Abercrombie and Fitch Bonfire

Comments made in a 2006 Salon magazine article, interviewing Abercrombie and Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries, have surfaced recently in a Business Insider blog. I suppose Business Insider has a lot more readers than Salon; I for one have never even heard of Salon, let alone turned its pages. Regardless – Abercrombie and Fitch had better hang on – they’re in for a bumpy ride.

Jeffries is reported to have said – “Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after attractive all-American kids with a great attitude, and lots of friends.A lot of people don’t belong in our clothes, and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely.” “”In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then the not so cool kids”

Lets ponder those words for a minute before I move on to the bonfire.While clearly Jeffries isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed for allowing A&F’s high opinion of themselves to sneak out of the barn – name any competitor who isn’t thinking the same thing. Sure Abercrombie and Fitch is awarded bonus points for its 2002 marketing campaign when they proudly displayed thong underwear for girls aged 7 – 14, with slogans like “eye-candy” and “wink,wink” on the front. And granted they learned nothing from the public outcry and removal of said panties from their shelves, we can’t fault their determination or ignorance. What you see is what you get – why is everyone so surprised?

It was also revealed that A&F refuses to sell “plus-size” Fat people are not “cool” or popular, and I guess have no friends – at least not the kind of friends A&F cares to shake hands with. Once again – why are we scratching our heads? I’d be curious to know how many of the thousands of people in an uproar over this even shopped there in the first place. Not that it lessons the flagrant pompousness of these “asinine” remarks; simply that who really cares? I can think of many other fights much more deserving a public shake-down. Abercrombie and Fitch will grow stale faster than yesterdays bagel, I for one am not about to jump on the “petition band wagon”, although you have to hand it to them, this last nail is a spectacular finale.

Abercrombie and Fitch reportably burn their factory seconds and over-stocks rather than donate them to charity. Who’s to say there aren’t a hundred other companies who do the same, I have no idea what goes on behind the closed doors of companies with enough sense to zip their lip. All I’ve got to go on is A&Fs stunning ass biter – they would rather burn their clothing than see their image tainted by poor, fat, or unattractive people walking around with an Abercrombie and Fitch logo.

My heart briefly went out to unattractive rich people, then I remembered they were the reason plastic surgeons wore Abercrombie and Fitch – I’m back on course.

Pondering the hoopla I have just one request – all you outraged citizens with your knickers in a Abercrombie and Fitch twist – feign outrage, sign petitions, donate A&F to the homeless – just remember to stop buying magazines like People or In Touch, and turn off television shows like Real Housewives or  Kardashians. While you’re at it; stop laughing at Honey Boo Boo, Swamp People, and the Jersey Shore. We idolize rich and thin, ostracise the uneducated, crass, or vulgar. My goodness, what do people think will come of that?

'Cool kids': Abercrombie and Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries said in 2006 that a lot of people 'don't belong' in the retailer's clothes - they're only for 'cool kids'

‘Cool kids’: Abercrombie and Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries said in 2006 that a lot of people ‘don’t belong’ in the retailer’s clothes – they’re only for ‘cool kids’


Pablo Picasso Was Never Called an Asshole

The trouble with middle age is you know too much and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it. I’m not pondering flipping real estate knowledge; I’m talking gut punching, jaw dropping, mind bending reality. I can only speak for myself, it may be of little concern to other 50 some-things. Possibly the “middle-age” ship sailed without me, and I’m wallowing in delusional jelly.

Granted – reality television and media saturation have changed the stereotype of how a middle aged woman is supposed to act. Problematic is the fact that these factors tend to make laughing stock out of “characters” who tread outside comfortable norms. Deviations revolve around botoxed “real housewives” or uneducated divorcees running southern trailer parks. Either way – we laugh at them which isn’t any improvement over June Cleaver in Leave It To Beaver.

Hitting fifty feels like a horribly lousy punch line to a sick joke. I’m not laughing – well maybe a little, and only because irony isn’t lost on me. I’ve figured out that I like myself, have stopped boo-hooing over a childhood that didn’t go my way, stopped acting out because of it, raised three beautiful children, been married over 30 years to an equally off centre man, realized age will never alter who I am, and forgiven myself for being human and making mistakes.

All well and good, but it took 50 years. I have no desire to golf, shop, or have my nails done. I would rather slit my wrists than go on a cruise or all inclusive vacation. I want to be a storm chaser, take road trips (yes – travel great distances by car – off the interstate no less,  with no destination in mind), and dig for fossils. I don’t care about possessions, and would go barefoot year round if only I could get away with it.

I don’t feel middle aged; I feel young and alive – trapped in a fading package, and adrift in society that worships youth and status. Worse still, and weighing heavily on my mind – I’m starting to spend way too much time pondering how things “used to be” I’m becoming that person I rolled my eyes at when I was a kid; that person always saying “when I was your age”

The greatest relief is I don’t give a damn. I’m dancing my ass off to Jonathon Richman singing Pablo Picasso Was Never Called an Asshole, and remembering his concert at the Filmore in San Fransisco, 1982. It makes me happy – middle age can bite, but I won’t hide. Life is far too short.

Pondering Canada’s Bill C-304

On June 6 of last year, Bill c-304 – introduced by Conservative back bencher Brian Storseth – quietly passed first reading in Canadian parliament by a vote of 153 – 136. This Thursday it passed third and final reading, C-304 awaits Senate approval to make it law. Most notably, C-304 repeals Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act (CHRA), banning the transmission of “hate speech” via internet or telephone.


As sites like the FreedomSite Blog claim a victory for Canadian censorship; I can’t help but feel a little uneasy.


The subject is tricky. I’m obviously against censorship of my thoughts; I value freedom of speech and loathe the thought I might lose my voice, or fall under a microscope some day. That said; I don’t wish anyone harm, using the internet as a forum for discussion rather than a tool to recruit foot soldiers, perpetuate hatred or encourage violent acts.

Then I think a little more and my pondering head starts to spin – maybe my seemingly innocent observations on guns, religion, or politics are viewed by some as equally hate fuelled. Could it be that what seems perfectly reasonable to me, smacks of hate to others?

I dissect the argument more and more – drawing just one feeble conclusion – we’re all entitled to our opinions, censorship sucks, and hate mongers are entitled to carry on despite my repulsion.

Muddy Water Chain Gang in 1927

The greatest flood in American history took place in 1927 when the Mississippi River broke the levees in almost 150 places. Below Memphis Tennessee the Mississippi was 90 Km. wide; 70,000 Km lay under flood waters. Slavery may have been abolished but wealthy plantation owners depended on black share croppers to work their land. As white residents were moved to safety, poor blacks were rounded up at gunpoint – forced into labour camps along the remaining levees. Not so much a chain gang as a beleaguered army of unfortunates – they  had no choice but to fill sandbags as plantation owners waited for the waters to subside. Their efforts futile; when the levees broke they were left to fend for themselves. For anyone who’s ever pondered where Chicago blues or the term Muddy Waters came from – look no farther than the flood of ’27. Responsible for the largest migration of African Americans in U.S. history.

This link shows a timeline of events on the Mississippi River.


Pondering the flood of 1927 serves as a perfect example of the obvious. That being, “might makes right”, and money trumps ethics without exception. The great flood may have been over 80 years ago but make no mistake; money makes the world go round.

It Wasn’t The Dog’s Fault

I know it wasn’t my dog’s fault, I should have been paying attention. She only wanted to say hello to pizza guy, and who could blame her. I know better than to turn my back on her exuberance; we had after all just left the house; she was a bundle of energy, coiled like a spring and raring to go.

I grew up with dogs; we had a Cocker Spaniel and a Saint Bernard. We lived on a farm, they had acres and acres to roam at will,not once were put on a leash, and slept outside in a dog house. It was only on the coldest of nights, after considerable pleading that my father relented, allowing them to come inside. They were well behaved, well adjusted, and part of the family.

Without question fond memories of my childhood dogs were the basis of our decision to purchase a dog for our family. My husband had similar memories, and we wanted our children to experience the same. Just one small problem – we live in a city, have busy lives, and  “off leash” rules.

Don’t get me wrong – I love my dog. She’s part of the family, and it wasn’t her fault. I thought for a few hours that my arm was broken but it feels a little better. The five bandages on my left hand are a nuisance, aside from the one  covering where the nail on my little finger was torn off, and possibly one covering grated flesh on my palm; they should be gone in a few days. It’s not her fault I wasn’t paying attention when her joy at going for a walk, and seeing pizza guy pulled me to the ground. Boxers are strong dogs – it wasn’t her fault.

A city dog is not a country dog, and it isn’t their fault.

Moon Spanked

Unlike earth, the moon has no atmosphere to protect it from space junk. On May 17 a boulder sized piece of that space junk slammed into the surface of the moon at almost 60,000 mph. Had you been looking at the moon when it happened, you would have seen the flash without a telescope. The impact was equal to the power of 5 tons of TNT.  All from a boulder not much larger than a beach ball.

Since 2005 NASA has been monitoring “lunar impacts”, and report this one is by far the largest and brightest they’ve seen. They estimate the crater to be 20 meters across.


Lunar Impact (splash)

A new ScienceCast video describes the bright lunar explosion of March 17, 2013. Play it
While hardly an earth shattering event; hopefully a reminder to look up every once and a while, realizing we’re damn lucky to be here.

The Night Sinead O’Connor Made SNL History

Over twenty years ago Sinead O’Connor destroyed her career by ripping up a picture of Pope John Paul II at the conclusion of her performance on Saturday Night Live. Booed off the stage a few weeks later at a Bob Dylan concert, O’Connor faded into troubled obscurity – deemed too controversial to book or promote.

I loved Sinead O’Connor; her beautiful shaved head and voice of perfection sent shivers up my spine. I remember that night in October of 1980. We sat transfixed as she sang Bob Marley’s War. My heart stopped when her defiance collided with conviction – she tore the photo on live TV, in front of millions viewing what was to become the most powerful message I’ve witnessed. A single act that blew my mind and made my heart soar.

Where ever you may be Sinead O’Connor –  you forever have my admiration and respect.

Missing George Bush

In part because Neil Young is my hero – a Canadian who sings of impeaching George Bush – in part because I actually miss the insanity of the Bush years, and in part because this simplistic little melody cracks me up. I hasten to add my mirth is more of a “holy crap” moment, remembering George Bush days.

Pondering Water

I’ve pondered climate change, plastic water bottles in land fills, and oil families the likes of George Bush snapping up land over the world’s largest aquifer. I’m used to the rolling eyes and ho-hum attitudes of people believing it’s not their problem. The moment Al Gore faded from front page news, so too did awareness, urgency, and social responsibility. Sure, there’s a core group of grass roots realists; their efforts seized upon by marketing gurus – turning a tidy profit with buzz words like free or fair trade, sustainable, and ethical. A marketing wet dream, after  slumpish years struggling for new adjectives to describe “new, and improved”.

Lets ponder water. A friend sent me this link tonight, a visual aid that knocked my socks off. Looking at the photo you should see three blue spheres. The largest one represents all the water on earth – everything from oceans, ice caps, moisture in fog banks, even your runny nose. The next size illustrates how much of the first sphere is fresh water; rivers, lakes, streams, and groundwater. 99% of this sphere is groundwater, and inaccessible. The last tiny blue speck shows accessible fresh water.


We take water for granted, assuming the supply is infinite. Rising temperatures mean our glaciers melt faster than they are able to restore themselves. Many scientists believe the “tipping point” has been reached – within a few decades the Himalayas could be glacier free. Millions upon millions of people rely on the water glaciers deliver to rivers.

It takes 7 litres of water to manufacture a single plastic water bottle. a puny “water footprint” compared to the 16,000 litres needed for a single KG. of boneless beef. Americans use on average 575 litres a day per household, we use more water washing our cars than many people in the world survive on in a week.


We allow ourselves to be lulled by slick ad-men, consuming with wild abandon like there’s no tomorrow. There’s a reason Texas oil men are buying  land atop aquifers, and it sure isn’t for a place to build  retirement cottages. They understand the oil will dry up and water is the next market to corner.

A link to the massive land purchase by the Bush family atop the world’s largest aquifer in Paraguay.