Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Rest Is Silence


In other news, it's done. Before midnight on the date of the deadline. Off to defence with fingers crossed.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Have You Bleached Your Underarms Today?

B often reminds me that we live in a highly decadent society on the edge of decay. As a socialist, however, I try to maintain a more hopeful outlook, believing in some remnant of the social good and humankind's historical fumbling toward progress.

That remnant hope became just a little more tattered last night when I watched an advertisement for deodorant that masks the signs of underarm discoloration. Seriously.

Admittedly, we live a society that believes in bleaching teeth and other ... parts ... of the anatomy, lest these parts be socially or intimately offensive. And we believe that surgery can correct cosmetic issues with faces, breasts, bottoms, and other regions.

But underarms? Seriously?!?

Perhaps one's underarms do in fact become discoloured over time. So what? Must humans be infinitely perfect? Must we appear as ageless and timeless at fifty as we did as newborns?

Apparently the people who sell deodorant feel we don't have enough social concerns: now we must also worry about (in addition to revealing that our healthy, functioning bodies sweat) underarm discoloration. Of course. We need another rhetorically constructed socio-physical anxiety. Toe cleavage and unibrows and cankles and cellulite and curly/straight hair just don't move us sufficiently today, I guess.

After seeing this ad, I have to say that I agree with B. If a multinational corporation feels it should invest its advertising revenues in the made-up issue of underarm discolouring, then this society really is on the downward slope.


Monday, March 26, 2012

Now that's a review!

As I was explaining to my book-editing students the other day, Canadian book-reviewing practices are quite anemic, mostly because most well-known writers and reviewers know each other (or have friends who know each other), have encountered each other on panels and juries, or are afraid of burning bridges on someone they may work with in the future. Thus we end up with terribly pabulum-like reviews much of the time.

But this review of a film shows us what's really possible. An excellent review — and a movie to avoid, I suspect!


Wednesday, March 21, 2012


... has got a mean left hook.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Stats, Damn Stats, and Lies

According to a recent study of 1,000 Alberta men, some men still believe it's OK to hit a woman if she makes a man angry enough, and quite a few more think that by acting or dressing in a certain way, a woman is inviting rape.

Srsly. I think the sands of time are running backward. Is it 2012 or 1962?

See one article on this study here (click on the word "here" for the link).

Sigh and sigh again.