Saturday, February 6, 2016

Attention and the Creative Impulse

Hola mi Gente,

Have I ever mentioned I’m a cinema junkie? Yup, it’s been me and Maria Menounos since I left my last gig. In case you don’t know, Maria is the host of FirstLook, a show that’s highlighted before the main feature goes up. I like her. It’s been me and Maria these past few hard months. Anyway! I get to see most of films for free thanks to a connection. Don’t ask, because I’m not telling. LOL

Today is Saturday and it’s usually about art and creativity around here. I came across something recently that inspired the following… 
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Georgia Okeefe -- Orange Poppy in Morning Sun

Awakening into the Moment

I was enjoying a moment with a Georgia O’Keefe painting not too long ago and I was struck by the attention and care she gave to even the tiniest of details of her subject matter. To gaze upon an O’Keefe is to come face to face with an incredible amount of focus and a soulful incarnation that leads you to a whole new way of looking at flowers. I think that what makes O’Keefe an enduring artist is that she forces a paradigm shift in the way you look at things. You will never look at a flower the same way after looking at an O’Keefe. In a magazine article, I came across the following quote:

In a way -- nobody sees a flower -- really -- it is so small -- we haven’t time -- and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time. If I could paint a flower exactly as I see it, no one would see what I see because I would paint it small like the flower is small. So I said to myself -- I’ll paint what I see -- what the flower is to me but I’ll paint it big and  they will be surprised into taking time to look at it -- I will make even busy New Yorkers take time to see what I see of flowers.

This reminds of the reality that as human beings often caught up in the dust of life, we so much as look at things as overlook them. This impulse to be in the moment and create meaning in the often overlooked details of life -- to see as O’Keefe puts it, “to paint what I see” -- is the creative incubator of art. You see, whether you’re an artist or not, the creative flow begins when you awaken the moments of your life as they are passing. It begins by paying attention in a nonjudgmental mind state also called “mindfulness.”

My name is Eddie and I’m in recovery from civilization… 

Friday, February 5, 2016

The Friday Sex Blog [Cross Cultural Sex]

Hola mi Gente,

As you probably heard, one of the founding members of the great Earth, Wind & Fire, passed away yesterday. 

I was fortunate enough to catch them twice during the height of their popularity. To this day, the Ramsey Lewis/ Earth Wind & Fire collaboration, Sun Goddess, is on one of my playlists whenever the promise of Spring makes its annual appearance. The song brings up my years growing up in NYC, that first warm day when everyone seems to come out of hibernation and the Softie Ice cream makes it obligatory, intrusive appearance, the suddenly full handball courts, the 'Hood waking up and the reemergence of all the beautiful women, days of calling your friends and asking, “Hey, let's go to the park and hang out,” that first REAL beach weather day when you call in sick -- this song reminds me of all that and so much more.

Thank you, Mr. White for all the beauty you left for us:

But today is Friday and here at the [un]Common sense Blog it's all about sex.

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Two Women -- Paul Gauguin

Sex Across Cultures

Life is a sexually transmitted disease.

-- Guy Bellamy

Nowhere else do the extremes and variety of human behavior become more evident than when exploring sexual practices across cultures. Sexual rites shaped by cultural attitudes span the range from the relatively sexually free and open Oceanic societies such as the Trobiands, to deeply sexually repressed cultures such as the isolated Inis Beag Irish community where the sexes are segregated for most of their lives.

You may think that the concept of sex is a universal expression of love and you would be wrong. In fact, that notion would be considered odd in some cultures. Sex can often be a violent and brutal affair sometimes used solely for the purpose of producing offspring.

While cultural rituals may seem strange, peculiar, and even barbaric and repulsive to you, it is very likely that those same cultures view our “civilized” sexual practices with similar attitudes. I would add that if you were raised in one of these cultures, you would find the practices in that culture “normal.” The following sexual customs have been authenticated by ethnographic studies, but due to the increasing globalization of our world, they may not be practiced any longer.

Want to talk about what it means to be a man? Well, how is this: as part of their puberty rights, Ponapean males are required to undergo hemicastration (removal of one testis). Along similar lines, among some African cultures such as the Masai, puberty rituals include “female circumcision,” or clitoridectomy (removal of the clitoris). Kenuzi Nubian girls are said to undergo removal of the clitoris by the age of four, and infibulation (suturing) of the vaginal opening. Here in America, though it is known that circumcisions are unnecessary and actually hamper sexual development, the vast majority of infant males have their foreskins snipped (circumcised), causing them to go into traumatic shock for days after. 

Sodomy has been regularly practiced among New Guinea tribes. At puberty, the young Keraki males of New Guinea are required to submit to recipient anal and oral sex for a period of one year. After this rite of passage, they are then permitted to participate in the initiation of pubescent males. The Keraki believe it is necessary for young boys to receive semen of mature experienced warriors in order to properly develop into men, and failure to do so will leave them small, weak, and inferior. I could just imagine this ritual being practiced in our consumer-driven society. There would probably be competitions on which men could take it up the ass and guys bragging how many dicks they sucked in order to become men. “Back in the old days, we had to suck more dicks! These young kids today can’t take it up the ass like the old days.” LOL

Similarly, among all men and boys of the Siwans in Africa, homosexual relationships are an accepted practice, and most engage in anal intercourse. Those few who do not participate in homosexual unions are considered queer (pun intended).

The South American Siriono consider obese females attractive, especially if they possess fat on the mons and vulva (in the colloquial: fat, juicy pussies) and the African Hottentots prize females with large fatty buttocks (big culos!). In fact, two “medical conditions” are named for this phenomenon -- the “Hottentot bustle” (excessively fat buttocks) and the “Hottentot apron” (elongated labia minora -- “pussy lips”), demonstrating, if anything, the cultural myopia of earlier social scientists.

The Venda males in Northern Africa consider enlarged labia attractive and their women are expected to rub and manipulate their labia in order to lengthen them. The Ponapean also find enlarged labia and clitoris attractive. It is claimed they employ old impotent men to beat, suck, and pull on the genitals to produce the desired results, proving the old adage “when you get loose in the hip, you gotta get loose in the lip” true.

In Polynesia, older experienced persons instruct adolescents of both sexes in sexual techniques, and during this period it is permissible to have numerous sexual affairs before settling down to married life. Special “pleasure houses” are built to provide young people with their own place to socialize and have sex.

Imagine that… 

Upon reaching puberty, boys of Mangaia (one of the Cook Islands) are given sexual instruction and taught the technique of various sexual positions, breast stimulation, cunnilingus, and the art of delaying ejaculation, so that their partners may experience multiple orgasms.

From a personal standpoint, for some years, I have been practicing a set of tantric practices that seek to help achieve a transcendent state by using specific Tantric yoga positions for sexual intercourse; prolonging the act to the threshold of orgasm without climax (multi-orgasmic). The belief is that a higher consciousness (or :: gasp:: finding God through sex) can be attained by redirecting the sexual energy of the genitals throughout the body to the brain.

My name is Eddie and I’m in recovery from civilization… 


[un]Common Sense