Sunday, August 24, 2008

Male dominated societies

What's on my mind today: Gypsies, paranormal romance novels, Dickens

Dear Bratty Friends,

What is it about a male-dominated society where the men do not work that makes it so very unstable? Take the gypsies for example. In Isabel Fonseca's 1996 novel, "Bury me standing," she discusses how the women do all of the cleaning, cooking, bathing, childcare, and cleaning, while the men, if they do not have a job outside the home - and not many of them in the book do for any long period of time - merely sit about waiting for their coffee.

I think a society of idle men are looked upon with suspicion by others, who do work to support their families, and that is part of the reason that gypsies are so marginalized.

Recently a former coworker of mine who is very young called to say that her boyfriend - with which she already has one child, and another one on the way - quit his job because the commute was too long. HUH?? He decided not to support his girlfriend (not wife, mind you), and his 2 year-old daughter, AND the one on the way just because the commute was too long? I don't get it. Most men I know would do what they had to do to support their families.

Take my father for instance. He wasn't crazy about his job, but he didn't quit. He worked there for 35 years so that his wife and two children would eat and have a roof over their heads. He would never have thought of disowning them, or disgracing them by forcing them to live in poverty because he didn't like the commute time.

And what about the African tribes where the women gather all the food, and the men sit about all day? Or perhaps the Native American tribes where the women did the work and the men either got meat, went to war, or did very little. Where have they gone to? They're dying out folks. That way of life is going quickly away.

Fonseca said the gypsies called their lack of desire to grow crops to feed themselves their "curse."

Well, curses can be broken. It just takes a little bit of effort. Give me a large plot of land, some Vanner poop, and I'll show you how to feed the whole gypsy army. But one has to get off one's arse!



Friday, August 22, 2008


Dear Bratty Friends,

What, I wonder, is the basis of our real (or imagined) fascination with flesh? In truth, it covers our skeletons for a short time, but eventually the skeleton wins. Them bones, them bones. But seriously folks, what's all the fuss about? Are we merely no more than gullible gene multipliers? At the whim of DNA at every turn? Every blinkn, every blush? Sigh....

What, really is flesh? Can we measure it? Weigh it? Inspect it?

How do we see it? As an organ? As a sexual trigger?

Why don't we have a scientific measure of beauty, like we do for everything else? Why does some flesh elicit desire while others do not? Baby flesh, older flesh, birth-marked flesh, etc.

Is there any real difference between one person's flesh and another? Scientifically speaking, of course.

If all flesh is basically the same, why do we judge? What good does it really do? We are all going to fill a grave some day, does it really help us at all to differentiate? Or is it just ego-based behavior?

How can we let go of this thinking? Why should we? How can we re-think flesh?

These are my thoughts for the day,


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Garden Check-up

Dear Bratty Friends,

Below are some photos taken of the garden on August 4th. As you can see, the potato rows are coming along just fine, even the stubby one:

In addition, the corn is now corning along, and today, which is actually August 12th, the corn has its tassels, but I don't think you can see them in the below photo:

Of course, Tiger the garden yak is our little hose helper. He can't help it if he looks crazy...... He lives outside and can't wait to water with Ken in the mornings. If Ken doesn't get out there right away, Tiger gets a little cranky.

And last but not least, here is a general garden shot to show the size of '08's spread.

We are expecting high temperatures this weekend - 104 degrees on Saturday. The newly planted kale should LOVE that!

More later,