LONDON — One of the enduring images of the 2008 Beijing Olympics is the primal scream that Michael Phelps uttered on the pool deck when Jason Lezak, seemingly seized by an out-of-body experience, delivered a swim for the ages.
In overtaking France’s Alain Bernard, Lezak — who swam 100 meters in 46.06 seconds — secured relay gold for the United States and, not so incidentally, kept alive Phelps’ historic chase for eight gold medals.
That day in Beijing, Phelps threw his arms up toward the sky as if he were signaling a touchdown by his favorite team, the Baltimore Ravens. Garrett Weber-Gale, who had raced the second leg of that relay, grabbed Phelps from behind as if he were about to body-slam him to the deck, or punch him, or something. The French, just over to the side, looked on in stunned silence.
Revenge, you know, is so délicieux.
Yannick Agnel, who is just 20 years old, gave France its Lezak moment Sunday night at the Olympic pool, not just tracking down Ryan Lochte — Ryan Lochte! — but reeling him in and thrashing him by a full second to give France the victory in the men’s 4×100 freestyle relay.
The win is France’s first in the history of the event. Not only that — it’s France’s first relay victory of any kind, men or women, in the history of the Summer Olympics.
The winning time: 3:09.93.
The U.S. took silver, in 3.10:38.
Russia got the bronze, in 3:11.41.
Australia, which had widely been expected to not only contest for a medal but for the win, inexplicably finished fourth.
The silver serves as a marker of sorts for Phelps. It is his 17th Olympic medal. He needs one more to tie Russian gymnast Larisa Latynina, two more to become the most-decorated Olympic athlete of all time. It is also the first silver medal in his Olympic career; he has 14 gold medals and two bronze.
The 4×100 men’s free relay is a key touchstone for the U.S. national program, laden with history and tradition. The swimmers and coaches take it tremendously seriously, and after the Australians thrashed the Americans at the 2011 world championships in Shanghai, great care and thought was given to 2012 race plan and strategy.
Last year in Shanghai, the Australians won the relay. France took second, the U.S. third.
The Americans had won the 400 free relay at the 2005, 2007 and 2009 world championships — Adrian bailing them out in Rome in 2009 with a stirring anchor leg — and of course in Beijing in 2008.
In recent years, Phelps typically had gone first in the relay. That’s the leg he swam in Beijing, for instance.
Here, though, he went second.
The reason: James Magnussen, the Aussie lead-off man, is the open 100 world champ. The Americans countered with Nathan Adrian, the fastest U.S. 100 sprinter.
Magnussen went 48.03 Sunday night. Adrian gave Phelps the lead, with 47.89.
Phelps then ripped off a 47.15, which would prove the fastest U.S. time Sunday evening, and ought to put an unequivocal and immediate stop to the ridiculous talk after the 400 IM about whether he was through.
“I felt a lot better today than I did yesterday. i mean, I was happy,” Phelps said, meaning about his swim itself. “I was able to put yesterday behind me and kind of move on t today. hopefully we can just move forward from here and keep heading in the right direction.
Cullen Jones went next. He was on the 2008 relay, too. Here he went 47.6.
When he jumped in, Lochte had a lead of 55-hundredths of a second.
This was not Lochte’s only swim Sunday evening. Roughly 85 minutes earlier, he had raced the semifinals of the 200 free, easily qualifying for the final.
At 350 meters, Lochte still had a lead — but it was down to 30-hundredths of a second.
Over the final 50 meters, it was déjà vu all over again. Just this time, it was a French guy running down an American guy.
And a few seconds later, on the deck, it was a bunch of French guys screaming for their lives.
Lochte swam his 100 in 47.74. There’s zero shame in that. Anything under 48 is more than world class.
Agnel just did it in 46.74.
“We knew the Australians would be strong, but they were very nervous, perhaps like us in 2008,” Clement Lefert, who swam the third leg for the French, said, according to Associated Press. “We were very relaxed, like the Americans in 2008.
‘And four years later, we got our revenge.”
Lochte offered no excuses. He said, “I mean, the 100 free, I don’t really swim it — haven’t swum it in a long time, so I think I was really excited. I think I over-swam the first 50, which kinda hurt me the last 50.”
He also said, “You would think, doing distance events, I wouldn’t get tired. But sprinting definitely takes a lot out of you. I made that mistake. We were able to get a medal. I guess that’s good.”
Just not good enough. nbcolympics
Monthly Archives: July 2012
LONDON — One of the enduring images of the 2008 Beijing Olympics is the primal scream that Michael Phelps uttered on the pool deck when Jason Lezak, seemingly seized by an out-of-body experience, delivered a swim for the ages.
The crowd at the Olympic Aquatics Centre arrived late, as if they were trying to stall off the inevitable. Anyone with a prized ticket to the first big showdown of the London Games had to know Michael Phelps was in trouble earlier in the day when he barely qualified for the final of the event he owns two gold medals in.
That was a shocker, but what happened Saturday night in the Olympic pool was simply mystifying. No self-respecting London bookie would have even dared to lay odds that the greatest swimmer in the world – no, make that the greatest swimmer ever – wouldn’t even win as much as a bronze medal in his first race in these games.
The great swimming showdown to open the Olympics was a giant bust – unless, of course, your name is Ryan Lochte. The surfer dude from Florida dominated the 400-meter individual medley from the opening stroke, making an early case for himself as the face of swimming in these games while thrashing a guy he never used to be able to beat.
And in the process, Lochte may have shattered the Phelps mystique once and for all.
Untouchable in Beijing. Oh, so human in London.
This wasn’t just a loss, it was a blowout. By the time Phelps finally touched the wall in fourth place, Lochte had been resting there for more than 4 seconds – an eternity in swimming.
What followed next was almost as revealing. While Lochte celebrated, Phelps climbed slowly from the pool, like it was a chore just to make it out. He then trudged off to answer a few questions from reporters and try to figure out where it all went wrong.
Worn out already, and six races still to go.
“It was just a crappy race,” Phelps said by way of explanation “I felt fine the first 200, then I don’t know.”
Not surprising, if only because the athlete is always the last one to know. At age 27 Phelps has a lot of mileage under his long arms, a lot of history to have to live up to. He’s been swimming for medals since the 2000 Olympics in Sydney and seemed almost giddy when he tweeted on Friday that he had finished his last practice as a competitive swimmer.
Maybe he didn’t have the fire inside for training. Maybe he’s starting to slow just a bit from the wear and tear.
Or maybe he just had what he claims he had – a bad day.
Lochte would be among those interested in finding out. He once lost 17 straight races in the 200-meter individual medley to Phelps, and the two meet Wednesday in that race in their only other confrontation in the games.
“I’ll tell you what, it’s weird. It’s weird not having Michael next to me on the medal stand,” Lochte said. “Michael to me is still one of the world’s greatest … and no matter what happens he’ll go down as one of the world’s greatest.”
Phelps was always taking a chance that he might be swimming in one Olympics too many, surely one 400-meter IM too many after declaring four years ago that his win in that event would be his last. The draw of these games was too much, though, with a chance to add to his haul and become the all-time greatest medal winner in Olympic history.
He’s got plenty of races left to do that, if things remain according to plan. Six in all, and all he needs is three medals to surpass the record of 18 won by Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina. There’s a chance he can even add to his total of 14 gold medals, which is five more than the second-best number on the list.
“The biggest thing now is to try to look forward,” Phelps said. “I have a bunch of other races, and hopefully we can finish a lot better than how we started.”
It’s not going to hurt his legacy if he doesn’t. That’s already encased in gold, the six he won in Athens and the record eight he grabbed in Beijing, when he set Olympic records almost every day. He surpassed Mark Spitz there to claim the title of best swimmer ever, and it’s going to be a long time, if ever, before someone takes it from him.
Spitz took his seven medals and retired, content to make a living off his brilliant performance in Munich. Phelps has made a pretty good living himself, despite the fact he’s an introvert with little charisma until the moment he gets into the water.
He came back for one last Olympics expecting great things because, well, he’s always done great things. Aside from his first Olympics – when he was a 15-year-old qualified in just one event – he won medals in every Olympic race he had ever been in before Saturday night. The total was both staggering and historic – 14 gold and two bronze in 16 races – so much so that he makes the short list of any compilation of greatest Olympians ever.
That’s what made it so hard to watch for a crowd that, once it arrived, was pumped for one of the hottest matchups of the games. Phelps didn’t exactly flounder in the water, but he fell behind early to Lochte and then was passed by two other swimmers before finally finishing in 4:09.28, well off the world record of 4:03.84 he set in China.
It’s too early to declare him finished, too soon to say he’s washed up. But there’s a crack in the facade, something that should give hope to anyone competing against him over the next week.
“A lot of people say Michael is inhuman, but you know what?” Lochte said. “He’s just like all of us.”
He wasn’t in Beijing, hasn’t been for a long time.
All it took was one night at the pool in these Olympics to change that. Copyright Associated Press
By Alex P. Vidal
LOS ANGELES, California – While the US Olympics team uniforms were provoking much amusement, discussion, outrage, and eye-rolling in one of the United States’ largest apparel design and manufacturing hubs here over the fact that outfits were made in China, the small Philippine contingent is set to parade in the 2012 London Summer Olympic Games opening ceremonies on July 27 proudly behind the made in the Philippines Barong Tagalog uniforms.
The Philippine Olympic team composed of track athletes Marestella Torres and Rene Herrera; swimmers Jasmine Alkhaldi and Jessica Lacuna; boxer Mark Anthony Barriga; BMX rider Daniel Caluag; judo practitioner Tomohiko Hoshina; shooter Brian Rosario; and weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, will wear the barong Tagalog designed by one of Manila’s top fashion designers, Rajo. Laurel.
Josephine Cuneta reported in the Wall Street Journal Southeast Asia that Laurel has been chosen by the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) to design and create clothes for the Filipino athletes during the opening ceremonies of the London Olympics.
His plan is reportedly a modern-world makeover of the traditional Philippine barong Tagalog which is an embroidered formal shirt, typically worn untucked, and commonly used at Philippine ceremonial events. It is widely seen as one of the more distinctive visual elements of Philippine culture.
Laurel said the typical barong is steeped in tradition dating back to the 1600s. Some say the shirt – which sometimes uses a sheer, see-through fabric made out of pina fabric (a textile derived from pineapple leaves) – was forced upon locals by Spaniards during the colonial era so that any hidden weapons could be kept in plain sight. Others say it stemmed from a desire to have loose, breathable and comfortable garments in the Philippines’ tropical heat, with the fine embroidery coming later.
Laurel invoked “simplicity and elegance” for choosing barong Tagalog, it was reported.
“I want to pay great respect to the tradition of the garment. I’m just going to give it a more tapered fit, a slightly cropped length and small fabrication changes. Headwear (inspired by Filipino tradition also) will feature in the design,” Laurel was quoted in the report.
Cuneta said Laurel, whose work has been worn by American supermodel Tyra Banks, said he’s using black, gold and mocha as primary colors for the stylized barong Tagalog, in a rayon fabric to give it a more modern feel (and to help keep the athletes warm in London’s cooler climate). The embroidery will feature a modern design with dark cobalt and blue threads symbolizing good fortune and luck. The barong Tagalog will be paired with weight wool flat front trousers, he said.
The main accessory for the small contingent of nine Philippine athletes and 13 officials will be a salakot – a traditional wide-brimmed hat, often made with rattan or reeds – with gold leaf that Laurel hopes will catch the light as the Filipino representatives enter the stadium.
Here in Los Angeles, the decision of American sports authorities to have the red, white and blue uniforms manufactured in China has provoked a storm of criticism in Congress, where “made in America” is always a popular election-year theme, according to Los Angeles Times.
“The issue has rippled across the nation with frustration, resignation and understanding as the preppy outfits unveiled this week drew some unexpected attention,” LA Times reported.
In response to the controversy, Ralph Lauren Corp. has announced that it was committed to producing Team USA uniforms for the 2014 Winter Olympics in America.
The company announced: “Ralph Lauren promises to lead the conversation within our industry and our government addressing the issue of increasing manufacturing in the United States.”
Saying she was “appalled” that New York-based Ralph Lauren did not manufacture at least a part of the Olympic uniform in America, Galina Sobolev, the designer of high-end Los Angeles clothing line Single, quipped: “It’s unpatriotic, and it really speaks very poorly for what we represent as Americans if we send our Olympic team to London wearing garments made in China.”
She added: “The Italians would never have their uniforms made in China, they would make them in Italy.”
Rodolfo Vera Quizon, Sr., OGH, (July 25, 1928 – July 10, 2012)
Dolphy, or Rodolfo Quizon Sr., passed away Tuesday at 8:34 p.m., at the Makati Medical Center, thus ending one of the longest and most colorful lives and careers in Philippine show business history. He was 83 and about to turn 84 on July 25. Dolphy starred in over 100 movies, including several reprising his lovable lead character in John en Marsha, a long-running television show. He is survived by 18 children with six different women.
By Alex P. Vidal
LOS ANGELES, California – I thought I would be seeing for the first time a great professional athlete agonizing in defeat and crying without tears.
Tears did not flow from Andy Murray’s eyes until he was able to finally hiss a plethora of “aaaaaah” and “hmmmm” while holding the microphone during the awarding ceremony as crowd that included some of the most prominent figures in London cheered him.
My heart goes out for Murray who finally let loose his tears following his failure to nail this year’s Wimbledon title in Wimbledon, England losing to Roger Federer in a nerve-tingling 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 championship Sunday, July 8.
The championship appearance against the same man who subdued him in three other major titles was too much for the 25-year-old British right-hander as he was under tremendous pressure to conquer the most prestigious tennis tournament in the world as host player.
It was apparent the Scotland-born Andy, who began playing at three, was emotionally burdened when realization that he had been conquered in his own territory beckoned.
As a Briton, he was expected to record history and create a stir in the most prominent grass court in the world especially that the World Summer Olympic Games was scheduled to unwrap weeks later. A young and charismatic tennis player with 22 singles career titles, what a feting honor for Great Britain had he won this year’s Wimbledon title while the universe awaits the opening of the biggest summer sports conclave weeks later.
Inside the stadium, Prince William’s wife, Kate, sat in the Royal Box along with David Beckham, British Prime Minister David Cameron and a slew of former Wimbledon champions.
Many of them left a bit disappointed as well.
With his victory, Federer regained the No. 1 ranking from Novak Djokovic, allowing him to equal Sampras’ record of 286 weeks as the top-ranked player.
At the start of the match, Murray was the one dictating play and winning the tough points. He broke Federer in the first game of the first set, and then broke again late before serving it out. It was the first — and only — set Murray has won in his four major finals.
The second set was much more even, and both had early break points that they couldn’t convert. Federer, however, finally got it done in the final game of the set, hitting a backhand drop volley that Murray couldn’t get to.
Both held easily to start the third set, but then the rain started abruptly, suspending play for 40 minutes. Shortly after they returned, it turned into a one-man show.
With Federer leading 3-2, they played a 26-point, 20-minute game in which Federer finally converted his sixth break point — after Murray had slipped on the grass three times. Federer lost only five points on his serve in that set.
Murray’s mother, Judy, is a former Scottish national coach and father, William is a retail area manager. He has one older brother Jamie (born Feb. 13, 1986), who also plays on the ATP circuit. Andy grew up playing soccer and tennis and once was offered to play with Glasgow Rangers. His favorite musician is 50 Cent.
Based in Barcelona since age 15, Andy won US Open junior title (defeating Stakhovsky) and advanced to doubles SF (with brother Jamie) in 2004. He finished No. 10 in world junior rankings in 2004 and won the Canadian Open junior title in 2003. He also finished No. 6 that year.
Andy considers the US Open as best place he has played and was awarded the 2004 BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year Award.
Standing six feet and three inches, Andy was twice named LTA’s Young Player of the Year. His favorite surface is hard and he considers his serve as best part of his game. He admits he is a big fan of TV comedy show, “Entourage” and played first full men’s singles match with roof closed at Wimbledon on June 29, 2009 vs. Wawrinka. Andy works with fitness trainers Matt Little and Jezz Green, physiotherapist Andy Ireland and is coached by former World No. 1 Ivan Lendl since January 2012.
“I’d love to kiss you, but I just washed my hair.” BETTE DAVIS in The Cabin In The Cotton
By Alex P. Vidal
LOS ANGELES, California – Sex therapist, Helen Singer Kaplan, discloses in the second edition of her popular and widely used authoritative guide to the techniques and exercises for sex therapy, The Illustrated Manual of Sex Therapy, that major cultural changes, new theoretical and scientific concepts, and extensive clinical experience “have had a tremendous impact on the practice of sex therapy” although the basic concepts of sex therapy and techniques describe in her manual have not changed.
Among the developments discussed by Dr. Kaplan are the effects of the AIDS epidemic; treatment of the increasing population of older patients; the new scientific knowledge about disorders of sexual desire and the triphasic concept of the human sexual response; new methods of diagnosing medical sexual problems; and the combined use of anti-panic medications and sex therapy in the treatment of sexual aversion disorders and sexual phobias.
Meanwhile, the unresponsive woman, Dr. Kaplan explains, feels no erotic sensation or sexual pleasure. She does not show the signs of physiological arousal, i.e., she remains relatively dry even though she is stimulated by her partner and has intercourse. Her conscious attitudes vary, adds Dr. Kaplan. She may loathe sexual activity, feel neutral, or even enjoy the physical contact.
“The truly unresponsive woman is rare, and this is fortunate because she is difficult to treat. In our experience general unresponsiveness—particularly when it is primary, i.e., the woman has never been responsive to any man in any situation—has of all the dysfunctions the poorest prognosis with brief sex therapy,” explains Dr. Kaplan. “The prognosis is much better if the woman has been responsive in other situations but is now unresponsive to her husband.”
Even in situational frigidity however, extensive psychotherapy is often necessary before the patient is amenable to sex therapy and before sexual functioning can be obtained, she stresses in the manual’s Erotic Techniques Used for Specific Dysfunctions.
Nevertheless, even in this difficult dysfunction, which often requires prior solution of tenacious unconscious intrapsychic and marital conflict, the prescribed sexual tasks play an important role in therapy. Sometimes, she says, these are not employed until the patient has resolved basic conflicts by means of psychotherapy. At other times the tasks may be used concurrently with psychotherapy in order to facilitate rapid resolution of obstacles which arise during the course of treatment.
Perhaps one can formulate the basic dynamics of unresponsivity as follows: The woman harbors an unconscious conflict about allowing herself sexual pleasure with a man. There does not seem to be one specific conflict in this disorder. It may involve deep oedipal fears of injury, hostility towards men in general or towards the specific man in questions, fears of rejection if she “lets go,” performance anxiety, erotic guilt, and so forth, explains the therapist.
The defenses against these conflicts specifically prevent the woman from responding, she further explains. She either avoids receiving adequate stimulation, or if she doesn’t actually prevent her lover from stimulating her, she erects perceptual defenses against enjoying this stimulation. She literally does not allow herself any erotic feelings. She unconsciously does not allow herself to respond. She prevents herself from abandoning herself to the sexual experience.
Dr. Kaplan discloses the basic strategy in therapy which is to attempt to structure the sexual situation so that the woman is able to respond to adequate and heightened sexual stimulation while she is in a relaxed, nonanxious and loving state.
“Under such conditions, she must learn to resensitize herself to the sensations she has defensively suppressed for a long time. Again the creation of a tranquil sexual system between the partners often requires considerable psychotherapeutic intervention but with this in mid, the following is a typical (but not universal) sequence of events which we employ at the Cornell Sex Therapy Clinic to treat the generally unresponsive female. 1. Sensate focus I 2. Sensate focus II 3. Nondemand coitus 4. Coitus to orgasm
Among this group of patients, she reveals, there is a very high prevalence of negative responses to the sensate focus exercises. “These reactions are of course incorporated into the psychotherapeutic process. In addition to the psychotherapeutic explorations, when the history reveals that the woman experienced high levels of arousal in precoital and premarital “petting” situations, we might initially prescribe such activity while the couple is clothed, instead of the traditional nude and more exposed and therefore more threatening, pleasuring,” she explains.
By Alex P. Vidal
LOS ANGELES, California – The Kerista Village is a commune in which members are not monogamous. They practice polyfidelity—they have sex with other members of their group, but not with outsiders. In the following viewpoint, Even Eve, a member of the commune since 1971, explains that such sexual experimentation increases creativity and happiness.
There was a period of time when an article in Psychology Today featuring Kerista as a rare unusual example of non-monogamous people who were jealously-free prompted TV talk show producers across the nation to contact them to appear on their shows. They did the Phil Donahue Show, the Today Show and a number of appearances on local (San Francisco Bay Area) programs.
By the eighth or ninth show, they were feeling sort of burned out on describing their sleeping schedule to middle America and thought it would make a lot of sense to start focusing the discussions more on other elements of their lifestyle, like their plan to create a grassroots philanthropic movement that could solve serious world problems. No go. The dialogue always came back to what Phil Donahue called “the sex part” of the trip and stayed there, regardless of efforts to shoot off in other directions.
“I see this as a plus, really, At least there’s something that gets people’s attention. When I first came into contact with Kerista and Keristans—of whom, at the time, there were only a handful—one of the first things I heard was the maxim, ‘’It all boils down to penises and vaginas,’” Eve is quoted in Sexual Values. “Though I had been moving in hip circles, I was startled by such a blunt reduction of all life’s complicated mysteries. Yet it seemed on reflection, to be fairly accurate, even if hyperbolically stated.”
Eve explains: “My main preoccupations back then was certainly sex-related. What type of relationship, or relationships, did I want? How many? Sex with women and men or men only? And what about all those stereotypical sex roles? How should I get rid of them, and who could I meet that would agree with me about them? Was it true that the vaginal orgasm was a myth? Was there really such a thing as a happy couple? And on and on, ad nauseam at times.”
Like in Kerista clarified the significance of the boiling it all down to genitals homily. It wasn’t that other things weren’t important or wonderful. It was just, very simply, that until a person had sorted all those issues out and gotten her/his intimate life into a satisfactory place, everything else was to some degree put on hold. First things first.
“My guess about most people is that a lot of this sort-and-find stuff related to their sex lives goes on subliminally, without must consciousness, because it’s only very recently that sexual matters have begun coming up to the surface for open thought and discussion. This means that an awful lot of people are going around with a good portion of their total awareness potential buried, as it were, in underground vaults where they can’t do much with it,” Eve adds further. “Just imagine what the world could be like if that locked up potential was liberated for conscious, intelligent use! Despite periodic societal regressions, I think things are going that way.”
The idea of polyfidelity has immense erotic appeal to those of them who have opted for it for reasons beyond the sexual fact of sleeping with a number of wonderful partners. One of the biggest draws is the erotic relationship between the people of the same sex who (in hetero groups such as those existing in Kerista) share the experience of relating sexually to the same opposite sex people.
They call these people “starling” sisters or brothers, and these friendships are unique and delightful. There has been a lively debate going on within the commune for several years now connected to this, having to do with trust and closeness. According to those on one side of the debate, there are two “tiers” of relationships in a B-FIC (Best Friend Identify Cluster), with two different levels of closeness. In the closest tier or ring are the sexual relationships; in the second ring are the starlings. Both are precious, but (according to this perspective) sexual relations have innately more depth of feeling, trust and intimacy than platonics.
On the other side of the debate, Eve emphasizes, is the view that there is no inherent difference in trust and closeness between sexual and platonic B-FIC relationships. “The two types of involvements are different but equal; the determinants of how intimate you are with any of your partners has to do with other factors, such as how long you’ve been together and what sorts of shared experiences you’ve logged in. According to this second theory, in fact, you might feel closer to a same-sex, platonic partner with whom you’ve had a stable friendship for many years than to a sexual partner who has only come into the group recently, and has had a history of being unstable in B-FICs due to unsettled psychological issues.”
According to eve, it’s the kind of dialectical debate that they find enjoyable, and pursue in a relaxed and leisurely fashion as they drift through life with each other, without the expectation that one side will ever convince the other to change their views. Conversations about themes like this presuppose a high degree of erotic sophistication.
“We do not deal with any jealousy whatsoever and never have within the Keristan life-style. But there are things that have taken some working out,” Eve points out. “I can remember the time, about none or ten years ago, that Lee and Judd decided to go out to see a live sex show at one of the adult theaters in San Franciso. This was shortly after we had all decided to let go of most of our former erotic restrictions. They came in late that night, having had a good time, and some of us asked them to describe the show. After hearing a brief description, I made a face and said something like, ‘I don’t know how you could find watching women masturbate entertaining,’ in my snottiest tone of voice. Lee looked at me and said, ‘Well, how long have you been beating your wife?’ At that point I backed out down from my implied superiority position and began to realize that the amount of emotionality I was feeling probably had very little to do with the immediate situation and was something I’d really have to take a good look at.”
The process of self-examination and sexual attitude restructuring took me and everyone else years—in fact, we’re still in it today. It may seem surprising that people who had already progressed so far from their cultural roots and embraced the ideal of social tolerance so sincerely would be uncovering layers of erotic prejudice in themselves. On the other hand, it only underscores the fact that faulty conditioning and education can and do have a big impact on people’s minds.
Resisting change, Eve confesses: “I used to be very puzzled by my own and others’ initial emotional response to the introduction of new ideas for pushing out our boundaries of erotic exploration. Really, none of the things we’ve examined or tried have been all that far out, compared to other things I’m aware of. According to friends and acquaintances, Keristans are still into what’s known as ‘vanilla sex.’ But we have explored such ideas as setting up a very select club called the ‘Perfect Partners Co-op Cabaret’ which would be a place where exhibitionists within our social circle could perform before a sympathetic audience, and we’ve dabbled in consensual, intellectual erotic games wherein different will take on dominant or submissive roles, and the submissive will carry out instructions given by the dominants.
“The instructions have actually been non-sexual for the most part, and are designed to help the person playing the submissive role develop her/himself in areas that can use improvement. But back to the puzzlement, I’ve had the sense that there was something more to the nervous of fearful response than simply the echo of juvenile conditioning. What I’ve finally concluded is that it’s basic mental inertia; the resistance of change. This is one of the funnier aspects of human nature, but a real one we have to contend with. I’ve noticed something very interesting about people when they have some kind of new sexual or erotic experience. Almost without exception, it seems to step up their self-confidence by at least a tiny bit, and sometimes by a lot. And sometimes, along with that, there seems to be a little more looseness, a little more creativity.
“I’m not just talking about the fact that getting laid cheers people up. That is something I’ve observed so often that I don’t even question it anymore. To whatever degree I might have doubted it my doubts were finally eradicated when I was in a period of recovering from a long and serious depression. I wasn’t totally depressed anymore, but I still had attacks of it that would sometimes last for days. One time when I was feeling pretty bad I came into the front room of one of our houses, where Jaz and Ram, two men in my B-FIC, were hanging out. Ram, who was filling out his work slips for the day, saw that I was in a low mood…’Why don’t you two go into the Pink Room and have yourselves a freebie! At least one of you’ll enjoy it anyway,’ (he said). So Jaz and I followed his advice. When we started fooling around I was still feeling so bad I was crying a little. Midway through the cunnilingus, before I even came, my mood switched. By the time we finished I was feeling 100% better. This wasn’t the one-time phenomenon—I tested it numerous other times (purely in the interest of scientific research, of course) and found it worked repeatedly. Sex gets your endorphins flowing, the chemicals in your brain that make you feel good.
“Having sex makes you feel good, and increasing your erotic sophistication improves your self-esteem. These aren’t absolutes—sex in a relationship that’s already burned out might not do much for you (although many a burned out relationship will hang together for years based on the sex alone)—but I think these are generalizations that will hold up. Erotic self-development increases self-esteem because it involves the use of the mind; it expands the imagination; it makes you feel modern, up-to-date, gives you a glamorous self-image.
“Because it involves and intellectual workout, you may run into a wall of inertia that wants you to stay put as you are, the same way you may suddenly feel very sedentary when someone invites you to go for a jog. But just as habitual joggers know that on the other side of the inertia are a number of personal rewards, people who choose to see themselves as erotically sophisticated and are willing to look for an engage those new ideas will reap benefits of their own: the benefit of sexual liberation. The two (sexual liberation and erotic sophistication) come together, if you will; they’re a package deal…”
On July 1, 1867, Canada became a self-governing dominion of Great Britain and a federation of four provinces: Nova Scotia; New Brunswick; Ontario; and Quebec. The anniversary of this date was called Dominion Day until 1982. Since 1983, July 1 has been officially known as Canada Day.
In many towns and cities, municipal governments organize a range of events, often outdoors. These include pancake breakfasts, parades, concerts, carnivals, festivals, firework displays and citizenship ceremonies for new Canadian citizens. The celebrations often have a patriotic mood. Canada’s national flag is widely displayed and a lot of people paint their faces red and white, which are Canada’s national colors. The celebrations in Ottawa, which is Canada’s capital city, are particularly exuberant.
In the province of Quebec, many home leases start on July 1 and last for exactly one year. Hence, many people in Quebec spend Canada Day moving their possessions from one house to another. In this province, Canada Day is also known as Moving Day.
In the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, July 1 is also Memorial Day. This commemorates the heavy loss of life in the Newfoundland Regiment on the first day of the Battle of the Somme during World War I. In Newfoundland and Labrador, the morning of July 1 is usually somber. Flags are flown at half-mast and memorial services are held at cenotaphs (war memorials). In the afternoon, Canada Day celebrations in the province are similar to those in the rest of the country.
July 1 is a statutory holiday in Canada unless it falls on a Sunday; then it moves to July 2. All provincial governments observe this day. Many organizations, businesses and stores are closed, although some book stores, pharmacies and gas stations may be open. Post offices are closed. As Canada Day falls in the Canadian summer holiday period, all schools are closed.
Public transport services may operate to their usual or a reduced timetable. In some areas, extra services are provided for large scale events. Street closures due to concerts, parades and festivals may cause some local disruption to traffic.
On July 1, 1867, the British North Americas Act created the Dominion of Canada as a federation of four provinces. This event is known as the confederation of Canada. The four original provinces were created from the former British colonies of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the Province of Canada, which was divided into the provinces of Quebec and Ontario. Canada’s boundaries have been extended since 1867. The country now consists of 10 provinces and three territories.
On June 20, 1868, the Canada’s Governor General proclaimed that Canadians should celebrate the anniversary of the confederation. July 1 became a statutory holiday, known as Dominion Day, in 1879. However, no official celebrations were held until the 50th anniversary in 1917 and the 60th anniversary in 1927. After World War II, Dominion Day was celebrated more frequently and more events were organized by the national government. After the centenary of the confederation in 1967, Dominion Day events became more widespread. July 1 became popularly known as Canada Day. The date was also officially known as Canada Day from 1983 onwards.
Since 2006 Canada Day celebrations were also held at London’s Trafalgar Square in the United Kingdom. It is expected that these celebrations will be held annually. Depending on the availability of Trafalgar Square, these events may be held just before, on or just after July 1.
Canada’s national flag is seen on Canada Day. This consists of two vertical red rectangles separated by a white square. The white square contains a red image of a maple leaf. Canada’s national colors are red and white and are used in many ways on Canada Day. Some people wear red and white clothing and others paint their faces in these colors.