tjslotion.jpgCold, dry winter air wreaks havoc on my skin. I feel all alligator-like and am constantly searching for a lotion that works well as an after-shower moisturizer that:

a) won’t be totally greasy and gross

b) won’t feel watery and immaterial, and…

c) doesn’t cost a fortune because moisturizing arms, legs and back requires much lotion

Well… Trader Joe’s to the rescue! The moisturizing cream at left – Trader Joe’s A Midsummer Night’s Cream Moisturizing Cream, Extra Dry Formula – meets all these criteria. It comes in a regular version and this extra dry formula. It’s unscented, but it still has a very faint herbal scent which is not at all unpleasant. It’s quite rich and thick, but not greasy or slimy. It absorbs into the skin quite quickly (at least for me) and lasts quite a long time.

I was wearing a thick and itchy cowl-neck wool sweater earlier in the week and it normally irritates the hell out of my neck (while keeping the rest of me warm and toasty) but the irritating effects were greatly lessened by being moisturized beforehand with this stuff. I sometimes use Aveeno, but it isn’t as rich as I would like and I find myself having to reapply a few times before I really feel the effects.

Later today, I’ll be going to a Trader Joe’s location I’ve never been to before and I’m willing to bet they will have larger selection of TJ’s craziness than my smaller local TJ’s. Excitement!

As a point of curiosity, this lotion shares its name with a porno flick (A Midsummer Night’s Cream) but that’s a connection very few people are going to make. And I am one of those weird people because I read too much.

There was an article in Reason magazine several years ago about controversial porn studies courses in universities. The piece mentioned that film, which is an actual retelling of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (safe proof from IMDb!):

One needn’t be a prude or a hidebound academic traditionalist to roll one’s eyes at the earnest assertions of porn studies champions. Amherst English professor Richard Burt, among others, has said that pornography should be treated no differently from any other genre of film or literature.

In a way, this is a reductio ad absurdum of the postmodernist creed that no “text” is truly superior to any other. In a 2001 article in the Los Angeles Times, Burt boldly declares that no study of film adaptations of Shakespeare can be complete without a look at hard-core porno flicks like A Midsummer Night’s Cream.

If porn studies and events like “Revolting Behavior” take intellectual content out of the academy, they also take human content out of human sexuality (and perhaps sexual content as well). “Transgressive” acts and identities are celebrated for their defiance of social norms.

analysis.gifHonestly, I don’t have a problem with it. If such a course was offered back in my college days, I probably would’ve signed up for it. What people fail to realize is that pop culture analysis has become a part of most college course workloads and the work that results from these studies is legitimate and just as labor-intensive as writing a paper on Proust or Nietzsche. One thing my college education taught me was to look at EVERYTHING as a “text” -whether that text is a movie, a television commercial, TV show, book, play, poem, painting, sculpture, photo, song, opera, etc. It can all be taken apart, analyzed, deconstructed and viewed in that way. You can do a close reading of a porn flick just as seriously as you can do a close reading of a paragraph of Hegel.

I took a (straight-up serious) philosophy course my freshman year at NYU that looked at philosophical ideals and tropes in dramatic works–a few Greek tragedies, Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, but also the movie Blade Runner and episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation. We discussed those works in terms of what they say about being human – what makes us human. Deckard from Blade Runner (who at that time had not yet been revealed to be a Replicant by director Ridley Scott) and Data from Star Trek were the subjects of a paper in which we had to answer the question, “According to [Hegel, Kierkegaard, Nietzche], is [Data, Deckard] human?” based on their statements about humanity, morality and ethics.

Interesting stuff.

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