So, in the interests of taking a break from the waking nightmare that has become Life in America, I thought I’d tackle other, lighter subjects, in my usual, Alfred E. Neuman way. Specifically, pedophilia, impossible standards of beauty, and sexualizing your grandmother. Spoiler alert: things are only going to get weirder.

In light of recent revelations regarding one J. Epstein (I’m not going to get into the circumstances surrounding his suicide; all I’ll say is, the suicide watch ended in July, and, as a friend pointed out, the unifying factor of all sociopaths is an ability to make people think they’re something they aren’t), hard on the heels of revelations regarding Harvey Weinstein and other Hollywood moguls, hard on the heels of… Okay, I think it’s safe to say that we have some problems regarding consent and sexual behavior in this country.

I would have thought that, if there was a line in the sand, it was, “Do not rape children.” Another one would be, “Do not kidnap children.” Putting those two, rather solid life-rules together, we’d arrive at, “Do not kidnap children for sexual purposes.” Apparently, we can’t even get that one right, as long as you have a large Rolodex and a billion dollars.

We’ve had problems with pedophilia for centuries (probably longer, but I’m too lazy to check if there are any Babylonian stone tablets on the subject), and we’ve had problems with impossible standards of beauty. Most conventional sources define pedophilia as an issue that arises when an individual has a break-down in their ability to relate to adults. When I was diagnosed with a terminal disease, I was lucky enough to have oncologists who knew that standard treatments only worked 5% of the time, so they didn’t even bother starting with standard treatments (they included them in my treatment protocol, but they didn’t start at the standard and hope for the best). I am still alive. In that same vein — if the standard approach doesn’t work, don’t bother with it, I’d like to discuss pedophilia in regards to our culture’s view of beauty and sensuality. If I tell you to imagine a beautiful woman — or an attractive man — chances are, you’re going to imagine someone with sharp features, well-defined muscles, and the usual run-way model looks. Chances are, that person is going to be under thirty. I think, somehow, the correlation between youth and conventional standards of beauty got flipped so that younger people automatically start being viewed as sexier than the rest, and, eventually, you wind up at Toddlers in Tiaras (which is beyond messed up, but that’s an entire abnormal psychology textbook unto itself). There are any number of ways to address this issue, but, obviously, they aren’t working. I have a modest solution: make wizened women the new beauty standard. Stick with me on this one.

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Source; Game of Thrones, obviously. Also, meet your Playmate of the Month for August. Turn-ons include black magic, vaguely prophetic visions, and destroying the White Walkers

I think we’re really close to this one, what with the introduction of cougars into the mainstream lexicon. One problem: although I’m not about to deny anyone their harmless sexual preferences, most of these women (in media portrayals, anyway) are extremely attractive, by conventional standards, they just happen to be over 35. That’s an unacceptably unattainable standard to perpetuate. Two weeks after she dies, Dolly Parton will still be far more physically attractive than me or most people I’m ever likely to meet. That’s not a knock on me or people who know me, just noting that saying, “Impossible standards are being met by a select few older women” probably isn’t a helpful view.

I think we have to go a few steps further and make crow’s feet and jowls sexy. That’s right, beautiful people who just happen to be old should not be what we aspire to be. We should age, disgracefully, and then be held up as L’Oreal’s new, inclusive vision of beauty.

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Source: Robin Hood (1991) by way of Twitter. Bonus pop culture reference; “What are we to expect next; a cosmetic verruca?”

That’s right, the new standard for sensuality should include an organic brain disease, walker, and ability to use spells to get those damned kids off the lawn (bringing hexy back, so to speak). As far as impossible standards of beauty and self-care; ladies, you’d better take damned good care of yourselves, starting now, if you’re going to make it past 95 (the prime crone years)(source needed). And, if you think a thigh gap with D cups is ridiculous, try navigating the world with one eye, eight fingers, one good ear, and a tenuous grasp on reality.

I don’t know. That might not keep sexual predators in check, but we’ve tried rational, sensible solutions (to some extent). I say it’s time to meet madness with madness (and some Macbeth references). Or, at least, make the predators afraid to go out when there’s a full moon.

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Science journalist, cancer survivor, biomedical consultant, the “Wednesday Addams of travel writers.”

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