40 years of faulty wiring

27 Useless Trendy Words and Phrases that Should be Retired in 2014

I hate these words. Most of them are rude and dismissive. They do not enhance conversation and while they are preferable to obscenities so is measles. That`s how nasty they are. And stupid.

Whatever.  It`s rude. It`s a stupid way to end an argument. You don`t really win with this one. You`re just throwing up your hands in the air as if you don`t care when you actually do.

Duh. That is even ruder. Have you ever had someone say `duh`nice and loud to your face, especially with other people around. You have. Sucks to be you.

Bi-atch. This is the snotty high school girl`s way of calling someone a bitch. Just say bitch and be done with it already.

Bitch. As in saying someone is “you`re my bitch,`or saying “bitch“ to a man. Stick with bastard. Bitch is just nasty and gender-confused.

Oh no she didn`t. Seriously that is so moronic. Clearly she did, so why say she didn`t.

laughing-girlDude. That is so David Spade. Ick. He`s over. So is dude.

Fill your boots. This isn`t a Santa Claus expression. It means “go for it.` It`s the most hillbilly encouragement I`ve ever heard in my life.

Douche or douchebag. Most people don`t blink an eye over that one but when you think about its meaning, it`s seriously gross.

Irregardless. What! How do you regard yet irregard (no such word) a fact at the same time.  If you`re regarding it then it`s a fact. if you aren`t then why are you discussing it at all.

It is what it is. No shit.

At the end of the day. Then what. It`s night time you idiot.

I don`t give a rat`s ass. Did you think this whole conversation was a big lead up to my asking, “do you have any rodent sphincters I can have?”

Do you have a dog in this fight. What if I have a cat in this fight. Is that okay.

angry-woman-ManasAxe instead of ask.

Mines instead of mine.

Like as in So I was, like, all mad and, like,…

Goes as in so he goes, so I go…can“t you just say “he replied“ and “I said.“

Deal with it.

I so mean it...or any misuse of the word so, such as “you so suck at this game.“

Hater. What! Hating something doesn`t define a person has a hater. And there`s no such word as hater.

from a ___ standpoint …depends on whose standpoint you mean. For instance, from a ham`s standpoint that seems like a lot of pineapple. What the hell.

willy nilly that is so 1800s. That one should have been retired in 1914.

Paradigm. No knows what this means. That`s probably because no one knows how to use it.

walmartDumbass. Is there an intelligent rear end.

Awesome as in it is awesomely stupid that that word is still kicking around today.

Britney Spears.

Hater. I really hate this one (pun). A teenager walked out of my daughter’s school recently wearing a baseball cap with Hater blazoned proudly on the visor. It made me feel all warm inside.

Amen. No, that`s not one of the words. It means so be it in English.

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December 16, 2013 Posted by | Bizarre yet True, Education, Pop Culture | Leave a comment

How Not to Be A Loser According to 1950s Films

The 1950’s were a puritanical time on so many levels: morality, sexuality, drugs, virtuous behaviour, pristine television programs, clean commercial advertising. Of course, righteous behaviour doesn’t come naturally. Thankfully we had Coronet and McGraw-Hill films to advise us on how not to be a loser.

Drug Use – Marijuana
pinTalk about an exaggeration about the use of marijuana. You know, many young people probably believed this stuff at that time. First off, one had to recognize the difference in a cigarette and a joint, lest you be fooled into smoking pot when you merely wished to pollute your lungs with nicotine. In this pitiful video, a schoolteacher debates with a conservative “expert” about the use of pot in school. Naturally, the clincher was that the addiction to pot led directly to the addiction to heroin. “It can happen here” is the ominous moral of this story.  Haha.

Morphine and Heroin and Cocaineoh my!
coke
In this awesomely hilarious video , factual truths are illustrated. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not the wisdom of the narrative that I laugh at…it’s the melodramatic delivery that leaves me wiping tears of laughter from my tear ducts. A prime example: many addicts come from teeming slum areas, where human misery runs high. Oh, ha-ha. Way to stereotype the poor, dude. As if they didn’t already have enough problems. The increase of addiction among teens is another perspective I scratch my head over. I’m not aware of too many suburban clean-cut teens who get immersed in this stuff but to hear the narrator tell it, teenage cocaine and heroin use is approaching epidemic proportions. Get out while there’s still time.

Video Number Two in this series explains how young, decent people get started on the road to drug addiction. Here’s a big 50surprise: it all started with marijuana. Yes I know many people who smoke a joint now and then and whose lives have become a slippery slope into hard drugs. Tsk tsk. If only they’d seen this video first. They’d be fine citizens today. Thanks to this dreadful development, Marty the Teenage Addict lost his job and became a social isolate. His life becomes a downward spiral into debauchery. Damn that marijuana.

Good Habits vs Bad Habits or The Lady vs The Sloth
Speaking of habits, this is the story of Barbara the Sloth. Poor Barbara. She’s such a pain in the ass. She sleeps in (gasp). This doesn’t leave her time to match up her clothes, which has become difficult. She can’t find her hairbrush. She has morning mouth. Her dress has a tear in the collar. What a skank. “If you had a habit plan for your mornings, you might get off to a decent start some day,” the narrator scolds. Helen on the other hand, is a pearl. She has a habit plan and it works, too. Helen is up early enough to get a ride to school with Daddy. “Who could image a better way to start the day?” the narrator gushes. Really? I’d rather start the day with a joint. Barbara commits another cardinal sin in class: she drums on her desk with her fingers. Eek. Barbara, pack your bags. Ultimately, poor Barbara is so embarrassed by her messy hair and her dirty fingernails she has a mental breakdown and loses all her friends. Okay, so that doesn’t happen. Whatever.

Social Graces – Act Your Age
social
Today’s victim is Jim, an emotionally immature teen who learns to act his age after his very public humiliation for being a dork. Jim is an awkward 50’s teen who looks a lot like Wally Cleaver from Leave it to Beaver. He should be the Eddie Haskel of the show, but unlike our man Eddie, Jim actually feels remorse. Personally I thought Eddy was cool. He was a 1950s version of Eminem. He lived life his way, spoke his mind and didn’t give a damn. Eddie probably lost his virginity twelve years before Wally and ended up a corporate lawyer on Wall Street. Wally on the other hand was the subject of The 40-year-old Virgin and he too collected action figures whilst in the fourth decade of his life.  But back to poor immature Jim. He commits the crime of graffiti on a school desk using his school pencil. The principal, the weird Mr. Edmunds, sarcastically offers him a better alternative: a Boy Scout knife. Seriously. Edmunds has a lot of time to counsel wayward boys. He never does any work. Developing Social Skills is a tricky one. Fortunately we have the idiotic Bill to learn the rules of social courtesy.

Sexual Morality
sexYou knew I’d get around to this one. I love the aforelinked video: How to Say No, like it’s an art form. Mind you, this also refers to saying no to all kinds of things, like smoking and gossiping. If you want to skip to the sex part (and you do) watch from 7:53. One girl makes the astounding admission that sometimes it’s the girl who makes the first move. Shriek. The narrator advises us that a direct no might make us lose our friends, God forbid. Well you do want to hang onto friends like that. Sex Education for Boys is particularly helpful. The sports coach counsels his boys on sex education. Today, that sort of thing can get you six years in prison. One boy casually advises his young friend “I had a wet dream last night.” He generously explains to the younger boy “you know, sperm comes out of your penis.” And yes, the coach pops up (pun) in this one.

Just in case you didn’t get that part, there’s always As Boys Grow (1957). Hello again, coach. He helpfully discusses the buttocks, being “big all over”, penis and testes, complete with diagrams. I swear this guy should change his name to David Frost. Sex Education for Girls  is all about menstruation, naturally. Why, menstruation is as natural as sprouting teeth (but hopefully not as obvious). When our little heroine Molly starts behaving precociously, modelling her sister’s hat in front of a mirror and examining a sanitary napkin, it becomes obvious she is about to start menstruating soon. Seriously. Get those hormones under control, Molly. You’re making a slut of yourself. 

Beware those feelings between you and Jeff, Mary. Things [might]start to happen. It’s understandable however. Mary’s babe051207mother seems quite laid (pun) back for a 50′s mom. She tells her daughter that at first sex is “quite a lark.I’m serious. That’s a line in the previous video. Oh and for those of you who weaken and do the deed, don’t be surprised when you turn out like pathetic Eileen, the teenage mother, baby and all. Eileen is certain Mary and Jeff will cross the street so they won’t have to say hello to her but generously they stop and chat. Wisely, they do keep their distance. Oh and here’s a word to the wise, girls. The two previous videos are about sexual lust and professed love. They both star a boy named Jeff. Jeff likes to tell all his girls how much he loves them. What a jerk (off). Oh and Jeff once again demonstrates his immaturity when he acts like a “contagious disease” (not that kind, you) at home. He even beats up his little brother with a coat hanger. What a prize. I can see why so many girls want to jump into bed with Jeff.

Homosexuality
Now no one likes this topic but it has to be discussed. Homosexuality is the domain of adult male perverts and has become an epidemic. This aforelinked video was made for young boys in order to protect their (anal) innocence and recognize a perv when they see one. Well, you know what they say in tricky situations: cover your ass. At least we of the 21st century have eliminated homosexual paranoia. 

The Little Woman
house
Easy does it, ladies. A narrator warns women from carrying twelve times their weight in laundry upstairs, a feat that would leave a mountain climber gasping for air. Oh and be careful about pushing an iron around, you need enough muscle as a bricklayer. It’s all too much for the little woman. Time to get modern and buy appliances that only require a push of the button to complete household chores. Love it. A Word to the Wives Jane stopped by for a cup of coffee at her friend’s house and she fell apart with envy at the remodeled modern kitchen. The appliances make life so much easier for a housewife. It’s more freedom to go on a shopping spree and have a house warming party to show off her wares (not that kind of wares, you).

Working Women
If only we weren’t genetically wired to have babies and cook all the time, then we’d have enough skill and common sense to be able to work in factories. Nope, our participation in the labour industry is just too darned dangerous. It comes back to that whole modern appliances in the kitchen thing.

The 1950s Housewife
wife
Sexism flourished in the 1960s. Housewifery was still a challengeYour husband’s disapproval about your housekeeping and caregiver skills was a crime. Consider the aforelinked ad where a typical young housewife messes up the coffee. She shrieks at her husband not to toss her un-drinkable coffee into the bushes. “You’ll kill the petunias,” she laments. What a disgrace. She could never secretly poison her spouse for life insurance purposes.

Eternally Beautiful
pretty
Staying beautiful is an essential to being happily married forever, ladies. Whatever you do, don’t age or put on weight and if you have to age, at least fight it with all your womanly wiles.  Here’s a beauty tip: spend lots of time outdoors horseback riding and splashing in streams. And when you conduct those debilitating household chores (see The Little Woman) don’t slouch your way through them, you slob. When seated, don’t be he pigeon-toed thinker in the group. It isn’t charming. Gasp. Wash your hair once every two weeks. Seriously? Finishing up with a curling rod is a good sign, naturally. Your hair won’t get dry and hereby break off. What? And don’t munch the paint off your pencil or bite your painted nails. Your nails will be short and ugly. Like you.

Table Etiquette
table
Okay, the aforelinked video is from the 21st century and it’s serious! The 3-finger trick to slipping your table napkin out from under your forks is the darndest thing I ever saw. And how to remove the napkin ring to make it easier. You don’t want to exhaust yourself before you have to pick up a fork. Seriously. And here’s a dilemma: what to do when someone has food in their teeth? Personally I’d pluck it out for them. It gets worse. The narrator in this video saw a man spit an olive pit into his hat. Gak! He was escorted out. Tips for the toast lucky you. You get to be the teetotaler in the group. When someone toasts in your honour you can’t pick up a glass and slug away like everyone else. Sucks to be you.

Getting Lucky – (the cigarettes, you)
What the hell? While we’re in the business of telling people what losers they are why not promote cigarette smoking? Incredibly, commercials swore up and down that medical doctors promoted this delightful life-shortening habit. And what the heck? Might as well get kids’ cartoons in on it. Even the Flintstones had a Winston break during work. And I Love Lucy loved smoking too. Hey, cigarettes were cool. You were a nerd if you didn’t smoke. Just so long as you know the difference between a Lucky and a joint.

November 11, 2013 Posted by | Bizarre yet True, Education, Pop Culture | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Marilyn Monroe and Jacqueline Kennedy were Gorgeous Rivals for JFK’s Affections

Poor JFK. What a hard life. Two of the world’s most beautiful women battled it out over him whenever he wasn’t busy acting JackieKennedyas the charismatic and dashing President of the United States, not to mention reign as King Arthur over Camelot.  Jackie’s Camelot was seated in Washington D.C., the White House, to be precise. She was certainly an appropriate Lady Guinevere, conducting herself with grace and a unique style that was unprecedented in fashion. When she made her “coming out” appearance, she was dubbed debutante of the year by Hearst columnist, Igor Cassini.  Jackie made as strong an impact for her beauty and style, as did Marilyn. Ironically, Jackie and Marilyn shared Irish roots. yet the comparison ends there.

One is the story of a woman and her survival in a world where she was orphaned and exploited by people for her entire career. The other is a woman besieged by nearly impossible and highly constricting social expectations. The one thing these incredibly different women shared was a love for an emotionally void man who cared far more for himself than either of them, or anyone else for that matter. Although she began her iconic life as Jacqueline Bouvier, then Kennedy, the First Lady eventually became known in pop culture as Jackie O, the wife of billionaire shipping magnate Aristotle  Onassis. Although Onassis proved to be another womanizer, the unlikely pair remained married until Onassis’ death in 1975. Jackie was a traditional, stalwart, religious woman who didn’t believe in divorce, even when she suffered the humiliation and loneliness brought upon her by a wayward husband. Somehow Jackie emerged with her dignity intact, too revered in elite, socialite circles to become the target of gossip.

jackieThe 1960s Jackie carved out an iconic niche for herself in political and fashion history, inspiring millions of women to wear her box-shaped jacket and skirt sets, jaunty hats perched smartly to one side and short, ladylike gloves. Fashion at that time was in a transition from that of the 1950s housewife in commercial ads: puffy-sleeved dresses and swirling skirts, emphasizing a tiny waistline and accentuated with sensible, two-inch heels. Jackie’s look was fresh and innovative, embracing the trendy 60’s with a dose of finesse. Designers worldwide stole her look and brought it to the catwalks. She is remembered for her contributions to the arts and preservation of historic architecture, her style, elegance, and grace. Her famous pink Chanel suit and pillbox hat became symbols of her husband’s assassination and one of the lasting images of the 1960s.

jacqueline-bouvier-at-16Jacqueline Bouvier was born on July 28, 1929, to Janet Lee Bouvier  and John (Jack) Vernon Bouvier III. Janet and Jack had a troubled marriage resulting from his womanizing ways. The pair were divorced in 1940, an event that devastated the young Jackie who was close to her father. It is possible Jackie was able to tolerate Jack and Aristotle’s philandering because her first male role model demonstrated this very behaviour. Jackie grew up believing men could never be faithful. Jackie lived with her mother, who in 1942 remarried Hugh Dubley Auchincloss, Jr., a lawyer from a wealthy old family. Jackie’s mother’s remarriage created conflict in the family. Although Jackie adored her father she saw less and less of him, especially after her mother and stepfather moved their family to Washington, D.C. 

Marilyn-marilyn-monroe-979536_1025_768gladysMarilyn Monroe, aka Norma Jean Mortenson or Baker, was an icon unto her own right. She couldn’t have been more opposite to Jackie if she’d worked at it. She was the best-known Hollywood actress in history, a buxom, voluptuous, platinum blonde, with candy apple red lipstick and a penchant for tight dresses and high heels.  Marilyn hailed from humble roots and relative poverty. Like Jackie, her childhood was fraught with conflict within her family. She was one of two daughters born to Gladys Pearl Baker Mortenson, a pretty, brunette Irish woman who worked as a film cutter in Los Angeles. Norma Jeane’s uncle, Otis Elmer Monroe, died when syphillis invaded his brain as an infant. Gladys was a divorcee and single mother when Marilyn was born. Her first two children, Norma Jeane’s half-siblings, were Berniece Baker and Robert Kermit Baker. They were kidnapped by her estranged husband. Jasper Baker. Gladys later located them in Kentucky, but soon returned to Los Angeles without them.

Gladys was a paranoid schizophrenic who was hospitalized for many years. Unable to care for Marilyn, Gladys placed her child into the foster system. Norma Jeane’s exit from the foster system was a la marriage at 16 years old to her 20-year-old neighbour, Jim Doughtery. Many years after Marilyn’s death Dougherty would state in an interview, “I wasn’t married to Marilyn Monroe. I was married to Norma Jean Dougherty. I didn’t know Marilyn Monroe. She was a movie star. She was a stranger to me.” According to Monroe, Gladys’ second brother, Marion, committed suicide via hanging upon his release from an asylum, and Marilyn’s great-grand-father did the same in a fit of depression. It would appear that Marilyn Monroe’s life was littered with mental illness and suicide, a grim foreshadowing of her own future fate.

Marilyn was divorced from her third husband, Arthur Miller, when she became involved in a passionate affair with the President. They had met many years before but for both young hopefuls, their careers were foremost in their minds and they’d parted ways. Now it was a decade later and opportunity presented itself for both celebrities. JFK was smitten with the celebrity scene. He enjoyed the company of the Rat Pack, specifically Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., and Frank Sinatra. It was through this circle that JFK became re-acquainted with Marilyn. For JFK, the attraction was obvious. Marilyn was a sexy, glamorous movie star. For her part, Marilyn had been an illegitimate child and never knew her father’s identity. JFK’s power made him appear as a handsome and protective lover, almost a father figure. JFK, on the other hand, regarded Marilyn in the same way he regarded all of his extramarital liaisons: she was a temporary sexual fling, jackienothing more, even with her celebrity status. Her sex appeal was all that very briefly lured him into her bed.  He might have seen her eight times at most but somehow Marilyn made it into something much bigger in her own mind. In spite of her being the world’s sex goddess it mattered little to her that JFK had the unmanly reputation as a “2-minute man”. Marilyn wasn’t seeking sex from the President. She used sex to get close to him. She needed him for a sense of personal identity and security.

So delusional was Marilyn, she often told friends she was going to replace Jackie Kennedy as the First Lady of the United States, going so far as to contact Jackie herself on the telephone to tell her JFK was about to file for divorce. Jackie’s cool reserve never faltered. She assured Marilyn she had no problem allowing the actress to wed Jack but added that the movie star would have to travel to India, live in the White House, care for their children, and conduct many unglamorous duties. Gobsmacked, Marilyn had no retort. Jackie hung up, triumphant. Strangely, Jackie was more affected by the telephone call and by Marilyn Monroe than anyone knew. She was furious with Marilyn’s audacity and humiliated by Jack’s behaviour. Of all JFK’s affairs, the one with Marilyn worried her the most mainly because of the type of behaviour that led Marilyn to contact her on the phone. Marilyn was a loose cannon and seemed capable of anything including revealing details of her affair with the president, bringing public ridicule to the Kennedy family. Yet Marilyn was something of an obsession. Jackie adopted her voice and some of her mannerisms. In fact, to listen to Jackie without knowing it was her, you might think it was Marilyn speaking.

After the 4-85telephone call all hell broke loose in the Kennedy household. , Mrs. Kennedy put her foot down squarely on Jack’s head and told him to break off all contact with Marilyn Monroe. Meekly Jack agreed and indeed Marilyn was never able to reach the President on his private line again. Where once she’d spoken to him several times a week now Marilyn found JFK’s line disconnected. She contacted the main White House line and was told Jack was permanently indisposed. Flummoxed, Marilyn managed to contact his brother Robert and ask him to intervene for her. Although intrigued with his brother`s mistress Robert did nothing of the kind, pleased that Jack had come to his senses about the controversial film star. After this dual rejection Marilyn became despondent. She was suffering many losses at that time. Her career was faltering. She worried that she was losing her celebrity as she aged. Ultimately Marilyn took her own life on August 4, 1962. She was 36 years old.

The battle between Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe aka Norma Jeane Baker-Mortensen was over, with Jackie as usual, the victor.

November 3, 2013 Posted by | Bizarre yet True, Celebrity Chic, corrruption, Politics, Pop Culture | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Mother of a King or a Beauty Icon Failure?

Here’s something that yet another “fashion” magazine (or whatever OK is), has to be ashamed of: Kate Middleton just gave birth to a future King; little Prince George Alexander, a healthy, beautiful baby boy, and the pride of England. Yet the focus OK has on the royal birth is that Kate-Middleton3of Kate’s post-baby body (only a few hours later). The pathetic magazine criticizes her for having a round tummy, even though she is no longer pregnant with Prince George. Say what? The baby is hours old and it’s time for Kate to get a trainer and tone that tummy. Seriously?

Kate is one of the most beautiful, natural women in the world. Women strive to be like her: they copy her hairstyle, her clothing, her makeup. She is the mother of a future King. She is a model wife and yet, a humble girl next door. However she made the mistake of maintaining a tummy a few hours after

birthing her baby. Tut-tut. How will she ever face the public again? slide_4152_58022_largeImagine looking that beautiful and refreshed after birthing a baby and having to face photographers? Her most private and precious life moments will never be respected by paparazzi, will always be under public scrutiny this simple and yet, this simple girl, who is not of the aristocracy and married the most powerful heir in the royal family, is unfazed. She continues to face the camera with flawless poise and grace, no matter the circumstances.

Why does it always come down to this shallow perspective where a woman is concerned? Small wonder so many actresses and models develop eating disorders. Ditto young women and teens, who strive to mimic their unlikely, unhealthy bodies. The obsession with women’s weight and proportions has led to so many negative consequences, yet the media is unrelenting:

  1. eating disorders
  2. low self-esteem
  3. depression
  4. suicide

Before and after photos of young women who arrive fresh-faced and beautiful in the Hollywood spotlight, and soon deteriorate into kieraskeletons in Gucci shoes bear witness to this phenomenon. Consider Amy Winehouse, who was a healthy weight with gorgeous curves at the start of her precarious career. Soon after, her involvement with drugs and alcohol, and bulimia nervosa, led to a tragic, premature death.  Victoria Beckham had a beautiful, near-perfect body as a Spice Girl. Post-Spice, her head looks bigger than her body, and she has become the butt (pun) of endless media jokes about her reticence to eat. Nothing Posh about that.  Kiera Knightley must work to maintain a non-weight to appease public scrutiny. Is anorexia or bulimia nervosa part of her exercise and diet regime? I’ll toss my hat into that ring. Does anyone remember Brittany Murphy? She began in Hollywood as a healthy brunette and died of anorexia as a pathetically thin blonde. Drugs are always mentioned by the paparazzi. That may be, but with a painfully thin frame like that, I’m not convinced this was the main reason for her early death. Nicole Ritchie frightens me. Tara Reid is a liposuction gone horribly wrong.

Why don’t male celebrities develop eating disorders? If they do, they keep it under wraps (pun).  True, there are occasional headlines about celebs such as Matthew Perry fighting weight fluctuation. Has he ever used diet pills or resorted to bulimia? Who knows? The Matthew McConaughey keeps it simple with a white t-shirt and jeans, as he walks into his SoHo hotel in New York Citypress don’t tell us that. Most male celebs tend to gain or lose weight for a role. Matthew McConaughey deliberately dropped 38 lbs for a role and looked frighteningly ill. However, he was quick to regain a healthy weight after the self-starvation. He admitted to simply not eating for several weeks, stating that “the first two weeks are the hardest.”  How did the press react to McConaughey’s weight loss? It expressed fear for his health and a sigh of relief when filming finally began. Why don’t paparazzi react the same way to painfully thin and ill women? It’s a constant yo-yo: too fat, too thin, too skeletal, too chubby. No one seems to mention “relief” when a woman starts eating or after she has a baby. The only sigh of relief is when the post-partum belly disappears and the fashion icon regains her footing upon an eternally unsteady pedestal.

 

July 27, 2013 Posted by | Bizarre yet True, Celebrity Chic, Health and Wellness, Human psychology, Pop Culture | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Women, Weirdos, Whackos and Murder

Women love reading true crime books.  In fact, women purchase significantly more true crime books than men. Researchers presumed that men, aggressive by nature, would find gory topics such as rape and murder more interesting than women. But their two-study research showed that women overwhelmingly chose true crime books over other books, given the same choices as men. The researchers then conducted three more studies to try to determine why this was true. Their conclusion was that women were drawn to true crime books out of their own fears of becoming a victim of violent crime. One suggestion was that women read more than men (a true fact). According to the researchers, women were drawn to true crime books for these reasons:

In another study, women and men were given a choice of reading a true crime book, or a true book about an army unit in the Gulf Scream of horrorWar. Among female participants, 77% of women chose the true crime book, and only 23% chose the war book. The same was true when women and men were offered a choice between a true crime book and a book about gang violence. 73% of women chose the true crime book, and 27% chose the gang book. Among men, 51% chose the true crime book over the war book (49%), and 57% chose the true crime book over the gang book (43%). Men showed a much less marked preference for the true crime genre, whereas this preference was clear for women. In a third study, the authors asked participants to choose between two different true crime books, and offered short descriptions of each book. Unbeknownst to the participants, one of the two descriptions contained information about how the protagonist got away from the killer (e.g., by using a pin from a watch to remove a pair of handcuffs). The other description, though similar, didn’t contain information on any survival tricks. With this simple manipulation, 71% of women chose the book with the survival trick, compared to 29% who did not (66% chose the book with the survival trick description.) In yet another study, the researchers included or did not include information about the motivations and thought processes of the criminals. Among women, 65% chose the book that promised to reveal psychological insights on the criminals, while 35% chose the other book. Among men, the more temperate pattern again emerged: 59% of men chose the book with motives, compared to 41% who chose the book without motive information.

A random Amazon.com Top True-Crime Books, compiled by a male author, included approximately half true-crime books involving serial killers, rapists, and men who murder their wives. The rest of the list included con artists, a jewel thief, drug empires, and undercover agents infiltrating a violent biker gang.  By contrast, a female who comprised a list of the top 50 True-Crime books included strictly murder, rape, andRetro-Woman-Screaming abduction.  This may be because she misinterpreted the meaning of “true crime”, and focused solely on male and female killers and rapists, rather than adding any other type of true crime reading.

Keep in mind that these were studies where the guinea pigs …oops… I mean participants were only offered two choices, always one being a true crime book.  Most likely, stats are very different in retail stores and libraries since there is significantly more choice in many other genres.  Had the study been conducted in these environments, I would be more inclined to accept the researchers’ conclusions.  As it is, I don’t know how much I believe the researchers’ conclusions that many women actually choose to read true crime books in order to learn survival tricks. That seems rather weird.  That has never occurred to me, or any female friend or family member, to my knowledge. I do believe women are more likely to read true crime books than men ,however.  In my limited, subjective experience, the many males I have known, including family, seldom purchase or read true crime. If anything they are far  more interested in politics, war, powerful historical figures, and the like. Very seldom do any of them read about athletes, even though the men I know and have known are usually sports fans.

One of the reasons I believe women read true crime is the authors’ tendency to use beautiful females as either victims or protagonists. A beautiful, conniving or innocent female seems to sell a lot of true crime.  Sometimes they are fashionable, wearing expensive designer clothes. Other times they flaunt their best assets to snare a wealthy man just for money. Very seldom do true crime books include only males as killers and victims without a love triangle with a female. Sex sells. If the women featured in these books are protagnists they generally:

  1. were gold-diggers
  2. sought revenge
  3. were motivated by jealousy, money and anger
  4. are wealthy
  5. killed their family members, including their children, more often than strangers or friends
  6. were abused as children
  7. used covert murder weapons (80% used poison)
  8. were very rarely serial killers
  9. were a black widow or an “angel of death”
  10. killed while at home
  11. killed to protect their children from abuse
  12. were mentally ill
  13. preferred murder to divorce in order to maintain social and financial status

Keep in mind that these characteristics are very general. There are female killers, and serial killer, written about in true crime books who do not fit any of these profiles.

If the woman featured in a true crime book is a victim she is often:

  1. a college co-ed
  2. a prostitute (someone no one would be looking for)
  3. single  mother or divorced
  4.  living alone
  5. killed by her boyfriend or husband
  6. very trusting and naive; doesn’t recognize evil
  7. an acquaintance or a relative of her killer
  8.  27 years of age or younger
  9. the victim of a serial killer
  10. a  victim of domestic abuse
  11. a victim of a stalker
  12. killed violently

There is something inherently similar behind the horrible themes in fairy tales and the murders documented in true crime.  Fairy tales and true crime seem like a strange analogy but consider that in fairytales there is typically:

  1. a beautiful female victim or antagonist
  2. a young victim – a potential life never realized
  3. a rescue fantasy
  4. evil monsters – such as ogres and dragons
  5. a handsome prince
  6. castles and riches
  7. an impossibility – “long, long ago, in a far away place

In other words, true crime suggests a type of  “long ago” familiarity – childhood.  It is grown up fairy-tales except with unhappy endings (even when the monsters are caught in the end). Researchers made several conclusions as to why women enjoy reading true crime.  They didn’t discuss the reasons men do and don’t read it. This would be an interesting follow-up since mens’ and womens’ motives for reading the same type of material would probably be diverse.

February 17, 2013 Posted by | Bizarre yet True, Crime and Punishment, Human psychology, Pop Culture | , , , | 2 Comments

Asinine Addictions and Freakish Phobias

You’ve heard about a fear of heights (acrophobia, also incorrectly known as vertigo), water (aquaphobia), and possibly spiders (arachnophobia).  But there are phobias and addictions in the world so bizarre you probably don’t know they even exist (and might not believe it wFear_of_death_by_cdaemonhen you read it). Many of these phobias are attributed to genetics, traumatic experiences, conditioning and human instinct. For instance, a fear of falling, which is related to a fear of heights, is programmed into many people’s brains to keep them safe from harm. There are freakish addictions most people are aware of that include being a shopaholic and sexaholic. Imagine an addiction to sex? It takes many forms including sex with oneself, a partner, and porn addiction. Shopaholism, also known as compulsive buying disorder, is characterized by an obsession with shopping and buying behavior that causes adverse consequences. It sounds like a good excuse to run up one’s credit card, but compulsive buying even has a place in the DSM-IV-TR: people with CBD meet the criteria for an axis II disorder, a personality disorder which deviates from social expectations in relating to other humans.  Hopefully you don’t have listophobia (my invented name for a fear of lists).

Ablutophobia – fear of washowershing or bathing.  Now before you think these people go around smelling like pigs, many people force themselves to sponge bathe, or force themselves into the shower. Ablutophobia is more common in children and women than in men. Ablutophobia is situation specific meaning an anxiety disorder that causes irrational fear.

Agateopho4-85bia – fear of insanity.  That’s a fear many people who live in the city seem to have and well they should. Agateophobia is created by the unconscious mind as a protective mechanism. Agateophobia develops at some point in your past, where there was an event linking insanity and emotional trauma. Marilyn Monroe suffered from this phobia with good reason:  she had bipolar disorder and her mother was a paranoid schizophrenic.

Alliumphobia– Fear of garlic. I’m serious.  I wish more people feared garlic because it seems to me that every day at least one person with garlic breath iScream of horrors IN MY FACE.  Why??  I brush my teeth.  Why don’t they?  Personally I have a fear of people who eat garlic.  Is there a phobia for that, I wonder?  Maybe people with a fear of garlic are hiding a condition called vampirism.  That’s my guess.

Bibliophobia– Fear of books….a good excuse for failing a test. People who have this fear usually cannot read, which sometimes is the cause of the fear.

Bromidrosiphobia or Bromidrophobia– Fear of body smells,  Hm. I get that one, considering the garlic thing.  I suppose a person with this pho50s-hairbia would be terrified of people with Ablutophobia.

Chaetophobia- Fear of hair. Most people fear losing their hair. This phobia is associated with human hair or animal hair. They fear people and animals with an excess amount of hair. They may also fear the hair on their own body. Some only fear detached or loose hair and do not mind attached hair. As with most phobias this fear could be the result of a negative experience with hair and or a hairy person. Maybe they are related to Big Foot.

CoulrophobiaFear of clowns.  Lots of people say they think clowns are creepy and there is some weight to that: Stephen King even wrote a novRetro-Woman-Screamingel called It about a creepy clown with silver coins for eyes.

Disposophobia- Fear of throwing stuff out. If you watch TLC you know this one by another name: Hoarding. There have been a number of sad reasons for hoarding mentioned on the show including a difficult childhood. Many of these adults were foster kids or they were passed around among relatives, never developing a stable, secure environment. Hoarding is their means of collecting their own possessions and building up a fort against the world, although ultimately it becomes their downfall. Sad.

Eremophobia– Fear of being oneself or of loneliness.  It seems to me that Eremophobia then is two very different states of lonelymind. Fear of being oneself is not the same as fear of loneliness.  Think of all the sappy programs on TV that finish with the moral “always be yourself.” I should imagine eremophobiacs curl up in the fetal position and suck their thumb when they hear that one.

Euphobia- Fear of hearing good news.  I am not making this one up.  Most of us fear getting bad news. Gives new meaning to the question “do you want the good news first, or the bad news?”

Gymn40-08-13/60ophobia– Fear of nudity. Many of us have reason to fear that one, especially when you haven’t used your gym membership in a year.

Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia– Fear of the number 666. If you can pronounce this one you deserve a medal. Actually the root word is hex, as in curse.  For whatever reason, these people believe Satan indeed is represented by 666. A prominent example is Nancy and Ronald Reagan who, in 1979, had their address—666 St. Cloud Road—changed to 668 St. Cloud Road. Such a relief to know the country was in the hands of this stable-minded couple. The phobia has been a motif in films such as The Omen, Pulp Fiction and End of Days. adrenal_body_type_example

Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia- Fear of long words. I’m serious.  I guess these phobes shorten it to hippo – unfortunate if they have a weight problem.

Illyngophobia– Fear of vertigo or feeling dizzy when looking down. This one gets mixed up with a fear of heights but they have nothing to do with each other.  A person with vertigo could be on the ground and look up at a tall building and experience symptoms.

Ithyphallophguiltyobia- Fear of seeing, thinking about or having an erect penis. Viagara wouldn’t use this one in a commercial, I should imagine.

Japanophobia– Fear of Japanese. I wish I could type “food” on the end of that one.  Perhaps this phobia only applies to people who live in Pearl Harbour.

Kleptophobia- Fear of stealing. This one might accompany the addiction kleptomania since a klepto cannot control their actions.  Mel Lastman (former mayor of Toronto, and a shitty one at that), has a wife who is a klepto. After his wife Marilyn was caught shoplifting from an Eaton’s store in Toronto, he threatened to kill CITY-TV reporter Adam Vaughan unless he stopped reporting on his family. That reporter now has a fear of Toronto mayors.

Levophobiascared woman– Fear of things to the left side of the body. These people make terrible drivers and probably (the left) half of them are driving instructors.

Lutraphobia– Fear of otters. Not train-spotters. Otters.

Medomalacuis-homosexuality-right-or-wrongphobia– Fear of losing an erection.  If two men , one who had this phobia and the other who had Ithyphallophobia, were in a homosexual relationship, who would win in the conflict that arose (pun) between them? One would be trying to discourage the other, and the other would be trying to get his partner in the mood.  Gives new meaning to the term “not tonight I have a phobia…I mean headache.”

Metrophousehobia- Fear or hatred of poetry. Not a Shakespeare fan I guess.

Nostophobia- Fear of returning home. This especially applies when (1) your wife is a nag  (2)  you just lost your job.

Octophobia – Fear of the figure 8. A James Bond fan with this phobia would never have seen Octopussy.

Ophthalmophobia- Fear of being stared at. Imagine a blind person with his eyes open sitting across from a person with this phobia.  Let your imagination wander.

Peladophobia– Fear of bald people, This person could never marry a person with Chaetophobia unless they both really liked a challenge.crying-girl

Polyphobia– Fear of many things.  Seriously, This person might as well just stay home for the rest of her life.  Then again, there are scary things in a house too. So she probably ends up with Agateophobia.

Rhytiphobia– Fear of getting wrinkles. Where? In the skin or the bedsheets?

Spheksophobia– Fear of wasps. Personally I don’t think white anglo-saxons are all that bad.  Oh, pardon me.  They mean the insect variety.

Theathitler-look-rightrophobia– Fear of theatres.  That’s just a good excuse not to spend money on a movie.

Urophobia– Fear of urine or urinating. Clearly, sex perverts do not fall into this category, including Hitler.  That nasty practice of golden showers was one of his favorite sexual encounters but he couldn’t get his lovers and partners to commit this act (wonder why). Historians suggest his love of this perversion stemmed from unusual toilet training, related to this relationship with his mother.  I really don’t want to know anymore.

Venustraphobia- Fear of beautiful women.  Many men have avoided me for this reason.  That’s what I tell myself.

on theVestiphobia– Fear of clothing. This one pretty much cancels out the addiction called shopaholic.

Walloonphobia- Fear of the Walloons.  What? A walloon is a member of a people who speak a French dialect and live in southern and eastern Belgium and neighboring parts of France. Who invents these phobias anyway?

Xenoglossophobia– Fear of foreign languages. This one coincides nicely with the Walloons.

Zemmiphobia– Fear of the great mole rat.  I wonder if this has anything to do with Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin.

Addictions or Obsession with Certain Behaviours
So that’17bs it for the edited list of phobias.  Here is an edited list of addictions.  Enjoy.

Androphonomania, homicidal insanity. Defence lawyers should use this one when representing serial killers.

Apimania, bees a passion or obsession with bees. Yep. Bees.

Arithmomania, numbers & counting. I can see this one as a symptom of OCD where a person flicks a light switch for a Anneliese_Michelcertain count, for instance.

Cacodaemomania, one’s own inhabitation by evil spirits. The notorious case of Annaliese Michel who lived in Quebec in the 1950s is a tragic example of this mania.  She was convinced she was possessed by Satan. A priest conducted an exorcism for a year and eventually it killed her. The movie The Exorcism of Emily Rose was based around this story.

Cacosgal_marilynmonroe_2pectomania, staring at repulsive things. I don’t know that this person enjoys the behaviour. It sounds rather, well, repulsive to me.

Callomania, one’s own beauty (delusional conviction). Marilyn Monroe suffered from callomania.  So do I but I’m not suffering. I quite enjoy it.

Discomania, disco music. Obsession with disco? Well, nothing wrong with a little retro, just don’t run out and get that mushroom perm hairstyle with the plastic pick. Remember picks? I knew a girl whose perm was so dense (her, too) that she could stick her pick (easy, now) into her hair and it would stay until she pulled it out again and combed her hair.  She was a real boy magnet, of course.

Drapetomania, running away from home. Seems to me most kids run away from home for valid reasons but perhaps this mania suggests such people enjoy the attention of leaving and being found again.

Elaughing-girlgomania, oneself and self-worship. Hello Stephen Harper.

Ecomania, family dominance but authority submission. That’s almost perverse, as if the person enjoys changing roles.

Flagellomania, flogging. This sort of behaviour probably applies to people who are into sadomasochism.  Ouch.

Graphomania, writing. I’ve never known anyone with graphomania but I know people who love to write.  I suppose people with this disorder cannogirl-screamingt stop writing. I wonder how that works in the bathtub.

Hypermania, (severe mania) mental state with high intensity disorientation and often violent behavior – symptomatic of bipolar disorder.

Idolomania01_Madonna3, idols. And you wonder why American Idol was such a success.

Kleptomania, uncontrollable urge to steal for reasons other than personal use or financial gain. Kleptomania is classified as an impulse control disorder. There seems to be a release of pressure following the theft, suggest that kleptomania could be an obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorder.

Lisztomania, Franz Liszt (an obsession with classical composer Franz Liszt). Seriously. A composer who has been dead for about 400 years. Perhaps an obsession with Beethoven was responsible for Beatle Mania?

Micromania, self-deprecation. Many people make self-deprecation into a joke but I should imagine an obsessed person is anything but comical. Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh is a fine example.

Myth005omania, lying. I thought this was compulsive or pathological lying. Now we have a third term.  Wonderful.

Necromania, sexual acts with dead bodies. Actually there are many types of necromania, not just having sex with corpses. I suppose necro’s find that one comforting in some weird way.

Onomatomania, word repetition. In the book Sybil, Hattie was portrayed as rhyming words when people spoke. For instance if a person said pot, she would say spot, lot, got. She was a schizophrenic, so this might have been a symptom.

Polkamania, polka dancing. Once wdance12hen I worked at the Peel Regional Police in Ontario I typed up an occurrence where one man went to his neighbour’s house and punched that man in the face because his daughter was always clog dancing early in the morning waking him up.  True story. I don’t know what happened to the clogs after that.  The injured man probably threw them into the fireplace.

Pottermania, Harry Potter. Oh seriously, now.  I bet the author got that one started.

Rhinotillexomania, nose picking. Gross.  Just gross.

Sophomangry-woman-Manasania, belief in one’s own incredible intelligence, possibly a symptom of narcissism. Definitely a politican thing.

Trichotillomania, hair removal. This one is quite bizarre.  These people pluck out their eyebrow hair, eyelashes, pull out the hair on their head and those who suffer from Trichtillophagia eat it. A famous example of trichotillimania is the actress Olivia Munn.

Most people can probably see some aspects of these phobias and addictions in their behaviour but it doesn’t make you an addict or phobic unless it interferes considerably with your lifestyle and your relationships.  It also needs to be an obsession that is difficult for you to separate from your thoughts and behaviours. Insofar as WordPress is concerned I have coined a new term for everyone who uses it:  Blogomania.  Ta-daaaa.  Brilliant, just brilliant (that qualifies me as a sophomaniac).

January 15, 2013 Posted by | Bizarre yet True, Human psychology, Pop Culture | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Beautiful Bombshell Bettie Broke BDSM Boundaries

Bettie Page’s legend has been recycled quite frequently in the past 20+ years.  Live theatre and made-for-tv movies have revived the tale about a small-town girl who blossomed into a controversial pin-up bombshell and bdsm actress. Bettiè“s jet black hair, blue eyes, trademark bangs and beautiful body, made her a pin-up sensation. Equally tantalizing was Bette’s unabashed approach to her sexuality and physical beauty. Bettie`s life was not without its challenges,, and it bore many striking similarities to Marilyn Monroe’s:  sexual molestation as a child, time spent in an orphanage, iconic hairstyle, and a charming vulnerability. As Miss January 1955, Bette was also one of the earliest Playmates of the Month for Playboy magazine. Yet, for all the glamour, Bettie’s beginnings and lonely ending belied her beauty and bubbly public persona. watch maid bettie page

Bettie was the second of six children born to Walter Roy Page and Edna Mae Pirtle. At a young age, she spent as many hours cleaning house and “mothering” her siblings as she did attending school. Her parents divorced when she was 10 years old, but her father retained access of Bette and when she was 13, he began to sexually molest his pretty daughter. Fortunately during that same year, her father was imprisoned for unrelated activity. Around this time, Bette and her two sisters were forced to live in an orphanage for a full year. Bettie`s odd upbringing proved to instill distinct self-contradictions: although she willingly posed for bondage photographs, she worried that God would disapprove of her relatively modest nude photographs.

In 1940, Bettie dreamed of becoming a movie star but in 1943, she married high school classmate Billy Neal. After only 4 years of marriage, Bettie filed for divorce. In 1949, she moved to New York City, and in 1950, she put together her first pin-up portfolio. In late-1940s America,camera clubs” were formed to circumvent laws restricting the production of nude photos. These clubs were fronts for the making of pornography and Bettie entered the field of “glamour photography” as a popular camera club model. In 1951, she appeared in several men’s magazines. From 1952 through 1957, she posed for photographs with pin-up, bondage orsadomasochistic themes, making her the first famous bondage model. Bettie`s modelling career lasted for 7 years and she appeared in more magazines than Marilyn Monroe and Cindy Crawford put together. Bettie appeared in short, black-and-white “specialty” films clad in lingerie and high heels, acting out fetishistic scenarios of abduction, domination, and slave-training. Bettie played both a dominatrix, and a helpless submissive, bound hand and foot. The Jungle Bettie photographs are among her most celebrated and include nude shots with a pair of cheetahs. Bette herself made the famous leopard skin patterned Jungle Girl outfit.

The reasons reported for her departure from modeling vary. Some reports mention the Kefauver Hearings of the United States Senate Special Committee to Investigate Crime in Interstate Commerce (a young man died during a session of bondage allegedly inspired by Bettie). Another possible reason for severing all contact with her prior life was her conversion to born-again Christianity while living in Key West, Florida, in 1959. watch dita von teese burlesque – similarity

Bettie’s love life fared no better than the demise of her career. After her departure from modelling, Bettie married Armond Walterson in 1958, however this ended in divorce in 1963. She briefly remarried Billy Neal but the two divorced again. She returned to Florida in 1967, and married Harry Lear, but this marriage also ended in divorce. Bettie moved to Southern California in 1979 and had a nervous breakdown. After an altercation with her landlady, a doctor diagnosed her with acute schizophrenia. She spent 20 months in a state mental hospital in San Bernardino, California. After a fight with another landlord she was arrested for assault, but was found not guilty by reason of insanity and placed under state supervision for eight years.She was released in 1992 from Patton State Hospital in San Bernardino County.

Bettie was unaware of it, but she developed cult following during the 1980s. This attention was focused on her pin-up and lingerie modeling rather than those depicting sexual fetishes or bondage. She gained popular status as an icon of erotica from a bygone era. In 1976, Eros Publishing Co. published A Nostalgic Look at Bettie Page, a mixture of photos from the 1950s. Belier Press published four volumes of Betty Page: Private Peeks, reprinting pictures from the private camera club sessions. In 1983, London Enterprises released In Praise of Bettie Page A Nostalgic Collector’s Item, reprinting camera club photos and an old cat fight photo shoot. In 1987, Greg Theakston started a fanzine called The Betty Pages. For the next seven years, the magazine sparked a worldwide interest in Bettie. Women dyed their hair black and cut it into bangs to emulate the “Dark Angel“. In a 1993 telephone interview with Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, Bettie stated she had been unaware of the resurgence of her popularity, stating that she was “penniless and infamous“.

In a late-1990s interview, Bettie stated she would not allow any current pictures of her to be shown because of her weight. However, in 1997Bettie agreed to a television interview for E! True Hollywood Story, on the condition that her face not be revealed. In 2003, Bettie allowed a publicity picture to be taken of her for the August 2003 edition of Playboy. On December 6, 2008, Bettie was hospitalized in critical condition after suffering a heart attack. Bettie went into a coma, and her family  discontinued life support on December 11, 2008. Bettie is buried at Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery, the same cemetery as Marilyn Monroe. Her headstone lists her name as “Bettie Mae Page” and includes the legend “Queen of Pin-Ups“. In 2011, her estate made the Forbes annual list of top-earning dead celebrities, earning $6 million and, in 13th place, tying with the estates of George Harrison and Andy Warhol.

 

September 5, 2012 Posted by | Celebrity Chic, Pop Culture | , , , , | 1 Comment

Love Turned on a Light…and Nurtured a Life

I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.
John 8:12

Thomas Alva Edison, Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, Alexander Graham Bell, Leonardo da Vinci, Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, John Lennon.  All of these remarkable people who have left their mark on the world and changed the way many of us view it, had one thing in common:  dyslexia. School was a nightmare for most of these men: students bullied them, teachers called them stupid, punishments were meted out for not understanding lessons. As children, a number of these boys even believed teachers and parents who told them they were stupid and wouldn’t succeed in life.  It wasn’t a pleasant educational journey.

As a partially deaf four-year old child, Edison came home from school with a note in his pocket from his teacher, “Your Tommy is too stupid to learn, get him out of school”. His mother read the note and answered, “My Tommy is not too stupid to learn, I will teach him myself”. Her belief in her son, and patience with his academic struggles probably accounts for the genius that was Thomas Edison. Edison eventually invented the light bulb, the phonograph, andthe motion picture camera. A man with only 3 months of formal schooling, Edison became the fourth most prolific inventor in history, holding 1,093 US patents in his name. He is credited with numerous inventions that contributed to mass communication and, in particular, telecommunications, including a battery for an electric car, electrical power, recorded music and motion pictures. Perhaps he and Alexander Graham Bell should have teamed up. So much for Tommy’s public school teacher.  The teacher should have been taken out of school.

What was it in Edison’s history that led to his historical successes? Certainly, his genius although this cannot entirely account for Edison’s work. Edison himself stated“genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.”  I believe Edison’s inspiration was his mother: her love, support, and the tutoring of her son at home. Had she also believed her son was “stupid” there may never have been an electric light bulb, a phonograph, or motion picture films (or at least, not during Edison’s era). The wait might for electricity and many other of Edison’s inventions may have been much longer. The world would have been poorer without his genius.

Where the world is concerned, love turned on a light.

August 24, 2012 Posted by | Bizarre yet True, Career, Celebrity Chic, Education, Human Biology, Human psychology, Pop Culture | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Psychopaths in Suits – Corporate Criminals in Our Midst

Recently another ponzi scheme was exposed after its evil mastermind,  Jeffery White, passed away in 2011, from a brain aneurysm at the age of56. Lucky for him.   Brown, one of the “investors” whom he bilked out of his life savings to the tune of $250,000.00, has stated “if he wasn’t already dead, I’d kill him.” Indeed.  The truly evil thing about White was that he knew Brown and his wife, Anne, and they were his friends.  Imagine how he treated his enemies?  Brown’s wife used to teach White’s wife, Henny, in grade school, hence the connection between Brown and White. It turned out to be a devastating connection, personally and financially. Too bad Anne didn’t teach Henny about business ethics.

Ponzi schemes are named after Charles Ponzi, an Italian businessman and con artist in the U.S. and CanadaCharles Ponzi promised clients a 50% profit within 45 days, or 100% profit within 90 days, by buying discounted postal reply coupons in other countries and redeeming them at face value in the United States as a form of arbitrage.In reality, Ponzi was paying early investors using the investments of later investors. Some ponzi schemes also pay investors with their own initial investment, masquerading it as accrued profit. An interesting flick that presents a ponzi scheme (without calling it so) is Green Guys, about a group of 20-something hot shots who bilk unsuspecting investors for millions of dollars.

There are 5 main characteristics of a ponzi scheme:

  1. The Benefit: A promise that the investment will achieve an above normal rate of return.
  2. The Setup: A plausible explanation of how the investment can achieve these above normal rates of return.
  3. Initial Credibility: The person running the scheme needs to be believable.
  4. Initial Investors Paid Off: For a time, the investors need to make at least the promised rate of return.
  5. Communicated Successes: Investors need to hear about the payoffs.

Steps in the Ponzi Scheme

The steps are as follows:

  1. Convince a few investors to place money into the investment.
  2. After the specified time, return the investment money to the investors, plus the specified interest rate.
  3. Convince more investors to place their money into the system by referring to the profits of the earlier investors.
  4. Repeat steps 1 through 3.
  5. During step 2 at one of the cycles, break the pattern.  Escape with the money and start a new life. Or, in Jeffery White’s case, drop dead.

White’s known investors say they are out as much as $5 million. The scheme unravelled after White’s sudden death. Trustees of White’s estate became “extremely uncomfortable“with the discoveries they made. White solicited investments from many of his insurance clients, while treating their moneys as funds that were loaned to him for his general use. White’s business and personal accounts were intermingled, making the tracing of investments impossible.  At the time of his death, White was carrying more than $300,000 in credit card debt and was behind his time-share at Diamond’s Edge Muskoka Cottages. The vintage Porsche 911 Turbo he drove around the GTA was leased. There were no red flags but court documents show White had money problems dating back to the early 1990. Reassessment of his personal income taxes of the years 1996 to 2000 resulted in a substantial debt to Revenue Canada. Testifying at his tax court appeal White claimed his sister left him $1.3 million in debt.The judge in the case called White “vague” and his records “woefully inadequate.” By moving funds about through numerous bank accounts, he made it impossible to prove his case. In 2006, he dropped his appeals and paid $400,000 in arrears.

Psychopathy runs on a continuum with white collar criminals falling in the middle. They’re deceitful and egotistical. White-collar criminals might not physically destroy people, but they have no problem financially destroying them. This type of psychopath is high-functioning. They’re intelligent, have great interpersonal skills, are powerfully persuasive and able to disguise themselves very well. A psychopath is all about manipulation. They’re always assessing, “How can this particular job or person meet my needs? How can I exploit them?’” 

The list of white-collar psychopaths is almost endless. To a certain extent, most people compartmentalize and lead different lives. It’s normal for your work persona to be divergent from your family life. With psychopaths the compartmentalizing is much more exaggerated Jim Hammes, formerly a controller with a Cinncinnati-based company, embezzled $8.7 million of company money into a bank account in the name of a second company doing business with his company. He is currently a fugitive wanted by the FBI and has been on the run since 2009. Hammes also abandoned his two families, neither of whom knew about the other: he was married to two women and had children with both.

Frauds can be very deceptive in terms of their appearance, status and age. Joanne Schneider, a 71-year-old woman in Ohio was recently charged with operating a ponzi scheme and bilking $60 million dollars from 900 investors. The scheme unraveled when a Schneider family member became suspicious after his mother was promised a 16 to 20 percent return on her investment. Schneider’s criminal resume is impressive: securities fraud, selling unregistered securities, engaging in corrupt activity, misrepresentations in securities, theft, and money laundering. Schneider’s husband, Alan Schneider, played a lesser role in the scheme, pled guilty to security and theft charges. He got probation. She got 10 years. If she serves the full sentence, Schneider will be 81 when she is released from prison – either that or deceased from natural causes.

August 23, 2012 Posted by | Bizarre yet True, BullCrap, corrruption, Crime and Punishment, Education, Finance, Human psychology, money, Politics, Pop Culture | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

How to be Extremely Vain and Like it

Many of us believe Shakespeare actually penned the saying, “vanity, thy name is woman.” As a matter of fact, the line from Hamlet is “frailty, thy name is woman.” Personally I’m more impressed with the former. watch easy does it, ladies What’s wrong with Vanity?  Vanity is the ultimate manner in loving and accepting yourself.  Isn’t that what healthy, self-assured people do? I don’t mean the kind of vanity where you fool yourself into believing you are something or will achieve something you obviously can’t or won’t put the effort into….wasting your time on delusion is stupid. Vanity is pride in your appearance, your face, body, fashion, personal style. watch how to be well-groomed  It is pride in your intelligence and personal accomplishments.  These things are a little harder to advertise so they must be casually dropped into a conversation at every possibility.  Here’s a few more tips on how to be extremely vain and like it:

  1. never leave the house without every hair in place from head to toe…..self-explanatory. watch shocking 1950s commercial
  2. always name-drop
  3. accept compliments easily
  4. when people ask what you do, elaborate and sprinkle a little bling on it (you may wish to exercise caution on this one if your surname is Ponzi.)
  5. develop your own signature style from an era that most appeals to you …  personally I like pin-up girl couture from the 1940’s and 50’s.  It’s work to keep up with it every day but the compliments feel soooo good.   watch vixen pin up photography
  6. A colleague insisted I have a lot of money because of all the clothes she sees me in every day….usually I’ve added a piece of my wardrobe no one has seen before so it appears as though my surname is actually Trump. Bliss. watch miss universe winners 1960 – 1969
  7. never stop learning….Vanity means acknowledging to yourself that you don’t know everything (but you wouldn’t say that out loud)  watch social class in america and when you sign on for a new course make sure people know about it. watch habit patterns 1954
  8. never stop earning …. the more you make, the more you can spend and stash cash for the inevitable, dreaded retirement. watch 1972 avon commercial
  9. always mention places you have been.  Once a colleague casually mentioned he’d been in some country somewhere skydiving and mentioned the spectacular view from the air.  Everyone was impressed.  It’s not bragging.  It’s Vanity. watch women know your limits
  10. when making an impression, know when to quit. A colleague of mine showed up driving a Nissan Altima ( a car I’ve always liked) and mentioning he spent $400.00 on his girlfriend for her birthday.  I was impressssed.  Then he blew it by admitting it was his parent’s car and he wouldn’t be spending $400.00 on her ever again since he really couldn’t afford it.  What’s the point in that? watch the snob 1958
  11. get every nip and tuck you need but don’t be an idiot like this woman.
  12. Hit the fitness scene often …. you don’t have to have a gym membership to be svelte and strong, just make sure you exercise that bod daily.  Make you a priority and that is as wonderfully Vain as you can get. watch 1949 exercise and health
  13. Be a food snob. Eat sickeningly healthy food… never lower yourself to eat junk food.
  14. Spend, spend, spend. Buy what you want, step out in style, stop saving for a rainy day … what does that even mean anyway? watch queen for a day
  15. Build the largest bling collection of anyone you know.
  16. Shoes. You can never have enough.  watch prevent foot pain when wearing high heels
  17. look rich on a modest budget…..buy relatively inexpensive blouses, look for skirts and slacks on sale, and accessorize with your own signature jewellery – that is the huge move to make yourself look put together.  Above the neck is essential. Simple, classic (cheap) wear polished off with bling, every day, don’t miss a day, and great makeup.  watch grooming essentials for women 1956
  18. now go out and preen.  Preen like a peacock….Vanity’s mascot. watch 1947 are you popular

August 5, 2012 Posted by | Health and Wellness, Pop Culture | | Leave a comment