Parlor Spider...Step In, Little Fly

Insightful thoughts and/or rants from atop the soapbox from one who wishes to share the "right" opinion with everyone.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Back in 26 Minutes

The end of any year involves a great deal of reflection: mostly about what the hell went wrong and how can we avoid making the same mistakes over the next twelve months. I think that's why resolutions are so important...despite the fact that most of them are abandoned within a few weeks. But this year was all about learning new things, according to the BBC news magazine. As a "year-in-review" publication, the news source chronicled the 100 things we learned this year (that we supposedly did not know last year. Each of the 100 things was covered in great length throughout the year, and I found many of them to be most fascinating. The complete list as well as link to the appropriate articles is listed below for your evening reading while waiting for Seacrest and Clark to finish.
However,my top ten things that I didn't know from the list follow immediately, though in no special order:

1. Aristotle was supposed to have been the last man who knew everything there was to know at the time. I always thought it was Ben Franklin, but it turns out not to be true. I suppose...what can one suspect from an individual who thought the turkey would be a great symbol of America?

2. The average hug lasts 3 seconds...and people get irritated if you count out loud just to check. (The last part is based on my independent research).

3. Women's tears reduce sexual desire in men.

4. The first YouTube video was titled "Me at the Zoo." Now THAT really makes me want to view instead of the little girl singing with her dad as corporate shills for Hyundai.

5. Swearing relieves pain. Damn right! It's been a painful year.

6. Yawning cools the brain. I always thought it was the body's way to get oxygen into the brain...not it seems that my brain just gets too hot about 2:30 in the afternoon from all the overuse.

7. Cows have best friends. Really.

8.The perfect nap lasts for 26 minutes. (and there's no law against practicing for perfection!

9. Incan brides had to peel a potato to prove they would make worthwhile wives. You've come a long way, baby!

10. People are less likely to die during their fifth and sixth decades of life than at any other time during their lifetimes.

Safe for another 10 years.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Amazingly Ginormous as the New Normal

A Bit of Photo Trickeration

I don't know about you, but for me, New Year's Eve has never really been a noteworthy event. Oh sure, there was Dick Clark for almost every year of my life, but when I can watch the celebration three hours earlier in Australia and get the same thrill (without Kathy Griffin), there's not much sense in staying up. After smooching with the same honey for more than a few decades, staying up late to do that just doesn't titillate. And I certainly never did anything so intriguing as the folks at Lake Superior State University did back in 1975. Those wacky academics decided that it was up to them to cleanse the lexicon of overused words and phrases in hopes of once again offering a purified version of the King's English (with apologies to Elvis). Putting their (egg) heads together, they decided that the time was right to occupy word use.
Anyway, out of that celebration was born an annual poll that was designed to glean from frustrated people the most trite and or overused words of that particular year. To be sure, expressions like "groovy" probably made the list, and "awesome" could have been a top choice as well, but this year's list is no slouch, either.
In the 37th annual poll of words that should be relegated to the "lexicographic scrap heap" are the following. Pick your favorites and DON'T USE THEM in 2012.

Getting the most votes this year was "amazing," decried as blatantly overused as well as incorrectly used (really?). Anderson Cooper, for example, is said to have used this word three times in the opening 45 seconds of a program. That's amazing...oops.

Anyway, thanks to Beyonce, we were bombarded with "baby bump" references throughout the year, and I would be happy to see that disappear as well...though it's better than "knocked up" or some other colorful appellation for that, um, condition.

OK...while I do not have the entire list featured on, here are some of the other notables:
"shared sacrifice, occupy, blowback, man cave, ginormous, the new normal, and trickeration" (a word I especially hate because it makes sports people look like the idiots everyone else already supposed them to be!).

Finally, in this election decade (notice it promises to last unabated for the next ten years) there is "Win the future," an ideal extolled by politicians everywhere. The way I see it, it would be less than possible to "lose" the future. It will be here whether we wish it to be or not. The Mayans, of course, have a different vision for 2012, and if theirs is closer to reality than I want to believe...
"Arm-a-Geddin" out of here.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Finally: Avoiding the Feminine Products Aisle

It would seem that major brands as well as major retail outlets have discovered something I could have told them years ago: the reason men generally don't like to shop! I noticed long ago that most shopping venues from malls to big box stores cater to women. Men are simply ignored as shoppers. It is something of a chicken-or-the-egg phenomenon, I think: do men hate shopping because there's not much for them to feel comfortable looking at, or do retailers stock things only women buy because they know men aren't shopping? Whatever the case, it would appear that the days of men feeling uncomfortable at places other than Cabela's or Fleet Farm are history.
A consumer research result recently released by GfK MRI and seconded by ESPN (?) noted that the percentage of men now shopping for everything from groceries to personal care items has shot up to 31%...a whopping 17% increase from 1985. Part of the reasoning for this includes the fact that men are becoming a bit more metrosexual, I guess and connecting with the kids, but part of it might just be that men are becoming more adventurous and doing some of the cooking while not expecting the "little woman" to buy toiletries and groceries that HE will like. That old stereotype of men as neanderthal-like, both disengaged and incompetent seems to be fading away like the credits of and old Humphrey Bogart movie...and it's just getting nationwide recognition from some big names.
Procter and Gamble began testing "man aisles" in stores as recently as 2009 in order to make shopping more comfortable for men who would no longer have to search the bottom shelves for "their" products, dodging women and teenage girls who were seeking more "feminine" items. It must have been about this time that men began thinking products like body wash (not to be confused with soap) and assorted skin care items were important to them, and they began seeking them out. Finding aisles specifically dedicated to manly products like this allowed males to swagger through and make their own choices without having products foisted upon them by caring females. Of course, this trend may have coincided with the onslaught of commercials showing desirable women pawing all over men who used such products..hey! it works with beer and cars...why not skin care?
All in all, guys like my friend Mark have taken to the shopping experience after realizing that they have "other" wants and desires as well. Face takes a special woman to know exactly what a man wants in toiletries, junk food and intoxicants...and Fleet Farm has only junk food to offer of the three!
Now, if we could just make those "green" shopping bags look a little bit less like purses!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Out of Whack! Whack! Whack!

Don't You DARE Cross This Line With Your Broom!

I've always felt that we in this country get a little crazy about the whole Christmas thing: is it a religious celebration? Is it an extended Black Friday? Is it a chance merely to eat and drink a lot with no reason to deny excess? Is it simply a reason for entire families to get together and cry and whine and shout and pout about crappy gifts and "who should be a better parent"? Much has been made about this latest generation's "entitlement" issues, and I have to admit that as I sat in a food court the other day watching a junior high-aged person listening to Dr. Dre Beats headphones (which I cannot afford), the same idea occurred to me: there should be a big stink because we are spoiling our children rotten...and they expect it!
Maybe Jimmy Kimmel was onto something when he asked people to give their kids crappy gifts then record the reaction. Mean-spirited? yes. He did the same thing at Hallowe'en when he asked parents to lie to their kids that they had eaten all of the candy...and record the children's responses. Wait a minute! Why should we be doing the job of making HIS show funny? Anyway, every year the same old argument comes up about the excess and capitalistic greed infecting this country and especially our children. Maybe so.
We gave one of our children a sheep this year. Fortunately, the sheep goes to some family in the third world as part of a World Vision plot to make everyone healthier and somewhat happier, despite troubling situations. Now, whether or not, he will get a letter from the sheep giving its name and showing how its wool will be used or how many sheeplings it has...nobody knows. It was a great gift, I though...and he did not complain about it. But, I digress...we are not the only ones confronting issues at Christmas.
It seems in Bethlehem at the Church of the Nativity, two religious groups have been in actual combat over their mission to clean the church for Midnight Mass...again.
Priests from the greek Orthodox and Armenian Orthodox persuasions share the task of keeping one of the holiest shrines in all of Christendom in good shape; thus, every year, they get together to sweep the place up and give it a thorough going-over. However, this year, just like previous years, a melee broke out over some minor issue involving who was doing what and several dozen of each sect went to swinging brooms at each other and (probably) swearing as well. Police had to be called with batons and riot shields (again), but no one was arrested since the combatants were all "men of God."
Funny, that religious angle is what people have been using as an excuse for blowing themselves and others up. And, of course, there were several versions of the Crusades...but swinging brooms IN church?
There will be more smiting before long, I suspect!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Too Good To Wait

My original plan today was to discuss why college age students didn't know where Bangladesh was or why they thought Kim Jong Il was a golfer (believe's class!). However, in light of new information, this blog has to be all about this tidbit:

Monday, December 19, 2011

You've Come A Long Way...Sir

What's next? A handy carrying pouch?

As is true in most households, I suspect, the counter space in the bathroom is not equally divided in our house. I have a small space for contact lens solutions, a toothbrush holder and a spot to place the splint I have to wear at night to keep from awakening the neighbors by grinding what's left of my molars. The rest of the 3.5 acre space is devoted to all things feminine. The only things I recognize (or care to divulge) are the three or four bottles of "eau de Something" hair dryer, jewelry cases, soaps, and in order to avoid getting caught with my jargon down, bottles and tubes of "other" stuff. Most of the female accouterments are of the "you don't want to ask, and I wouldn't tell you anyway" variety, so I merely guard my space jealously and watch helplessly as the pile grows large enough on the other side of the sink to be confused with a cityscape from a Godzilla movie. But that might change...
First of all, who knew I even needed a product that would renew my face after a long, sleepless, and probably eventful (if I could remember it) night? apparently, I am the last to find out about Nickel's Morning After Rescue Gel, filled with a touch of menthol to stimulate my otherwise listless brain cells, and enough caffeine to tighten up all the pores (and presumably saggy parts) on my face. Heck, I've just been sucking on cough drops and throwing a Coke in my face every, I can be a sophisticate!
While I'm discussing my face, I've noticed lately that every woman I meet peers intently at my face as if noticing all the grime-filled pores left from a too-careless face wash (or...they are recalling a face they've seen on the post office wall.) The smart money says that every woman notices such things, and I should clean up my act...using Clinique's Face Scrub Exfoliant Visage. never mind that it feels (supposedly) like silt on one's face and doesn't lather (where's the fun?); it is supposed to work magic on every guy's face...and, face it, we mostly need some magic.
And finally, the sun has played hell on my face for years (I thought it was heredity). Fortunately, Skin Authority's Age-defying Hydrating Sunscreen provides the answer: moisturizing, sun-blocking AND young-infusing? Gotta get some.
There will be something of a hostile takeover of counter space in the bathroom this holiday season. Even "real" men need to take care of their faces.
Or maybe I'll just move to the spare bathroom.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Value What You Have

The Price of College

Our first semester just ended, and as I reflect on the 50 students I had, I wonder how many of them will remember what they "learned" in a semester-long writing course. More importantly, I wonder if any of them even realized the value of the opportunity they had: an opportunity that many people don't have. For example, I had four students who failed because they would refuse to come to class. Others had to leave early at various times because they "had to work," and I cannot even remember how many grandparents took the Big Sleep this semester (fortunately, none more than once). One student even missed class on the day that she was having her cat put to sleep. And, of course, there were many students disguised as empty chairs on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Hawa Akther Jui would have been in class that day...and every day...even without fingers.
In another amazing story from around the world in which a woman is denied education and punished for her desire for it comes the story of Ms. Akther whose husband mutilated her right hand because she wanted to go to college. The story gets even more bizarre: the couple lives in Bangledesh, but he works in another country. When she said she wanted to go to college, he vowed there would be "dire consequences" if she dared to be more educated than he. Upon his arrival home, he said he had a surprise for her which required him to tie her in a chair and tape her mouth shut. He then cut off all the fingers on her writing hand.
What followed was a bit unclear in the BBC story. A relative threw away the fingers so the six hours (the time in which they could be successfully reattached) would elapse, giving her no hope of ever having fingers again on that hand.
Fortunately,Rafiquel Islam is in jail and seems destined for significant punishment. I would hope it might involve chopping something off of HIS hand, or foot, or...
The young lady of 21 still plans to get a higher education and has begun learning to write with her left hand.
Too bad my students have no more class periods. They would definitely see this.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Cashing In On Tebow

How much is too much?

I am really ambivalent about this whole "Tebow" thing. Granted, I had my photo taken posing just like everyone else. I thought is was a fun alternative to planking; now that the Broncos have exploded onto the football scene with Tebow as the signal-caller, everyone is trying to jump on the bandwagon and proclaim him the Second Coming (at least, in football terms). But now, everyone is trying to cash in, like this artist featured today in Sports Illustrated who has for sale Tebow Christmas cards at 3 bucks a pop. That being said...
Tim Tebow is reputed to be a wonderful person, deeply religious, and an all-around good guy. I applaud that. There are far too few guys like him in the world, let alone in professional sports where many youngsters take their role models. I also love the fact that he has been dogged since he was drafted as not being the prototypical pocket passer, etc. and he HAS had some ugly passing stats. I'm all for the underdog. However, when sportswriters start writing things like "MVP" for the leader of an 8-5 team, it gets a bit silly.
And now, the next person in line is trying to use someone else's fame to score a cash windfall. I'm just jaded enough to hate that idea...and adding the religious context guarantees that not only religious folks but football fans might be snapping these up like they're in the two-minute drill.
If you are still interested, the remainder of this post is the article in as well as a few other tidbits. I, for one, will not be buying any...not because I hate Tim Tebow, the Broncos, or religious observances, but because I resent the fact that someone is trying to cash in on somebody else's talent (much like sports agents do!). And even though the artist claims that he will donate "a portion" of his profits to charity, I'm still jaded enough to wonder how big that portion might be! Also, claiming Tebow to be the NFL equivalent of Jesus might be just a bit too blasphemous for some.

"Looking for that unique gift idea for the Denver Broncos fan in your life, but have no clue as to what to get them? Your worries are over my friend, now that these Tim Tebow Tebowing Christmas cards are available for purchase on eBay. Where else can you find a drawing of baby Jesus and his full-grown, NFL quarterbacking equivalent on the same piece of paper?

For a mere $15 you get five of these glorious creations from an unknown Colorado artist, out of the 1000 that were produced. If you ask me, without sounding sacrilegious, I’m pretty sure God is the artist in question who designed and created these one-of-a-kind X-mas cards. Hey, even the big man in the sky could use a little extra cash for the holiday season."

From the eBay listing…

The cover of this card features Tim Tebow, the Heisman Trophy winner, dedicated Christian witness, and newly-chosen quarterback of the Denver Broncos, in his signature “Tebowing” pose, paying honor to the Child Jesus. The Star of Bethlehem illuminates the scene, and its light shining for all to see is a reminder of God’s Love: a love that embraces everyone, and that turns no one away, no matter their race, nationality, religion, orientation, income level, or disabilities.

Any football fan who reads the sports pages in newspapers today, or visits the leading sports websites, often sees an unpleasant scene filled with greed, out of control egos, and bad behavior. While Tim Tebow has never claimed to be perfect, his winning combination of athletic ability, determination, friendliness, authenticity, and a deep faith have won him many thousands, if not millions, of sports fans across the United States, and indeed, all over the world. Sharing these cards, with their simple image of a good guy who never fails to give glory to God, would be a great way to show your support for Tim and all he stands for.

That write-up may be the most Tim Tebow-ish thing ever.

On a serious note, the artist also says in the listing that he plans on donating a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the cards to “trustworthy Colorado charities which assist children in need and their families.”

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Another Celebrity Breakup

Was Bachman Right?

It seems like another celebrity couple has been broken apart by a woman...not that this is unusual in most cases, but Buddy and Pedro have been together for a year and became HUGE celebrities when folks discovered that both penguins were male. Now, Farai has come between them, and the "bromance" is over.
Actually, that's what the more voyeuristic of the news folks might say. Both Buddy, 21, and Pedro,10, are African penguins at the Toronto zoo. Opponents and proponents of gay marriage have taken them up as symbols (though only God knows why!) of what is right/wrong/normal/abnormal in the world. Truth is, while they shared a nest, it was a social not a sexual arrangement, according to the zoo director.
Buddy had already sired children (what are baby penguins called, anyway?) though Pedro had not. since they are members of an endangered species, zoo officials felt that they needed to procreate to keep the species alive...enter Farai...and immediately Buddy drops all pretense with Pedro, left the man cave and took up with the hussy penguin!
Poor Pedro, broken hearted and looking for love (realize this is irony here) has made attempts to track down female companionship but has been rebuffed so far (will that make him more shiny?)
Anyway, the gay and anti-gay folks will be all over this story soon, and I will continue to shake my head about what idiots some people can be.
Next, she'll be posing on the cover of Playguin Magazine!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Wait Watching

I sat behind a person today at a green light; we both wanted to turn left, but the person whose gender will remain anonymous simply couldn't decide to turn. Traffic wasn't heavy, but an occasional car would appear, causing the person in front of me to go two feet and stop. Eventually, the light turned yellow, and the car in front of me got to turn while I was left fuming (somewhat) at the red light. I vowed aloud to chase that person down and discuss courtesy, but that wasn't really why I was upset. I was upset because I hate waiting. I figure years of my life have been spent waiting for things, and some of the things I don't even want! As I get ever closer to the Big Sleep, I get more and more irascible if I have to wait. Today, it was suggested that I simply stand on the corner at a busy intersection and dispense advice to motorists since I knew it all. I won't say who gave me THAT tidbit of advice, either. Anyway, waiting can be tolerable or infuriating, and I guess I need to distinguish between the two.

1. Waiting to be seated at a restaurant. I know people in Wisconsin belly up to the bar and enjoy a beverage while hanging around waiting for a table. It's part of the social life. I, however, have come to eat, and I want to eat NOW! I can drink more cheaply at home, and I have very few friends with whom to socialize. (maybe it's my impatient personality!)

2. Driving around looking for a parking spot. Visiting my son and his family in Chicago is a heart stoppage waiting to happen. Wasting gas, driving endlessly around a five-block area looking for that ONE spot...then knowing that some jerk is going to hit my car from either the back or the front while he (or she) maneuvers into a too-small space. And don't even get me started on parking lots during the shopping season. I'll order everything online.

3. Waiting for holidays to arrive is hard. Knowing that they come too slowly and leave too quickly is the worst part...just like summer. It NEVER gets here until July, then the leaves start falling already, it seems.

4. Waiting for a medical person. Look, I make an appointment for a reason! I am prepared to sit in line checking out groceries or getting a car wash, but when I have a medical issue, I do NOT want to sit and wait, especially, if it's the dentist. since they seemed to have stopped giving nitrous oxide, it's no fun going to the dental clinic...even if they DO have this smiling tooth on the window and 70's BeeGees on the stereo.

5. Waiting to get home so I can go to the bathroom. 'Nuff said.

1. Waiting for dessert when I know it's following a meal at a restaurant I really like.

2. Waiting 90 seconds for my coffee to brew in my new coffee maker.

3. Waiting for the newest book by any author I really like. The anticipation is almost better than the satisfaction of reading the book.

4. Waiting for the time I actually retire (without working at all). I like what I do and find it hard to imagine there will be a time for just sitting on the porch, reading and relaxing.

5. Waiting for the next election cycle...I'm just cynical enough to realize that I will be disappointed no matter WHAT happens.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Toxocariasis or Gold? Easy Choice!

Check your shoes!

I'm not a cat lover. In fact, you might consider me anti-cat. Perhaps it's because I never owned one, or perhaps I hate things as independent as I try to be. Whatever...I will say this about cats, though, they seldom poop in the park.
Green Bay, like probably every city planet-wide, has a "No Dogs in the Park" rule. Of course, dog owners totally ignore the law, letting their animals run freely through the city park across the street from our house. OK, fine, but don't let them pee on the bushes my wife is trying hard to grow in order to beautify the park sign, and PICK UP AFTER THEM! Cats at least have the dignity to do their "business" in the privacy of a litter box. Dogs have no shame. that's why we need an incentive like the one offered in New Taipei City recently.
It seems as if city fathers and residents finally had had enough of dog poo lying everywhere, threatening shoe soles and health, especially of small children. See, dog feces has a bacteria which can be extremely harmful to humans who ingest it...and children are probably more likely than most adults to be the recipient of this sidewalk choco-log.
As a result, anyone who picked up dog droppings and brought them to a designated location was presented with a lottery ticket. Cash prizes, household appliances and small ingots of gold (yes, gold!) were offered as prizes. Over the course of the several-month contest, 4,000 people brought in 14,500 bags of the stuff! The top cash prize of $2,200 was won by a 50-year-old woman. The event got so popular that people were organizing teams to go in search of the offending material! Hey, cash is cash...I know people who still pick up the odd aluminum can alongside the road for the same reason!
Picture this: a dog squats alongside the street and five people lurk behind nearby trees, awaiting the magic moment when they can rush in with the pooper scooper and carry off the treasure! Imagine the melee that might erupt when the dog's owner claims first rights to the offending melange! We'd need another ordinance!
I'll bet the folks that sponsored the concealed weapon carry law in Wisconsin didn't take THAT scenario into conssideration when they proposed such legislation!

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Who ARE these People?

Y Not?

Clutching My Wallet Tightly

None of the family is able to make the Packers' game this Sunday. I had won the right to buy tickets by virtue of living in Brown county and being taxed at half a percent on everything for approximately 15 years...some bonanza! At any rate, I purchased tickets to this game figuring the fans among the kids would come home for it; alas, one is moving to Denver, and the other is incapacitated and unable to travel. That left me with four tickets to a game that I wasn't all that thrilled to see. So, in the spirit of "finally getting something after being taxed all this time," I sold the tickets and now have something of a windfall...a benefit that I thought might well go toward something nice for She-who-hates-to-be-mentioned-in-a-blog. After all, it IS the season of giving, and SHE has tickets to the game against the Detroit Lions on New Year's Day: a game that I would MUCH rather see.
So, I'm trolling the internet and land upon a "must-have" gift site, though immediately I sensed danger. Names likeAshley Morgan, Miriam Haskell, Maichesa, Judith Ripka, and David Yurman popped up in connection with some names I actually recognized like Yves St. Laurent, Omega, DeBeers and Cartier (who I thought produced infant clothes...apparently not).
While the gifts were definitely in the "Love It" range, they were mostly in the "Can't Afford It" price range, as one might expect from companies featured in Time magazine.
In case you have a less volatile cash flow than I do, here are some choices:

A Gucci checkers set: $4,350.00

Ashley Morgan Diamond Slice Necklace: $2,000-$8,000

Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600m Watch: $7,900.00 (with rubber band)

One of the 70 new pieces in the Cartier Sortileges de Cartier collection (this one had a brown diamond surrounded by amethyst)

There's always the Maichesa beaded clutch for $3,495.00 that is just perfect to carry, well, you know...stuff... when attending that little soiree. Can't you just see the guy sweat when his lady says, "Honey, will you hold this while I freshen up?"

And, from Yves St. Laurent, the poppy handbag that goes for $1,995.00.
But I'll bet you can get any of this stuff on EBay cheaper.

I'll be heading to Target.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Is It Just Men?

I have long held the belief that we are all somewhat the same. Oh, there are basic differences in temperament, socioeconomic status, Freudian issues and all of that, but I think, deep down, people are basically wired somewhat the same way. As much as many of us refuse to admit it, we could be criminals given the right set of circumstances. The accident (or Divine Plan, if you wish), of our birth parents and location started each of us in a direction, but we don't always stay on the same path because we make decisions for ourselves. OK, I think we can agree on that.
Consequently, no matter what Cosmo or Men are From Mars... imply or flat out say, men and women share a great deal of the same characteristics. Maybe men have a gene that relates to finding directions without a GPS, map, or female telling him where to go; maybe women have a gene that allows them to be right EVERY SINGLE TIME. Maybe that's all true, but one thing seems to be disproportionate, and I'm not sure it's accurate: I'm thinking about the number of men who do really dumb things (mostly of a financial or sexual nature) yet one almost NEVER hears of women making those mistakes.
Herman Cain and Bishop Eddie Long are just the most recent in a relatively LONG line this year of men who have let "urges" get the better of them...or at least we're just now finding out about it. But what about women? I have to think that they, too, have "urges," yet I cannot recall the last time the news media was agog over anything (except Britney, maybe) even close to that titillating. I mean the woman politician who was exorcised to expel a demon or something or the one whose husband could pray gays straight...that's the best/worst we could find?
It would be easy to say that women are just smarter or have more self-control or a more controlling superego...and maybe that's true. I just happen to think otherwise. And it's not that I'm misogynistic at all...I just believe humanity is...well, human.
I'm puzzled, and I could be all wrong about the whole theory.
But that's because I'm a guy.

Friday, December 02, 2011

One Step Up...Two Steps Back


In a world in which a woman is the Secretary of State of a major Western power meets with a woman fresh out of a two-year house arrest in some faraway country (is it Burma or Myanmar?) and the meeting causes ripples throughout the political world, it is absurd what duress other women find themselves under.
Yesterday, an Afghan woman was released from prison: a place she's been kept since she accused a man of raping her...on the condition that she marry the guy. really. WTF?
Today's news features a report from a noted Saudi cleric to the Saudi Arabian Legislative Assembly (called the Shura Council) that addresses the issue of women being allowed to drive. a car. really. and there's more.
The report asserts that should women be allowed to drive vehicles, the state of virginity would be lost forever. Not only that, but there would be an incremental rise in prostitution, pornography, homosexuality and divorce. all because women would be behind the wheel.
Admittedly, the Saudis want to keep their women pure and chase without temptation from strange men, but these women get in cars every day DRIVEN BY MEN NOT THEIR RELATIVES! Duh!
King Abdullah has recently shown an impulse to think about allowing women to drive (prodded significantly by a wife, no doubt), and the conservative religious elite are all having a collective hissy fit.
Now, maybe I'm naive, but most of the nefarious action that I've heard about involving girls and guys and cars happened in the seat OTHER than the front, and women were definitely NOT behind the wheel at the time.
Seems to me that having women behind the wheel would be the safest place to guard things like virginity...unless they're driving to a brothel to meet other lesbians, watch porn, and decide how to dump their idiot husbands.
You go, Girl!