18 August 2011


That's right, it's that time of the year. That time where the wool sweaters and the long sleeves disappear, to hibernate for another six months, and we get back the short sleeves, the skirts, the shorts and... the cleavages. Today's post was inspired by the portuguese Facebook group Adoro andar e ver um bom decote (I love to walk and see a good cleavage), where you'll be able to see some more opinions and considerations about that matter, but the biggest inspiration came from walking down the streets and realize that, indeed, they have come back. They came back, and they are surely a feast for our eyes, but as Jerry Seinfeld states in the above video, "Looking at cleavage is like looking at the sun: you don't stare at it, you get a sense of it and then you look away." Cleavages (as well as the reasons to wear them or to look at them) are a part of the most basic intuitive human nature, and they have always been a problem to those who hyperanalyze reality and tries to put it into words, like me. Either you get it immediately the first time, or you'll never get it. I tend to lean toward the latter, but I'm still gonna take a chance by answering two or three of the most common questions about this subject:

Question 1: Why do women wear cleavage revealing clothes, and yet scold the guys who are caught looking at them?
As you can imagine I'm not an expert on the matter, therefore I won't dwell too much in the answer. But my guess is that they know by nature that they have something that exerts this power over men and won't refrain from using it as they please. On the other hand, they must enjoy as hell to catch the other person red-handed and throw a typical "Hey, I'm up here!", hopelessly embarrassing him. But, then again, women are the ones that always say no when they mean yes, how am I supposed to know...

Question 2: Why are they always staring at their cleavages?
In a word: because they're ir-re-sis-ti-ble. And I don't mean irresistible in a romantic sense, but in the physical, literal sense of the word. To put simply, you just can't resist it. Here I have to resort to the most basic and primitive human instinct, it is something that cannot be understood nor justified. If there is a cleavage in the field of view of a man, he's gonna look at it. If he's talking face to face to a woman with a cleavage, then he's screwed, because he's gonna have a little irritating man in his head nagging him every 30 seconds and saying "look at the cleavage", "have you seen the cleavage?" "there's the cleavage, again", "did you forget the cleavage already?", taking out all the concentration on the subject at matter. No matter how many good intentions we had of trying to avoid looking at a cleavage, we couldn't have made it, because here's the thing: it's not really a question of "I have to stare at this cleavage, I cannot resist it", it's more a question of "huh? I'm looking at this cleavage? how did this happen?". To give you a point of comparison, just like you cannot avoid blinking from time to time because your brain tells your eyes to blink even without you knowing it, the male eyes are also attracted to cleavages without noticing, and only after a few seconds they realize what they were doing. Well, what they do after that is another thing, there are the ones who quickly look away, for safety, the ones who risk a little bit more to better assimilate the information, and those who keep "staring at the sun", risking severe retinal damage...

Question 3: Why is a cleavage seen on the street more interesting than a half-naked woman in the cover of a magazine?
This one deserves a more elaborate answer and may lead to different opinions. First of all, the facts: while cleavages are completely irresistible, as I mentioned above, naked women in magazine covers are not. It's just that, when you look at women in magazine covers, you have the feeling that they're all the same, that everything's already seen, that it's always the same stuff. When you look at cleavages, you also know that they're all the same, but you can't resist them anyway. Regarding the reasons for this, I have postulated two hypotheses: the first is the classic allure of 3D compared to 2D, or, putting things in another way, the fact that the cleavage we see is in 3 dimensions, it's real, it's near us, ultimately we could even touch it, opposed to a photo which is in 2D, virtual, not tangible. But the second hypothesis is certainly more interesting, and it is the fact that we are attracted by the possibility of being caught staring at the cleavage. Just like extramarital affairs and sex in public, the real excitement doesn't come from the act itself, but from the possibility of being caught in the act (even if, in practice, if that really happened they would be much more embarrassed than excited, and the thing wouldn't go very well). And obviously this is something you can't get by looking at a magazine.

For this reason, we find an interesting parallel between men and women, when it comes to cleavages: women rebuke men whenever they catch them staring, but deep, deep down, they like them to look. And men try to look as much as they can without being caught, but deep, deep down, they'd like them to notice. How something as simple as a cleavage can cause so many contradictions, is something that is outside my comprehension limits. Either you get it the first time, or you'll never be able to get it. There is no other solution other than appealing once more to the most basic and primitive natural human instinct, because that one couldn't care less why cleavages make this or provoke that, it simply tells us: "Bring them on!"

(versão portuguesa)

04 August 2011

Do we have to get to summer so that knives can cut through butter?

In the group of expressions that are particularly irritating is the expression "knives that cut through butter". Looks like a really smart thing to say, but deep down it's an expression completely devoid of personality, something that goes with everything but in reality doesn't explain much. Hearing the expression "knives that cut through butter" as an answer to a question doesn't leave me assured that my question was answered, on the contrary, it leaves me thinking of about a dozen other questions that I need to ask.

First of all, the very object of the expression is ambiguous. The expression may be used both to describe something that cuts easily ("this knife cuts the meat like if it were butter") and to describe something that doesn't cut well ("this knife only cuts butter"). So right there it raises the question: if the knives can cut butter easily, does that mean that they cut well or that they don't?

But that's not the main problem. The problem is where one assumes that every knife can cut butter. Or at least that it cuts it as easily as everyone says. Do you think that's true? I see you ashamed, refusing to admit it, but deep down each and every one of you know what I mean: Knives Can't Always Cut Through Butter! And everyone arrives to that brilliant conclusion when winter comes and it's freezing cold, or when someone forgets to take the butter out of the fridge. That is a hard and solid block, whose pieces that we cut are always bigger than the ones we wanted! If an alien came down to Earth and see this block of butter, it would find it hard to conclude that it was the easiest thing to cut with a knife.

Everyone knows this. But no one assumes this blunder, and people continue to say out there that it is easy to cut butter. The most conscious ones ended up inventing a series of euphemisms to keep the error from becoming so visible: "It's like a hot knife cutting through butter". "It's like a sharp knife cutting through butter." "It's like a knife cutting through soft butter". "This knife cuts butter in the summer". "This knife cuts butter in the tropics".

With so much additions and modifications, shouldn't we start to think that the problem is really with the butter? Can't you really get anything else easier to cut? Try cutting through pudding, or jello, or peeled banana, or flour, or bechamel sauce! Any of these things should be much easier to cut than butter. Believe me when I say that if someone told me that something "looked like a knife cutting through bechamel sauce", I'd be perfectly enlightened.

Have some common sense, and help me eradicate this urban myth from the history of mankind. And to give butter, which is not as weak as they say, its well-deserved respect.

(versão portuguesa)

03 August 2011

By the way...

My nickname is "J.". That is pronounced "J-dot". "Jota" is J in Portuguese, and djeidot would be the pronounce for "J-dot" written in Portuguese (if written in English it would be something like jaydot). I think that an English reader would pronounce djeidot the same way a Portuguese one, although I'm not certain of that. Maybe some day you can tell me.