Department Of Visual Double-Take
I got this bottle of tequila for a friend, because of the label…which I misread. Boys and girls, can you guess which two letters my mind transposed with another two, which caused me at that initial, mistaken glance, to blurt out, to the store clerk,
“Four *hundred*? That’s the manliest tequila ever!”
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Several days ago, apropos of a prompt moiself cannot exactly recall (something I read which mentioned cyber-bullying) I listened, once again, to Monica Lewinsky’s acclaimed TED talk on the subject…which led me to read for the first time an article she wrote for Vanity Fair magazine several years ago – an article which preceded the TED presentation. If you listen to the first, which I strongly advise you (and all those who think they have an opinion on the Clinton-Lewinsky “scandal”) do, I also advise you read the second. After reading the article I wanted to send feedback to her personally but had no way to contact her (other than by cyber-stalking), so I am sending this out via the blog-o-sphere. May the cosmos have mercy upon me.
Dear Ms. Lewinsky,
I re-listened to your TED talk the other day ( apropos of a prompt I cannot now recall, but the subject was cyber-bullying ) and so, once again, I found the link to “The Price of Shame,” which I believe to be one of the best TED talks ever. If there were an awards ceremony for excellence in TED talks (“The Teddies?”  ), yours would get my nomination in the Best Issue category.
I’ve listened to it several times, and each time come away (re)impressed with your insightful analysis of the links between the evolution of “shame culture” via the concurrent rise of the 24 hour news cycles, social media, and online harassment. Most of all, I admire, how you have taken your personal experiences with persecution and worked to turn humiliation into advocacy.
Searching for a link to the TED talk led me to a link to “Shame and Survival,” the article you wrote for Vanity Fair magazine in 2014, where you dealt with the issues which you would later incorporate in your TED talk, and also went into more detail about your experiences. I found myself cheering your determination to take back your narrative and give a purpose to your past (and present). However, there was one cringe-worthy (to me) statement you made therein, one which I hope the passage of time has given you cause to reconsider.
“I still have deep respect for feminism and am thankful for the great strides the movement has made in advancing women’s rights over the past few decades. But, given my experience of being passed around like gender-politics cocktail food, I don’t identify myself as a Feminist, capital F.”
The context of your statement – your relating the “humiliation derby” that several prominent women joined in, which illustrated ” …a perplexing aspect of the culture of humiliation…that women themselves are not immune to certain kinds of misogyny “– makes your sentiment fully understandable, and arguably inevitable. After being on the receiving end of such cruel treatment, the fact that you are not bitter and vindictive – it is a testament to your strength of character, maturity and grace (and I question whether I be capable of displaying or developing those qualities, were I in similar circumstances).
Still, that was six years ago, and I hope that now you could identify yourself with the F word (maybe not in all caps). Perhaps you have already done so, and my point is moot. Proceeding on the assumption that you haven’t, my concern with you still holding that sentiment is related to your crusade regarding online bullying, in which you want people to view other people as unique human beings and not stereotypes, and not hold an entire category of people responsible for the cruel actions or snide comments of a few individuals.
Feminism, the simple yet profound philosophy of advocating for women’s rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes, did not let you down. Certain “celebrity feminist” individuals – who were, unfortunately, prominent enough that their short-sighted, narrow-minded, unkind and snarky comments about you were deemed worthy of recording – let you down.
Along with short-sighted and narrow-minded, snarky and unkind, I would add fearful to characterize the comments made about you by those feminist personalities. They were fearful – with good reason, it turns out – of what would happen if “the other side” used the Clinton scandal to gain (even more) power for themselves. The other side both explicitly and implicitly avowed to undermine and overturn the principles feminism stood for and the civil rights for which feminists strove, and as we see today, their retrograde view of what constitutes equal rights is unfortunately and alarmingly persistent.
Yes, the gap between the personal and the political vis-à-vis President Clinton’s behavior – which includes how you were scapegoated and the resulting political/cognitive dissonance it evoked in too many of Clinton’s female supporters – was alarming. Unfortunately, no matter how regressive his treatment of an individual woman was, Clinton’s political stances, policies and agendas were far more progressive and pro-women than what the Republicans stood for. Thus, the shameful loyalty of those vocal feminists who slid down the old slippery slope of immediate political self-interest:
“He may be a SOB, but he’s *our* SOB…and sadly, what are our alternatives?”
I’m sorry if this seems overly didactic; you are obviously intelligent, thoughtful, and historically literate, and these are points which you have already likely considered. Still, as a lifelong supporter of equal rights, I hope that you would someday be able to reevaluate and embrace the term feminist, to know that you can disagree with others who may claim that mantle just as you continue to support Democratic policies and ideals despite the injustices done to and said about you by many of your fellow Democrats.
Thank you again for the important causes and issues you continue to illuminate and advocate, and for your bravery and example to all women and men for rising above adversity and calling out the “culture of shame.” Wishing you all the best, I am,
* * *
Blog Department Of Classic How-To-Live-A-Good-Life Advice ® Tweaked
Your life’s journey is not to discover who you are,
but rather who you want to be.
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Department Of The Deep Thoughts Continue, aka
What I Thought About When I Overheard An Older Person
Denigrate Young(er) People’s Lack Of Perspective Re The Passage Of Time
The fact that nothing lasts is the reason that things matter. Our ephemeral, mortal nature gives meaning to every day. The realization that we will never pass this way can make us treasure the here and now, and make the most of the time we have.
This is not a novel idea. When I’ve read similar sentiments it is at this point that the typical Life Advice Giver® writes about how this ephemeral-ity is understood by the old and not so much by the young…. And moiself doesn’t think that’s necessarily the case. 
I’ve known plenty of older people who gave no indication that their advanced years had brought them any advanced wisdom – they seemed just as stuck in the minutia of life as the Gen X, Y, or Z-ers whom they were so critical of for “not seeing the bigger picture.” These same Oldsters® were/are not stepping back to look at *their* bigger picture, for fear of what it contains. Their resulting lack of introspection and/or denial of obvious realities (My body is changing; Time waits for no one) is perhaps the opposite side of the coin of the stereotype of hedonistic youth (Live for the moment; Who cares about tomorrow …Hey, hold my beer while I do this…).
* * *
Department of The Corona Virus Playlist
The Heavy Metal Edition
Specifically, the prototypes of what became known as Heavy Metal music (such as the bands Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath), guitar-driven rock characterized by amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and maximum concert decibel intensity (translation: LOUD)..
Moiself has listed some of those groups’ song titles which are IMHO, applicable to our social-isolating, transmission–paranoid, COVID-19 times, and which, in small groupings, imply a related story.
Dazed And Confused
Good Times Bad Times
Hey Hey What Can I Do
How Many More Times
In My Time Of Dying
Stairway To Heaven
Wearing And Tearing
What Is And What Should Never Be
Your Time Is Gonna Come
A Touch Away
Don’t Hold Your Breath
Into The Fire
Might Just Take Your Life
Smoke On The Water
Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming
A Hard Road
Dying For Love
Get A Grip
Killing Yourself To Live
What’s The Use?
When Death Calls
* * *
Pun For The Day
I stayed up all night to see where the sun went, and then it dawned on me.
* * *
Department of Epicurean Excursion Evolution 
And here’s what I made for ours, one day this week.
Featuring this week’s Theme Day (Wednesday Wraps) and recipe:
Whole wheat calzones with pistachio basil pesto and asparagus
☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼
Recipe Rating Refresher 
* * *
May you not judge the notorious until you’ve walked a mile in their scandals;
May your label letter transpositions bring you a good belly laugh;
May you live as long as you want to, and want to as long as you live;
…and may the hijinks ensue.
Thanks for stopping by. Au Vendredi!
* * *
 Just think of the cute design possibilities for the teddy bear statues that would be presented to the winners.
 What’s with the lack of footnotes?
 A recurring feature of this blog, since week 1 of April 2020, wherein moiself decided that moiself would go themes as listed in the 4-3-20 blog.
* Abject Failure: I’ll make a canned wieners & SpaghettiOs gelatin mold before I make this recipe again.
* Tolerable: if you have the proper…attitude.
* Yep: why, sure, I’d share this with my cat.
* Now you’re talkin’: Abby the support Avocado ® approves.
* Yummers: So good, it merits The Purple Tortilla Chip Of Exclamation ® !