Monday, 26 April 2010

Absinthe, Ladies and Earthquakes

"Immodestly-clad ladies are reportedly responsible for earthquakes." According to Iranian cleric, Ayatollah Kazem Sedighi.

This story has been rumbling around Facebook and Twitter over the last few days, and now Jen McCreight, a student and feminist from Indiana, has responded by setting up the scientific experiment, Boobquake. Today, April 26 2010, women around the world are being urged to dress a little more immodestly than they might usually do to test the cleric's statement.

In case my readers think Boobquake seems an inappropriate way to respond, I want to quote Jen here: "I just want to apologize if this comes off as demeaning toward women ... I don't think the event is completely contrary to feminist ideals. I'm asking women to wear their most "immodest" outfit that they already would wear, but to coordinate it all on the same day for the sake of the experiment ... I also hate the ideal of "big boobs are always better!" The cleavage joke was just a result of me personally having cleavage, and that being my choice of immodesty. And I thought "boobquake" just sounded funny. Really, it's not supposed to be serious activism that is going to revolutionize women's rights, but just a bit of fun juvenile humor. I'm a firm believer that when someone says something so stupid and hateful, serious discourse isn't going to accomplish anything - sometimes light-hearted mockery is worthwhile."

As a male blogger and absinthe lover, I can't actively participate in the event today (did someone say Moobquake?), but I wanted to support Jen by a quick study of the role of immodestly-clad ladies in absinthe advertising and promotion and to assess whether there is any link between these and earthquakes. Have there been many earthquakes in Paris

or in Prague

since immodestly-clad ladies have been used in absinthe advertising or art? How about in London?

Apparently not.

Of course I may be on shakier ground (!) if I analyse the link between immodestly-clad ladies used to promote absinthe in Los Angeles and any seismic activity there ...

although there do not appear to have been any earthquakes as a result of this Swiss absinthe label.

Using the above examples, it seems safe to assume that there is no link between these ladies, however they are dressed, and earthquakes. But the Boobquake experiment seems to be more rigorous, so I await the results with interest. Yes, there was a small earthquake this morning in Taiwan, but that doesn't seem too unusual.

Of course, there IS a connection between absinthe and earthquakes, and that is Toulouse-Lautrec. He is credited with the invention of the Tremblement de Terre or Earthquake cocktail. Wikipedia states that this is half cognac, half absinthe (ice is optional), while the 1930 Savoy Cocktail Book states that it uses equal portions of gin, whisky and absinthe (it is called an Earthquake "because if there should happen to be an earthquake on when you are drinking it, it won't matter"). Maybe I'll have one of each and try to report back later. Assuming the earth doesn't swallow us all up today ...

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