February 18, 2012 § Leave a comment
While many of the 2012 Presidential Candidates and other politicians up for re-election are debating a woman’s right to choose, to have access to birth control, to use it or not use it etc…I have a new proposal to bring to the table. Please do not count me insensitive or out of touch with these issues, it’s just that I find all this political posturing and legislating around women’s bodies by male candidates a bit archaic and more than a little uneasy. And at the risk of sounding apolitical I will add that there are many areas of our society that do need to be legislated, debated, and amended starting with campaign finance reform, but as a woman I resent the way the female body and the individual choices women make with and for their bodies becomes someone’s soapbox every-time an election rolls around. That said, I bring to you the new Prude dish for the day, or what I am proposing to be the New Culture War…Mouth Pollution.
Scenario No. 1.
Mouth pollution is when you are working quietly in your cubicle, typing and tinkering away, and then you suddenly hear that sound, “What the F###.” You are troubled, and wonder what has happened? Is someone hurt? By the time you realize there is no need to panic, its stench has already made its way into your workspace.
Scenario No. 2.
You are sitting alone in a coffee shop or cafe, tinkering away on oh…I don’t know a dissertation. Your thoughts, oh your thoughts, the ones you struggled to keep in tact for the past twenty-eight hours through dinners and snack times, story books and episodes of Dora the Explorer are finally coming together in some semi-recognizable sequence. You are thrilled and even a bit excited. You begin, but then you stop. Your thoughts have just been invaded by mouth pollution. The guy sipping on Pepsi at the table across from yours continues to drop “the F bomb,” along with many other choice words courtesy of every South Park episode he’s seen. Mission impossible. The stench of his language has settled in and the coffee house/cafe has suddenly become stifling and unbearable, you leave deflated, but determined to begin a new mission.
What will it take, this Prude wonders to institute a No Cussing section similar to a non-smoking section in public places? For me profanity and the flagrant use of it in public spaces is a real issue. I know the free speech police are already rallying around this one, but I think public profanity, much like public drunkenness and nudity should be regulated. For example if I am out with my son, and I know that I don’t use certain words in our house, the last thing I want is to take him to pick up a bagel and for his young – innocent ears to be exposed to every curse word at least fifteen times before you finish telling your story about what happened the other night. Yes, call me a Prude, but I think people should refrain from cussing in public places, particularly where there are likely to be small children and families. Now don’t get me wrong I’m not into policing your every word, I could care less about the content of your conversation, but when you speak loudly – enough for everyone to hear and your profanity reaches my ears, that’s when it becomes my business.
Also, as a lover of words, writing and the English language, I know that there are so many other choice words that could be used to display the very same sentiment. For example in Downton Abbey those folks can be bitter, scorned, enraged and passionate all without resorting to four and five letter words. Also, a very wise mentor once told me that writing, speaking and thinking are deeply connected, and for this reason I believe that a lack of life experience, creativity, inspired thinking or some combination of all three keeps some people on the potty mouth. Call me a Prude but isn’t it time we found better ways of communicating, and at the very least, shouldn’t we have the courtesy to know that not every person in the room would like their own thinking to become muddled by someone else’s profanity. After, all, if I were to begin crying loudly in the middle of a restaurant, wouldn’t that spoil your dinner? Well in a similar way pubic profanity and even some that we find sprinkled through daytime and primetime television, business meetings, conference calls, pop music, rap music, all music and even play-off games has the potential to negatively impact ones thoughts. I mean, what positive message or connotation can be derived from any swear word? I know the idea of mouth pollution may sound strange to some and even ridiculous to others, but then again, being a prude isn’t exactly the norm. I encourage you to share your thoughts on this new culture war with me, are you for or against it…please share, but remember to use your nice words.
January 18, 2012 § 2 Comments
Perhaps it is because I’m an old soul at heart, and I used to imagine that I belonged to some creative community of writers and musicians who understood that the best art, as Toni Morrison put it, is both irrevocably beautiful and unquestionably political. Or perhaps it is because I grew up listening to my dad’s massive collection of jazz records, including classic, contemporary and smooth jazz, so by the age of fourteen my idea of unwinding was lying on the floor listening to Sarah Vaughn dip in and out of a jazzy-bluesy ballad or Ella scat like nobody else could on The Great Lady’s of Jazz.
Then again it could be that while everyone else was enthralled with Mary J and Method Man’s take on Marvin Gaye and Tammy Terrell’s “Your All I Need To Get By,” I was more preoccupied with Aretha’s inspired take on “You Are My Sunshine” (haven’t heard a better version). Whatever the reason may be, I found myself absolutely impressed with the music artist Rumer when I first heard selections from her debut album Seasons of My Soul last year. I like Rumer because her songs transport me to a time when music was simple, and beautiful, yet one could still appreciate the vocal and other complexities that went into creating a single song. Her sound is jazzy, folksy, still contemporary, but definitely with a lil bit of soul and a lil bit of something else. She doesn’t try too hard to be different, nor does she strive too much towards nostalgia which can also have an adverse effect. Call me a prude but I enjoy my music clean, memorable, and thought provokingly beautiful.
Every now and then an artist comes along and in that one song you just know you are going to like just about anything they put out, like Sade, Amel Larrieux, or even the late Sam Cooke. Today, for me it’s Rumer, and rumor has it that on January 24th, 2012 Seasons Of My Soul will finally be available in the U.S (sorry I couldn’t resist). Oh, and did I mention she’s from across the pond? Here are two of my favorites, “Aretha,” and “Slow.” I would also suggest looking up “Am I Forgiven”
May 12, 2011 § 3 Comments
It occurs to me that I need to boost traffic on this blog, as I am watching my numbers level off for the past few weeks. So with spring in the air I am poised to shake things up and get people talking, walking and feeling the Prude thang. I first went to all things GOOGLE and searched for “ways to increase traffic on your blog.” Most of the suggestions seemed to center around a few technical and non-technical areas. Pingbacks, which I enabled so that folks could link back to something on my blog and I would in turn know that “somebody out there likes me.” The next option was to plaster my blog and all my updated posts on social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, Linked In and the like. The only downer with this suggestion is that I have gone through great efforts to stay Facebook free, not linked in and my twitter account fluttered out of existence shortly after it began. It’s not that I despise social networking sites, it’s just that I have enough distractions…uh-I mean things to occupy my mind and I figure I needn’t add anymore. However, since the experts have spoken I am considering reactivating my Twitter account, because what could be more exciting than witnessing someone beg for readers?
Next came the “real” marketing strategies. “Shake things up,” “Be controversial,” “Say something outrageous, get people talking.” Trust me, it’s not that I eschew controversy, after all I have thought about writing a post on my Hot Mama Neighbor, her near midnight rousing and the very thin wall that separates our units, then again I may have already said enough, you get the picture. While I understand where these suggestions are coming from, I feel we have enough news host, inventing controversy, making outlandish statements and getting people riled up for ratings sake, why should I add to the mayhem. My motto for writing, blogging and general speaking has always been, talk about what you know, say what you mean and make it plain. Therefore any controversy you read here is completely organic, I promise.
Now with very few options left, and some fantastic guest posts from Mother’s Day still waiting to be read by millions I resort to the only other weapon I have…Incentives. Anyone who leaves a comment during the month of May will automatically be entered into a random drawing to receive a $10 Gift Certificate to Amazon.com. Now for you savvy online shoppers that could potentially mean $10 off your next book, t.v., diapers, shoes, bedding, toys, groceries…you name it, they sell it. And did you know that are supposedly over 670,000 books sold via Kindle are $10 or less…You interested?