Sonntag, 25. August 2013

Happy Go Topless Day 2013!

For me, it is my usual naked Sunday today, spent without clothes (just as every day at home, actually). For many protesting and activist women and men supporting them, today is Go Topless Day.

This special awareness day is celebrated annually, mostly in the USA where it was established in 2007 and first observed in 2008. The date is defined by the US-American Women's Equality Day, which is celebrated on August 26, commemorating the certification of the 19th amendment of the US constitution on August 26, 1920, giving women the right to vote. Go Topless Day is always scheduled on the Sunday nearest to that date.

Since first observed, Go Topless Day has spread all over the world, with much help of the internet, of course, where social media as well as women networking apart from them have helped spreading the message and the very legitimate question "why is it legal for men (especially the big ones) to bare their bellies and man boobs? Why is it illegal for women to do so???" In the spirit of equality, the only way can be to allow everyone doing that, or to forbid everyone baring their upper body. The clothing industry wold rejoice at a ban of toplessness for everyone... men would be required to hide their chest, too, when swimming. Imagine that: bikini tops on man boobs!

OK, there will always be people who will say "Ewww, gross!! I don't want to see either of them! Make the world cover up!!". That would be one solution to the matter of topless equality, but not the right one for the matter of topfreedom - everyone should be free to bare their chest or their whole body, for that matter.

Nudity, in part or whole, is merely the most natural state of being for humans. Clothing and shoes were invented to provide protection from the elements. It is quite clear, that in places with the right climate, people living in accord with Mama Nature are very often fully naked.

They do not know any of our "civilized" concepts of shame, sin or immodesty that are quoted, when nudity is concerned. It's just the natural and traditional way of being to them.

Here's a collection of very colorful as well as beautiful pictures featuring natives from Africa, Asia and South America by Serge Giraud on Flickr:

Now, on Go Topless Day, the topic are breasts. In many countries and states, women are dicriminated against, frowned upon, hassled, incriminated or even assaulted for baring their breasts, even if it's just for sakes of the natural function of breastfeeding.

"Many people in US think that breastfeeding is only for the first couple of months of an infant's life, or mostly up to year.  Experts don't agree with this.  World Health Organization (WHO) recommends breastfeeding to 2 years of age, and American Academy of Pediatrics clearly states in their policy statement Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk, "Exclusive breastfeeding is ideal nutrition and sufficient to support optimal growth and development for approximately the first 6 months after birth." "It is recommended that breastfeeding continue for at least 12 months, and thereafter for as long as mutually desired." In many other cultures worldwide and in most of the history children weaned even much later.  Comparing humans to our closest animal relatives, Katherine Dettwyler has estimated that the natural age of weaning in humans would be between 2.3 and 7 years.  Many women in the world and even in today's America do let children self-wean, and those allowed to do so, usually wean between 2 and 5 years of age.  The benefits of breastfeeding don't stop at any age."

(Source: - an inspirational and very informative web resource about breasts and their natural function)

This is what breasts are about. For all of us, who have been nursed the natural way, our mother's breasts were our first and best source of nourishment. And, if we were fortunate, we were allowed to enjoy this special bond to our mother as well as to Mama Nature for as long as possible. In creating the various taboos about them, breasts have become an object of sexual desire and a turn-on for men, mostly. "Of course breasts are a female body part, and there is nothing wrong in seeing them beautiful body parts. But let's let them be like legs, hips, neck, face, and all the other parts of a female—not like some nearly inanimate objects that automatically "click" men's brains' to the "turn on" mode." (quoted from

Of course, breasts are beautiful. Being a man, I can't say otherwise. Being a man, I also say, that faces, hands, legs, arms, feet, bellies, hips and butts are beautiful... female and male alike, according to my taste, too. This is not to merely copy the quote above, but my personal feeling that human bodies are wonderful works of art, created by Mama Nature in Her best way.

Treating human beings and their bodies with respect, love and compassion is to act in the best spirit of treating Mama Nature the same way. And especially the female body once used to be worshipped as the living representation of the Great Goddess Herself. We all know the ancient statuettes like the famous "Venus von Willendorf" (here in the middle in the picture below), with large breasts and broad hips, celebrating Nature's fertility and blessings.

While it might sound primitive to us "civilized" people of the present to worship femininity in this respect, we can learn an important lesson from it. The depiction of women's bodies in their natural state, partly or fully naked, should be treated no longer as a turn-on, but a celebration of out Great Mother, Mama Nature, and Her natural qualities.

There are women out there, brave and beautiful, doing just that, showing it to us by ways of art. They are advocates of Go Topless Day, too, as well as celebrating their femininity, along with the beauty of being life-givers.

I know, that people, who still are caught in the taboo trap will see these pictures mostly as turn-ons... and, yes, these are beautiful women, to be sure. But their nude beauty, as well as every other nude woman's and every nude man's beauty, transcends sexuality. Don't get me wrong, I am not an asexual being, just tuned to the spiritual aspects of bodies. Not at all! But:  have learned to look at human beings, especially when naked, in more than just one way.

And, as we can learn from the Himba women, there's also a happy and playful way to deal with breasts... as they show us here, fascinated by their fair-skinned topless sister:

We can learn so much from so-called "primitive" people...

My blessings to you for a merry Go Topless Day.

Samstag, 24. August 2013

Was darf Satire...?

Satire darf Auto fahren! Und zwar speziell die Fahrzeuge einer bestimmten Oberklassenmarke aus Baden-Württemberg.

Mit diesem Spot werden die Funktionen zweier Mechanismen beispielhaft gezeigt:

1. Satire

Zugegeben, es ist die Sorte mit dem Holzhammer, die gleiche Art, mit der uns der finnische Drehbuchautor und Regisseur Timo Vuorensola und sein Autorenteam die geheime Mondbasis der Nazis und die Invasion im Film "Iron Sky" gezeigt hat.

In jenem Film fand ich übrigens realsatirisch erschreckend, wie ein fiktives US-amerikanisches Volk der Sarah Palin nachempfundenen Präsidentin zujubelt, die zur Wiederwahl eine umjubelte Rede hält, die von den "Mondnazis" geschrieben wurde. Tatsächlich werden mit dieser Art Rhetorik heutzutage immer noch Wahlen gewonnen.

Ebenso zugegeben: Ich habe schallend gelacht, als ich die Schlusspointe des "Nicht-Mercedes"-Spots gesehen habe - weil es eben eine Art Humor ist, die ich mag.

2. Virales Marketing

Gerade die eingeblendete Distanzierung vom Daimler-Benz-Konzern am Anfang des Spots und die filmische Machart machen diesen Werbefilm, der keiner sein soll, zu einer ungewollten (wirklich??) Werbung für die Sicherheitsmerkmale (Kollisionswarnsysteme) bestimmter Oberklasselimousinen. Auch wenn betont wird, dass der Konzern eben nichts damit zu tun hat, wird er durch die Verbreitung des Spots in die Schlagzeilen kommen. Die Empörung der Daimler-Benz-Oberen über den Beitrag schafft weitere Medienpräsenz. Das sieht mir doch sehr nach Kalkül aus...

Dienstag, 6. August 2013

Time Machines, My Personal Demons and Exorcists...

Sometimes, these meme pictures on the web can have funny side effects. I guess, everyone has once in his or her life pondered on that question:

OK, the question should be "When would you go", rather than "Where...", really, but let's not get too nit-picky, here.

Given my life so far and things happening, I shared this picture on my Facebook page with the comment: "I'd go back to the 1980s to undo some things... and to do some things differently". Yeah, and that's just plain true. There's no bitterness involved, even though these ugly little demons called "Mighthavebeen" and "Shouldhavedone" were rearing up their ugly little heads again.

It's almost like that simile with the little angel and the little devil sitting on each shoulder...

Only in my case, it's two little ugly demons, both whispering in my ears...

OK, and now, I can hear all those people again, who are going to tell me this:

"You have to learn to let go... don't dwell on the past... Things happen for a reason... Life has its own ways of dealing with plans..." 

And here's my reply to those well-meant comments: Cork it! 

Some things are way easier said than done and some demons might keep haunting me (as well as other people) for a little while longer... We're human beings, we have those imperfections, and sometimes they surface, rearing up their ugly faces. It just happens and I'll get by. Nothing to worry about. Actually, this isn't even feeling like it's pulling me down into sadness or depression... I rather feel angry. I feel like I want to yell at "Life" or "World" for not giving me the chance to find out what might have been, if I had decided differently. I feel like I want to hit them squarely in the face, really!!

Perhaps I need an exorcist to get rid of these demons after all...

But I doubt, that any exorcist can help there... I'll have to drive these abominations away all by myself. It is something I have to face and deal with. A good part of my anger is aimed at me, as well (again: nothing to worry about! I'm not the auto-aggressive type, I'm not going to physically hurt myself or worse...). It's up to me now, to turn this anger at things that cannot be changed anymore into something creative or something useful. Anger, by itself, isn't helping anything or anyone. As soon as I am able to convert my anger and pain into useful energy (creative, activist, positive), I am on my way to heal those old wounds completely. But, before that is accomplished, I still have to deal several blows to the faces of Shouldhavedone and Mighthavebeen.

OK. So, I have come to terms with realizing that some of my life's decisions from fall 1988 on were based on false premises. I had thought to live a life with someone who (as I found out in online conversations we had this year, reflecting on the past) had thought that we had already split up when I moved house along with my parents. Yeah, thanks lots for not telling me this in one of your letters or during one of our weekly phone calls back then, my dear! And telling me that she isn't even sure in hindsight, that it would have worked for us being together anyway was another belated blow to my face.

True enough, it would have been a challenge, since we're both typical Aquarius people: philosophers, thinkers, also very compassionate, creative...

With Aquarius people, according to astrologers views, it's a binary thing, when it comes to relationships:

"This is definitely a relation where the two get to know each other deeply, through conversations that last forever. They explore each other with mutual fascination, to a great extent because they see how much they are fundamentally alike.

     They share mentality and attitude towards life, the two things they value the most. They often feel like they are looking into a mirror.

     Others have a hard time trying to follow the depth they get into together. It's a profound experience for them both, but not necessarily a joyous one. It can get too serious, too heavy, almost like a kind of purgatory.

     If they break up, it's because they come to the joint conclusion that they need to do so in order to move on with their lives. They realize that they have fallen into a well.

     But they can also continue forever, if never ceasing to be surprised and amazed at what they discover in the other."

(Source: )

So, since we did not have the chance to explore it, I feel it's not quite right to dismiss the possibility, that we could have made it until today. Another page lists several reasons ("negative" qualities) that might have been hindrances... but also challenges:

Given the time machine premise, one thing I could have done in my youth was to have pursued my creative hobbies more strongly... creative writing, drawing and painting were things I used to do for fun. If I'd had a stronger will to pursue that, I would have taken different courses in senior high school. OK, in turn that could have meant that I wouldn't have met my big high school love... but, in hindsight, given the emotional turmoil and pain, would that have been so bad? Granted, the time we had was something very special and wonderful, but seeing and feeling how the outcome of breaking up has affected me (and still does!), Mighthavebeen says: "Hey, you'd be better off without having met her at all, don't you think?"

Yes, maybe...

Actually, yes, that's what I have been thinking recently, considering what she told me. Given the options of what I might have done, pursuing a different career than what I originally planned, it might have made me a happier person in the future. 

When thinking about what has happened in reality, Shouldhavedone says: "You should have made your parents postpone that move, at least until you started studying. You would have been there with and for her at least on the weekends, then!". Yes, that's  true, too... And Shouldhavedone goes on, saying: "...and you shouldn't have gone to service in the Air Force!! Of course, that changed your personality... of course, you became emotionally callous, shallow and blind and deaf to what really mattered!". Yes. Another bit of truth.

And both these little buggers could go on and on, whispering What-Ifs into my ears...

What has changed now, compared to my rant about the anniversary of my breakdown on June 27? First of all, my emotional make-up has changed when looking back on what happened, on what didn't happen and on what might have happened. I am no longer lying in the corner, going fetal and crying myself out... no, I have identified the responsible parties - the aforementioned two nagging and unnerving little demons - and I am now feeling angry rather than sad or depressed. And, quite frankly, I feel that this is a change for the better. Sadness and depression are only means to drain energy from me... anger builds up energy, which can be converted into something different. I have successfully turned the vibes from passive and overwhelming into something active and motivating.

When looking back on my youth, I was a happy part of the peace and one-world movement of the early 1980s, eager to give my share to changing the world for the better... the typical teenage dreamer and idealist behaviour... the hippie inside me coming out to play. And, it's good that it came out and played, since that was crucial to the building of my "weird" personality. When reading a German regional newspaper article about an anti-nuclear protest camp, which attracts today's generation of young activists, teenage dreamer and idealists, I couldn't help but feel nostalgic, thinking back 33 years in my life, when I was among kids like these, when I was giving my shares in trying to make this world a better place... they even still look the same like we did back then...

Lovis Sand und Lilli „Wiesel“ Leibfried in the anti-atom protest camp on the Konert farm
The original article with the picture as seen above can be viewed here:

Yeah, it's good to know, that the spirit of these good old days lives on. Staying closer to these people, pursuing my artistic pastimes and hobbies more intensely and with dedication... it might have worked... and even though it sounded harsh when she said it, my Mother really had a point in saying "Other mothers have beautiful daughters, too...". When she said it, my then response was: "Only politeness forbids me, where you can take that sentence and stick it into, Mother!", with a very bitter emphasis on addressing her. Back then, I still believed that I had lost a possible love of my life... I have by now arrived at a point where I am able to see it the way it really was: Just a high school romance. Case closed!

Mighthavebeen just woke up and whispers into my ear again... "What if you had taken different steps back then? What if you had turned onto that other road...?"

With a swift movement, I let my fist shoot up, hit that bugger squarely in his ugly face and send him flying from my shoulder...

Shouldhavedone, seeing this, unfolds his little wings and flies off...