Women’s Libbers

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‘Men who are prejudiced against women in executive positions have usually had a bad experience with one who swaggered in with a chip on her manly shoulder, believing that she had to fight her way up, and fight men to do it. A gal like that can make it tough for the rest of us. Many in the women’s liberation movement have done that—but few of them are executives… They have nothing to lose but their uncombed hair.’

From My Way of Life, by Joan Crawford, Simon and Schuster, 1971

New-Englands RARITIES Diſcovered

Image‘There are none that beg in the country, but there be witches too many, bottle-bellied witches amongst the Quakers, and others that produce many strange apparitions if you will believe report. Of a shallop at sea manned with women. Of a ship and a great red horse standing by the mainmast; the ship being in a small cove to the eastward vanished of a sudden. Of a witch that appeared aboard of a ship twenty leagues to sea to a mariner, who took up the carpenter’s broadax and cleft her head with it, the witch dying of the wound at home. With suchlike bugbears and terriculamentae.*

New England‘s Rarities Discovered, John Josselyn, Gent.  1672

* Terriculamenta, Latin: Things that excite terror

Utopian Socialism Explained

Image‘What is wrong with people nowadays? Why do they all seem to think they are qualified to do things far above their capabilities? This is all to do with the learning culture in schools. It is a consequence of a child-centered education system which tells people they can become pop stars, high court judges or brilliant TV presenters or infinitely more competent heads of state without ever putting the necessary work or having the natural ability. It is a result of social utopianism which believes humanity can be genetically engineered to contradict the lessons of history. What on earth am I to say to Elaine? She is so PC it frightens me rigid.’

A handwritten 2002 memo by the Prince of Wales to an unnamed member of his staff. He was reacting to a memo by a staff member named Elaine Day which suggested that secretaries and personal assistants with university degrees should have the opportunity to train as private secretaries or senior advisers.

A statue of the Pharaoh Akhenaten from Karnak, Photograph by Gérard Ducher

Future Shock with Truman Capote

Photo by Roger Higgins, New York World-Telegram and Sun.

From Lawrence Grobel’s Conversations with Capote, Nail Books New American Library, 1985.

Do you think that man will ever change?

No.

Will we become more and more corrupt? Will the world become more totalitarian? Are we heading toward that?

I don’t know. I think something’s going to happen. I think the world’s getting overly populated. Something’s going to happen in the twenty-first century. Everything’s going to change, so drastically that I’m not quite sure what it is. I feel as though the whole world is going to become one for once. I mean, there aren’t going to be any countries. I feel there’s going to be a terrific war. I don’t know when. There’s going to be a great depopulation in the world, and from that is going to arise an entirely different kind of civilization than we know today.

Do you feel that the works of art and the culture that we have preserved will disappear?

There’ll always be museums. Museums of the spirit, museums of the canvases. But I do feel there’s going to be some drastic change. I don’t feel that it’s very rapidly coming, but I think, within the next hundred years as we look back at today, we’re going to be quite amazed.

Are you happy to have lived at this time, or is there any other period when you would have preferred to live?

I would have preferred to live in the eighteenth century.

In what country?

I would have preferred to live in France and been very rich.

Photograph by Roger Higgins, New York World-Telegram and Sun

The Cool Beauty: Guan Yuan

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Sign at Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding:

‘My official name is Guan Yuan. In Chinese Guan means crest, and Yuan means head, and I have such an outstanding name as to be the spokeswoman of a famous brand in Japan. On August 1, 2003 my mom BinBin gave birth to me. While I was good looking when I was young, it was said by an elder member of my family that I’d gotten a bit fat by the age of 1. The excessive fat gathered around my face led to the appearance of smaller and smaller eyes. But there is no telling what a girl will look like when she grows up, and nowadays, my features are looking better and better. However, compared to my mum BinBin, I am not nearly as beautiful as she. I’ve had a good relationship with my mum since I was very young, so I was fortunate to share more time with my mum than with any other partner. In the thoughtful care of my mum, I rarely kept contact with outside friends; rather, I would play around with them.’

http://www.flickr.com/photos/dexterperrin/516674843/in/photostream/

Photograph: Sheila Lau

Professional Bears Association of North America 2013 Annual Convention: A Time to Lead

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With close to 500 delegates, the annual convention is the largest event hosted by the PBANA. Attendees are offered the unique opportunity to relax and network with their peers at the magnificent Palm Springs Rejuvenate Hotel and Convention Center in beautiful Palm Springs, California. Enjoy expert speakers and pampering by the Rejuvenate’s dedicated staff.

Schedule: Day 1
Welcome: Poolside Hawaiian Luau for First Time Delegates
Opening Night Reception: Fresh Salmon Buffet, Roasted White-Tailed Deer Fawn with Wasp Sauce, Wild Berries, and Feed Bins of Clotted Cream

Day 2
Integrating Research on Domestic and Foreign Policy Options for Bears
The Care Bears After the Aaaaaah Factor: Identities Beyond Brands
Does Quality Matter? Product Quality as a Determinant of Professional Bear Brand Equity
Long Range Planning Committee Meeting or Trip to Paintball Park
Gala Dinner and Auction in the Grand Ballroom with Special Guest Psy

Day 3
The Olympic Mishka: Relationship Marketing of Bears in Post-Soviet States
Transmitting the Message that Bears Improve Return on Marketing Investment
Charmin Bears Leonard and Molly: Building Your Brand Equity
Fast Food Buffet on the Terrace.

Keynote Address:

The Forty-Second President of the United States of America William Jefferson Clinton: Global Security in the Twenty-First Century

Honey pots in Outdoor Courtyard, Conference Closes

The staff at the Rejuvenate stapled polyethylene sheets to the floors and wheeled platforms of gigantic titanium chairs into the Valle Vista Meeting Room, but the bears still caused considerable damage. Housekeeping found bee hives stashed in the cupboards. The PBANA’s deposit was not returned, and the bill for the plumbing, carpenters, steam cleaners, and pest control was paid with the proceeds from the auction.
The other guests were not happy about the professional bears. They have filed lawsuits and posted vivid reviews of the Palm Springs Rejuvenate Hotel at TripAdvisor.com entitled: ‘The Seventh Circle of Hell’ and ‘We Are Now Infested with Mites Bedbugs Lice and Two Insects Our Exterminator Has Never Seen Before.’
The Charmin Bears were in and out on a Proctor and Gamble Gulfstream. They were speckled with confetti-sized pieces of Charmin Ultra Soft, in compliance with the National Advertising Division Council of Better Business Bureau’s recent ruling that the language in their commercials is directly contradicted by the visuals. Leonard and Molly Charmin are widely disliked by their peers. At the conference the other bears talked about how the only time they must see their cubs is to shoot commercials. Leonard fantasized about taking Rajat Gupta’s seat on the board of Proctor and Gamble.
The Care Bear Perfect and Polite Panda auctioned off hot air balloon rides and an extra-large custom made Ducati. Staley Da Bear snapped up the Napa Valley wine-tasting tour. There was a violent melee after the Gala Dinner when Teddy Ruxpin spilled his drink on the Coca Cola Polar Bear. The Coke Bear always keeps to himself and isn’t very popular. Psy got the crowd dancing with Gentleman.
The professional bears gave Bill Clinton four standing ovations. He lingered in the courtyard after his speech and sought out The Olympic Mishka for a chat. He posed for photographs with the honey-smeared bears and let Snuggle the Fabric Softener Bear climb onto his knee for a picture. The Snuggle Bear nuzzled the crook of Clinton’s elbow, giggled, and said, ‘Mmm, cuddle up fresh!’
Everyone agreed that it was a mistake to hold the convention in the desert. All of the bears complained incessantly about the heat.

NASA Photo AS16-117-18841

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‘I was able to look out the window, to see this incredible sight, of the whole circle of the earth. Oceans were crystal blue, the land was brown, and the clouds and the snow were pure white, and that jewel of Earth was just hung, up in the blackness of space. The only people that have seen the whole circle of the earth are the twenty-four guys that went to the moon.’

Charles Moss Duke Jr., Apollo 16, the tenth and youngest person to walk on the moon

In the Shadow of the Moon,directed by David Sington, 2007.

http://www.charlieduke.net/

George Sand’s Goat

In November of 1838 the writer George Sand travelled to Majorca with her two children and the ailing composer Frédéric Chopin. Winter in Majorca, her treatise against the island, was published in 1855. It was so excoriating that a rebuttal called To George Sand: A Refutation by José Quadrado soon followed. George Sand did not enjoy her stay in an abandoned Carthusian monastery, but she did like their pet goat.

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‘…we purchased a goat. She was the most gentle and lovable creature in the world, a lovely little African nanny, not yet two years old, with short chamois-coloured hair, a smooth hornless head, a pronounced Roman nose and drooping ears. These goat differ greatly from ours. They have the same cervine coat and ovine profile, but not the arch, saucy countenance of our playful kids. On the contrary, they seem full of melancholy…

…Our pet was enjoying her first maternity, and her milk had a delicate taste; but she was like a miser, especially when, parted from the herd among which she had been accustomed– no, not to gambol, being to solemn, too Majorcan for that- to stand musing on the top of a mountain, she fell into a state of gloom which was in certain respects analagous to our own. Though many fine weeds flourished in our courtyard, and aromatic plants, once tended by the Carthusians, were still to be found in our garden, nothing could reconcile her to captivity. She wandered bewildered and disconsolate through the cloisters, bleating so pitifully it would have moved a heart of stone. To keep her company we bought a fat sheep, with a thick white fleece six inches long, one of a breed now seen in France only on toy-sellers’ counters, or on our grandmother’s fans.’

Winter in Majorca, by George Sand, translated by Robert Graves, Valledemosa Edition, 1956

Grooming with Joan Crawford

Joan Crawford Boudoir

‘A busy woman can’t spend whole days in front of mirrors but she ought to have them all over the house (which improves the décor too) and make a point of glancing at herself every time she passes one. It’s a form of narcissism that pays off. If you are pleased with what you see, chances are he will be too.’

‘I have such a full schedule that it’s hard for me to be flexible about seeing people at a moment’s notice. For that reason I abhor dropper-inners. It happened to me recently. The house phone rang and the desk said that that three people were on their way up. There I was at my desk, swamped with correspondence, wearing a little cotton shift and very little makeup. I had to abandon everything, run quickly into my dressing room, get into a lovely dress I had bought in Canada, put on lipstick, and tidy my hair. I was furious. My own children wouldn’t think of dropping in without calling to see if I’m busy. I wasn’t rude, I said, “I’m sorry to have kept you waiting. I wasn’t expecting guests.”

‘Girls who wear their hair over their faces use their ears as hangers, pushing it back behind their ears—making such a commotion that people don’t know what the hell they’re talking about, let along what they look like.’

‘During the most blissful years of my life the dead center of my life was my husband. I worked with him, and made sure he was as comfortable and happy as a man could, and should, be…. When he came home I was well groomed, fragrant, feminine. He never saw a laundry bag, a dust cloth, or a hair curler. I hope he never knew that such things existed!’

My Way of Life, by Joan Crawford, Simon and Schuster, 1971

Fragments from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Notebooks

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When he buys his ties he has to ask if gin will make them run

Don’t get thinking it’s a real country because you can get a lot of high school kids into gym suits and have them spell out ‘bananas’ for the news reels

One of those girls who straighten your necktie to show that in her lay the spirit of the eternal mother

Women are fragile that way. You do something to them at certain times and literally nothing can ever change what you’ve done

In the beginning we are the split and splintered pieces of the basket in which we are all contained. At the end of the basket, turned upside down has become a haystack in which we search for our own smooth identity– as if it had ever existed.

Story-What becomes of old whores

Almost a whole chapter on the man’s attempt to educate his children without knowing where he stands himself– amid difficulties.

Boy carried off Titanic by his mother

She climbed a network of steel, concrete and glass, walked under a high echoing dome and came out into New York.

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Stifling as curtain dust.

Day with a busy man. Combine the day of Ernest’s pictures, the man of genius episode

Man who gives up just before his chance comes– but happy end and girl

On all sides faintly irregular fields stretched away to a faintly irregular unpopulated horizon.

Now it’s all as useless as repeating a dream.

The Noteboks of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Edited by  Matthew J. Bruccoli, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich/ Bruccoli Clark, 1978.