Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Pillow Book

Pillow Book is an interesting in surreal movie about a young woman whose father, a calligrapher, used to write on her face. As an adult, she became obsessed with finding lovers willing to write on her body and with writing a pillow book. According to Wikipedia, "The Pillow Book was a book of observations and musings recorded by Sei Shonagon during her time as court lady to Empress Sadako during the 990s in Heian Japan. In it she included lists of all kinds (agreeable things, disagreeable things, things without merit), personal thoughts, interesting events in court, poetry and some opinions on her contemporaries."

The concept really appealed to me -- the concept of the pillow book, not of being written on -- although if Ewan McGregor were to do the writing, that might be okay, too. Anyway, a la pillow book, here is a list of agreeable things: Peanut M&Ms that are missing the peanut; white chocolate raspberry truffle HaagenDaz ice cream; Ben & Jerry's fish food frozen yogurt; air conditioning on a hot sticky day; a soft, thick comforter on a cold night; fireflies; hoar frost coating tree limbs like lace; a letter from a friend; your favorite song on the radio; a man's strong back; a kiss that makes you shiver; a cat's pur; a work of art (whether a book, tv show, movie, etc.) that moves you to tears. More entries like this one are sure to follow.

Under the heading of disagreeable things, a commercial just came on television for Girls Gone Wild. I think it's a trashy product. A lot of people villainize the girls, but I tend to feel sad for them. I think most girls who take part, like the girls who pose in Playboy (and to a lesser degree, models and pageant contestants), just want proof that they're beautiful and attractive. Somewhere they've received the message that beauty and desireability are the most important qualities in a woman. The problem is, beauty is subjective. I guess if you're selected for a product men use as an aid for masterbation, it is assumed that you are objectively beautiful. Then you never have to question your hotness again.

Then again, I'm kind of a hypocrit. You see, I've danced on a bar a time or two, and I don't consider that sad. I did it because it was fun and I liked the attention. It didn't feel much different from the acting I used to do. I value my intelligence. I put that first. I choose comfort over appearance when I get dressed for school every morning. On the other hand, I'm less secure about my looks than my smarts. It doesn't help that my teaching job makes me feel so old and asexual. I guess sometimes when I go out on the weekends, I just want to feel desired...and I don't always care by whom. What's more, I don't actually need to act on that desire. So what's the cutoff? What is a natural wish for validation and what is a sick act of desperation? I think the cut-off includes public nudity and/or a money-making endeavor. Thus far I've kept my clothes on and no money has changed hands, so I'm in the clear.


janXjoplin said...

Your logical assesment of human behavior has left you sounding like Spock. Don't forget it's FUN to get drunk and dance on a bar. It's even FUN to flash your titties. And money is always nice. Not that I'm promoting you being on GGW, but that's half the sell of the product. Not only do you get to see tits, the girls want to show them to you.

Bah...i've gone philosophical on porn. it's late.

Anonymous said...

You caught me. I'm secretly a clingon.

I think you're right about the appeal of GGW. It portrays this strange little world in which scores of girls want nothing more than to show you their breasts.