Guest Post: Post Hoc, Ergo Procter Hoc[1]: Post Dobbs Bralessness

You Do Hoodoo is honored to welcome Archibald Ascot Anderson, Professor of Social Sciences Emeritus of the University of Greenville, who has contributed the following WesTalk. The Editors of Hoodoo (i.e. I-and-I) do not necessarily agree with our guests’ suppositions, but we do take pride providing a wide range of provocative views on newsworthy topics.

So, with no further, ado. Dr. Anderson, you’re on.

[tepid studio applause]

Um, thank you.

I’ll start this sensitive subject with a confession: Even more than your typical heterosexual male, I –especially in my younger days – suffered an unhealthy obsession with female mamilla. I remember when I was five sitting on the sofa of our roach-infested two-bedroom rental on Laurel Street drawing pictures of mermaids and my mother informing me that once I started kindergarten, I couldn’t draw mermaids anymore, at least not at school. I don’t remember if I asked why or not, but I do remember feeling sort of weird, wondering why it was bad.

Of course, my mother is to blame for my early obsession because, as the story goes, she breastfed me until I was three or so and only began to wean me when I began sliding my hand under her blouse and unhooking her brassiere.[2] Not surprisingly, I associated breasts with comfort, love, food, and my buxom raven-haired bovine Mama. For me, a pacifier offered no succor comfort. I’d spit it out in disgust when they attempted artificially to soothe my anxiety.

Being born in 1950 would turn out to be propitious because in the late 60s during the full bloom of my adolescence, bralessness became a thing with young women sporting halter tops, tube tops, gauzy peasant blouses, etc. And still today, even in my testostretonic-challenged semi-dotage, I find the unfettered soft sway of braless bosoms aesthetically pleasing.[3]

What has prompted me to write about such a potentially touchy sensitive subject is that I’ve noticed a marked increase in bralessness on the barrier island where I live, admittedly a spot more inclined to hedonistic behavior given its sea, salt, sand, and all that jazz.[4] However, I hasten to add, this discarding of foundation undergarments is a recent change. I recall around the 4th of July a bartender friend remarking that if he were an investor, he wouldn’t be buying shares in the Bali or Maidenform corporations. He smiled, I smiled. We’d noticed. We dug.

Last week, a colleague texted from New Orleans and in a postscript added, “I’ve been here 8 hours and haven’t encountered one bra.

Based on these two examples, I think we can say confidently that bralessness is on the rise. But what are the factors that have contributed to this fashionable discarding?

I have a theory. Women shedding the undoubtedly uncomfortable harness is, whether conscious or unconscious, a reaction to the Dobbs-Sayonara-Reproductive Rights decision of 24 June 2022. Women have had it. They’re not going to take it anymore.

It’s possible, no probable, and with that, I bid thee a fond goodnight. I just can’t talk about it anymore.

[tepid studio applause]

Well, thank you, Dr. Anderson, for your fascinating theory. Of course, we welcome your feedback. Do you think overturning Dobbs has prompted an increase in bralessness? Let us know by flinging your two cents worth in the comments box.

And stay tuned for next week’s WesTalk when Congresswoman Nancy Mace will discuss what it’s like standing in line waiting a turn to be photographed with Donald Trump.

[1] “After this, therefore because of this” – an informal fallacy which argues A occurred, then B occurred, so A caused B. E.g., I didn’t wear my lucky Gamecock baseball cap; therefore, USC lost to Clemson 55-10.

[2] BTW, breastfeeding was the opposite of “all the rage” in the early 1950s with Ike and Mamie in the White House. At least in the small provincial Southern town (pardon the redundancy) where I was reared, breast-feeding was for poor people. (Also, c.f., Toni Morrison’s Son of Solomon.)

[3] In, of course, a wholesome, detached non-objectifying way. By the way, since my near fatal pickleball injury in 2018, I have been confined to a wheelchair.

[4] In fact, it ranks second to Nashville as the most popular bachelorette party destination on the East Coast.

A Malcontented Blogger Turns His Back on Aggression: Roman Empire/Super Bowl Edition

If ever an event exists that epitomizes Late Empire decadence, it’s the Super Bowl, the trashy teenage illegitimate daughter of Walt Disney and Joan Rivers.

First, there’s the obscenity of the salaries of these gladiators who essentially entertain us through ritualistic war, a string of overhyped “battles,” each becoming less memorable as the Roman numerals march on into Super Bowl oblivion.  Admittedly, it can be fun to watch these impressive specimens of predatory machismo smash into one another, sidestep tackles, propel perfect spirals, and make acrobatic diving fingertip grabs (though their inability to master the snap count can become tedious).[1] Nevertheless, you can’t help but wonder if the over-compensation for these essentially physical skills is indicative of some sort of skewed cultural atavism that harkens back to Spartacus.  Why, for example, does the secondary coach of the Baltimore Ravens, whoever he is, earn considerably more per annum than Pulitzer winning novelist Richard Ford?  Not to mention Deion Sanders[2] whose career earnings undoubtedly dwarf Cormac McCarthy’s, Toni Morrison’s, and Philip Roth’s combined?

Because our priorities are fucked-up perhaps?[3]

Can you guess which house belongs to Deion Sanders and which to Robert Frost?

Second, there’s the Roman circus of the halftime show, which began innocently enough in the late Sixties with marching bands, but now features antediluvian rockers like Steve Tyler and the Who or commercial hiphoppers like the Black-Eyed Peas.  These performances nearly always end up flat (Prince and Springsteen being exceptions) and occasionally can be painful to watch (Grandpa Jagger frenetically cavorting back and forth across the stage as if it were strewn with red hot coals).[4]  I’m far too lazy to research the cost of these extravaganzas, but I suspect we could coax the Dalai Lama and Thich Nhat Hahn to meditate on the artificial turf at halftime for free, which would be more entertaining than 90% of the halftime shows I’ve suffered through.

Brittany Spears passing gas at the 2008 spectacle

What, may you ask, binds together all of these facets of this undeclared national holiday – the verbal jostling of the interminable lead-ins (Terry Bradshaw bickering with Howie Long) – the game itself, the outsized attempt at halftime entertainment, the pratfalls of the commercials?

Aggression, that’s what.  Aggression is what separates the winners from the losers, those who pay sticker price from those who browbeat the salesperson into surrender, those who claw their way to the top from those who rely on honor and integrity to guide their lives, those who bury their helmets into the runner’s chest from those who wanly attempt an arm tackle.

Aggression is what fuels capitalism, and sports is a wonderful training ground for aggression, from the bestial grunting of tennis players returning volleys to the narcissistic celebratory endzone fandangoes of wide receivers.  These gladiators are worshipped in their high schools and wooed by head coaches who during recruiting banter with mothers they would never actually associate with otherwise. No wonder most professional football players possess Caligula-sized egos. These mannish boys have clawed their way to fame and fortune (the latter thanks in part to their labor unions).  

Who can blame them for copping the Conan the Barbarian look?

Mike Roemer Photography Inc

[1] When I played junior varsity football for the mighty Summerville Green Wave, we were so collectively stupid that we could only go on “hut one.”

[2] I had the misfortune to share an elevator with Deion once, who exuded all of the warmth of a Secret Service agent as he avoided eye contact with the children asking for his autograph.

[3] Here’s a longish quote copped from Business Insider website that discusses one of the reasons for the fall of the Roman Empire: 

The richest 1 percent of the Romans during the early Republic was only 10 to 20 times as wealthy as an average Roman citizen. Now compare that to the situation in Late Antiquity when an average Roman noble of senatorial class had property valued in the neighborhood of 20,000 Roman pounds of gold. There was no “middle class” comparable to the small landholders of the third century B.C.; the huge majority of the population was made up of landless peasants working land that belonged to nobles. These peasants had hardly any property at all, but if we estimate it (very generously) at one tenth of a pound of gold, the wealth differential would be 200,000! Inequality grew both as a result of the rich getting richer (late imperial senators were 100 times wealthier than their Republican predecessors) and those of the middling wealth becoming poor.”

[4] To be fair, I saw the Stones in 2019, and they were terrific. The Supper Bowl performance was an aberration.

A Series of Subtractions


Photo credit: Caroline Tinger Moore

A Series of Subtractions




If you make the mistake of living too long,

old age can seem like as a series of subtractions.


The trees are in their autumn beauty,

The woodland paths are dry.


That romping pup you chose a flashbulb pop ago,

today, a husk headed to the vet to be put down.


Like the one before that and the one before that.

Jack, Sally, Bessie, Saisy, Ruskin, Milo,


Completing their abbreviated seven stages

right before your clear . . .  fogging . . . rheumy eyes.


The trees are in their autumn beauty,

The woodland paths are dry.


And the musicians and authors you’ve loved

seem to be dropping like dragonflies.


Foster Wallace, Zevon, Petty,

Toni Morrison, Prince, Winehouse, Reed,


Kaput, no longer cranking them out,

Deaf to the doo-da-doo-a-doohs of the colored girls.


And who in the hell are these movie stars

in the paper celebrating birthdays today?


The trees are in their autumn beauty,

The woodland paths are dry.


Quit your whining, boomer, time’s a-wasting,

beneath a mountain of books you haven’t read.


No use crying over spilt water bowls,



The trees are in their autumn beauty,

The woodland paths are dry.