Monday, August 30, 2010

Breaking Taboo Stories for August 30, 2010

Catch me today on BREAKING TABOO at 4pm PST / 7pm EST with guests Actor Steve Gelder, Comedian Johnny Dam, and the Unholy Reverend Jeff Brunk on For more details on guests visit

Lead Story - The Beauty Sacrifice
Throughout history and in all cultures, ideal beauty is something that has had to be shaped, forced, even torturously crafted in order to be achieved. Brutal sacrifices are made in the name of beauty. What is beautiful in one culture may be considered monstrous in another. It is all as subjective as art. Only a bit more painful in some cases.

Reshaping the body to fit fashionable concepts of beauty has included wearing corsets which moulded the body and if worn constantly changed the arrangement of the body's internal organs and rib cage. Can you say vapors? Foot binding or Lotus Feet were considered the height of beauty for a thousand years in China, with the practice only ending in the 20th century. Young girls and women would have their toes broken and their feet bound to produce the tiniest feet possible.

In the Kayan tribe they measure a woman’s beauty according to the brass rings wore around the neck. This ritual starts as early as the age of 5 and their neck is transformed by the systematic adding of heavy rings. The elongated neck is a result of the pressure the rings put on their shoulders and chest. As the shoulders are  reshaped and pushed down, the elongated neck appearance is achieved.

In Mauritania a beautiful woman has curves…BIG, BIG curves. Through force-feeding  young girls are fattened up. The practice of gavage is now forbidden, but the appeal of biggest is better hasn’t changed.

Polynesian women are considered to be beautiful if they wear traditional tattoos on their lips and on their chins. Among the Mursi and Surma tribes of Africa, Lip Plates are not only status symbols but also signs of great beauty.

In Western societies the means of achieving beauty are often extreme as well. From plastic surgery, boobage enhancements, butt enlargements, butt reductions, liposuction, botox, bizarre diets to sometimes odd exercise crazes. What ever nature has not given, the knife can solve. We tend to look upon the other cultures and what women have done throughout history with an incredulous eye but really, how are we any different?  

The irony is that women go through all that pain and torture and reconstructing to achieve an ideal that has a very, very short shelf life in most cases. Even anti-beauty movements such as the punk or goth cultures evolve into their own tortured ideals of beauty with elaborate piercings and tattoos.

Aside from the conscious or subconscious hunt for a mate and peer/societal pressures to be “beautiful” there are also the psychological associations that have been ingrained in us since children. Beauty is often associated with goodness. From children's stories like Cinderella to films such as James Bond, the "goodies" are beautiful while the "badies" are "ugly" or different in some way.

Global Xenophobia - Real or Hyperbole?
In France aggressive measures are being taken to remove the Roma (gypsies) from the country. 700 Roma are expected to be removed by the end of August with 300 illegal Roma camps demolished over the next three months. In Arizona a legal battle is raging over a law passed by the state giving police the right to demand individuals show identification in order to detect illegal immigrants from Mexico, something that opponents say has resulted in racial profiling. In Australia, political candidates are using harsher rejection of immigration as their platforms.

Then there is the hotbed of Muslim resentment and outright hatred that is revolving around the 9/11 proposed Mosque – cultural center – whatever you want to call it. Taxi cab drivers are stabbed for being Muslim (and you cannot convince me that the public hysteria over the topic isn’t core to that stabbing), latino hate crimes that the media report are on the rise, and of course you have continued black/white hostilities all across the globe. Let’s toss in the anti-gay parties for the hell of it because it relates to fear of what is different and we seem to be devolving into a global culture defined by what we hate, not by what we achieve or enjoy.

According to one article when people are economically insecure they tend to be more susceptible to the concept that less immigration will mean more prosperity.

Another viewpoint is that xenophobia rises from the resentment of "cultural apartheid" on the part of immigrants, as well as a sense a sense of cultural and economic entitlement that some natural citizens feel immigrants not only demand but receive. The “us and them” complex that creates an enormous divide.  

But is this all a real increase in racism and bigotry, or is it just a heightened awareness of what already existed due to media attention? Personally, I agree that times of economic stress create a need in the general population to find a scape goat to vent frustration on. The frustration was always there though – it wasn’t born out of thin air. It just becomes more vocal.


Douche Bag Island – Giving the Big O Up for Jesus
Christians now have their own sex shops, not only that, but they’re “sin-free” and biblical. Since I belong the Church of Kota with a whopping membership of one, I generally tend to give a respectful nod to the beliefs of others so long as they don’t try to save me from myself. But this shit is funny. And funny trumps respect any damn day of the week. Kinky for Christ is becoming big business as online “we’re not porn” shops are growing in popularity. One proprietor consults with the Big J via prayer and confessed that the holy dude has surprised her, resulting in the shop’s kinkier “weekend adventure” and velcro section. Who knew.

Another shop says “we provide a safe non-pornographic place to shop for all your Christian sex toys while keeping Jesus Christ at the center of it all.”

The whole using Christianity to make a buck aspect aside – because face it – Christianity is big money and always has been it comes (no pun intended) down to two questions.
1.       Don’t Christians deserve fun, kinky sex too? (Never mind that they could actually slink anonymously into an online porn shop like the rest of us do and no one except maybe the baby jesus would be any wiser)
2.       What DOES a jesus approved dildo look like? (That is just wrong on so many levels - LOL!)

And for some really scary and really funny comments on the original news story:



No comments: