Friday, 3 April 2009

Your Friday mongoose wrap-up includes butt-touching and exposed thigh

So I didn't get my $50, and I haven't even begun to unravel all the G20 coverage, although I've already decided to steer clear of the 'softer' Michelle O love-in pieces because 1) if I were given to usage of the word 'awesome', Michelle would certainly inspire it, but I was never that big on hero worship so let's keep the conversation grounded; and 2) invariably, some turn of phrase in an article will piss me off, since some people who want to appear in their writing as if they're all down with the Black First Lady try too hard and end up making grave errors.

But I did notice all the hullabaloo over her having touched the Queen, which, along with the Obamas' gifts to the Browns (again with the gifts?), imaginary people that no one can seem to identify have been decrying as not in keeping with protocol. In any event, it seems like the Queen was feeling the Michelle warmth, reciprocated, and is over the drama. I mean, she's touching Michelle's butt. If anyone was getting inappropriately intimate it was the Queen.
Further, given the historical importance and sensitivity of this moment - the Black, American first couple meeting a Queen whose ancestor, George III, was the last British ruler of the American colonies and ruled a society based on slavery and racial discrimination - the Queen might have a lot to answer for if she missed this opportunity to embrace the couple on level ground. Or worse, engaged in anything that might be perceived as a snub. So to sum up: the First Lady is quite a sight taller than the Queen so a waist-hug from the latter became a butt hug; Michelle is a warm, huggy person who can express her warmth and still remain respectful; and the Queen is already over it and possibly initiated the 'uncharacteristic touching' herself.

In other news, please for the love of Shirley Bassey keep your laptops off your laps (somebody needs to find a new name for these things), lest you develop erythema ab igne, as I apparently have on an area of my left thigh. The condition can range from mild hyperpigmentation which eventually goes away, to squamous cell carcinoma and severe, lasting hyperpigmentation. No word yet where mine falls, although the fact that I saw two doctors months ago who told me I was seeing things, including an old, white man who looked me in the eye and said "that's just how black skin looks", makes me somewhat anxious that the condition is advanced. (That doctor, by the way, should never see another patient again. And he for sure won't be seeing anyone I know. I told him so, and registered my disgust, but he was oblivious, as so many like him are.) If I don't give any further reports, feel safe in assuming that all turned out fine, at least for the time being, since skin cancer can result from the condition up to 30 years from the date of diagnosis. What to take away from this: laptops on the desk.


  1. That's why most manufacturers are calling them 'notebooks'. :-)

    But I'm sorry you got hurt. :(

  2. Thanks.

    The thing is, I knew this, somewhere in the recesses of my brain. But most of the conjecture over exactly how harmful laptops are has been just that. Certainly I've never seen anything about radiation burns. Even the first two doctors I saw didn't know about it.

    So I wanted to make sure people had something tangible to think of when telling themselves it's bad to kep their laptops too close.

  3. I totally agree that there's been very little effort to show people the dangers of notebooks on their laps as they get more and more powerful, therefore putting off more and more heat. For anybody who actually wants to comfortably use it on their lap, I suggest the iLap, which raises it up several inches and has comfy pads. I'm sure there are other similar products, but that's the one I use!

    And again, I am so sorry you got hurt. :-(

  4. What's even crazier is that I read, I think in the NY Times, that the Queen put her arm around Michelle first! Yet it's a breach of protocol for her to reciprocate? But then if Michelle hadn't reciprocated, what do you want to bet everyone would be going on about how cold she is...

  5. John Oliver explains the real reason you don't touch the queen.



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