Saturday, February 02, 2008

nicked from BoingBoing

and as Cory Doctorow said, Christ I'm old.

Enjoy: Beloit College's Class of 2011 "Mindset List." These kids were
born in 1990.

bring this one back

He's out of my age range, I'm afraid, but I listen to older people when they come in to the library. I like to. They have something to say. This gent is a gardener. Wants to find indigenous plants. "I have the internet, but I'm too old for that," he says. I start to protest and he says, "People say you're never too old, but I have a house in Italy," he explains, and I get it: for someone who wants to dig in the dirt and watch things grow, the Internet doesn't have relevance. I give him the phone number for Burpee so he can get a catalog and gorge himself on glorious color photos of plants (a nice activity on a blustery gray afternoon, by the way) and suggest he call Rutgers' horticulture department and see if they have a list of retailers who sell the plants they mentioned in a recent news article. "You're a honey," he tells me, and winks, and I am tranformed into a girl in a pink twin set and pearls and it's 1949.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

In praise of birthday suits

I'm having a bad body day, meaning I'm just uncomfortable in my skin. My thighs are touching. My feet and legs are begging to be released from the boots I'm wearing because the zippers are poking them. My bra just doesn't seem supportive today. My sleeves feel awkward.

So, basically, it's not my body at all, it's being clothed. So this quote from Bertrand Russell seems appropriate.

This was written in 1929, in Marriage and Morals.

“The taboo against nakedness is an obstacle to a decent attitude on the subject of sex. Where young children are concerned, this is now recognized by many people. It is good for children to see each other and their parents naked whenever it so happens naturally. There will be a short period, probably at about three years old, when a child is interested in the differences between his father and his mother, and compares then with the differences between himself and his sister, but this period is soon over, and after this he takes no more interest in nudity than in clothes. So long as the parents are unwilling to be seen naked by their children, the children will necessarily have a sense that there is a mystery, and having that sense they will become prurient and indecent. There is only one way to avoid indecency, and that is to avoid mystery.

There are also many important grounds of health in favor of nudity in suitable circumstances, such as out-of-doors in sunny weather. Sunshine on the bare skin has an exceedingly health-giving effect. Moreover anyone who has watched children running about in the open-air without their clothes must have been struck by the fact that they hold themselves much better and move more freely and more gracefully than when they are dressed. The same thing is true of grown-up people. The proper place for nudity is out-of-doors in the sunshine and in the water. If our conventions allowed of this, it would soon cease to make any sexual appeal; we should all hold ourselves better, we should be healthier from contact of air and sun with the skin, and our standards of beauty would nearly coincide with the standards of health, since they would concern themselves with the body and its carriage, not only with the face. In this respect the practice of the Greeks was to be commended.”