Surprisingly / not surprisingly, I have thought a lot about the value of “douche” as a politically correct cuss word. I’ve adopted it as my all-purpose, positive family values cussing option. My take is that douches are maligned for feminist and body-positive reasons. Douches are marketed to clean vaginas that are already self-cleaning, and the unnecessary douches can cause microflora imbalances and infections. Douches are terrible, urban legend birth control that can actually increase the chances of conceiving. Douches: body hating, body damaging, anti-choice, agents of unnecessary consumption. And fun to say. Doooosh.
Meanwhile, almost every other cuss word is maligned for some body-hating, bigoted reason. Genitals, bodily fluids, sexual activities… I love all those things. I need a bigger pallette of loving cusses before I can give up the fun sounds of fuck, shit, tits, ass, cock, sucking, blowing, and company, but it’s good to have a start.
Other takes on douche as a swear? Seeing it paired up with enemas is actually giving me pause. I’m thinking the only reason enemas get a bad rap is because of taboos about buttholes, and related taboos about gay sex and maybe enema sex play. I’m pretty much pro-butthole on all those issues. So then I wonder if I should be considering the sex play possibilities of douches, and any douche fetish communities I might be further marginalizing. The problem: everything can be used for sex play. That criteria would eliminate every possible PC swear word. I’m sticking with douche for now, but I’d love to hear from anyone offended by that.
Every time I mention that I use homemade deodorant, I realize that I’ve never actually linked to the awesome internet recipe that I use.
So here it is, Angry Chicken’s homemade deodorant recipe, styled after Lush’s Aromacreme natural deodorant but less likely to cause a rash. This is the only deodorant recipe I’ve ever tried, and I’ve been using it happily for about a year. It’s cheap and it works and it gives me a better vibe than the “you stink” industry.
Our personal household version is a little simpler, like so:
5 Tablespoons shea butter
3 Tablespoons baking soda
2 Tablespoons corn starch
Essential Oil (ylang ylang, rosewood, nutmeg and cinnamon)
Melt, stir, pour into container(s), cool. Store extra in the fridge.
In her golden years, my mom suffers from Dementia with Lewy Bodies (think Parkinson’s + Alzheimer’s).
Here we are in the garden. She’s calling me Jim (my father’s name) and thinking she’s having a dream…
I expected this video to make me sad, but I felt happy watching it. I spent a lot of afternoons sitting in gardens with my grandpa in his advancing dementia, and our interactions were often like this. Me guessing what would help him or soothe him, just sitting and telling each other we loved each other with words and pats and hand squeezes. My trying to understand his observations but not really getting it; him trying to understand my observations but not really getting it; both of us trying to be ok with that. I’m happy that sometimes when communication breaks down, it can break down into just inarticulate love.
I have often wished that the function of the beauty industry was to help people get better at beholding beauty. It could be like art appreciation classes that show you what can be appreciated about art you didn’t like looking at before. That might even be the root of my complicated gut reactions about body image activism performances like burlesque. Does it help me see beauty in a new place, or does it just involve new people winning at the same old beauty contests? I think my guts know I’m looking to broaden my beholding skills, not get caught up in competitions.
So I liked this comment about aesthetics and perception, for focussing on “coming to terms with what you consider ugly,” and on ways to help people do that.
Beauty can be coaxed out of ugliness. Wabi-sabi is ambivalent about separating beauty from non-beauty or ugliness. The beauty of wabi-sabi is, in one respect, the condition of coming to terms with what you consider ugly. Wabi-sabi suggests that beauty is a dynamic event that occurs between you and something else. Beauty can spontaneously occur at any moment given the proper circumstances, context, or point of view. Beauty is thus an altered state of consciousness, an extraordinary moment of poetry and grace.
… It is almost as if the pioneers of wabi-sabi intentionally looked for such examples of the conventionally not-beautiful— homely but not excessively grotesque— and created challenging situations where they would be transformed into their opposite.
Reading this brought up a big sensory memory of what that feels like— I get pretty thrilled and spaced out by perception shifts. I heard an NLP trainer say that it’s common to get spaced out by big new ideas, that spacing out is the physical sensation of a bunch of your brain synapses reorganizing at once. I don’t know if that’s true, but the idea delighted me.
(Excerpt from the Suo Sarumawashi Association’s official introduction)
Sarumawashi, literally “monkey dancing” evolved over a 1000-year history in Japan. Ancient Japanese chronicles refer to it as a form of religious ritual designed to protect the horses of warriors. It later developed into a popular form of festival entertainment, and was performed all over Japan from temples to imperial courts. Today, Sarumawashi is ranked alongside Noh and Kabuki as one of the oldest and most traditional of Japan’s performing arts. It features acrobatic stunts and comedic skits performed by highly trained macaque monkeys.