Monthly Archives: March 2010

alt hist

1. Psychohistory, for instance Lloyd deMause’s The Seven Phases of Going to War.

2. Amanda Lear, for instance Enigma.

3. What Do Women Want?

4. Lost Girls featuring Wendy, Alice, and Dorothy.


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in your message you said you were going to bed but i’m not done with the night. i’m never done with anything, it all persists, subsists, unfocusing, paralyzing. the last thing i’ll finish is the night. i can’t sleep the nights we don’t make love. no night ends, no day begins, no sleep. no bedtime, always waiting and watching clocks skip ahead. always late to bed always late to rise. so i stayed up and read, put your words in my head, got me mixed up so i turned out the light. delirium of literature addiction, this idea-infected body, consumed. with what could be is always what could have been. stay up, lose track of time, nonetheless it stalks. switch off when the sun won’t. who takes me to sleep, who decides to stop being awake, will they ever talk to me? why can’t i remember the dreams they hint with. show it all, tell myself nothing, filmmaker and actor in one. forgettable flicks, incredible tips, missed chances at the bottom of every day. who of us is familiar with a poet? which of us colonizers ensures a habitable time? who’s responsible for this today without any place for tomorrow.

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Hal Foster’s lecture How to Survive Civilization, or What I Have Learned from Dada placed Hugo Ball on one side of a continuum with Marcel Duchamp in the middle and Francis Picabia on the other side, most interesting of all was the mention of performance artist and poet, muse of the dadaists, Emmy Hennings. “It was in Munich, at the Café Stefanie, Where I recited for you, Emmy, poems That I dared tell only you,”

To you it’s as if I was already
Marked and waiting on Death’s list.
It keeps me safe from many sins.
How slowly life drains out of me.
My steps are often steeped in gloom,
My heart beats in a sickly way
And it gets weaker every day.
A death angel stands in the middle of my room.
Yet I dance till I’m out of breath.
Soon lying in the grave I’ll be
And no one will snuggle up to me.
Oh, give me kisses up till death.

…when it comes to sex and nudity, the Rhineland’s apparent openness embarrasses Americans, whose nation’s tolerance for violence borders on the unnatural, but whose interest in sex is, despite all, fundamentally closeted. Consider, pro-sex entrepreneur Beate Uhse-Rotermund, who was once a stunt pilot and after WWII distributed a pamphlet called “Schrift X” describing the Knaus-Ogino rhythm method of contraception in 1946, opened Germany’s first sex shop in 1962 that subsequently became an international chain, a sex museum in 1996, and when she died at age 81 her name was known by a reported 98% of Germans.

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By close inspection I mean simply as a child holding the paper very close to my eyes and being amazed at how the shadows and light disintegrated into and then reintegrated into lines. I believe something of this early “looking” collaborated with my experiences to suggest a whole, a loose style which I never really followed at all.

You’re going to die!

Stoicism is not endurance or resignation, but rather affirmation. Identify your will with what happens. Dissolve the boundary between self and world. “My formula for greatness in a human being is amor fati: that one wants nothing to be different, not forward, not backward, not in all eternity. Not merely bear what is necessary, still less conceal it—all idealism is mendaciousness in the face of what is necessary—but love it.”

Perhaps, then, we should revisit this matrix of man’s poetry and restore to it the arbitrarines on which it is based. I will illustrate that when female beauty radiates not with the “whatness of a thing” –the essence of Stephens’s epiphany– but with the conditions at the marketplace; when, in constrast to what Stephen claims, aesthetics is seen to be based on eugenics, art delineates the artifice of our conventions and unearths what ordinarily remains hidden. The refusal on the part of Joyce’s women to reflect “the necessary phases of [man’s] artistic apprehension,” the precondition for beauty, is what brings forth the feminine sublime: it designates woman’s critique of the social conditions that have reduced her to the pasive role of the other-of-the-same, onto which the masculine gaze projects its fantasies of beauty, only to get them doubly beautiful returned. While the young Stephen Dedalus is still caught up in what he himself calls the “test of love,” in which man gives only to (literally) see what he gets in return, the young Joyce is already coping with the inadequacy of this artistic logic and praising Ibsen for positioning his owmen characters outside the male-artist versus female-model framework.

Women do not have as great a need for poetry
because their own essence is poetry.

Who was Cain’s wife? At the historic Scopes Trial in Tennessee in 1925, William Jennings Bryan, the prosecutor who stood for the Christian faith, failed to answer the question about Cain’s wife posed by the ACLU lawyer Clarence Darrow. Consider the following excerpt from the trial record as Darrow interrogates Bryan:
Q—Did you ever discover where Cain got his wife?
A—No, sir; I leave the agnostics to hunt for her.
Q—You have never found out?
A—I have never tried to find.
Q—You have never tried to find?
Q—The Bible says he got one doesn’t it? Were there other people on the earth at that time?
A—I cannot say.
Q—You cannot say. Did that ever enter your consideration?
A—Never bothered me.
Q—There were no others recorded, but Cain got a wife.
A—That is what the Bible says.
Q—Where she came from you do not know.

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