Sunday Earworm & Linkfest

This week’s earworm — “Keep Young & Beautiful,” by Annie Lennox:

What’s cute about a little cutie
It’s her beauty — not brains.
Old father time will never harm you
If your charm still remains.
After you grow old, baby,
You don’t have to be a cold baby.

I had no idea that Annie Lennox sang that song until this morning. It’s one of the songs my mom used to sing on the radio ages and ages ago — and, of course, would often hum and sing while working around the house when I was a child. I guess I don’t like the song nearly as much as I like the memory.

I celebrated another of those “years I’ve walked the earth” milestones this past week and it was a big one. (You know, one of those that ends in a zero, marking the passage of another decade.) Interestingly enough, it hasn’t affected me at all like I thought it would. Strange how that sometimes happens…

No doubt in an effort to help me smile my way past the milestone, the following was emailed to me by a college friend:

Throughout my life I have valued mature women most of all. Here are just a few reasons why:

  • A mature woman will never wake you in the middle of the night to ask, “What are you thinking?” Not only does she already know what you’re thinking, she’s also been around long enough to appreciate both a good night’s sleep and better ways to wake her lover.
  • If a mature woman doesn’t want to watch the game, she won’t pretend while wishing she was somewhere else. She’ll do whatever she wants to do — usually, its something much more interesting.
  • A mature woman knows herself well enough to be assured in who she is, what she is, what she wants and from whom. Few mature woman could give a damn what you might think about her or what she’s doing.
  • Mature women are dignified. They seldom have screaming matches with anyone. However, if a lover deserves it, they are much more likely to shoot you — and have enough life experience to probably get away with it.
  • Mature women are generous with praise — for themselves, and for others of either sex.
  • Mature women introduce you to their friends without fear. Although they have enough experience to know you can’t be trusted, they’ve picked their friends wisely.
  • You never have to confess your sins to a mature woman. She already knows.
  • You will never have to wonder where you stand with a mature woman. If you act like a jerk, she’s going to tell you.

Patrick has an interesting guest blog at Geeks are Sexy. (Just so you know, I personally think the blog’s header should sometimes feature a hunky male geek like Dr. Drew Pinsky — you know, someone real.) The post discusses the 10 reasons bloggers hate blogging. Granted that these are mostly geared toward commercial bloggers, but there is one golden nugget in there for all of us: “Blogging about a subject you are not passionate about is not fun. It becomes work and it sucks.”

Another “10 reasons” post you might want to read while you’re visiting is Why Geeks Should Blog, authored by guest blogger Chris Garrett (who may want to consider himself for the blog banner).

Another really thought-provoking post I read this week was by Jonathan Fields on Strip Blogging. For those of you old newspaper writers like me, you’ll recognize this better if I use the old school name of LAMJ or Look At Me Journalism. This is something that, if I’m completely honest, I’ll have to confess to doing here on EE even if I haven’t taken it nearly to the extreme of some others.

One of the things that Jonathan noticed in researching his post, and that I’ve noticed from reading blogs, is that women have much more of a tendency to bare all for inspection. I can say that I’ve shared things here that I would have never considered sharing in the newspaper. By that same token, I’ve shared things in the newspaper that I’d never consider sharing here. It’s different when you “know” your readers. That is, I wrote a column for the better part of a year while working at the newspaper that detailed the craziness of my life — home, husband, kids, pets, etc. There have been times that I’ve been tempted to write a post here or elsewhere that details something funny or personal from my life, I’ve always pulled back before hitting the button. Why? I guess it boils down to the nastiness.

It’s one thing for me to put myself out there for international inspection. It’s quite another for me to place my family under the same microscope. I’ve shared my feelings on the anniversary of my son’s death, but did so because I hoped it would bring needed information to someone else. (I still get email messages nearly weekly from women who have been given my name and email address after suffering a pregnancy loss or stillbirth, and I’ve spoken publicly about the decision to terminate a pregnancy following a fatal diagnosis.)

I have to believe, like everything else in the world, that women touch it differently. We see it differently. That’s not to say that we do it the right way — or even that there is a right or a wrong way. But no one can deny that women bring a different dimension to everything they touch, especially when they come to it with passion.

There is an excellent book review by Carolyn McConnell that published as a part of the Iowa Review, but can be read in full on the Powell’s Books site. The review is of “The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden Story of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe v. Wade,” written by Ann Fessler. While long, the whole review is well worth the time you’ll spend reading. The last paragraph hit me the hardest:

… Fessler doesn’t delve into the crucial question of what the point of this punishing social practice was. At first glance, it was to keep girls from engaging in sex outside of marriage. But it so spectacularly failed to achieve that purpose, as Fessler’s statistics bear out, that it seems to have functioned instead as a profound message to American women of their disposability and powerlessness. Though the messages are cast more subtly now, our culture is still unsettled about the role and proper power of women. I hope Fessler’s book is only the beginning of a long-overdue conversation about our recent history, about sex and who pays the price for it. …

I’m not quite sure how I feel about the interview with a former Tyson meatpacker in Iowa that is featured at Truth & Progress. Obviously, the author has a bias, although, truth be told, all writers do. Because this is a blog post, however, the author makes his/her feelings well known before the post comes to a close. That always bothers me about blogging style. I still believe that if the piece is well-written, I should be able to draw my own conclusions — if the writing is really good, I’ll probably be encouraged to draw the conclusion the author wanted all along.

I found a post, The Danger of Labels, over on Pentecostal Revival in Iowa, a blog authored by Pastor Rex Deckard. Despite the Reagan quotation at the top, I will admit to having read and digested the entire post. A highlight on the way was this paragraph — although I’m still trying to wrap my head around why this was included as it adds no significance to the piece:

In my home district I prefer that our adult women wear their hair up, while other pastors insist it should be down, and still others think women should wear hats and scarves. Who decides which is most conservative?

What I think is that Pastor Deckard has recently read the book “Bias” by Bernard Goldberg and has yet to completely form an opinion of it or the content it contains. On one hand, you see, Deckard appears to be pushing away from the use of labels because they can be deceiving. Then, in the final two paragraphs, he flips around and offers a list of Biblical labels (i.e., ungodly, wicked, effeminate, righteous, pure, lovely, faithful, whoremonger, carnal, joyful, shameful, holy). He ends with this:

The solution is clear. Because labeling is divisive and misleading, it serves no beneficial purpose in the Kingdom of God. We need to avoid non-Scriptural terms that have secular connotations attached to them, and have no common definition. Furthermore, we should attempt to identify the position someone holds on specific issues, rather than make general assumptions about them on other issues.

I agree with the last sentence. It always better to know than to guess as to where someone stands. The part that bugs me is that while Deckard seems more than willing to toss several commonplace descriptors overboard, he isn’t willing to give them up all together. Instead, he advocates replacing such “secular” and “non-Scriptural terms” with adjectives from the Bible. The point he has missed throughout his entire essay is that labels — even those derived from Scripture — are bad and dangerous. We cannot base the whole of any one person on a single incident, stance or belief. To do so is to disregard humanity, the very thing that Deity is credited with creating.

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A Republican turned Democrat who is now registered with no party, Lynda is the founder of Essential Estrogen. She and her husband live in eastern Iowa with their two (mostly good) children and two (mostly good) dogs. Their oldest child was turned loose on the world in 2011 and is making her home in another state. A journalist, essayist and hobby fiction writer, Lynda's work has been seen in Salon, RH Reality Check, the Atlantic, The Iowa Independent, UK Guardian as well as other online and traditional publications. She has also appeared as a guest on various television and radio news shows.

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