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  1. (my replies indented)

    BTW, I do NOT consider sex to be a “cheaply held bauble” — On the contrary, I consider it to be the closest a man and a woman can ever get and extremely rewarding … and fun!

    Other than that, I fully agree with this.

    Well, as I noted in the Firestarter, I was objecting to the objectivization of sex in that fashion by Madonna. ;)

  2. (originally posted 8/4 on the final edit of this posting; my replies indented)

    More reviewing. Yay, another Firestarter. =) I didn’t think I had much to say about this. Ha! I went off at great length.

    Cool! Don’t feel bad about going off, Lou — I love when that happens! Usually (as with this time) it means I get to learn something nifty and new. ;)

    You’re right; Madonna missed. Her version of that song is past “alluring” and into “demanding.” As you noted, Madonna often misses.

    Childishness is sexy? Bleh. I would never say “childishness is sexy.” I think that to say that from this one example is kind of a reach; do you have other examples?

    You very well may. Our society’s ideal beauty, that almost androgynous, overly thin, impossibly tall shape of the fashion model is almost childish in many ways, and, um, strange. I spent too long with a fashion-designer-in-training to see that as unquestionably sexy any more, and more as an act or a product.

    Well, I decided to change the title, to reflect the slightly different ‘take’ on the subject which I was creating. On the other hand, the question is still an excellent one — because yes, it’d be extremely easy to come up with a whole bunch of such examples. I’ll write a Firestarter on it at some point. ;)

    A book review you wrote mentions that it seems to be impossible for people involved in a romance to actually communicate with each other, and to suffer on in silence until things are horribly bad and wrong, only to have to cope with it at the worst possible moment. That strikes me as childish too — adults would stop and solve problems and not let them fester until it’s a disaster.

    That was actually me describing one of the key elements in much romantic fiction. I admit, though, I’ve never understood the allure of most romances.

    I’d have to agree waiting until everything sucks, and you’re both furious, before you fix it is a rotten time to do so. Plus, I suspect the tender reunions where both parties reveal they desperately love each other, which most romance novels depict, happens extremely infrequently. Far more likely (at least in real life) are messy and unpleasant breakups, sadly enough.

    Of course, there are an awful lot of childish people wandering around in the world, even driving cars and working at “adult” jobs. Our society seems to encourage and reward some of those behaviors on its own, rather than encouraging people to be responsible for themselves and to think about their actions and the consequences.

    I also think you’ve missed the point of Betty Boop. What we’ve got left from Betty Boop today is a strange, unnatural shape with a worn and meaningless tagline. The reason she exists at all any more is because someone owns the trademark and is cashing in on the name. This is a great fall from her debut, and you’re right, it is shallow, pointless, and childish.

    Betty Boop was a very, very early cartoon. She was artistically different — she had real arms and legs and an expressive face, rather than rubber hoses for arms and legs and a mostly static face. She was sexy, rather than being a stick figure, cariacture, or funny animal. She was one of the first cartoon characters aimed at entertaining the adults — mostly the men — in the audience, rather than the children.

    These were cartoon shorts shown before feature films. Betty Boop was the star from 1932 to 1936; this was a very different culture than we have today. The idea that they’d show the silhouette of a woman’s body behind a screen was lascivious and racy, and that’s what they did. They suggested that these aren’t pictures, but that they’re people, and they made her a desirable person at that.

    In the 30’s… during the Great Depression… the idea that she would be shown on-screen, doing a topless dance for Popeye (from the back, mind you) was astonishing and racy. It meant a great deal. Today it means nothing, particularly in black and white, as all of her cartoons were animated.

    In fact, as many of those very early cartoons were, some of the Boop cartoons are nearly psychedelic and unfathomable. They’re surreal and bizzarre, and they aren’t shown any more. I don’t have any of the Boops in my collection — a sad oversight now that I think of it! — but I do have some of the very early and contemporary Warner work, and it’s the same way. The part that’s most interesting is that Betty Boop was one of the first who was not entirely that way, and who told a story rather than just gyrating on the screen.

    Now, some of the things she told, according to the bits I found on the web, you might disagree with. Apparently at the end of “Betty Boop and the Little King” it’s suggested, never stated, but suggested that she’s become his mistress. Some of the cartoons were apparently dark commentary on the world of the day.

    Here’s an essay that covers this (and where some of my information comes from):

    Here’s the IMDB search for her, which lists the films:;nr=1;q=betty%20boop

    That doesn’t mean that the Betty Boop that’s come down through the decades isn’t childish and horrible, a terrible caricature of sexiness, but that’s not the fault of the character.

    Cool! I love learning new things — thank you, Lou.

    Regarding Betty Boop… hm. Well, I could be uncharitable and point out the cartoons were initially toys for children, and then Betty Boop made them toys for men — not a huge advance for women, in that case.

    On the other hand, and to be fair, Bob pointed out she was one of the very first women depicted who was also her own woman — she did what she wanted and didn’t need a man to do so. So, while I don’t enjoy her, I can see how she was of value for the time period.

    As a note, “Fair Use” says you can put up to 30 seconds of sample on your web page. If you can find a place Madonna is screechy or overly demanding and Eartha Kitt is engaging and alluring, you might do so.

    Hm! Good idea — I’ll see if I can find some! ;)

  3. (originally posted 8/04 on the final edit of the posting; my replies indented)

    I am not fond of either singer, but then, I am not fond of singing.

    Oh, too bad! I think you’re missing out, if so. Some of the songs I know never fail to give me a lift when I’m singing them or dancing to them, and some of the classical choral pieces I have can still move me to tears.

    I am not sure ‘trade sex for presents’ counts as childish, but I gather under modern conditions many 12 year olds would differ. (That’s an observation on reality, no more.)

    Hm. I should better define that, I guess. What I was aiming at was more a condemnation of the utter manipulativeness of something I feel should be either entirely a gift between people who care about each other, or entirely a business proposition.

    I don’t have a problem with honest prostitution — how is selling your body for sex any different than selling your body for modeling or professional sports, after all? What I have a problem with is dishonestly manipulative behavior.

    Actual childish behavior, over the top, orregular, misbehaving to embarass) also does not strike me as being alluring.

    Me either, and I’ve seen that pouty, whiny, stampy feet effect used by grown women to get what they want from grown men — and worse, I’ve seen it work. Always makes me want to shudder, then ask them both (the men as well as the women), with incredulous horror, if they realize how moronic that makes them appear.

    Just because I have this letter from the Brussel War Crimes Tribunal explaining that broadcasts of my singing count as weapons of mass destruction is no reason to suppose that I cannot sing.

  4. (Originally posted 8/04 in final edit form; my replies indented)

    I’ve not heard Eartha Kitt’s rendition of Santa Baby, but will certainly be on the lookout for it. Madonna’s version is like fingernails on a chalkboard… forks on china… and the ever popular Blue Screen of Death.

    Oh my god, tell me about it. Makes me want to throw things at the speakers. ;-p

    Just who is it that considers childishness sexy? Like you, I want to slap people who whine. Childishness is childish, not sexy. That whole Betty Boop thing just creeps me out. If Harrison Ford acted like a spoiled five-year-old, would that be sexy? Oh, HELL no! He’s sexy because he’s an adult who acts like one. (And he’s got a great bod, a rugged face, and outstanding acting skills. ;) ) Or how about Glenn Close? Try imagining her acting like a spoiled child. Nope, I can’t either. But I think she’s pretty darn sexy. (Equal opportunity admirer… that’s me!)

    Oh, thank god — someone else who just doesn’t get Betty Boop — yay! I thought it was just me. ;)

    Re who thinks childishness is sexy — I will admit it seems to be becoming rarer, thank god. I say this because it’s now noteworthy when we observe it, rather than simply being the norm. But there’s a whole genre of movies made in the uhhh… 50’s, I think? -sometime around then — which I simply cannot watch without ending up gritting my teeth at the incredibly stupidly petulant whiny women we’re supposed to be ‘identifying with’ as the heroines! ;-p

    Gadzooks, the weird things people do. I don’t get it. But I’ve been saying since high school that I don’t understand humans. :D I doubt I ever will. I’m still working on understand ME. LOL

    Heh, I hear that one… I’m still working on myself too. Then again, I figure it’s a lifelong endeavor, right?

    Interesting that you’re already working on your holiday theme. I’ve started making my holiday cards for this year. Of course, I make many to sell, so I have to start early so I have enough. It’s great fun.

    Oh, that’s so cool — I had no idea you sold the cards too! Very nifty; hope you enjoy it! I’ve started making a few cards just for fun myself too. I tend to scan them in, upload them here so I never lose them — and then send them to folks!

    As Tiny Tim should have said, “God and Goddess bless us, every one!”

    Hear, hear! ;)

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