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February 10, 2009


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"Honey, let me slather you with microbicidal siRNA goo"

You that the above is NOT a sweet little nothing?

You've been married a long time, Serge.

Yup. In fact, 23 years as of January 26. Yes, that is exactly 2 days before the space shuttle Challenger blew up.

It will be great if this prevents herpes from spreading among humans. I can already imagine what the Good People will say, that this will encourage Bad Behavior. That reminds me of something I read about San Francisco in the late 19th Century: when veneral diseases became a problem for much of the population, the city funded a clinic to help with prevention. It actually worked, but that didn't stop the Good People from blahblahblah so the city cut the clinic's funding and VDs went right back up.

Plus ca change, plus c'est pareil.

By the way, I think someone has a sick sense of humor at Disney Studios in the Sixties: why would the Love Bug be called Herbie, a name that suspiciously sounds like the disease that's the subject of your thread?

Wow, that's great! I hope it works in humans as well as mice.


Dare I say we can hope that people will make the mouse of it?
That hurt.

As we all know, Susan does not watch TV. Poor her. Little does she know what she's missing. For example, this ad...

Did they show that on broadcast television? Great ad, but why are they fully dressed in the last shot?

Seriously, that's exactly the sort of product they should put the hypothetical functional-for-humans version of the siRNA thing into. Can you imagine a tagline like "and prevents herpes infection!" at the end of the ad?

Susan... Yes, that was on broadcast TV. There's been a couple more in the series, if I remember correctly, one involving flying high on the trapeze. As for why they were dressed at the end... They must be like those people who, when they get out of bed apr├Ęs l'amour, are seen wearing tight underwear. I guess there can be only so much boldness in such displays of carnality, which is why they'd never dare use your tagline.

("Honey, let me slather you with microbicidal siRNA goo" not being high on most people's list of sweet nothings to whisper during foreplay.)

It needs a catchier name. On the other hand it might be good for biochemists in love.

I note this NHS condom advert which suggests that in a perfect world, people would have any STDs they've contracted embroidered on their underwear.

Neil... They'd never dare show this ad on American TV. Titillation to the max, yes, but not this. By the way, the concept reminds of the movie Amazon Women on the Moon, where one of the skits is about this guy who thinks he's going to get lucky with Rosanne Arquette tonight until she whips out a printout of his dossier with all the things his previous girlfriends said about him.

They get shown after the 9 pm watershed so small children shouldn't see them. From memory the previous campaign got shown earlier and had the slogan "Want respect? Use a condom!" with this advert and this contrasting one.

I always wonder: why the term "watershed"?

Neil, that's a great ad. I've seen the one Serge put up, plus its colleagues, and basically they just say that anybody can have a good time if they use the lube.

Marilee, the ones I've shown are from the NHS and are public information adverts*, while the ones Serge showed us are KY selling their product. Different objectives.

Susan, why it's called the watershed rather than, say, line of demarcation or border or line of control or iron curtain or Great Wall of Broadcast Media or Mason-Dixon line is a mystery. However I've heard it suggested tha one side is dry and the other wet

* They are one of the public/private partnership success stories as they hire ad agencies and so (often) get high quality, interesting and sometimes edgy ads.

Neil... one side is dry and the other wet

And I take it that they're not talking about booze.

You can't have a showing of condom commercials without bringing up this one, which is awesome. (Visually SFW, audio involves a screaming child, be warned)

I really love the design of the heart with the arrow through it and the condom on the arrow. Someone did excellent work on that.

One of the only downsides I find to not watching any TV is that I miss out on good commercials. (Of course, this does mean I also miss the bad ones...)


What I particularly love about this is that it works for a relatively long time. One could be prepared in advance without having to take an awkward break for goo-slathering -- even make it a weekly hygiene routine.

Given the sad fact that some people lie about STD status or conveniently "forget" to mention problems or react negatively (violently, in some situations) to the suggestion of condom use, being able to protect yourself without any need for them to cooperate or even know really is a plus. Not that I'm speaking from bitter recent experience or anything.

Sor... I remember someone posting a link to it. One problem with it is that it's saying that, because this child is defective, it should not have been brought into being. I know, I'm being silly, but there are days when I feel defective and wonder what is wrong with my head.

Susan... Not that I'm speaking from bitter recent experience or anything.

Of course not.

...because this child is defective...

Is he? Isn't he just throwing a tantrum (and possibly asking for sweets in French?) I think it's the parent who is defective. In fact he's acting like a guy out of a sitcom who, due to an unlikely chain of events, has had to unexpectedly look after a child for a week. I just hope there's hugs and a lesson for us all at the end.

Looking at the comments*, not everyone agrees with me on this.

* As almost always, I strongly recommend NOT reading the Youtube comments. I do, but you don't want to end up like me!

Neil... I guess the whole thing is open to multiple interpretations. Which may be a good thing. Or not one. As for the YouTube comments, I have been warned.

What I am watching on YouTube lately.

I am having SUCH a weird day. I have been licked.

(This is not unrelated to the video.)

(And it occurs to me that not having pre-applyable microbicidal goo might be a good thing, in that it prevents me from being even stupider than I have been in the past.)

Oh man, I saw that commercial *years* ago. And I never took it as the child being defective. I always took it as: this dude isn't cut out to be a father, and if he'd used a condom, he probably wouldn't be.

Susan, getting licked is a daily occurrence for me.

(What? Stop looking at me like that! I have two DOGS!)

I am accustomed to being licked by one of my cats - Audrey responds to petting by licking my hand very enthusiastically. She used to catch me in bed and put one paw firmly on my cheek to hold me still while she licked my face, but she's mostly gotten over that habit.

That's kind of different, y'know?

Susan... Is that Repo? I like the subtle eroticism.

AJ... I thought that it might be a combination of things, the father obviously not being fit to be a father, especially with a kid with such extreme reactions. Sometimes I think too much though.

My cats don't lick, but, when I moved into my own place in 1982, I adopted a skinny kitty that I called Sissy - after the actress Sissy Spacek that I had quite a crush on. Sissy the cat one day decided she was going to clean me up and spent 15 minutes going at my chest. Yes, that tickled. A lot.

It's a deleted scene from Repo, yes. Subtle, no, but I think it's a pretty hot scene.

Susan... Oh, it definitely was that. Did they delete it for that reason, or because of time constraints?

Speaking of hot scenes, here is another one. Of course, YMMV.

My weekend was pretty mundane, right up to the point where I started clicking on youtube links.

But tomorrow school reopens so I will undoubtedly have more wacky adventures.

I know I'll have a wacky adventure this week. I'm flying off to the Bay Area in about 3 hours. The reason? My yearly review. I can't wait for that.

I can't tell exactly why they deleted that scene. They used bits from it in another scene, so it might have been redundant in the finished movie.

Spirit would like to bath my forehead at night, but then she gets to my eyelids, which hurts, so I don't let her do it at all. Shiva will bath a hand at a time.

But yesterday I was at bookgroup and I took the afghan I'd made for our baby. Her nursery is sage, cream, and yellow, with nursery rhymes. Every time I went near her, she grabbed my hand and nibbled on it. Fortunately, she only has two teeth (bottom front) and she didn't bite. I'd be standing there talking to her folks and all of a sudden, my hand was food.

"Our" baby?

The Gene Kelly clip doesn't really do it for me - too balletic to be hot either as seduction or as dancing. My favorite old-movie dance scene is "The Continental," which is on YouTube in two pieces: first part, second part. That's something that's social and doable and looks like they're actually having fun rather than enacting a weighty metaphor. (Not that they aren't enacting the classic "dance is a vertical expression of a horizontal desire" saying, but they don't look like it's such a deathly serious task. Even metaphorical sex should be fun!)

I could probably learn most of the duet part if I had a good partner and spent the time breaking down the steps. Performing that first part is one of my little secret dreams. Alas that my life does not include a stylishly dressed Busby Berkeley-style backup dance chorus!

Beautiful music, dangerous rhythm...

...it has a passion, the Continental, because you tell of your love while your dance.

...there's a rhythm in your heart and soul, a certain rhythm that you can't control...

Hey - I picked up The Gay Divorcee as part of a six pack of Ginger Rogers films when a high street chain went bust recently. We watched it as a warm up while waiting for latecomers at movie night. We were pleasantly surprised that it was a clever and amusing farce in between scenes of gratuitous dancing*. (The latecomers thought from the title that it was a different sort of farce. Fooled by the changing use of English!)

* Leading to this conversation: "Are they dancing together yet?" "No, but Ginger Rogers skirt has got trapped and you can see her knees!" "Scandalous!"

I've only watched the whole film once or twice. I have it on VHS with the tape stopped at that scene, which I watch over and over and over again and insist on showing to random people who stop by my house.

Susan... "No, but Ginger Rogers skirt has got trapped and you can see her knees!" "Scandalous!"

And she did it backward.
In high heels.

What will we tell the children?

I do it backward in high heels all the time. I'm gonna do it backward in high heels this weekend! So there!

In The Major and the Minor, Ginger plays an adult who pretends to be a non-dancing minor and, unconvincing as she is as a teenager, she manages to make Major Ray Milland believe her. Her character's name? Susan. This confirms the theory I have proposed to my wife, who is also called Susan, that a character named Susan is a cue to the audience that this person is going to be Trouble.

Oh, I love The Gay Divorcee! The story is great and I like the dancing in the black & white costumes.

Susan, she's the only baby in our bookgroup. The rest of us are either not having babies or have adult kids, so she gets a lot of attention.

Hey! I resemble that remark!

I wasn't sure who the "we" was that had the baby.

The Major and the Minor was in my six pack of Ginger Rogers films too. The scene where the Major explains that the fact he shared his train cabin with a female for the night wasn't scandalous* as she is 12 years old looks slightly different to modern eyes.

As I recall 12-year old Susan goes by the nickname Soo-soo. I assume something bad will happen if I start using that name for Rixosous Susan.

* To his fiance, and her father, who was also his commanding officer

Yeah. That would be bad. I'm not partial to nicknames. I used "Sue" briefly in high school to distinguish me from my high school friend Suzanne (who became "Zan"), but I don't really like it.

I finally got around to watching all the condom ads and then showed them at Storyreading to much collective merriment. I didn't think the kid was defective; aren't all kids that bratty some of the time? I think the message is perfectly reasonable: if you don't want to get stuck parenting, with all the annoyances that includes, use a condom.

I liked the two "respect" ones too.

I probably was reading way too much into the ad, and had forgotten how some of my nephews can be. Speaking of being stuck parenting... During Xmas, when we were in the Bay Area, we dropped by the people we used to be neighbors to, and who are of my parents's generation. At some point, I made a comment about how people used to have children because, when you're married, you're supposed to have children, not because you want to have children. The man agreed.

Well, until quite recently in human history, not becoming a parent was a little bit challenging if you had a normal marital life. We have, what, forty years of reasonably reliable birth control methods?

It was also the in-house Social Security arrangement for most of history, as well as the best way to grow your own employees for agricultural labor and so forth.

True, but even today the old thinking still persists, I think. On the other hand, I've seen cases of people who truly wanted to be parents, and they cherish their children as a gift, and don't treat them as a societal obligation. If people told me that I wouldn't exist if my parents had not seen children, I'd say that, if I didn't exist, I'd hardly be in a position to notice and complain about it. I'd also point out to them that I exist only because my parent's first attempt at fulfilling their obligations was still-born.

Children as a "gift" is not an improvement to me.

Someone once pointed out about a person who was showing off her baby like she'd accomplished something amazing that she'd just done what any female alley cat can do. It's built into the biology.

(Can you tell I get bored with my breeding friends talking about their little ones?)

Someone once pointed out about a person who was showing off her baby like she'd accomplished something amazing that she'd just done what any female alley cat can do. It's built into the biology.

It's not the baby that's amazing, it's the adult - but by then the child tries to take all the credit for themselves :)

Not that babies aren't cute, but it's when they talk and, better, argue with you that it's impressive.

Babies are cute, and interesting for five or ten minutes. At that point the fact that they aren't going to do anything else appealing, and many things which are quite unappealing, sinks in, and I return them to their parents.

They get much more interesting around age five or six.

In the case of my sister-in-law and her hubby, they wound up going the adoption route. My point is that, while they seem to have hit the lottery jackpot, they can also take some credit for how the little guy will turn out. (Oh, and can you guess who suggested that he be named Theodore?)

I'd also agree that interaction can be rather limited until they turn 5 years old. Unfortunately, by then, their cool uncle isn't so interesting anymore.

I'm an utterly and completely defective woman, in that I don't find babies cute. On the rare occasion that I am forced to hold one, I find myself shocked by how heavy and unwieldy they are. I don't like toddlers, either. I think a kid has to be about... eight or so before I feel like I can even come close to relating to them.

Thankfully, my parents and in-laws are mostly understanding about the fact that my husband and I have chosen to forgo offspring.

No, you're not defective. You're just lucky to live in times when you can make your body's activities match your desires. Until a few decades ago, you could have felt exactly the same way (and I'm sure many women did) and it wouldn't have mattered. Mostly, women ended up married and mostly, married meant kids. In theory, your biochemistry would kick in and by the time the baby was born you'd at least temporarily find them cute due to hormonal surge. Apparently most baby animals are cute as a survival tactic so that adults won't kill them; think about what this implies.

MWK obviously wasn't historically universal, either. There are couples on my sprawling maternal family tree who don't have children, in at least one case because they tried and couldn't. I think every woman in the past few generations who lived to adulthood married, though. I'd never thought before about how unusual that makes me in the recent-historical context of my family.

AJ... Why would you be defective? To tell the truth, when my first nephews were born, I started wondering if my in-laws thought my wife and I less valuable because we had chosen not to reproduce - and taken the steps to make sure of it in 1988. I eventually got over the feeling. I don't want to pass on my genes to anybody, but it doesn't mean I'm not good with kids. For one thing, I remember what being a kid is, I remember what matters to a kid. I wasn't a happy kid, and if I can contribute to their happiness, then I'll do it.

It occurs to me that it is possible to have a philosphical discussion with a young one.

No, I didn't travel back in time to the year 1972 to meet young Susan de Guardiola.

About 3 years ago, I was due for a haircut(I still am) so I went to the barber. The only available seat was next to a 4-year-old girl whose dad was getting his mane chopped. As I sat down, I smiled to the young lady, who responded with a who-are-you-weirdo? look before going back to ignoring me. Until I pulled out 2 comic-books I had brought for reading while waiting. Before you know it, I was forced to explain to my neighbor that this Mystique lady looks mean and is mean, but that Ben Grimm may look mean, but he's a very nice man.

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