Herbalife and OnePoll Partner to Feed You Bullshit

Yet another survey as biased in execution as results emerges from a private, foreign firm specializing in gainful disinformation:

Survey: More Americans Eating Less Meat, Opting For Plant-Based Options Instead
by Ben Renner

“New research shows “flexitarian” diet growing in popularity as more adults prefer to eat meat only on occasion.”

Starving gruesomely to emaciation in your suburb or city of the first world, baizuo? Flexitarianism will save your life by permitting you to ration yourself essential nutriments, only reducing you to mere etiolation!

“NEW YORK — Cheeseburgers, steaks, and hot dogs are synonymous with American cuisine, or at least they were at one time.”

Renner cuts to the chase, immediately confirming his professionalism by opining baselessly.

“According to a new survey of 2,000 Americans, if these dishes are a common part of your diet, you’re now in the minority. Less than half (47%) of the survey’s respondents said meat is a major part of their diet.”

Not an abject sap, I’m minded to question information deficiently detailed in this article. Where were a majority of these respondents located? Were American citizens in every state or most states canvassed proportionally? What’s the specific range of their ages? How many of them reside in metropolitan areas, and in which districts thereof?

This old ruse scarcely illudes anyone anymore: feed baizuo statistics about baizuo.

“The survey, commissioned by Herbalife Nutrition, found that many Americans (23%) are adopting a ‘flexitarian’ approach to eating. This means eating mostly vegetarian foods with the occasional inclusion of meat. Another 18% of respondents said they were fully vegetarian.”

Gallup also skews their polls, but here’s another they’ve produced just a few months ago asserting that “5% of U.S. adults consider themselves to be vegetarian.” Furthermore, it predicates:

“Though plant-based diets and meat alternatives have been featured in some recent high-profile forums, including the United Nations and Democratic presidential debates, and are becoming a staple even on fast food restaurant menus, the percentage of vegetarians has remained stable over the past two decades. A 1999 Gallup survey that asked the same question found that 6% of Americans identified themselves as vegetarian.”

That’s quite a discrepancy, so why should this poll be at all rated reliable?

“So, what’s fueling this shift in Americans’ eating habits?”

Widespread dysgenics spanning four generations that have engendered plummeting IQs and attendant credulity.

“Among survey participants, flexitarians were the most likely group to say their food choices stemmed from trying to be more environmentally friendly (40%) or ethical (31%).”

Slavishly trendy, baizuo still immediately believe everything their teevees and pundits feed them — forever Boomerist cattle to their trough. Ugh! Of course, the overharvest that veganism, vegetarianism and “flexitarianism” compels is hardly sustainable, and the unintentional mass slaughter of animals eventuating from such harvests exceeds that of any abbatoir, but so long as baizuo feel righteous — and especially supercilious in their unblemished, imaginary integrity — what else matters?

“Young people are also a factor; 36% of surveyed flexitarians said they adopted their new diet because their children encouraged them to do so.”

I won’t read anything more repugnant this month. If you’re actually changing your dietary habits at the advice of your glaringly inscient, imbecile offspring, you’ve failed as a parent and a human.

“Even among those still regularly eating meat, the survey shows that more Americans than ever are willing to experiment with more plant-based food sources. In all, 71% of respondents expressed this sentiment.”

How many of them were only humoring obtrusive pollsters? Given the evidence above, this percentage is as improbable to credibly relate such a majority’s inclination as any other.

“But, what about protein? For so many of us, meat is our primary source of protein, but the results of the survey make it clear there are plenty of other ways to build muscle.”

Sure, you can also victual eggs. Without consumption of meat, one omits from their diet thirty to fifty essential nutrients that can’t be otherwise obtained.

Also, who permits these doltish hacks to initiate a sentence with a punctuated conjunction? It’s the worst common solecism known to me. Just read it aloud.

Among survey participants not regularly eating meat, 65% get most of their protein from shakes and protein bars,

To live this way is to entertain supreme malnutrition. Whenever you publicly observe some gaunt, slumped, balding, barbate, misshapen goon grimacing at his iPhone or purchasing his weekly surplusage of 400+ fruits and vegetables, you can wager reliably that his protein’s derived from some saccharine swill.

“and 56% just eat other foods known to carry lots of protein like rice,

Now this article veers into pure falsehood. I love rice, but it never contains “lots of protein.”

“beans,

Why not just consume a daily allotment of plaster, if you’ve such contempt for your digestive tract?

“and soy.”

Of course! Diurnal consumption of every baizuo’s favorite protein can nearly castrate preteen boys and ensure in men enervation for dangerously low testosterone. Thanks, but some of us still expect a functioning libido, penile tumescence and procreation.

“‘Protein is an important component of every cell in the body, helping to support healthy bones, muscles and organs,’ says Susan Bowerman, senior director of Nutrition Education and Training at Herbalife Nutrition, in a statement. ‘So whether you obtain your protein from shakes, bars, animals or plants, your focus should be on the quality of the source, to help ensure your body is receiving maximum benefit'”

She can’t help but overstate by anteriority the nutritional prominence of shakes and bars. After all, Herbalife doesn’t raise cattle, and needs to shift those units!

Get it?

“Generationally speaking, millennials are the most likely age group to try out more plant-based foods,

That’s to be expected from the most ignorant generation of dupes the developed world has ever beheld.

“but across all ages more people than ever before are open to the idea.”

Oh, no overestimated percentage noting that millennials represent only 200% of all vegetarians?

“Interestingly, the survey also noted that Americans living in the West (20%) and Northeast (19%) are the most likely to frequently eat “meatless” meat.

These numbers are even more ludicrously distorted than those precedent, especially when collated. “18% of respondents [in the U.S.] said they were fully vegetarian,” but 19% of northeasterners are most disposed to eat faux flesh? If vegetarians represent 18% of the population, wouldn’t that percentage skew higher in leftist regions, where greater numbers of vegetarians are indisputably concentrated? As corporate propaganda comes, this is as sloppy as most.

“Individuals from those areas were also found to be the most open to trying plant-based foods as well (51% in the West, 55% in the Northeast).”

Yet precisely how are “plant-based foods” defined? Do these include salads, perhaps a regularly munched apple or pear?

“It’s clear that meatless meat is here to stay, with 70% of all respondents stating they believe it will continue to grow in popularity moving forward.”

We’re supposed to believe that a significant majority replied to the question of sham meat’s future popularity not with an insouciant, “Oh, I don’t know,” but positive affirmation? Sure.

“Of course, there will always be some resistant to change.

That fatuous, lordly insinuation is galling enough, but the statement is true: plenty of people, in this instance an overwhelming majority, are resistant to imprudent, unhealthy, asinine trends.

“For example, 16% of respondents said they “never” eat meatless meat.

That’s almost certainly false. I personally know only two people who’ve sampled it, both only once.

“Perhaps, though, these respondents are so hesitant because they don’t know what is inside meatless meat. Less than half of respondents (45%) knew that meatless meat usually contains soy, and only 41% knew that wheat gluten is another common ingredient.”

If so, those hitherto unaware would likely be even less apt!

“In fact, only 55% of respondents knew that meatless meat is intended to taste just like real meat. Puzzlingly, 38% incorrectly said meatless meat is grown in a lab.”

Not “puzzlingly,” but “mendaciously,” these are teetotal fabrications purposed to image for typically moronic baizuo some construct of whoever hasn’t embraced bogus beef — their mean grandfather or Richard Spencer salivating over a hamburger. “Just envision the stupid Natzees, too dumb to know that meatless meat isn’t supposed to taste like meat! If they’re so dumb, you must be real, real smart!”

“The survey was conducted by OnePoll.”

Nota bene: OnePoll‘s a British subsidiary of South West News Service whose market research consists primarily of online survey. They’ve only expanded their research to poll American, French, German, Italian and Spanish respondents in the past few years, and only do so via an iPhone app. So in light of the firm’s provenance (after Australia, the second most vegan country worldwide), the demographics who most commonly use the hardware by which they poll, Herbalife’s obviously emporeutic imperatives and the contrariety between the figures of this survey and those more reputable, as well as others which are blatantly absurd, I can’t help but speculate that this surreptitious promotion of cheap products and a slave’s diet is no more convincing than artful in its artifice.

Cursory Diversion

Confabulating telephonically last night with sweet Annusya, caprice compelled me to read with her a quartet of short chapters from Voltaire’s Philosophical Dictionary. Tux Commander is my preferred file manager in X11, and the means by which I access most files directly. For my inattention, it was still configured to display text files with its internal viewer, which is nice but inadequate for want of textual search. Why I hadn’t months, even a year theretofore reconfigured it is beyond me, but as an expedient while Annusya received a copy of the file, I tapped F4 to invoke the editor and promptly locate the first of those four chapters.

Somehow, I’d forgotten in the intervening years since I last perused text with an editor that most salient of many reasons why pagers are preferable to editors for mere perusal — namely, Leafpad‘s cursor arrested the eye, beckoning me to type:

Anyhow, I later reconfigured Tux Commander to view all files with less via LXTerminal:

Much better!

Third-wave feminism: exhibit #3 — Vaginal Vainglory

Whenever baizuo document their own phenomena in their inimitably artless and obvious fashion, their titles always portend pretense and idiocy alike:

How vaginas are finally losing their stigma

It’s yet another pseudo-rebellious posture assumed by charmless, cretinous women desperate for attention to exploit nonexistent controversy, from the epicenter of Western Civilization’s ebb.

This weekend, a new museum opens in London dedicated to female genitalia – helping to lift a taboo that runs all the way back to the birth of Western art, writes Holly Williams.

If this museum’s subject is currently assigned such an infandous taboo, why was its opening met with such scant interest?

In 2017, Florence Schechter discovered that Iceland had a penis museum, but that nowhere in the world could its female equivalent be found. And so, the science communicator decided to do something about it. This month, in London, the Vagina Museum will be born.

Whatever a “science communicator” is, her activities clearly have no relation to sciences applied or theoretical.

In fact, it’s a pretty different proposition to the penis museum. “That’s kind of novelty, penises in jars,” Schechter explains. “We’re going to be much more thoughtful and actually explore the topic.”

For baizuo, exploration in all undertakings connotes ideological contextualization so that their audiences may know how to appropriately adjudge their presentations, lest any dissent occur.

First up, a note on the name. Schechter acknowledges the frustration at how the word “vagina” is often used when people are really talking about the external vulva (the labia, clitoris and vaginal opening) – but they needed a term people were already familiar with.

“A lot of people don’t know the word vulva, and people are not going to engage with something they don’t know,” she says. A Vagina Museum is, frankly, more eye-catching and conversation starting.

One hardly auspicates by acknowledging and catering to her prospective patrons’ inscience.

The museum will look at the entire gynaecological anatomy – the inside (uterus, cervix, ovaries) as well as the outside – and consider its representation in culture and history. But the fact a Vagina Museum needs a bit of a glossary in the first place is proof of its purpose.

Isn’t every instance of common ignorance imputable to the machinations of that dastardly patriarchy?

“The gynaecological anatomy is a very stigmatised part of the body,” points out Schechter. “A museum is a place where conversations can happen – the best way to fight taboo and stigma is with knowledge.”

I agree. Moreover, the best way to learn about anatomy — sexual, reproductive, and otherwise — is by reading illustrated anatomical literature. That alternative’s far less tacky or abashing than Schechter’s endeavor.

We are still crushingly bad at talking about all the bits between women’s legs – often ignorant or euphemistic, vague or embarrassed, even if we have a vagina ourselves.

Pray, who are “we?” Who, precisely, is so ignorant? Why is (often decorous) euphemism necessarily negative? When and why are the subjects broached in polite conversation? This statement was meant to postulate these notions and instruct its credulous readers on how they should feel, but it’s not terribly plausible.

And wider culture attitudes to them run the gamut of sniggering, censorious, disgusted, objectifying, or actively oppressive.

To which “wider cultures” is she referring? Earlier, she adverts to “Western art,” but nowhere in the west is the vagina subject to any particular oppression. If there’s sniggering, it’s from those who regard Schechter and her ilk mortifying for their superficiality, calculatedly low threshold for criticism and trite conception of recusancy. As for objectification of the vagina, the human species couldn’t be happily propagated without such a perspective!

A culture of fear

Feminists have projected their pathological trepidity regarding everything either to men or broader culture and society for decades. Never mind how often others have observed this compulsion; they won’t stop until the movement gracelessly collapses.

This inability to talk about female genitalia has certainly had its impact on Western art and culture.

Piffle. Those organs simply aren’t anywhere near so visually as functionally intriguing.

Taboos can make an image more powerful – but they can also lead to fearful depictions of the unknown

Hence the defamatory insistence that anyone west of Turkey concerned about unlimited, unsustainable, indiscriminate and destructive migration is a “white supremacist.”

or to the erasure of a huge part of lived female experience.

“Lived experience” must be the dumbest tautology of of the leftist parlance and this era.

Let’s start at the beginning: birth. Where are the paintings of birth in Western art? They don’t exist, prior to the 20th Century. This curious lack has been pointed out by the novelist and essayist Siri Hustvedt. “It is a stunning absence,” she says, adding that the suppression of gestation and birth has to be “related to the suppression of women and the fear of women.”

Childbirth has historically been a private affair in those societies and therefore not a painterly topic, partially in respect for the mother in accouchement. Hustvedt — a nearly unreadable, stereotypically Minnesotan third-wave hack who almost reflexively attributes to misogyny nigh every frailty and misdeed common to the human condition — unsurprisingly relates this to “the suppression of women.” Again, “the fear of women” is merely more shrewish projection, and even more incredible: before the advent of second-wave feminism, few among even the most timorous men were at all gynophobic.

It’s also surely to do with a religious tradition of painting where the female figure is a virgin: distaste for the visceral elements of reproduction have been coded into art right from the start… “It is an example of the vagina getting written out of a dominant cultural narrative,” agrees Emma EL Rees, Professor of English at the University of Chester.

Among the innumerable popular outlets of propaganda in the Anglosphere, few are so egregiously tendentious as the BBC. Guess what: neither is the penis too explicitly prominent in those “dominant cultural narratives.”

Of course, such absences in, say, Muslim art can’t be mentioned.

As the author of The Vagina: A Literary and Cultural History, Rees literally wrote the book on the depiction of vaginas – and its chapter on birth shows that, even in modern times, public attitudes to seeing women’s private parts during childbirth are fraught.

No excerpt from the book is provided to instance how, but for the commonplace, contemporary feminist, insinuation suffices in lieu of substance. I honestly don’t know why parturition should be publicized, but neither why most people would care either way.

In 1997, UK artist Jonathan Waller’s life-size paintings of women were apparently considered so distressing by the gallery who represented him that they removed one of them from a show;

To epitomize: provocateur compensated for his shortfall of talent with garishly tasteless imagery, was satisfactorily “repressed” as expected, and consequently enjoyed remuneration for his little incident. Yawn.

later, the images prompted the Independent on Sunday to ask ‘Is birth the last taboo subject in art?’

The question should’ve been, “Why were such amateurish, sophomoric paintings exhibited in a gallery?”

Rees shares another, more recent example: at a 2009 exhibition of the Birth Rites Collection – work dedicated to the artistic depiction of birth, first displayed at Salford University before moving to various galleries and science centres across the UK – a photograph by Hermione Wiltshire of midwife Ina May Gaskin called Therese in Ecstatic Childbirth, which shows a mother’s joyful expression at the moment of crowning, was apparently repeatedly covered up by visitors.

When a crowning is photographed in a pornographic idiom specifically to incite outrage, that’s to be expected. Nowhere in this article is the gender of the offended mentioned.

“There is still a cultural paradox and hypocrisy around vaginas,” Rees tells me. “The same people who will criticise seeing a baby crowning potentially consume porn – [then they are] perfectly happy with vaginas, but when they start doing stuff like pushing another human being out of them, that’s somehow obscene.”

This is an unalloyed falsehood. Nearly no one — certainly not viewers of pornography — is concerned in the slightest about public depictions of delivery, or any implications of obscenity. She clumsily insinuates that “The same people” are men wholly familiar and therefore comfortable with the sight of a vagina, but knows full well that those solicitous scolds are much more likely to be women.

Rees was drawn to documenting cultural depictions of vaginas for the same reason Schechter wanted to make a Vagina Museum:

They were both desperate for their next thrilling, lucrative fix of delectable attention.

because there’s still so much silence and ignorance around them.

If so, that’s only for indifference.

One of the spurs was an encounter, outside a church in Kilpeck in Herefordshire, with a stone carving of a woman holding open her vulva – and the fact that a 19th-Century guide to the church claimed that it was a fool holding his chest open. “That’s not a fool, and that’s not a chest!” Rees recalls, laughing.

This reads like so much apocrypha that’s really happened. Surely.

In fact, what she was looking at was a ‘sheela na gig’ – figurative carvings of naked women displaying an exaggerated vulva

I like sheela na gigs — inter alia, because their existence belies nearly every assertion advanced in this article.

the word for which is familiar to PJ Harvey fans thanks to her song of the same name (“Look at these, my child-bearing hips/Look at these, my ruby red ruby lips”, she sings – not the first or by any means the last time a pop song has capitalised on the dual meaning of lips).

Indeed. It hasn’t really been an unspeakable subject for ages, has it?

The carvings are found in Norman churches all over Europe

So much for the falsity that vaginal depictions were absent in Western art.

and while their purpose isn’t entirely understood, it may be to do with promoting fertility, healthy births, or warding off evil.

How was their ecclesiastic construction possible in an allegedly misogynistic era? Well, never mind.

The autonomous vagina

Here’s your mom’s feminist insubordination, obstreperously embarrassing friends and family before the whole neighborhood.

Still, compared to male genitalia, depictions of the vulva are pretty rare until the 20th Century. Of course, female sexual organs are more hidden compared than their masculine counterparts – and this, combined with the lack of non-sexualised discussion of, and language for, the female genitals seems to have had a real impact on the depictions that do exist.

Only lonely, homely white women would regard perceived pretermission as such a grave affront.

I was struck, reading Rees’s fascinating book, how many examples present the vagina either as autonomous – rebellious, or oddly divorced from its owner – or as a terrifying, dangerous thing.

One mythic image goes way back: the vagina dentata – a vagina armed with teeth, that damages or castrates the male. It’s a myth that has a history and currency in cultures and civilisations that could not have communicated with each other: in the Indian subcontinent and in south America we get the same stories emerging, at a time when there wasn’t any transatlantic travel,” says Rees. She adds that in many of these myths “the fear of the unknown-ness of the vagina becomes a rationale for acts of extreme brutality – knocking the teeth out through rape or serious sexual assault.”

What Rees quite deliberately omits is that in most (and all European) of the folkloric cultures in which it was related, vagina dentata was concocted to deter rape and the dissemination of STDs. Further, these Hindu, Guiana, Maori, Ainu and other tales are somewhat similar, but hardly “the same.” Many of these stories are triumphalist, some blackly comedic, and still others are sheer horrors. As “someone who wrote the book” on vaginal depiction, Rees is demonstrably inept.

Rees also references several modern manifestations of this Freudian fear, not least US director Mitchell Lichtenstein’s film Teeth. In the 2007 horror, the young innocent Dawn’s crush Tobey tries to rape her, only for her vagina to chomp his penis off. Dawn goes on to learn how to use her vicious vagina to wreak revenge on sexually predatory men.

If your horror flick barely breaks even and is overshadowed by better contemporaneous features of the genre, don’t worry — that feminist context will ensure positive reviews and enduring mention in hackery of this rubric.

The myth of the vagina dentata played a part in performance artist Annie Sprinkles’s droll work, Public Cervix Announcement. Performing it live during the 1990s, she’d open her vulva with a speculum, and invite audience members to shine a torch inside her and speak into a mic about what they found. You can now experience the work on her website – where she comments “One reason why I show my cervix is to assure the misinformed, who seem to be primarily of the male population, that neither the vagina nor the cervix contains any teeth. Maybe you’ll calm down and get a grip.”

The only substantial reason why Ellen F. Steinberg so sillily stultified herself was to procure the attention of and insult those few men who noticed her trashy exhibition. Evidently, her previous careers as a peculiarly dumpy prostitute and pornstar weren’t terribly successful.

Sprinkle let others speak about – for? – her genitals, but there’s also a long history of the chatty vagina: an organ that speaks a truth its owner can’t, won’t, or doesn’t want heard.

“The idea of the autonomous vagina was one I began to see a lot of [in my research],” says Rees, who believes that our general inability to discuss vaginas has led to women often feeling separated from their own anatomy.

Though inadvertently, Rees is essentially an author of fiction.

But there’s also a tradition in art and literature of men controlling women by forcing their vaginas to mutter…

As always, feminist parapraxis tells all: they always want control, no matter how oppressive, irrational or plenary it may be.

Rees’s examples go as far back as Medieval French poetry, and the story of Du Chevalier Qui fist les Cons Parler. After a magical power is bestowed on a knight by three witch-like women that allows him to address women’s private parts, he uses it to cause much mischief at a castle. The women have no control: whatever he asks, their vaginas will reply with the truth.

If they’re honest women, why is this so unfortunate?

Truth-telling vaginas also appear in the 18th-Century French writer Denis Diderot’s Les Bijoux Indiscrets, in which a genie provides a sultan with a magic ring that can command “the most honest part” of women to speak the truth. He mostly uses it to question women’s fidelity – a clear instance of how male anxiety about women not being truthful has long been bound up with anxieties about their sexual appetites.

If it’s “a clear instance” of anything, it’s the Gallic proclivity to infidelity and especially advoutry. Isn’t the truth just devastating to these misandrous mythomaniacs?

And, of course, another example of a man forcibly controlling a woman’s body.

Which is preferable: selectively communicative coercion, or infidelity…?

More recent examples of blabbing genitalia include the 1977 US film comedy Chatterbox, in which the heroine Penelope’s vagina – dubbed Virginia – starts to speak and even sing. Although Penelope worries her vagina is a “foul-mouthed little beast” who just wants to have sex all the time, Virginia soon becomes quite a star. Once again, there’s a disconnect between a woman and her vagina: the film riffs on the idea of it being more liberated and honest than its owner, while Penelope silently suffers shame.

This film is dreck, but also sporadically admirable for its candor.

And it’ll surely come as no surprise that South Park has animated various talking lady parts, usually in order to undermine women of power.

Nobody’s “undermining women of power” by satirizing odious public figures.

One episode saw Oprah Winfrey given an autonomous vagina that was dissatisfied and demanded more attention. Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, had a vagina dentata which ate a man’s head. Then again, the South Park movie, made in 1999, did feature a more benevolent talking organ: the mystical, near-mythical clitoris.

Maybe Parker and Stone don’t hate women who aren’t reprehensible.

But vaginas can also speak for their owners, not against their wishes. Artist Carolee Schneemann’s infamous 1975 work Interior Scroll saw her undress, pull a scroll out of her vagina, and read it: the text recounted a discussion Schneemann had about her work with a patronising filmmaker who thought her work was too messy, too concerned with feelings.

Most of Fluxus’ output is pretentious drivel. From Eye Body through Flange 6rpm, Schneemann’s oeuvre is as consistently ugly and vapid as she, and characterized by a unifying theme: the quest for attention.

The pleasure principle

From the serious to the silly: Netflix’s Big Mouth is another cartoon about teenagers featuring plenty of chatty body parts. But in contrast to South Park, Nick Kroll’s comedy about middle schoolers going through puberty is good-hearted, level-headed, and actually full of sound advice. Pubic hairs, raging hormones, and vaginas all get personified. But it’s notable that the while female lead Jessi’s vagina is separate from her and very much its own character (as voiced by Kristen Wiig), when she talks to Jessi it’s to encourage her to discover how much fun they could have together. “It’s an honour to be a part of you,” she says, toasting Jessi after their first orgasm. This vagina is promoting unity through pleasure, not shame or separation.

Eventually, all wretched women find their way (back) to Netflix. What was all that about art?

Pleasure: a pretty important function for any owner of a vagina – and yet depressingly not that often the focus of art. With the vagina having been largely hidden, pornography aside, for centuries, just achieving visibility seems to have been a real challenge – and the most famous works have tended to attract virulent criticism from both men and women. Take two of the most famous examples: Judy Chicago’s 1979 installation The Dinner Party and Eve Ensler’s 1996 play The Vagina Monologues.

Yes, the latter’s remarkably obnoxious. Do any of these women meditate on why such exposure is a challenge? I’m fond of many paintings, photographs and sculptures in which penes and pudenda alike are visible, but tangential to these works’ aesthetic substance or thematic import. Why is visibility per se at all important? The answer is as sharp as simple: most of these ladies need attention, and lack the relationships, intellect or allure by which they’d otherwise secure it, and which others take for granted.

Chicago laid three tables for an imagined party of 39 women, among them goddesses, queens and 20th-Century icons including Virginia Woolf and Georgia O’Keeffe (whose own flower paintings have often been interpreted as evoking vulvae, although she denied that was her intention). Alongside gold chalices, embroidered napkins and runners, it features plates shaped as individual, abstracted, butterfly-like vulva.

It’s a monumental work, but attracted scorn from male art critics when it opened and for years after (the Los Angeles Times art critic called it “a lumbering mishmash of sleaze and cheese”; the New York Times later deemed it crass, vulgar, and didactic). The work also attracted the ire of some feminists who claimed it reduced women and their achievements by focusing on their genitals. Museums cancelled showings of it, Chicago struggled to find a home for the work (happily at the Brooklyn Museum since 2007), and its notoriety overwhelmed her career.

It’s not remotely “monumental,” but I’ll readily concede that The Dinner Party is quite cleverly contrived for its triangular accessibility and an artful appeal of which most feminist installations are destitute. Never a great work of fine art, it nathless deserves its success, and initial reprehension of the installation was largely undue.

And yet the work has always been wildly popular with the gallery-visiting public, and especially women. Chicago was surely feeding a hunger, a need, with The Dinner Party. And you could argue the same for Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues, a work drawn from interviews Ensler conducted with women ranging from a six-year-old to a septuagenarian, from Bosnian war survivors to a sex worker for women, that touches on sex, periods, body image, rape and female genital mutilation (FGM).

Monologues is truly extraordinary for treating of such a topical sweep in a manner as facile as grating in such address.

It’s not all bleak: the monologues also feature joyful sex and multiple orgasms. Ensler’s show has become an international phenomenon, performed all over the world on 14 February each year, also known as V Day, an initiative started by Ensler raising money to end violence against women. It’s a feminist text that’s proved palatable to celebrities too: everyone from Alanis Morrissette to Glenn Close to Oprah Winfrey has had a go at appearing in it.

Constructed camaraderie will never be as satisfying as family.

Still, the hyper-visibility of Ensler’s show has also drawn seemingly endless criticisms: it’s been deemed too smug, narrow in focus, insufficiently radical, essentialist, colonial, or maybe even simply – whisper it? – too successful. But whatever swipes people take at Ensler, the play genuinely did help bring conversations about vaginas into the mainstream.

Alas, all of those conversations are peeving and shallow.

And it does feel like we might be moving into an era where we’re seeing more depictions, not just of female sexual organs, but also female sexual pleasure. Artists in the 21st Century seem to be able to depict vaginas without it necessarily having to be traumatic or taboo-busting.

Many of these paragraphs read as though they were written for publication in 2019, circa 1962. In every established medium, female sexual pleasure has been on open display for a half-century!

Take UK writer and actor Bella Heesom,

Please! Ha, ha!

who the Guardian suggests “might be considered Ensler’s millennial heir” thanks to her show Rejoicing at Her Wondrous Vulva the Young Woman Applauded Herself, which encourages women to love themselves too. Staged in London earlier this year, the show includes a light-up clitoris headdress, and puts the joy of masturbation and orgasms onstage.

This is what a feckless narcissist might do after her cinematic career quietly fizzled.

In visual art, New York-based Ghada Amer uses embroidery in her colourful, outlined images of women masturbating; she hopes the needle-and-thread can bring a tenderness to such images that “simple objectification ignores”. Tschabalala Self’s bold, colourful work also blends collage and sewing, presenting powerful, confident black women, often opening exaggeratedly wide thighs or curvaceous buttocks to reveal their genitals – a colourful heart, perhaps, or a burst of rainbow.

This wouldn’t be of any interest if it weren’t so hideous:

Pop music has done its bit too: music videos have always been sexually suggestive, but more recently female artists have been playing with knowing visual innuendo to make it clear they’re singing about their own pleasure. Take Ariana Grande’s video for 2018 single God is a Woman, for instance, where she writhes around in various suggestive pools, flames, and (lady) caves – and is at one point backed by a choir of actual screaming beavers. No wonder the video is one of Schechter’s favourite pop-culture depictions: “it’s obvious enough for everyone to be like: that’s an ode to the vulva,” she says.

I do agree that for this audience, it needs to be obvious. If pre-packaged to placate them, nothing’s too tawdry, egotistic or corporate for contemporary feminists.

Why can’t vaginas be funny?

Or take Janelle Monae’s fantastic video for last year’s Pynk, her hymn to “self-love, sexuality and pussy power”. Monae and her female dancers perform in vulva-like trousers, and the video is loaded with pink visual stand-ins for vaginas: milkshakes, ice cream sundaes, oysters, and grapefruits.

This substantiates my point.

She’s not the only one getting fruity: LA-based artist Nevine Mahmoud makes gorgeous sculptures out of marble and alabaster that somehow look warm and sensual: peaches split to reveal a peek of stone, softly folding lilies (which Mahmoud deems “the most erotic flower”), and a cleft shape called Fig/Vagina.

These and most of Mahmoud’s other works are well worth seeing, as in my post on Superaggregation.

The erotic potential of fruit is also brilliantly exploited in the videos of American multimedia artist Stephanie Sarley: she gently rubs halved pieces of fruit in a circular motion – then inserts her fingers till they squirt. They’re glorious and ridiculous, and yet reveal that, even now, the mere suggestion of female ejaculation can be controversial. In one month in 2016, Instagram suspended and restored Sarley’s account three times – a blood orange in particular attracted vitriol – although Sarley’s stated aim is to promote greater acceptance of female sexuality via humour.

It’s a modestly amusing idea, not executed very well.

But artists at least trying to say that women’s sexual bits can be funny – in the same way that penises certainly often are – is surely a cheering development. British performance artist Lucy McCormick has also garnered a reputation for eye-poppingly explicit, eye-wateringly funny shows, that send up the ridiculous expectations of performative female sexuality.

“Women’s bodies are so often offered as purely sexual, it can be a liberation to celebrate the grotesque, the weird and often hilarious functionality of the body,” she has said. Her current show Post-Popular, for example, sees her taking the idea of searching for a hero inside yourself very literally: she pulls a Cadbury’s Miniature Hero out of her vagina, and eats it.

This is what that fumid, single aunt might do to slake her thirst for attention at a holiday’s dinner that didn’t end well. It was shocking and amusing the first time.

Another visual artist who’s been explicit about using humour is Megumi Igarashi, best known as the maker of the “pussy boat”: a canoe modelled on a 3D scan of her vulva. But in 2014, when trying to raise funds to make it, she got in hot water: Igarashi was arrested in her native Japan after selling data enabling people to make 3D prints of her vagina. She was fined 400,000 yen – then about £2,575 – for distributing obscene images, despite insisting she was innocent. Her defence was spot on: she refused to accept that “artworks shaped like female genitals are obscene.”

She also refused to accept that she hasn’t any talent whatsoever, which has been patent to witnesses of her antics among both Japanese and gaijin since they first rolled their eyes after glancing at Decoman.

Such censorship proves we’re still far from being as comfortable with vaginas as we should be,

Once more, who are “we?” Britons aren’t Japanese or American or Canadian; therefore, such a statement concerning censorship doesn’t make any sense whatsoever.

even if creative depictions of vaginas and vulvas in all their varied glory – messy, silly, funny, sexy, beautiful, and empowered –

Nothing is more important to a third-wave feminist than empowerment, even though they seldom attain it. What most of them resolutely refuse to realize is that liberation is neither a concomitant nor a guarantee of empowerment. More often than not, empowerment necessitates labor and aptitude.

do seem to increasingly be able to take a place at the table. Not to mention, at last, being given a museum all of their own.

At long last, wymyn have something that almost nobody (including them) ever considered, much less wanted! As for taking a place at the table, that of the aforementioned Dinner Party is forty years old…nearly a decade younger than the cessation of a condition Williams pretends persists.

0 of 1 finds this acceptable

IMDb serves four functions, below ordered in prominence and priority:

  1. Advertising
  2. Interviews
  3. Documentation of productional data pertaining to motion pictures
  4. Aggregation of cinematic and televisional trivia

Those latter two functions, now distant in significance from the first, are in their neglected ulteriority often poorly performed, usually in deference to the first’s primacy. In no few pages where trivia for popular features is itemized, one may encounter one or both of the following blurbs:

These certainly are trivia, especially for their negligibility, but no less so than they are advertisements. Either Ebert and Schneider (in the mold of all popular hacks) or their publicists clearly hired someone to interpolate them among the trivia of every flick detailed or listed in their respective products. Whenever I skim these in passing, I still roll my eyes. That so many users of IMDb vote these items interesting is as much evidence of widespread dysgenics that plague the Anglosphere as is their presence of the site’s almost impossibly low standards.

If any site’s content was ever so desperate to be readapted, it’s that of IMDb — preferably for a resource as swift, spare and substantial as the private Japanese Movie Database, an exemplar for all such online databases. Shouldn’t we ask not whether this is possible, but why it’s not inevitably impendent?

Pettish, Presumptuous, Philistine Pope Pans Qualifiers

Quoth the petulant pontiff:

“The third thing I take from what I said earlier, which I am slightly allergic to: ‘This is something authentically Christian’, ‘this is truly so’.”

Does anyone need a spiritual leader who speaks as reviewers of Goodreads type?

“We have fallen into the culture of adjectives and adverbs, and we have forgotten the strength of nouns.”

Hardly! This monoglot won’t assume trends pertaining to qualifiers in other tongues (be they those of preponderantly papal nations or otherwise), but Anglophones should apply nominal phrases comprehending legitimate attributives instead of qualifying nouns. In almost every instance — “lexical list” in lieu of “word list,” “electoral dates” for “election dates,” “cardiovascular disease” rather than “heart disease,” et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera — the utilization of a proper modifier is always more accurate, efficient, instructive and aesthetically felicitous. We haven’t “forgotten the strength of nouns;” we’ve simply misused it!

“The communicator must make people understand the weight of the reality of nouns that reflect the reality of people. And this is a mission of communication: to communicate with reality, without sweetening with adjectives or adverbs.”

This is one pluperfect paralogism. Sincere, effective communication requires adjectives and adverbs to elegantly and succinctly preserve specificity. If Frankie actually reflected rationally on this matter, he might’ve instead denounced prolixity (esp. circumlocution) or magniloquence rather than indispensable parts of speech.

“‘This is a Christian thing’: why say authentically Christian? It is Christian!”

Whyever not, when the present pope is so readily disposed to preach bogus, circumstantial, politicized, contemporary “morality” in neglect of canonical virtues?

“The mere fact of the noun ‘Christian’, ‘I am of Christ’, is strong: it is an adjectival noun, yes, but it is a noun.”

This broaches the crucial question: is the present pope a simpleton?

“To pass from the culture of the adjective to the theology of the noun. And you must communicate in this way.”

Oh, must we? Luther, Calvin, Henry VIII, et al. surely sleep easy.

“‘How, do you know that person?’ – Ah, that person is like this, like that…’: immediately the adjective. First the adjective, perhaps, then, afterwards, what the person is like. This culture of the adjective has entered the Church and we, all brothers, forget to be brothers, by saying that this is ‘this type of’ brother, that one is ‘the other’ brother: first the adjective.”

Here’s the implicit burden: “never judge, for only God may judge through me. Never discriminate, so to remain an intellectual, moral and ethical slave.”

“Your communication should be austere but beautiful:”

Any writer or orator who aims to exercise both precision and concision, whether florid or otherwise, needs qualifiers.

“beauty is not rococo art, beauty does not need these rococo things;”

Are we to accept that a substantial proportion of the finest Catholic painting, literature and architecture isn’t genuinely beautiful because a papal puppet seeks to propitiate and control his most benighted followers?

“beauty manifests itself from the noun itself, without strawberries on the cake! I think we need to learn this.”

Well, I dissent: when ably authored, austere and aureate prose or speech alike are beautiful, and necessary in discrete applications and spheres. By inveighing against requisite parts of speech, pope Frank opts for a very aberrant and asinine species of verbal, lingual, and lexical veganism.

“Communicating by witness, communicating by involving oneself in communication, communicating with the nouns of things, communicating as martyrs, that is, as witnesses of Christ, as martyrs. To learn the language of the martyrs, which is the language of the Apostles. How did the Apostles communicate? Let us read that jewel which is the Book of Acts of the Apostles,”

Which translation? Look out, Frankie: some of them are awfully purple!

“and we will see how it was communicated at that time,”

That’s not terribly likely.

“and how it is Christian communication.”

Since when was any prosaic style especially Christian? Isn’t this prescriptivism contrary to Francis’ nauseatingly incessant call for mindless inclusivity, irrespective of detrimental repercussions?

Look, I’m not oblivious; this harangue is essentially the retort of one pedantic prescriptivist against another. Obviously, the holy pappy is guilty of far worse, such as the prospective canonization of a fraudulent socialist despot, didactic tolerance of jihadist barbarity, promotion of globalist elites’ migratory and economic agenda, support for popular climatic pseudoscience, and consortium with an abusive, subhuman nabob (see below).

For the past six years, we’ve beheld the outrageous imprudence of Francis on a daily basis. Evidently, his word is no more tolerable than his acts.

Theodore Dalrymple has also addressed this subject with decidedly greater civility and consideration.

Designer Hellhole

Annusya discovered the above abomination as advertised by Home Depot. Just as we anatomize eximious and execrable interiors alike weekly courtesy of dedicated scanners such as JPEGFantasy and Manila Automat, I couldn’t help but likewise scrutinize this stabile calamity’s every ill-conceived element:

  • That tetragonal, post-’60s motif besmirching the floor and wall alike breathes a rancid nostalgia that gormless, suburban millennials agonize to imagine; to their boomer parents or grandparents, it’s a hideously effective reminder that they’ll soon be dead.
  • What appears to be vinyl or aluminum siding flanking the washbasin is almost innovative in its inanity. Who needs quality wainscot when you’re reimagining the wheel as a scissured brick?
  • Not quite clashing, the gray of the mirror’s frame and sink’s cabinet subtly yet powerfully enhances this collective unsightliness.
  • Who wants to see a lovely print whenever they approach their throne when they can settle for two ugly, grayscale photos of sere skeins evocative of the worthless falderol accumulated by someone’s senile great-grandfather?
  • Like all furnishings composed of perennially contemptible wickerwork, that wastebin belongs in another, or perhaps a fireplace. In a household occupied by a human family hailing from planet Earth, it couldn’t contain more than a few hours’ refuse.
  • Its design ought never have maculated an interior after 1975, but that suspended lamp really does befit postwar pastiche of this hideosity.

Prior generations — even Boomers and Xers largely devoted to indiscriminate rejection of tradition — usually possessed and exercized a measure of discernment so to omit irredeemably horrible artifacts of prior popularity whenever resurrecting others. On those rare occasions when Millennials actually retrospect — or worse, essay to revive the past in maladroit mimicry — they exhibit all the acumen and authenticity of a stupid and sheltered child.

Third-wave feminism: exhibit #2

While viewing horrors on Asiancrush, I beheld an advertisement far more ghastly than even the most morbid among that service’s features or shorts:

It’s an amalgamation of clichés:

  • Mannish physiognomies
  • Hideous habiliments
  • Quasi-macho postures
  • Emblematic violence
  • Fatuous smirks

Since when were strong, empowered women so insecurely obsessed with exogenous opinions, averse to sensible discernment and disposed by shallow values to cosmetic surgery? Since the movement was appropriated by covetous, opportunistic political organizations driven by corporate greed, selective vanity, misandry and envy. Popular appeal of social justice to the decerebrate has enabled corporations (esp. those of big pharma and big tech) to co-opt nearly every major leftist movement, shunting to obscurity any dissenters — mostly intellectually alert (if innumerate) socialists.
Not one feminist of the movement’s first generation wouldn’t be appalled by such artifacts of its overt declension.