November 2014 Traveler’s Guide to Sex, Politics, Celebrity, Business, Panache, Style, Culture, Individuality, Leadership, Relationships and Personal Chic on A Lonely Planet – by Gary S. Smolker

Challenge

The challenge presented to you in this post is to answer the following questions.

  1. Are we witnessing a feminization of some men in the West?
  2. What importance should be attached to the public spending their time paying attention to what Kim Kardashian is doing, as exemplified by the fact that a photo of Kim Kardashian balancing a champagne glass on her naked butt is the most talked about topic on the Internet?
  3. Are we in the midst of a sexual revolution?
  4. What is the strongest human drive?
  5. What “Age” will the 21st Century be known as?
  6. Will the “thought police” win?
  7. Are there links between knowledge (eating the metaphorical “apple” in the Garden of Eden) and power?
  8. Was the “Garden of Eden” a desirable place?
  9. Would a better title for this post be, “The World in 2014: A traveler’s Guide to “Kinky Boots,” Vladimir Putin, Chelsea Handler, the Kardashians, Celebrity, the Promotion of Humanitarian Rights and Equality for Women, and the Promotion and Portrayal of Sex in Mainstream Movies”?

Please provide the world with your comments, thoughts, ideas about the questions listed above and/or your answers to those questions by typing a post at the end of this post, or by directly emailing what you wish to tell me to me at GSmolker@aol.com or call me to discuss what is on your mind with respect to the issues rasied in this post and or the topics discussed in this post.  My office phone number in the USA is 818-788-7290.

What Should I Wear Is A Never Ending Challenge

I have heard time after time, and I am informed and believe, the eternal feminine panic is: “I have nothing to wear.”

“Kinky Boots”

I saw “Kinky Boots” (with music and lyrics by Cyndi Lauper) at the Pantages Theater in Los Angeles, California on Wednesday night November 12, 2014.

It was great.

The messages of the play (a musical) are:

  1. Be who your want to be.
  2. Accept other people for who they are.

The two main characters in the play/musical are a young man (Charlie Price, played by Steven Booth) who inherits a shoe factory that is about to go out of business and a transvestite (Lola, played by Kyle Taylor Parker) whose ideas and work save Charlie’s business.

Charlie meets Lola as Lola is being attacked by a group of men.

Charlie rushes to “save” Lola (who Charlie mistakenly believes is a woman) from the attackers as Lola is swinging one of her “kinky boots” at her attackers.

Her boot accidentally hits Charlie in the jaw.  Charlie is knocked out.

Lola’s attackers run away.

Lola takes the unconscious knocked out Charlie to Lola’s place.

When Charlie comes through (becomes conscious), Lola complains that she has broken the heel to the boot that hit Charlie.

From the exchange which follows Charlie learns that Lola is a transvestite and that there is an untapped unserved shoe market for “sturdy” kinky boots.

Charlie realizes that the only way to “save” the shoe factory is to manufacture shoes/boots for the niche unserved “kinky boots” (for trasvestites) market.

One thing after another follows in this musical, including a dialog between a “he-man factory worker in Charlie’s factory” (Don, played by Joe Coots) and Lola about what women really want.

This dialog takes place before the women who work in Charlie’s factory.

During this conversation — which is actually an interrogation of Don by Lola — Lola asks Don, “Who do you think the women look at when they come to work in the morning, you or me?  

Lola answers her own question: They look at me to see what I am wearing.  They don’t look at you.  All the women in the factory raise their hands in agreement.

I recommend that all men who want to know what women really want see this musical.

This musical is a clever portrait of society, the nature of power in society, contemporary thought, the capitalistic system and a clever persuasive portrait of a broad social vision.

The show won six Tony’s last year, including awards for musical, choreography and score.

It is currently playing at the Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles, California at 6233 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood.  Tickets: $25 and up.  Info: (800) 982-2787 and http://www.hollywoodpantages.com.  Running time 2 hours 30 minutes.

Vladimir Putin, Chelsea Handler and the Kardashians

Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin is the President of Russia.

If there was a “masculinity contest” in Russia he would win.

Mr. Putin’s “masculinity” recently caused a stir in China when he put a jacket over the shoulders of Peng Liyuan, the wife of Chinese President Xi Jingping in front of the leaders of 21 Asia-Pacific nations during the APEC summit on November 10, 2014 in Beijing.

The APEC Summit hosted 1500 economic leaders in Beijing to deliberate key issues facing the Asia-Pacific economy.

Putin’s gesture happened only days after Putin had told Russian state media that “the meaning of life is love.”

This act was seen by many as Putin (“newly single and ready to mingle”) “hitting” on China’s first lady.

The Chinese public took to Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter, and other social media where they collectively vented their rage.

Russian television station RT described Putin’s “innocuous” gesture as “shawl chivalry” that comes from habits learned living in a cold-weather country, albeit a photograph of Putin riding bare-chested on a horse is well-known in the West.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is well-known as a supporter of “family values.”

In 2013 President Putin signed a federal law that bans “the propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations to minors.”

Relatedly, under the authority of that “family values federal law” a Russian monument dedicated to Apple co-founder Steve Jobs located in the courtyard of the St. Petersburg National Research University of Information Technologies Mechanics and Optics was recently taken down after Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed in Bloomberg Businessweek on Thursday, October 30, 2104, that he (Tim Cook) is gay.

The monument, which is in the shape of an oversize iPhone, was located on the university campus in St. Petersburg.

The reason cited for removing the statute: Russian legislation prohibits propaganda of homosexuality and other sexual perversions among minors.  After Apple CEO Tim Cook publicly called for sodomy, the monument was dismantled pursuant to Russian federal law on the protection of children from information that promotes the denial of traditional family values.

Other complaints about the monument:

  • The monument looked too phalic.
  • The structure inappropriately symbolizes the superiority of the American way of life.

 Chelsea Handler

Apparently, President Putin is not the only leader protecting “family values.”

It appears that Instagram has also taken it upon itself to protect “family values” by blocking that part of a photograph that depicts Comedian Chelsea Handler bare breasts/bare chest.

In this photograph, Ms. Handler had a photograph taken of herself on a horse – with her bare chest exposed Vladimir Putin style.

When a view of part of her bare chest was blocked, Ms. Chelsea Handler complained when Instagram blocked the full picture of her bare chest that Instagram was discriminating against women, not affording women equal dignity — the right to expose their breasts – to men.

Ms. Handler claims it was an act of  male chauvinistic sexist censorship to block part of the photograph exposing her full breasts in full in a photograph she had posted on Instagram.

It is reported that she cancelled her Instragram account when Instagram refused her request to show her entire breasts instead of blocking part of her breast in the photograph she had posted on Instagram.

After being told of the above action on the part of Instagram, in the interest of promoting humanitarian treatment and equal rights for women, I began a campaign to promote the enlightened treatment of women.  Contact me for details.

The “Anything Goes” Bravura of American Style

In response to reports that a photograph of fashionista Kim Kardashian balancing a glass of champagne on her naked butt in the Winter 2014 issue of “Paper Magazine” was/is the most talked about topic on the Internet, I asked the following questions.

  1. Is Kim Kardashian a girl “working the system” or is she a “girl” who is the system?
  2. Is one of the reasons Kim Kardashian is a cultural icon the fact that she has cultivated a personal chic that is exuberantly unconventional and idiosyncratic?
  3. What does Kim Kardashian’s celebrity tell you about the state of “our” society, about the state of “America”, about Americana collectibles?
  4. Is the Winter 2014 issue of “Paper Magazine” now a collectible due to the photograph of Kim Kardashian therein showcasing her highly original strategy of dressing?
  5. Is Kim Kardashian being criticized for launching a personal crusade, as a revolutioary in her field working on behalf of working class women, against the inherently self-obolescent cycle of Western fashion and couture?

Except for women in their 20s, most of the people I spoke to about Kim Kardashian had a very low (often contempuous) opinion of her.

Below are examples of the variety of responses I received.

Opinion A

She is working the system and is being kept afloat by people of low IQ whose only interest is celebrity no matter how boring.

It is a laugh to call her an icon.  Her celebrity reminds me of “Water’s World” on the O’Reilly show.

He interviewed students on the Texas Tech campus, none of whom knew anything at all about the Civil War but every one of them knew who Brad Pitt married and who he left for Jole.

I have a hard time using the words investment and Kardashian in the same thought string. 

Opinion B

Kim is a very savvy business woman and knows exactly what she is doing with her body.  She has not so good choice in men except for Mr. West good promo.  Yes.  Buy the magazine and sit on it so to speak.

Opinion C

I certainly don’t keep up with the Kardashians.  However, the line is drawn in the sand.  Meaning, once an iconic celebrity like Kim poses in the nude for publicity she’s no longer marketable as a spoke person, sponsorship, endorsement and especially for major TV networks.

Remember, years ago, actress Meryln Chambers.  Miss Chambers was the spokesperson and model for Proctor & Gamble Ivory Soap.  Miss Chambers was an iconic celebrity, until she decided to become a porn star.  She was dropped in a New York second from all sponsorships and national TV commercials.

Opinion D

It is very fashionable to be contemptuous of the Kardashians.  Oh yes, one more set of fame-hungry bimbos wagging their tits and asses for the salacious delight of middle ages men and nothing more.

I, for one, am not dismissive of the value of appealing to middle-aged lasciviousness.

But, perhaps even more important than that — let us consider the remarkable social contributions the Kardashians make.

  1. They are a family.  In an era where families are fractured, splintered, feuding, hateful and hurtful – the Kardashian girls are mutually supportive, go into business together, go out together, and appear to genuinely enjoy each other’s company.  And they all love and have fun with their Mom.   And they all seem to love and care for their brother who, by all measures, is a dumb fat lug.  They even genuinely care for their Mom’s long time beau, Bruce Jenner — who is apparently competing in the Decathlon of the Weird (and it looks like he’s going for the Gold).  All in all, very admirable.
  2. The Kardashian Girls are entrepreneurial.  They have made an intelligent calculation of their assets and have capitalize on them.  They market themselves, their name and their products on a par with the best of Madison Avenue.
  3. The Kardashians reflect a measure of beauty that is not typical for American culture which seems to exist to exalt in tall, leggy, thin, fair, blonde-haired blue eyed ice goddesses.  The Kardashians are anything but.  Kim is dark, short, and verging on Rubinesque.  Khloe is huge — tall and not verging on but definitely plus-sized.  The other one Kourtney, is even darker than Kim and much shorter.  NONE fits the typical standards of model beauty — yet have each been accepted as such and worthy of emulation.

So Kim’s willingness to put her expansive hips and double plus curvaceous behind out there can be seen as an admirable step in accepting the wonderful diversity of beauty — really, she is a revolutionary in her field, a true leader rising up against the impossible to attain Wonderbread image that Playboy and the media have long foisted on the public.

 Opinion E

Kim Kardashian is being worshipped for being beautiful and rich.

She has the life I wish I had and could have had growing up.

She is upwardly mobile.

Paris Hilton is the same type.

Her perfume sales are at 2 billion.

People bought into the fantasy. 

My Opinion

I agree with Harold Koda, Curator of the Costume Institute, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York: “It has been observed that, like democracy itself, American style is a celebration of the individual, the independent, and even, on occasion, the eccentrically idiosyncratic.  There is in the freewheeling American psyche an element of the adventurous that manifests itself in disregard of conventional pieties, an impulse toward rule-breaking.”

I remember, in 1968, my reaction when my wife and I saw a live performance of the musical “Hair.”

My wife and I were shocked when we saw performers on stage completely in the nude.

“Hair” was a theatrical break-though combing contentious opinions, colorful language and nudity.

Original songs – with great original lyrics and scores – (written for the musical) were performed, including “Aquarius”, “Donna”, “Colored Spade”, “Manchester England”, “I Believe In Love”, “Hair”, “Hare Krishna”, “White Boys”, “Black Boys”, “Good Morning Sunshine”, and “Let the Sun Shine In.”

If you think Kim Kardashian’s conduct reflects deep cultural and social forces which are shocking or outrageous and anti-social and in poor taste, and reflect “bad” values, go see Paolo Sorrentino’s 2013 Italian film “The Great Beauty” (La Grande Bellezza), in Italian with English subtitles, starring Toni Servillo.

La Grande Bellezza is an indictment of compulsive partying, shallow conversations, casual sex and those portions of society that have lost their way.

It is a critique of the hollow excesses of hedonism, decadence and spiritual emptiness, echoing Fellini’s indictment of bourgeois decadence in La Dolce Vita.

La Grande Bellezza won Best Film, Best Actor, Best Director, at the European Film Awards in 2013.

Also see David Cronenberg’s 2014 film “Maps to the Stars” (staring Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska, Olivia Williams, Sarah Gadon, John Cusak and Robert Pattison), a movie about all the wrong values about social success, business success, gender roles, social status, and the expression of sexuality in the movie business.

I believe Julianne Moore won the Best Actress Award at the Cannes Film Festival this year for her acting in “Maps to the Stars.”

Keep in mind the way people really are.

Below is personal description, of her personal early experience as an interior decorator (by Ira Apfel), shortly after World War II ended.

Mrs. Apfel worked as an interior designer on a one-bedroom, budget apartment in Brooklyn for a female client (Mrs. D) and her husband.

“The day soon came when Mrs. D and her husband decided to join the exodus out of Brooklyn and follow the pack to the Promised Land, Long Island.  I was summoned to behold a really lovely, sprawling, three-bedroom ranch house in a very upscale gated community.  ‘Do you like it?’ she said.  ‘I love it,” said I.  “Then it’s yours to do and I’ll give you carte blanche … well, almost.”

“When I’d finished the job, I spent the day icing champagne and setting out Hors d’oeuvres, arranging flowers and lighting candles.  When I saw the limo pull up, I stepped out the back door.  An hour later I arrived home, happy but wiped out.  The phone was ringing off the proverbial hook.  ‘I love it, I love it!’ Madame shrieked.  ‘It’s perfection.  All is wonderful … but,’ she wailed, ‘you made one mistake.’  Oh my God, what could I have possibly overlooked? ‘Well,’ she said, ‘You know those gorgeous bookshelves in my gorgeous green library ? You didn’t even buy me one book.  What will I put on the shelves?  Fill ’em up.  I want ’em full.’  How stupid of me not to realize she didn’t own a single book.  I composed myself.  ‘I didn’t know what kind of books you might want.’ ‘Green ones, of course,’ she said.  ‘All green.’  I was humbled.  ‘Well how many do you want?’  ‘Just a minute, I’ll measure.’  She came back, counting.  ‘At least 90 running feet of them.’  For the next two weeks I camped out at Barnes & Noble.”

Different people have different mindsets, different attitudes and different philosophies.

But, if you have style you have something much more important than beauty.

Imaginative, one of a kind, style differs from individual to individual.

It’s an offshoot of personality.

Like charisma, you know style when you see it.

Not too many possess it: unlike fashion, it cannot be bought.

It is real.

It has such incredible pizzazz it causes a physical reaction.

If you want to have style, think of yourself as a canvas for creativity.

Think of style as your identity, who you are, who you think you are, as how you communicate messages about your identity.

Style plays a complex and important role in our lives.

“Interstellar”

“Interstella” is a movie about concern for man and his fate.

I saw “Interstellar”, staring Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway and Michael Caine Saturday night November 15, 2014 and loved it.

At the beginning of the story, Michael McConaughey says: “My mother once told me, ‘once a child is born the parents’ job is to become a good memory’, I now know what that means.”

The movie, in part, is about McConaughey’s love for his children and relationship with his children.

In “Interstellar”, Matthew McConaughey is a loving father who stays in touch with his children.  He is in tune with his children continuously as they are growing up.

However, at the time the story takes place the future existence of the planet earth is in question, the human species might soon become extinct and all living human beings my die from starvation are because a blight is killing all crops.  Further more, children are no-longer being taught scientific, engineering or technology skills and technolgical related development has stopped, no new gadgets are being invented.  Technologically speaking everything is at a stanstil; humanistically speaking  it looks like the human species is on the path to extinction.

McConaughey is tasked (by Michael Caine, the leader of a secret governmentally sponsored research group) to pilot a ship into outer-space to discover a new planet that will support human life.  The hope is that if such a planet is discovered the people still alive on earth will be evacuated to it.

Dramatic tension builds as actors and actresses (the characters in this story), through their actions, reveal their personal answer to the question – What is the chief interest, the most important drive of an individual?

  • [A] Survival of the human species?
  • [B] Survival of the individual?
  • [C] Protecting loved ones?

ASIDE:  One of the planets in this story has 67 hour days.  Imagine what you could do if you had 67 hour days.  Of course, what you can accomplish in any day depends on how you manage your time.

Getting back to this movie.  The take away from this movie is:

  1. Figure out what makes people tick and you can better motivate them.
  2. Don’t blindly trust people in charge by virtue of their power or knowledge or highest level of authority.
  3. Concern for man himself and his fate does not always form the chief interest of most of the people in charge.

“Interstellar” “teaches” how “drivers” (in this case Michael Caine) motivate “strivers” (in this case Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway).

 The Garden of Eden

When someone says they would like to live in “The Garden of Eden” are they really saying they don’t want to think and/or they don’t want to work?

The “Garden of Eden” was a mindless place, a place where no one had to work.  Is that a place where you would like to live?

The purpose of this post is to give you things to think about.

See the words, phrases and ideas in the sections after the end of this post.

They are put there (a) to think about, (b) to help you get in touch with yourself, your conscious and your subconscious, (d) to help you think, and (d) to help you while you are traveling on your mental journeys.

I would be happy to learn what you think about all of the above.

Sincerely,

Gary S. Smolker, Publisher

“Gary S. Smolker Idea Exchange Blog”

http://www.garysmolker.wordpress.com

Copyright © 2014 by Gary S. Smolker

About Gary S. Smolker

PERSONAL PHILOSOPHY: No enterprise can exist for itself alone. Every successful enterprise ministers to some great need, it performs some great service, not for itself, but for others. Otherwise, it ceases to be profitable and ceases to exist. Imagination, open mindedness and flexibility are the most important factors in unlocking potential. Those who embrace innovation, improvisation, continuous learning, time management, are action oriented, high energy, passionate, creative, purposeful and intense individuals are best equipped to succeed. We all have ideas and the ability to make progress by sharing information and our ideas and also by changing our ideas when appropriate. We should always be on the lookout for teaching and mentoring moments. We hold time like water in our hands; however tightly we clench our fingers, it drips away. But, if it falls on a seed, a seed may grow to become something that will have a positive social impact. PERSONAL INTERESTS: I have a passion to learn, to innovate, to lead, to mentor and to teach. I seek to write things worth reading and want to do things worth writing about. I enjoy (a) driving a fast car, (b) having intense conversations (c) teaching/mentoring, (d) reading and (e) being involved in productive activity. PERSONAL: I believe in cultivating and backing passionate people, innovation, and old fashioned good ideas. I love making human connections and spreading good ideas. I am strongly motivated to achieve in situations in which independence of thought and action are called for. PERSONAL GOALS: I want to live life vibrantly, to be as sharp as a tack until my last breath and to change the world by being me. My personal goal is to be fully engaged in life, to lead by example, to set high standards and to continue to amass firsthand experience and knowledge in all that interests me. PERSONALITY: I love fun and mischief. I relish absurdity. I have an irreverent, facetious and satiric disposition. I dread boredom. I have spent a lifetime reading. I have no bias against people who have lived successful and/or complicated lives. I write to release tension, to get things off my chest. SOCIAL MEDIA: I post articles on the "Gary S. Smolker Idea Exchange" blog at www.garysmolker.wordpress.com, and "Dude's Guide to Women's Shoes" at www.dudesguidetowomensshoes.com. I also post images and comments on Instagram @garyspassion. CONTACT INFORMATION: Gary Smolker, Smolker Law Firm, 16055 Ventura Blvd., Ste 525, Encino, California, 91436-2609, USA. Phone 1-818-788-7290, e-mail GSmolker@aol.com.

Posted on November 17, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. The fact that Kim kardashian balancing a glass of champagne on her ass is as news worthy as the first time we landed on a comet is indicative that our society has reached a certain level of shallowness. Perhaps it is easier for the masses to engage in mindless stimulation because we have become quite conditioned to it. Depth of thought is not something this society promotes at large as te values inherent to that are antithetical to consumerism

    • Chris,

      Thank you very much for your comment.

      Violent events in Ferguson – burning and looting stores, burning police cars, etc. – and in Los Angeles — attempts by marches to get on major freeways to shut down major freeways – following the Grand Jury decision not to indict the police officer who killed Michael Brown indicate to me that there are depths of feeling that are beyond common comprehension.

      Likewise the recent events in Jerusalem – wherein two Palestinians gunned down rabbis while they were praying in a synagogue – followed by events in Gaza – jubilant celebrations of the murder of the rabbis – and in Jordan – a moment of silence observed by the Jordanian Parliament in honor of the two Palestinians who were shot during the shootout that followed – convince me there are depths of feeling that are beyond common comprehension.

      The Taliban trying to kill Malala – the girl who stood up for the right of all girls to receive an education in Pakistan – by shooting her at point blank range in the head while she was riding home in a school bus in Pakistan – is another example of depths of feeling beyond common comprehension.

      There is a depth of feeling by certain women that they have been oppressed by “societal norms.”

      To certain women the taboo on women showing their body is a form of message to men and women that women should be ashamed of their body, and/or consider themselves to be chattel owned by men.

      Perhaps those women do not “buy into” the idea that women should not show their nude body to anyone other than their husband.

      Some women believe no woman should be ashamed of her body. To them, Kim Kardashian’s blatant exposure of herself – of her nude body – is a celebration of a woman’s body and a strong statement of a woman’s right to be herself and is both a sign and a symbol of self-confidence.

      We ALL are in the midst of ongoing social revolutions.

      The acts of ISIS (beheading captives, etc.), Ferguson (looting and rioting after the decision of the Grand Jury not to indict the police officer who killed Michael Brown), and Kim Kardashian (posing fully frontal nude and with a champagne glass balanced on her naked butt) are manifestations of some of those social revolutions.

      Those acts and a society’s reaction to those acts are manifestations and touchstones of a society’s consciousness.

      CULTURE is the bedrock of human action.

      Culture is a key driver in how a society thinks, acts, behaves and communicates.

      Cultural sensations are forces which shape how business must act if they want to succeed.

      Cultural sensations are also forces which shape how a society must act/change if it wants to succeed.

      In that regard, US Attorney General Eric Holder has recently said that police and police departments should not act or feel like an occupation army to the local community in which they operate.

      Everyone agrees on the same “big picture: that what “we”/”society” need(s) is a positive culture, which enables the right behaviors, actions and decisions driving society which impact everyone’s quality of life.

      Kim Kardashian’s acts are but one of many calls to action in a milieu of adapting to constantly changing conditions.

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