The Big 5 – “Who” is your Underdog? – Week 2


Sometimes just a spark is all that’s necessary

Today’s post was originally going to explore the topic of small countries’ efforts towards independence but an entry in our Two Cents Tuesday Challenge: Lost moved our train of thought in a different, yet quite related, direction. We were  reminded of a cigarette brand whose late 60s marketing was geared exclusively to women. Even though the memory had nothing to do with ponderings on smoking, advertising or even women’s liberation, the idea behind the campaign, the quest for determination, did.

Virginia Slims groovy slogan of “You’ve come a long way, baby!” reached back to those generations who had come through depression, a few world wars and huge changes to gender roles in both social and domestic milieus. Fast forward fifty years and it is all the more poignant for despite the radical adjustments we have all made, things really aren’t a whole lot better. In fact, one might argue that they are worse. Our own mum has been known to shake her head in disbelief and mutter “I don’t know how you do it” which is odd considering how both she and her own mother conducted their lives, taking risks and acting outside of accepted convention – besides, like them, it is not as if we have much choice in the matter.

We have, sadly, been duped by the media machine that decided we could be everything to everyone all the time: that we could not only wear the pants but have a closet filled with matching hats that we could defiantly don all at once or interchangeably on a whim. We were told, tempted, nagged, chided, berated and reminded that we could do anything we desired if we really wanted to – be saint and sinner, sacred and sex object, saboteur, sage and saviour. It is not true.

There is a dark and pervasive strain of something or other that has been poisoning the well of our being. As usual, we thought it was just us in our little bubble feeling put-out and put-upon but the more we read and created a dialogue, it became apparent that there are many of us out there suddenly realizing that the moment we stop to take a breath we feel like we are drowning. The author of the post that led to all this postulation wrote of a certain state of being lost, in a “fog… that suffocates the quality of daily life”. Is this malaise generationally endemic? Has it struck only North Americans who have been bombarded by false hope and the pipe dream of attaining super-womanhood or is it a plague that knows no borders? Who can say: it is the stuff of discourse but some days it makes us want to just start a fire under the whole thing…

This fortnight the Big 5 Challenge is dedicated to all those of both genders who are still fighting the big battle, one in which a constantly metamorphosing enemy defies pinpointing and where the front lines keep moving from day to day.

Who is your Underdog?” – young or old, timid or bold, flash in the pan or kicking the can, cartoon or larger than life …

We would love to know who flies above the crowd for you.

For all those who are new readers to Across the Bored, some great entries and the guidelines for this challenge can be found here: Need more info, want to browse past themes or get the badge for your blog? See HOW DOES THIS WORK.

Two Cents Tuesday Challenge: Lost – Week 2

lost 2

when every step leads further away from where you started

Everyone misplaces stuff. The old joke about Grampa looking for his spectacles when they are perched on his head isn’t the material of urban legend, it is a fact: our own mother uses her sunglasses as a headband and then asks straight-faced where they may have gotten to. Such are the vagaries of age but they are also a greater indication of a pre-occupation with other things at hand that might be more interesting, important or just distracting. It is a given that the more stuff one has, be it material or what we carry around in our heads, at some point or another we are going to drop bits without even knowing where or when. Our metaphysical file cabinets can get so jammed that the drawers don’t close anymore. Remember that really significant, sentimental, valuable (insert appropriate adjective here) thing that suddenly loomed large, clear as day, in foggy 2AM insomniac brain wanderings?


So you retrace your steps to the source. Or try to, but sometimes it has been a very long journey indeed since said thing has been reassigned to a new location. Organizational skills aren’t very helpful in this kind of situation, in fact, they can be a huge hindrance for what seemed like a really good idea at the time can make no sense at all later. Oh, I’ll just put it here and no, I don’t need to write that number down – I’m positive they said 4pm… Thankfully, many of these quandaries can be solved with a little detective work. Like Jack and Victor looking for the disappeared scone (oh, here it is next to the phone…) they can end in success  – or the sad realization that, like the Two Cents Tuesday Challenge, they are irretrievably – Lost

Last week we wanted to know “Have you ever been lost?” – In a great book or symphony, in love or grief, in the magic of a sunset or the gaze of a newborn, in traffic or far from home…

We would love to see your vision.

For all those who are new readers to Across the Bored, some great entries and the guidelines for this fortnight’s challenge can be found here. Need more info or want to browse past themes? Have a look at HOW DOES THIS WORK.

Two Cents Tuesday Challenge: Lost


Since you would save none of me, I bury some of you – john Donne

Across the Bored once heard someone ask rather bluntly “how many times do you have to be punched in the head before you step to the side?” They weren’t speaking about boxing or any of the number of forms of abuse men heap upon each other but rather about how we react in regards to ourselves. There is no doubt that free will plays a huge part in the way we construct our plans for the future and how we will get there but like the glossy vacation brochure tempting us with the illusion of sunnier climes, we are often happily deluded into buying the deluxe package when we should be figuring out how to pay for our next transit pass. That we are agents of our own misery is the stuff of life and much great fiction; whether the steps we take towards individual purpose are feeble or epic is often besides the point. Sometimes by seeking to do the right thing, the good thing, we inadvertently veer off onto the shoulder and end up like the horrid saying goes, finishing last.

Keeping a balance while staying on track has always been man’s problem, especially for those who like to launch themselves into things headlong because the vision of what could be is so clear. Avoiding the huge chaotic pendulum of change that swings back and forth threatening to derail us isn’t easy. Nobody ever said it would be. Our resoluteness and pride, our determination and desire, can all conspire just as much as our good will and faith to bring us to very dark and dismal places indeed. No matter how well we lay the map upon the table or paint lovely watercolours of the places we could go, the path may not be that apparent to everyone else and even if it is, our travel companions don’t always want to taken on the 5-star guided tour. This fortnight, the Two Cents Tuesday Challenge hopes that no matter how – Lost – we get, that there is always a way to our destination.

“Have you ever been lost?” – In a great book or symphony, in love or grief, in the magic of a sunset or the gaze of a newborn, in traffic or far from home…

We would love to see your vision.

For all those who are new readers to Across the Bored, here are some guidelines for the challenge: HOW DOES THIS WORK?

  1.  I will post some commentary on a random topic that pops into my head (such as the above) and then ask you to respond on the same.
  2. Your point of view on the current week’s challenge can take any form: a quote, a motto or saying, an essay, poem or opinion of yours or attributed to someone else, a piece of music, a song, a video, a work of art, photograph, graffiti, drawing or scribble – but it has to be about the topic!
  3. Please, don’t just link to an old post… challenge yourself.
  4. The Challenge will be open for 14 days (there will be a reminder post at the 7 day mark) after which I will post another.
  5. ENJOY, have FUN and TELL your friends and fellow bloggers.

 SO – Create your Two Cents Tuesday Challenge post

  1. Then add a link to your blog in my comment box.
  2. To make it easy for others to check out your post, title your blog post “Two Cents Tuesday Challenge” and add the same as a tag.
  3. If you would like your reader to see what others are presenting for the same challenge, add a link to the “Two Cents Tuesday” challenge on your own blog.
  4. Feel free to pick up your badge on the Two Cents Tuesday Challenge page
  5. Remember to Follow My Blog to get your weekly (hopefully) reminders.