About 20 percent of Japan’s adult-video market is now "elder porn" with each production featuring one or more studly seniors and Shigeo Tokuda, 76, among the most popular. He told Toronto’s Globe and Mail in October that he still "performs" physically "without Viagra," in at least one role a month opposite much younger women. His wife and adult daughter learned only two years ago, by accident, of his late-onset career (which began at age 60 when a filmmaker hired him for his "pervert’s face"). Tokuda figures the "elder porn" genre will grow with Japan’s increasing senior population. [Globe and Mail, 10-3-10]

Cultural Diversity

In Afghanistan, as in many less-developed countries, boy babies are much preferred to girls for economic reasons and social status, but some thus-unlucky Afghan parents have developed a workaround for "excess" girls: simply designate one a boy. All references to her are male, and she dresses as a boy, plays "boy" games and does "boy" chores, at least until puberty, when many parents of the "bocha posh" convert her back. In some tribal areas, according to a September New York Times dispatch, superstition holds that creation of a bocha posh even enhances prospects of the next child’s being a boy. 

[New York Times, 9-21-10]

Although India has forbidden discrimination against lower-caste "Dalits" (so-called "untouchables"), rampant oppression still exists, especially in rural areas. In October, police were investigating reports that a higher-caste woman had disowned her dog after it had been touched by an "untouchable" woman. A village council in the Morena district of Madhya Pradesh state had reportedly awarded the higher-caste woman the equivalent of $340 compensation after she witnessed the dog being given food scraps by the Dalit woman. 

[BBC News, 9-24-10]

Latest Religious Messages

Although the dress code at Clayton (N.C.) High School prohibits it, freshman Ariana Iacono demanded in September that she be allowed her nose ring, which she said is "essential" to her practice of religion. Her Church of Body Modification, she said, teaches that "the mind, body and soul are all one entity and that modifying the body can bring the mind and soul into harmony." 

[WTVD (Raleigh), 9-10-10]

Some Ultra-Orthodox Israeli Jews came under criticism in September during the pre-Yom Kippur Day of Atonement because, unlike most Jews, they shunned the euphemistic twirling of substitute objects over their heads for forgiveness insisting on hard-core expression by twirling sacrificed chickens. 

[Reuters, 9-17-10]

If Only They Had Been Less Religious ...:

Ten people were killed in an October stampede when a scuffle broke out at a Hindu temple in the Indian state of Bihar where 40,000 had taken their goats to be sacrificed for prosperity. 

[Press Association (London), 10-17-10]

In July in Montcalm County, Mich., four teenagers attending a Bible church camp were killed when lightning struck an umbrella they were huddling under on a field. 

[WWTV (Cadillac, Mich.), 7-15-10]

Cheerful, articulate Catholic Opus Dei official Sarah Cassidy, 43, granting a long interview to London’s Daily Mail in September about her joy of life, waxed eloquent about bringing herself pain for two hours every night as reminders of God’s love. Complained another Opus Dei "numerary," our "materialistic, hedonistic society" understands pain "if you go jogging and pounding the streets ... just because you want to be thinner" (or endure Botox injections or cram your toes painfully into tiny shoes) but somehow they don’t understand when Cassidy wraps the spiked "cilice" tightly around her leg every night for God. 

[Daily Mail (London), 9-3-10]


In June, the Mexican government filed a brief in Arizona challenging the constitutionality of that state’s proposed law that required police to check the immigration status of detainees, which, according to its Foreign Ministry, "violates inalienable human rights." However, a May USA Today dispatch from Tultitlan, Mexico, noted that Mexico has a similar law ("Article 67" of its immigration code) and that police allegedly harass immigrants from Honduras and other Central American countries. Said one pro-immigration activist, "There (the U.S.), they’ll deport you. In Mexico, they’ll probably let you go, but they’ll beat you up and steal everything you’ve got first." (Bills to overturn Article 67 have been pending in the Mexican legislature for months.) 

[CNN, 6-22-10; USA Today, 5-26-10]