Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Object Lesson
Hannah Henry is having a photography show of discarded things. The image to advertise the series is a sole strappy sandal, darkly lit, maybe once beloved, then, unneeded. 

I was thinking about all those things I have been collecting (we are all curators of our own closets) that may have once been treasured and now are tossed. It is the wonder of the photographer's eye that I stare at the image, my thoughts drifting from shoe, to my closet, to the nation that was bent on spending till the last shoe was sold. 

Neighborhoods are littered with foreclosed houses, some abandoned by their owners who had no choice but to walk away from their homes. Homes slightly beyond the grasp of a mortgage payment. But, I imagine, with perfectly placed walk-in closets, holding rows of strappy sandals, paid for with money that didn't exist on the promise of value that wasn't there fueled by the intoxicating lure of over-confidence and greed. 

The photograph is beautiful. Our nation's story is ugly. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Forming a More Perfect Language
You gotta love the European Union. They are nothing if not efficient. Getting rid of generations of sexist language? Done. That's what seems to have happened relatively overnight, as the EU is banning "Mrs." and "Miss" from the lexicon in order to create gender neutral language.

Women are to be addressed by their whole name. While it may be more difficult for those stuck in the age of Jane Austen to construe whether a lady is eligible or not for dating or marriage, one could always resort to this modern idea: Ask her.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Has the New York Times Lost Its Mind?

I am a big fan of the Times "Style" section. Normally a great break from the grim lockstep of bad news in every other section. But good god, the main story has to be an all-time what were they thinking this past Sunday. A story about a San Francisco sex club that focuses on the female orgasm. Seriously?

Not that there's anything wrong with the female orgasm; I'm all for it. But for a story like this, about an urban commune that sounds left over from the Eselon days but is populated by impressionable people in their 20s, this is not a cute sexy story -- instead it truly comes off as a cult (every morning at 7 a.m. women sit in chairs, remove their pants and submit to their Oming, as it's called). I will leave the rest to curious readers.

Cheap shots on the good city of San Francisco aside (OK, yes, it does have a history of sexual liberation, but nobody is really stopping anyone from having orgasms. . .), I would respectfully suggest that the Times spend a little bit more time pursuing investigative stories of a slightly less titillating nature, and save the sex for the local rags.