I Just Love A Good Vatican Scandal!

(Channeling Mark Russell, and wishing I could channel Tom Lehrer…)

The Vatican is rocked by scandal!
No more singing Bach or Handel;
Finding men to suit demand’ll
Get you in the end!
Caught on wire as he confesses
Finding dates for men in dresses;
Hold the tape and stop the presses,
Better to attend!

What’s the problem? Prostitution;
Finding, matching, distribution,
Knowing later absolution
Wipes you free of sin!
A chorister who likes duet work
Organized a proper network
Told the gigolos they’d get work;
“When can you begin?”

With ornate bedposts, leafed with gold, and sheets of finest satin
Your tips are better, we are told, if you can moan in Latin.

He’s lost the high ground in these quarrels
No more resting on his laurels;
If the Pope should speak of morals,
We can roll our eyes.
Throughout time, since Eden’s apple,
Till the current papal grapple,
Seems the urge to fuck a chap’ll
Always get a rise!

Hat tip, PZ, of course.

Botany Is Destiny

Sigmund Freud (in)famously opined that “anatomy is destiny”, that (to oversimplify greatly) one’s personality and one’s potential were, to a large part, determined by what equipment one possessed between one’s legs. Penis envy (he has one, and I don’t!), castration anxiety (she doesn’t have one, maybe they’ll cut mine off, too!), and other Freudian concepts stem directly from whether you are an innie or an outie (so to speak).

The phrase has evolved a bit, and now is also seen as “biology is destiny”, with somewhat fewer genital-related shades of meaning, but the earlier meaning is sometimes (often? I have not done a thorough review, so cannot say) lurking just under the surface. Whether our reasons are Freudian or Darwinian, there seems to be enough interest in that one set of complementary organs to support several industries… and the continuation of life as we know it.

We have long known that the brain includes multiple areas involved in face-detection; I begin to wonder if the entire rest of the brain might not be involved in genital-detection. We see them everywhere.

Take plants. I have a cousin, an artist, who (decades ago) exhibited a number of paintings of plants, and of close-ups of parts of plants. It probably won’t surprise you to know that a split-open peach pit, in the proper perspective, will make the vast majority of a family gathering blush. It looks quite like the anatomical wall chart I once saw at an OB-GYN’s office. Robert Heinlein’s “Notebooks of Lazarus Long” includes a phrase that puzzled me when I first read it: “Have you noticed how much they look like orchids? Lovely!” And more recently, PZ Myers’ “Wednesday Botanical” posts have included both phallic and yonic photos (or perhaps that is all in my perception).

Oh, underused powers
Of beautiful flowers;
They tantalize, tempt, and entice,
Whether insect or human,
When flowers are bloomin’
There’s something that makes us look twice.

The curves I adore, kids,
I oft find in orchids
(Such flowers are dear to our hearts)
It’s not quite the same in
A pistil or stamen
But sometimes, it seems, parts is parts.

In just the right lighting
It’s rather exciting
When beautiful form follows function
In plant pollination
Or *our* fornication
When parts can perform in conjunction

That such an attraction
Creates a reaction
Is fact that a blind man could see
You might think me crazy–
I’m off to find Daisy
To ask if she’ll just let me bee.

Cuttle-fish, Cuttle-fish, Cuttle!

First, the only viddy I could find with John Reed–from The Mikado, the beautiful “Willow, Tit-Willow” (and unless you are already familiar with the song, you need to watch it before continuing):

Unbelievably, this is is the only John Reed video I could find online! I can only hope that his fans will remedy the situation in the coming days.

Meanwhile, the organ which passes for my brain began twitching uncontrollably, and produced the following, purely fictional (I assure you!), work:

In a random encounter, a skeptical lass
Said “Cuttle-fish, Cuttle-fish, Cuttle–
There’s a DNA helix tattooed on my ass,
Oh Cuttle-fish, Cuttle-fish, Cuttle.
And because it’s a picture in sepia ink,
I thought I’d show *you*, just to see what you think
Then she turned on her heel, with a mischievous wink:
Oh, Cuttle-fish, Cuttle-fish, Cuttle!”

So I said “As a skeptic, you know what I need.”
Oh, Cuttle-fish, Cuttle-fish, Cuttle!”
“It’s evidence only, a skeptic must heed.”
Oh, Cuttle-fish, Cuttle-fish, Cuttle!”
“There are times when reality’s not what it seems,
But a manifestation of innocent dreams,
And you’ll melt into moonlight on watery beams”
Oh, Cuttle-fish, Cuttle-fish, Cuttle!”

As I followed along, she continued to flirt,
Singing “Cuttle-fish, Cuttle-fish, Cuttle!”
My attention she drew to the hem of her skirt–
Oh, Cuttle-fish, Cuttle-fish, Cuttle!”
Then she hypnotized me, with her magical tune,
And discreetly she showed me a lovely half-moon…
And I heard, through a fog, as I started to swoon…
Oh, Cuttle-fish, Cuttle-fish, Cuttle!”