friendship

Your Morning Music (Together)

James Young (left) and Tommy Shaw of Styx, in detail of undated photo by Jason Powell.

Sometimes, you know, you think you need a reason for doing something. If we had better discipline around here, maybe a regular music feature would be actually useful in some way, because, you know, a stoner song in April or Satanic metal on Hallowe’en is one thing, but then sometimes we remember we don’t actually need a reason. But, yeah, you know, it’s a good wake and bake, too. Like, if you really, you know, need a reason. You know?

Rush down, down to the first floor; there never seems to be enough time. Push hard, and push a little bit more. A cup of coffee and I’m going to be fine, fine as I could be, now. Me and you, we do what we got to do; we only want to have a good life. It’s tough, we don’t see each other enough, and sometime the going gets rough. Still we keep pushing on through. We could use another summer of love. It’s cloudy here, but there’s a blue sky up above. If we could only fly away from here, we could say goodbye to all the tears, and maybe we could spend the rest of our years together. Sometimes I watch the TV news; I want to say what’s the use in trying, ’cause come on, what kind of difference can one man make? Yeah, but how much more can I take? I think back when I was a little kid, I did what little kids did: played war ’til I didn’t want to play no more, hey and that’s when love stepped in, changed everything again. It’s never too late for a summer of love. Yeah, it’s cloudy here, but there’s a blue sky up above. If we could only fly away from here, we could say goodbye to all the tears, and maybe we could spend the rest of our years together. We could be together. These are crazy times, it’s a different world. Well, that’s okay, let it be that way. We could lose our minds, or we could find our way; we can change our world, no matter what they say. If we could only fly away from here, we could turn around and say good-bye to all the tears, and maybe we could spend the rest of our years together. We could be together. Now, we can let the sunshine in, together; and we can overcome and win, together; we’ll have ourselves a summer of love again, together. We’ll be, we’ll be together. We’ll be together.

Styx, “Together” (2003)

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The Abiding Question of How Anyone Could Ever Possibly Come to Think Something Was Not a Terrible Idea

Bloomingdale's.

Of course they did.

A holiday advertisement by Bloomingdale’s that encourages drink spiking was trending heavily on social media on Thursday with some critics saying the image promotes date rape.

The ad, which was released in Bloomingdale’s 2015 holiday catalog and was meant to advertise Rebecca Minkoff merchandise, features a woman looking away and laughing as a young man looks at her suggestively. The text reads: “Spike your best friend’s eggnog when they’re not looking.”

The luxury department store owned by Macy’s Inc apologized for the ‘inappropriate’ eggnog advertisement on Tuesday.

“In reflection of recent feedback, the copy we used in our recent catalog was inappropriate and in poor taste,” a spokesperson said in a statement. “Bloomingdale’s sincerely apologizes for this error in judgment.”

Bloomingdale’s also apologized on its official Twitter account (@Bloomingdales) on Tuesday: “We heard your feedback about our catalog copy, which was inappropriate and in poor taste. Bloomingdale’s sincerely apologizes.”

(Fares)

Okay, so … it looks like we need to have this talk again.

Still, though: Really?

I mean, come on. Really?

Okay, okay, okay. Try this one: How?

Can you please at least try to explain that?

____________________

Fares, Melissa. “Bloomingdale’s ‘spiked eggnog’ ad sparks outrage on social media”. Reuters. 12 November 2015.

All Fun and Games Until … You Know, Never Mind

Detail of 'Bug Martini' by Adam Huber, 28 October 2015.Yeah, you know … this can’t possibly end well.

Homer Simpson trivia is now in effect. Never mind.

So is the best bad pun you’re going to find all year.

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Huber, Adam. “The Friend Is Not Mightier Than the Sword”. Bug Martini. 28 October 2015.

A Moment With Mary

Detail of 'Mary Death' by Matt Tarpley, 12 June 2015.

I confess I couldn’t muck this one up properly, so, you know, here you go. Not quite Mary Zen, but, you know.

You know what would really suck about Utopia?

Having nothing left to hope for.

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Tarpley, Matt. “Prepared”. Mary Death. 18 June 2015.

Worth a Few Minutes of Your Time

Suou's Reflection: Detail of frame from Darker Than Black: Gemini of the Meteor.

This is worth keeping an eye on:

Few recent books have spawned as many arguments as Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In. Until last week, though, I hadn’t seen anyone claim that Sandberg’s feminism-in-the-workplace manifesto is anti-science. And yet that’s exactly what Amy Alkon, an advice columnist who frequently dips into psychological research, argued in the New York Observer on Friday.

Drawing on evolutionary psychology — basically, the idea that many of our behavioral tendencies were shaped long ago, when the sorts of pressures that needed to be overcome in order to survive and reproduce were a lot different than they are today — Alkon writes that Sandberg simply ignores fundamental, biologically, and genetically predetermined differences between male and female behavior, and that because of these differences, Sandberg’s advice could actually be harmful if followed.

This sort of thing pops up from time to time — it’s not uncommon to see pop-science accounts that use evo-psych to make sweeping statements about human nature, particularly on gender issues. In one recent incident Science of Us readers might remember, for instance, researchers used evo-psych principles to tell a rather nonsensical story about why Kim Kardashian’s butt appeals to so many men. But Alkon’s column, even if it draws on some long-standing and stale claims about the differences between men and women, deserves a thorough debunking simply because it’s such an egregious example of the subgenre.

Jesse Singal of New York magazine’s Science of Us blog offers the well-considered response to one of those strange defenses of sexism that starts with the premise that “women are meeker than men, and less likely than men to bond, friendship-wise, with members of the same gender — behaviors forged by, you guessed it, evolution”.

And Singal really does deserve some credit for patience; repeatedly dismantling these arguments does nothing to prevent them from popping up again, but this is also the sort of thing people can steel themselves against for the future; and once one learns the familiar patterns, one is well equipped to respond to this nonsense when it arises in personal circles. The thing is that being polite does not mean sitting back and letting your friends embarrass themselves and denigrate others blindly pushing this sort of stuff. The number of advocates who, when challenged, resent the suggestion of misogyny suggests blithe ignorance, lest we have grossly underestimated the will while focusing on the habit.

And, frankly, that latter is a bit unsettling; this isn’t really some sort of conscious calculation so many people make in such a way that it looks like a conspiracy. This is just people being people. But that’s the thing: We can attempt to politely correct the record, and if it really is that big a deal to one of our friends, well, yeah, good luck with that. No, really, I can’t tell you to leave them behind; neither can I suggest you are remotely obligated to stick around.

But it seems somehow improper to leave them to wallow in potentially contagious ignorance. Indeed, we might even suggest it is dangerous. The thing is that this comes up enough that it would probably be helpful to have a response at hand. For now, Singal’s is pretty useful.

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Singal, Jesse. “No, Evolution Doesn’t Disprove Lean In’s Arguments”. Science of Us. 18 May 2015.

Death on Existentialism

Death, existentialEvery now and then, I fall apart.

Oh, wait. Wrong song. Never mind.

Anyway, every now and then we all have our sentimental moments. Just ask Mary Death.

You know, it’s like, Really? Come on, kiddo, you’re not gloomy enough to have Death as a best friend. Try Cosmo and Wanda.

Then again, what are warm fuzzies to the Grim Reaper who is human enough to need them?

Guilty pleasure, maybe? Or is all pleasure guilty when you’re in that line of work?