Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Hey, ABC--This Is Insulting to Women and Wrong on So Many Levels

I saw a promo for a new comedy on ABC. Courtney Cox plays a real estate agent re-entering the dating market and somehow ends up dating younger men. The name of the show: "Cougar Town."
Now, keep in mind that throughout recorded history, it's been seen as perfectly acceptable for younger women to couple up with mature men. No one's said boo about it, whether it's Hugh Hefner munching Viagra for his twin girlfriends or Donald Trump tossing out wives like dated donations to Goodwill. Recently, relationships between mature women and younger men (i.e. Demi Moore and Ashton Kucher) have grown more prevelent. However, the woman is likely to be labled a "cougar."
I don't know the etymology of the term, but it comes across as derogatory and demeaning.
There's no male correlate for it. Tina Turner, Carol Burnett, Raquel Welch...hello, ABC, see who you just insulted?
The clip that I saw featured another character in her late 50's still trying to act like a college age party girl who encouraged Ms. Cox's charater to use her sexuality to get business. Embracing youth is one thing, but engaging in behavior like that is unattractive at any age.
The always beautiful Angela Lansbury observed that what makes a mature woman sexy is that which makes her alluring. She's right. It's something more timeless, and has to do with her essential character and ability to accept herself rather than gatting sliced, diced and Botoxed or slathering on potions made from fetal sheep cells or exercising to the point where her relationships are impacted. It has to do with realizing that it's ok to change as the seasons do, and that you can still be youthful and sexy, but find more subtle ways to express it. It's good to see that there are men out there brave enough to realize it, and they deserve nothing but laurels for doing so.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Actually, It's Pretty Dumb

Did you know that Froot Loops are a health food? Really, according to the good (said with dripping sarcasm) people of the Smart Choices council. Its members are several of the major food processor revamping the labling to tout non-existant health benefits.
What they did was to take nutritional info such as calories and move it to the front of the box rather than the side. Sure, you can have a serving of that for only 120 calories. What they leave on the side is the outrageous amount of sugar and the artificial colors and flavors.
While it may smack of the scene in "Sleeper" where Woody Allen wakes up in the future to find out that cigarettes and fried food are good for you, it's not funny in this case. Please pay Jenny at
http://thenourishedkitchen.com a visit to find out what you can do.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Escapes, Passions, Obsessions

Call her Annie. She's been a breath of fresh air with her bright smile and enthusiasm for life, stretched out as she is from her four jobs and babysitting to finance her college education.
Today as she made her rounds picking up after errant park visitors, she stoppped to chat. The gist of this morning's conversation: the latest gossip on a singer in a South Korean band, an American citizen who'd had to leave Seoul due to some disparaging remarks he's made on his social networking page shortly after moving there. As of five this morning on his social networking page, over 67,000 former fans had signed a petition requesting that he commit suicide. Annie had been monitoring the page all night until she had to leave for work.
I just listened. I prefer historical novels myself, but whatever...

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Fox Valley Folk Festival

For the last 33 Labor Days, the Fox Valley Folklore Society and Geneva, Illinois Park District have transformed Island Park, a real island in the Fox River connected to the mainland by bridges into a micro-nation celebrating all thing folk. Performers and artists with their creations share their lives' works in the shade of trees that have been on the island for as long as there was enough soil to hold their roots.
Our favorite local act? Small Potatoes (http://smallpotatoesmusic.com), a duo who do a little of everything, including the gently witty "Waltz of the Wallflowers," a song about two shy people meeting at a party. I've seen them in concert several times and they improve upon perfection with each show.
This year also included a songwriting workshop lead by Peggy Seeger, sing alongs, and other workshops.
Be there for the 34th annual Fox Valley Folk Festival, Labor Day weekend 2010, or be square. And bring your dog, too.