Archives for the month of: June, 2012

Ever since I read this vignette, in 2000, about Bill Gates’ great Eureka, in which he finally ceases to be an entirely white boy, I have been thinking.

Gates looks back with some amusement at his belated realization that access to technological information might not be the answer to the world’s most serious problems. Microsoft was donating computers to poor communities in Africa in the mid-90’s, and during a visit to Johannesburg, Gates went to Soweto where he was proudly shown the town’s single computer. As he took in his surroundings, he recalls, he said to himself: ”Hey, wait a minute — there’s only one electrical outlet in this whole place.’ And yup, they had plugged in that computer, and when I was there, man, that thing was running and everybody was very thankful. But I looked around and thought, Hmm, computers may not be the highest priority in this particular place. I wondered, Who the heck is going to be really using this thing?”
http://www.nytimes.com/2000/04/16/magazine/how-to-give-away-21.8-billion.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm

I’ve been collecting a number of pieces of string around this, one being that Gates was so overwhelmed by actually being able to See something among all the invisible men and sockets in Soweto that he missed the picture of Tupac taped to the wall. I imagine the wall to be made of flattened 25-liter cooking oil tins. Maybe the picture is of Diddy or Little Richard or Snoop or Afrika Bambaataa or L’il Kim’s plastic breasts. Maybe it is affixed to the wall with a magnet, or wired to the wall through holes drilled in the tins. Whoever the picture is of, it is not a picture of anything Americans promulgate as American culture. American culture would be the socket they don’t have. The software Gates is trying to sell them.

From that moment, I realized that African Americans are the arbiters of American and thus global popular culture. Just finished reading a book called An Empire  of Their Own: How the Jews Invented Hollywood. I await the sequel, about how African Americans — and System D — invented popular culture. And I do believe, as a very old school fan of the O’Jays and their love train, that the hip hop love train energy is what is moving through System D — what the African Francophones call the back channel economy, which now employs half the world’s workers and is the second-largest economy (after ours)  — to save the world. Out of the garbage pile that is Lagos it comes, slouching toward Bethlehem Wall fucking Street.


As usual, the comments on this clip are as important as the clip itself, if not more so.

Now comes this stunning profile of Kuk Harrell, a  black man who is Justin Bieber’s and Rihanna’s vocal producer. He is now my template for culture czar. First thought. It’s all pastiche and technology. Second thought, Romare Bearden is all pastiche and he did it, he sliced up America, Justin Bieber, Bill Gates and Rihanna, listening, as many African American fine artists do, to jazz.

Kuk Harrell, culture arbiter.

Jazz is way too intellectual for me. I suspect it has to do with the heroin-like abstractions of bone-deep existential Cool. I am not cool. I do lurk late though, and so I nearly passed out staring at Bearden’s Tomorrow I May Be Far Away at the National Gallery’s great 2003 retrospective when I saw fragments of wood siding samples pasted into the [entirely modernist] cubist melange. (Was Picasso the first black president?)

I immediately connected them to the collageurs and pastiche masters of African American yard art, in which hub caps are transformed into mandalas and geomancy energy changers, and drive shafts driven into graves into axes mundi. This Bearden did with advertising images he clipped and re-imagined from white Life or black Ebony magazine.

Romare Bearden. Tomorrow I May Be Far Away. 1967

Finally, there’s nothing post-modern about the pastiche. I need to think some more about that. It’s totes modern, and totes Marxist in its deconstruction, or explosion, and synthesis (as Harrell’s biographer puts it) into a Frankensteinian work of cobbled System D art. It’s a total reappropriation by Harrell/Bearden/Frankenstein. I need to think a whole lot more about that, and the interpolation of technology — the mastery of recording technology — with which Harrell mediates, collages, and pastiches a song. You think it’s Bieber? Think again.

For now, hear this. African Americans and Kuk Harrell are your popular cultural arbiters. Nothin’ post-racial about it.

I have to get some more System D and Frenchie philosophy under my belt. I’m still flipping out around the idea that Lacan was a Freudian psychoanalyst. Nothin’ Afro pomo homo about that.

People all over the world? Join hands. Join hands.

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Nora Ephron and her then-husband, Carl Bernstein

Warrior. Funny girl. Foremother.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/27/movies/nora-ephron-essayist-screenwriter-and-director-dies-at-71.html?hp

She shocked me. I remember being stunned reading the essay she wrote for Esquire about her breasts. I remember the look of the piece on the page, black and white, no pictures. Just words by Nora about her own breasts. In a way, Nora’s breasts were the anti-feminist journalism analogy of Watergate, the other holy shit story of the century.

Then she married Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein, who cheated on her while she was pregnant and she wrote a novel about that. Walking past the ratty little grocery store at P and Wisconsin in Georgetown, which she writes about in Heartburn, I thought no person with a real interest in food shops here except people who want to be the member of some other club.

Heartburn is perhaps the most searing exhibit in the long secret Chekhovian history of adult children of alcoholics literature. We can sniff each other out in a crowd of half a million, with a secret power so Delphic and oracular it needs to stay in its room and never come out. It does not play nicely. Its vision is too clear.

Heartburn  was also shocking both for its delicious lima bean and pear recipe and roman a clef portraits of the local wildlife of the 1970s. Power was still an aphrodisiac, the reporters had copped it from the White House, and for one brief shining feral moment, Washington. D.C. was sexy. Nora was there, she got burned, and burned D.C. back.

It was a way, writing about your body, in the 1970s, for girls to do journalism. Her later seamless transition from reporter to movie director — which began when she and Bernstein tried to rewrite William Goldman’s script for All the President’s Men  was shocking. Her keeping the secrets, of her leukemia diagnosis, throughout the filming of her last movie — an encomium both to good cooking and a long, happy marriage — writing on a new television project two weeks before her death, not writing about her son’s being gay, were also shocking. News of her death, if not her suffering, was shocking for all the children who had grown up in a house full of secrets, shaken, not stirred.

Whole civilizations were based on the wrath of Achilles. Vale, Nora.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2011/feb/10/nora-ephron-i-remember-nothing

I am interested in the way atheists, medical materialists, cyber-rapturists, terrorists, ascribe to the internet and cyberspace the 99 names of Allah, without the obligations an ethical life, belief in God, or even minimal civic existence entail.

It is the akashic record, was one of the first poetic descriptions I heard of it over a decade ago, somebody who was fearing Krishna and apocalypse.

It is, as the pet cemetaries, genealogy lineages, kink niches, dystopian sci fi graphic games or Star Trek slash indicate, eternity and paradise, both.

The bodilessness, the cybersex, transhumanism, anonymous Baghdad/Cairo/Tunisia political bloggers, the gender fluidity, are a kind of Olivia Butler post-racial and post-gender transfiguration.

The best self-policers I ever encountered are the play party S and M people. I had a friend who was working through some stuff. We had long discussions about what excellent ethicists the Foucauldian sluts were.
http://www.br.org/br/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=23&Itemid=31).

There is a modicum of ethical self-policing on the interwebs. By which I mean a very little. I think we’ve all learned how to kill trolls.

But all this ascription to cyberspace of traditional God attributes? I think it is libertarian, to avoid civic duty to public space, communitarianism, the democracy. I do deplore the bunkerism and the suburban anti-diversity of the cyber rapturists. It’s so much more important to be fucking a Klingon than, you know, actually to venture out into public space, where there may be property taxes. Or germs. Or colored people.

But the allure of the unseen, and the ascription to the void of God-like attributes, is well known. It is not, however, God (unless of course, you believe everything is).

Here is a YA novel about a young Muslim who uses cyberspace to court his true love.
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/25/books/alif-the-unseen-by-g-willow-wilson.html

Gitta Sereny Honeyman

Journalist, biographer of Treblinka commandant and genocidaire of 900,000, Stangl, Hitler architect Speer, child murderer Mary Bell, child prostitutes.

U.N. welfare officer for child survivors of Dachau. Trilingual daughter of a Hungarian father, German mother, she was smuggled out of France during World War Two as a member of the French resistance.

Catcher in the rye.

Why, I asked Stangl, if they were going to kill them anyway, what was the point of all the humiliation, why the cruelty?

To condition those who actually had to carry out the policies, he said. To make it possible for them to do what they did.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/24/books/gitta-sereny-who-wrote-about-evil-dies-at-91.html

My life, since I came back from Cuba, has been all about the dream deferred. I haven’t minded taking care of my mother, and taking care of, once and for all, my terrible upbringing — the epiphany is entirely quotidian but earthshaking.

As an ACOA once described it to me, it is pausing at the door of the hospital room and realizing, in one tsunami of emotion, that they had never taken care of you and now you must break the chain of karma alone. Then there was what I call the vortex of mayhem, managing two storage spaces, five or six dwellings, three of them (including the $8000-a-month-room in the big house, and the $2000 a month one) infested, moving the Aged Parent six times in two years, from shithole to shithole, the voice in the burning bush which told me last year I was “working out of the wrong energy” and that the “answer is in your house” — but it has been a job. I resent having the goalposts moved, just as I was fixing to start to sell my book. I resent, terribly, the financial and health implosions, and have noted that being the victim target of terrible helpless insane peoples’ cruelty is humiliating. Don Miguel’s second agreement, and all the forgiveness work I’ve been doing, speaks to this.

What I have forgotten is what the job coach started to talk to me about just before the shit hit the fan. First, that nobody would hire me as long as the Aged Parent was not in a nursing home. (Having to move her to five different ones and two “rehabs” did not solve this problem.) Second, a 10 year plan. I find myself with artifacts of that straight talk of so long ago — a plus size work wardrobe for a woman of a certain age, budget wise, confected to convey readiness to work, [false] able-bodiedness and up-to-date skills. This itself is as big a mountain to move as was a suitable work wardrobe in 1969, when there was no such thing.

The 10 year plan was then and is now, I have realized, over the last month, about New York City. I wasn’t wrong to choose it then, and I am not wrong to choose it now. Ariele and Amelie’s posts about finally getting studio space in Brooklyn crystallized it for me, as did the dawning realization that Macondo is all about being too far away from God, and Forty-second Street, with the A-bomb, Camp Ped and [redacted from private blog]. I came here because the nursing homes were one-quarter the price of the ones in D.C. and I had to plan for a life that including my mother’s living for another 10 years. My recent visit to Phoenix, which, while it is literally 107 degrees in the shade, overwhelmed me with the happiness and agency and purposive well-kept optimistic and artistic public spaces, entirely lacking here in Macondo. And don’t blame it on the Indians or the Chicanos. They got them, and their genocided ghosts, in Phoenix too. I blame it on the Hispano Inquisition penitente karma, the caudillismo. Macondo. First in the nation in prison rapes. First with the A-bomb.

Sore-eye poppies at ground zero, Trinity Site, White Sands, NM

The fireflies in Gramercy Park. I just remembered that, and realized it is still completely within my grasp.

http://leftfieldcards.wordpress.com/

http://brooklyntowest.blogspot.com/

I want it. I have never gone without anything I wanted.

Laura Foster Nicholson ribbon.

http://www.lfntextiles.com/servlet/the-ALL-RIBBONS/Categories

1. Is the left really the “working class”? And is that working class really liberal? Was it ever? Has the working class — qua organizable by unions — disappeared with smokestack industry?

2. Did the post-industrial economy, the Internet, create this finance economy implosion? (I was thinking of the industries it has decimated: newspapers, recording industry, network TV and I wish I knew more about how insta-trading created the financial implosion.) Has it gutted collective bargaining?

3. Read Chekhov and George Steiner’s “Proofs” for insights into the actual character of the Russian proletariat, which is different from Communism, and the Italian, which I think is perhaps closer to the 19th century Platonic concept of Marxism.

I think Gogol is also essential to the understanding of the mystic Slav dealio, which is also different from Communism (rather more than from Marx and his humanism). The mystic Slav’s amazing powers of abstraction, surrealism, modernity, explosive nihilism (all that is solid melts into air), apocalypse, and flame-colored satin tablecloths in the nightclubs along the Brighton Beach boardwalk — Russian orthodox bling.

Chekhov

Steiner profiles the fortunes of an Italian Communist cell at the fall of the Berlin Wall — the literate artisan class, the only U.S. parallel to which I can think of is the dear, departed International Typographers’ Union. They made hot lead type for — how you say in English — newspapers, I think they were called. Back in my Newspaper Guild shop steward days, when we argued for a week in the AME church at 15th and M whether or not we should cross the pressmens’ racist, sexist, violent Irish ahole picket line, the ITU, as I remember — basically, deaf graduates of Gallaudet — was the only one of the newspaper unions to be retraining their guys for the computer age.

Steiner

4. For forty years I have been encountering the educated serf class in socialist Third World countries. The waiter at Luxor has a degree in economics. The butcher boy in Havana was an Olympic basketball contender and has a Master’s degree in kinesiology.

5. When I was in Egypt, in the beginning of the 1980s, all the coeds were wearing black burkas and black wool gloves over their skintight jeans and silver lame baseball jackets. The average salary of a policeman was $9 a month.

6. The result of this is that the only economy which works is the back channel or Blade Runner economy. You go to the Cairo Museum and see many, many curatorial tragedies due to the world’s heritage objects being displayed in padlocked cases humidified with empty Petri dishes and fumigated with visible moth balls. The guard in the room where the Rosetta Stone — the Rosetta Stone, people — is displayed by itself has roped it off and permits no entry unless baksheesh is extorted.

7. I see us, that is Americans, now joining those Third World places who missed pre-industrial and went straight to post-industrial, as having been educated for a different economy. All the supermarket checkout people will be former reporters, punk musicians, and classified ad sales people. The black people, who have, for various reasons, been on to the back channel economy for the past 400 years, have already sewed up all the well-paying, post-industrial, “proletarian” but now upper middle class jobs, like UPS driver. I think the unions — who hate brown people the way the Irish pressmen hated everybody else — now call themselves “progressives”, having carefully chosen to avoid anything that smacks of “liberal”.

8. A friend, who is 37, just paid off the last of her med school loans. I’ve been talking about the university lately as the predatory lender who has landed the average college graduate with $25,000 in debt. Average means 50 per cent of them have more.

A professor, who labored both in the Ivy League and elsewhere, said, Oh yes! Those terrible predatory lender schools like the University of Phoenix! No, dude, that would include the predatory student loan officers at Princeton and the big fat state university at which one has spent one’s career.

9. What is a leftist? Someone who believes that there is a commonweal the government needs to pay for? A simple version of the social contract I like is, I pay taxes, you protect me. This strikes me as the social contract and not the position of a wild-eyed anti-capitalist anarcho slacker or The Communist Manifesto.

10. Is this a hint of what a leftist might could, for one brief shining moment, in the summer of love, have been? Someone who believed Love itself was to be found in the democracy of public space?

More and more young people were flooding the Haight, including four beautiful girls from Antioch College, in Ohio. A sexy anarchist movement, the Diggers, had sprung up, and the girls joined in. One day two of them, Cindy Read and Phyllis Wilner, “were walking down Haight Street,” Cindy recalls, “and Phyllis said, ‘Isn’t this how you thought the world would be, except it wasn’t? But now, for us, it is!’ ”

San Francisco Diggers poster, ca. 1968, from the Diggers’ Archive

….“The Summer of Love became the template: the Arab Spring is related to the Summer of Love; Occupy Wall Street is related to the Summer of Love,” says Joe McDonald, the creator and lead singer of Country Joe and the Fish and a boyfriend of one of that summer’s two queens, Janis Joplin. “And it became the new status quo,” he continues. “The Aquarian Age! They all want sex. They all want to have fun. Everyone wants hope. We opened the door, and everybody went through it, and everything changed after that. Sir Edward Cook, the biographer of Florence Nightingale, said that when the success of an idea of past generations is ingrained in the public and taken for granted the source is forgotten.” http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/2012/07/lsd-drugs-summer-of-love-sixties

11. Still alive, after all these years. Go on, Joe.

I’ve been surveying a bunch of cookbooks lately, tracing the development of Edward Espe Brown’s recipes, his influence on California cuisine (he did not invent mesquite grilling, since meat is not on his Buddhist menu, but he may have invented California pizza, Spago, Wolfgang Puck and all his pineapple pizza spawn), and on what is now the commodity fetishization of farmer’s market vegetables and locavorism. New York City’s number one chef, Mario Batali, dropped out of the fast corporate chef track in the 1990s and went to cook in a 25-seat trattoria in a small village in Italy for three years. He never stops talking about pristine produce and married his farmer’s daughter. He calls it Italy, but it’s really Eddie.

Edward Espe Brown

Edward Espe Brown (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of Espe Brown’s cooking foremothers is Adelle Davis, who was the nutritionist rediscovered by hippie dippie cooks like me in the early 1970s. I have my original yellowed edition of Let’s Cook It Right, and have not salted boiling food from the first day I read Adelle over 40 years ago.

Adelle Davis

Adelle Davis (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I cracked her open recently, on my road trip, to do some of the tedious recipe comparison/origin work that is the backbone of the Espe Brown story. You never believe this of a nutritionist, and certainly not from the hippie-dippie ones, but what a good cook Adelle was!

Yesterday I made one of the aspics I pencilled a star alongside 40 years ago — slow and steady crosses the finish line, baby — and it is all I want to eat. Martha Stewart, having learned a lesson from Real Simple, a rival mag which pretends to be the anti-Martha but is weirdly anti-pleasure, has greatly simplified her recipes since the days I spent $100 on ingredients for minestrone and three days chopping that shit up, making stock, picking leaves off stems of herbs, and so on. This month she has a whole page of no cook soup, which almost qualify for the coveted Cuisine Dolce Far Niente tag I very seldom award.

So I made Adelle’s beet/smoked fish/apple aspic and Martha’s cantalope and chili soup. Cold fuds, mmmmmmm. Even with the enormous, perfectly tasteless cantalope I got from Smith’s, you bastards, and some doctoring with rice vinegar and honey, the soup is beautiful and mouth feely and almost tasty, and Adelle’s aspic is all I want to eat. She has one mother aspic recipe and about 50 changes to ring on it. I’m so psyched. Cold soup and aspic all summer long.

Mmmmmmmmmm.

I am sometimes amazed at the accuracy of my nose for news. The reading of omens is, you will comprehend, a child survivor strategy which, because it operates on an almost limbic, and yet learned level, I never really credit as fully evolved intelligence.

But it is. Thanks to the colloquy over at [a friends-locked blog] on bloviatin’ bloggers’ overuse of the term curating, I am reading, finally, a generation after everybody else, Douglas Crimp‘s admirably crystalline On the Ruin of Museums, which you can gank in PDF form here.

He says everything I’ve been thinking about for 20 years, while I was aware, in a mildly amused way, of the Foucauldian museum wars.*

These were at their fiercest while the Jews, the Native Americans, and the African Americans were all playing the race card to jockey their museums into one of the last few spaces of the Mall in D.C. — the Mall having been designed as America’s great democratic gathering space, bookended by the Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial.

Of the pomo museums, the Holocaust Museum is the most Disneyesque — Epcot Auschwitz — I have yet seen, truly insulting.

(I hasten to add that its library, all honey-colored wood and carpet and clerestory light, is almost as gorgeous as the I.M. Pei library in the East Wing of the National Gallery, which may be the best modern space ever. You know I dote on library architecture, and had a long discussion once on my private blog about what a lady’s library might look like. Part of my love is that qua public space, libraries — like museums — are the very instrument of democracy. They are the tool with which nations are built, as Foucault argued, and as the Jews, and the Native Americans and the African Americans knew before he did. This piece, about America’s busiest library, in Queens, N.Y. makes me want to stand and sing every time I read it. Sometimes I can still believe. Rejecting the canon is for people who have a nation; and the very identity politics “museumization” seems to decry are the tell-tale, self-destructive, modern earmark of post-modernism.)

The best thing about the Native American museum is the way the pond has attracted and shelters “wild” birds within view of the Capitol.

It surprises me to think that people say Foucault defines post-modernism, as Crimp asserts, as rupture from past historicism. I thought (schooled by Marxists, I admit; I think Marx got modernity right, and I’m thrilled that Crimp quotes clever old wrong Adorno first) modernity itself was defined as rupture, coalescing, rupture — thesis, antithesis, synthesis. And that pomo, like fascism, is just one of modernity’s….antitheses? Or backlashes.

My latest theory is, we haven’t worked out the ideas and problems raised in the 19th century’s great access of modernity yet. The 20th century was all reaction to that shit, without any time spent working out you know, the issues raised in Saturn Devouring His Son or Faust or Our Mutual Friend, surely three of modernity’s greatest documents, much less Darwin and Marx. (Museumization note: Googling for an image to illustrate Faust building his metropolis, the number four image for “Faust’s metropolis” is a Flickr shot of my own backyard, which I’ve tagged “Faust’s Metropolis”. This is….sputter…sputter… retromingent.)

To which end, I am going to try to read Louis Menand’s Metaphysical Club. You will congratulate me for the marathon achieved in completing the 800 page bio of William James, exceedingly well written, I must say, on a subject worth every page, fascinating as a survey of the enormities of the 19th century (Swedenborg! holy crap! the Civil War! Boston as the capital of the republic of women! America as the laboratory of modernity!), and accurately subtitled In the Maelstrom of American Modernism,  touched upon above. In short, a true portrait of modernity at its most influential, the point to which, my nose for news tells me, we are just now getting back to.

As one of the major progenitors of modernity, you don’t want to mess with Goya.

_____________

*I think they are well-taken, the essentially feminist, queer, subaltern arguments of the baby boomer counterculture. Nuthin’ pomo about that.

Silence is my metier, and in it I am not always certain rock and roll is good for girls. In spelunking around the intarnets, I discovered the International Association for the Study of Popular Music, its conference, its publication, which is on the right track if not, in major ways, persuasive.

One graf from the IASPM call for papers for its March, 2012, conference:

–Ladies on the Town: Cities have always been sites of female empowerment and risk taking, where the village daughter becomes a Bollywood star or a budding feminist forms an all-girl band. If this has stimulated fears of “women adrift,” free of small-town norms, from Dreiser’sSister Carrie to the girls who “need blinders” in Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind,” it has also incited celebrations: Beyonce’s single ladies, “up in the club, doin’ my own little thing.” How, within music, has the city made women, and how have women made the city?
http://iaspm-us.net/conferences/

Hmmmm. Beyonce made it on her own? Budding feminists form all-girl bands? Do they now? Or is that the sell-out?

I’m inclined to think that’s part of the Art School Confidential scam. Indeed, the biggest art school confidential scamster I have encountered was [redacted], forming rock bands, posting pictures of her [redacted] boyfriend’s poop, writing artist’s statements enough to put you off art until the end of time, and getting a fine arts degree from Pratt, in the 21st century, with a senior project — her collection of plaster casts of penises. Been done, dude. Baby boomers beat you to that one too. What’s new, and awesome, is you call it art. And it empowered you. Rilly.

And then there’s Alice Bag. And the indies. A whole nother can of worms.

You know, that political agency in rock and roll only exists when subcultures make the music. And it better not just be Suzy Creamcheese whining.

Always mindful that David Bowie and Mick Jagger together watched Leni Riefenstahl’s masterpiece of fascist art together. Fifteen times. And declared Hitler the first rock star. Yay, political agency.  So transgressive! For a quick rundown of the elements of fascist art, including sexual*, you might want to check out this and also this:

The squirmin’ dog who’s just had her day  
Under my thumb  
A girl who has just changed her ways
 It’s down to me, yes it is  
The way she does just what she’s told  
Down to me, the change has come  
She’s under my thumb

That marimba? I can tell you from the way it took me in 1966 it is rock and roll for sure. But is it too fascist for girls? Probably. Am I sorry I danced? Probably not. It is essential to know how the predator moves.

I am thinking of the eyewitness account in the bio of Pauline Kael I’m reading, previously in my reading referred to apocryphally, of a Hollywood producer going through head shots of actresses for a part.

He sorts them into two stacks. Fuckable. And un-.

Grace Slick, who was and is beautiful, if unfuckable, has recently said in her day you didn’t have to be good-looking because there were no music videos.
http://blog.discoversd.com/san-diego-entertainment-blog/grace-slick-dishes-on-sex-drugs–rock-and-roll.html

Mmmm-hmmm. I’m not sure it’s possible to be anywhere near hip, much less empowered, anywhere near rock ‘n’ roll. Patti Smith’s memoir, Just Kids — along with the great biography of de Kooning, the manifestos of the East Village and hipster life, ca. 1945-80 — makes one thing very clear. It was all about being fuckable, about Allen Ginsberg’s — and Mapplethorpe’s — thinking she was a beautiful boy. That’s why they call it rock ‘n’ roll.

And making a living on your back, as Anne Boleyn, say, among the married ladies, or Fakhra Younus, among the dancing girls, or the Eagles will tell you, is the very hardest way to go.

We can beat around the bushes;
we can get down to the bone
We can leave it in the parkin’ lot,
but either way,
there’s gonna be a heartache tonight….

___________________

*Umberto Eco discerns 14 signs of a fascist, including:

12. Since both permanent war and heroism are difficult games to play, the Ur-Fascist transfers his will to power to sexual matters.

This is the origin of machismo (which implies both disdain for women and intolerance and condemnation of nonstandard sexual habits, from chastity to homosexuality). Since even sex is a difficult game to play, the Ur-Fascist hero tends to play with weapons — doing so becomes an ersatz phallic exercise.
http://www.themodernword.com/eco/eco_blackshirt.html

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