With What Gaze Do We Look at Captain Morgan?

I probably should wait to post about this until I have my thoughts organized, but I saw a shorter version, one stripped (so to speak) of any hint of girls on the ship, on TV and have just watched this one a number of times in a row and my mind is blown. I feel like this ad encourages the viewer to take sexual pleasure in watching the Captain. And I do. I think it’s the shoulders.

But it’s weird. There are really sexy ads that play off of the fact that, of course, women who are sexually attracted to men like to look at men, but it’s often played as a joke or as a way to demean the shlub of the commercial, who you’re supposed to identify with. But a commercial that just sat back and said, basically, yeah, watch this? And which demonstrated that men also could take pleasure in watching an attractive man?

I don’t know. Something about this video seemed like something I don’t see enough of. And I don’t mean shoulders like that, though those are nice.

Maybe in the morning I’ll find all the thrusting cannons of Morgan’s ship and the impotent gunfire of the other ship funny and we can all laugh about how Morgan takes his cloths off and that, for some reason, some mysterious reason, causes the other ship to applaud. Perhaps we’ll ponder his lack of chest hair. But tonight, I’m just intrigued to see a commercial in which a man walks through a crowd, taking his cloths off, and the commercial plays it like it’s something everyone would, of course, want to keep an eye on.

My Big Friend Made Small

I just got off the phone with a friend of mine who is going through a rough patch. I guess I hadn’t realized exactly how rough it’d been going for how long, but this friend is the kind of person who has big passions and throws him/herself into them with such gusto that, even if it’s something you’ve never heard of involving things you’d never think of as exciting, my friend’s enthusiasm is always contagious. Like, say my friend were the person who designed marbles. If you called my friend, s/he could go on for hours about how s/he’d figured out just how to make the molten glass drop and roll in such a way that his/her marbles always spun counterclockwise. And while you might not understand why anyone would want to have a marble that always spun counterclockwise, you’d feel like, wow, you’d talked to someone who really fucking loved marbles and the problems of marbles.

Tonight, s/he made apologies for his/her love of marbles. Kept diminishing their importance, making it seem like it was reasonable for a normal person to find marbles stupid and boring and a waste of time. Like it was wrong of him/her to keep up such enthusiasm for marbles. Like his/her love of marbles was this kind of gaudy unreasonableness it was wrong for him/her to impose, even slightly, on others.

I told him/her just what I’ve written here–that I’d listened to him/her go on for twenty minutes about how small and unimportant this thing s/he used to love so ridiculously and enthusiastically. And I said that it worried me because s/he was talking the same way about him/herself.

And I’m sorry to be vague, but I found it upsetting, that this gregarious vibrancy can be squashed by life. I hope it can bounce back.

A Geneological Breakthrough

So, it turns out that there were two Simmons families living in Novi township. One, the family of Abigail Simmons, widow of Gamaliel Simmons is from Massachusetts (some indication it was what is now Bristol) with a generation’s stopover in upper New York. The other, the family of Amy Beal Simmons, widow of Samuel Simmons, is from Newport, Rhode Island with a generation’s stopover in Upper New York. As far as I can tell, they’re no relation to each other.

I had thought that Luke Phillips’s wife, Patience Simmons was probably from the family of Gamaliel Simmons, since Luke says in census data that his family is from Connecticut (Bristol) AND that Simmons family has a whole branch of Phillipses in it. I thought maybe Luke and Patience were kissing cousins.

I hadn’t even really bothered to map out the Rhode Island Simmonses. And yet, last night I learned that Thurston Simmons paid for Patience’s grave. Even though he lived in Novi and she lived in Pontiac with her husband. And it turns out that Thurston had two sisters who were married who were already living in Michigan when he decided to settle in Michigan in earnest (he was brought to Michigan as a child, returned to New York, and then came back). Probably the kicker? Thurston (and thus Patience would have) has a sister named Almira. Patience has a daughter named Almira. Thurston (and probably Patience) has a brother named Charles. Patience has a son named Charles.

As certain as I can be, I am certain that these are Patience’s people. I’m only sad we don’t have any Thurston Phillipses. That would pretty much seal the deal.

This also fits my theory that the Phillipses struggled financially for parts (if not all) of their lives for generations. I mean, it looks like Luke Phillips had two wives after Patience and when he died? He got put next to her, in a grave paid for by her brother. When my grandpa was born in a house that had previously been used as a chicken coop, he should not have been surprised. It took a railroad job to move my branch of the family out of poverty. And we’re all still struggling to stay out of it.

But even though the other Simmonses are from the wrong Bristol, I still can’t quite let them go. Gamaliel’s grandmother was Lydia Phillips and she had a nephew named Luther. Luther doesn’t appear to have any sons named Luke, but you can bet I’m wondering if he, perchance, had a nephew by that name.