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August 29, 2003

Pixelvision Meets Thongworld

Friedrich --

strap 3.jpg

* I walk to Penn Station to catch a train out to a friend's place on the island. Lordy, what a girlwatching summer it's been -- a riot of tummies, of front and rear cleavage, of stretchy-clingy fabrics, of wispy, abbreviated layers of this and that. Those white pants women are wearing this summer -- are they really meant to be ever-so-slightly transparent? Underwear has been on public view for more than a few years now, of course -- I've seen this described as "deconstructed clothing." But even so ... In any case, the girls and women remind me of the chic new architecture: a matter of ever-shifting translucent panes, of alluring surfaces twinkling one right behind another, all of them beguiling the eye while moving forward and back, in and out. Some people find this kind of thing to be bliss. I find it to be like an endless diet of whirling TV graphics. Walking around the city these days, I have to do my deliberate best not to walk into lampposts. Casual girlwatching used to be an easy-to-manage thing, something I could do semi-consciously. Now the pressure is so high and the attractions are so loud that it's almost impossible not to girlwatch.

* It's my first time on a NY commuter train in a few years and I can't keep my mind on the book I'd like to be reading, Jack Kelly's very good hardboiled PI novel Mobtown (buyable here). Am I feeling frazzled? Has my 50-year-old brain finally given out? Nope: it's cellphones. I'd heard from commuter friends how intrusive they can be, and I recall newspaper articles discussing the possibility of cell-phone-free train cars. I now understand why: the devices are amazingly effective at stitching holes in your zone of privacy. They do so in ways the usual train distractions (snoring, newspaper-rattling, conversations a few seats away) don't. The tweeting and chirping, the way people speak so loudly into them ... But what's most distracting is overhearing only one side of a conversation. Why should this be so especially annoying? Like many of the new digital toys, cell phones make sinking into your own thought-world difficult. It's as though they were designed specifically to distract, and to prevent you from entering any kind of reflective state.

* It's striking how the display of near-intimate body parts -- and of piercings and tatoos (properly placed: tailbone, shoulder, etc) -- has become a standard part of the competent new young woman's get-up. Here's my theory about tatoos, piercings and implants. Much that used to be considered intimate and private is now public property, yet a woman still needs to hold a little something in reserve. How to do so? She can't hide behind clothes any more. So the defenses are now placed under (or through) the skin itself. She may be presenting her body in a near-naked state, but something still stands behind the real her and the rest of the world. A related theory I'm working on takes into account tatoos, piercings, implants and artificial-looking hair color, as well as those twinkly, ever-shifting buildings I mentioned above. What does all this suggest? Well, to me, it suggests the computer screen, the cyberworld -- a colorful, attention-grabbing universe of endless overlappingness and shift-ability. It seems that people, as best they can, are turning their 3-D environment -- and their own physical selves -- into imitations of the computer world. This has got to be having an impact on how people think and feel. I remember talking with some young guys not long ago about silicone boobs and lip implants, which I generally don't dig. "You don't get it," one of them said to me. "We like all of that. That's how we want our fantasy figures to look."

* The new young woman is efficient, sleek, dynamic, and camera-ready, right down to the streamlined pubic-hair patch. I can go on and on about how, as people, many of them are charmless, and I sometimes do. But it's hard to deny that many of them are also hot and sexy-looking, at least for the moment or two during which they've got your attention: maximum impact. Strolling through a city full of these girls and women is like facing a screenful of blinking, brightly-colored, tempting ads -- you've got to make an extra effort to wade through the distractions if you want to find your way into the content. But the women, like the websites, often seem content-free. That grabby, spinning thing they do? That's what they are, and it's all they are. That's the entire experience. And they aren't, god knows, out to please. They're out to make waves and push the world around.

* I'm as slow as ever to register new zeitgeisty things, but I've just picked up on one that I think is still fresh -- at least I haven't heard anyone else talking about it. I've noticed that there's a new way some girls and young women are walking. (It ain't the men's butts I watch as I go around the city.) Young women are using their hips in a new way. First, let's agree that in the last year or two there's been a lot of emphasis put on the hips: lowslung, highcut minis; the recent vogue for bellydancing and sari styles; the yoga and athletic pants; the way the new stretchy fabrics make flesh plump out like ripe fruit ... But the new walk that goes along with this emphasis on the hips contrasts with the juiciness of the hips on display. It's underslung and matter-of-fact. It's got nothing to do with perky, hopeful, cute or juicy. Nope, it's heading places. It's confident. It's...it's... Hmm. Well, it's the way bullies and athletic heroes walk. It's a slow-and-easy saunter, a no-big-deal swagger. Big-dick stuff -- the walk of someone who doesn't have to hurry because no one's going to get in his way. Er, her way. It's ... Yup, it's the way some dykes have always walked. In Manhattan, young hetero women are now using their hips in a way that, not so long ago, only dykes did.

* Outside Manhattan, I people-watch too: the chubby, balding daddies wearing white sweat socks under their sandals, and the bedraggled mommies in their boxy khaki shorts. (When did these awful styles take over?) And their blonde-Nazi kids too: the skate-punk/surferdude-wannabe sons, and the Anna Kournikova-wannabe, MTV-lollipop daughters. The contrast between the played-out-seeming parents (often still young), and the sexed-up, ready-for-their-closeup kids is startling. I find myself wondering: How do parents judge these days where to draw the girl-clothing and girl-adornment line? Since stretchy terry-cloth hotpants and spaghetti-strapped belly-barers now seem well within the range of what's acceptable, what might possibly be on the verboten list?

* On the train back from my weekend away, I shake off my irritation about the damn cell phones and join everyone else in the aisle, and wait to get off the car. Standing in front of me is a shapely, tanned girl wearing lowslung, semi-see-through white stretch summer pants. Lime-green g-string straps are visible above the waistline. She tugs the pants up a half an inch -- well, girls don't smoke much anymore and they've got to do something with their hands. But the g-string straps are still out there to be seen, and the rest of the g-string is semi-visible through the pants too.

* How much farther can it go? 14-year-old girls who will probably be my bosses in 14 more years are growing up in a world that takes Britney, Cristina and online porn for granted; they'll soon be pushing the boundaries a little farther. But once the waistline has sunk down to the pubic hairline, how can it go any lower? I have visions of waistlines continuing to sink and hemlines continuing to rise, and of a day when the two of them cross paths.

* We move forward to exit, and I pause to let a daddy and his daughter get out of their seats in front of me. Daddy's a little younger than I am: balding, paunchy, etc. The daughter? Her tummy and back are bare. She wears hiphuggers, a cropped top with spaghetti straps, and bellydancer jewelry. She looks ready to get on stage and shake her booty alongside Shakira. Except for one thing -- she can't be more than four years old. She's only a couple of years out of diapers and already she's left Madonna, Cristina and Britney in the dust. I look at Daddy: what could he possibly be thinking? Daddy's looking adoringly at his sexed-up 4-year-old.

* Hey, an etiquette question? (I sometimes think of you as "Emily Post von Blowhard.") You know how if a woman's made an effort and her hair's all done up, or her clothes look crisp and fussed-over, how you might say, Hey, great haircut? Or Hey, cute blouse? Well, what with today's see-through fabrics and the whole outerwear-underwear thing, if it's out there and it's clearly meant to be visible, is it OK these days to say, Hey, Nice thong?

Best,

Michael

posted by Michael at August 29, 2003




Comments

Actually Micheal..I see the reverse trend kicking in. All the 20 year old college girls of an Educated Class of people are wearing skirts. Long skirts the day dresses, the more pattered and frilly the better. Jen, who can view trends better in her outpost in Williamsburg..noticed it a while ago (Of course, she wants to make it illegal for women to wear pants..according to her, no girl looks in them). She also noticed the heavy 40s makeup on the girls, very dolled up with pancake makeup and red lipstick. Maybe it's just an urban fringe recation..but these things have a tendedancy to leak out.


Now if only the boys could dress as good. If I see one more pair of dorky sunglasses and dirty t-shirts I'll hurt someone.

Posted by: JLeavitt on August 29, 2003 8:44 PM



Regarding etiquette question: gee, try it. Given that you are nearly fifty---I especially recommend you try it with, say, an 18- to 20-year-old. Particularly one who walks like a dyke. Make sure to let us know what happens!

Posted by: annette on August 29, 2003 9:16 PM



Excellent commentary. I live in the Twilight Zone of StepDadIsm. I see this every day in my 14yo (step)kid and her multitudinous friends. Drives me absolutely, totally crazy. But I can't say anything, because Mom (The Wife) doesn't actively disapprove and Dad isn't quite aware that he has a daughter who is keen on boys.

Still, I soldier on, playing Grumpy Old Man Chaffin and giving disapproving glares and running commentary about the way she and her friends dress. After all, somebody around here has to have some standards, even if they are outdated and pointless. I'm sure that one day I'll have to put my foot down, and I'll end up alienating my entire household. Which won't be that much different from regular life, when you think about it.

Posted by: Scott Chaffin on August 29, 2003 9:40 PM



It's funny. My husband used to look at tarted up young girls and say "Hubba Hubba!" Now, with a thirteen year old daughter, he looks at them and says "How could their mother let them dress that way!"

Fortunately my daughter wouldnt even contemplate a thong--and thong pantyliners are way too much for her to even think about.

Posted by: Deb on August 29, 2003 10:38 PM



Speaking as Emily Post von Blowhard: complimenting a woman on her thong is entirely appropriate, assuming you do it in what Kant described as a "disinterested" manner.

I seem to recall Sophocles (author of Oedipus Rex) commenting as a sixty-year-old on how glad he was to have finally escaped the tyranny of his sex drive. I felt that way when I was helping my teenage daughter register for high school the other day. Late August in L.A. has temperatures of around 100 F., so the entire female population of my daughter's school was running around in skimpy, skin-tight clothing, baring tummies and various other body parts. My reaction was to carefully thread my way out to the parkinglot and get out of there, thinking: "When I was sixteen and loaded with testosterone, I would have gone insane in a place like that." Honestly, I don't know how high school boys are supposed to pay the slightest attention to academics.

Actually, what it reminds me of is the evo-bio example of the peacock--except in reverse. As I understand it, a tail on a peacock is a sex attractor. The problem is, that while it knocks the ladies dead at first, eventually they get used to it, so the males then have to grow a yet bigger tail, and so forth and so on. Here it is as if the boys are the ones getting desensitized, and the girls have to keep going to greater extremes. Hmmmmm. In contemporary society, are women doing more competing for boys than vice versa? No wonder the boys don't know how to be boys.

Posted by: Friedrich von Blowhard on August 30, 2003 1:27 AM



At last an old horndog has the temerity to speak of the obvious. (I R one)

This has got to be having an impact on how people think and feel.

Years ago during the first miniskirt revolution I aksed a young HS kid whether he was bothered/distracted by the minis. He said, "Naw, I've grown up with them, doesn't bother me, but I can see how it might bother an old guy like you."

Still does.

John Betjeman had some apt observations on "Late Flowering Lust"

My head is bald, my breath is bad,
Unshaven is my chin,
I have not now the joys I had,
When I was young in sin.


To wit:

Oh would I could subdue the flesh
Which sadly troubles me!
And then perhaps could view the flesh
As though I never knew the flesh
And merry misery.

To see the golden hiking girl
With wind about her hair
The tennis-playing hiking girl
The wholly-to my-liking girl,
To see and not to care

At sundown on my tricycle
I tour the Borough's edge,
And icy as an iccicle
See bicycle by bicycle
Stacked waiting in the hedge.

Get down from me! I hunder there,
You spaniels! Shut your jaws!
Your teeth are stuffed with underwear,
Suspenders torn asunder there
And buttocks in your paws!

Oh whip the dogs away my Lord,
They make me ill with lust.
Bend bare knees down to pray, my lord,
Teach sulky lips to say, my Lord,
That flaxen hair is dust.
-- Senex John Betjeman

I remember talking with some young guys not long ago about silicone and lip implants, which I generally don't dig. "You don't get it," one of them said to me. "We like all of that. That's how we want our fantasy figures to look."

I always thought ethology had something to contribute, super normal stimuli etc. Implants. Steatopygia, callipygia, pygia, pygia, pygia.

The biggest factor in all of this of course is entertainment, esp. MTV. I'd guess that the sluttish look in young girls -- along with tats, piercings, skin, and so on -- has increased exponentially (whatever that means) with exposure to MTV. (The Berlin Wall came down because of MTV -- not because of geopolitical factors--for after all, how do you keep 'em down on the collective, after they've sen MTV?)

I luv Christina Aguilera's Dirrty Dancing. unh!

Britany shakes 'em. unh!

Calilpygę, callipygian luxuriance.

Excuse me, I've got to pick up my Abercrombie & Fitch back to school catalog (some great menage a troi shots! unh!)

Betjeman caught the mood:

Fair tigress of the tennis courts,
So short in sleeve and strong in shorts,
Little, alas, to you I mean,
For I am bald and old and green
--John Betjeman Olympic Girl

(on the other hand, there are also the enchantments of the silken-clad Julias of yore

WHENAS in silks my Julia goes,
Then, then, methinks, how sweetly flows
That liquefaction of her clothes.

unh!)

Posted by: degustibus on August 30, 2003 3:17 AM



Very interesting. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems from these postings that men always lust for the same thing they always did, no matter what else has happened to their own bodies and souls. Whereas I think women's lust factor changes over time. As they get to be 30's, or 40's, the men that draw their sexual attention are not the 22-year-olds so much, at least most of the women I know. I was recently at a summer barbecue with several 18-year-olds who were headed off to college. I didn't look at it like, how would girls pay attention in class---although 18-year-old girls might feel that way. I felt, my God, they're so YOUNG, why did I think boys that young and unfinished were so cute then? Their Dads were of greater interest. Like men (apparently of all ages) drool over Britney. But Justin Timberlake does nothing for me. Maybe this is why there are more younger women/older men combos than vice versa. It isn't just societal acceptance. It's men's taste hasn't really changed, and she's got daddy issues. Older women don't find as many younger men that interesting.

As Dennis Miller says---of course, that's just my opinion, I could be wrong.

Posted by: annette on August 30, 2003 9:25 AM



Hmmm. I may be chubby, my hairline might not be all that it once was (though, thankfully, "balding" would still be an overstatement), but I certainly don't wear white socks with sandles. And my little girl (she's two years old) doesn't get to dress like a tart, either. Fortunately for familial peace, she seems to have higher aspirations than that--she wants to be a princess. I'm thinking, "Ooh, ooh! Yes, cultivate an air of untouchability. Keep the peasants at a distance!"

For the record, I haven't bought a shotgun...yet.

Posted by: Will Duquette on August 30, 2003 10:02 AM



John -- Wow, that'd be quite a change. How long does it take for trends to make it from Williamsburg out into the general culture these days? Any idea?

Annette -- Hey, on a good day, with a good night's sleep, I can still pass for 49 .... Actually, you're right and it is funny: there comes this moment (or maybe a bunch of them) when you realize you just can't play certain games without embarassing yourself (and embarassing others) any longer. I think guys and gals both come pre-equipped with certain buttons that can get pressed, although as I type those words I realize that guys seem to be more like that than gals -- once something works for us we tend to return to it over and over, while gals seem more like ever-morphing creatures. What seems to new to me is how aggressive the button-pushing is these days, and how well-targeted it is. I don't mind titillation one bit, but I do find that getting my buttons whacked constantly leaves me feeling exhausted and weary, especially given how bright and shiney everything around me seems to be. Do you find that? Or is that more a guy thing, do you think?

Scott -- Stepdadhood sounds like a no-win position to be in, maybe especially with a teenaged stepdaughter. I bet she'll grow up to realize that you've been sweet and patient with her, though -- I've seen girls/women become very devoted to their stepdads. These days, though, I pity anyone who tries to parent a girl. They're so rambunctious and headstrong it's a little scary. But maybe they always were.

Deb -- That's hilarious about your husband. I don't have kids, but I hear that can happen to a guy -- young women stop being a source of titiillation and start being like your daughter instead.

FvB -- Like you, I marvel that boys can make it through adolescence these days. How do they ever not masturbate? Their buttons are being massaged and whacked hundreds of times a day. Maybe that's why young guys seem a little tuned-out and cowed -- maybe they're just being a little self-protective. The Wife claims that ten or twenty years ago girls and women wouldn't dress the way they do today because men wouldn't let them -- they'd get hassled on the street, or pawed, or otherwise made uncomfortable. She says young guys these days have become so pussywhipped that they basically let women do whatever insane, damn thing they want, without having the guts or wherewithal to call them on any of it. (And before anyone accuses me or The Wife of being barbarians, let it be noted that we think one of the services gals provided guys, just like guys provide gals, is to call each other on it when we get out of line. We're good for each other! Think of all the middle-aged bachelors and bachelorettes you know. The ones we know have gotten really weird and impossible. They dress funny, they're hard to make arrangements with -- and isn't it partly becaue they haven't opened their lives up to someone of the opposite sex? Feedback can be good!)

Steve Sailer, by the way, wrote something somewhere about how young women are caught up in a kind of arms race in terms of presenting themselves sexually. Constantly upping the ante, round and round, and who knows where or how it'll stop?

Degustibus -- Dude! A pleasure to get to know another Betjeman fan! Are there many of us around? He was great on the old-man-appreciating-young-beauty theme, wasn't he?

Will - Thank heavens you haven't fallen for the white-socks-under-the-sandals look. Do you see many guys in Pasadena who have? Amazing how many daddy-tourists visiting NYC go for it. I bet you'll be buying a shotgun soon enough, and spending evenings with it on your lap as you wait on the porch ... I saw an interview with the porn star Jenna Jameson's dad, a Vegas cop. He said he used to make a point of meeting the guys who were dating his daughter dressed up in his cop outfit with his gun and billy club on his belt. Lotta good it did, huh?

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on August 30, 2003 1:13 PM



Mike-Not sure. Depends on the trend. The day-dress and heavy makeup look seems to been bubbling for a while...its only just now I noticed that none of my female friends wear pants anymore.

As a trend, it seems wedded to the indy bookstore clerk, young writress bluestocking group. A whole subset of girls rejecting the Little Slut image for a waifish, made-up, befuddled girl look. Jen says it has an amazing power over men, and I've witness men trip over themsleves to help her. Maybe girls will relearn the art of a just-low-enough-neckline and swaying hips.

Posted by: JLeavitt on August 30, 2003 2:40 PM



"Think of all the middle-aged bachelors and bachelorettes you know. The ones we know have gotten really weird and impossible. They dress funny, they're hard to make arrangements with -- "

Now that IS offensive. I'm starting to wonder, along with others who have commented on this blog, just who the hell you guys know. No wierder than long-married people, my dear. In fact, I think a lot of married people completely lose their manners, and their looks, because they seem to look at it like some kind of game where they won the prize and no longer have to make the effort. Why do so many women gain weight after marriage, and why do so few men send flowers after the wedding?

Even if you like telling each other how great you are...maybe, you're just tellin' each other that. Maybe a married couple are just two assholes who found each other, y'know? Doesn't make you not an asshole.

Posted by: annette on August 30, 2003 4:17 PM



When folks speak of bio-evolution and so on, and the way males chase after the youthful females, even though, statistically a youthful female is not a good breeding partner (inexperience make it easy for hyenas to eat the babies), it seem the obvious answer is that males of all ages chase after youthful female because youthful females are easy prey. The rules at work are "go after femaleness" and "don't mess with those who can mess back."

"Young women are caught up in a kind of arms race in terms of presenting themselves sexually." The problem is, I think, that many of the young women don't understand that they are presenting themselves sexually. They are fighting fashion wars with other women. "25th Hour" has a stellar scene in which a young woman suddenly realizes that she has been, as far as he and much of the world are concerned, using sex.

I think being single makes you weird. Gives you so much free time. Pluas, you can spend all your money on yourself (as long as your siblings don't come around with a hand out.)The only problem is that most of the men you date have learned that most women who claim to be uninterested in marriage and children are not entirely honest. Irksome for those of us who aren't kidding.

Posted by: j.c. on August 30, 2003 5:31 PM



I think free time and spending all your money on yourself has little to do with marital status. I think it has to do with having kids at home or not. Nobody's busier than single parents. I think "wierdness" is more an issue of one's individual perspective, not of marital status.

Posted by: samantha c. on August 30, 2003 7:46 PM



Annette - very fascinating outlook. "Assholes finding each other" is a concept that I hadn't considered, but it makes as much sense as anything else out there, sociologically.

I still think it's safe to say that single people dress weird, simply because they're more wired into the goofy fashion scene and it's potential effect on potential conquests (and there's no way you're gonna convince me that it is anything but.) Married people dress weird, too, if you're a single person. Especially if you're a youthful single person. Who else but a married person would purposely clothe themselves entirely in Wal-Mart product? Kinda that group-think thing, I think. Why in the world is that offensive?

Still and all, Single People are weird. It's the rare 40 year-old never-married guy or gal that doesn't have an air of desperation about them. That will change, of course, and the rate of incidence will go down over the next few decades, as marriage is more and more considered superfluous. Nothing wrong with that...it's just not how I'm wired. For more insight (*gag*), see Larry Brown's short stories.

Posted by: Scott Chaffin on August 30, 2003 10:33 PM



John -- Indie-bookstore chic? Imagine that. And I wonder if there might not be a whole subset of boys who might love a break from getting Maxim'd and Cosmo'd to death every day.

Annette -- Good crack about married people. Didn't Bridget Jones refer to them as "Smug Marrieds"? Also a good crack. But why should noticing that many of our single friends have gotten pretty set in their ways be offensive? Apologies if it was, but, heck, many of our single friends have gotten pretty eccentric. (Just as many of our married friends have gotten fat.) I didn't get married till I was 36, and even by then I was getting pretty eccentric.

JC -- So true that women seem to do it 9/10ths for other women. I know few guys who don't wish their gals would relax a bit about fashion and style and how other gals look. As for whether the young gals know what they're up to, I suspect you're largely right. A gal friend of mind remembers that she used to wear short skirts with no panties to school. The guys would love following her up the stairs. She laughs about it these days and says, "I really had no idea what I was doing. I just thought it was cute. And the guys seemed to like it." On the other hand, I wonder if you've noticed the same class divide I have. Young working-class women seem much wiser to what's up (if not down deep, at least superficially). Maybe it takes a certain amount of economic and social cushioning to be able to live in a bit of a dream world.

Samantha C. - What do I know about weirdness? I live in NYC, and everyone's a weirdo here. Even worse, they want to tell you all about it, and then have you applaud them for it.

Scott -- Words of wisdom. I notice one other thing here in NYC, where there are a fair number of people who are single by choice (so there's no desperation about it). It's just that they aren't getting feedback and correction on a daily (and intimate) level. No one's telling them not to wear that hat, or to spend a few extra bucks on a better haircut, or that they're taking too long to eat. Without feedback, the quirks pile up, and by their mid-50s a lot of these people have turned into eccentrics. Often terrif people (we have some single friends who are sweet, loyal, interesting, etc), but very, very set in some very peculiar ways. Of course, the NYC influence has to be factored in here. People who come here are often starting off a bit weird, and the place puts a lot of pressure on you, and .... Do you see much of that kind of thing in Texas?

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on August 30, 2003 11:41 PM



"Why in the world is that offensive?"

I don't know why anyone on this blog cares about how anybody else dresses. You did notice, didn't you, that it was Michael who commented on people dressing wierd? I never said anything about how people dress. Funny how you missed that. Ask him.

Posted by: annette on August 30, 2003 11:46 PM



"Young working-class women seem much wiser to what's up (if not down deep, at least superficially). Maybe it takes a certain amount of economic and social cushioning to be able to live in a bit of a dream world." I have noticed this class devide and, according to recent magazine stories, so has Snoop Dog, who was unable to find black women to "Go Wild Doggy Style."

Eccentric? Let's go back in time.

Married aunt in her sixties: You better getter married soon, otherwise you'll get set in your ways.

Never-married aunt in her nineties: It's called having standards.

Seriously, the only difference I have noticed between married people and single people is that I have never met a person who is single and a terrific bully. In my professional experience, when you run into a true thrug, that thug is a married person who rules the roost at home and gets daily feedback on his or her ability to push people around.

Posted by: j.c. on August 31, 2003 5:42 PM



Michael---I'm a fairly new visitor here, but, forgive me, it seems, from your postings, that marriage has not curbed your eccentricity. As far as your Texas question, I lived there for several years, and desperation over being single is higher in Texas than in any other place I've ever been. This desperation begins at 23. The only thing that rivals it is turning 30 without a BMW convertible. This may contribute to Scott's observation. It is also a very wierd place, generally.

JC--I totally agree.

Just an observation---there are an awful lot of married people with lousy haircuts and bad eating habits. I think often having such a regular companion limits the feedback one gets. This person married you, maybe they (a) don't care if you slurp your soup, when the rest of the world might or (b) not even notice it anymore. Why, otherwise, do people lose weight, join a gym and buy new clothes when they get divorced?

Posted by: samantha c. on August 31, 2003 7:55 PM



Mike-While I think the trend is more the predicatable Subculture Response (The outfit of mainstream singers..and thus...girls..these days, is very like the Riot Grrl look of the early-mid 90s. It started in a neboulous lesbian/comics/gang set then bled into the mainstream. The made-up, femmenine daydress look is the Urban Youth's response to a previously rebellous look. As predicatable as the seasons).
I also think that its very easy to drop out of the Maxim-Cosmo world. Harder for you, working in the middle of it, but I found once I stopped paying attension..it just vanished for me. I have my books, my DVDs, I get recomendations through friends...Pop culture is a mouse that roars, easily avoided. ("Just don't look! Just don't look!)

Or maybe it's me. I have a natural tendency to hobbit and coccon. Living in Manhattan makes it easier. Anything can be ordered in, any world you want to live in is available. I don't want to race after the Next Big Thing..there are 2,000+ years of Big Things that I nothing about. Why be with the times when can you be timeless?

-JL

Posted by: JLeavitt on August 31, 2003 10:51 PM



Annette - I'm sorry, but I thought you did take offense at Michael saying something about single people dressing weird. My mistake. I was mainly pointing up your "assholes finding each other and getting married" theory, which I thought was funny and has a seed of truth in it.

FWIW, I think everybody's effin' weird, period, and you're all going to hell in a handcart. Except me. If yall would just listen to me, everything would be fine.

Posted by: Scott Chaffin on September 1, 2003 7:54 AM



Assholes find each other, new Darwinian postulate?

Men are swine, get over it, move on.

Cheerleaders. (Not thinking of GW Bush here)

It's a Dog's (or Dawg's) Life

Posted by: degustibus on September 1, 2003 4:18 PM



It's because there are so many queers and it's goddamn hard being a woman and not wishin' some guy would fuck you.

Posted by: beeatch on September 15, 2003 12:41 AM



I aqree about the dykes' hips thing - my hips have got it goin' on.

Posted by: beeatch on September 15, 2003 12:44 AM



Dyed pubic hair is gonna be a big business ****

Posted by: beeatch on September 15, 2003 12:46 AM



Yes, you can say nice thong.

Posted by: beeatch on September 15, 2003 12:49 AM



Annette, you are a right little rainbow.

Posted by: beeatch on September 15, 2003 12:52 AM



Maybe that's why young guys seem a little tuned-out and cowed -- maybe they're just being a little self-protective. The Wife claims that ten or twenty years ago girls and women wouldn't dress the way they do today because men wouldn't let them -- they'd get hassled on the street, or pawed, or otherwise made uncomfortable. She says young guys these days have become so pussywhipped that they basically let women do whatever insane, damn thing they want, without having the guts or wherewithal to call them on any of it. - Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes

Posted by: beeatch on September 15, 2003 12:55 AM



The waif-thing is a way to avoid the smugness

Posted by: beeatch on September 15, 2003 1:01 AM



"Young working-class women seem much wiser to what's up (if not down deep, at least superficially). Maybe it takes a certain amount of economic and social cushioning to be able to live in a bit of a dream world."
- you should read some james joyce

Posted by: beeatch on September 15, 2003 1:05 AM






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