Saturday, July 18, 2015

Julio Cortezar's House Taken Over

The Ouerbacker House. Abandoned in Louisville, KY.

Thanks to the Internet, I was able to find a pdf of Julio Cortezar's classic (creepy) short story "House Taken Over" (though I've seen some issues with either the translation, the transcription or possibly the scanning of it into a pdf, but still...)

So enjoy: http://www.bhcc.mass.edu/media/03-documents/House-Taken-Over.pdf

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The song that is getting me through life

Devin Moss and Treasure Island Media

So in February 2014, Treasure Island Media released a 3-DVD set called Legendary: The Best of Christian, and I will be ordering this as soon as I get paid on Thursday - Christian is possibly the hottest bottom on the planet and the DVD-set includes a 90 minute cumpilation, if you will, of all of the loads that Christian has ever taken.

What I don't understand, given the internet/porn buzz of Devin Moss having his first bareback scene with Morgan Black, why I don't really see anything online - at least none of the trumpets I expect - that there is a previously unreleased scene on the set featuring a bareback gangbang in which Devin Moss is one of the tops!

This seems important - or possibly it is just me. But for anyone else out there who cares, there are now officially TWO bareback scenes involving Devin Moss. (Three if you count an amateur vid that I once saw. You never see his face but it's obviously his dick and his tat, but I've never been able to find it since.)

So enjoy, but be sure to use some lube to combat chafing.

Is there a reason you're trying to be subtle in saying that Scout could be a lesbian?

So for Harper Lee fans, today is D-Day: Go Set a Watchman has been released and I personally just checked in roughly a dozen copies here at my library and sent them on their merry way to customers.

But what about Maureen Corrigan's NPR review of Watchman? Is it just me, or is she suggesting that Scout is a lesbian, without actually saying as much, and that Harper Lee, who has never married, didn't have the language or the "social imagination" to describe that experience? And if you aren't savvy to what exactly Fun Home is and who it is by, that reference may sweep right past you.

And given that we've had the language of the gay experience (or at least the homosexual experience) for a good 100 years before the writing of Watchman (the 1950s), even if in veiled terms reminiscent of what Ms. Corrigan is doing herself now in the 21st century, and that in To Kill a Mockingbird, Lee shows herself to have quite a bit of "social imagination," why Corrigan's namby pamby, tiptoeing around the issue now?

I mean didn't gay marriage just become the law of the land? Is she worried that she might turn someone off from the book by *gasp* saying that Scout could potentially be a dyke? Is that somehow worse that Atticus joining the Klan?

Read the review at NPR

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Bits and Pieces: The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson

Image via HuffPo

Maggie Nelson's The Argonauts is a chronicle [word choice? Greek, epic poem connotations?] of her life during a time when her partner Harry Dodge is transition to a Butch on T while Maggie is attempting to become pregnant. Well, while, and before and after. There's a lot of discussion on gender, sexuality, queer theory, and family.

I highly recommend it - though be prepared to keep your laptop or phone nearby so you can google people, theories and quotes - it made my head hurt some - honestly, I told a coworker who read it before me, that I didn't think I was intelligent enough to read it, but well worth the effort.

I beheld and still behold in anger and agony the eagerness of the world to throw piles of shit on those of us who want to savage or simply cannot help but savage the norms that so desperately need savaging. (32)

How to explain, in a culture frantic for resolution, that sometimes the shit stays messy? I do not want the female gender that has been assigned me at birth. Neither do I want the male gender that transsexual medicine can furnish and that the state will award me if I behave in the right way. I don't want any of it. How to explain that for some, or for some at some times, this irresolution is OK - desirable, even (e.g., "gender hackers") - whereas for others, or for others at some times, it stays a source of conflict or grief? How does one get across the fact that the best way to find out how people feel about their gender of their sexuality - or anything else, really - is to listen to what they tell you, and to try to treat them accordingly, without shellacking over their version of reality with yours? (53)

Homonormativity seems to me a natural consequence of the decriminalization of homosexuality: once something is no longer illicit, punishable, pathologized, or used as a lawful basis for raw discrimination or acts of violence, that phenomenon will no longer be able to represent or deliver on subversion, the subcultural, the underground, the fringe, in the same way. That's why nihilist pervs like painter Francis Bacon have gone so far as to say that they wish that the death penalty was still the punishment for homosexuality, or why outlaw fetishists like Bruce Benderson seek homosexual adventures in countries such as Romania, where one can still be imprisoned for merely hitting on someone of the same sex. "I still see homosexuality as a narrative of urban adventure, a chance to cross not only sex barriers but class and age barriers, while breaking a few laws in the process - and all for the sake of pleasure. If not, I might as well be straight," Benderson says. (73)

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

What I got from it

So my experience reading Robert Penn Warren's Jefferson Davis Gets His Citizenship Back was one of basically mentally adding the word "SLAVERY" after every sentence. I've never read such a gloss job. I mean he does mention it: mentions that Jefferson Davis owned slaves and that he apparently treated them well - you know, as slaves. But towards the end Warren starts to wonder how Davis would feel having his citizenship restored to him, asking: "...suppose Lincoln or Grant should have citizenship thrust upon him by the America of today. Would either happily accept citizenship in a nation that sometimes seems technologically and philosophically devoted to the depersonalization of men?"

Um...wasn't that what the South did to every person of African descent that was brought to this country from its inception to the end (and some would argue well past) of the Civil War? Are the people condemned to slavery, then, not "men"?

But other than that question, which makes me scream quite a bit in frustration, I did find an answer to another question I have - the question of what is this Southern "heritage" that so many white people of a certain stripe make reference to and try to defend. Here:

It is true that in France as well as in England there was strong sentiment against slavery, but when the idea of offering emancipation as a bribe for recognition was finally beginning to be put forward in the Confederacy it was too late to be of any use, besides striking paradoxically at a necessary, if not sufficient, reason for the war: slavery. And a parallel instance appeared when the idea of enlisting blacks for Confederate armies (with the implied promise of freedom) was successfully brought forward - a paradox best formulated by the politician Howell Cobb, of Georgia, who opposed the idea: "If slaves will make good soldiers, our whole theory of slavery is wrong." Actually, some blacks were enlisted and wore the gray, but only toward the end of the war.

So, with states' rights obviously bringing disaster [states in the Confederacy were withholding troops and supplies cause that didn't feel obligated to supply them], King Cotton dethroned [the world started getting cotton from India and other countries], and blacks wearing Confederate gray, little was left of the ideas that had made the Confederacy - only secession, in fact. But with the armies of Sherman and Grant closing in and defeatism stalking the land, what would become of that notion - a notion that for many eminent Southerners, including Davis and Lee, had been from the first dubious or rueful? Merely some notion of Southern identity remained, however hazy or fuddled; it was not until after Appomattox that the conception of Southern identity truly bloomed - a mystical conception, vague but bright, floating high beyond the criticism of brutal circumstances.

The emphasis is mine and is, to my mind, that Southern heritage which like concepts of God is so vague as to be both inexplicable and untouchable. Even Warren's "brutal circumstances" while pointed obviously at the institution of slavery is so vague that it could just as likely be about cholera or not having enough mint for the tea.

Basically, I feel that Warren shows his entitled whiteness, and overall I was left for the desire of a biography on Jefferson Davis (whom by the end of the book I felt...something for...during his imprisonment, abolitionists came forward (albeit white abolitionists) to express their desire for him to be released) written by an African American author. Because till then, his biographies I think will only get bogged down in concepts of Southern "chivalry" and "honor."

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Something From Something Else I've Read Recently

When I was in the 3rd grade, we were having one of those paperback book sales at our school library that now always makes me a little misty with nostalgia. At this particular sale, there was available a boxset of C.S. Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia. I'm sure by this point I'd seen the animated (and by far much better) version of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. And I pined for the boxset. I pined and I protected. I allowed no other student near that collection, knowing full well that someone else, someone who wouldn't love the books as much as I would, would rip it away from me, and I'd never see these rare and precious books ever again.

I asked Ms. Dossett if I could call my Mom and begged Momma to come, to come quickly, because these had to be purchased - even if they were about $10 - which in my 3rd grade mind was more money than I had a right to ask from my parents.

Momma came, she bought, and just a few months shy of 40, I still have those same books.

Just recently I picked up The Horse and His Boy, book 5 in this version of the series (not in chronological order - which IS THE WAY IT SHOULD BE READ - what do you have to be spoon-fed everything?). I've been kinda depressed and dealing with anxiety issues, so I've been reading kids books.

And "Horse" I remembered as my favorite of the books: a boy brought up by someone who didn't love him, escapes with a horse who is secretly a talking, Narnian horse and they escape through the hot desert make it to Narnia, avert an invasion, and lo and behold, the boy is discovered to be long lost royalty. It was everything I wish my life was.

Needless to say, the story has not survived well over the years. The racism is fairly blatant (just as in Lewis's buddy Tolkien's Lord of the Rings), but what can you do.

But I did read something that touched me in my current depressed, unhappy-with-everything state. In this scene, the talking horse Bree is feeling poorly because while he ran away from a lion (it ends up being the lion Aslan), Shasta (the boy/prince) stands his ground against the lion's attack, and the hermit, who is caring for the characters while Shasta is away averting an invasion, says the following:

My good Horse, you've lost nothing but your self-conceit. No, no, cousin. Don't put back your ears and shake your mane at me. If you are really so humbled as you sounded a minute ago, you must learn to listen to sense. You're not quite the great horse you had come to think, from living among poor dumb horses. Of course you were braver and cleverer than them. You could hardly help being that. It doesn't follow that you'll be anyone very special in Narnia. But as long as you know you're nobody special, you'll be a very decent sort of Horse, on the whole, and taking one thing with another.

There's obviously not been enough porn on here lately...

...do forgive me.

Via Sex, Love, and More Sex

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Un-American Chronicles now available

Hey, y'all!

I'd like to draw your attention to fellow blog Arion's Archaic Art where you can find that blogger's comic Un-American Chronicles available via ComiXology. This looks amazing! And apparently there is a sweepstakes that will allow you to win other comics.

Hey, Arion! If you see this, tell us what the comic is about in the comments section.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Currently Reading

In 1979 Robert Penn Warren returned to his native Todd Country, Kentucky, to attend ceremonies in honor of another native son, Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy, whose United States citizenship had just been restored, ninety years after his death, by a special act of Congress. From that nostalgic journey grew this reflective essay on the tragic career of Jefferson Davis -- "not a modern man in any sense of the word but a conservative called to manage what was, in one sense, a revolution." "Jefferson Davis Gets His Citizenship Back" is also a meditation by one of our most respected men of letters on the ironies of American history and the paradoxes of the modern South.

With "The South" being so much in the news lately, I (re) picked up this book (I'd read it several years ago and don't remember much of it.). This is actually the only book by Warren that I've ever read but I know enough about him - Kentucky author, Todd County is just south of my own Muhlenberg, poet - that I think I trust his view of the world and the world he comes from.

Someone that I respect went on a "the Confederate flag is a matter of heritage" tirade on Facebook, so I "unfollowed" him, but I understand where the tirade comes from. You really have to get away from the world that reared you to see the falseness of some of the things that are held dear. It's a matter of perspective. So in this instance I'm turning (as I typically turn to Mark Twain and H.L. Mencken) to Robert Penn Warren for perspective.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Tony's 1981

While looking for something else in the June 1981 Lexington Leader I found this picture from that year's Tony Awards.

From left: Kevin Kline, Jane Lapotaire, Lauren Bacall, and hot as fuck Ian McKellan.

Source: The Lexington Leader, 8 June 1981.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

I've been away

Hey, boys and girls.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Ahhh. Is this the wee beastie?

Via Telegraph: Has Google Found the Loch Ness Monster?

Toni Morrison on NPR

Image and quote via NPR

"When I'm not creating or focusing on something I can imagine or invent, I think I go back over my life — I don't recommend this, by the way — and you pick up, 'Oh, what did you do that for? Why didn't you understand this?' Not just with children, as a parent, but with other people, with friends. ... It's not profound regret; it's just a wiping up of tiny little messes that you didn't recognize as mess when they were going on."

I love today's Google Doodle

As a kid, the 001 and 133 sections of the card catalog were my favorite: vampires, UFOs, Atlantis, Bigfoot and Nessie were some of my favorite reads.

In maturing, I've upgraded to the 398 section: fairy tales and folklore.

Or haven't. Depending on your perspective.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

And the spoiler shall come upon every city...

Via Slate's You're not afraid of spoilers; you're afraid of the future

Game of Thrones presents a particularly striking example of the complicated interplay between time and spoilers. Because the television series has hewn unusually closely to the books on which it’s based (though that may be changing), those who’ve read its source material come to each episode with a great deal of knowledge about what to expect. This threatens to layer spoilers on top of spoilers in discussions of the show, as readers gleefully anticipate events that mere viewers could never predict. Before long, that situation will be reversed, as the show will surpass the plot of the novels. Because the show’s creators claim they’ll be working from George R.R. Martin’s plot outlines, this means those who prefer the books may have the subsequent volumes spoiled years before they have the opportunity to read them. Their less well-read siblings, however, will be safer than ever before, finally watching the story as it unfolds.