Age is just a number

16 12 2012

So one of my Scouty contacts is 27 today.

He is bemoaning his new-found “crispiness” as he puts it. Actually, 27 is a big thing in Scouts Canada… he can no longer be a Rover Scout, so I was a little more sensitive than his youthful whine would normally have solicited.

Source: World of Technology. 111 year old Cuban Man

Indeed, I even tried to cheer him up with the well established adage that “You’re only as old as the woman you feel”. OK, so it is a tiny incy wincy bit sexist, but I think ultimately the fact that I said it proves my point – you don’t HAVE to grow up, just because you get old. Plainly I’m a case in point! Being aware of sexist remarks comes with age and experience, ergo sexism is childish. Ergo men are doomed to remain sexist, since we struggle to grow up.

Of course, I look for excuses outside myself (also a childish behaviour). Personally, I favour evolution. Men would have been regularly trampled by mammoths or fall off cliffs trying to collect eggs well before they needed to stop having fun and take on any real responsibilities. Evolution never needed to select for responsibility, since that developed AFTER you’ve mated and subsequently fallen off a cliff due to shoddy placement of your protection, and trying to summit before dark. (Climbing joke, just smile and carry on).

Women of course needed to develop stability and thoughtful consideration in order to safely bring up the offspring. Even if their better sense told them to drown the ones with boy-bits. Men – no they were all about showing off, hunting and getting laid. So nothing really changes, does it? Except maybe the addition of  options since the discovery of the brewing process. Civilisation (as we’ll laughingly call it) has bypassed the whole evolutionary thing and left us men ill-equipped to deal with today’s reality. Our minds have cheated and side-stepped the whole genetic adaptation game totally, leaving us with a mental attitude that had a life expectancy of say 20-30 now living into our 70s… and the tools to do way more damage!

So here we are, with the male of the species genetically unprepared to live beyond youthful playfulness, yet now typically living well into old age. And look at the harm that causes! Old men are in positions of power both economically and politically (in the few countries it’s not actually the same thing). The women have the skills, but the men make the rules. Perhaps politicians and CEOs should have to collect eggs from a cliff freestyle before they’re sworn in.

Where was I going before that surprisingly pro-feminist rant?

Oh yes – Lego. I love Lego. Because I’m male and therefore childish.  :o)

Actually, I do seriously believe that play is an important part of how we learn – at any age – and Lego is a great engineering and design tool as well as a toy for younger fingers to learn dexterity and problem solving in the physical world. And so I wanted to make you aware, dear, patient reader (and I am truly grateful you choose to spend your limited time on this spinning rock reading my random irrelevancies) of a web page I found that really pushed the boundaries of Lego. Enjoy, if you will Funky Lego Gift Bags on Design Soak.

Source: Design Soak

Source: Design Soak

Australians and their Pies

19 12 2011

So as written elsewhere, I like to think of myself as liberal, open-minded, and generally pro-feminist. I believe a woman’s place is anywhere she wants it to be, and that figures showing women drivers have more car accidents are a statistical anomaly. But I’m not Australian. I’m sure they’re as pleased about that as I am. But they do make undeniably good meat pies. The same can’t be said for their beer, but let’s stick to pies for now.

You know how it is when you’re looking for something on the Internet? Of course you do – you ended up here, after all! You start off in one direction, take a wrong turn, and end up somewhere completely different. Men are particularly bad at retracing their steps, and will press on regardless. (We also generalise a lot). And this is how I happened upon this blatantly sexist Australian advert for Mrs Mac’s Famous Beef Pies. The cactus was a nice touch of artistic overkill I thought…. you have been warned!

Men Can be Feminists Too, You Know!

18 12 2011

What’s so wrong with sex discrimination? I think one should always be discriminating when it comes to sex. Indiscriminate sex would be so exhausting, if nothing else! But I digress. And so soon in the proceedings too.

I wanted to talk about how women are treated. I did, but then I thought I’d better write it down too, so you could all share. So let’s not get too academic here – I accept that in principle men can be discriminated against too, but I wanted to discuss women specifically. And I don’t mean women’s rights either. Rights (and the oft-forgotten flip-side of “responsibilities”) are bestowed by society formally. They are the result of debate by boring old farts in sumptuous buildings consuming our taxes with their luncheon expenses. It’s called democracy. Anyway, whether or not a specific right is invoked by a specific individual, they are enshrined in the statutes, and are there for the invoking. All well and good. I’m in favour. I’d have been taking cups of tea around to cheer up Mrs Pankhurst chained to the railings, no problem. But what about attitude? Respect? You can’t easily legislate these things.

My most earnest friend Bunbury and I recently had a discussion about self-image in women, and how since before Cleopatra’s time cosmetics and other “image enhancers” have been foisted on the already fairer sex to “improve” them. Though patently for their own marketing purposes, I have a lot of respect for the recent Dove “campaign for real beauty“. One video from the series is here for your consideration – “Talk to your daughter before the beauty industry does”:

But the real reason for the post is something I recently received via Twitter that saddened me deeply. (Thanks for the post D.):

Top 10: Subtle Ways To Tell Her She’s Getting Fat

Now this article is from, which has a tagline “Become a better man”. Superficially it’s claiming to help the (male) reader be gentle and subtle while telling his beloved that basically she’s not living up to his physical ideals, and she’d damned well better do something about it. But in a nice way, you understand. Pathetic is a word that springs to mind. After many others more Anglo-Saxon in origin that I’m not in the mood to type. Even in this day of metrosexuals, trendy gyms and as many hair and body products for men as for women, there’s still this persistent Western expectation that “the woman” should remain in some kind of stasis maintaining her appearance barely post-pubescent, while it’s perfectly OK for the bloke to bugger off to the pub and sink a few swift pints whenever it suits him, where a few extra kilos is seen as merely “making me more cuddly”.

Sometimes I wonder why they put up with us, I really do…