Evolving Mores

Undies, Mother Teresa & Brazilian
Prostitutes: They All Got Upgrades

We all have expiration dates. In fact, pretty much everything about us, life and everything has a rotting point, beyond which it must evolve or it’ll dissipate. The same with clothing, reputations, and things people do for a living: it’s either reboot, or become as good as an old BlackBerry.
Take underwear, for instance. There’s no telling what they mean to so many, even those who don’t consider them a priority. Or Princess Di’s favorite poor of West Bengal, whose notoriety is under heavy artillery right now. As for the Brazilians, it’s all about professional improvement.
More often than not, change is good. One needs to keep on tiptoes if something will ever get done, and many a fine and exquisite way of doing things, in a certain, exquisite way, well, went the way of the Dodo. It simply couldn’t withstand these times of instant reward and viral videos.
Then again, some industries take advantage of this natural cycle to push their wares, as anyone who’s ever wondered why they wound up being stuck with this year’s model, when the one parked nearby is still running, would rush to tell you. We’d tell you more, but your smartphone probably would need an upgrade to put up with so much data.
In any event, we can’t help it. We crave the new, as long as it’s shiny, and smells fresh, and has a big logo, or set of functions, we’ve convinced ourselves we absolutely can’t live without. Even if last year’s is still perfectly fine, and running, and takes all calls, thank you very much. We just never care to pick it up.
So in anticipation of the new season, and whatever new crap they have in store for us, at a premium price, we’re got this first-world problems thing really down. After all, there’s something else common about these three themes that follow: they’re all much older than your mother.

It seems that everywhere you look, everything is getting an organic version of it. This wave of labels may have started with food, but now it’s spreading like a malware throughout the fabric of our society, to use a pompous old-fashioned dictum. To the point that such labels may as (more)
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* Old Underwear
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well be qualifying something else other than food. And they are.
While we’re all now longing for yet another one of those, the GMO classification on the products we consume, the ‘organic’ sobriquet is still a symbol of some kind of status, obviously devoid of any deeper meaning than to make you buy dirt as long as it has the word displayed next to its name. Whatever.
It’s not that we’re suggesting you to take down your undies and eat them, lest not be crass here. But according to E Magazine, ‘clothesmakers’ are gearing towards a new trend, of making their products more environmentally friendly, and we’re all for it. By the way, we’re all for wearing undergarments too, of course.
So it’s all about being green, you see? Small entrepreneurs saw a marketing opportunity to carve a coveted niche for themselves, while actually developing types of fibers and fabrics that are gentler on the earth, more easily biodegradable, and awfully grand subject to discuss at dinner parties and Bat Mitzvahs.
The battleground of this new frontier war for the eyes and bodies of the species: our own old private parts, naturally. It’s where many such battles already take place anyway. We doubt it’ll remain down there for long, though. These things always rise to the top, no pun intended. And many a hipster have been seen sporting organic T-shirts, already. Or else.

Talking about the old, let’s have one big, fat disclaimer before any of that pink smoke of indignation rises up with Da Vinci Code-like murderous intent: the timing of a new study on Mother Teresa‘s legacy is purely coincidental, and not even the Illuminati could’ve predicted that it’d come out just in time for that whole new pope business.
That being out of the way, the study of published writings by ethnic Albanian Roman Catholic nun Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu, by researchers Serge Larivee and Genevieve Chenard, of University of Montreal, and University of Ottawa’s Carole Senechal, did raise some pretty unholy conclusions, though.
Her pious and poor-devoted image ‘was constructed’ by the church, and the process for her beatification was ‘orchestrated by an effective media campaign,’ the researchers say. They also charge ‘her rather dubious way of caring for the sick, her questionable political contacts, and her suspicious management of the enormous sums of money she received.’
For them, neither Mother Teresa nor the Vatican were particularly interested in curing the people under her care, or trying to improve their miserable social status. It’d also be hard, judging by the appalling lack of hygiene, and ‘shortage of actual care, food and painkillers,’ in the over 500 facilities she was running at the time of her death, in 2007.
That’s downright unexplainable since her Order of the Missionaries of Charity had raised ‘hundreds of millions of dollars,’ according to the study. But showing that the good mother knew what was best for her, when she got sick, unlike the treatment those seeking her help had received, she was treated ‘at a modern American hospital.’

Keeping up with the theme of things that never change, others that are just plain rotten, and much that’s ready for an improvement, in Brazil, workers of the world’s oldest profession are demonstrating a business acuity that not even the government and the country’s corporate class has been able to match.
Brazil’s getting ready to host this summer the Confederations Cup, the next, the World Cup, and in two years, the Summer Olympics, three major sports events. They’ll certainly attract a massive inflow of discriminating tourists and visitors who, as those things go, will need to be entertained, and have lots of ‘happy endings’ within the Brazilian shores.
So, while the government and investors are lagging in the major public works and logistics, crucial for the magnitude of such events, what’s an enlightened sex worker to do, in the meantime? What, do their part, of course, by learning English and other languages, just so to provide an even better experience to those deep-pocketed but lonely foreigners.
In a country where prostitution is a regulated profession, that’s exactly what the Belo Horizonte City’s trade group is planning on doing: organizing group classes to be offered to its members. Other cities may follow the standard set at the capital of Minas Geraes state, no doubt, although it’s very likely that Rio and São Paulo are already up to speed.
It’s indeed a pragmatic, and clever, way of dealing with a social activity like any other, except perhaps for the level of physical intimacy required by clients and providers. With the regulation, prostitution came out of the seedy shadows and became an important beacon to many adjacent social causes, such as women’s and sex minority rights, public health and education.
Demand for such multilingual, specialized services during the games is expected to be steady. After all, however imbued of sports fever or nationalistic fervor, travelers and locals will still need care and companionship. And whereas what goes on inside bedrooms is private and underwear-optional, it’s very likely that anything resembling suffering will be entirely by request.
(*) Originally published on March, 19, 2013.

2 thoughts on “Evolving Mores

  1. unclerave says:

    It’s a good thing the Puritans did not settle Brazil, Wes! Of the three societal “sins” that I grew up with, I always felt that prostitution wrongly carried the most stigma. I’ve long felt that if it were legalized/regulated and taxed here there would be much less anxiety about sex, probably less rape/abuse/trafficking, and probably a lot less divorce. I feel largely the same way about “drugs”. Legalize, regulate, and tax it, and you can eliminate the criminal aspect of it. But what does the good old US of A decide to legalize? Gambling! I feel that gambling has THE most potential for destroying a family’s life, but our society likes to romanticize those kind of risk takers. We deny a (mainly) woman’s right to use her body anyway she sees fit, and we force people into consuming tobacco and alcohol because those industries are so entrenched in this country.

    And, the canonizing and beatifying of saints has always been more a matter of politics than actual “faith”.

    How many washes do you get out of the biodegradable undies???

    — YUR

    Liked by 1 person

    • Colltales says:

      That’s so interesting and I couldn’t agree more. Unfortunately, the tropic-liberalism goes only so far, as prostitutes or drug addicts are treated like garbage, if they’re poor, or often, minority, or as daring ‘entrepreneurs,’ if successful, just like anywhere else. As for Mother Teresa’s undies, well, let’s just not get there.. Cheers


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