Cleaning, rearranging, backfilling – all pasttimes of the truly desperate. A stroke of serendipity connected me with the July 1975 issue of Cosmopolitan. That says a lot, I know. The cover is Jerry Hall, looking like she just came out of the roaster. She is (and was then) a beautiful woman, but looking at her face and pneumatic breasts is an experience in time travel. You can see her Texas roots.

Cosmopolitan was Helen Gurley Brown and it was about the reclamation of women’s sexuality and independence, or something. Featured headlines: In the Morning, No? or Yes? It’s what you feel then that tells how you truly feel about him. 31 Eye-opening Experiences. Is yours among them? (every word had a cap; I got tired).

OR: My Life in a Convent, by Edna O’Brien (who was a semi-prominent writer).

OR: The Sexually-Aggressive Woman — Why She Is Becoming the Norm Instead of the Exception (very careful with the capitalization on this one).

AND: A Doctor Discusses the Stupidity of Destructive, Negative Feelings About How You Look. Since you will find the cover below, note that this headline is directly opposite Jerry’s rack.


The obvious here is that Cosmopolitan could place any professional face-du-jour on the cover and run exactly the same stories. They could  switch out Charles Bronson for ohhh, Gerard Butler, and place “My life in Rehab” by Lindsay Lohan at the top right and I suspect few would know the difference. Yes, that’s a tired trope as well. It sometimes seems that young female persons could use a better education about life when they’re still young enough for it to stick. That Cosmopolitan is doing the exact same thing 35+ years later is so very very sad.

So, about 1975 and thinking about personal histories and what we do with them: family, friends, places, disasters, triumphs and the mental space the memories consume and influence. ‘Revenge’ premiered on ABC last night; it was about reclaiming one’s past. That girl has issues, especially that dye job from prison.

Someone famous said: “The past is always with us.” And many students of the middle east have remarked that events that occurred 1,000 years ago are as ‘live’ to many in the region as the day before yesterday. There are many in the U.S. who have no clue or care what happened 20 years ago. So… is it safe to say that the importance of memory is cultural? Whatever. I’m going with that. Then consider that the individual (yes I’m going fractal) relates to his/her past in a personally constructed matrix, and this is the rub: I don’t want to be a bee in amber anymore.

What means are there to keep ‘what was’ from reinventing itself or reimprinting itself? Records are meant to be broken.

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