February 27, 2021, 13:10:09

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1
Something else / Re: Brexit
Last post by Ulrich - Today at 12:07:34
QuoteBraithwaite is looking forward to touring again after the pandemic, but acknowledged the difficulties facing British artists wanting to tour Europe post-Brexit. "It's going to be a nightmare, having to declare every piece of equipment you've got as you go from country to country," he said. "And there's going to be the visa costs, which for us will be more of a hassle than anything else, but to some bands it'll probably stop them being able to tour. As it stands, the music industry has been completely hung out to dry; as far as the music industry's concerned, it's a no-deal Brexit."
https://www.theguardian.com/music/2021/feb/26/mogwai-first-no-1-album-25-years-as-the-love-continues
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Music and Lyrics / Re: Exploring "Join The Dots"
Last post by SueC - Today at 00:24:44
THE CULTURALLY CONSTRUCTED SORDID OVERTONES

I came across something trawling the CF archives last night that started a discussion between us here at home, and I've decided the topic needs writing about.  I'm not going to link the quote back to the archived discussion; the person it's from seems to mostly make very intelligent contributions and this isn't to get back at them, this is to discuss a cultural problem.

I'm posting it in this thread because even though it's not a B-side, we've already talked about The Only One previously here, so it can be a post-script to that, and a discussion opener if anyone is game to jump in.

Quote...by the way something that one guy said on that morrissey forum describes it rather well: "Sure, hearing Bob sing about getting an awesome blowjob is mildly entertaining, but..."
yes, 'but' indeed. ;)

As a couple we unanimously take exception to the careless (and ridiculing, and vulgar) language frequently used around sexuality in casual discussion, as it was here - and more specifically, the summing up of an attempt to write openly about sex in a song as, "...(this person) getting an awesome blowjob."  (And they are mildly entertained by that.  Ho hum.  Yeah, people write about intimacy in order to entertain Neanderthals, apparently.)

The lyrics to The Only One were graphic, but they weren't vulgar, and they weren't toxic, and they weren't misogynistic; but let's not miss the opportunity, apparently, to describe that song, and oral sex actually, in vulgar, toxic and misogynistic terms.  (And why are we specifically making this about oral sex?  The song was about sexuality more generally, and oral sex was only an aspect of that.  I've got some ideas, and will try to weave those in later.)

English is not my first language, and I had quite a few surprises learning it.  It's the only language I've come across in which "it blows" can mean exactly the same thing as "it sucks", and in which abbreviation is such a long word, and where there's at least four different ways of pronouncing the letter combination "-ough", and umpteen other things like that.

I first heard the word "blowjob" in middle school, where I also heard frequent joking/insulting references to "vibrators" - and those references left me perplexed and emotionally reeling at the apparent crudeness and idiocy of adulthood.  As for the latter, I imagined it must be a joke - surely people wouldn't have constructed machines to stick in their private places.  But as the years passed, it dawned upon me that people had done exactly that, and as the decades passed and I caught some documentaries on SBS on Friday nights, I was kept intricately up to date on the evolution of sex robots.  Because sex is a commodity, apparently, and human intimacy is optional (/scary?).

I'm an adult these days, and I'm not wanting to shame anyone over the use of electrical appliances in the bedroom, even if that concept baffled me as a teenager and still doesn't do anything for me personally - ever heard the saying, "My erotica, your porn, their filth"?  But let's talk about shame, and ridicule, in the wider sense, because it's a discussion that needs to be had.

"Blowjob" is one of those words that seems nonsensical, amongst other things.  "Why is it called blowjob?" I asked my husband.  "One doesn't actually blow.  It's not like inflating a flotation device."  He replied, "You might want to look up the etymology of that one.  Or on second thoughts, maybe not."  (And then, "Hey Sue, what's the entomology of insect?"  - "Hey Brett, what's the etiology of your mental disorder?")

Logically, the word "blowjob" should refer to inflationary activities, as applies to balloons, camping mattresses, the aforementioned flotation devices, inflatable sexual partners, etc.  Scenario:  You go camping, and you delegate the blowjobs.  But let's put the jokes aside.  Why refer to oral sex in this way?

And is it all oral sex, or specifically oral-sex-as-applied-to-males?  I've never heard the word "blowjob" used to refer to oral-sex-as-applied-to-females - where frankly, a jargon-induced misunderstanding about what you're supposed to do is potentially dangerous:  Blowing up the vagina occasionally leads to embolisms, and to my mind is no more erotic than trying to blow up your partner's oral cavity when kissing.  ("Hey, I'm not a Resusci-Annie!")



I'm scraping around my memory for a crude term specifically for oral-sex-as-applied-to-females, and am not coming up with anything (although there's a myriad ways to scaffold it onto existing intentionally offensive terms around female anatomy and general sexuality).  My fishing failure here may be because I don't usually hang with people who discuss sex in crude terms, and/or perhaps because oral-sex-as-applied-to-females is a rarer thing in the real world than oral-sex-as-applied-to-males, and/or because when certain men who like crudity do condescend to perform such an act on a female, they see it as a heroic act of masculine virility and/or a shining example of how they're God's gift to women?  (If they can even look past their penises as the be-all and end-all of everything for long enough...)  Maybe the kind of people who construct these crudities are men who see themselves as entitled to receive such attentions from the females they are attracted to, and yet to spit upon them semantically and metaphorically for the performance of it?  And would never be caught dead offering oral sex to a female partner (however fleeting), unless it can be used as a means of ego inflation, control or humiliation?  Toxic masculinity is a thing; and there's whole packs of men like that online, discussing their misogynistic fantasies and talking about their "right to rape" and even how rape "doesn't actually exist because a natural man has a right to females."  (It's funny you know, in nature, if a stallion gets a notion like this, he may find himself educated by a resounding kick in the chest by a mare.)

Which brings us to this:  People suck.  They really do.

Some people, of course, may be immature, and embarrassed by sex, and therefore need to resort to jokes and ha-ha about it.  I'm not pointing my rebuke at them, but they are the chicken and the egg both, really - the embarrassment is partly due to this cultural shiitake, and it perpetuates the cultural shiitake at the same time.

And it's all such a long way from this:



Because human intimacy is an extraordinarily beautiful thing, to which the crudity, lack of respect and inequality I discussed above is anti-matter.

Think about kissing for a moment.  Not kissing in order to pressure someone to have sex with you; kissing to convey love and appreciation and togetherness.  Kissing in order to express and to create intimacy, emotionally as well as physically.  Perhaps, but not always, kissing to express and create desire in both of you - not always because the tail doesn't wag the dog; it's the other way around.  Kissing as a warm and intimate and sharing thing - and as a respectful thing, as well as a wild thing.  It's one of the loveliest things there is.

So would you dismiss that as "face-svcking"?  (Sorry about the v - ironically, s'ucking is automatically censored by the forum software, but you can say suck till the cows come home.  :winking_tongue)  I'm sure face-svcking is also a thing; the kind of stuff people do with their faces in order to say, "Me-Neanderthal-you-Jane-I-want-sex-now!" is actually more aptly described that way - it doesn't dignify the application of the word "kissing", if you ask me.  (I'm so extremely lucky - my husband is not a Neanderthal. ♥  My heart does cartwheels over that every time we're intimate.  If you've seen a lot of dross, you appreciate gold all the more.  Metaphorically.  I don't give a flying fvck about the metal per se.)

Accordingly, let's consider oral sex for a moment.  (It's not a very positive term either; it kind of sounds dental and clinical and odd.  We need a better word...)  If I were to draw a Venn diagram, with a circle with the word "kissing" in it, then the circle I'd draw with the word "oral sex" in it would actually have a lot of overlap with the "kissing" circle.  It's an extension of kissing in an erotic context.  And it's not like there's only the mouth or the genitalia either - how many square metres of skin on the human body?  Yet some people seem to see it as a soccer field, with two goals either end.

As you can see, I'm coming at this from the perspective of intimate relationships involving actual love - I understand that there's also the mutual-Neanderthal stuff (and regrettably, the one-sided Neanderthal stuff, which is another matter); that some people just want to bonk as a sort of recreational sport and not recognise the other person's humanity while they do so; and as long as both sides are happy with that kind of transaction, it doesn't bother me.  Each to their own - as long as there is consent.

But it does seem to me that the Neanderthals do a fair bit of projecting; and I don't think it's fair for them to describe what people to whom love and emotional connection matter do in the language with which they refer to their own activities.  I don't give my husband blowjobs - there's no blowing, it's not my job or even a job, and it's not like this:

QuoteYoung women reported a lack of respect and satisfaction in their sexual experiences. Even on dates, women said they felt pressured to provide pleasure. Orenstein was surprised when "a freshman at a West Coast college said to me, 'A girl will give a guy a blowjob at the end of the night because she doesn't want to have sex with him and he expects to be satisfied. So if I want him to leave and I don't want anything to happen...'"

(Read the rest of it here).  How did we get to this?  It's appalling.   :smth011

In the context of that Cure song, it's also the narrator's partner you're insulting here.  Go on, have a dig at the woman - taking a sexual dig at a woman is what lots of people do, some maliciously, some for entertainment, many without thinking because it's so culturally ingrained, and because of how it has stained the language around sexuality.  And if you belong to the third category, wake up please.  (If you belong to the first two, I don't know how much hope of that there is.)

Attitudes matter.  Language matters.

The in-common-use problematic language around sexuality colours people's attitudes to sex before they even reach puberty.  It normalises things that it's actually really unhealthy to normalise:  Exploitation instead of mutuality.  Ridicule instead of respect.  Double standards. 

Think about it for a moment:  Sexuality is potentially one of the most beautiful, intimate, connecting things between two people - so why is it that so much sexual language is also co-used - and actually predominantly used - for insult and derision?  Why is it that when a person wants to take a really below the belt potshot at another, they describe them in terms of the anatomy and physiology around urination, defaecation and intercourse?  Why is intercourse thrown into the same bucket as waste removal?  Why is it that when you want to be really mean, you use words related to female anatomy, and females?  Why is it that when you call a man a dick it's almost a friendly insult and means he's a bit silly, but when you call him a c*nt he's a really horrible person?

If the language of ridicule and shame also enters the bedroom, it can kind of taint the experience.  Maybe this is more the case for word nerds who are super-aware of these things, but it's there to a degree with everyone.  Language is our symbology; and if we dip our symbology in shit, it's going to smell, even if my nose is more sensitive than yours.  If the casual (and the vulgar) language around genitalia, sex and sexuality is loaded with ridicule, insult and shame, how will this not bleed into your experience of sexuality?

I do know how we personally in part avoid that - we simply don't use such terms in an erotic context.  We use neutral language, anatomical language, medical language, and a fair bit of metaphor.  We make up language if we need to.  Also of course, sex can be a language of its own, where you go way beyond words, just as music takes you way beyond words.

Some couples might be able to reclaim terms that we personally don't use, the same way you can reclaim Christmas from all the BS consumerism around it, and if that's you, good on you - there's more than one way to skin a cat, etc.  And just as I don't want any consumerist BS around my Christmas, I don't want any demeaning BS around my sexuality, or my husband's sexuality, or sexuality in general - yet our whole society seems to have this shiitake loaded onto our shoulders from the go-get, and we have to learn to get rid of the foul taste and the bad smell, if we're wanting to have experiences with one another that are completely and unequivocally beautiful, in that brief flash of light between those eternities of darkness.  :P

I may or may not be finished.  You can check back tomorrow if you want.  Meanwhile, other stuff to do...



[Probably still under construction - and if you persist with this, you will need a securely anchored Jesus handle]

Recommended Reading

https://ideas.ted.com/we-need-to-talk-about-the-orgasm-gap-and-how-to-fix-it/
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Something else / Re: Coronavirus: More than 80%...
Last post by Ulrich - February 26, 2021, 14:04:30
Once again, German only, but...

QuoteEs müssen nicht erst die großen Dramen und tragischen Schicksale sein, die zeigen, wie sehr das Andauern der Corona-Krise zum sozialen Problem geworden ist. Psychologinnen und Psychiater beobachten bereits zunehmend Angst- und Essstörungen, Sozialverbände warnen verstärkt vor Vereinsamung unter Seniorinnen und Senioren, die zum Rasten und damit zum Rosten verdammt sind, und Krankenkassen mahnen längst, unter Berufstätigen steigen die Fallzahlen bei Depressionen.

Alle, die diese Kolumne relativ regelmäßig verfolgen, wissen, dass ich nicht gegen Corona-Maßnahmen bin. Im Gegenteil, gehöre ich doch selbst zur Risikogruppe. Es ist jedoch unverantwortlich, wie wir insbesondere mit Kindern und Jugendlichen in dieser Pandemiezeit umgehen. Kaum Konzepte, kaum Aufmerksamkeit, keine Schnelltests, kein Sport, keine Hobbys, keine gleichaltrigen Freundinnen und Freunde ... einfach nichts. Dieser Zustand wird bei sehr vielen jungen Menschen Wunden hinterlassen, die nicht so einfach zu heilen sind.

Wirtschaftlich vermag Deutschland den Lockdown noch lange durchhalten, gesellschaftlich nicht. Bei der künftigen Gestaltung der Corona-Maßnahmen müssen die gesundheitlichen Entwicklungen im Fokus bleiben: 1. die Todeszahlen, 2. die Entwicklungen in den Krankenhäusern, vor allem auf den Intensivstationen, 3. das Infektionsgeschehen. Je länger die Pandemie allerdings dauert, desto stärker treten soziale und psychische Schäden neben ihnen in Erscheinung und gewinnen an Relevanz. Wenn Bund und Länder nächste Woche zusammentreten, müssen sie das endlich berücksichtigen!
https://www.t-online.de/nachrichten/deutschland/id_89544226/corona-in-deutschland-die-krise-belastet-uns-als-alle-immer-mehr.html
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Something else / Re: The Ranting Thread
Last post by SueC - February 25, 2021, 10:34:17
This:  https://www.crikey.com.au/2021/02/25/jobkeeper-2021-wage-supplement/



Quote from: undefinedWhile providing a much-needed lifeline for workers during the recession, JobKeeper has also been a cash bonanza for some companies whose fortunes have greatly improved off the back of a rise in consumer spending as Australia emerges from the worst of the pandemic.

The festival has come to a head this week with company reporting season providing a glimpse into some of the biggest publicly-listed rorters of them all.

Today we hand out awards for some of the most shameless -- the gambling empires, billionaires and investment bankers that have pocketed large profits during the pandemic thanks in part to millions in government handouts.

 :1f629:  :confounded:  :1f635:  :1f62a:
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News from reliable sources / Re: Anonymous heART Project fe...
Last post by SueC - February 25, 2021, 02:34:13
Quote from: SueC on November 11, 2020, 14:54:11
Quote from: word_on_a_wing on November 11, 2020, 11:41:20Based on the title and the high price it seems most fans are betting this is his. The handwriting certainly looks familiar...

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/The-anonymous-heART-project-Lot-No-436-I-will-kiss-you-forever/264922073040?hash=item3dae9607d0:g:p68AAOSwgGJfkBh0

The sky on that is beautifully done, and the reflections in the ocean.   ♥

I vote they put a print of that one somewhere in the booklet of their new album.

Hey!  They're actually doing a print run of this piece, A4 and A3 - and my birthday is coming up.

https://heartresearch.org.uk/robert-smith/

If they're going to print to demand and I don't miss out, we're planning on getting a copy - this is a genuinely lovely piece I'd love to have up on the wall.  I hope Robert Smith does the cover art for the next album, if he's not having a nervous breakdown already over all the badgering he's getting about, "When is the new album coming out?" 

...it's so like the, "Are we there yet?" of young kids in the back seat on a long trip... I'm imagining how annoying it would be if people kept sending me messages to say, "Have you finally planted your tomato seedlings that you were supposed to plant last week?" when I was burnt out recently - it would have made me want to buy voodoo dolls - and it certainly would not have helped me plant my tomato seedlings.  :1f629:


We've not bought a print since this one by Valérie Maugeri a decade ago:



It's lovely for different reasons.

But this really is fabulous, and it's so nice they're making prints!



...if picture not displaying, click this:  https://heartresearch.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/RS-print-714x1024.jpg
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Other Artists / Re: Currently Listening to
Last post by SueC - February 25, 2021, 00:55:41
That's not too bad, @Ulrich - it's probably suitable stuff to have in the background when you have to deal with your annual insurance paperwork (see recent Ranting Thread episode).  ...audience members seem paradoxically to be headbanging to this...

Soft Machine still definitely can be classed as music.  But once upon a time, Brett went to see Lux Mammoth at the Artrage festival in Perth.  Turns out they specialise in "semi-structured improvisation with power tools" - which is a very generous description.  Here's some audio from the performance Brett went to see:

https://www.wanma.org.au/audio/tools-1-performed-by-lux-mammoth-at-an-artrage-possibly-at-the-rechabites-hall-b4608451

Well, there's someone who's definitely not influenced by the Beach Boys.  Brett says, "I was at that concert...but not for long!  We had one of those go-anywhere, see-anything festival tickets...a friend thought that this concept sounded interesting.  After a few minutes of this, we repaired to the bar to soothe our jangling nerves...along with quite a sizeable percentage of the rest of the audience...I read the review in The West Australian later, it said, Some of the audience fled...the remainder were made of sterner stuff..." :lol:

An associate of that project specialises in "bass noise" and does soundtracks etc - here's a YT clip:


Disclaimer:  This thread says Currently Listening, but in this case it's not us listening, it's you, bwahahahaha!   :-D   :winking_tongue


...although of course some noisy stuff is wonderfully musical... and I ♥♥♥ this piece:


Definitely listening to that one!  :)

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Other Artists / Re: Currently Listening to
Last post by Ulrich - February 24, 2021, 19:02:26
Quote from: SueC on February 23, 2021, 14:00:10Always good to learn something new, and to find new puzzle pieces.  :)  It's beginning to strike us listening to various things that a lot of people seemed to be influenced by The Beach Boys

And some early Beach Boys stuff was clearly influenced by Chuck Berry. Most certainly Mr. Berry did not make his music out of "thin air", meaning he had influences as well... (if you go backwards, you'll find out more and more, how musicians made "new" music out of "old" stuff)!

Quote from: SueC on February 23, 2021, 14:00:10The weirdest stuff I have is an album by an outfit called Monsieur Camembert. 

Lots of weird bands on this planet. Have you ever listened to the Soft Machine? Very jazzy & complicated; if I'm not in the mood for it, it's a terrible racket... (I own one cd, which I don't listen to very often.)

Have "fun" with this, everyone. :winking_tongue

Quote from: SueC on February 23, 2021, 14:00:10Brett was just saying that's like the Sex Pistols and the Celibate Rifles!

That's a good one!  :lol:
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Something else / Re: What's On Your Mind Atm??
Last post by MeltingMan - February 23, 2021, 17:34:23
Quote from: Susann K.Bye, that's it - from the everyday life of a piano teacher

(...) No appreciation, no thanks
Who am I? What role do I play? What is the role of the son? Why is this family sending their child to my class? What should he do there? Learn an instrument or be entertained? And what am I doing in the parents' eyes? Seriously teaching? Leisure fun? Afternoon care?

The thoughts and questions race at top speed through my head and through my whole body:

Is it actually normal that an almost nine-year-old child is not able to pack his grades himself?
Is it actually normal that the questions I ask an almost nine-year-old child are still answered by the parents standing next to him?
Is it actually normal to constantly ask me and my colleagues to do things that they basically don't understand?

Do these people actually know what a music school is?
Do these people actually know what studying music is?
Do you know that teaching music is anything but a hobby?

Did these parents actually say "thank you" to me? I can not remember. Maybe my anger is so great that I just hide the "thank you".
No, I didn't hear a "thank you". I have a good memory.(...)

My piano lessons were a long time ago. When, following an internal prelude, a few years had passed, a change of teachers was imminent, my father took me from school. The chemistry between the "new" one and me didn't work at all. The change was fluid. Since I came to a Protestant cantor, the topic of music school was ticked off relatively quickly for me. There was no goodbye and for 34 years I had no contact with my former teacher. Two years after I left, she quit the job and found a job that fulfills her more.  :neutral-face
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Something else / Re: What's On Your Mind Atm??
Last post by SueC - February 23, 2021, 14:26:07
I listen to a fair bit of ABC Radio National and heard this fantastic story I want to share.  They were interviewing a professional classical viola player who was talking about trying to make ends meet during the pandemic, and having dark thoughts about her choice of career.  A good friend of hers is a nurse and she was thinking, "My friend is actually doing something helpful with her job choice during this pandemic.  It's really a bit self-indulgent of me just to be playing viola."

She mentioned this to her friend the nurse, who then said to her, "But you don't understand!  The only reason I can cope with my job when it gets really bad, like at the moment, is because I can go home and listen to this piece I love by Mozart.  It saves my sanity.  Your job is really important too!"  ♥
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General The Cure Discussion / Re: You Know you are a Cure fa...
Last post by SueC - February 23, 2021, 14:16:14
When you buy a game called "Poetry For Neanderthals", take it home, have a go at it, and thirty minutes later, you're starting to translate Cure lyrics into Neanderthal-speak:rofl
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