Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The Definitive Guide to Asshole Detection

Among the vagaries of casual dating, especially while matriculating at a university, one sometimes encounters those gaping orifices called assholes. Now why is this the case?

Well, they are legion. And homo assholeous frequently has an array of talents that makes one superficially interesting. Your first response may be due to his unexpected abruptness or talents that stimulate curiosity. Also, warranted genuine assholes often are socially skilled and glib and have a suite of behaviors that call attention to themselves. They are never dull and uninteresting. All the better to play you!

Of course, asshole behavior is not simply to remove your panties. They go in for rudeness, abrupt manners, risk taking, and other jarring behaviors. Hey, some people are making careers out of being the character in Risky Business, including dancing in tighty whities! Be mindful, though, is that this aspect of assholeness is not simply immaturity; but a concerted effort to defy conventions and manners.

It's not an absence of or incomplete socialization; but the candidate going out of way to be rude and ill-mannered.

It is tempting to view these miscreants as engaging in self-defeating behavior; however, when coupled with daring and glibness, they can sometimes dramatically achieve. Even to winning major elective offices (I'm naming no names; you furnish 'em).

And here's a point: there are some fields where being a bit of an asshole can confer an advantage: politics, business, acting or comedy, and so forth. And they take advantage of the implicit willingness to accept by others their antics. For some, it's just a phase; for others, it's an ingrained trait!

So what are features of these non-rara aves? They are flamboyant, narcissistic, insensitive to others, and sometimes abusive. Without the burden of a diagnosis, I'm referring to behaviors that might be similar to certain personality disorders; specifically the narcissistic personality disorder, the histrionic personality disorderpassive-aggressive behavior, and even possibly the antisocial personality disorder.  They basically get a lot of mileage from being difficult. 

If you become enamored with one, you are in for a lot of embarrassment and disappointment. Don't overestimate your talent at reforming one; it's probably a lost cause. Acting like an asshole is very reinforcing for him or her. And it's ingrained.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Madame Bernard and the Frisbee

Madame Bernard, although fairly young and pretty, was a total tyrant with her physics students at Bayou Teche High School. And she had a sharp tongue too! What a shame; the juniors at the school were totally scared of this young hoyden of science!

Now it so happened that Tee Tina discovered by accident that Madame Bernard liked to sunbathe in her backyard on Saturdays and Sundays, working on her tan. Now Tee Tina, a fille with ability to delay the gratification, thought that this might be a way to get back at Madame Bernard for the classroom miseries she inflicted, real and imagined.

But how? One possibility is for the boys to hide and emerge as a group to sing a verse:

There are many temptations;
But this one I cannot pass
To see Madame Bernard outside 
Sunbathing her nekkid ass!

But doing this would have blowback big time! They would get a semester of woe from her; not to mention the High Sheriff and the Police Jury getting on their case. The High Sheriff liked the view of her natural features, anyway.

So clearly they had to use subtlety. Now try to find subtlety in Cajun boys or girls. Dat dawg ain't gonna hunt, you know.

It so happened that the guys were into Frisbee golf this spring. Tee Tina, the lightbulb going on in her head, came up with a plan.

She asked her pals, Tee Boudreaux and Tee Thibodaux, if they could place their Frisbee skills to good use, instead of just hitting trees or statchoos with those rubber saucers. Specifically, use a Frisbee to pester Madame Bernard and quickly scooting outa sight! That way, it could be anyone from the Bayou Teche area who threw the Frisbee.

Also, it would be unclear whether anyone saw her, or she had just happened to be hit by a lost Frisbee. This gave the youths some further incentive.

And Tee Tina set up a camera on a tripod in the bushes to catch the action.

Come the afternoon, a tranquil Madame Bernard settled into her repose on the beach blanket to enjoy the warmth of early spring. 

After a half hour or so of ogling the butt of their troubles, Tee Boudreaux launched an experimental Frisbee.

OhMyHolyGod! It went better than planned: it hit Madame Bernard on the middle of her behind! She jerked up as Tee Tina clicked the camera. No flash needed.

There was an irate Madame Bernard, half nekkid, standing up and looking at the Frisbee. Otherwise, nothing to be seen or heard. The garçons and filles decamped quietly and ran back to town. A clean getaway.

Madame Bernard called the deputies, but they had nothing to go on. They guessed that a gust of wind blew the Frisbee off someone's roof. She was annoyed by this nonexpert physics opinion and had a lower opinion of deputies than she did before.

So things cooled down; and the Spring semester went on as usual.

On the last day of school, after the report cards were sent home with the students, there was a really, really, really big commotion in the hall by the cafeteria. It turned out that there were several 8 X 11 pictures on the wall of Madame Bernard that everybody noticed!

Tee Tina got pretty good with her darkroom skills!

The Principal took 'em down; but saved the best one of Mme. Bernard's butt.

Next year the physics students tried a catapult and an egg. Apparently, Madame Bernard was not a quick learner but the next year's students were not as adept with their calculations! The egg missed its target. 

Monday, February 20, 2017

The Cat Art of Susan Herbert

Susan Herbert (1945-2014) is an artist who specialized in cat art. However, unlike Louis Wain, who painted cats doing ordinary English things, Herbert inserted cats as substitutes for people in famous paintings, movies, and operas. 

Here she shows her sly humor in recasting Leonardo di Vinci's Mona Lisa. Doesn't she have an enigmatic smile?

Here's one taken after Vermeer's Woman with a Pearl:

Or, you might like this take on Edouard Manet's Le Déjeuner sur L'herbe:

If you are shocked by the feline nudity in that one, try a kittenish Renoir:

This one is taken from Eighteenth Century portrait art. Madame Pompadour would be pleased:

Even Whistler's Cat's Mother was depicted:

Opera is a proper subject for cat art. Here's Canio from Pagliacci:

And there's the movies. Here's a German soldier, perhaps hoping it's quiet on the Western Front for a change.

A cat would make a wonderful Shakespearian King Henry V: 

Or a Cary Grant in a scene from North by Northwest:

Contrary to popular belief, cats can sing in the rain too. Or maybe that's meow in the rain:

Clint Eastwood as a tough cat in The Good Kitty, the Bad Kitty, and the Unpretty Cat:

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

A New View of World War II

This is a lurid cover of a pulp magazine for guys from the 1960s, I think. This can provide some documentation for additional studies of World War II. It offers an alternative and intriguing view that one of the reasons our side won is because of help from half-undressed, shoeless women!  Maybe they, like Rosie the Riveter, should also be enshrined in the pantheon of the Greatest Generation!

Or, even better, a commemorative postage stamp!!!

Anyway, World War I had that notorious Mademoiselle from Armentiers. This is a further group of mademoiselles who should be remembered in song.

Inky-dinky parlez-vous.

And, judging from the articles promised on the cover, it seems that New Jersey was dissolute back then as well. 

Monday, February 13, 2017

Praying for the Saints to Win

A group of good ladies from St. Cletus's Parish were having a post Super Bowl session for coffee and beignets, as it turns out.

To tell the truth, no one in the group was exactly enthusiastic about Super Bowl LI: the New England Patriots were universally regarded as cheaters, and Atlanta was always a city known for its questionable charms and manners. No, podners; they all would have preferred that the Saints won, just like in 2010!

But things did not look like things would move that way again soon; so they decided to pray for another Saints win in Super Bowl LII! (As if the Good Lord didn't have more important things to do!)

So Tina Moreau suggested that they all do a novena together and pray for the Saints.

This sounded like a good idea; but Madeline raised an important issue: when to hold this nine days of praying? After all, the Saints started out losing in 2016 and couldn't break the habit.

"Well.....we could hold it at the start of the season," opined Suzette.

But, judging from last year's performance, this called for a deeper effort. Maybe fasting from coffee would do it, suggested Missy Chauvin naively. The shudder around the table to her that this was a nonstarter. Some weakly proposed that a fasting from Ramos gin fizzes be substituted. Or doing a full-fledged fast three days a week. This is playing hardball!

Finally, Clotilde dropped the C-bomb. Oh yes, the proposal that some dreaded: taking a vow of celibacy from beginning of the football season until the Saints won the Super Bowl again! Surely this would be the means to plead the sincerity of the cause. Other people in the Café du Monde thought it was worth a try. And pray to St. Archie Manning for his intercession.

If that didn't work, then let's all have Breakfast at Brennan's and drink mimosas! Now that's how true Orleanians console themselves!

Or they could put a gris-gris on the Patriots and Steelers and Falcons, just in case!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Tammy Gives Her Students a Geography Lesson

Billy Bob sez:

"It's time to check into the doins' of Tammy, the Redheaded Schoolteacher. Last we heerd of her was when she moonlighted by stripping on a party bus going over the Tail of the Dragon. I jest wanna say that she works also as a schoolteacher during the week, teachin' the wee ones some lessons in readin', writing', and other stuff that I didn't cotton to when I was in school. Oh well.......

It was time to each some local jog graphy. You know: readin' about places, lookin' at maps, and all such shit. 

Anyway, what are some of the high points of the TN/NC area? Tammy, the Redheaded Schoolteacher tended to wing things a mite on Mondays.

Well, she told them 'bout Thunderhead Mountain, splat dab on the line between Tennessee and North Carolina. Tennesseans call part of this feature Rocky Top, and it got sung about right nice by a whole buncha singers, like the bluegrass original by the Osborne Brothers. Give a listen:

Another thing there is the French Broad River. Named for the buxom lass that Delacroix immortalized in his famous painting. [She showed them the painting]....the squirts ooohed and ahhed.

'Her boobies are loose'.....'What's that flag she's toting?'......'Show us more, Miz Tammy!'

Then she told about the wonders of Asheville. It's a pert nice place with Biltmore called because the owner kept on addin' more on it. Anyway, ole Vanderbilt had a truckful a money and all his taste in his mouth. Flatland tourists, when they go to Asheville, figger to make an ashe of themselves.

And Asheville is in Buncombe County; named because they couldn't spell Bunkum at all.

A piece north of here is Blowing Rock, NC. This is a tourist trap and also a great place to make out when you get a bit older and wanna do them things.

The highest point of the Smokies in Clingman's Dome. And they added an observation tower on it. From there, it's strictly downhill into Tennessee into the twin tourist traps, Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. 

A bit northeast of them is Cocke County, Tennessee. Lotsa moonshinin' and meth goin' on there. I won't tell you how it got its name; but the wimmin are plumb happy about it. On the other hand, the natives look like forty miles of bad road.

And if you keep on going, you wind up smack dab in Knoxville. Sin City East. Not really; it's not that wicked at all. The UT dawg has more bark than bite to it. The river there is the Tennessee River; and it goes down into Alabama for a bit and goes up again through Tennessee to Kentucky. 

And here's I-40, from Knoxville to Asheville. You can get to feelin' queasy by riding fast on it because it's so damned crooked. As crooked as the Tennessee Legislature and as stupid as ours.

But, if it's too much for you, you can just turn off and skinny-dip in a cool Smokies stream. There's a nice 'uns at the Elkmont and Cosby campgounds if you don't mind the tourists.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Rhinestone-Studded Bikini Tops for Mardi Gras

Ahh, Mardi Gras! It's that special time in New Orleans when you can play dress up in outlandish costumes, and drink on the streets while watching parades. It occurs on the day before Lent, when we are supposed to repent our doings of the weeks before plus the hangovers. 

I found these cute tops on sale at Etsy. These are in case you want to go as a samba dancer or showgirl, and still be decent, at least by New Orleans Mardi Gras standards.  The first one is available in the normal range of different sizes!

Guys are not likely to cop a feel on the street if you wear this one:

This one is nice:

The next one, alas, comes only in D-DD. So you have to be a big girl for this one. Still, it's pretty. 

Actually, any of these would rock the grocery store on a Wednesday morning. Of course, February 28th is the real Mardi Gras where these tops are likely to find favor. March 1st Ash Wednesday also, anyone?

Monday, February 6, 2017

Beyond the Boundaries of Tackiness

Tacky is an informal expression, often associated with Southern usage, that refers to being lacking in style or good taste. Obviously, it is negative in implications, and should not be used lightly.

In the past several years, the bounds of good taste have gotten eroded; what used to be déclassé seems to have gotten quasi-acceptable, with perhaps this taking place in an accelerated fashion in 2016. Let's face it: we had a totally tacky election last year. One to be ashamed of. While I'm not enamored with the choice, the alternative was not so hot either. Not to make an excuse for DJT: his conduct is rude, crude, and unattractive. 

But this in not the only the only thing. Rudeness is practiced widely. Insult and ridicule is now regarded as a foundation for humor. There's an eternal scrimmage for finding some fault or shame in some prominent figure's background, and exposing it with a vigor once reserved for the truly necessarily ugly realities of life. Try to imagine some lately notable figure who was in the meantime discovered to have modeled or posted a swimsuit selfie.....

Or downplaying real wrongs. Yes, I'm citing those failed shepherds, the bishops of the Catholic Church who ignored or played down the problem of priestly pedophiles. At least there is the comfort that the judgments of this world are not the final ones for these bed lice of religion! 

To use an art metaphor with respect to this Tacky Shift: Claude Monet has been replaced by Ben Shahn; Antoine Watteau with Wassily Kadinsky.

Even sports has its tide of tackiness. Yes, the late hits, the obvious fouls, the doctoring of baseballs have been around. Now we have the spectacle of a former football coach of the Wake Forest Demon Deacons giving tips to their opponent, the University of Louisville Cardinals. Is there no loyalty left? I hereby declare this to be at least magnum tackiness, if not a real dick move on his part!

Or how about sports-themed lingerie?

And Cinnabun's Princess Leia post hit a tacky home run!

So what is still tacky?

Well, talking on a cell phone while eating or on a date fits the bill. The other diners or your escort deserve more.

Not to mention answering or calling someone on a cell phone while in a movie.

Anyone who uses or answers a phone while in amorous pursuits is heroically tacky! And even worse if it the offender tries to multitask. Talking on the phone during love-making truly sends a message and deserves no more of one of those activities!

Sorry! Buttocks, neck, or forehead tattoos are tacky, no matter where you graduated from prison or which set of boon companions you belong to.

Referring to any woman or girl as a donkey part is déclassé and uncouth; but especially if she is your mamma, maw-maw, daughter, wife, mistress, or sister. Get some breeding. Read a very basic etiquette book!

Each of us are allowed our first six years; but tantrums by older children, teens, or adults is tacky! There is no exemption to the rule for politicians, newspaper columnists, or sports figures despite what they might think.

Friday, February 3, 2017

The Neo-Manichaean Tendency in American Politics

"Help Us Stand Up to Donald Trump" -- Self-serving and self-congratulatory advertisement for Slate Plus.

The American two-party system seems to be a an unnecessarily rigid fact of life in part because both parties enforce orthodoxy on their members. Let's see now: Do the terms RINO or Blue Dog Democrat mean anything to you?  For the record, these are Republicans and Democrats that were disinclined to adopt the parties' platforms in their entirety.

Unfortunately, both political parties are inclined in this direction. And yet, paradoxically, both parties managed to nominate political candidates in which large numbers of potential voters were turned off.  Where went the idea that political parties should be big tents that let people in because of similar, but not necessarily congruent, interests?

That seems to be the current function of third parties nowadays: as miscellaneous bins for the diasaffected of both parties. They can serve as a source of new ideas without the hidebound orthodoxy that the two usual parties seem to be mired in. Imagine this: someone actually ran for President and called himself a Democratic Socialist! Yes! This candidate actually used the S-word! And he got a lot of support, probably because a lot of people saw the two major parties as having interests other than theirs'.

This is nothing other than a type of Manichaean outlook: remember that old religion that posited a continual conflict between good and evil primeval forces? Well, both parties seem to try the notion that they're the good guys while the others are the forces of darkness. And they try to convince others that they are by wearing white hats. Or tinfoil ones. 

And offer to slay demons. Especially demons of their own contrivance!

The various newspapers and other media feed this disposition. And the new President likes to blithely draw lines in the sand.

Since when did compromise become a dirty word? It's now tantamount to blasphemy. Will some of us wind up wearing scarlet B's? As they say on the West Bank (Marrero, Algiers, Westwego, and Gretna), "It's a bitch!"*

*I'm referring to the West Bank of the New Orleans area, where monsters and politicians dwell.