Sunday, March 28, 2010

Holy Cow

Never loved you enough to trust you,
We just met and I just fucked you,

, Eminem

You give me fever, when you kiss me

Fever when you hold me tight

Fever in the morning

Fever all through the night

, Peggy Lee

Well aren't you Miss America

Don't you Miss America

Won't you Miss America

Our love

--Miss America
, Styx

There she is, Miss America

There she is, your ideal

The dreams of a million girls

Who are more than pretty

--There She Is, Miss America,

Wayne Bernie

She’s a very kinky girl,

the kind you don’t take home to mother.

She will never let your spirits down,

once you get her off the street

, Rick James

I'm a slave for you. I cannot hold it;

I cannot control it. I'm a slave for you.

I won't deny it; I'm not trying to hide it.

--I'm a slave 4 U
, Britney Spears

Sunday homily: Redemption and penance

This is the part II of debunking the myth of parity for women, or "Why We're NOT in Afghanistan" [Everyday Housewife was Pt. I.]

Allow me to re-visit the arc of last year's improbable diva, Susan Boyle. I feel it encapsulates nicely why we are not the ones to show the world the way to treat our distaff side.

For those who say, "
WTF does this have to do with war?" -- I beg your indulgence. It has to do with societal lies and willing suspension of disbelief, the behaviors which allow for your current wars.

Homely and hirsute, 47-year old "never-kissed" songbird Boyle encapsulates every trope used when we think of women (and underdogs, in general). Boyle, slow-witted and frowsy, harrumphed onto"Britain's Got Talent" stage and won acclaim for staying on-note singing wistful tunes of a life that might have been
(I Dreamed a Dream, Memories) and audiences swooned on key.

Ms. Boyle prostrated her shapeless self before a reality-show audience, only to be met with the predictable howls of execration when she wagged her over-sized female bits in an attempt at sauciness. Before the first strains began, she was pilloried, and the circus delighted in her pro forma humiliation.

Moments later came redemption for Boyle as she stayed on key and did not provide the expected embarrassment of matching a homely voice to her homely exterior.
The erstwhile executioners sought insta-penance via their leader, judge Simon Colwell, who allowed, "You are one special lady, I have to say, you really are." Why special? Because you're such a loser, and you took our ridicule, and you actually did what you came to do, despite all the rotten fruit we threw at you. You beat the odds. Brava!

Brave because when you are a women past your gravidity and have sprouted a moustache, you should remain safely ensconced behind your council house door with
your cats and clean the chancery in quiet, when others have left and need not be exposed to your doughty self. And that is what it is to be a Susan Boyle: One stays in her hermitage or risks diminution every day of her life.

If you're a train wreck and sing a melancholy self-deprecating tune while we heckle you, we might throw you some fish. It was
modern minstrelsy, so apt was face to tune. We will accept you because you are operating within your metier, and are the perfect exemplar of what our society will allow for women of your station.

In the ultimate and yet predictable deliverance and penitence, Ms. Boyle's Christmas album became the best-selling debut for a female artist of all time
[Boyle: 4th Week #1 (Guardian), Susan Boyle, Top Seller, Shakes Up U.S. CD Trends (NYT)]. The heavily Photoshopped cover says it all, really, for who would wish to open a box and see the actual frowzy Susan staring at them?

Packaging sells, and so the face we see is divested of its double chins, facial hair
and Don King hairdo. The non-real Susan looks a bit coquettish, even minx-like!

This is what we like from our women. Showered with a little positive
regard, the once-hulking, androgynous Susan has blossomed, such is the mythology of the collective ego we enjoin. All a woman needs is a bit of love, and the glow of being transformed into a member of the group of -- as a male associate once crudely put it -- "well-laid women" will show in the blush on her cheeks.

But Ms. Boyle's glow was created by retouching, and her adulation was shallow, as it hung or fell on the Next Big Performance. When she showed herself a bit
addled on a You Tube (Foiled by You Tube), the mediocre Regis Philbin, himself the champion of mediocrity, was quick to gambol about in a Halloween costume crucifixtion of the underling's one-time darling.

We loved her for what we perceived as her facing down of our relentless condemnation of an ugly woman who dared to make us listen.
We are intrigued when our perceived lessers attempt to transcend their societally-constructed bounds, as we anticipate their tragic fall.

The news saturation was complete, from the Wall Street Journal to the entertainment rags.
Every major news outlet gushed with admiration at the heroic march (Desperately Seeking Susan (NYT); Dream Over: Boyle Finishes Second in Talent Contest (abc); Improbable Star Falls Just Shy of Apex (WaPo); "Susan Stuns Again with 'Memory'" (Reuters) ...)

Reader "Cheron" left the following late-night comment on HuffPo's, "The Untold Susan Boyle Story":

"It's 2am here in Saskatoon Canada and I happened upon this video....feelin g all down and freaken sad because its my 59th birthday this day I heard Susan Boyles audition and I smiled the hugest smile....life has hope again because one lady out of nowhere had a dream come true!!" [sic]

Sorry, Cheron -- but your life will be no better just because Ms. Boyle stayed on key. You are still 59 and alone on your birthday in Saskatoon -- Susan Boyle will
not save you from your facticity.

Society will not be any kinder to you when you develop your double chin and turkey skin neck (see Ephron's, I Feel Bad
About My Neck). You will have lost your value in the marketplace of appletinis.

Susan is a joke, but we feel magnanimously toward her. We are implicated in the misogyny which is the subtext of her accolades.
"Wow -- a dowdy sow like that can sing?" What an amazing surprise.

I resent the pretense of our adulation, because Ms. Boyle is really NOT fine as she is; she could be better. Susan is, what the mountain people might call, a bit "quare". Deprived of oxygen upon birth, she is a "slow learner" according to her brother. And this may be the reason she presses on in the face of otherwise insurmountable odds and humiliation.

If Ms. Boyle were instead some pneumatic and tanned Malibu surfer, we might say, "Eh, nice voice." But stupendous, rock-my-world outstanding? Meh. As Simon
would say, "Next." Because no one believes that her better days are behind her, whereas everyone believes that Ms. Boyle has seen better days; probably never even had them. And we share a conspiratorial collective guilt in her marginalization. Our hypocrisy and our schadenfreude roars. She was good, but not that good.

Susan's flip-side is no less the object of derision -- the Baby-Boomer Cougar, whose every plastic need is catered to by a booming cosmetics industry. But you know what
you are: An old broad who can afford the nips and tucks, and who is no better than your sugar daddy contemporary.

In fact, you have it worse, 'cause you need to
get the wrinkles between your augmented breasts ironed out every four months. We all know how he gets the arm candy, and you, too. Did you think Trump got Ms. Maples because of his boundless good looks and coiffure? Not.

Oh, and war.

Well, marketing is king. We are told Afghanistan is about liberating women being trampled upon. Meanwhile, over 1,000 women are
murdered in domestic violence scenarios annually in the U.S., and over 200,000 are raped (according to latest NOW statistics).

In the Army itself, 3,000 female troops were raped last year by their fellows. From Time this month:

"The Pentagon's latest figures show that nearly 3,000 women were sexually assaulted in fiscal year 2008, up 9% from the year before; among women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, the number rose 25%. When you look at the entire universe of female veterans, close to a third say they were victims of rape or assault while they were serving — twice the rate in the civilian population (Sexual Assaults on Female Soldiers: Don't Ask, Don't Tell.)

The WaPo's opinion writer Parker exemplifies our hypocrisy. In
A Revolution Named Zahra, Parker writes, "[I]n Iran as elsewhere in the Muslim world, violence against women -- as well as against homosexuals and others considered inferior according to the mullahs' masculinist standards -- isn't only permitted but justified with religious doctrine." Our patriarchy doesn't do much better.

We are not being honest with ourselves. See Susan on the street, you would think, poor broad -- chunky, doughty -- not gonna find a man. Sturdy, a
good charwoman, perhaps. We don't believe that humans are equal. We would not have jeered and then guiltily bent over backwards singing her praises if we did.

Christianity implies equality and brotherly love. But if anyone believed it,
bias and hatred and violence would go out the window. Because a God who understands the essential equality of living beings could not countenance such foolishness on any grounds.

I'm not saying ugly women get stoned, but they do get marginalized, ridiculed and abused.
Even the pretty ones meet with abuse, so it is the fact of being female that allows for the abuses of paternalism.

We are the second sex still, and though there are some wonderfully evolved people in every society, I do not buy that we in the U.S. have the moral cachet to
export a healthy acceptance of women to any society.

Nope -- our passion for liberating women is not justification for our presence in Afghanistan, despite the claims of many members of the military.

[Cross-posted at Milpub.]

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Blogger D said...

Well said, well written.well done.
Truth too..


Monday, March 29, 2010 at 10:22:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Missouri Mule said...

I learned the truth at seventeen
That love was meant for beauty queens
and high school girls with clear skinned smiles
who married young and then retired.

The valentines I never knew.
The Friday night charades of youth
were spent on one more beautiful.
At seventeen I learned the truth.

And those of us with ravaged faces
lacking in the social graces
desperately remained at home
inventing lovers on the phone
who called to say – come dance with me
and murmured vague obscenities.
It isn't all it seems at seventeen.

A brown eyed girl in hand me downs
whose name I never could pronounce
said – Pity please the ones who serve.
They only get what they deserve.

The rich relationed hometown queen
marries into what she needs
with a guarantee of company
and haven for the elderly.

Remember those who win the game
lose the love they sought to gain.
In debentures of quality and dubious integrity.
Their small-town eyes will gape at you
in dull surprise when payment due
exceeds accounts received at seventeen.

To those of us who knew the pain
of valentines that never came.
and those whose names were never called
when choosing sides for basketball.

It was long ago and far away.
The world was younger than today.
when dreams were all they gave for free
to ugly duckling girls like me.

We all play the game, and when we dare
we cheat ourselves at solitaire.
Inventing lovers on the phone.
Repenting other lives unknown
that call and say – Come dance with me
and murmur vague obscenities
at ugly girls like me, at seventeen.

At Seventeen - Janis Ian

Monday, March 29, 2010 at 11:51:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Jim3rdOpsBN said...

Speaking of Afghanistan...just found this quote from McChrystal regarding checkpoint shootings (murders) since the Afghan surge:

“We have shot an amazing number of people, but to my knowledge, none has ever proven to be a threat,” said Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, who became the senior American and NATO commander in Afghanistan last year. His comments came during a recent videoconference to answer questions from troops in the field about civilian casualties.

Taking from an article in the NYT, if you can even imagine such a thing is possible.

Monday, March 29, 2010 at 12:30:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

Miss Mule,

"You Can't Hide Your Lying Eyes".



Monday, March 29, 2010 at 12:52:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

here's where susan boyle mania couldn't touch me. i know what real singers sound like. she was a perfect example of something you see at karoke and piano bars, and amatuer nights all over the world.

she sounded like what she thought a good and trained singer would sound like.

she had adequate pitch, her phrasing was atrocious. at best, she would provide an approximation of the phrasing done by who ever she heard the song done by. she didn't have anything from herself to bring to the music.

here's where i lose all my patience with the afghan adventure.

eight years into this shit and our president has to fly in to the capitol in secret, under cover of night. their president has trouble leaving the country because he is afraid of what might be waiting upon his return.

calling afghanistan a country is a fucking joke. calling what they have there a government is an insult to all legitimate governments.

eight years. what has been accomplished? what?

Monday, March 29, 2010 at 4:02:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


Exactly re. Ms. Boyle; I can't bear pretense. "Oh my, the surprise! What an astounding voice! This gorgon has trick-fucked us and our petty expectations (as a crude associate might say)."

None of it is true. She was average; we are average. We do love our hullabaloos, which stand in place of what to many is the grind demanded by authenticity.

Our collective posture a la women is embarrassing. It is very hard to be a woman and not strike a pose; maybe it's the same for men. I find not many people abide by honesty.

Monday, March 29, 2010 at 5:04:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Underground Carpenter said...

Hi Lisa,
I'm with Deryle--good post!
As a typical construction worker, I have to say that any woman's voice can always be improved by tarting herself up a bit and undoing some blouse buttons. I'm going to burn in Hell, aren't I?


Tuesday, March 30, 2010 at 4:11:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

"any woman's voice can always be improved by tarting herself up a bit and undoing some blouse buttons. I'm going to burn in Hell, aren't I?"

--No, Dave -- your honesty is a blessing. Our problem is not that we think as humans, but that we HIDE as humans. If we'd get it all out in the open and really communicate with compassion, I believe we'd suffer and create less pain.

That said, Do you REALLY want to see Susan's decolletage? Even tarted up, even with breast implants? And that begins to get down to the nitty gritty: Is it breasts you want; pretty clothes; a nice package?

I know, men are just visual. My only point was, we've not transcended our animality any more than they (whichever "they" you choose) have.

We got nothin' to export, on the moral edge, IMHO.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010 at 11:39:00 AM GMT-5  

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