Friday, January 30, 2015

Regina Spektor -- "You've Got Time" (2013)

The animals
The animals
Trapped, trapped, trapped 'til the cage is full

February will be here very soon, boys and girls.  And you know what that means, right?  It means that "29 Posts in 28 Days" will be here very soon.

As in previous years, 2 or 3 lines will celebrate February – the shortest month of the year – with daily posts (plus a bonus post on SuperBowl Sunday) instead of following its usual thrice-weekly schedule.

"29 Posts in 28 Days" always has a theme.  This year, it will have two themes instead of just one.

Today's post incorporates both themes – sort of.  It does so only indirectly, of course.  I'm a tricky fellow, and I'm not going to make it easy for you to figure out what the two themes are.  

The themes will usually be expressed in the title of the featured song, or the artists who recorded it.  But sometimes the quoted lyrics express the theme.  And on occasion – this post is an example – the theme is expressed elsewhere in the post.  (Like I said, I'm a tricky fellow.)

So good luck figuring out what the two themes of this year "29 Posts in 28 Days" are.  First one to come up with the correct answers will win lunch with yours truly, Mr. 2 or 3 lines himself.

Perhaps the most striking thing about the Netflix television series, Orange Is the New Black – which is set in a women's prison – is that none of the female characters look like the women you usually see on television or in the movies.  If you're looking for eye candy, I suggest you watch Entourage or Californication instead.

Orange Is the New Black has over 30 recurring female inmate roles.  They include white, black, and Hispanic characters – plus one very strange Asian woman.  Some of the prisoners are younger, and some are older.  Some are in good shape, but many are overweight – and a couple are very overweight.

Some are straight, and some are gay, while some are essentially straight but have sex with fellow inmates out of loneliness or simple erotic need.  One character is a transgendered woman, who is played by a transgendered female actress. 

Orange Is the New Black has received virtually unanimous critical acclaim.  It received 12 Emmy Award nominations after its first season, including one for "Outstanding Comedy Series."

The show has many funny moments, but it's hardly what most people would think of as a comedy.  However, the competition among drama series has been much tougher the last few years than the competition among comedy series.  Click here to read more about Emmy category shenanigans.  

The dramatic signature of Orange Is the New Black is its regular use of flashbacks to reveal the characters' backstories.  Those flashbacks give depth to the recurring characters, and make them three-dimensional individuals . . . warts and all.  Without the flashbacks, you'd have a hard time keeping all the characters straight.

Laura Prepon in her "That 70s Show" days
One of the lead characters is played by Laura Prepon, who I remember vividly from That '70s Show.  I had a pretty major crush on her back then, but she's barely recognizable as the same person who played Donna, the 19-year-old, redheaded girl-next-door who made That '70s Show must-see TV.  

"Alex" (Laura Prepon)
No one would call Prepon a girl-next-door type any more.  In Orange Is the New Black, she portrays a thirty-something drug dealer with loads of tattoos, horn-rimmed glasses, and black hair. 

The scariest character on the show is probably Tiffany "Pennsytucky" Doggett.  Pennsytucky is a skinny little redneck meth addict who had five abortions before she was locked up.  While in prison, she found Jesus and became an aggressive proselytizer.

I have a hard time not averting my gaze when Pennsatucky is speaking because she suffers from an advanced case of "meth mouth" -- the severe decay and other dental problems that methamphetamine users often exhibit.

"Pennsatucky" (Taryn Manning)
Pennsatucky is not a pretty sight, boys and girls, and the actress who portrays her (Taryn Manning) deserves a lot of credit for her willingness to look about as repulsive and unattractive as any female character I've ever seen on television.  (Kudos to the people who do her makeup.)

A shortened version of our featured song, "You've Got Time," plays during the opening credits of the show.  "You've Got Time" (which was nominated for a 2014 Grammy) was written and recorded by Regina Spektor, who was born in Moscow but moved to the U.S. with her parents and brother in 1989, when she was nine years old.

Regina Spektor
Spektor, who has recorded six studio albums, names the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Billie Holiday, Radiohead, Tom Waits, and Frédéric Chopin as her primary musical influences.  

"You've Got Time"was written specifically for Orange Is the New Black.  The lyrics – which are both clever and poignant – are an excellent fit for the show.

Here's "You've Got Time":

Click below to buy the song from Amazon:

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Shining – "Fisheye" (2010)

One, three, seven, five!
One, three, four, nine! 
Fisheye, fisheye!

A couple of years ago, an aging rockfish at the Vancouver Aquarium had his left eye removed because it had cataracts.

"Then," according to the Washington Post, " the bullying began."  Pretty soon, the rockfish was "starting to look a bit ragged and beat up."  It had loose scales, and kept to the bottom of the tank where it lived – in essence, hiding out.

Scientists at the aquarium saw that the other fish in the tank were picking on the one-eyed rockfish.  They noticed that it was missing its left eye, and so they attacked it from that side – its blind side.

Former Washington Redskins QB Joe Theisman suffered a gruesome injury when New York Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor sensed the weakness of the Redskins' left tackle and blitzed Theisman from his blind side.

Michael Lewis's book about left tackles, which he titled The Blind Side, opened with an account the Taylor-Theisman encounter.  It was a great book, and might have been a great movie . . . except someone got the bright idea of casting Sandra Bullock in a prominent role:

The best example of how males of the human species behave when they sense weakness in other males is what happens when a gentleman d'un certain âge escorts a much younger female to a party or a club.  The younger males – fancying themselves to be stronger and more virile – start to circle the couple, intending to separate the more mature male from his toothsome young companion.

It requires prompt and decisive action on the part of the elder man to establish his dominance over a younger rival.  One way to do that is to wreak physical havoc – perhaps deliver a swift kick to the 'nads.

But the most successful tactic for an older man who is faced with competition from younger men is to pull out his wallet and flash a thick wad of Benjamins backed up with an American Express black card.  That is usually enough to put an appreciative smile on the face of his frisky mademoiselle and send his callow young rivals home with their . . . um, tails . . . between their legs.

Of course, rockfish don't have Amex cards.  They don't even have wallets.

But the aquarium's head veterinarian was up to the task.  He gave the rockfish a prosthetic eye like the ones that are used by taxidermists when mounting trophy fish for showoff anglers.

Click here to watch a video about the rockfish surgery.

The rockfish's potential bulliers couldn't tell the difference between the fake eye and a real one, and no longer perceived the one-eyed Sebastes caurinus as a vulnerable weakling.  

"He's up in the middle of the tank," the happy veterinarian said.  "He's using the whole water column.  He's moving around in a normal way and interacting, looking like a happy fish."

Copper rockfish (Sebastes caurinus)
Rockfish (who are known as striped bass in my part of the world) can live to be 80 or even 100 years old.  

But most don't make it that long . . . because rockfish are delicious!  Click here for some tasty rockfish recipes.

If you've read this far, you should click on this link, which will take you to a Washington Post story about how zookeepers in Colorado used radiation therapy on a 40-year-old African penguin who had cancer.  

Two weeks after her treatment, the patient – a female named Tess – was reunited with her 33-year-old mate, Mongo.  (Awwwww!)

Shining is an avant-garde band from Norway that started out as an acoustic jazz quartet but has evolved into a larger and louder progressive-metal sort of group.  

"Fisheye" was released in 2010 on Shining's fifth studio album, Blackjazz.  

The song is a newer version of the seventh movement of the so-called "Armageddon Concerto" (original title: "Nine Nights in Nothingness – Glimpses of Downfall"), which was jointly composed by members of Shining and the Norwegian metal band, Enslaved.

According to one Norwegian critic, the "Armageddon Concerto" was inspired by Norse mythology, doomeday cults, and science fiction.  It describes the end of the world, the post-apocalyptic environment, and the birth of a new world.

Here's "Fisheye":

Click below to buy the song from Amazon:

Sunday, January 25, 2015

New Order – "True Faith" (1987)

When I was a very small boy,
Very small boys talked to me
Now that we've grown up together
They're all taking drugs with me

You won't hear that last line when you listen to "True Faith."  That's because Stephen Hague, the producer of this song, was afraid it would never get played on the radio if it included that line.  So he persuaded New Order's lead singer, Bernard Sumner, to change "They're all taking drugs with me" to "They're afraid of what they see" when he recorded it.

In a live performance in 1993, Sumner sang these lines instead:

When I was a very small boy
Michael Jackson played with me
Now that we've grown up together
He's playing with my willy

I don't remember if I heard this song on the radio when it was originally released (as a single) in 1987.  And I don't remember what brought it to my attention recently.  But it ended up on my iPod, and now it has ended up on 2 or 3 lines.  

I find "True Faith" totally irresistible despite the fact that it's a twitchy synthpop song that sounds sooooo dated.

But as bad as the music is, the lyrics are even worse.

Here's the first verse:

I feel so extraordinary
Something's got a hold on me
I get this feeling I'm in motion
A sudden sense of liberty
I don't care 'cause I'm not there
And I don't care if I'm here tomorrow
Again and again, I've taken too much
Of the things that cost you too much

(Say what?)

Ending both of last two lines of that verse in "too much" is a particularly inartful touch.  ("Inartful" is a particularly inartful word.)

New Order
I could quote the second and third verses, which are equally pointless.  But why take the time?

Here's the chorus:

I used to think that the day would never come
I'd see delight in the shade of the morning sun
My morning sun is the drug that brings me near
To the childhood I lost, replaced by fear
I used to think that the day would never come
That my life would depend on the morning sun

(Is it the morning sun or the shade of the morning sun that is so significant to the singer?  Those are two very different things, aren't they?)

Despite all that, I will probably listen to "True Faith" about five times in a row on my walk tomorrow morning.  I guess you could say it does something to me . . . something that simply mystifies me.  (Tell me – why should it be that "True Faith" has the power to hypnotize me?)

Click here to watch the truly bizarre music video for "True Faith."  It's the best music video ever!

Click below to buy the song on Amazon. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Atmosphere – "Bad Bad Daddy" (2011)

Daddy's too high
If I drive
I will probably catch a DUI

Today, an old friend of mine posted a link to an article titled "Your Child Is Acting Like An Asshole And It's Your Fault" on Facebook.

That article was a bit of a disappointment given how great the headline was.  Click here if you'd like to read it anyway.

I'm not sure that a child's misbehavior should always be blamed on his or parents.  But there are plenty of bad mommies and daddies out there, boys and girls.  Especially daddies.  (According to mommies, that is.)

A book about a bad, bad daddy
The singer of today's song is certainly a bad daddy.  After all, if he were a good daddy, would he take his children to a bar?

Sittin at the bar just minding my biz
I came down with all nine of my kids

And when good daddies do take their children to bars, they don't say this: 

Here, play with this pitcher of beer

The "Bad Bad Daddy" singer's nine kids are a handful:

Of course they start with the horseplay
And then it escalates . . .
Playin' with switchblades and matches
Pick pocketin' the cash and the plastic
Gettin' high out back by the trashcans
Tryin' to get the waitress to give a lap dance
That's a bad, bad daddy
It's no surprise when the bar's other patrons ask this question:

What the f*ck's wrong with all of your kids?

There's only one thing for a dad to do:

I can't control 'em
So I pretend I don't know 'em
Now let me celebrate and get drunk
'Cause my wife missed her period again this month

Atmosphere is a hip-hop group consisting of rapper Sean "Slug" Daley and DJ/producer Anthony "Ant" Davis.

Ant and Slug (Atmosphere)
"Slug" and "Ant" got together in Minneapolis in 1989, and the rest is history.  "Bad Bad Daddy" was released on Atmosphere's 2011 album, The Family Sign.

Here's "Bad Bad Daddy":

Click below to buy the song from Amazon:

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Frank Zappa – "Don't Eat the Yellow Snow" (1974)

Watch out where the huskies go
Don't you eat that yellow snow!

If you have a dog, and you walk that dog in the snow, you'll appreciate Frank Zappa's advice.

I have a vague memory of a "Confucius say" joke about not eating yellow snow.

Do you remember "Confucius say" jokes?  

Confucius say: "Wise man never play leapfrog with unicorn."

Confucius say: "Marriage like a bank account.  You put it in, you take it out, you lose interest."

Confucius say: "At nudist wedding, everyone know who best man is."

Confucius say: "Moo goo gai pan is Chinese for stray cat."

What about elephant jokes?  Elephant jokes were really big when I was a kid.

Q: What's gray and fights forest fires?
A:  Smokey the Elephant

Q:  Why don't pygmies walk through the jungle between 4 pm and 5 pm?
A:  That's when elephants like to jump out of trees.

Q:  What's there squishy brown stuff between elephants' toes?
A:  Pygmies who walked through the jungle between 4 pm and 5 pm.

If you remember "Confucius say" and elephant jokes, you probably remember "dead baby" jokes.

I just looked at a website devoted to dead baby jokes and read a few dozen of them.  (Ewwwww!)

"Don't Eat the Yellow Snow" is the first track of Frank Zappa's 1974 album, Apostrophe, which was the only Frank Zappa album I ever bought.

The first four songs on that album – "Don't Eat the Yellow Snow," "Nanook Rubs It," "St. Alfonzo's Pancake Breakfast," and Father O'blivion" – are loosely connected to one another and even more loosely connected to logic, reality, and making any kind of sense at all. 

Here are all four songs, which are sometimes known as the "Don't Eat the Yellow Snow Suite":

Click the link below to buy "Don't Eat the Yellow Snow" from Amazon:

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Wendy and Bonnie – "The Winter Is Cold" (1969)

Since you've been gone
The winter is cold, it's cold

Don't count on the weather being warmer just because this mysterious "you" person comes back.  I'm pretty sure winter's going to be too damn cold whether he or she comes back or not.

Wendy and Bonnie Flower were two sisters who grew up in Marin County, California – just north of San Francisco.  "The Winter Is Cold" was released in 1969 on the sisters' one and only album, Genesis.

The Flower sisters were working on a follow-up album in 1971 when Gary McFarland, a prominent jazz musician who produced Genesis and was part-owner of the record label that released it, was poisoned in a New York City bar.

Wendy and Bonnie's father, Arthur Flower, was a jazz drummer who spent years playing in the house band at Bimbo's 365 Club.

Bimbo's is one of the city's oldest nightclubs.  Everyone who is anyone has performed there: Sophie Tucker, Xavier Cugat and Charo, Louis Prima, Joey Bishop, Sid Caesar, Rodney Dangerfield, Totie Fields, Marvin Gaye, Neil Diamond, Glen Campbell, the Fifth Dimension, and Iggy Pop and the Stooges.  (According to the book, San Francisco: The Musical History Tour, Iggy jumped off the stage into the crowd one night wearing only bikini briefs, which a female audience member pulled off so she could "minister to Iggy's member.")

The Tubes, a 2 or 3 lines favorite, drew SRO crowds to Bimbo's for weeks in 1975.  Click here to read about the two Tubes shows I attended later that year at Harvard's Hasty Pudding Club.

Bimbo's is located on Columbus Avenue, which cuts diagonally through San Francisco's Chinatown and North Beach neighborhoods.  

If you walk the length of Columbus, you'll see the Purple Onion club (where Lenny Bruce, Woody Allen, the Smothers Brothers and others performed), the City Lights bookstore (founded by "beat" poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti), the magnificent Saints Peter and Paul Church (where Joe DiMaggio married his first wife), and the Condor Club, where Carol Doda pretty much invented topless dancing in 1964.  

Carol Doda was one of the first (if not the first) topless dancer to have silicone injections.  She reportedly had 44 silicone injections – a fitting number given that her bust size went from 34 to 44 as a result.  

The Condor Club's large lighted sign, which featured Carol Doda is all her topless glory, was a famous North Beach landmark when I lived in San Francisco in the early eighties.

(The sign had two red lights, which don't show up in the above photo.  Can you guess where they were located?)

I don't think I ever saw Carol Doda dance, but I have this promotional postcard I picked up there:

Wendy Flower released a new CD in 2013.  Click here to visit Wendy's website.

Bonnie Flower (who played guitar and sang harmony on Wendy's album) is working on an album of her own, and also produces painted glassware.  Click here to visit her website.

Here's one of Bonnie's vases:

Click here to listen to "The Winter Is Cold":

Click below to buy the song from Amazon:

Friday, January 16, 2015

George Hamilton IV – "Urge for Going" (1967)

When the sun turns traitor cold
And all the trees stand shivering 
In a naked row
I get the urge for going
But I never seem to go

(Been there, done that.  What about you?)

This is number two is a series of posts about winter-themed songs.  I'm not sure how long this series will last, but it could go right up until "29 Posts in 28 Days" starts up on February 1.  

Before I go any further, let me make one thing perfectly clear.

The late country singer George Hamilton IV – whose 1967 recording of "Urge for Going" is today's featured song – has nothing to do with the perpetually-tanned actor George Hamilton.

George Hamilton IV
George Hamilton IV was very successful, but wasn't in the same league as country music superstars like Eddy Arnold, Sonny James, George Jones, Buck Owens, or Conway Twitty.  (He had one #1 single – 1963's "Abilene" – while Twitty had 55.)

He started out as a pop singer.  He recorded his first record when he was a 19-year-old student at the University of North Carolina, and it made it all the way to #6 on the Billboard "Hot 100."  Three years later, he moved to Nashville, and in short order became a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

It seems somewhat surprising that it was Hamilton who first recorded "Urge for Going," which was written by Joni Mitchell.  Folk singer Tom Rush tried too get Judy Collins to record the song, but ended up recording it himself after Collins declined.  Crosby, Stills & Nash recorded the song in 1971, but didn't release it until 1991.  

Joni Mitchell
Mitchell herself released a recording of the song as a B-side in 1972.

Here's a video of Mitchell performing the song live:

I'm not a big fan of Joni Mitchell, although I would never deny that she's a very gifted songwriter.  Her songs are notable mostly for their words, and I believe that the most important element of a great pop record is the music, not the words.

The lyrics to "Urge for Going" demonstrate Mitchell's mastery of language.  But I think she tried a little too hard when she wrote that song.  I would have preferred lyrics that were a little less highfalutin' than the ones quoted at the beginning of this post:

When the sun turns traitor cold
And all the trees stand shivering 
In a naked row

Or these:

I awoke today and found the frost
Perched on the town
It hovered in a frozen sky
Then it gobbled summer down

That kind of thing works great in the pages of the New Yorker, but not as well on the radio.

The first verse of "Urge for Going" talks about how the singer gets the urge for going "when the meadow grass is turning brown . . . and winter is closing in."  The next verse is about the singer's lover, who feels the same "urge for going."  And in the next verse, the geese up and leave town:

See the geese in chevron flight
Flapping and racing on before the snow

The last verse is about summer itself:

I'd like to call back summertime
Have her stay for just another month or so
But she's got the urge for going 
So I guess she'll have to go

You may be able to talk another person out of going away after winter closes in.  But good luck trying to talk summer out of giving way to winter when the time comes.  

Here's George Hamilton IV's cover of "Urge for Going":

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Doors – "Wintertime Love" (1968)

Wintertime winds blow cold this season
Falling in love, I'm hoping to be
Wind is so cold, is that the reason?

I don't like the cold – I never have.  

And my dislike of the cold is getting stronger.  Each year, I find it harder and harder to get through the winter.  I'm hitting the thermostat harder this winter than I did last winter, and wearing more layers of clothing whether I'm inside or outside.

At this rate, I'm going to have to move to Florida or Arizona or maybe Qatar within the next five years.  Otherwise I'll either be driven into bankruptcy by my natural gas bills, or find myself so weighed down by wool, fleece, and down garments that I'll need help getting up from my chair.  

(Or both.)

Today's featured song is from the Doors' third studio album, Waiting for the Sun, which was released in 1968:

My high-school favorites were usually bands with a little more oomph than the Doors – like the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, and Creedence Clearwater Revival.

But I had a soft spot for the Doors.  I almost wore out my copies of Waiting for the Sun and their next album, The Soft Parade.

I loved songs like "Spanish Caravan" and "Yes, the River Knows" and "Wishful Sinful," which oozed cheap romanticism.  Jim Morrison could shovel poetic sh*t with the best of 'em, and I ate up his lyrics and Ray Manzarek's keyboard noodling with a spoon.

"Wintertime Love" is a peppy little waltz tune – not exactly what you'd expect a cold-weather dirge to sound like.  "Summer's Almost Gone," which is the song that precedes it on Waiting for the Sun, is slow and melancholy as all get out, but "Wintertime Love" makes you want to get up and shake a tail feather . . . until you listen to the words.

"Wintertime Love" is less than two minutes long, with only two verses and a chorus.  But it manages to incorporate the words "winter" and "wintertime" eight times, uses "cold" five times, and also works in "winds," "storm," and "blue and freezing."  (Mr. Mojo Risin' wasn't exactly subtle.)

Here's "Wintertime Love."  Try not to freeze your *ss off before the next 2 or 3 lines is posted.  And I'll try not to slide into a big Doors wallow for the next couple of weeks.

(That was a pretty random video, n'est-ce pas?  Do you see the comment on that video from "Natalie Wood," which asks "What is with the cows on the road?"  Go to 0:52 of the video and you'll see what "Natalie" – who I'm guessing is a city gal – is talking about.)

Click here to buy the song from Amazon:

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Rex Harrison – "A Hymn to Him" (1964)

Why can't a woman learn to use her head?
Why do they do everything their mothers do?
Why don't they grow up like their father instead?

I should really stick to the Washington Post's sports pages, restaurant reviews, and bridge column.  Reading the weekly "Outlook" section – which features opinion pieces by assorted loons, cranks, and bloviators – often gets me in trouble.

The damage that results from me reading "Outlook" would be minimal but for the fact that I publish a wildly popular blog.  It's like giving a teen-aged boy a case of beer and your car keys.  The case of beer alone or the car keys alone aren't that bad – but when you put the two together, you've got trouble, right here in 2 or 3 lines city (and that starts with "T," which rhymes with "P" . . . well, you know the rest).

Rex Harrison as Henry Higgins
Speaking of classic musical comedies, consider My Fair Lady, and our featured song, which was sung by the inimitable Rex Harrison in both the Broadway production and the movie version.  (Sir Rex won both a Tony and an Oscar for his portrayal of Professor Henry Higgins.)

The following lines from "A Hymn to Him" came immediately to mind when I was reading the "How to find a feminist boyfriend" piece that was featured on the cover of the most recent Post "Outlook" section.

(I beg your pardon if that title looks funny, but the Post largely eschews capital letters in headlines these days.)

Why is thinking something women never do?
Why is logic never even tried?
Straightening up their hair is all they ever do.
Why don't they straighten up the mess that's inside?

Why did I even read "How to find a feminist boyfriend"?  God only knows – but I did.

You'd be hard-pressed to find a more confused, muddle-headed piece of writing in the entire Sunday Post (except for the "Business" section column on raising the minimum wage that appeared the same day).  Click here if you'd like to read the whole thing for yourself.

(There were some snappy comments on the article.  One wag said that he (or she) saw many cats in the author's future, but not too many men.  Another suggested an alternate title for the piece: "How to Remain Single Until You're Maureen Dowd's Age.")

I'm not going to walk you through the entire article, although it's tempting.  So I'll bite my tongue rather than commenting on this line: "But how do you spot a male feminist if he's not at an abortion rights rally wearing a 'This Is What a Feminist Looks Like' T-shirt?"  

And I'll let this mystifying little bit of nonsense go: "Is he sexist if he cancels an Uber ride because a female driver is on her way to pick the two of you up?  (Definitely.)"  (Why in the world would even the most sexist male do that?  Is the author suggesting that sexist males think women shouldn't be allowed to drive, or that a female cab driver is more likely to get lost on the way to your destination?  Beats me.)

I don't disagree with the author's definition of a "feminist dater":

Feminist daters – male or female, gay or straight – aren't constrained by gender roles.  Anyone can do the asking-out, the feelings-confessing, or the initiating of any kind.

So far, so good.  But then Little Miss Pseudofeminist steps in it:

As for who picks up the check on a first date, let's obliterate the gender pay gap first, then put that one back up for debate.

Let's assume for the sake of argument that there were such a thing as a "gender pay gap."  Does that mean men should pay the tab on a first date?

Just because the average man makes more money than the average woman doesn't answer the question.  After all, there are going to be many, many dates where the female party makes more do-re-mi than the male.  (30 percent of the time?  40 percent?  More?)

Is the author suggesting that a male should always pay on the first date even if he makes half as much money as the female does as penance for the (alleged) "gender pay gap"?

Let's shift from the Washington Post to the Huffington Post:

New research presented at the American Sociological Association's annual meeting [in 2013] found that 84 percent of men and 58 percent of women say men pay for most entertainment expenses -- even after they have been dating for some time.  

(The actual number must be somewhere between those two figures, of course -- I'm guessing it's around 83 percent.)

And while 57 percent of women say they offer to help pay, 39 percent admitted that they hoped men would reject their offers, while 44 percent were bothered when men expected them to chip in.  Nearly two-thirds of men believe women should contribute to dating expenses.

(Shame on you, ladies -- I hope you have the decency to blush a little as you are reading this.)

"One of the reasons we are interested in looking at who pays for dates is because it is one arena where women may be resisting gender changes more than men," study researcher David Frederick, an assistant professor of psychology at Chapman University in California, told The Huffington Post. "As social roles start to change, people often embrace the changes that make their lives easier, but resist the changes that make their lives more difficult."

Frederick later restated that last point:

[M]any women resist changes to gendered practices such as chivalry, and paying for dates, because paying for dates places a burden on them.

Can you spell H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-S-Y?

Of course, that hypocrisy has a price:

One potential problem with embracing chivalry is that men who engage in more benevolent forms of sexism, like paying for a check, may also engage in more hostile forms, seeing women as subservient and acting negatively toward women who step outside of typical gender roles.
And finally, a finding that might surprise you:

On the whole, respondents' answers did not differ dramatically with age, although there were exceptions.  Younger men were more likely to agree that if they paid the bill, women should engage in sexual activity.  
(There's one more advantage of dating us enlightened old guys, ladies – we're more feminist than those young MCPs!)

Before you get all huffy about the male respondents to the research survey agreeing with the statement that they deserve sex because they paid for dinner, here's one final feel-good quote from the Huffington Post story:

"The good news is that the overwhelming majority of men disagreed with this statement," said Frederick.
(I'm guessing the overwhelming majority of men also would disagree with this statement: "Most women tell the truth about their bodies on online dating sites.")

A recent issue of Vogue magazine also examined the "Who pays for the first date?" question.  I hope that most of you women out there are not so hypocritical that you fall back on this kind of reasoning:

If you split the bill, does that mean a second outing is out of the question?  “I have no problem paying for my part of the bill on a first date if it’s implied, but I will say it’s a big turnoff,” shares one editor.  “A lot goes into getting ready for a date, so the least they could do is pay for dinner,” added another.  In the end, when you add up the blowout, the manicure, the wax, the new dress, and the lipstick, you might as well have paid for a five-course meal.

The brown-eyed-ness of Vogue editors apparently knows no bounds:

More than half of the [Vogue] staff agreed, you should always reach inside your bag once the check arrives – even if you don’t intend to pay.  “You do the fiddling, the shuffling, and give them enough time to reach for their own wallets to take care of the bill,” says one editor, “or else what’s the option?  Just sitting there and staring at them, waiting?  No, that’s too awkward.” 

To be fair, some of the Vogue staffers who were quoted in this story were stand-up gals:

Even if you don’t pay for dinner on the first date, there are always ways to bring something to the table.  “If we have to wait a little bit to be seated, I’ll treat the guy to a drink at the bar,” says one of our market editors.  Another staffer suggests inviting your date to an ice cream or some sort of dessert after leaving the restaurant as a nice gesture.  The point is, just because you’re not paying for dinner, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pay for anything.

(Are you kidding me?  Do you really think that if the guy picks up the tab for your T-bone, baked potato with all the fixings, and a nice bottle of rosé, you can get off the hook by buying him an ice cream cone?  Vogue editors must have been standing behind the door when the consciences were passed out.)

The answer to the "Who pays?" dilemma can be found in good ol' Emily Post:

[F]or a first date at least, the person who asks should pay unless both parties agree in advance to share expenses.

The author of "How to find a feminist boyfriend" believes that "dating like a feminist . . . often involves making the first move."  I wonder if she'll be feminist enough to pay for dinner when she makes the first move.

To paraphrase John F. Kennedy, "Ich bin eine Feministin."  Or if you prefer Louis XIV, "La féministe, c'est moi."

But if any of you doubt whether I am truly a feminist, you should know that I have two daughters.  It is my belief that no one is a truer feminist than a father of daughters.  

Here's "A Hymn to Him":

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