Baby, It’s Cold Inside


[snow job]
Have you seen this video of Lady Gaga and Joseph Gordon-Levitt?  It purports to involve a seduction.

“Baby, It’s Cold Outside” is a duet written in 1944 and has all the sexual baggage you might assume from that era.  Especially when interpreted in ours.  The “mouse” (as written in the score) or “prey” (as some might interpret the situation today) wants to go home but the “wolf” (then) or “predator” (now) tries to get the mouse to stay.  And it’s pretty obvious why the wolf is a concern troll about the weather outside.

You can have a lot of fun at your next holiday party by asking whether this song is about a coy mouse that really wants to play or a predator that is about to commit date rape.

But that’s not what is at issue here.  Let’s assume that any singer who performs the song is not trying to enable or justify bad behavior.  After all, we humans don’t always say exactly what’s on our minds (did he really just write that?) since we are really social animals constantly trying to balance our own desires with what we think the herd expects from us (oh my God, he did just write that!).  So when you can corral feminists like Miss Piggy to sing this tune (albeit as the wolf), it’s safe to claim that for many, even the highly sensitive, the song’s charms are about examining us humans as odd creatures whose words – despite being literal – cannot always be taken literally.

Which brings us to the hammy performance above (Lady Gaga, not Miss Piggy).  It’s cute to reverse the traditional gender roles and place Lady Gaga in the role of the wolf.  This gives the song a bit of an update.  If we went further and made Lady Gaga’s duet partner the très féminin Miss Piggy (remember, this is a “Muppet Holiday Spectacular”), you’d update things even more.  And convince the righteous religious that Hollywood really is pushing the idea of inter-species matrimony.  (Another light topic for your next holiday party.)

Playing it safe, however, the producers hired Joseph Gordon-Levitt for the role of the mouse.  To be fair, he isn’t known as a singer, but I’ll give Gordon-Levitt (and the producers) a pass here.  To make the song work, it’s more important for us to believe that Lady Gaga wants to make beautiful music with him rather than actually have Lady Gaga make beautiful music with him.  I can even make allowances for Gordon-Levitt singing the line “my father will be pacing the floor” – which should have been rewritten to have any hope of dramatic credibility.  (Mothers will worry regardless.)

So what is the problem with the video?  It’s that our divine Miss Gaga is racing through the song.  Trying to swing, rather than sway, Gordon-Levitt.  In short (she’s only 5 feet 1 inch), Lady Gaga isn’t seducing like a man.  More like a teenaged boy.

Some things, like ketchup and the DMV, simply can’t be rushed.

Yes, I know this is a broadcast television holiday special tied to the Muppets.  Sure, the viewers represent a wide demographic but isn’t it possible to talk to two audiences at the same time?  Gentle subtlety is, after all, the point of the song.  Besides, since the children are already hearing the lyric “say, what’s in this drink?” we might as well hint that no one is trying to poison anyone to death.

Which is a more appropriate topic for the Brothers Grimm anyway.

So let’s recouple the andante back with the pantie.  Uptempo is not the rhythm of seduction.  Here’s an example of one slow wolf, who could easily swing with the groove of Ray Charles, demonstrating this exact point.  Enjoy the cochlear cleansing:

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Seeing an Apeman: A Conversation between a Father and Son

Humphrey Bogart Lauren Bacall Marilyn Monroe

Humphrey Bogart was married to the smoking hot Lauren Bacall – who was 25 years his junior – and he still couldn’t resist the sight of Marilyn’s cleavage.

[Let me tell ya ’bout the birds and the bees/And the flowers and the trees]
I have a Facebook account.  Or two.  Much like reading Playboy for the articles, I have a Facebook account to keep up with the cultural memes of the day hour minute.

And recently, this little piece of bloggery was splattered all over my Facebook feed.  Have you seen it?  Entitled “Seeing a Woman: A Conversation between a Father and Son,” it’s an imagined dialog the writer, Nate Pyle, will have with his young son when he catches him checking out women for the first time.

Yes, you read that correctly.  As if the onset of puberty isn’t hard and embarrassing enough, dear old Dad is going to make it harder and more embarrassing – and do it in real-time.

You immediately know this author is – how shall I put this? – somewhat heavily involved with his Christian faith.  If the words “lust, “blame,” and “flesh” at the beginning of the post don’t tip you off, the discussion continues with those dual causes for all evil, temptation and fear:

There are two views regarding a woman’s dress code that you will be pressured to buy into.  One view will say that women need to dress to get the attention of men.  The other view will say women need to dress to protect men from themselves.

Seriously, read that again.  And then tell me how this quote squares with what women wear on the cover of Cosmopolitan.  Is Comso’s target demographic men?

This Christian father continues:

Unfortunately, much of how the sexes interact with each is rooted in fear.  Fear of rejection, fear of abuse, fear of being out of control.  In some ways, the church has added to this.

No kidding, Dad.  And you just added to what the church added.  It’s called guilt.  And you continue to heap it on.  Lots and lots of guilt.

If you weren’t already a Christian father, you’d make one helluva Jewish mother.

The people who re-posted this blog on my feed are normally intelligent and should have known better but, hey, his words sounded so nice, right?  Because the only true way to raise a well-adjusted boy who respects women is to tell the child to ignore women’s behavior and then feel guilty (and confused) when correctly interpreting the message deliberately being broadcast.

And why is this father even thinking about this conversation years before having it?  Is it because it is the father who guiltily lusted as a woman walked by?

Talk about mixed-up motives!

(Speaking of confusion, the father makes one huge assumption:  his son is straight.  I’m sure the possibility that his son could be gay is the farthest thing from his Christian mind, but you have to wonder how he will modify his speech if he catches his son checking out the ripped guy with the bulging biceps at some Boy Scout meeting.)

Truth is, I feel sorry for this little boy.  Despite good intentions, the father is doing everything to ensure that his son is last in line – if in line at all – for the big genetic material swap-meet that’s only a few years down the road.  So, I’d like to counter-program.  Here’s another conversation between a father and (presumably straight) son.  Kid, I hope you’re out there reading.

*****

Hey, come here.  Let me talk to you.  I saw you look at her.  I’m not judging you or shaming you.  I know why you did.  I get it.  Because I was looking at her, too.

Don’t tell your Mom.

Did you notice her shape?  That’s a silly question, isn’t it?  How could you not?  Her clothes were intentionally designed to fit and accentuate her curves.  Especially her narrow waist and wide hips.  Same reason why she was wearing heels.  You’ll notice her hips even more now when she walks.  And did you notice the subtle make-up?  Gives her face the same flushed look when she is very, very excited.  In fact, her entire presentation is designed to remind you that her body is a beautiful and wonderful machine that can make babies.

You’re all stirred up by that idea, aren’t you?

Of course, you are!  She got me all stirred up too!

Don’t tell your Mom.

You see, you and I aren’t divinely inspired creations.  We are merely products of the great web of life on the planet Earth.  We are here today because over millions of years of evolution, the life that survived best was the life that enjoyed making babies the most.

Gretchen Carlson - newswoman Fox network

Gretchen Carlson sells one thing…

Rachel Maddow - newswoman MSNBC

… and Rachel Maddow sells another.

A lot of people – especially those guilty church-going folks – will tell you that if a woman’s clothes give you thoughts of baby-making, you are taking away her specialness as a person.  They will tell you that you should feel guilty when your eyes wander over her because of what she is wearing – or what she is not wearing.

Well, that’s just nonsense. 

In fact, it is your responsibility to not let anyone ever make you feel guilt or shame for reactions that are completely natural when encountering your own species.  Our evolutionary programming is so strong and well understood that it can be used to intentionally trigger a specific response.  Take, for example, that woman on Fox News, Gretchen Carlson, and compare her to that woman on MSNBC, Rachel Maddow.  Do you think it’s accidental that their clothes and make-up are so different?  Do you think these two women intentionally want you to experience two different things?  So don’t ever feel ashamed just because you understood the visual cues being given to you, son.

You wouldn’t feel guilty admiring a beautiful flower in a meadow, would you?

You wouldn’t feel guilty watching a puffy white cloud waft over a magnificent pine-covered mountain peak, would you?

You are just appreciating the natural beauty to which your life force is tied.

That woman who just walked by is a female human, an emotional and sentient being.  She is a miraculous creation of a species found only on this planet.

Just like you.

You have hundreds of thousands of years of genetic programming making you feel the way you do.  Just as she has hundreds of thousands of years of genetic programming driving her to remind the world that she can make babies.  So don’t be embarrassed by those carnal feelings.  That’s like being embarrassed by your opposable thumb.  Those powerful desires you just had, like your thumb, are gifts of evolution that helped our species survive.

Don’t fear them.  Don’t judge them.  Don’t subjugate them.

Embrace them.  Celebrate them.

Even if you never speak to that beautiful woman, she reminded you that you are alive.  That is her gift to you.  Do you remember when we saw Citizen Kane?

Look at me.  This is important.  Any healthy human on this planet would be flattered to inspire another one.  To make another human appreciate the gift of life.  Relish the connection you just had with your species – to life itself! – even if that woman “didn’t see you at all.”

Oh, and one more thing:  About this conversation?

Don’t tell your Mom.

She won’t understand what I just told you.  That’s okay.  She doesn’t have to.

If I had played by your Mom’s rules, I never would have had a chance to make babies with her.  Always remember, son:  women desire men who pee standing up.

They just want you to lift the seat before you do it.

Pinocchio watches nose grow after telling lie - Disney

The Current Top 3 Lies in America

Pinocchio watches nose grow after telling lie - Disney

There are two classic signs of lying – pants on fire and nose growing.

[this statement is a lie]
Can it be we just passed the half-way point for 2012?  I’m still writing 2011 on my checks!  Nevertheless, we are now closer to 2013 than we are to 2011, the Mayans notwithstanding.  It seems, therefore, appropriate to take stock in the top lies so far this year.

Top Lie #3:
What they say:  That woman is curvy.
What the reality is: That woman is fat.

I’m a writer and words are my stock in trade. I don’t like to see them abused. Oh, I understand the occasional euphemism, we have plenty of them to describe overweight women — big and beautiful, plus-sized, great personality, pretty face, Rubenesque — when what we really mean is fat.  (And for the men, one occasionally hears husky or stocky though these terms seem to be as dated as the gender-neutral “heavyset”.)  So why do I have a problem with obese women now referring to themselves as “curvy”?

Because curvy used to mean something good!  Men love curves on women: breast augmentation is the most popular cosmetic surgery in the United States with over $1 billion spent on it in 2011.  That’s Billion with a capital “B” that stands for “Boob”.  But the curves need be concave, ladies, not convex.

Sure, these self-proclaimed “curvy” women tell us Marilyn Monroe was a size  ____ (fill in the blank with anything from 12-16), therefore justifying their word abuse. However, not only has this urban legend about Marilyn’s dress size been debunked, it doesn’t even pass the stuff-your-face-with-chocolate test.  Do people honestly think that in an era where studios forced diet pills on their stars (like Judy Garland), they would allow their bombshells to get chunky? Do people honestly think that a chunky woman would be the first centerfold in Playboy?

Hugh Hefner and his first Playboy cover: Marilyn Monroe

Methinks Hugh Hefner wouldn’t have place Marilyn Monroe on the inaugural cover of his new magazine that targeted men with its message of the “good life” if she were anything less than a perfect embodiment of male fantasies.

Shall we test our new knowledge?  Below are clips from two films.  See if you can determine to which (if any) the word “curvy” applies.

Jayne Mansfield?  Answer: Curvy!

Divine? Answer: Not curvy!
(Although, we must admit that Ms. Divine does have a pretty face and a great personality.  She is, after all, big and beautiful.)

Top Lie #2:
What they say: There’s no difference between the Republicans and the Continue Reading