Crazes

I remember back from my earliest schooldays that we kids had what our parents called “crazes” — fads that became “must-haves” among the schoolkids — and it seemed like every three weeks or so one would appear:  yo-yos, poker dice, marbles and so on all became the standard stuff in our pockets.  And woe betide you if you were “behind” the craze;  you were an outsider, and we all know how injurious that is to the tender susceptibilities of a child.

Needless to say, just when you’d finally prevailed upon your parents to get you a yo-yo — and it had to be the right kind/brand, of course — the trend would change, yo-yos became yesterday’s news (until next year, maybe), and some new damn thing would put you, the hapless kid, straight back into the outsider camp.

Of course, that tendency to follow crazes — what’s politely called “fashion” but is really just some desperate need to fit in with the “cool kids” — manifests itself in the adult world as well, whether it’s shoes (Michael Jordan Air, Manolo Blahnik), clothing (Versace, North Face), sunglasses (Ray-Ban, Oakley) and gawd help us, colors (coyote brown, putty, cement).  I’d add that even guns (Glock, SIG) aren’t immune to this nonsense, but no doubt some people will get offended.  And don’t even get me started on “smart” water, as though that Perrier bullshit wasn’t bad enough.

And now we have Stanley insulated mugs and flasks.  Seriously?  Overpriced sippycups to keep one’s coffee hot or “energy drinks” (another stupid fucking craze) cold, and among all the Cool Kidz, they’re a gotta-have.

The problem with adult crazes is that unlike marbles or yo-yos, they’re really expensive (see:  Ferrari, Range Rover, Michael Kors and Gucci).

The fun part is that whereas the nonconformists used to just suffer the opprobrium heaped on outsiders, nowadays there’s occasional pushback:

Stanley cups have become the ultimate “it” item for Gen Z, with hundreds desperate to get their hands on the £45 ‘adult sippy cup’.  The tumblers recently launched in the UK to much fanfare, taking many people to take to Twitter to joke about the ‘millennial version’

‘These were my Stanley cup’ one person wrote, a picture of coloured Coca-Cola glasses that came free with McDonald’s meals throughout the noughties.

Yeah, whatever.  (And then there’s this, sent to me by Reader Mike L.)

I have to admit that I’ve never understood the appeal of crazes, and (certainly as a youngin) this has generally made me a permanent outsider for most of my life.

I also resent like hell the fact that crazes, by and large, are created by brand- and product manufacturers’ marketing departments (e.g. perfumes, where the marketing and container costs constitute about 90% of the retail price — and I can’t help thinking that the same is true for most trendy bullshit).

As far as I’m concerned, if I wear a shirt with a brand on it (don’t hold your breath), the brand should pay me for carrying their advertising, instead of me having to pay a (massive) premium for the privilege of wearing a stupid Adidas or (even worse) Dallas Cowboys t-shirt.  Yeah, I know:  the franchises need the additional revenue to help pay their spokesmodels’ outrageous endorsement fees — yet another topic that could engender a 20,000-word rant from Yours Truly.

It’s all marketing:  a specious (albeit regrettably-effective) attempt to boost sales of some product or other, or some brand which is almost identical to another in the product line.

Fach.

I think I’ll just have another sip of coffee from my insulated container, compared with its premium (and not really better) craze competitor.

The coffee isn’t that awful Starbucks shit, just ordinary ol’ Dunkin Donuts Regular.

(Actually, I think those Coca-Cola plastic glasses are pretty cool, just not that kind of cool…)


Update:  literally two minutes after this was posted, I got one of these spams in my Inbox.

Coincidence?  I report, you decide.

However:  if it’s not coincidence and someone got busy with my data, let’s acknowledge that their little AI data-scraping bot isn’t that good — because on countless occasions, I’ve heaped scorn and invective on the horrible sponsor.  In fact, I’d rather inject boiling bleach into my scrotum than give Dick’s a single dollar.  Wonder if they’ll pick that up?

Bad Behavior

Back when I was still on the dating scene (shortly after someone discovered fire), I was thankfully spared the prospect of my date behaving badly by being glued to her cell phone during the meal.   (Back then, I didn’t even have a landline phone because the phone company — in South Africa, the Post Office — had a three-month backlog on new home phone installations.)

However, that was then and this is now.  Here’s what one guy did when faced with such a situation:

A man has caused a debate after admitting to walking out on a date without paying his portion of an $80 bill because his potential love interest was ‘constantly on her phone’. The man, who is from a major US city, revealed he met up with the woman after matching on a dating app. The pair hit it off and decided to meet in person.

The man was quick to brand the woman as a ‘vapid moral monstrosity’ who had the ‘attention span of a gnat’, after she spent a whole five minutes ferociously texting as they waited for their food.

When they finally began to chat she was quick to, yet again, start answering her ‘buzzing’ phone . The man attempted to make a few hints to his date about her antisocial behavior by joking and even saying he would throw the phone out of the window if it continued. However, his incessant hints fell on deaf ears as her eyes continued to be glued to her phone screen.

An appetizer and two drinks later, the man realized he was miserable and there was no possible way to turn this date around. He headed to the toilet, promising himself that if her eyes were still locked on her phone screen, then he would be making a swift exit out of the door.

When he came out to find her eyes fixed fixed on the screen, he validated that promise by quickly leaving. He detailed: “I looked the other way and there was a service door open behind the kitchen. I turned right instead of left and exited into the sweet, sweet air of freedom.”

And here’s the kicker:

It was only 30 minutes after he had left that the date even realized his absence, texting him: “Did you leave?”

Good for him.  I’m even glad that she got stuck with the tab, because having such appalling manners deserves to be punished.

I don’t even know why there would be a “debate” on the topic.

Flaunting It

It’s a well-known fact that I am somewhat conservative in my outlook [chorus of “No, Kim… not you!], but not really when it comes to women’s clothing.  Having come of age during the late 1960s and 1970s, I kinda like it when women show off their bodies (allowing for the Lizzo Exception, of course).

However, this one made me stop in my tracks:

Granted, she’s another one of those Brit Celeb/Actresses/Houris [some overlap]  but at least she’s apparently married to the father, so there’s that.  But I still feel a little… uncomfortable? looking at that display.

Now I’m not one of those “cover up everything because pregnancy is somehow shameful” people — sheesh, that went out with the Victorians — and I recall seeing some awfully-sexy pregnant women in Chile who were not at all shy about wearing tight little mini-dresses and high heels as they strutted their stuff around downtown Santiago.  I love the whole thing about pregnant women, too;  I think it’s glorious.

Still, I can’t help feeling that the above is a little too ostentatious or even vulgar.  Can we not say that women need to be a little more ladylike about the whole thing?

I know, I know:

“Kim, women show off their tummies in bikinis and midriff tops all the time — and you’re a serial offender when it comes to posting those pics, you dirty old bastard.  So why should it be any different when they’re pregnant?”

Because it IS different.

I welcome comments on the topic.

When Does It Become Obscene?

Surfing on a bellyboard along the waves of Teh Intarwebz, I was struck by something, and not for the first time.

Readers of this corner will of course be familiar with golf hottie Paige Spirinac, who possesses quite possibly one of the best female bodies around, as evidenced in these pics:

Now here’s the thing.  While young Paige’s derrière is by no means underrepresented, it’s not by any means over-large, e.g.

So why have huge buttocks become a thing?

Maybe the trend started with screechy pop star Jennifer Lopez:

… and was amplified [sic]  by the awful Kim Kardashian (who has never been slow to ride a trend, so to speak):

It seems, however, that this trend has no upper limit — and I speak not of all-over fatties like Lizzo, but of “Playboy models” like this one:

It’s been decades since I looked at a Playboy, but if this is the trend of their models, it will be decades more before I do it again, if ever.  Horrible.

Another example is “plus-size” model Ashley Graham, who despite having an exquisitely-beautiful face, has a backside that would fill a school bus:

Among African tribes, a large pair of buttocks is a feature of attractiveness, because it speaks not only of fertility but also of the owner thereof being well nourished (a source of pride for their husbands as providers).

But that’s in Africa.  We live in the West, and have a European standard of beauty.  And I speak not of ultra-skinnies and the like (that being more a creation of homosexual fashion designers), but of women who have proportional statistics.

Here’s actress Sasha Alexander, for instance, who has what I would consider a decent set of proportions:

Note:  no inflated breasts, nor a bulbous backside.  Another example?  Sure, why not?  Here’s the rather Mumsy-looking Laura Hamilton, who in in her forties and has two kids:

Let me say in summary that I’m not asking for women to strive for some impossible ideal of beauty:  anything but.

What I’m asking for is proportion, and not grotesqueries.

And yes, I’m familiar with the contradiction of all the above, considering that  pneumatic sexagenarian Carol Vorderman often appears on my back porch:

…as does the equally-balloony Kelly Brook:

What can I say?  I’m a sucker for a pretty face.

Model Failure

Yesterday I received another one of those email ads trying to get me to spend more money.  I was about to junk it, when something caught my eye, to wit, this:

Great Aphrodite’s bleeding eyeballs, when did models turn away from being beautiful and into heffalumps like the above?

Yeah I know, “body positivity” and all that Womynz Issues stuff, but seriously?

Here’s something for the Fashion Industry to ponder.  Somewhere between this:

… and this:

…is a happy medium — basically, a women not emaciated or boyish, and not a fucking blimp either, but a woman who looks more like a happy medium, i.e. not like this:

…but more like this: 

The latter girl, by the way, is not a model, but just a random pic of an ordinary person taken from a newspaper — with an acceptably-pretty face, and a decent-but-not-perfect body.  That, I would suggest, is more of a happy medium than what we’re having shoved in our faces today.

Fuck their “body positivity” and all that jive.  If I’m going to be persuaded to buy something, I just want to see it presented in an agreeable form.

And this from a man who actually prefers zaftig  women over skinnies.  But I have my limits, and modern advertising has stepped well over them.  Here’s the latest such offering:

I love Miriam Margolyes beyond words… but as a model?  No.

If I want to see ugly women, I’ll go to WalMart.