An amusing recent dream

It has been many months since I have posted.  I was spending too much time surfing LiveJournal, and not getting to more important responsibilities, so I quit cold turkey.  If I haven't replied to your posts in months, that is why.  I haven't seen them.

But I was emailing someone about a recent dream I had that I had found fascinating, and I remembered that lrc said the dream was worthy of a post on LiveJournal.  I hope that others are as amused by it as we were.  

I was dead.  The afterworld was entirely populated by women, no men in sight, and we were all clothes crazy.  Understand, none of us dead women looked like corpses, we looked like slender, attractive women "of a certain age,"  as the French say--forties or fifties.  We spent all our time going into clothing stores and examining cuts and styles and colors and fabrics, sometimes alone, and sometimes in chattering groups.  

If we liked the way something looked on us, we didn't have to pay for it, we just took the soul of the outfit, and left the material outfit behind. 

There was one hitch, though.  Sometimes a particularly beautiful living woman went into the store and tried on an outfit we had taken the soul of. If it suited her, the dead woman who owned the soul of that item of clothing would suddenly be yanked from whatever she was doing, and would appear in the store where the living woman was trying on the outfit. The soul of the outfit would waft through the air back into the material outfit, and the beautiful living woman turning and striding in front of the mirror would suddenly be luminous in her beauty.  

The dead woman would stand there in her slip, (fortunately, we dead women liked buying pretty underthings too, so the slip was always attractive in itself) looking on in dismay as a beautiful younger living woman walked away with one of her favorite outfits.

I particularly remember watching one of my dead friends, a slender, graceful, blond, German woman with delicate features who looked to be in her late forties. She suddenly appeared in a department store, stripped to her lovely peach silk vintage slip, as her dress's soul flitted onto the body of a plump dark Middle-Eastern-looking living woman in her early 20s.  

The expression of disbelief on the face of the blond delicate-featured older woman when her dress's soul chose a young woman so unlike herself still lingers in my memory.  I especially remember the sparkle in the young woman's eyes, and the way she turned and smiled and flounced in the mirror while her mother and sisters nodded approvingly. Also still vivid in my memory is the way the dead German lady's expression changed from disbelief to surprise, admiration, and regretful acceptance that the soul of her favorite dress had found its rightful owner.  Defeated, she walked from the store in her pretty peach slip, not even stopping to see if any other clothes in the store caught her fancy.

Getting older is a bitch.  Still, I may be of a certain age, and not as slim as I used to be, but at least I am still alive...

Interesting anonymous online test to take about your biases

So, I've been reading the book Blink, which talks about the importance of snap judgements in decision making, as opposed to the long encouraged rational analytical mode.  Because my mom is something of a loose cannon, who makes all kinds of sudden and often destructive snap judgements, and I've always been closer to my dad, who is deeply committed to the scientific method, I have tended to shy away from my intuitive responses, and overthink things.  Which can make me inefficient and indecisive.  Anyway, I've been fascinated by the book.  But that isn't the focus of my post.

The author talks about a set of studies that are run by Harvard University and available online.  The studies are designed to identify unconscious biases in people's beliefs.  In other words, while a person may like to think of themselves as color blind, are they more likely to see people of European ancestry as American, and people of Asian ancestry as foreign?  Are they more likely to see weapons as associated with African-Americans and harmless items as associated with European-Americans?  (For those of you reading this who do not live in the US, fear not, you can enter the site through different flags.) 

Anyway, I've been fascinated by the tests they give--it helps that for the most part my results have matched my conscious values pretty well, if I was getting results indicating I was a homophobic racist  I would be bummed.   Of course I'm well aware that everyone is steeped in a culture of stereotypes, and we all have to educate ourselves to overcome those prejudices, we can't just coast on our good intentions, so it is useful to learn areas where I do have work to do. 

Anyway, if anyone else is interested in trying these tests, they are anonymous, and this is the URL.

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Very interesting short video

No wonder our view of what (who) is beautiful is so skewed...

Don't know if the link I tried to embed worked...haven't done it before.  but if it doesn't, you can find it by pasting this link in your address line...

Hate crime that has barely been seen in the news...

On April 12th of this year, in a small, poor town in Indiana, a young man was beaten to death over the course of hours, by other young men who have since claimed they killed him because he propositioned one of them.   Before clicking on the links, I warn you, it is a really vicious, brutal crime, and the victim suffered for hours before his death.

Indiana has no laws for prosecuting hate crimes against gays and lesbians.  Some locals are saying such laws imply that a gay person's life is worth more than a straight person's life.  I would say that hate crime laws prevent murderers from claiming "gay panic" as a defense for murder and an attempt to gain sympathy from a jury they believe will be homophobic.  This story has gotten little attention in the local or national news.  Bloggers are mostly getting the word out. 

Here are a few links to local papers and blogs that have covered the story.

Also, a rather interesting reference to a psychological study that provides support for the theory that homophobic men are more likely to be repressing gay feelings than non-homophobic men.
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