Monday, March 31, 2014

What a douche!

This is the latest in a long, incredible line of ads aimed at women, presumably post-War. This absolutely baffled me at first (actually, it still does). It seems to be hinting, nay, stating that married women have a certain delicate little problem, one so offputting it can "ruin" a happy marriage.

Not to put too fine a point on it, their cunts stink.

We don't know why (except that we do!), as these are women who look to be clean and tidy, women who change their underwear daily and take baths. (And wash their hair in the sink and roll it up in a towel like a turban. Oh, I remember.)

I can only decipher this mystery as such: women smell so horrible and rank and offensive because they have had sex with their husbands. So it's HIS excrescenses that stink so much, except SHE gets the blame for it, and for breaking up the marriage.

So what's the solution (so to speak)? Why, Lysol Brand Disinfectant! You don't use it straight (or at least I don't think so), but add about a teaspoon to your "regular" douche, the douche you have every day because women's private parts are inherently smelly and foul.

I can only imagine how she'd smell THEN. Like a freshly-scrubbed kitchen floor, maybe, or a toilet that had just been swabbed out. A real turn-on, and obviously preferable to smelling like your husband's rotten festering day-old spooge.

Personally, I thought Lysol was for drinking when you're really desperate, or when the liquor store clerk throws you out for loitering. It goes well anywhere, most especially under a bridge, and with anything, namely Sterno. But for cunt hygiene, well, it's not the first thing I would have thought of.

But there is one thing I know, honorable readers (and forgive me for using the word cunt, it's the only one I could think of besides twat) - it's that stupid-ass HUSBAND who is the real douche, and for that, he deserves a Lysol enema so potent it will spurt out of his ears.

Love-quiz. . . For Married Folks Only

(This is a word-for-blotchy-word transcript of one of the many Lysol "Love Quiz" ads "for married folk only". The coy reference to "Lysol. . . every time" could only mean one thing.)


A. Yes. . . had the wife taken heed of her husband's increasing coolness, known the secret of thorough feminine hygiene, kept herself lovely to love.

Q. What does feminine hygiene have to do with keeping married happiness?

A. Far more than some women realize. . . but the WISE wife has the assurance of complete daintiness when she uses "Lysol" brand disinfectant REGULARLY in the douche.

"Check these facts with your doctor. . . "

Q. Many women use a douche only now and then. Is regularity in douching so important?

A. Yes, indeed. . . it should be a routine procedure with every married woman, and always with "Lysol". Because it has marvelous deodorant properties due to its PROVEN ability to kill germs instantly on contact.

Q. How about homemade solutions, such as salt and water?

A. They are old-fashioned and ineffectual, not to be compared with "Lysol"'s scientific formula. "Lysol" has tested efficiency in contact with organic matter. It is both effective and safe for delicate tissues when used as directed. 

ALWAYS USE "LYSOL" in the douche for its efficiency in combating both germs and odours. It will help you feel you have perfect grooming (for) romance.

Check these facts with your doctor (unintelligible)


For Feminine Hygiene use "Lysol" Every time


(the rest unintelligible, but contains the word "Lysol" at least three times. The product name appears about ten times in the copy. So we won't forget.)

OK then, so this is a repeat of something I did awhile ago, but the same truths apply. Bizarre and obnoxious as advertising is now, it was infinitely worse then.

I'm sorry, it's late, but I had to show you this. I hope you can read the text. I had to look at it twice, or more likely about 600 times to believe what I was seeing.

Women were conned into believing they were so stinky and drippy, the only solution was to douche every day with LYSOL. What did they have, bugs up their vagina? Were their twats so desperately in need of disinfection?

The add doesn't say this, in fact nobody ever says it, but MEN are the main reason women get stinky in the first place. You try getting ejaculated into, and not smell like an elderly salmon.

This ad is more horrific than the one about "more doctors recommend Camels". But if it doesn't work as a douche, I guess you could always drink it.

(Discovery! This ad wasn't a fluke: now I find a slew of them. A whole sociological treatise! If a woman smells like a woman, her marriage is over. If she smells like Lysol, however. . . va-va-VOOM!)

Minecraft Creeper - one of a kind!

More pictures from Ryan's birthday!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

The continuing saga of the Mungsingwear Men!

You truly can't make this stuff up. At a time when homosexuality was persecuted and kept hidden, a major underwear company ran ads like this. There are too many to count, and I keep finding new ones, so I can't put them all in one post (but there are lots more on this one):

All are heavily suggestive, from the dominant/submissive body postures to the titillating captions. In this one, the men are actually touching each other.

How did this ever get through? Was it a case of "oh, surely not"? Was it the same syndrome that allowed comedy teams like Martin and Lewis/Danny Kaye and Bing Crosby to "pass", with no one even thinking there might be more going on?

Just try that now.

Does that mean things are MORE repressive now? In a way, yes. If you ran this ad today, it would provoke howls of laughter. The homosexual connection would be obvious.

Every time I see one of these, my jaw drops. There should be a Munsingwear Hall of Fame. Behind all that joshing around is a passion for men's briefs so sizzling it fairly jumps off the page.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

What a character!

Though I haven't had much feedback yet on a novel that isn't even officially "out", my dear longtime friend/fellow author David West has already had a pretty strong reaction to it.

Do you think this matches up? David never looked quite this green, but his expression is getting close. Pure panic!

I've known David since forever, or at least since I took his Major Poets class in 1991 (and I remember he handed out photocopies of his own poems at the end of the class - that's showing 'em). Since then our friendship has been off and on, up and down, but always swinging around again like some kind of boomerang in eternal orbit.

What's nice about David, known to his friends as Brother David, is that he is at least as crazy as, if not crazier than, I am. Thus I can be myself in all my slightly-deranged glory. (And is that an alien space probe I see up on the ceiling? Kind of like Nomad on Star Trek? "Ster-rill-liiize!")

"Oh, look! There's the blurb I wrote!"

Note that the copy is already nicely dog-eared. I hope that's a good sign.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Sometimes I feel like a motherless child (a repeat, but a good one)

Artists struggle to survive in age of the blockbuster


In the artistic economy, the Internet has not lived up to its hype. For years, the cybergurus liked to tell us about the “long tail” – the rise of niches, “unlimited variety for unique tastes” – that would give equal opportunities to tiny indie bands and Hollywood movies. People selling products of any kind would, in the new connected world, be able to sell small amounts to lots of small groups. Implicit in the idea was the promise that since niche tastes would form online communities not limited by national boundaries, a niche product might find a large international audience without traditional kinds of promotion in its home country. People in publishing bought this, too. The end result, we were told, would be an extremely diverse cultural world in which the lesbian vampire novel would be just as widely discussed as the Prairie short story and the memoir in tweets.

In fact, the blockbuster artistic product is dominating cultural consumption as at no other time in history. Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent on each successive Hunger Games, and the rep cinemas have closed. A few sports stars are paid more individually than entire publishing houses or record labels earn in a year.

A couple of prominent commentators have made this argument recently about American culture at large. The musician David Byrne lamented, in a book of essays, that his recent albums would once have been considered modest successes but now no longer earn him enough to sustain his musical project. That’s David Byrne – he’s a great and famous artist. Just no Lady Gaga. The book Blockbusters: Hit-making, Risk-taking, and the Big Business of Entertainment, by business writer Anita Elberse, argues that the days of the long tail are over in the United States. It makes more sense, she claims, for entertainment giants to plow as much money as they can into guaranteed hits than to cultivate new talent. “Because people are inherently social,” she writes cheerily, “they generally find value in reading the same books and watching the same television shows and movies that others do.”

Well, the same appears to be true of publishing, even in this country. There are big winners and there are losers – the middle ground is eroding. Publishers are publishing less, not more. Everybody awaits the fall’s big literary-prize nominations with a make-us-or-break-us terror. Every second-tier author spends an hour every day in the dismal abjection of self-promotion – on Facebook, to an audience of 50 fellow authors who couldn’t care less who just got a nice review in the Raccoonville Sentinel. This practice sells absolutely no books; increases one’s “profile” by not one centimetre; and serves only to increase one’s humiliation at not being in the first tier, where one doesn’t have to do that.

Novelists have been complaining, privately at least, about the new castes in the literary hierarchy. This happens every year now, in the fall, the uneasiness – after the brief spurt of media attention that goes to the nominees and winners of the three major Canadian literary prizes, the Scotiabank Giller, the Governor-General’s, and the Rogers Writers’ Trust. The argument is that the prizes enable the media to single out a few books for promotion, and no other books get to cross the divide into public consciousness. And, say the spurned writers, this fact guides the publishers in their acquisitions. Editors stand accused of seeking out possible prize-winners (i.e. “big books”) rather than indulging their own tastes. This leads, it is said, to a homogenized literary landscape and no place at all for the weird and uncategorizable.

But even if this is true, what can one possibly do about it? Abolish the prizes? No one would suggest this – and even the critics of prize culture understand that the prizes were created by genuine lovers of literature with nothing but the best intentions, and that rewarding good writers financially is good, even necessary, in a small country without a huge market.

It’s not, I think, the fault of the literary prizes that the caste system exists. Nor of the vilified “media” who must cover these major events. It’s the lack of other venues for the discussion and promotion of books that closes down the options. There were, in the nineties, several Canadian television programs on the arts. There were even whole TV shows about books alone. Not one of these remains. There were radio shows that novel-readers listened to. There were budgets for book tours; there were hotel rooms in Waterloo and Moncton. In every year that I myself have published a book there have been fewer invitations and less travel. Now, winning a prize is really one’s only shot at reaching a national level of awareness.

So again, what is to be done? What does any artist do in the age of the blockbuster? Nothing, absolutely nothing, except keep on doing what you like to do. Global economic changes are not your problem (and are nothing you can change with a despairing tweet). Think instead, as you always have, about whether or not you like semicolons and how to describe the black winter sky. There is something romantic about being underground, no?

Look on the bright side: Poverty can be good for art. At least it won’t inspire you to write Fifty Shades of Grey.


You HAVE to see this - it's so cool!

This is one of the coolest things I've ever seen on the internet! Almost makes the evils of technology worthwhile. As a nature child who loved to scamper around in the woods, I would have been enraptured by this. Just click on the link below, wait for it to load, then click on each bird to hear its song.

He loves me, he loves me not

A new book out is like a little tornado, and it sucks in everything in your life (for a while - tornado-time is now very short). This can be exhausting. Meantime, waiting for the miracle of sales, I need rest for a second. Where do I find it? In Harold gifs, of course. Last time I tried to make a gif, it didn't turn out with either of the programs I normally use. One of them went catawampus a long time ago and only offers about 1/4 of the options it used to have. Those tiny, virtually three-dimensional works of art are a thing of the past. I think.

So in digging around, which I still do for some reason, I occasionally come up with "something like this". Very sweet. I want to lie down now for about a thousand years.

Special Bonus gif: someone was clever enough to take the first gif and animate it. I couldn't do this to save my life, but I do thank whoever did it.

I promise, no more ads after I break 10,000.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

The things we do for love

Harold is now a commodity, and I must find all sorts of vigorous ways to promote it/him. It's a bittersweet feeling. Of course I wanted it, want it, and want him/the book to do spectacularly well, a lottery-dream sort of feeling.

But I do remember when he was just a thought in my head, and now he is something quite else.

And that's something.

The world as seen by space aliens (or: it's all in how you look at it)

Mount Rushmore

I guarantee you these photos won't bore you. They provide two dramatically different perspectives on world-famous landmarks, the second one seen at a tremendous distance. Sometimes the effect is spectacular, sometimes creepy. This is just a TINY taste, and somehow this blog doesn't do them justice - follow the link below to see them all.


Hollywood sign

Central Park, New York

Order The Glass Character from

Order The Glass Character from Chapters/