by her parents.  She doesn’t need anything adding to her already significant low self-esteem, to her grief.  As I said, it’s not about Britney, or Paris, or Tila Tequila, or anyone else like’s about all of us.  Women and Men alike.  About the kind of environment we want online and off-line.  Do we want a savage society that ravages the vulnerable, or a gentle society that aids them?

We need more empowered men and women in this world.  We need more shining lights.  Maybe Britney will never be a shining light, but how will we ever know if she keeps getting crushed?  Have we ever allowed her to be anything but a dumb blond sucking on a lolly pop?

It’s called desensitization.  The more we tolerate this sort of image propagating our space, the more we re-enforce the message behind it, the more women are objectified and victimized, the more they are abused, the greater the tragedy for all humanity.  These things are not unrelated.  These things are intimately linked.

I’d like it to stop.  I believe I am not alone.  Not just the Twits, but all of it.  I’d like to see that we all pick up our chimney sweep toolkit and get all the soot out, for good.  Won’t you join me?

Chim-Chiminee Chim-Chiminee Chim-Chim Che-ree a sweep is as lucky as lucky can be.

..and that was a Penny for Your Thoughts.


Soylent Green is Make-Up! November 23, 2009

In Memory of all the Grand Women Victimized by Body-Image

In Memory of All the Grand Women Victimized by Body-Image

I’m not sure if you missed it.  I’m not sure how you could.  It made me lose my lunch, when the Twitter-verse started Tweeting about the Peruvian crime ring selling human fat from their victims for use by Cosmetic Companies.  If there was ever a reason to check labels carefully and check the contents of your cosmetics, this is it.  But my mind didn’t stop processing the information on that thought alone.  Immediately, I thought, wait… Where there are buyers there is demand, where there is demand there have to be suppliers, and it’s highly unlikely these Peruvians gangs are solely responsible for supplying that market.  Consider what I am saying here.  What do so many women rush to do now a day?  Liposuction.  That’s right.  Think about it.  How many women (and men) around the world have gone and butchered themselves, paid for the service, of removing unwanted fat from their bodies?

I was afraid that I might be right on this one, and a quick check on articles on this bizarre situation only served to confirm my worst fears.  Here is a quote I pulled directly from an article on the Associated Press.

Dr. Adam Katz, a professor of plastic surgery at the University of Virginia medical school, was incredulous when told about the Peruvian ring.

“I can’t see why there would be a black market for fat,” he said. “It doesn’t make any sense at all, because in most countries we can get fat so readily and in such amounts from people who are willing and ready to donate that I don’t see why there would ever be a black market for fat, of all tissues.”


“Donate it?” How cynical do you have to be?  What?  Do people walk in and say, “Please take this lard of my hips so, across the globe, an unwitting woman can place it on her lips?”  If there were ever a doubt that the cosmetic industry and the plastic surgery industry see women as life-stock, as fuel for their machine, then this quote makes matters clear.


We need to consider: at what price beauty? I’m all in favor of cosmetics.  I’ve been known to use them liberally as an art-form, a form of self-expression, or just as a pick-me-up.  But surely I do not want the product of another woman’s suffering on my skin.  I am personally not a fan of plastic surgery, especially not of liposuction, but I am not trying to pass judgment on another for what they feel compelled to do.


What needs to be judged heavily, and needs to be more heavily regulated, is the industry that exploits and uses us so casually.  It’s all well and good to arrest a rouge bunch of sickies in Peru, but who is doing anything about all the “respectable” professionals doing the very same thing every day?  Notice that no buyers have yet been identified.  I am digging, and if I manage to uncover names, I will re-post a list.


We can’t wait on government to do this for us, ladies, so wake up!  So long as we cooperate, we will be used and sucked dry to put a penny in someone else’s hollow pocket.  Many of us have greater financial freedom than we have ever had.  Let’s use our pennies wisely.  Let’s finance freedom.  Let’s stop paying a fortune for pretentious cosmetics made for us, from us.  Let’s do our research and buy plant-based products.  Be weary of the word “organic.”  We are organic.  Look for plant-based products.


But most of all, ladies, let’s stop buying the hype.  We’re all beautiful.  Some maybe fit the common “aesthetic” more than others, and it doesn’t matter a hill of beans.

We’re all going to get wrinkles..the more we smile the better.

We’re all going to get crows-feet..the more we wink the better.

We’re all going to get chubby..the more to hold onto the better (ask a man if you don’t believe me–a good one).

Want to get a nice blush on your cheeks?  Do some healthy exercise (sex is my personal favorite).

Wear confidence, not a mask, and you will blow people’s minds.

Be strong.

Be proud.

And stop being a product.


In the words of the infinitely knowledgeable Philosopher of the 20th Century:

I’m no model lady. A model’s just an imitation of the real thing.  — Mae West


…and that’s a Penny for Your Thoughts


If you missed my previous post on beauty and make-up:  see it again!

A Picture Paints a Thousand Words a Video Clip Paints a Million


Not Turning the Other Cheek! November 19, 2009

Don’t expect a link.  Don’t expect a picture.  I won’t help to promote it.  Look it up yourself, if you want to know what has my blood boiling right now. It’s there, sadly, on-line.

I’ve just seen an article on the news about a new web-site intended to discourage domestic violence called, unbelievably, “Hit the B*ch.”

It is an interactive on-line “game” developed in Denmark to discourage domestic violence by letting you whack a woman black-and-blue very graphically, on screen, as much as you want.

I had to check myself to be sure I wasn’t hallucinating.  It seemed that insane. But sadly, it’s true, it’s real, and it is a disaster for women and men alike.

I am all in favor of a little shock value to get a message across, but there is a line, folks, and it has been crossed, tred-upon, and abused.

There is sufficient encouragement of aggression everyday in video games, music lyrics, literature, general ordinary everyday behavior.  It does not need more encouragement: it needs to be DISCOURAGED.  Consistently.

My first animal impulse would be to ask for an alternative reply-site called ‘Kick the B*stard in the Nuts,’ but that wouldn’t do any good, would it?  It would be just as pointless and just as wrong.

We have to remember that promoting violence IN ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM is wrong.  We should be trying to promote healthy interaction and mutual respect.  Always. Always. Always.  (I’ll say it one more time: Always.)

Whatever these poor misguided people were thinking, they should re-consider their strategy.  Of course, perhaps they were hoping to build an uproar, as they have, but there are other, better, ways.  Let’s learn to be responsible.  Let’s learn to be human.  Violence is an animal reaction to a human dilemma.  It is never a reflection of our higher-self.  It debases us.  Every time a man beats a woman, he humiliates and hurts himself far more than he humiliates and hurts her.  The same thing applies to child abuse.  To any abuse for that matter.

We cannot build up by tearing down.  We cannot rise by dragging ourselves in the mud.  We cannot promote good with bad behavior.

It’s 2009, let’s just get over it.  Let’s raise our hand only to volunteer, to give answers, to provide assistance.  Let’s start being human and stop being ignorant beasts.  Now.

Dr. Martin Luther King said it elegantly, and I paraphrase him here:

“Hate begets hate; violence begets violence; toughness begets a greater toughness. We must meet the forces of hate with the power of love…Our aim must never be to defeat or humiliate..a man [or woman], but to win his [her] friendship and understanding.” — 1958

Please notice that was fifty one years ago.  More than two generations ago.  For two generations we have gone far off track.  Let’s get back on the right road again, for the good of us all.


A Picture Paints a Thousand Words, A Video Clip Paints a Million November 15, 2009

I spent a good amount of time yesterday, posting additions to this blog.  I wanted to give it life and body.  I wanted to help explain my message and my mission.  What I am so worked up about.  Why Feminism matters today more than ever for the good of men and women alike.  And then a great man sent me a great Tweet and showed me another great man who really gets it.  This brilliant artist put everything I want to say in a form so beautiful, so sublime, that I am not sure I could ever write enough to match it simplicity and beauty.  I can only reference it, and tell you that you must see it.  We all must understand this message, and do something about it.  So, with no further a-do, here is the earth-shattering wonderful short video from visionary artist Andy Huang. It is entitled Doll Face, and it has left me speechless.


High Hemlines and Low Ideals November 11, 2009

Here I was, thinking that this might be a week without news.  I should have known better than to rush to judgement on a Tuesday.  After all, yesterday we commemorated the fall of the Berlin wall 20 years ago, tomorrow we commemorate the end of the First World War ninety-one years ago, but that’s all old news. 

Today, CNN International repeatedly took time to highlight more important events, happening right now, in this world, that affect us all, intimately.  Yes, I am referring to Geisy Arruda.  If you have managed to get through your day without knowing who Geisy Arruda is and why she is so important, then you have a rich and fulfilled life.  Here’s a link to a video that explains it anyway:

Geisy Arruda, who wishes nothing more from life than to earn herself a career in Tourism, has raised all kinds of heck by raising her hemline.  Brazilians everywhere are outraged.  There is a significant social split in Sao Paolo over this controversy.  As you can appreciate, Brazil is famous for its decorum.  Though widely known for their Carnaval, an essential part of their tourism strategy, Brasil is also a conservative Catholic culture where morality and propriety is of significant importance.  This generates a problematic paradox.  After all, the event that leads to women dancing in the streets in body paint and feathers, is in fact a religious one, marking the beginning of Lent.  Mmmm…Mixed messages, anyone?  I suppose the discussion has everything to do with the concept that there is a time and a place for everything and the time and place to dress for Carnaval is at Carnaval, not while attending a class at University, but I remain unconvinced and conflicted.

Not by the hemline.  Frankly, what this young woman needs is my Nana, God rest her soul.  I can remember with a smile the many times when, as I was leaving the house, she made her characteristic guttural sound of disapproval and uttered her famous warning:  “I hope you don’t fall from that hemline, you’ll break your neck.”

Not by the concept that people should fight for the right to be educated, even when under-dressed.  In fact, ironically, also on continuous loop on CNN International was the interview with the Taliban leader in Afghanistan who is pondering whether women should be granted an ongoing education at all, and proposing that if they are allowed to learn then certainly they should learn separately from men and still wearing a veil.

My conflict is with CNN, what it considers news, and what it chooses to present repeatedly in order to nurture a following.  The incessant showing of the girl in the mini-skirt led to a lot of showing of the girl in the mini-skirt.  No women in veils were shown during the Taliban leader’s interview, and to cap it all of, Anderson Cooper in his 360 degrees showed all 360 degrees of Miss America in a bikini, to compensate for the censors forbidding their showing the full topless shots, presumably.

The women in Brazil, who stand by Geisy Arruda as she battles for re-admission to the school that expelled her for taking the level above the knee to a level just below her crotch, are claiming they are fighting machismo.  I argue that they are protesting in the wrong continent.  On this same night that the news broke out, the power grid went out in Brazil, an unprecedented power outage, possibly related to the increased demand for pictures of Geisy’s thighs from people around the world who get CNN International as their sole English news offering…I’m just saying.

Will CNN take responsibility for the outage of worthwhile information?  Probably not.  Hemlines have been making headlines for years.  It used to be considered a bit of Yellow Journalism, but in an era of Yellow Journalism gone mad, it’s Carnaval everyday.

In the end, CNN is probably just applying a bit of my favorite female philosopher’s wisdom:

Those who are easily shocked should be shocked more often.

–Mae West

..And That’s a Penny for Your Thoughts


Change is Good..and Lacy! November 3, 2009

So.  I couldn’t believe it.  My hubby saw it.  He’s a marvel that way, always seeing what I miss.  Love that man.


We’re overseas right now and watching foreign TV.  I’m working on my computer in my comfy-clothes, probably not looking my best right now, and he says: “Change..change your bra!”

Strange thing to say, right? Rife with peril for the male.  He’s brave that way.

Instead of ripping his heart out with my fingernails, I decided to be calm and rational.  So I asked him just what the heck he was talking about.  Which proves that PMS doesn’t run me..I run on it!

So here’s what my hubby meant.  ‘CHANGE,’ the actual word is now a registered trademark (Actually it seems it has been since 1995.)

Yep.  You heard me.  TRADE-mark.  As in selling ‘Change.’  So I think, OK, maybe you could sell ideas for positive change in society, change in lifestyles, change of technology..I dunno some good change.  Nope. It turns out CHANGE (R) is a company that sells bras…  YES–BRAS–LIKE FOR YOUR BOOBS.  Don’t believe me? Link here:

Change is Good...and comes in A cup through EEE!

Change is Good...and comes in A-cup through EEE-cup; in a variety of colors and styles and even has lace!

So now we know, ladies, change is not only coming..change is here!

Don’t get me wrong, I love a lacy bra as much as the next man, but somehow my dream of a brighter future for women took a hit when I read quotes like:

At Change, we respect your natural beauty. That’s why our lingerie doesn’t dictate how your body should look or promise a whole new you. What it will do is give you a variety of styles in a fit that feels just right. It’s all about feeling beautiful. So feel free to express yourself. To explore the different facets of your femininity. And the woman within.

This is the philosophy behind Change and the key to our success.


The people at Change (R) were even nice enough to plan my week for me:


Every day, a new Pair...oooh I'm giddy!

Every day, a new Pair...oooh I'm giddy!


It makes a girl warm inside to know that someone is looking out for her this way. And the people of CHANGE (R) are committed to ensuring our ongoing happiness.  They state it clearly in their Motto:


So now you know.  Your cup size DOES matter.  If we are going to have any CHANGE (R) in our lives, we should consider a Balconette.

There’s even a new line out for 2009 called CHARADE – ’nuff said.

I’d feel short-changed, except that might make me sound a little bitter.  After all, it’s probably nothing.  I just need a better bra.

…and that’s a Penny for Your Thoughts



Me, the Internet and 69 October 31, 2009

Filed under: Penny for Your Thoughts — pennybloom @ 10:47 am
Tags: , , , , ,

The Internet and I have a lot in common.  We both like sex.  You don’t know me, but you know the internet, so…


But that is not our only common trait.  Sure we both have boobs — the Internet has larger boobs — but our common thread is even deeper than that. (Don’t read anything funny into deeper — or go ahead and I’ll blush for you.)


We are both children of 69.  We are both Gen-X’rs.  What does that mean to us?  What does that mean to the world?


A Re-Tweet I got today got me to thinking about just that.  It’s highly recommended:

How Forgotten GenX Changed the World


When the Internet and I were babies, we were both trapped in little boxes.  (One day, I’ll tell you the funny story about how my mom saved money on a crib by putting me in a suitcase for six months and my aunt thought that it was cute when she closed the lid and that is why I have spent thousands of dollars on therapy for claustrophobia, but not today.)


Soon after those dark and lonely beginnings, the Internet and I both started to network around a small circle of friends within a very limited circle.  In fact, both the Internet and I had very little outside interaction until our pre-adolescence with more than a delicately monitored group of protective guardians.


But then all hell broke loose.  For both of us.  Once we got out – we got OUT!


The trials and perils of being global have never been demonstrated as well as they have through the Internet, and in my own little life.  Meeting strange and fascinating people.  Meeting fascinatingly strange people.  Meeting strange people.  The Internet and I have done a lot of all of that.


So, when you’ve gotten out, and toured the world, and seen it’s peaks and valleys, its beauty and its ugliness, its sublime art and its subversive trash, what does that do to you?


Well, here again, the Internet and I have had strangely similar reactions.  We’ve both crashed a couple of times, and gotten back up.  We’ve both gotten viruses.  (There’s you with your dirty mind again–think the flu and Moctezuma’s revenge — get your mind out of the gutter!)


But as Nietzsche so rightly put it: “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.”


We haven’t perished, the Internet and I, despite claims that we were just a random trend, despite occasionally being ill-used and misunderstood, despite making mistakes.  We’ve held strong.  We’ve endured.  We’ve stuck to our basic philosophy that, in the end, what the world is sorely lacking, what it needs most, what it craves even more than water, is connection.


Many years ago, when I was just an inexperienced smart-ass (now I am an experienced smart-ass), I told a male friend who was much smarter than me (aren’t they always), that this Internet thing could make lots of money for people and would be a boon for business.  He laughed. “Ha! Ha! Ha! The Internet is a vehicle for education and research, it will never be commercialized,” he said.


She who laughs last laughs best, and the Internet and I are both giggling hysterically over this.


But, as any of us who have been in the depths of the commercial arena have learned, there are perilous perils for those unprepared.


I’ve recently had a very ugly wake up call to this, and for a while, it caused me to break up with the Internet entirely (even though she has been such a good friend).  There be monsters.  There be pirates. There be threats of every kind on every shore…(sound of Captain Ahab cackling.)


Now that we are both going through our little mid-life crisis, I’d like to impart some advice to my friend, the Internet, on how to survive and thrive and make the world a better place, no matter what Leviathans may roam the depths.


1) Promote the Common Good – even if your aim is commercial, it does not preclude you from doing good while making money.

2) Have Zero-Tolerance for Theft – property earned or created should be property kept.  Persons promoting piracy are not freeing anything of anything; the only things they are free of are morals and ethics.  We must ensure that all people are protected from theft, be it of money, or data, or intellectual property.  All people.  Always.  There has been some discussion in Britain about eliminating access rights to the Internet to those culpable of Piracy Initiatives that merit serious discussion.   Of course, they appear to brush up against the noble aim to ensure Internet access as a basic human right.  Which I support.  We should not get these things confused.  Living on the planet is a basic human right, but it does not mean we let people steal things willy-nilly (unless we’re living in anarchy).  Likewise, the Internet should have the right to cast out Predators.  We need to.  It’s a wild jungle out there and we have to join ranks and protect against intruders.

3) Be Paranoid – About Security. As the saying goes: just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you.  They are.  Big time.  Security Specialists around the world should be postponing sleep until death, because there are some major holes in the web that need mending.

4) Don’t Abandon Your Dreams – They are all you have that matters.  The aspirations of the Internet, from its conception have been noble and grand.  They should continue to be.  Like nothing else in Human History, the Internet has the potential to be the thing that tips our consciousness over the edge and helps us achieve a greater level of enlightenment.  (Dawning of the Age of Aquarius plays softly in the background and builds to crescendo.) Yes!  Enlightenment, higher consciousness, the final great evolution of people living in one world thinking with many minds and once and finding wonderful revealing connections.  Don’t believe me?  Watch these spaces:



These are the kinds of things that would have given Carl Jung an orgasm, that would have made Joseph Campbell convulse in ecstasy.  We are beginning to see connections, being given the tools to see them instantly, and what the mind does when the synapses are stimulated is truly a beautiful thing.  (As Paris Hilton repeatedly points out – Intellectuals are Hot – OK? Deal with it.)

5) Be Glorious – Be Proud, Be Noble, Be Beautiful, Be Quirky, Be Yourself, Be Somebody Else, Be Whatever You Want to Be but stay Free.  One of the biggest concerns I have over points 1, 2 and 3, is that, if the Internet is not adamant and intransigent about independently being all of these things, then the Conquerors will come and set up flags.  This is the rule of History.  Where a society (and the Internet is the largest society in Human History) is unregulated, Tyrants appear to fill in the gaps.  This does not call for revolution, it calls for order, for self-regulation and for responsible pro-active citizenry.


So for her 40th Birthday, the greatest gift we can give the Internet, is to let her own her fine self, and stand proud and firm.  All of us who (like me) are 69’ers (or roundabouts) have a calling to ensure this.  All GenX’ers can remember a time when this was our dream, our legacy to the world, yet to be realized.  Now, it is here, and we have to defend her, because let’s face it, the Boombers are tired and the Y’s and Millenials are busy with other stuff. (Like Tweeting about Twilight – God save Humanity!)


We may be, as Martin Zwilling points out, “the forgotten generation,” but we haven’t forgotten anything.  We still have really good memories and pretty large balls.  We are the hard salamy between two generations of white bread.  No disrespect intended – I mean only that, by and large, we had it tougher than our parents and tougher than our younger siblings and offspring.


We’re lean, we’re mean, and we’re going to get this Earth Clean!


I’ve been bloodied and bruised from my travails, but that’s only made paradoxically meaner and kinder.  Meaner because I’m less tolerant of nonsense and predatorial behavior.  Kinder because I appreciate good people far more than I ever did.  I’ve also learned that even if someone tries to tear you down to ashes, you can rise like a Phoenix when your determination knows no bounds.


The Internet can do the same, and we should support her, we should encourage her to be her own great self.


I plan to spend the next 40 years of my life being absolutely amazing, and I plan to have an absolutely amazing Internet to live my life on.



I leave you with the thoughts of a one of the greatest philosophers of the 20th century:

A dame that knows the ropes isn’t likely to get tied up.

– Mae West


…and that was a Penny for Your Thoughts!





The Waist Land October 28, 2009

A Shout out to my friend T.S. – Fellow Cat Lover!

I have seen with my own eyes the Sibyl hanging in a jar, and when the boys asked her “What do you want?” She answered, “I want to die.”

April was the cruelest month for breeding

And May left me in dismay, desire a memory stirring

No more.

Winter fat left on the bone,

Bloated without

Purpose, forgotten snow, no feeding

Little life, dried tubes.

Summer rained its showers and I could

Not wear bikini in the sunlight,

Bloated indoors

And drank coffee and talked for hours to

Kein Lieblings, kein mere.

Where were children on sled?

I was frightened.

He said fight.

In the mountains there you are free.

I looked to breasts and said, How-

Out of this stony rubbish?

The roots that clutched,

The branches that grew

Were snatched and torn

And I could feel nothing but the sun beats,

No cricket, no relief, no waters left to

Pour out of the red rock.

Not even the shadow of the red rock.

And just the shadow rising to meet me,

Fear in a handful of lust.

You gave me daisies a year ago,

When I was known to be the unwisest woman in Europe,

Living with a wicked bunch of cards.

I see crowds of people, walking round a ring.

Thank you.

One must be more careful these days.

London Bridge fell down, fell down, fell down

And Bethlehem and Elysium went down with it,

And I was left a crowded flower


I had not thought death could undo so many,

With my nails I would have

Dug out his hollow eyes!

And still I cried, and still the world pursued,

The words pursued, jug jug, to experienced ears and

I was found wanting when I was tried.

You said remember those were pearls.

Their eyes.


Their lips.


No rose, only thorns.

Good night, angels, good night, sweet angels, good night, good night.

By the waters of Silver I sat down and wept,

By the waters of Seinne I sat down and wept,

By the waters of Duero I sat down and wept,

By the waters of Elbe I sat down and wept,

By the waters of Liffey I sat down and wept,

Dragging my slimy belly on the bank.

Et O ces voix d’enfants, chantant dans la coupole!

Unreal World

Under the red fog of a winter’s moon.

Hardly aware of my departure,

My brain allowing half-formed thoughts to pass:

‘Well now that’s that’s done: and I’m glad it’s over.’

Smoothing hair with automatic hand,

Music playing on my iPhone,

‘This music crept by me upon the waters’

And the waters spilled upon the banks,

Out out damn spot.

He promised “a new start.”

What should I resent?

Who can connect nothing with nothing.

Left only with broken fingernails on manicured hands,

My people haughty people who express


To Copenhagen I came

Burning burning burning burning

as the final judgement was passed


O Lord Thou pluckest them out

O Lord Thou pluckest


A deep sewn well is the very

Profit and Loss

As I rose and Fell

Passing the stages of age and youth

Lost in the whirlpool

Turning the wheel that looks inward

You picked my bones

As I rose and fell

Then there was red on frosty gardens

Agony in flowery places

Shouting and Crying

Palaces a prision

And reverberation of thunder

In my Spring over distant mountains

She who was dead is living

With a little patience and a little





Drip drop drip


Who is the third that walks beside us

When I look there are only you and I together

But there are footsteps beside ours

Ah the Murmur of maternal lamentation

Over endless pains, and stumbling on cracked earth.



Dada Dayadhvam

Each in our prison

We have lost the keys

Each in our prison

At nightfall

Revived for a moment broken Aerolas

The hand expert

You see calm

Your heart responded Gaily,

When invited by controlling hands.

I sat upon the shore.

Shall I at least set my lands in order?

falling down falling down falling down

My fair lady

Don’t rain on my parade and

Leave me singing in the rain

Of men


Hello Dolly

These fragments I have shored against my ruins.

Why then I’ll fill you,

Erogenous mad again.

Datta. Dayadhvam.  Damyata.

Shantih shantih, Chianti


then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes. October 20, 2009

This is for my Good Friend Joyce who would have liked to have been Molly, I think, maybe she is in this life — NaNoNaNuNaNoNaNu! (Trying to do Twilight Zone but sound like Mork from Ork–what a Dork I am. Hee-Hee Rhyme)


You lost me at YES. YES the feminine, the Yin YES. The feminine Acquiesces. The feminine adapts. The feminine Conforms. I have been YES! like the river flowing YES, finding paths of least resistance YES, adapting YES, freezing YES, thawing YES, boiling YES oh Yes, evaporating YES! I have quenched thirst, yes, but remain thirsty-still. I have given life, yes, but remain sterile-still. And YES. I have YES. I can YES I will. YES. Oh Yes. YES!

You lost me at YES.

The Gurus say YES become YES-sayer. Mother is YES.  Sister is YES. Lover is YES.  Good-Wife is YES.  Girlfriend is YES.  Woman is YES.  Leader is NO.

YES is the root of all evil. YES is the fall. YES is the tip of the iceberg that sinks the unsinkable ship.  But NO stands alone.  NO is not yours, YES. NO is the male.

If you, YES, say No, YES, then Black Hat and Green Skin and Warts and All for you YES.  Then No Peace and No Place and No-thing for you, YES.  Then Dust, YES.  Dust. Ashes. The fire for you, YES, when No.

And No. Not for me, YES. You lost me at YES.  And NO I won’t buy it and NO I won’t believe it and NO I won’t wear it and NO I won’t do it and NO I won’t say it and NO I won’t stop and NO I won’t be quiet and NO I won’t go away and NO I won’t quit.  I will Never Never Never Never Quit.  NO! Because Yes! NO is mine.  And Yes, I say No.

No easy path to happiness for me and No top models for me and No Do’s and Dont’s for me and No What not to Wear for me and No nonsense for me.

No banana for me, NO.  Well, OK.  Maybe.