Sunday, March 4, 2007

And now for something completely different

Something light. Yes, thank you, I do remember light.

Here are the Chinese Boys, back with Jessica Simpson's Public Affair. I can honestly say that I have never found Simpson so entertaining.

I don't know what it is about these two guys that make me laugh so much, and I know it's a not a taste shared by everyone, so thanks for bearing with me.

I've just started a book called 'Are Men Necessary?' by Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Maureen Dowd - don't worry, fellas, if you can't wait until I've read it to find out, there's a copy in the library. I think it's fairly self evident why I chose to buy this book. I can honestly say that for once the title won me. It's generating a fair amount of criticism and controversy, so I can't wait.

Before you accuse me of mindless sexism (which is so unfair, I've been developing this level of sexism over a period of decades and it was long, hard work, thanks very much), the subtitle of the book is 'When Sexes Collide' - and she doesn't mean in a good way - so we're all under scrutiny. While it is too early to tell if I will agree with the author's analysis, I firmly like her style of writing already and hope that I can pick up a few tips for the doubtless forthcoming days as a columnist somewhere in my future.

Here's a brief excerpt, courtesy of a preview by Dowd in the NY Times. If you enjoy the excerpt, check out the rest of the article.
My mom gave me three essential books on the subject of men. The first, when I was 13, was "On Becoming a Woman." The second, when I was 21, was "365 Ways to Cook Hamburger." The third, when I was 25, was "How to Catch and Hold a Man," by Yvonne Antelle. ("Keep thinking of yourself as a soft, mysterious cat.. . .Men are fascinated by bright, shiny objects, by lots of curls, lots of hair on the head . . . by bows, ribbons, ruffles and bright colors.. . .Sarcasm is dangerous. Avoid it altogether.")

Because I received "How to Catch and Hold a Man" at a time when we were entering the Age of Equality, I put it aside as an anachronism. After all, sometime in the 1960's flirting went out of fashion, as did ironing boards, makeup and the idea that men needed to be "trapped" or "landed." The way to approach men, we reasoned, was forthrightly and without games, artifice or frills. Unfortunately, history has shown this to be a misguided notion.

I knew it even before the 1995 publication of "The Rules," a dating bible that encouraged women to return to prefeminist mind games by playing hard to get. ("Don't stay on the phone for more than 10 minutes.. . .Even if you are the head of your own company. . .when you're with a man you like, be quiet and mysterious, act ladylike, cross your legs and smile.. . .Wear black sheer pantyhose and hike up your skirt to entice the opposite sex!")

I knew this before fashion magazines became crowded with crinolines, bows, ruffles, leopard-skin scarves, 50's party dresses and other sartorial equivalents of flirting and with articles like "The Return of Hard to Get." ("I think it behooves us to stop offering each other these pearls of feminism, to stop saying, 'So, why don't you call him?"' a writer lectured in Mademoiselle. "Some men must have the thrill of the chase.")

I knew things were changing because a succession of my single girlfriends had called, sounding sheepish, to ask if they could borrow my out-of-print copy of "How to Catch and Hold a Man."

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