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Posts Tagged ‘Modern Culture’

There, Their, They’re…

there-their-theyre-difference

Why is this so hard, people!?

Theyre-Their-There

I mean really!

there-their-theyre-peanuts

But use them properly… and I just melt!

aa-kendo-kanji-red

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Just about every day,  I check the Dilbert [1] cartoon.

If you are not already in the habit of doing so, I highly recommend checking Dilbert out daily. Scott Adams has a real gift for pinpointing (and mocking) all the annoying little things about life in a corporate cube farm as well as the denizens thereof.

wifi(Wife vs Wifi!)

Brilliant.

aa-kendo-kanji-red

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I recall being in a big city law library years ago and seeing four freshly-minted and most attractive young female lawyers. It was a Friday afternoon and I asked what wild and woolly plans they had for the weekend. They said, “nothing much.”

Nothing much?? No dates? No being taken out to restaurants and movies? No romantic weekends somewhere, far away from the drudgery of the law?

The general consensus among that sad little group of young ladies was that guys of their vintage were either intimidated by intelligent successful women or their tastes drifted toward the ‘easier and skankier’ members of their sisterhood. Guys their age tended to follow the path of least resistance, both intellectually and sexually.

(Why is she working Friday night instead of going on a date??)

I was agog and aghast. This situation, rather widespread according to that mopey little gaggle of girls, could not be allowed to continue. It was an outrage. An affront to common decency. Steps of some sort needed to be taken.

The need for Big Brother to step in and take things firmly in hand was obvious. Thus, the idea for “The Board” was born.

I have long believed that there should be some kind of government tribunal… The National Relationships Board or The Federal Dating Tribunal… something along those lines.

Guys… and by this I mean otherwise decent, appropriate and eligible young men [1]… would be hauled up before the panel to account for themselves as to why perfectly lovely, charming girls aren’t being taken out on dates by decent boyfriends who treat them right.

(You got some ‘splainin’ to do, son!)

Very severe penalties would be handed down to those who cannot give good reasons as to why so many gorgeous girls are left standing on the relationship sidelines.

Any guy who could not provide a good excuse (let alone string together a grammatically cogent phrase) would be dealt with in the most severe manner.

The Tribunal’s motto… Pull Up Your Pants; You Look Like an Idiot!

Naturally, I would be head of the tribunal because I see on a daily basis how so many wonderful young ladies are reduced to putting up with rude, crude, thoughtless, heartless, brainless morons. And that’s when they can find guys in the first place!

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[1] There being a glut of inappropriate guys and an apparent dearth of good guys, the Board would concentrate on the latter. As a girl can’t swing a cat without smacking some loser with it, The Board would concentrate on the eligible yet clueless within the pool of available men.

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Just in time for Halloween!

I ran across Marilyn Manson’s video of “Tainted Love”…

A lovely Halloween treat which is, of course, Manson’s cover of the 80’s classic.

For those who like to compare and contrast, I give you the 1981 video by Soft Cell.

But the version by Soft Cell is, in itself, a cover of the song.

Gloria Jones recorded the original version of “Tainted Love” in 1965, which was written and produced by Ed Cobb.

Enjoy!

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Now that I am firmly ensconced at my new/old office [1], I am easy to find.

As in years past, people know that if they go into the café across the street from the Courthouse, the chances are pretty good they will find me.

Such is the case with my dear friend, Danielle. Last year, she worked in one of the café’s former incarnations. We’ve remained friends ever since. She doesn’t come to the café regularly but when we manage to get together there, it is always a wonderful experience for me.

(My dear friend, Danielle)

Danielle provides me with what used to be called in previous generations ‘sparkling conversation’ and ‘witty banter.’ She certainly has a quick wit. Add to that the fact that she is young, pretty and thoroughly charming and you can see why she is an ideal café co-conspirator.

Danielle is a master of repartee. [2] She excels at the quirky quip.

With some clever people, conversation is almost a competition… Who can say the cleverest thing? Who can top the other? With some people, you don’t converse so much as compete for air-time. Not so with my darling Danielle. She is a generous conversationalist. She is just as adept at the comedic set-up… saying something which she knows will be used by me to make a funny remark. Sometimes I am the straight-man… sometimes she is. It’s a nice relationship.

It also doesn’t hurt that this delightful girl is as nutty as a fruitcake. Totally loopy but in the best possible sense of the word. Offbeat, quirky, zany… all these words come close without quite describing her. She is a funtastic, howlarious, smile-a-minute mirthquake.

(My dear friend, Danielle)

This is not to say that Danielle is merely an irrepressible madcap. Far from it. She has her deep, pensive side and a quick analytical mind. Whether we’re discussing film, literature, art or popular culture, she can definitely hold her own – a refreshing quality in one so young.

One of the most interesting things I find about this young lady is that her entire social and cultural frame of reference is so different from mine. She’s never known a world without computers, cell phones, emails, text messages or the Internet. She simply cannot imagine life without microwave ovens or DVDs. She’s never seen any of the Star Wars movies and has  never watched an episode of Star Trek. She has no idea that the ‘cc’ at the bottom of a piece of correspondence stands for ‘carbon copy’… which makes sense considering she’s never even heard of carbon paper let alone seen a mimeographed copy of anything.

She suspects I am lying when I tell her that when I was a child, milk was delivered to our door by horse-drawn cart. [3]

In many ways she is The Girl From Planet X. I am more than happy to be her ‘test subject from a long-forgotten era.’

Best of all, despite our many differences, our minds work very much in the same way. We finish each other’s sentences. We ‘get’ each other effortlessly.

And we write in much the same manner.

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

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[1] The Bridgewater Café, 91 East Main St, Welland, ON. Phone: 905-788-9339

[2] Repartee is the wit of the quick answer and capping comment: the snappy comeback and neat retort.

[3] I am not lying. Our town was the last area in Canada where milk was delivered by horse. This went on well into the early 70’s, I believe.

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As I have said many times, the love of bacon, especially in Canada and the United States, borders on religious fanaticism.

The knee-jerk response people say in their defence is, “Yes, but it’s so delicious!”

True. However LOTS of things are delicious. Ice Cream is delicious. Chocolate is delicious. Chocolate ice cream is delicious.

(Bacon Chocolate Ice Cream Cupcake)

But none of the other delicious foods comes close to the level of adoration accorded to bacon.

(“Honey, I’ve got it! BACON APPLE PIE!!”)

It reaches an almost fevered pitch.

I’ve heard people say that they dream of bacon.

More than a few people have admitted that a life without bacon is a life that is simply not worth living.

The love of bacon has become a lust. Bacon is bordering on becoming a fetish with some people.

(Bacon mug)

It’s become a relentless obsession with a large segment of our society.

Bacon is omnipresent.

(Bacon sunrise)

People see the world in terms of bacon.

(Bacon tattoo)

Bacon has literally become a part of many people.

Many people start their day with bacon.

(Bacon cappuccino)

Some not in the way one would expect they would.

(Jolly Roger Pirate Flag Bacon)

In our culture, bacon is ubiquitous.

Some guide their lives by it!

I will continue to chronicle this national and international obsession with bacon.

No matter where it leads.

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Many thanks to my readers and friends (especially Stephen Balen and Anna Camara) who have emailed or otherwise forwarded bacon-related photos and ideas to me. Thanks also to my dear friends Wendy McIntyre and Danielle Ulch with whom I have discussed the bacon craze at great length and who share my bafflement on this entire subject.

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If you’ve spent any time in The South, I’m fairly confident that you will have heard your fair share of “sirs” and “ma’ams,” and in a culture and society where civility and common decency… let alone chivalry… are becoming all but extinct, this is breath of fresh air.

Etiquette… manners, for lack of a better word… is still taught in many segments of The South.

In polite circles, gentlemen still stand when a lady enters the room. Gentlemen nod with perhaps the slightest of bows when they take their leave of a lady. Doors are opened for ladies. Chairs are pulled out and tucked in. “Ladies first” rarely needs to be said… it is a given.

The old saying is that if a woman’s car breaks down at the side of the road, all she has to do is lift the hood and stand by her car. Not 5 minutes will go by before some gentleman… even a truckload of them… will pull up and offer her a hand. My dearly beloved friend from Arkansas, Danielle, confirms this. “Hell… they LIVE for that kind of stuff!”

In grocery stores, gentlemen routinely allow ladies to go ahead in the checkout line. If a lady needs a shopping cart (or buggy, as they are often called), a gentleman will offer to give her his own.

While not born or raised in The South, I’ve adopted the practice of calling just about everyone Sir or Ma’am. I get mixed reactions, to be sure. Some girls think it is quaint or cute. Some women take it as a remark that they look older than they are.

One lady, I believe at the post office, smiled wistfully and said to me, “I can’t remember the last time someone called me Ma’am!”

She patted my arms and said, “Don’t ever stop doing that.”

I do not intend to!

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