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GOP soft money clothes laundering

Sarah Palin is now pointing out that what she's wearing is from her "favorite consignment shop in Anchorage Alaska." Are GOP campaign stylists now stocking the store in Alaska? Stocking it for Sarah Palin? Couldn't a consignment collection be the ultimate slush fund in miniature, a wardrobe based on the soft money concept? It's literally political rally wardrobe-laundering! Purchased from Neiman Marcus, the item can be put on the books at the consignment store for a nominal consignment price. The paper trail can go through the favorite shop, but the clothes can go straight from the GOP personal shoppers in Sarah Palin's entourage, to Sarah Palin's steamer trunk. The infamous 150 thousand dollar shopping isn't above par for a television wardrobe. Isn't that figure but a fraction of what Cindy McCain wore in one RNC appearance? The $150K brouhaha masks the larger story, that Sarah Palin is no more a Washington outsider than George W. Bush. Though she plays a western territory governor risen from small time mayor, in reality Palin courted the Republican elite and charmed the GOP Neocons who are looking for another good-ol-boy figurehead to pitch their anti-democratic agenda. The photo at top was taken of Sarah Palin as she was being ferried from Alaska to Minnesota for her unveiling at the RNC. While the newspaper caption read, Sarah Palin and unidentified male, in fact that figure is Steve Schmidt, head of the McCain campaign, who coached Palin for the entirety of her trip.

Sarah Plain, um, Palin

Someone forgot to tell Cindy McCain that the fashion word on Sarah's big night was "populist." Cin's half-peeled banana outfit was examined by the couture analysts at Vanity Fair and the numbers look like this: Oscar de la Renta dress: $3,000 Chanel J12 White Ceramic Watch: $4,500 Three-carat diamond earrings: $280,000 Four-strand pearl necklace: $11,000–$25,000 Shoes, designer unknown, I'm thinking Manolos: $600 Total: about $300,000! How long until Sarah Plain stops playing moose hunter/hockey mom/sexy librarian and starts sportin' some real duds? That would make the election season almost bearable. info via Liza at culturekitchen

I wore polka dots today

...and felt like an idiot. Why? I think polka dots are adorable. They are playful and happy and youthful which are traits I value. And the outfit I had on was classy and cute. So why did I feel anxious that someone might pop over unexpectedly and see my polka dots? I'm not sure, but I changed rather than further contemplate the issue. I think that maybe polka dots aren't me. Whatever that means. Like all women, I have a closet full of clothes that I never wear. Truthfully, my closet is a schizophrenic mixed bag pining for psychiatric intervention. I must've worn these styles at one time, but I guess I've changed. Or, more likely, they were never me. I just didn't know it, because I was adept at changing me to be a part of the crowd du jour. I don't think men are this way. A couple years ago, a friend and I took a getaway to Mexico for a few days. We hung out under a big beach umbrella, two pale obviously-American chubbies in a sea of gorgeous foreigners. The women were thin, tanned, and beautiful, but they couldn't hold a candle to the men. Unbelievably fit, glistening brown skin, boy shorts. At once holding a cigarette and a partner's perky breast, we couldn't stop staring at the men. When the couples eventually got up and dressed, the guys wore capri pants, silky dark shirts, and closed-toe leather sandals. But even through my drool I knew that, were I given the chance, I probably wouldn't date any one of them. Seriously! They were not my type. As pretty as the beach boys were, my type of guy doesn't spend much time thinking about his hair and wardrobe. A makeover is buying his favorite shirt in another color. I've never succeeded in slipping Bruni Maglis over his tennis shoes, nor a man purse over his shoulder. Even the plain front/pleated front battle can rage for days, so sartorial transformation has never been in the cards. Men know what they are comfortable wearing, and are usually unwilling to indulge our female fantasies. Truly, I wouldn't want it any other way. If men can stay true to form, why do women's closets suffer from bipolar disorder? Are we multifaceted and complex, or are we being unduly influenced the expectations of our mates, the opinions of our friends, and the daily media mind fuck? Though my closet doesn't reflect it yet, my chameleon days are over. I am newly unapologetic about my hairstyle, my yoga pants, and my Doc Martens. When I dress up I usually wear black from head to toe. I don't show a lot of skin, and hide my few curves. I wear simple earrings, no other jewelry. I no longer worry about fashion trends, because I refuse to be trendy. My manner of dress is merely an outward manifestation of the natural, unadorned, athletic, private girl that I am. I cover my body in such

An obsession with the boyish figure

Was this magazine ad for Calvin Klein's OBSESSION FOR MEN controversial because it featured an underage Kate Moss disrobed, or because it winked at the greater fashion culture fixation masquerading as the androgynous waif look: the sexualized, pure, although suggestively available, almost shapeless, pretty, prepubescent boy?

Feel Good Imperialism returns

Now that Dubya is in free fall with all his toads, it's time for Feel Good Imperialism to return. And who better to be the general for all the feel goody liberals that like imperialism with a smiley face, than Al Gore, Rock Star? Is this better than the New Life Church, or what? Gore plans to rock against warming, and you can bet there's money to be made by all our newly 'green' corporations. I'm so excited for Mother!

Ladies who lunch: a rebuttal

Eric, I hardly know where to begin. I guess I will leave the analysis of sorority girls alone as I was never one of them, neither were any of my sisters, I’m guessing neither were yours. I’m sure I have a few friends who were but I couldn’t tell you who. I do know many society gals, however. And, yes, we threw a big party this month to raise funds for Newborn Hope. We also educated the 1600 people in the room about prematurity and gave them further opportunity to get involved with the cause. Because we fed our fat faces, migrant workers on the Western Slope will have access to prenatal care; Peak Vista will have money to see high-risk indigent pregnant women; McKee Medical Center will have a bi-lingual social worker on staff, Penrose Community will hold smoking cessation classes for pregnant teens, etc. In August we threw a big party called Pasta in the Park to raise funds for TESSA. We challenged each other to make the tastiest pasta sauce, dressed up as though we were heading off to Ascot, and made a bunch of money so that abused women and their children have a safe place to go. Ask Cari Davis what she thinks of the work we sorority gals do, and what she would do without us. I think in December, it’s S-CAP. The Red Ribbon Ball. Yet another garish event designed to raise funds to help those suffering with AIDS. In February, it’ll be the Heart Ball. We’ll raise more than $100,000 in a single night. The men will dress in tuxes and we girls will get to wear our ball gowns, maybe even our furs. We’ll once again eat delicious fattening food and dance to the mellow sounds of Moments Notice, or some other local boring band. I was part of the organization that started the Children’s Literacy Center. Remember, we used to hold the Celebrity Dinner at Jose Muldoon’s? “Important” people served us tacos and margaritas and we made enough money to kick off our fledgling project. If you don’t know what a difference the Children’s Literacy Center has made in Colorado Springs, you should really check out their website. Or talk to any educator in town. Guess what? The same 100 or so society women hold every one of these fundraising events. EVERY ONE. We also do the Festival of World Theater, the Dance Theater’s wine tasting weekend, the Fine Arts Center’s annual gala--all kinds of arts and culture undertakings that benefit our community mightily. I took a graduate course on Nonprofit Management a few years ago at UCCS. It was taught by Cathy Robbins who heads up the El Pomar Foundation. She taught us that the role played by society women, the fund raisers, in the world of philanthropy is immeasurable and critically important. The thing about your post that is the most upsetting to me is the accusation that Newborn Hope has played into the hands of the anti-abortion activists. As the person who was recently in charge

Sorority girls

I have nothing, nothing, nothing against sorority girls, nor society girls, they're just fine.   I remember sororities at college. They provided camaraderie and support for women in educational institutions that had only comparatively recently become co-ed. And sororities prepped girls for the veneer surface of -- I don't know -- a life of little academic enterprise after college? Sororities taught girls social skills and cemented a community fashion. Not fashion in the creative sense but rather a pageant of the accepted norm. Beauty as a dress code that everyone could feel excited about despite it being ludicrously conformist. Sororities also reinforced the preening considered necessary to attract the ambitious corporate male who sought a domestic arrangement in much the same way that he courted a career. For girls who were neither creative, independent, nor perhaps all that complicated, sororities extended the home economics lessons to the prospect of hiring maids. What do sorority girls do after college when their only idea of extra-curricular means to hold an ice cream social? I don't want to demean what they do, they have children of course, and run communities. And when there is time, they do lunch. And when there's charity afoot, these girls do as their sororities did and conduct a benefit. I saw such a benefit recently, an enormous social function, an annual society event, the cumulative product of countless sub-subcommittee meetings. I could say that the beneficiaries of the charity could have mattered not the least, but that would in this case be most inaccurate. Two factors: At Newborn Hope the fuzzy bunny factor is in overdrive. Money raised is "for the babies!!!" Specifically babies born prematurely in rural areas without access to urban hospital programs. The money goes for brochures and nurse training programs which teach, basically: Get that baby to the city stat! Money sometimes goes directly for taxi vouchers to accomplish that end. So it's not just that the NBH charity is for a demonstrably compelling, in-your-arms-tangible cause, but the chief beneficiaries, as with traditional sororities, are the sorority girls themselves. Making a rough estimate of the figures, I can approximate that well over half of the resources generated by NBH go to feeding itself. Throwing the big party, holding all the planning meetings, that's the primary function. The money these women spend goes to pay for the luncheons and the overhead. It's a great boondoggle for The Broadmoor and the shops which get to advertise through the annual function, the NBH fashion show. The time which the girls expend toward putting it all together is also a large resource redirected. The girls are not driving the taxis nor holding any babies. These philanthropists are holding lunches, paying for the lunches themselves, eating the lunches themselves, and planning for themselves the next one. While it might be uncharitable to ask these ladies to give directly, albeit unselfishly to a good cause? Do premature babies have to settle for only a fraction of their self-serving dollar? Such sorority-style events are very similar to a

Youth revisited

(Author's note: this entry has been revised due to the offense taken at its initial publication. It was not intended to make fun of anyone in particular. This article is about the strange cultural pressure for women to look unnaturally young. Woman have always sought to look youthful, but modern medicine now allows them to try for bloomin' youth, except of course around the edges. We need to dissuade women from this folly because plastic surgery has yet to sculpt a feature that can age with you.)   Nicole Richie. What is she selling with this dress? I'm asking because I just attended a society function and this look was everywhere. I don't mean the unwrap- me-my-body-is-a-gift-to-you look. More the faded- beauty-but-I-feel-fresh-as-a-pop-tart- popped-tart look. What is that?   I can imagine these women think that they have to compete with teen porn on the internet. So how're they doing? Do they resemble anything in nature? Nicole's not the gaudiest example, but she's already flirting with recreating something she is not: in this picture, ripe corn. With her hairline and sallow eye sockets, indian corn would be more like it, and the dress would be the loosely affixed branches and twigs which frame it on your door. A welcoming semblance of bounty, pretty but plainly inedible. Can any amount of skin cream, Botox and muscle sculpting refashion a woman to her teenage bloom? Surely their mirrors do not deceive them. Do they think that an ersatz bloom-of-youth is anything but monstrous, especially in the spookiness of twilight? I shouldn't begrudge Nicole the half-peeled banana look. She's put a great deal into her physical appearance and she can maximize its exposure. I ran into the same phenomenon at the society fundraiser. A woman there, who it's said is quite self-effacing about what she's spent on her boobs, wore a dress which half revealed them. I don't know if she meant to upstage herself with her breasts, but that was the effect. Very nice to look at certainly, but quite an effort to talk to her. Perhaps these youth costumes are not intended for men anyway. The creams and oils and aromas and salts may be all about a virtual reality more sensual than a man's imaginary visual-based surreality. If a woman can wear something that makes her feel like a spring chicken's bare bottom delivered on a silver platter, who am I to complain? Outside of the privacy of their baths however, I wonder if both men and women are rather more interested in people who inhabit their age. Revision 11/25 Why do I hold so tenaciously to this argument? Because when I beheld those many augmented women, I could not image what it was like for their husbands. I defy anyone to tell me, as years pass, they look at their spouse and say "my goodness she's getting old!" She's the only one thinking that and God Dammit where is that coming from? A mate can exercise and recover his or her health, to perhaps some notice, but otherwise our

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