People can develop intimate, romantic relationships with objects (beyond mere fetishism, which produces only short-term arousal), according to one of Germany’s most renowned sexologists, Volkmar Sigusch, interviewed for a May report in Der Spiegel. A reporter claimed to find individuals infatuated with a Hammond organ (and who feared infidelity when a technician performed repairs), New York City’s Twin Towers (whose lover bathed with a miniature version) and the Berlin Wall (which a woman ceremoniously “married” in 1979 and legally changed her name in acknowledgment). Sigusch said this objectophilia was another indication of society’s increasing “neo-sexuality.”
Sachio Kawabata, 61, was awarded the equivalent of about $5,000 by a court in Kagoshima in January because the police abused him during interrogation over possible violations of election law. The judge found that Kawabata suffered “great mental anguish” when police wrote his family name and derogatory messages on pieces of paper and forced Kawabata to stomp on them.
LATEST RELIGIOUS MESSAGES
While the California Assembly debated an open-hand-only spanking bill for parents this spring, the Bethel Baptist Church in El Sobrante continued to demand that spanking by flexible rod is the only punishment acceptable to God and that will produce wisdom in the child. No sturdier weapon may be used, nor the open or closed hand, nor even mere yelling, according to a church pamphlet cited by InsideBayArea.com for a May report. Said one parishioner-parent, “With my girls, the spanking relieved them of their guilt, which allowed them to be happy in a very short time afterward.” Said another, “We disagree with timeouts… That’s an attack on spanking.”
In May, The Times of London, interviewing witnesses in Diyala province in Iraq, described scenes from the hard-core Salafist version of Islam being enforced (similar to what the Taliban imposed in Afghanistan), including breaking the fingers of those who repeatedly smoked cigarettes, prohibiting grocers from displaying bananas (as “obscene”), and requiring them to screen cucumbers from tomatoes (as the latter are “feminine vegetables”). One local man said he assumed that another restriction that farmers modestly cover their goats’ “nether regions” was just a rumor, until he saw a goat wearing boxer shorts.
STYLIN’ AND PROFILIN’
For fashionable women this season, the area just above the breasts is the most important part of her chest, according to a May New York Times report. A protruding collarbone is said to suggest a taut, fit (even though covered up) body. And many young Sikhs in India are dispiriting their traditionalist parents by trimming years-long growths of hair and abandoning their signature turbans to favor a more Western look. However, a “turban pride” backlash has developed, featuring support groups, an International Turban Day, and a Smart Turban CD-ROM with tips on choosing just the right turban look. MTW