It’s already blazing hot here at the beach, which is one of the reasons I moved here. (And, parenthetically, why I don’t move to New Hampshire: I just can’t take winters that cold and snowy any more.) I bought a cute swimsuit last week, a two-piece tankini in tropical bright blues and greens, and I can’t wait to wear it.

At my age, my biggest fear is not how I’ll look in a swimsuit. Frankly, I’m not out there as eye candy for anyone else, and I don’t really give a shit if you think I’m not tan enough, too fat, or too hairy to be on the beach. My biggest fear is that total strangers, eager to share their disagreement with the above, will approach a random stranger (moi) to let me know exactly how I look, as if I didn’t know:

“You really need to shave down there.”

“You shouldn’t be wearing a two-piecer; you don’t have the figure.”

“You really need to visit the tanning booth.”

“You really need to lose some weight.” My personal favorite: like fat people don’t know they’re fat.

The current political climate of “if the government’s involved, that makes it my business because I pay taxes” is more of a symptom than a cause of a bizarre shift in personal behavior in this country I can only describe as the abandonment of privacy. The glut of gossip magazines discussing celebrities’ and wannabes’ every private move; the glut of trashy television programs discussing the same topics; the vast amount of information available on the public Internet, including the terminal narcissism known as Facebook and Twitter—all exposing every second of people’s lives to worldwide scrutiny. Some people think this is a good thing. It is certainly legal, but that doesn’t make it good, proper, or right. I’m still scratching my head over how this happened.

Specifically, if you, a total stranger, tell me any of the above, certainly that is your right. However, it’s none of your business. To paraphrase Thoreau, just because you have a right to say something does not mean that saying it is right. Here’s a tip: Saying nothing—shutting your everloving piehole—is always an option.

So if you’re on the East Coast beaches this summer and you see a middle-aged lady in a blue and green Gottex two-piece tankini, reading The New Yorker, smile, wave hello…and move on.

I’m sitting here in a hotel room in Piscataway, NJ, with Phils/Braves on in the background on ESPN, where Chipper Jones just broke up Roy Halladay’s no-hitter. Admittedly, it was early—bottom 4th. But even at that stage, the announcers, Dave O’Brien and Rick Sutcliffe, were showing the required amount of respect for Halladay’s performance up to that point by not uttering the word “no-hitter.” In fact, Halladay had a perfect game going, and they even respected that and used locutions such as “no hitter has even made it to first as of yet” rather than saying “perfect game” or even “Halladay’s been perfect through….”

This has been my second taste of almost this week, as Doug Fister took a no-no into the 7th against my former hometown team, the woeful Orioles (I moved in October). And all I could think of through both games was how incredibly rude Suzyn Waldman and John Sterling were in a similar situation on Yankees radio about two years ago. As I recall, the Yankees were facing the Rays, I was listening to the game in my car through the miracle of satellite radio, and Waldman managed to say at the beginning of every inning, “{Rays pitcher} has a no-hitter through x innings.” I don’t remember who was pitching; maybe you do. All I remember is Waldman blatantly violating no-hitter announcer etiquette every chance she got. Sterling, I don’t remember what he said, if anything. Waldman was not lying; the guy really did have a no-hitter going. She was just being evil. You don’t say “no-hitter” on the air. She knows that. Perhaps she forgot that, as Thoreau once said, that just because you have the right to say something does not mean that saying it is right.

I also distinctly remember both of them insulting, on the air, the park they were in (“a truly ugly ball park, no question”) and the then Devil Rays’ prior attempts to find a closer—”Why do you need a closer when you lose every game”? Waldman asked rhetorically. Besides the fact that no one loses every game, and every team needs a closer, the sarcasm was in my opinion uncalled for and unprofessional. Apparently the Rays, who won the pennant that year, lost a few less than every game, and more importantly, more—way more—than her beloved Yankees.

In my opinion, Waldman was being mean-spirited, evil, and above all, highly unprofessional by deliberately violating announcer etiquette. She’s a bitch, and she deserves to be called out. She has ruined every potential no-hitter I’ll ever hear or see, because I’ll always hear her annoying voice in my head. Suzyn, if you’re reading this, fuck you. 

I decided to put this in a separate post because my war story was getting too complicated.

Men, what makes you think that if a doctor sticks a single finger up your ass, attempting to perform procedures that might save your life, you’re being violated…but we women, who have no prostate, should want something much bigger up our asses?

I’m tired of hearing you guys whine about colonoscopies. Boo fucking hoo. The instrument that goes in your rectum is smaller than a finger. So don’t you dare ask for anal sex from me unless and until you can say and prove you are not afraid of a prostate exam or a colonoscopy.

By the way, in my last post I mention an ultrasound on my left ovary. You know how they do that? With a vaginal probe. Basically, it’s a big vibrator attached to the ultrasound machine. Now, that’s entertainment! This thing is slightly bigger than a Hitachi Magic Wand (http://www.hitachi-magic-wand.com/shop/HitachiMagicWand/, widely considered to be the Rolls-Royce of vibrators), and the technician lubes it up and lets the patient put it in. After you insert it, she grabs the things and shifts it like the gearshift on a Porsche Boxster. You think that’s comfortable? Guys, trust me, it’s not. If she hits the ovary the wrong way, or if there’s an ovarian cyst, one of the reasons you might need this procedure, it can be anywhere from uncomfortable to downright excruciating. So I don’t want to hear about the doctor’s finger. Boo fucking hoo.

Tall, dark, and handsome. That’s the cliché. All us women are supposed to want that Cary Grant type, or if you’re under 40 that George Clooney type, to walk in and sweep us off our feet.

Being Jewish, it drove my mother nuts that I eschewed this archetype and gravitated instead toward the tall, blond, and handsome. But what can I tell you: de gustibus non disputandum est. Or if you prefer French, chacun á son gôut.

A couple of years ago on Makeup Alley (http://www.makeupalley.com), someone inquired if there are any gorgeous blond guys out there in celebrityland. Not sure why she asked; I’m not going to assume she also was taken in by the TDH meme. Maybe she had a bar bet with someone else. A bunch of us came up with a pretty decent list. Herewith, some of my yummilicious faves (some of these men also made my Babes Over 50 list):

Viggo Mortensen

Viggo Mortensen with short hair

Troy Aikman

Jeremy Roenick

Craig Kilborn

Reed Diamond

Peter Horton

Ed Harris

Joe Montana

Prince William

Steven Weber

Corbin Bernsen (back when he had a full head of hair, anyway):

Tomas Berdych:

Courtesy of Tomas' web site, tomasberdych.cz

Alexander Skarsgård:

Alexander Skarsgård from an interview with Bizarremag.com

In searching the Web for more candidates meeting these criteria, I came across this blog post, which gets points for its historical framework:
http://futuremd.blogspot.com/2009/02/those-excessively-handsome-blond-men.html

I will be updating this entry periodically.

“Brian Williams?” my coworker asked, clearly perplexed.

“Yes!” I replied.

“Wait. …NBC Brian Williams.”

Yes!” And I probably shouldn’t have said the next thing I did, not to a coworker anyway, but I did: “He is so hot. I wanna fuck him until he can’t walk.”

Ladies, the day is going to come in your lives when you tire of hot young men. For me, that day came when I was 35, and dating a 47-year-old. He was in better shape than men half his age, being the triathlete he was. 6’4″, blond, blue-eyed, huge hands that made me feel like I was really being held. And oh, those kisses.

There is going to come a time in your life when you want a marathoner, not a sprinter, so to speak. You’ll want more from a man than the short-term stamina needed to pound his dick into you at warp speed. When you realize that oiled 6-pack abs don’t make you a better, more intelligent and well-rounded person. When you want a partner who has both the patience and knowledge needed to satisfy you, even though it might take an hour or more, and who doesn’t need a road map to find your clitoris and a page from ehow.com (because he doesn’t own any real books) to tell him when the time is to go after it. The kind of man like the guy in the Just for Men Touch of Gray ad who says, “Now I look like I know what I’m doing…and I can still do it!” Or the Joe Biden lookalike in the Viagra ad. Rowr! These are the men who may or may not actually take Viagra, but if they do, it’s not because they feel they need it to please you. They know very well how to please you without a stiff dick in the vicinity.

Chippendales will bore you. (I just spent a weekend in Vegas and literally yawned at the posters promoting the Chips.) The boy toy who hurries the sex because he needs to undertake the next challenge in World of Warcraft won’t even be on the radar. Orlando Bloom? Colin Farrell? Robert Pattinson? One of these days, you’re going to mutter to yourself, “Yuck.” Or, alternatively, “Shave, for Pete’s sake!”

There has been quite a bit of attention in the media the past few years to attractive women over 40. And may I say, it’s about time. There is even a magazine, More, that celebrates and caters to women 40 and over. For years, it was okay, especially in television and the movies, for a middle-aged or older man to be a little bit gray, even with a few wrinkles. Distinguished. That’s what we said about Cary Grant and Sean Connery when they sprouted a little gray around the temples. But women over 40 were largely invisible, except in minor or evil roles. Certainly not as sex symbols.

Then the pendulum started to swing the other way. Who knows, or cares, when, but it was a good thing. It was okay, liberating even, to ditch the tired old cliché, “A lady never tells her age.” Sharon Stone turned 40. So did Madonna. Candice Bergen turned 60. Lena Horne turned 80, and then 90. Each one of these women, and many more, still hot as cinders. Did the middle-aged men get lost in the shuffle?

Lately, men and boys seem to be taking a beating in certain arenas of life. Maybe that’s the price paid for all those years of a male-dominated culture, but isn’t it time to declare things even-steven?

OK, you’re all thinking, “But, but…George Clooney.” Well, duh. That’s a no-brainer. Time magazine called him “The Last Movie Star” last year (http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1714996,00.html). That was in response to a book, George Clooney: The Last Great Movie Star (http://www.amazon.com/George-Clooney-Last-Great-Movie/dp/155783721X). Yes, at age 48 he’s more drop-dead gorgeous than ever, and he seems like a nice bloke. I wouldn’t mind having him for a friend, but I’m probably one of, like, ten women in America that doesn’t want to sleep with him. We’d probably get into too many post-coital political arguments.

George isn’t the only drop-dead gorgeous man over 40 in the movies, television, or sports. Actually, you could could name a bunch of guys in their 40’s who still make your heart race: Keanu Reeves (turning 45 next week, and still not a line on his face), the ubiquitous Brad Pitt (turning 46 in December; I am sorry but I’ve always thought he was pretty skanky ever since Thelma and Louise), Antonio Banderas (just turned 49 this month), Timothy Hutton (turned 49 this month; actually, I liked his father better),  and the also-ubiquitous Tom Cruise (turned 47 last month). Hell, at my house even Cal Ripken (turned 49 Monday) still makes my heart go pitter-pat after all these years, even though he seems to be gaining weight. All of those, and probably more I’m leaving out, are no-brainers.

I’m going to jack up the bar and give a shoutout to men 50 and over that I can’t take my eyes off of. This is my list. Not yours, not the mainstream media’s.  Not the obvious list. So don’t comment, “you forgot so-and-so,” or “what about so-and-so?”  Blogs are free. You want to put Tommy Lee Jones or David Duchovny on your list, get your own blog.

OK, so we know about Brian Williams (age 51):

One babalicious news anchor!

One babalicious news anchor!

Come on—how can you look at that fresh, boyish face and not melt?

And further, in the category “Babalicious news anchors over 50 who work for NBC,” Keith Olbermann (age 51):

NBC scores yet again!

NBC scores yet again!

Like Clooney, Olbermann loses a tenth of a point with me for his liberal politics. But he gains it back for being willing to skewer the Radical Right, any neocon in fact, the Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter worshipers, and the Bush regime administration supporters. Regardless of what you think of President Obama’s policies, you should give Olbermann big, big props for making Orly Taitz his “Worst Person in the World” for July 15. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3036677/#31931011

Olbermann also gets a point from me by echoing The Huntley-Brinkley Report and opening Countdown with the third movement of Beethoven’s 9th. I suspect our household was in the minority in the ’60’s for TV news, as we were definitely Huntley-Brinkley people, whereas most Americans seemed to be Cronkite watchers. Chet Huntley looked like my grandfather. It didn’t occur to me until many years later that my father, a classical music fan, watched NBC not because the anchor looked like his father but because he liked the out music. Anyway, that third movement is nostalgic for me, and apparently it is for Olbermann also.

Pierce Brosnan—OK, everyone agrees on this one (age 56):

I am sorry but I liked him as Bond better than Connery.

I am sorry but I liked him better as Bond than Connery.

Yes, I like men with dark hair and blue eyes. I have a bunch of them on my All-Babe MLB team—Cal Ripken, Paul Molitor, Brady Anderson, Mike Boddicker…you get the idea.
Pierce, if you’re out there, ditch the beard, or at least put some  Just for Men on it. White facial hair doesn’t do anything for you.

Ed Harris (age 59):

Harris gets a special shoutout for looking like my current beau. When I first told Michael I thought he looked like Ed Harris, his laser-blue eyes got wide as saucers and his mouth dropped open. Apparently someone else totally random had remarked the same thing earlier that week.

Cris Collinsworth (age 51):

Much better than John Madden, thank you

Much better than John Madden, thank you

You’re going to be seeing a lot of Collinsworth this fall, as he is replacing John Madden on Sunday Night Football on NBC. On The Dan Patrick Show yesterday, Collinsworth admitted a bit of trepidation at replacing a football legend. I admit I am not going to be listening to a word he says. I won’t be able to take my eyes off the screen.

Bob Costas (age 58):

Proud Syracuse University alum

Proud Syracuse University alum

What is it about NBC? They always seem to score the babes. That includes Clooney. Costas is beginning to look his age a bit, and losing his boyish glow, but he’s still adorable. It kills me that he was just down the road from me, literally, on US Route 11 in Syracuse all those years and I didn’t know it. Of course, I was under 18 so that might have put the kibosh on things a bit.

Viggo Mortensen (age 51):

Another one so close, yet so far!

So close and yet so far

This one also kills me. Mortensen was also, literally, right up the road, although in this case the road was I-81, and he was an hour away attending high school in Watertown at the exact same time I was attending high school in North Syracuse. Exact same years. We could have been classmates. I think I like the clean-cut, 28 Days Mortensen better than the three-day-stubble, Lord of the Rings Mortensen. And if you were wondering, yes, I am watching Appaloosa on HBO, in order to get my blond babe double shot of Mortensen co-starring with Harris. Yum yum!

Kyle Secor (age 52):

NBC shoots and scores AGAIN!

NBC scores yet AGAIN!

Those of us in Baltimore who followed Homicide: Life on the Street collectively drooled over this tall drink of water whose character started as a fresh-faced cop from a cushy assignment on the mayor’s security detail and ended up a more cynical but very astute homicide cop, a multi-layered personality who gradually revealed to us demons from a dark side that included a childhood of sexual abuse at the hands of a relative, and an inability to pinpoint his sexual orientation. The character Tim Bayliss was tormented by the one unsolved murder for which he was the primary investigator. The lines on his face didn’t show up, though, until he was cast as the President’s husband on Commander-in-Chief. If all you know of Secor is old St. Elsewhere reruns, a minor role in City Slickers, or an ep or two of Philly, do yourself a favor and rent a DVD of H:LOTS. Any season will do. I guarantee you you will be staring at the screen and wondering: How can one man be so gorgeous?

Robert Schimmel (age 60):
Funniest man in standup right now

Funniest man in standup right now

No, this is not a sorbet to cleanse the palate. I told you this was my list. In 1988, Schimmel was one of a handful of young, up-and-coming comedians who got some exposure on a Rodney Dangerfield special on HBO. Dangerfield was great that way. If you go back to some of those specials in that 1988-1990 timeframe, you’ll see Seinfeld, Foxworthy, and a bunch of other household names when they were just starting out. As a youngish, just-losing-his-hair comic with a disheveled suit and loose tie, Schimmel didn’t make you think, “OMG, he is so hot.” Now, having lost the hair as well as the wrinkles in his suit, Schimmel is living proof that bald guys can be elegant. …Until he opens his mouth. Then it’s no holds barred. Nothing seems to bother this guy. Nothing. Especially not after a heart attack,  an ongoing bout with cancer, or losing a child to cancer. You get the feeling he’d do anything to please a woman in bed, or as Dan Savage says in his column, GGG (that’s good, giving, and game).  How many 20-year-olds are willing to do the same? ( For a sample, start here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ux6iCDk1IgQ, warning: this video clip is vintage Schimmel, which means it’s raw, don’t say you weren’t warned)

Dr. Drew Pinsky (age 51):

And he can sing, too!

I had a hard time finding a non-recent pic of Dr. Drew from the Loveline days. That goofy Julius Caesar haircut doesn’t do anything for him. Then again, that haircut doesn’t do anything for most guys.

I will be updating this list periodically. Also, check out this related post on hot blonds: https://shutyoureverlovingpiehole.wordpress.com/2009/08/28/updating-the-meme-or-in-praise-of-blond-guys/

Your views vs. my views

July 25, 2009

For many years now, I’ve been concerned that members of the two houses of Congress treat their jobs as license to pursue their personal fantasies. In the past year or so, I see evidence that that mindset extends to people looking at the Presidential candidates. Consider: A candidate for, let’s say, U.S. Representative, says: “I intend to do X, Y, and Z if I am elected. If you agree with those things, vote for me.” Sounds reasonable on the surface, right? It’s the way candidates have campaigned at least as long as I’ve been eligible to vote. However, it’s not how reps and Senators are supposed to do their jobs. Their job is to represent us. NEVER ONCE have I heard a candidate say, “I will put aside my personal beliefs and values and do A, B, and C because you, my constituency, want me to.” The result is kind of a mandate-based way of executing their jobs where they must think, “Hey, they elected me, they must be cool with everything I want to do.” (This is also a danger of single-issue voting: You vote for someone based on their views on one issue and you may not like what you get in the other issues. For example, you may vote for someone who says she’s pro-life on the abortion issue but get a whole package which includes pro-life on the capital punishment issue, which you disagree with.)

Now it’s happening here in a non-elected position.I post this now because of the recent Senate confirmation hearings of Sonia Sotomayor. What this has to do with Miss Sotomayor is that she’s being forced to explicate her values for a job in which one is explicitly tasked with setting one’s personal values aside. The assumption on the part of the questioners is that once in the position, she (or anyone in that job) will use the job as a bully pulpit from which she will shove her values down our throats.

I figure the reasons Mr. Sessions, Mr. Graham, Dr. Coburn, et al., are making her explicate her values, besides my point that it’s become the status quo, are a) they think it’s okay to do their jobs that way, and b) we’ve just had eight years of a President who shoved his agenda down everyone’s throats and they were cool with it, probably even enjoyed it. They most likely enjoyed it because they shared his agenda. Shoe pinches when it’s on the other foot, doesn’t it, gentlemen?

The most bizarre application of this theory was revealed last year in a comment thread on a Washington Post article where Ron Paul’s stance on abortion came up. Having delivered thousands of babies in his first career, Dr. Paul personally abhors abortion. Commenters on the article thought that because he’s pro-life, he personally would prevent all women from having safe, legal abortions. Hello—anyone in there? McFly?! Ron Paul is a Libertarian! The whole point of the libertarian movement is to allow people to make their own decisions, including ones you don’t agree with. If there was any one candidate, possibly the only one, who would not push a personal agenda, it was Ron Paul.

Alan Dershowitz famously said (I’m paraphrasing) that the mark of a great First Amendment lawyer is to successfully defend someone whose views you virulently disagree with. Why do so many people not seem to understand this? Could it be that pushing their personal agenda is the only way they know?

I think some of you already know where I’m going with this.

“When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carry a cross.”

For those of you who miss the point:

  1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism
  2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights
  3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause
  4. Supremacy of the Military
  5. Rampant Sexism
  6. Controlled Mass Media
  7. Obsession with National Security
  8. Religion and Government are Intertwined
  9. Corporate Power is Protected
  10. Labor Power is Suppressed
  11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts
  12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment
  13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption
  14. Fraudulent Elections

 

  1. Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.
  2. Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of “need.” The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.
  3. The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.
  4. Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.
  5. The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Opposition to abortion is high, as is homophobia and anti-gay legislation and national policy.
  6. Sometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.
  7. Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses. (Yup, I made this one red for a reason.)
  8. Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government’s policies or actions.
  9. The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.
  10. Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed .
  11. Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts is openly attacked, and governments often refuse to fund the arts.
  12. Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.
  13. Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.
  14. Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections. 

 

(This list is found in many places; I give credit to http://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/fasci14chars.html)

    And if you still don’t get it, may I suggest moseying over to your local bookstore or library and getting The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. And reading it. Not the movie, the book. If this is truly the society you want to live in, just keep voting for those Christofascists over at the GOP. “Country First”? Fuck that. It’s the exact opposite of what the Founding Fathers fought and died for.