Enter: Nature’s Halloween

As I’ve been traipsing about this fine autumn, I’ve seen a lot of beauty and a lot of color, as expected of my favorite season. Yet, suddenly, this week even the most normal things have taken on a certain…quality:

It started off, predictably enough, with pumpkins:
hallpumpkins

Please Park Bikes Below and Brooms above:
hallbroom

Even nature needs some fake cobwebs:
hallweb

They’re putting on their scaring side!:
hallmenace
Don’t tell me you don’t see that frowning mouth and that glare!

And their spooky faces:
hallspook

Thanks for joining me on this tour of nature’s Halloween garb! Please exit carefully on your brooms and fly with vigilance so you don’t get caught up in any weblike limbs!

Napolloween Bonaparty!

I had a late, great, and satiating Halloween celebration!  Whilst there I came across a distinguished personage:

 

Napoleon Chocoparte!

 

This broad-hatted conqueror with a sword as tall as himself came as a sweet surprise.  Unfortunately, he found his general can-dy outlook on politics caused several other nations a lot of anxiety.  Napoleon Chocoparte decided to point his sword softly and take up a big pistol:

With the General’s sword aimed right at them and his pistol in tow, many surrendered on the spot to Napartyon’s awesome hat.  However, some country’s held out.  Thus, Chocopoleon Bonapiece found he needed to charge after them.  He needed…a worthy steed!

When Napolloween Bonaparty found Marshmengo he set off on a famed campaign to bring the rest of the sugary peoples under his empire.  Yet, even the most successful Generals can be defeated and Napolebonbon was eventually caught and sent to exile on Elba.  Luckily, his horse went with him (now renamed Wagramellow).  Even in defeat, Napoleon Chocoparte is crafty.  He may well come back….for A HUNDRED DOSES OF CANDY.  So, we’d all better eat up our Napolloween Bonaparty chocolates quick, or we may wind up getting scared with Welloweenton at Waterboo.

Elijah Wood on Classy

This photo from the September issue of Vogue is marvelous!  It purports to be from a movie concerning Henry James and Edith Wharton, but it’s clear what is really happening here.  These guys got together over their insistence that the new version of “classiness” has existed in all classes in the past and decided to get a custom photo done for that purpose, as preparation for launching their acapella quartet called “Class Half  Full”.  Their signature thing is that every song intro involves these puppies barking: their names are Camella and Maximillien.  However, as they were setting up a “bypasser” named Dominic Monaghan informed Elijah that it wasn’t classy to just leave a middle button undone like that.  Elijah was not amused, especially as Dom was wearing his leather cuffs, rainbow-painted nails, and scruffiest outfit for the day.  Also, his trademark smirk.  Elijah here is about to respond with an incredulous, scornful remark.  The guy on the far right is also insulted and ready to back Elijah up.  The guy on the far left just wants to get the picture taken so he can go home and figure out if it’s still worth it to go into the band with these rowdy guys, who might actually be nothing but riffraff.  The girl is enjoying the spectacle and getting a tad turned on.  By the end of this incident, there will be naked mud wrestling.  Maybe even in a classy way.

In more palatable news (…sortof)

the ragbag – how to make cockle bread -or- for wunderpantry:….

Apparently England used to host a specialty baked good called “cockle bread.”  It involved women kneading/shaping bread dough to their nether regions and then presenting the baked loaf to their preferred man.

“cockle bread was a popular stuart-era baked good said to excite the passions of men. young women would make it for the objects of their affection by sitting on raw dough with their naked derriere, kneading it with their privy parts by madly wriggling around and singing the cockle bread song:

my dame is sick and gonne to bed
and i’ll go mould my cockle bread
up with my heels and down with my head
and this is the way to mould cockle bread”

-Apparently garnered from brand’s popular antiques (1905).

I went looking into this and found an alternative shaping method in Lisa Splittgerber :: Aphrodisiacs in the Libro de buen amor: Serranas’ Sexy Secrets:

“…the tradition of cockle bread which was described as:

. . . a small piece of dough which the girl would knead and then press against the vulva. The dough, moulded to this shape, was then baked in the normal way and the loaf presented to the man she sought to attract. If he ate it, he would fall beneath her spell and be powerless to resist. Similar types of charms have been used throughout Europe and indeed may still be used in primitive country regions (Taberner 46-47).”

Wikipedia says:

John Aubrey wrote of it: Young wenches have a wanton sport which they call ‘moulding of cocklebread’ – they get upon a table-board, and then gather up their knees and their coates with their hands as high as they can then they wabble to and fro with their buttocks as if they were kneading of dough with their arses, and say these words: ‘My dame is sick and gone to bed/ And I’ll go mould my cocklebread’. I did imagine nothing to have been in this but mere wantonness of youth … but I find in Buchardus’s book Methodus Confitendi … one of the articles of interrogating a young woman is, if she did ever subjugere panem clunibus, and then bake it, and give it to the one she loved to eat … So here I find it to be a relic of natural magic, an unlawful philtrum [i.e. aphrodisiac or love charm]. [from A. McLaren, Reproductive Rituals (1984), p. 37].

Nursery rhyme

In the 19th and 20th centuries, Cockle-Bread was a children’s game in which one squats on his/her haunches with hands clasped beneath the thighs, while others grasp his/her arms and swing him/her to and fro. This action was often accompanied by a rhyme:

My granny is sick and now is dead
And we’ll go mould some cocklety bread
Up with the heels and down with the head
And that’s the way to make cocklety bread.”
—-
Forget bread and circuses!  Give me bread, sex, magic, and rhymes-it’s a much more rounded survival plan.    Also, as entertaining!  If the arenas hosted competition in these arts…actually, that picture’s not really that different from how ancient Roman life is often depicted now.  Still, the point is made. 

Sexily Dressed on the Subway? Expect Sexual Harassment

Shanghai Subway Publishes Photo Of Sexily Dressed Woman, Tells Her To Expect Sexual Harassment PHOTO.

 

Okay, I’m going to skip right over the implications that the harassment of women is okay if her clothes “ask for it” and the opposing point that the particular outfit in the photo is impractical for most locations.  There are lots of people talking about these things already.  What I want to talk about is how condescending this ad is:

“Dressing like that, it would be unusual for a lady not to be harassed.  There can be perverts on the subway and it’s hard to get rid of them.  Please have self respect, ladies.”

Before you even get to the politics surrounding sexual harassment, you have the Shanghai Subway system telling women what to wear.  When was the last time in your life that someone felt the need to point out to you the appropriate choice of wardrobe?  Mind you, not what outfit is appropriate for a date or a certain dress code, but what things you just shouldn’t wear out?  Because they would show a lack of “self-respect.”  As adults, I’m pretty sure the answer is “A long time ago.”  Until now, if you’re a woman, obviously.  We need to be told.   Part of the subway’s defense was that it is part of their job to warn women about sexual harassment.  That sounds fine…until they presume to tell us what we should do about it.  Until they patronize us by assuming they know best how women can show respect for themselves and thinking it’s their job to inform women of it.  After all, women couldn’t possibly have self-respect without being told what that means, could they?

 

Whatever you think about how people should dress in public, do you really believe that systems should be able to blatantly patronize women?  Women as sex objects should be clamped down, but infantalizing women to the position of children who need guidance in such simple daily tasks as getting dressed is alright?  I can get dressed by myself, thank you.  Because I have my self-respect, and it is not defined by you.