Thursday, March 30, 2017

Some Thoughts On The Story Of Odysseus

I have actually read it long ago, but having recently watched again an old Hallmark movie from the 1990s, I wanted to comment on it. Though the movie simplifies it somewhat and omits certain details, it's still gets the gist of it correctly, as far as I can remember (I feel too lazy to be bothered to read a Wiki article on the topic:))

The Odyssey is cool on so many levels. It's the greatest story of married love ever told. The wife who keeps faith with her husband for 20 years. The husband who strays and falls for seductresses but in the end returns back to her to grow old together. Feminists must hate it, after all, Penelope does nothing much besides staying home and weaving (in the movie she works at an olive press though), running the household and raising her son while Odysseus goes out into the world, fights, travels, has adventures and meets beautiful women.

As all really great stories, it has a literal and a figurative meaning. Penelope is a woman which every man dreams of. One he can trust implicitly. One which will stay true to him even when he strays. One which will keep her chastity and her heart intact, waiting for him for years while he is out there slaying dragons. One which will raise his children well even in the absence of their father and keep the home fires burning. Frailty thy name is woman is not applicable to her.

It also shows where the real danger lies for a man: Odysseus survives the perils of war and other dangers only to be kept prisoner by scheming women, one of whom is famous for actually turning men into pigs! No, it's positively politically incorrect, for not only it upholds a double standard (men's honour is courage, women's honour is chastity) but also shows that there are two types of females: one which you take home to Mother and...all the others.

Now when you think how the Trojan War actually started and compare Helen to Penelope, you'll see how much misery a woman can bring into the world when she breaks her marriage vows. Again, something which we'd rather not dwell upon in our enlightened times. I guess nowadays some folks would wonder why did Helen's husband (whose name escapes me at the moment, was it Menelaus?) begin a war for her? Beautiful though she was, there were undoubtedly other women available to him, too. Some would probably accuse him of "oneitis".

I will admit, for a long time I couldn't really comprehend it myself, and neither why Odysseus slaughtered all the men seeking Penelope's hand but finally it dawned on me.

Helen was Menelaus's wife. She belonged to him. She was his queen and not some slave girl. Paris not only violated the sacred laws of hospitality but stretched his hand to something which as far as Menelaus was concerned, was his and his only; and yes, it did constitute a casus belli.

In the same manner, the men seeking to marry Penelope were invaders, who tried to steal something which didn't rightfully belong to them. In the movie, Odysseus accuses them of trying to steal his world, something he and his ancestors before him built, fought and toiled for. There is only one punishment fit for such a crime. There is somewhere in it a lesson for modern men, too. If you are not prepared to fight for what is yours, you will surely lose it as this world is a ruthless place...

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The Point Of No Return

Theresa May vowed to restore Britain's 'self-determination' as our historic EU divorce letter was finally delivered to Brussels today - including a stark warning that trying to punish the UK would be a 'costly mistake'.
The Prime Minister delivered an upbeat vision of a country whose 'best days lie ahead' as she confirmed her envoy Sir Tim Barrow had handed the formal notification to European Council president Donald Tusk in Brussels...

After 44 years inside the bloc, the point of no return was reached at 12.20pm today UK time, as the handover between Sir Tim and Mr Tusk happened at his HQ in the Belgian capital.

Read the whole article over here:

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Women And Alcohol

I may have posted about it before, but it was probably long ago, so who cares:) Also, it's funny.

As you all know, I possess a number of vintage magazines, including some Libelles (a still existing women's mag, which was pretty liberal already back then,  especially compared to the Catholic one I'm currently reading). They did include some useful advice on housekeeping, less useful on motherhood (mostly along the lines of let your teenagers figure it out for themselves, kids are very intelligent), stories about (generally) working gals who land themselves rich husbands and articles about fashion, glamour and life in foreign countries.

Their chief investigative journalist was one Caty Verbeek, who specialised in going to different countries and writing about life there and also brought fashion reports from Paris etc. Well, in one of her journeys she went to Sweden and one of the things which attracted her attention was alcohol. Apparently, Scandinavians had a difficult relationship with it already back then:)

The government invented a creative solution to the problem. Instead of forbidding it altogether, as they had done in the USA they forbade it to be served apart from meals (outside of beer), but that was not all. The breadwinner who paid his taxes and supported his wife and children was rewarded for his good behaviour by a coupon which allowed him to buy 4 liters alcohol per month.

Single men who worked properly got the same allowance, but apparently, not the adult male children who still lived at home so that the father had to share. Women, on the other hand...

Women who visited a restaurant could only get a very little portion (a half quantum) and only if they were accompanied by a man and he agreed to it. Actually, they "got it from him". However, if they were a head of household, that is, they lived on their own, they got a small alcohol allowance, too ("a small part of the man's portion").

Ms Verbeek found it all extremely interesting which finally prompted her female colleague to borrow her father's coupon book and treat her to some local liqueur. It wasn't so simple, however. First, they had to stand in a long line so that an official could check whether the father hadn't used all his allowance for that month, then there was another long line to actually buy a bottle of it.

My, but women had it difficult back then. Quelle discrimination. Luckily, we have all progressed since that dark age of reaction. (Don't click if you have a weak stomach:).

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Then And Now

I'm still without computer so that posting is rather sporadic plus it's difficult to concentrate so I'll keep this short:) I'm still reading The Count Of Monte Cristo, which I will review in due time. It presents a rather interesting picture of the French society of the first half of the XIXth century, with lots of interesting details on daily life of different social classes, from bandits to counts.

One of the characters relates a story about his family, describing how his brother was murdered as one of the supporters of Napoleon after the emperor's defeat and how he had to take care of the widow, his sister-in-law, "because the poor thing (who must have been in her early thirties and childless) was all alone in the world."

I keep reading how modern women have changed so much for the worse, but what about modern men? How many of them would provide for their sister-in-law when they don't even want to provide for their own wives and send them out to work?

Before someone writes a comment about how people really had it so much better 200 years ago and could live like kings on one salary, the guy in question hardly had a fancy job. In fact, he was a smuggler:)

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Stay Fit!

If they could do it, you can do it, too:)

A 70-year old lady pole dancer

Note: I'm not normally a fan of pole dancing and female semi-nudity in public at any age, outside of a beach setting, but this is just amazing. 

Never, ever give up!

A disabled vet's story

P.S., as usual, I deleted the previous post since I don't want to dwell too long on negative things.

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Man Who Killed The Bank

Mr Trump appears to be quite a fan of Andrew Jackson, known among other things, for killing the bank:

Friday, March 17, 2017

A Strange Life Of Charlotte Bronte

Charlotte Bronte is mostly famous for her Jane Eyre, a somewhat feminist novel (the plot of which is widely known so there is no need to go into detail), though from what I read she appears the least radical of the three sisters (and the only one who ever got married). Yet probably not everyone is aware that the novel in question is highly autobiographical which may explain some of its peculiarities.

Charlotte was one of the six children of an Irish clergyman whose real name was Brunty and who came from a lower class background and worked himself up, marrying a daughter of a well-off tradesman. She thus belonged to a lower middle class background and though she had a good education, the family were poor and lived in apparently unsanitary conditions.

Charlotte was sent to school for the children of the clergy together with her three sisters where the eldest two quickly died from tuberculosis. The school and its experiences became the basis for the famous Lowood institution with its horrors (it has later undergone a name change and became a prestigious private school for girls).

It's noteworthy that all the six Bronte children died quite young from the same disease, though in Charlotte's case there are speculations that it also could be typhus or pregnancy-related problems. Charlotte was also a small thing, about 1.45m tall which makes her practically a midget by modern standards. The reason for this, undoubtedly, was poor nutrition: the lack of vitamin A and all that, (again described in Jane Eyre) which would also explain why the sisters succumbed so easily to common colds which eventually led to the dreaded lung disease.

Charlotte later worked as a school teacher and a governess and though some sources claim she liked her work others say she was resentful of her only brother who was apparently pampered by her father and allowed to get a better education while she had to work for her keep. The brother in question, Branwell had artistic leanings (but not in the way you thought:) as he habitually abused drugs and alcohol and started an affair with the wife of his employer who was fifteen years his senior. He died soon after being dismissed from his teaching position, due to the combined reasons of chronic alcoholism, drug usage and lung problems.

Branwell appears to have been a piece of work (and looked like John Lennon in his later years according to his self-portrait). Though Wikipedia is silent on this topic, it could very well be that the nasty brother in Jane Eyre was partly inspired by him (the episode with the book thrown happened when Charlotte was working as a governess - she must have had charming pupils).

Though Jane Eyre laments women being restricted to the world of embroidery, stocking-knitting and pudding-making,  it wasn't entirely true in Charlotte's own case as she was allowed to travel to Brussels and to enroll at school to learn French where she promptly fell in love with her tutor. Unfortunately, he was already married - does it ring  a bell? The rest of Jane's description fits her to a t - she was plain, poor, not very fashionable and shy. She lost all her siblings and her aunt who took care of them after her mother's death.

Yet, despite all this and her ripe old age of 38 (attention, men, the famous wall probably doesn't really exist) she still managed to inspire enough passion in her father's curate Arthur Bell Nicholls (he was several years her junior,too), which infuriated her father who considered him "not good enough" for his "famous daughter".

Yet, the young couple soon overcame his objections and got married. This fact upset her best girlfriend so much that later she accused the unhappy Arthur of causing his wife's death (the friend in question was determined to die a spinster in which she succeeded and as we know, misery loves company, plus she was probably resentful of the fact that Charlotte had refused her own brother's proposal on the account of him being boring - St. John anyone?), and indeed, their wedding bliss was but of a short duration. Charlotte died 8 months later, carrying Arthur's child. She was nearly 39 years old.

Thus ends the story of Charlotte Bronte and it probably explains some of her idiosyncrasies.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Forced Hiatus

Monday the 13th, full moon - the day my laptop crashed and died....And yet they say it's just a superstition:)

I'll try to resume posting as soon as possible so stay tuned!

Monday, March 13, 2017

IKEA Adventures

It's SPRING over here plus we are still busy with our renovation project so it means less time behind the screen, which is actually good:) Last Saturday my husband suggested going to IKEA to check the furniture for our new added room in the attic which is supposed to be a living/bedroom/guestroom. We were looking at some settee beds ( I hope I'm using the word correctly:) but opted for two chairs instead which if placed together will make for a double bed. However, when we went to collect them, we found they were sold out!

We had to drive to another store which cost us about 50 minutes since we lost our way and there finally we got nearly the last two exemplars. We then spent 30 minutes searching for our car in the parking garage but it's another story altogether and at least, we ate quite a decent dinner at an IKEA restaurant later. Now, isn't it a beauty???:))))

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Finished At Last!

Sorry for the quality of the selfie, but it was the best I could manage:) This skirt took me something like 4 months and I had to start all over again 3 times, because I had to adjust the pattern to a much smaller size. it's still rather baggy by the hem but I decided that it gives me the necessary freedom of movement and and is of the fashionable "ballon" style. It's quite warm but the temperatures are still lower than double digits so I can wear it for some time.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

An Incident At Home

A couple of days ago I noticed a strange smell in our bathroom. Actually, it was a horrible smell. First, it reminded me of burnt red cabbage combined with something industrial like turpentine, but through the day it grew stronger and became positively vile. No, VILE, like rotting flesh.

My husband came home, smelled the air in the bathroom (I kept airing it and the adjacent bedrooms as the smell started spreading there, too; but the moment I closed the bathroom door it came back). My husband agreed it was vile and payed a visit to the neighbour who had been remodeling his house. The neighbour had no smell in his bathroom and neither did he work with any strong chemical substances.

Our next thought was our sewerage system, after all it's an old house we currently live in (I probably should say "vintage" as it's from the 1930s). I suggested that a mouse crept into a pipe to die or something even worse, while my parents who phoned at that very time, were talking about the sewer gas. We checked the plumber trap by the sink and it was full of water. We plugged both the sink and the bathroom but the smell didn't go away. We took the washing basket contents apart and smelled them but noticed nothing in particular. It didn't come from a garbage can, either.

I said it must be the ventilation system and my husband said it couldn't be because the bathroom and the WC below are connected but there is no foul smell in the WC. He asked me why women were prone to being hysterical about some minor stuff. I asked him why men are so obstinate and think they know everything better. He said it's because he does know everything better. By this time, were were both talking rather louder than normal.

I went inside the bathroom and started sniffing. I noticed the smell was the worst by the door. Then it dawned on me. I picked up a mat and voila, it smelled. No, stank. It was wet, too, but then someone had just taken a shower. I took it out and placed it on the radiator in the spare bedroom, closed the door and opened the window, but the next morning the whole bedroom stank. The mat was dry by now and when I examined it, I suddenly understood what it was all about. The cat had peed on it!!! I remembered him sneaking into the bathroom the day before.

And so the riddle of the horrible smell was solved by me. I'm not quite a Miss Marple, but getting there:)

BTW, I saved the mat, too, by washing it at 60*C though it did come out rather wrinkled (it's supposed to be washed at 30*C I think), but at least, it smells decently now!

Friday, March 3, 2017

There Is Still Some Masculinity Left In Europe

In the Eastern part of it:)

Now before you start writing indignant comments about Korwin's sexism (love the name btw, reminds me of one of my favourite literary characters), which I won't publish anyway, here is a disclaimer:

As the previous video showed, the wage gap is largely due to women's choices. While an average woman isn't really more stupid than an average man, the top tier  intellectuals are mostly men. It has to do with the bell curve, IQ distribution, these sort of things (just google it, if you don't believe me). I guess few would disagree that men on average are stronger. They are also more aggressive and ambitious, work longer hours, do the most of really dangerous jobs, hence are often paid more.

While it doesn't seem correct for women to be paid less for doing exactly same jobs, higher salaries for men would enable more married women to stay home. It used to be called "married men wages" and there was a time when social feminists approved of it.

"Led by Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins and Mary Anderson of the Women's Bureau, the "social feminists" of the New Deal...sought...the family wage (which) would spare mothers from working and children from day care that social feminists rejected...If 'the provider for the family got sufficient wages,' said Mary Anderson, 'married women would not be obliged to go to work'..."

(Quoted from Domestic Tranquility by F. Carolyn Graglia, p.105).

In the comments to the vid above I read that the politician in question is largely supported by women. Now I wonder why? Do they want by any chance to be saved from "the drudgery of a cotton mill" (idem, p.104)? Something to think about...

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Women Won't Fight Your Battles For You

The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man...there shall not be upon her any "instrument of a man"..., any utensil of his which he makes use of in his trade and business; as if she was employed in it, when her business was not to do the work of men, but to take care of her house and family...and the word also signifies armour...and so here forbids women putting on a military habit and going with men to war...

Here is a novel idea for all the keyboard warriors who, while doing nothing in real life themselves expect women to man the barricades and defeat feminism: traditional women generally aren't the type to go out and fight. They are too busy taking care of their families and keeping the home fires burning, and what's more, a traditional husband most probably won't like his wife getting involved in political battles of any kind. I seldom post anything overtly political on this blog exactly by this reason: my husband asked me not to do it and especially, avoid certain topics.

A Christian traditional wife believes in being a keeper at home, not a social reformer. She won't fight your battles for you so don't hold your breath.  In general, there is a certain weakness in any man who expects a woman/women to fix society. One would expect it from liberals since they believe in egalitarianism, but anyone who claims to support patriarchal institutions should know better.

Traditional women do their part by being good daughters, wives and mothers and living a counter-cultural life which does take a lot of courage nowadays. Their battlefield is their family and fighting for the minds of their children. They lead by showing good example, by prayer and Christian behaviour, by reaching to those in need and ministering to those around them, in the circles of relatives and friends. Their world is more private then public-oriented.

The idea that they should abandon their families and go out into the streets and fight is preposterous, unless their husbands are political activists themselves and ask for their assistance. May be, these men who are discontent with the way things are should actually start doing something like organising a protest, for instance, instead of nagging on the interwebz?