Go with your flow

Menstruation worked for Stephen King

The Period Project” is an effort by Kotex, manufacturer of women’s hygiene products, to destigmatize the menstrual cycle. Really. Check out the short clip below to get an idea of the new “ad” campaign being mounted – oddly – to get women in touch with their monthly cycle:

Funny enough, while the attempt is to “… normalize periods and put an end to stigma,” the hyper-focus on a natural bodily function (the function itself, not the purpose of the function) seems more than out of place. Menstruation, factually speaking, is merely part of the female’s cycle that prepares for a coming child. Duh. Having a period is not simply for the purpose of making the woman “feel” stigmatized.

Yet the motivation for the shop featured in the video is to provide, “… a place to be ‘revered.'” But to what purpose?

Why, to sell something of course! And not just feminine hygiene products. At least not for all women. In the fashion of Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop offerings (remember the jade eggs to make women glow? The queen/concubine “must have” essential is now all sold out), a website called the Fountain of Life is proselytizing the need for women to return to so-called early “Christian” roots; that is, in their odd mishmash of ancient wisdom somehow linked to Tantrism (the East Indian worship that glorifies the female, specifically her reproductive parts, as some mystic portal of life and spirituality).

Tantrism

Tantrism

Okay. Got it?

While Fountain of Life extols the immortality benefits of drafts of menstrual blood (Spirit cooking, anyone? Drinking blood?), the Mystica insists that “… as with everything which incorporates natural tendencies but also denies them this form of Goddess-worship traveled a bumpy road. One big obstacle was when the Christian Church declared that the sole purpose of sex was for the propagation of children. This led to the obstacle of others being suspicious of those practicing it, thinking promiscuity was occurring among them.”

Creepy Madonna

Creepy Madonna

Promiscuity is the least of my concerns. How about some really twisted notion of what purpose body functions actually serve? How about the potential for young women (or old) to be bamboozled into the realm of the “you’re-kidding-me”? I wish I were kidding.

These wise women – think Madonna Ciccone – express frustration at having their supposed power replaced by the blood of Christ. Yes, it’s that deranged.

Wake up people. Time to normalize periods. Time to put a “period” on this retro-infatuation with the infantile fantasy that bodily functions are more than what they are. Worshipping ourselves, our bodies, our waste products etc. has got to stop.



Garbage

Garbage never lies

Who can forget Jim Carrey’s Grinch schooling all of Whoville on the cycle of life that leads all the town’s Christmas gifts to the garbage heap? The following clip is always in season:

With February well underway, however, the impetus to re-gift, re-purpose or just get that unwanted whatever out of the house has already begun. Some will focus on the utter Whomanity (inanity) of the process of buying stuff, only to get rid of it. Others, those seekers far in the future, those hoping for that special something to let them know just who we are – or were – will be grateful for our all-too-human practice of tossing unwanted whatnot.

Trash, treasure, or both is what archeologists discover when digging through the garbage of previous generations. Some living, eh?

And yet, “Early dumping grounds, or “middens,” are often archaeological and anthropological gold-mines,” Dr. Richard Meadow, Director of the Peabody Museum’s Zooarchaeology Laboratory and senior lecturer on anthropology at Harvard University, told CNN. “Not just for what can be found there but for what they tell us about ancient civilizations, what they consumed and how they organized their urban space to deal with their waste.

“Ancient people,” Meadow continues, “quite literally lived with their trash, usually dumping it in the streets outside their homes when it wasn’t collected and deposited in special pits. Sometimes whole cities would be filled with trash, to the point where the street levels would rise, submerging homes and forcing people to build on top of it.” (Brings a whole new meaning to pick up and move!)

Trashy writing is also something not confined to questionable novels of the modern era.

The dig at Oxyrhynchus in Northern Africa is described by Atlas Obscura as, “… the closest thing we have to discovering the Library of Alexandria in a landfill. Academics familiar with it throw around terms like ‘unparalleled importance’ and ‘holy grail’ and aren’t trying to be hyperbolic. It contained a lot of other ancient literature that would otherwise be totally lost – most famously a Sophocles comedy and the poetry of Sappho – not to mention extensive details about everyday life in Egypt, Greece, and Rome. It also held the biggest cache of early Christian manuscripts ever discovered.”

Stephen King's "Carrie"

Stephen King’s “Carrie”

Word is, Stephen King’s prolific career began in the trash … in a way. Frustrated with a slow-moving plot he didn’t want to waste two weeks developing it, King crumpled up the beginnings of his now classic novel “Carrie” and chucked it in the trash, only to have the treasure plucked out by his wife, Tabby. “You’ve got something there,” she said of the ash-covered castoff, according to Mental Floss. And the rest is history – modern history.

So, even though the Grinch’s lecture still tickles in my conscience, I’m glad there’s a Mt. Crumpit arrangement here in town. Even so, I can’t help but wonder what curious diggers may one day think of the things I throw out … or if I’m accidentally tossing soon-to-be-buried treasure.



Fart proudly

Fart proudly!

Think that the crass American is just an evil stereotype? Think again. Spread the love. Better still, spread being in love, or at least not hating on the human condition. Fart proudly. It’s almost constitutional!

Don’t believe me? Try.

“A Letter to a Royal Academy” (popularly known as “Fart Proudly”) was composed [by Benjamin Franklin] in response to a call for scientific papers from the Royal Academy of Brussels,” according to Wikipedia. “Franklin believed that the various academic societies in Europe were increasingly pretentious and concerned with the impractical. Revealing his ‘bawdy, scurrilous side,’ Franklin responded with an essay suggesting that research and practical reasoning be undertaken into methods of improving the odor of human flatulence. The essay was never submitted but was sent as a letter to Richard Price, a Welsh philosopher and Unitarian minister in England with whom Franklin had an ongoing correspondence.”

Here’s a few excerpts, courtesy of Good Reads to memorize for fun:

  • “What Comfort can the Vortices of Descartes give to a Man who has Whirlwinds in his bowels!”
  • “He that lives upon hope will die farting.”
  • “Your Business is to shine; therefore you must by all means prevent the shining of others, for their Brightness may make yours the less distinguished.”

My conclusion: Mr. Franklin was far from lacking sensitivity, refinement or intelligence. Rather, he demonstrated that particular attribute that marks the true American – the ability to nail topics, and in just the right fashion to make one’s point uncomfortably clear. Those who are by nature pretentious and impractical just don’t like it!

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