Friday, July 31, 2009

Guerlain Les Secrets de Sophie - Featured Review



I must applaud master perfumer Jean-Paul Guerlain for creating such an exquisite fragrance in the tradition of this great perfume house, by using fine ingredients and composing with these handpicked notes a memorable, impactful beauty with artistry and elegance. Guerlain Les Secrets de Sophie is nothing short of beautiful, in my view absolutely worth its decadent price tag. A rich, sweet, unpretentious Floral fragrance with subtle yet deep Oriental elements, this is the kind of scent I love, and not because it's cutting edge or innovative, but because it smells wonderful and makes me happy. All in all, Les Secrets de Sophie smells more classical than modern to me, its quaint innocence harkening to the time of L'Heure Bleue (1912) or Caron N'Aimez que Moi (1917), pre-Chanel N°5 days. Simply put, Les Secrets de Sophie is my idea of a perfect piece of fleur d'oranger-violet-candied heaven. It's so delicious, nothing should get in the way of this bliss; the perfume smells to me as the perfumer fully intended to feature the most pleasurable part without teasing us in some self-serving, cruel way by masking it under haughty aloofness and abstraction. This is a fragrance to please the wearer, a perfume made for women and girls who love perfume for the sheer joy it brings us.

At first sniff, I get a sweet white floral, perhaps hibiscus or peony mingling with orange blossom and neroli - at this initial stage, the floralcy is intense, a bit perfumey-powdery in an old-fashioned way, along the lines of an E. Courday scent, Jean Paul Gaultier Classique or Lancome Magnifique, but it quickly mellows into a dazzling, emotive heart of the most extravagant jasmine absolute, the kind you might only find in the classic Jean Patou Joy. Soon, it reveals the Guerlain trademark Guerlinade accord and a tender hint of spice, bringing to mind none other than my favorite Guerlain masterpiece, L'Heure Bleue. I detect that round, complex, almond-like yet dark and mossy, gourmand-ish, almost-Chypre-like accord as found in L'Heure Bleue and many other creations (and if you're a Guerlainaholic as I am, you know exactly what I'm talking about). If many of the recent Guerlain launches haven't smelled like a Guerlain perfume, this one surely does.

The only things I would change about it are, that the white musk base is very apparent, disturbing my fantasy time travel back to 2009, complete with the smell of baby wipes, detergents and dryer sheets, and that also, perhaps due to this composition having been built on this "ethereal" white musk, that the scent evaporates rather quickly for a Guerlain. Of course it is an eau de parfum, not pure parfum as I would have wanted a fragrance of this caliber to be, but I find that Sophie has less longevity and sillage compared to many other Guerlain EDPs I own. Nevertheless, this might be what makes this fragrance all the more delicate and charming, never overwhelming, fitting into today's aesthetic for sweet, yet light, wearable scents. Although I can't name a single perfume that smells like it, if one can imagine a cross between L'Heure Bleue, Joy or even 1000, Caron Narcisse Blanc, and one of the trendy niche perfume oils on the scene such as Child, Monyette or Coquette Tropique, you might come close. However, I doubt anyone can recreate Sophie, a seemingly simple, yet utterly Guerlain-esque, sophisticated perfume "made for a jeune fille" worth experiencing - and if you're one of the lucky ones, bringing home one of those gorgeous limited edition bottles to adore forever.

(Image: www.savvythinker.com Guerlain Les Secrets Poudrés de Sophie)


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Related articles:

Launch News: Guerlain Les Secrets de Sophie (2009)

Featured Review: Guerlain 180 Ans de Creations

Guerlain Apres l'Ondee - Early spring in hues of melancholy

Featured Review: Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire (2009)

Guerlain Les Voyages Olfactifs (2009): Paris-Moscou-Tokyo-New York

Featured Review: Guerlain Homme (2008)

Guerlain Meteorites: The maquillage scent of a woman


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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Yellow Submarine Artist Dies



Heinz Edelmann, ‘Yellow Submarine’ Artist, Dies at 75 - The New York Times, July 23, 2009

Crap...and I always thought it was Peter Max who did the psychedelic artwork. I may have told millions of TV viewers this apparently very common untruth once.

Anyway, Edelmann's work was brilliant.


Friday, July 24, 2009

Tarsha - Second Life






Best Packaging: Benefit Crescent Row Collection




I got that the Benefit Crescent Row Collection of fragrances was inspired by the Royal Crescent, a row of Georgian townhouses in Bath, England, but I didn't know that the design on each box was modelled after actual places in realistic fashion! Check out the interiors of Laugh With Me Lee Lee: the perfume described as the scent of an English garden is housed in a box depicting the interiors of No.1 Royal Crescent.






Isn't it lovely? Now, here is the scene at Royal Crescent Gardens, depicted on the inside of the box, right behind where the perfume would sit. I think this is brilliant packaging, and I hope they'll win a Fifi for it! I'd love to know which rooms in Bath, England the other two fragrances are based on. If you know, please share with us!

Check out my reviews of each fragrance, too:
Laugh With Me Lee Lee
Something About Sofia
My Place or Yours Gina

Visit today's fragrance report at The Examiner by NY Fragrance Examiner Sali Oguri.







(Images: www.bptlearning.org.uk, www.opensquares.org, Wikimedia)



Thursday, July 23, 2009

Jean Paul Gaultier Fleur du Mâle




Jean Paul Gaultier Fleur du Mâle - the name of this decadently floral fragrance for Men is a play on Les Fleurs du mal (often translated The Flowers of Evil), a volume of French poetry by Charles Baudelaire (source: Basenotes). I wasn't expecting a typical "masculine" accord in this scent, more like a gloriously heady hermaphrodite flower such as lily or rose, but I was still surprised by its profound sweetness, intensity, richness and powdery depth...

Please visit The Examiner for the featured review: Featured Review: Jean Paul Gaultier Fleur du Male


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Benefit Crescent Row: Something About Sofia



Benefit Cosmetics, the maker of Maybe Baby perfume, has launched three new fragrances in July, 2009. Meet Lee Lee, Sofia and Gina of Benefit Crescent Row, a new line of delicious, sensuous fragrances now available at Sephora. From the creative packaging to the delightful scents themselves, this is a great new line. The fun doesn't stop there; visit www.sephora.com to take a quiz to see which Benefit Crescent Row girl you are. I took it and came up overwhelmingly as Gina (and, no, I don't go for bad boys - LOL), but since my true favorite scent in the trio is Lee Lee (and I love the English garden-style flat depicted on the box), I'm going with that one. Smell them all and decide for yourself! This is part three of my review series; see my previous entries, Laugh With Me Lee Lee and My Place or Yours Gina.

The final review of my three-part series is in! Visit The Examiner to read: Benefit Crescent Row: Something About Sofia (2009)

Well, well, well...This INxJ might be an ENTJ after all



I think they changed the way people are tested for their MBTI type on this one questionaire I've been taking regularly on Facebook. I had usually come up as an INTJ or INFJ but I just came up an ENTJ! Surely, they kid! The indicator is barely E at 3% expressed, but could I really be an extravert, even if I feel drained after spending time with people, especially ones I don't really like? Well, who wouldn't, right? I remember being told many years ago that I reminded this person of Sigourney Weaver in Alien. I believe I've read someplace she's an ENTJ. Coincidence, or is this person extremely observant and precise about judging character? Also, one summer, I was bullied by a group of kids to stop being so loud and expressive (I used to sing at the top of my lungs), because apparently, I was hogging attention, and that annoyed people enough to justify doing all kinds of cruel things to me. In emotional distress being stuck at a sleepaway camp (how crapfuckular!), I had cut off my own hair, depressed and defeated, and that pleased them enough to make them stop making my life miserable during the last week of stay. I was even told by a camp counselor (not to my face, as this person was a coward, but written in my autograph book!) that she thought I was a self-important show-off who thought so highly of my long hair and legs...yeah, and I was all of what, thirteen? Maybe I decided long ago that I would have to tone myself down to suit these less-than-dynamic people, to at least pretend to get along. Maybe it was only fair I was being treated this way, since I could be a formidable bitch when I wanted to be (just ask my brother). Maybe it's just that I'm becoming bolder with age, turning from an INTJ into an ENTJ - who knows? I suppose being an ENTJ can suck, but would I have turned into an entertainer had I been just another wallflower? Anyway, it looks like my life has yet to unfold and reach its peak. It's amazing what people will do when you make them shake in their boots.

According to Typelogic:
ENTJs have a natural tendency to marshall and direct. This may be expressed with the charm and finesse of a world leader or with the insensitivity of a cult leader. The ENTJ requires little encouragement to make a plan.

ENTJs are often “larger than life” in describing their projects or proposals. This ability may be expressed as salesmanship, story-telling facility or stand-up comedy. In combination with the natural propensity for filibuster, our hero can make it very difficult for the customer to decline.

It is estimated that ENTJs compose 3% of the total population, 4.5% of the male population, and 1.5% of the female population.



Related links: INTP - August 11, 2010 Pink Manhattan

INFJ and the ISTJ Shadow - 8/14/10 Pink Manhattan

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Thank You, Jimmy Carter


Jimmy Carter Leaves Church Over Treatment of Women - 07/20/09 www.politicsdaily.com

"This view that women are somehow inferior to men is not restricted to one religion or belief. Women are prevented from playing a full and equal role in many faiths. Nor, tragically, does its influence stop at the walls of the church, mosque, synagogue or temple. This discrimination, unjustifiably attributed to a Higher Authority, has provided a reason or excuse for the deprivation of women's equal rights across the world for centuries.

"At its most repugnant, the belief that women must be subjugated to the wishes of men excuses slavery, violence, forced prostitution, genital mutilation and national laws that omit rape as a crime. But it also costs many millions of girls and women control over their own bodies and lives, and continues to deny them fair access to education, health, employment and influence within their own communities."
Losing my religion for equality - Jimmy Carter, July 15, 2009 www.theage.com.au

Mr. Carter, you have been castigated for speaking up against injustice for a long time, but you deserve respect and gratitude for speaking out where none would dare. Thank you for your courage to go against the grain and showing us you care by voicing the convictions of your heart, no matter how unpopular or unmainstream.



Monday, July 20, 2009

Benefit Crescent Row: My Place or Yours Gina



Benefit Cosmetics, the maker of Maybe Baby perfume, has launched three new fragrances in July, 2009. Meet Lee Lee, Sofia and Gina of Benefit Crescent Row, a new line of delicious, sensuous fragrances now available at Sephora. The fragrances come inside boxes that match the interior design of a particular room to each character's personality. Open the door and experience the atmosphere of an English garden, art deco or a funky, modern-feminine apartment. This is part two of my three-part review of the trio.

Come check out my latest review: Benefit Crescent Row: My Place or Yours Gina (2009)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Benefit Crescent Row: Laugh With Me Lee Lee



Benefit Cosmetics, the maker of Maybe Baby perfume, has launched three new fragrances in July, 2009. Meet Lee Lee, Sofia and Gina of Benefit Crescent Row, a new line of delicious, sensuous fragrances now available at Sephora. I had the chance to try these tonight, and I'm impressed by the line. I urge you to try them yourself, but I will share my brief thoughts on each. I'm going to review one at a time; I'll begin my 3-part review with my favorite among the three.

Read review #1 at The Examiner: Benefit Crescent Row: Laugh With Me Lee Lee (2009)

See the interiors of the box (too cute not to share!): Best Packaging: Benefit Crescent Row





Saturday, July 18, 2009

Guerlain 180 Ans de Créations



There are many anniversaries to celebrate as of late: 40 years since man lands on the moon, NAACP celebrates 100 years of fighting for civil rights, New York City's Lincoln Center celebrates its 50th year. Last year, Guerlain celebrated its own anniversary with perfumer Jean-Paul Guerlain's creation of a non-commercial (only offered as gifts to loyal customers and industry people) perfume named 180 Ans de Créations, to commemorate 180 years since Guerlain's establishment in 1828, a family business founded by Pierre-François-Pascal Guerlain. The notes consist of master perfumer *(Jean-Paul's grandfather) *Aimé Guerlain's traditional Guerlinade accord in combination with grapefruit, pink pepper and musk for an updated twist (*edited with two corrections: 1. the creator of Guerlinade is attributed to Pierre-François-Pascal Guerlain according to Perfume Intelligence Encyclopaedia, and 2. Aimé Guerlain was uncle to Jacques Guerlain, so he was not Jean-Paul's grandfather). I was able to acquire a precious sample from a favorite decanter, and so I'll share my impressions of this very exclusive scent.

Please continue reading at The Examiner: Featured Review: Guerlain 180 Ans de Creations

Related article: Featured Review: Guerlain Les Secrets de Sophie (2009) - July 31, 2009



The Dead Weather

I enjoyed them on Jimmy Fallon tonight. Streamlined arrangement on an unpredictable metronome - a good song - above all, tonight was a great performance.

I can't say I'm as excited as I was when The Killers launched with Hot Fuss, but this comes close, and that's from just one listen. Nice to hear a rockin' female voice again.


Friday, July 17, 2009

Pat Buchanan on Reverse Racism

"Who was injured, whose rights violated, because, for 67 years, men could take an afternoon off at Burning Tree to hit a golf ball around 18 holes and down a few martinis? What self-respecting woman would want to invade this men's club, when it was evident the men did not want her there?" What would Pat Buchanan have to say to get himself fired from MSNBC?, Media Matters, June 08, 2009

By Pat Buchanan's logic, bigotry is not practiced by those who want to preserve the old boys club, but by those who don't love themselves enough to stick to their own kind, and stay within the parameters of their assigned roles in society. That's some spin, but will it continue to work?

Buchanan on Sotomayor: Rachel Maddow Duels With Pat Buchanan On Affirmative Action (VIDEO) - Huffington Post, 07-16-09


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Guerlain Les Secrets de Sophie (2009)



It's very difficult to find reviews of this limited edition perfume by Guerlain, Les Secrets de Sophie (2009), master perfumer Jean-Paul Guerlain's latest offering, a profusion of white florals (orange blossom, jasmine, ylang-ylang). My Japanese given name is the equivalent of the Greek "Sophie", meaning wisdom, and therefore, I've rationalized yet another reason besides many reasons why I must find out what this latest creation smells like: the beautiful 60ml quadrilobe bottle in three color choices (!), adorned with checkerboards and charms (padlock and key to unleash a jeune fille's desire) designed by French jewellery designer Sophie Lévy, the fact that the perfume is composed by Jean-Paul Guerlain, and that it's described as a rich white floral, my favorite genre. I haven't been one of the lucky ones to have encountered it yet, although I hear it's at Bergdorf Goodman here in NY...

Read more at The Examiner: Launch News: Guerlain Les Secrets de Sophie (2009)



Related article: Featured Review: Guerlain Les Secrets de Sophie (2009) - July 31, 2009




Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

My Summer 2009 Top 10



It's summertime in the city; the asphalt is melting with hot sun and dancing in the streets. Let's kick off the July Top 10 Perfume List with my Top 5 favorite Michael Jackson songs, shall we? If I share them, will you sing them with me? I'll gladly sing your favorites with you, too. Here's my tribute to the greatest entertainer of all time, whose bestselling album, Thriller, has sold an estimated 47 – 109 million copies, more than any other singer's in history, whose total album sales only come short of Elvis Presley and The Beatles. Check out more facts at this link: Records and Achievements of Michael Jackson at Wikipedia.

My Top 5 Michael Jackson Songs (the order of preference changes with my mood):

1. "Man in the Mirror" - written and composed by Siedah Garrett and Glen Ballard
2. "Human Nature" - written and composed by Steve Porcaro and John Bettis
3. "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" - Original song written by Michael Jackson
4. "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)" - written and composed by James Ingram and Quincy Jones
5. "Butterflies" - written and composed by Marsha Ambrosius and Andre Harris

I love songs from Off the Wall, too, as I have total love and respect for anything Quincy Jones, but these songs just knock my socks off in personal ways. (Edited to add as part of this tribute, here's a link to You Tube, to listen to "Off the Wall", my favorite title track written and composed by Rod Temperton.)

Read on at The Examiner for my Top 10 perfume list: My Summer 2009 Top 10 Fragrances List!




Monday, July 13, 2009

Pink Manhattan Purrfume Recommended by Suite Suede - Scents of Spring 2009



Sali Oguri Pink Manhattan Purrfume was featured as a top pick in this fabulous post I just found: Scents of Spring: Love is in the bottle, Suite Suede, Friday, March 27, 2009

"Sali Oguri, Pink Manhattan- Cosmopolitan and Sweet. Top notes of peach, french vanilla, mid-notes of flowers such as pink hibiscus and gardenia. The delicious, upbeat vibe of life in the city!"

What a lovely review. I wish I'd known about it sooner, but better late than never! Thank you, Suite Suede! A Happy Summer to you. xo


Saturday, July 11, 2009

Angel Schlesser



Please visit today's featured review @ The Examiner: Angel Schlesser: Minimalist cool, summer skin scent

This is a unique and lovely clean scent, devoid of obviously sporty or musky elements, simply fresh and classically modern, not neoclassical but in a minimalist and cool, Bauhaus way.

If you're looking for a light, clean scent for hot weather, one that not too many people in this part of the world know about, Angel Schlesser is an excellent choice. The bottle, which I love, is also modern, an opaque white geometric shape, made in the avant garde aesthetic of the designer line. This fragrance was composed by Guerlain's current in-house perfumer and is manufactured in Barcelona, Spain.




(Images: from www.hqhair.com, www.fragranceheaven.com.au)



Thursday, July 09, 2009

Brian Kilmeade on the FOX Network

Fox News Host: Americans "Keep Marrying Other Species" (VIDEO) - The Huffington Post, July 8, 2009

Those of you who think Al Sharpton is not letting racism die in our country, take a look at this clip and ask yourself what a real racist sounds like. By "species", I gather Brian Kilmeade meant the interracial marriages between human beings and the reptilian Draco people descended from Alpha Draconis. If this guy still gets to keep his job on FOX, that will show us what kind of network it really is.

Oh, and watch how many racists will come out to tell people who are speaking out against the evil and saying they're offended, to stop (being offended, being politically correct, race-baiting, overreacting to a fumble of words/joke, etc.) in an attempt to shut people up. It's an old trick that seems to be working in their favor, but racism is nothing to minimize.



(Someone needs to tell Brian Kilmeade that the root race theory of Blavatsky's Secret Doctrine is not science, but mysticism. a myth. That's the stuff Hitler was into. Remember, too, that Nazism (labelled Socialist by the dictator) is often considered by scholars to be a form of Fascism. While it incorporated elements from both left and right-wing politics, the Nazis formed most of their alliances on the right. (Source: Wikipedia) Because Nazis believed in racial purity, they heartlessly euthanized those they deemed imperfect, those getting in the way of their evolution - including those with physical and mental illnesses such as dementia. Perhaps the topic hits too close to home for Brian Kilmeade to be able to discuss rationally. Or, perhaps this is Fox News's way of arguing against miscegenation.)



Added July 13, 2009: The word is that Brian Kilmeade is actually Italian-Irish American and the comments he made were meant as a self-deprecating joke. OK, I might forgive him even though he was (aside from not being funny) completely irresponsible for not making this absolutely clear on the show, but I still hold FOX News responsible for not following up to say 1. the topic of the effects of longterm marriage on dementia, and the topic of interracial marriages, are not connected in the studies they cited, and 2. that all Swedes and Finns are racially homogenous is untrue. Any respectable news channel should clarify awkward moments in television if they care about being factual and professional. The fact that they haven't addressed his faux pas to the outraged public makes me question the integrity of the Fox network. Also, there's no video to prove Brian Kilmeade said this about Madonna adopting an African child back in 2008, but if it's true, this is unforgivably racist.

Update: Brian does a good deed: Brian Kilmeade Apologizes For Racist "Pure Species" Comment - Huffington Post, 07-20-09


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Related articles:
When Fox News Is the Story by David Carr, The New York Times, July 7, 2009

Are they pulling a Leni Riefenstahl technique? Fox News airs altered photos of NY Times reporters, Media Matters, July 02, 2008

At least Fox eventually got rid of this guy's regular show, if not his presence on FOX: John Gibson who told (white) viewers to "do their duty and make more babies" if they don't want to be outnumbered by minorities.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire



From Guerlain comes yet another 2009 launch, La Petite Robe Noire (little black dress), a Fruity Gourmand (Oriental) based on a hypersweet musk accord. Housed in the classic Belle Epoque bottle (the same one as L'Heure Bleue and Mitsouko) with a picture of a little black dress quite literally printed on its face, this fragrance is clearly one of the newer generation...

Read on at The Examiner: Featured Review: Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire (2009)

Related article: Featured Review: Guerlain Les Secrets de Sophie (2009) - July 31, 2009


Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Bob Herbert on Michael Jackson


Behind the Facade by Bob Herbert, The New York Times, July 3, 2009

I have great respect for Bob Herbert, and it is a delight to read his analysis of the degradation of values through passing generations, tracing down the path using musical analogies from Motown to Hip Hop, all in connection with his opinions about Michael Jackson, the celebrity he'd met once. It's an interesting piece - a poignant one, no doubt, as I, too, am concerned about the growing trends towards misogyny and degradation of family values. The piece could read like a paternalistic scolding of younger generations, but it's really a commentary about the politics of our time, breaking down the generations in terms of governing bodies more so than a blanket judgment of the masses, although it also touches upon the tragic effects of the escapism of our modern day culture. I agree escapism to the point of being celeb-obsessed is unhealthy, but it's neither new nor unique to younger generations, and he's also not separating it from the form of escapism which music offers, which is actually healthy, even healing. Let's not demonize the arts while making a point about irresponsibility, especially if he's going to bring the concept of the draft into the picture. I'll keep my hair long, play music and protest that, thank you very much.

Also, creative people will tend to be a little spacey from the perspective of a heavily sense-oriented individual, but that doesn't mean we're space cadets. Some artists actually think deeply about the world and its troubles, and work to help in ways that might not be as obvious to those who take the familiar route. Many people are weirded out by people who they think are just too different from themselves, but that doesn't make them irresponsible or criminal (and I don't know enough about the details of the allegations and the cases - all I know is that the accusers took the money, which I can't imagine anyone doing if they really wanted to see the accused in jail. Sorry, Mr. Herbert, as you were probably closer to the case being in the news biz, but it's all gossip to me).

Even Bob Herbert takes time to comment on music, because we can all use emotional catharsis to better deal with our everyday realities. I must disagree completely with his assessment that the Motown era is the best and most musically innovative (not that I care so much about innovation as I do about the simple good quality of musicianship and music being in my personal taste), but then, I like Michael Jackson's later works better. Anyway, it's a good read, a worthy bit of political and social analysis mixed with a bit of entertainment to chill out and have a cuppa joe with. I'm not sure if I'm going to participate in watching the media circus funeral that's about to start, but, like Bob Herbert editorializing about the King of Pop, I probably won't be able to escape the hype completely. He's right; all I want to do is tune in to the music and drop the hell out. As much as I've mourned, empathized with the child abuse he'd endured, I've got enough going on in my own life to not care too deeply - ya know? (Edited to add: I did catch some of it (it's still on, actually), and thank you, Reverend Al Sharpton. You brought the house down, and put the feelings of many so succinctly. It's the unity symbolized by Michael Jackson that also touches our hearts.)

But I'd love to see the fruition of his life's work enter the pantheon of immortal musicians alongside The Beatles. I just think good work and talent should be recognized. If that's a sign of my escapism and lack of values, so be it - but I care. I also care about world events and the fate of drunk breastfeeding North Dakota mom.

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Related articles:
"Maybe the media had better take a closer look into the mirror themselves."
Allow Jackson Family to Grieve before Media Circus continues Freak Show by Francesca Biller-Safran, Huffington Post, July 8, 2009


Sunday, July 05, 2009

Dear Boomers - Love, Gen X



I dedicate this post to all of the wonderful boomers who came out to attack Michael Jackson's music in the wake of his death. Thank you for kicking us in the teeth while we were down. We'll always remember how we felt during this time, and remember you collectively as the caricature above. You should know most people, even in your generation, have moved on since 1979 - all except for the most closeminded, ignorant wastes among you. (Even Steve Dahl himself has admitted to "really liking Thriller" in his blog entry, which goes to show people can evolve after 30 years.)

Why 'Disco sucks!' sucked - The Music Blog, www.guardian.co.uk

1979: Disco Sucks! - Jahsonic

Pop View; Rock vs. Disco: Who Really Won the War? by John Rockwell, The New York Times, Published: Sunday, September 16, 1990

Guess what? Rock bands use drum machines and synthesizers! Rock bands hire studio musicians to play tracks, and some of them might not look like people you stereotypically envision as rockers! Some bands are produced by producers who cross genres (example: Producer extraordinaire Nile Rodgers, who in the 1970s was told by music companies that his band can't be signed because black artists can't play rock. Discrimination like this was the norm, and in many ways, it still is! I'm no Nile Rodgers but likewise, I was told by A&R in the late '80s that the Japanese can't sing rock - which explains why I market easier under New Wave). Why, some of us even listen to a mixture of rock and disco! Egads! Go have a conniption, but the music you despise, and the mixing of genres, will rule our future.

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Related article: I disagree with this author that Michael Jackson didn't have a good tone, as I hear a bell when he sings, and with that level of control (more so than Elvis - sorry), believe him to be a singer's singer, but tone is subjective, and I still appreciate the unique perspective - Michael Jackson: The First Punk, the King at Last by Tom Junod, Esquire, June 26, 2009 (PS: Generation Jones aka cusper is still a boomer - don't even try it!)

The voice of the young: Truth of Youth: Who will take Michael Jackson's throne as the new King of Pop?
- The News Review, July 6, 2009 (Jonas Brothers - yes, indeed; they are very talented)

Added on July 8, 2009: "And later that day, CNN's contributor Jeffrey Toobin replied to Sharpton's statement by saying, "Give me a break." And it struck me that the Sharpton statement ...juxtaposed with the Toobin response serving almost as a "reach out" to mainstream White America to let them know that someone was prepared to go after this saintly image of Michael Jackson being constructed, clearly demonstrated the racial divide that still exists in this country ..." Michael Jackson: A Final Remembrance by Carl Jeffers, Huffington Post, July 8, 2009




Saturday, July 04, 2009

Guerlain Les Voyages Olfactifs: Paris-Moscou-Tokyo-New York



Sorry for the long hiatus, but like many of you, I've been feeling gutted since Michael Jackson's passing, and only today have I really had my schnoz back. First of all, Happy July 4th! I'm pleased to announce I've discovered some exciting new fragrances, all of them from the legendary House of Guerlain. I'm going to briefly review each fragrance in the Guerlain Les Voyages Olfactifs (2009) line; these are 3 new scents dedicated to three olfactive voyages, beginning in Paris and landing in destinations Moscow, Tokyo and New York. Close your eyes and imagine taking off on a vacation of a lifetime...

Read on at today's Examiner article: Guerlain Les Voyages Olfactifs (2009): Paris-Moscou-Tokyo-New York

Related article: Featured Review: Guerlain Les Secrets de Sophie (2009) - July 31, 2009



Friday, July 03, 2009

Michael Jackson and the Superiority Complex of Ordinary People


Michael Jackson is with Elvis Presley now by Naomi Lakritz, Calgary Herald July 3, 2009

Michael Jackson: the unthinking man's eccentric, by Tabatha Southey, The Globe and Mail, Jul. 03, 2009

Update: Dear Boomers - Love, Gen X, Pink Manhattan blog, July 5th, 2009


I know, I know, it's been a week and I'm still harping on Michael Jackson, but I promise I'll make a somewhat substantial social commentary here, and then, get on with it. This is what's eating me about the aftermath of the death - it's the people who have nothing better to do than to deride his accomplishments as a musician. Whether it's in commentaries like the one I posted above, or the one I linked to a week ago on Huff Post, that somehow, entertainers don't deserve success and fame because they aren't the real heroes of our world, hit below the belt. It doesn't matter if entertainers do anything humanitarian with their work in their lifetimes - it's still going to be misunderstood because most people, particularly if they don't care for the type of music the entertainers created, will compare them to someone - Martin Luther King, Jr., a firefighter, or anyone - to make the point that their accomplishment was nothing more than a show, nothing to respect as a life-changing force. I smell some envy in posts like these, because, let's face it, only people with low self-esteem would diminish the accomplishments of others to attempt to make more ordinary people like themselves appear, not equal, but actually superior. Now that that's out of the way, I'll move on to the more important point I want to make.

Music doesn't change the world? They're wrong. If Martin Luther King, Jr. had sung his sermons, he'd still be a great leader, but then, people who don't understand that art is a form of communication would take him for a clown. The message is somehow lost when it's turned into song and dance, because, let's face it, these people think it can't be that hard to sing and dance, or make music, or any art for that matter. They believe art not only isn't but shouldn't be that important. They come from a cognitive bias, a judgmental perspective closed off to any new or different information. It's not like these entertainers do any sort of real work, they say. Obviously, these people have never had the blessing to know what it is to touch people with a God-given talent that somehow gets messages of a higher love across to people when mere words fail. If music didn't have worthy social impact, John Lennon, Bob Marley and Bono wouldn't be considered important, either, but they are, for more reasons than for their music alone.

Another way people have derided Michael Jackson's accomplishments this week is by comparing him to Elvis or other rock icons, to say any King of Pop couldn't possibly be as important as Kings of Rock, Classical, or other genres that didn't include dancing. You have to love comments like "Michael Jackson was essentially deeply middle class" by Tabatha Southey, another one who's clearly high above the lowly genre of Pop music. Like most non-musicians ignorant about musicianship, she can only vapidly make value judgments based on style. Basically, this is veiled racism, saying any form of African music is in and of itself beneath other more true forms of music. People who denigrate Pop music don't create music at the level of Michael Jackson (and they forget rock music is black music; it came from blues). If people like these are an indication, Michael Jackson was killed by the snark of his peers. Then again, I shouldn't use a word like "peers" loosely; as someone wise commented on my Facebook earlier, "I would never consider these critics to be one of Michael Jackson's peers. Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, James Brown, The Beatles or The Stones are people who may have elevated to that category. You would never hear such evil crap coming from these mouths." Amen.

But for those people who argue that music itself is something without any real merit or power to be a positive force in people's lives, they miss the point of songs like Man in the Mirror, We Are the World, Wanna Be Startin' Somethin', Black or White, even Beat It. It doesn't matter if these songs aren't in their taste. It doesn't change the fact that these songs continue to impact people in the same ways as other forms of communication do - and sometimes, in even stronger, more impactful ways. When a person who decides to do better owes that inspiration to a pop song, it doesn't matter if that song sounds silly to you. All you see might be a dumb video of a guy doing a moonwalk and hitting all the right notes. You may not have the ears to hear, but still many more people in our great shared world understood, that this entertainer gave the sermon of his life.



Lift Your Head Up High
And Scream Out To The World
I Know I Am Someone
And Let The Truth Unfurl
No One Can Hurt You Now
Because You Know What's True
Yes, I Believe In Me
So You Believe In You
Help Me Sing It, Ma Ma Se,
Ma Ma Sa, Ma Ma Coo Sa
Ma Ma Se, Ma Ma Sa,
Ma Ma Coo Sa


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~






Thursday, July 02, 2009

Generation X = Artist-scientists of Jungian archetypes?


Generation X = Artist-scientists of Jungian archetypes? by Sali Oguri, Pink Manhattan blog

Generation Theory is based on archetypes. As such, each of the 4 generational archetypes correlate with one or more Myers-Briggs (MBTI) types. In this post, I want to share my breakdown of the types to coincide with my group, Generation X.

Generation X is labeled either Reactive (Artist) or Adaptive (Nomad) types. I have correlated these with Artisan (SP) or Rational (NT) MBTI types. However, it seems Gen X can actually be correlated to both types simultaneously if we use the Jung archetypes as a reference.

(These findings are of special interest to me as someone who has repeatedly tested on the Myers-Briggs Personality Test as INXJ, balanced between INTJ and INFJ types.)

Gen X = Artist: ISFP (Introverted feeling with sensing): They are shy and retiring, are not talkative, but like sensuous action. They like painting, drawing, sculpting, composing, dancing -- the arts generally -- and they like nature. They are not big on commitment.

If we're to go with the Nomad type, then: INTJ (Introverted intuiting with thinking): These are the most independent of all types. They love logic and ideas and are drawn to scientific research. They can be rather single-minded, though. (Gen X is the first generation that studied sequential math (logic) as a requirement, and I can vouch for that)

This entry on Wikipedia is especially of interest to me as a Gen Xer, considering we fall under either Artist or Nomad: "The Artist-scientist is one of the Jungian archetypes in mythology. Like all of these archetypes, the artist-scientist is an abstraction of life and the human mind. While never as common as archetypes like the child or the Hero, the artist-scientist is immediately recognizable. They are a builder, an inventor, a seeker, a dreamer, and a thinker. Distracted by their own thoughts, they frequently have to be pulled in out of the rain. They are simultaneously vastly knowledgeable and yet innocent, impulsive yet cautious. They represent the wonder to be found in curiosity, and the dangers."

If the above applies to us as MBTI types, we could be INTJ (builder (of systems)), ENTP (inventor), INFP (seeker), INFJ (dreamer) or INTP (thinker). Because we are a niche group, the rare MBTI types would seem to fit the Gen X descriptions well.

I also need to point out that during the '80s when I grew up, it is often said the arts and sciences were discouraged or made more difficult to pursue; however, I believe I've done well in both, although arguably more in the arts since my favorite subject was music. They also say our math grades had dropped since the Boomer era, but in truth, our standards were made much higher, so the fact that our test scores were lower is like saying our amplifiers that only went up to 10 were not as loud as their amps that went up to 11. Sorry, I couldn't resist a Spinal Tap reference.

For a more in-depth analysis of Generation Theory and MBTI / Jungian Archetypes (including my theories on Baby Boomer, Gen Y (Millenial), Silent), please read my other post: Generation Theory = Jungian Archetypes , Pink Manhattan blog

Generation Theory = Jungian Archetypes


Generation Theory = Jungian Archetypes by Sali Oguri, Pink Manhattan blog

My thoughts on Generation Theory correlating with Jungian Archetypes (4 Temperaments, Myers-Briggs (MBTI)) have been vindicated!

Here is the chart listing the 4 generational archetypes according to the above link:

IDEALIST - Prophet. An inner-driven, moralistic generation which comes of age during a period of spiritual awakening and develops a new creedal passion. The Jungian "Prophet" archetype is dominant.

REACTIVE - Artist. An alienated, cynical generation which challenges the ideals of their parents and develops into pragmatic, risk-taking adults. The Jungian "Artist" archetype is dominant.

CIVIC - Hero. An outer-driven, morally complacent generation which institutionalizes many of the ideals of the previous generations. The Jungian "Hero" archetype is dominant.

ADAPTIVE - Nomad. A hypocritical generation which coasts along on the accomplishments of the civics, laying the groundwork for a new idealist era. The Jungian "Nomad" archetype is dominant.


Compare that to the Kiersey Temperament Sorter: Four Temperaments

Idealists are introspective and cooperative.

Artisans are observant and pragmatic.

Guardians are observant and cooperative.

Rationals are introspective and pragmatic.


In MBTIspeak, those archetypes would correlate to:
Idealist (Prophet) = NF Idealists
Reactive (Artist) = SP Artisans
Civic (Hero) = SJ Guardians
Adaptive (Nomad) = NT Rationals

Here is the chart correlating years of birth with extraversion and introversion:

Introverted
1776-1798
1824-1844
1871-1891
1919-1940
1973-1991

Extroverted
1798-1824
1844-1871
1891-1919
1940-1973
1991-

Now, the Myers-Briggs (MBTI) connection to Generation Theory would be as follows:

Prophets and Heroes are Extraverted:
Idealist (Prophet) = ENFJ, ENFP
Civic (Hero) = ESFJ, ESTJ

Artists and Nomads are Introverted:
Reactive (Artist) = ISFP, ISTP
Adaptive (Nomad) = INTJ, INTP

If we leave out the E/I dichotomy, then:
Idealist - ENFJ, ENFP, INFJ, INFP
Reactive - ESFP, ESTP, ISFP, ISTP
Civic - ESFJ, ESTJ, ISFJ, ISTJ
Adaptive - ENTJ, ENTP, INTJ, INTP



The birth years and correlation to being Liberal or Conservative:

Liberal
1765-1787
1801-1816
1829-1841
1861-1869
1901-1919
1931-1947
1961-1978
1993-2010

Conservative
1787-1801
1816-1829
1841-1861
1869-1901
1919-1931
1947-1961
1978-1993
2010-2026

These birth years should tell you whether your generation is likely Extraverted /Introverted (or Feeling / Thinking - I'll have to ponder this area some more).

Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millenials, Silents - How does it all fit in? Here's a rundown of the Generations:


G.I. (Civic) 1901-1924 (24 years)

SILENT (Adaptive) 1925-1942 (18 years)

BOOM (Idealist) 1943-1960 (18 years)

THIRTEENTH
("Generation X") (Reactive) 1961-1981 (21 years)

MILLENNIAL
("Generation Y") (Civic)



But here's a different table: Generations in History at www.fourthturning.com.

G.I.
1901-1924
Hero

Silent
1925-1942
Artist

Boom
1943-1960
Prophet

Thirteenth
1961-1981
Nomad

Millennial
1982-200?
Hero ?



No matter which table you use, you can figure out how each Jungian archetypical generation comes in a predictable cycle. Read more about Personality Theories of Carl Jung to understand how they all fit into psychology and MBTI type descriptions.

Boomer = They could fit either of these type descriptions:

ENFJ (Extroverted feeling with intuiting): These people are easy speakers. They tend to idealize their friends. They make good parents, but have a tendency to allow themselves to be used. They make good therapists, teachers, executives, and salespeople.
INFJ (Introverted intuiting with feeling): These are serious students and workers who really want to contribute. They are private and easily hurt. They make good spouses, but tend to be physically reserved. People often think they are psychic. They make good therapists, general practitioners, ministers, and so on.

Gen X = Artist: ISFP (Introverted feeling with sensing): They are shy and retiring, are not talkative, but like sensuous action. They like painting, drawing, sculpting, composing, dancing -- the arts generally -- and they like nature. They are not big on commitment.

If we're to go with the Nomad type, then: INTJ (Introverted intuiting with thinking): These are the most independent of all types. They love logic and ideas and are drawn to scientific research. They can be rather single-minded, though. (Gen X is the first generation that studied sequential math (logic) as a requirement, and I can vouch for that)

This entry on Wikipedia is especially of interest to me as a Gen Xer, considering we fall under either Artist or Nomad: "The Artist-scientist is one of the Jungian archetypes in mythology. Like all of these archetypes, the artist-scientist is an abstraction of life and the human mind. While never as common as archetypes like the child or the Hero, the artist-scientist is immediately recognizable. They are a builder, an inventor, a seeker, a dreamer, and a thinker. Distracted by their own thoughts, they frequently have to be pulled in out of the rain. They are simultaneously vastly knowledgeable and yet innocent, impulsive yet cautious. They represent the wonder to be found in curiosity, and the dangers."

If the above applies to us as MBTI types, we could be INTJ (builder (of systems)), ENTP (inventor), INFP (seeker), INFJ (dreamer) or INTP (thinker). Because we are a niche group, the rare MBTI types would seem to fit the Gen X descriptions well.

Furthermore, the Silent Generation would be the same kind of niche group as Gen X.

Millenial = Civic: ESTJ (Extroverted thinking with sensing): These are responsible mates and parents and are loyal to the workplace. They are realistic, down-to-earth, orderly, and love tradition. They often find themselves joining civic clubs!

Read about the Hero, Prophet, Nomad and Artist archetypes: Generational Archetypes: Introduction, Lifecourse Associates www.lifecourse.com

What Are Archetypes? - www.tatsbox.com



And there you have it. I have two points to make:

1. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to know that past history doesn't always repeat itself, nor determine the future. It's one thing to analyze history, but to predict the future based on a theory of an unchanging cycle of world events, and the characters of those generations, is irrational.

2. Wouldn't it be more fun to figure out the Jungian archetypes of individuals and study relationship dynamics, rather than simplify to this degree, to make blanket stereotypes about entire groups based on age? Culture, as it turns out, doens't belong to one age group at a time, but can actually be shared among all ages, if we're openminded and have no aversion to unfamiliarity, change, or stepping outside one's neighborhood.

Please, intelligent people of all ages: let's not treat generation theory as anything but theory, and stop judging anyone based on this outdated paradigm. Let's embrace the multicultural reality instead of attempting to put everyone in a predictable box.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Please see my other post for additional commentary on Gen X education in the '80s: Generation X = Artist-scientist Jungian archetype?, Pink Manhattan blog