“I’m so bored. I hate my life.” - Britney Spears

Das Langweilige ist interessant geworden, weil das Interessante angefangen hat langweilig zu werden. – Thomas Mann

"Never for money/always for love" - The Talking Heads

Friday, November 10, 2006

elegy for the unibomber



Last night I was tired, so I dropped in at Waterloo’s for a drink and a bite. There was a boy band playing there – all pretty boys of @ 18-20 in age. Blond hair, rosy skin, perfect teeth, oh the excellent line of credit that had gone into their making, playing C & W about a quite other life of drinking and the degrading frisks of Eros in dubious locales. They all played well, and sang enthusiastically. The parents of one of the musicians were sitting there, with the Mom quite happily bobbing her head to it all. As I sat there and watched, the family of another of the singers came in, with two seventeen year old girls at that stalky, shoulders up age, and one of them happily flashed a smile at the group of singers, which the boys then industriously pretended not to see. A minute later through the entrance trooped three other boys, around 20 or so, wearing U.T. shirts and looking vaguely fraternity-ish, and the group immediately came to life, the singer giving them a happy shout out. Their buds were here! Validation!

And I thought, Freud had it so wrong. The interminably unanswered question is: what do males want?

That war is an organizing principle above the structures of the state has everything to do with male desire, the joker in the human pack, begging for it knows not what and quick to anger and long melancholic years when it doesn’t get it.

But… I don’t have time to go into this at the moment. Must get to work!

Oh, and the picture up there at the top of this post is my friend D., who raised me from a pup. D. is presently working on a masterpiece that crosses the boundaries of all medias and in fact pours gasoline on them and tops it off with a lit match entitled, Elegy for the Unibomber.

5 comments:

it said...

what do you make of Theweleit's Male Fantasies in the wake of your 'what do men want?' question? It's certainly a good one...

roger said...

IT, I like Theweleit's way of developing the dialectic of the 'hard' outer body. The first philosophy paper I ever did, in the long ago, was about the Hermaphroditus - a statue that was considered the hottest thing ever back in the eighteenth century, with its ever so luscious buttocks - and the problem that posed for 18th century philosophes, who inclined, for the most part, to the tactile view of the universe - that the basic unit was touch, or the basic sensual standard. Because then the question is, how can you have an aesthetics that appeals, fundamentally, to the senses, of which the basic unit is touch, and still maintain a composed distance around the ever so delicious Hermaphroditus? The notion of the touch-look is still with us, right? How many times have I read about the male gaze 'undressing' its object, like the magic eye growing fingers.
Anyway, I read Theweleit in conjunction with Wyndham Lewis, who was a real fascist - for a while - and definitely embodies in Time and Western Man and - my current fave - The art of being ruled - a lot of the male fantasies taken up by Theweleit. Have you ever read the Art of being Ruled, by the way? Much, much better than the dreary Schmitt. Here's a typical Lewisian paragraph:

"There are very many male Europeans today who never become reconciled to the idea of becoming 'men' (leaving out of account those who are congenitally unadapted for the rigors of manhood). At thirty-five, forty-five, fifty-five, und so weiter, you find them still luxuriously and rebelliously prostrate; still pouting, lisping and sobbing; spread-eagled on their backs, helpless and inviting caresses, like a bald stomached dog."

It is unfair, in one way, to call Lewis a fascist - he was, after all, violently anti-war. But the Man and Shaman chapter of The art of being ruled is, uh, some kind of tour de force.

Jed Squerlemann said...

"At thirty-five, forty-five, fifty-five, und so weiter, you find them still luxuriously and rebelliously prostrate; still pouting, lisping and sobbing; spread-eagled on their backs, helpless and inviting caresses, like a bald stomached dog."

This is a reasonably accurate description of me. The helplessness is a ruse, however, and I have to shave my stomach. Still.

Should I welcome fascism?

roger said...

No - but you should avoid Victoria Stillwell if you possibly can!

Lewis hated the sensitized man. But then he hated the hard man too. He didn't like the dumb as an ox Hemingway hero. It is difficult to say what he was for, exactly. But he didn't call his magazine The Enemy for nothin'.

Jed Squerlemann said...

The doggy dominatrix? She's got nothing on Martin Seligman.

It's a pity Lewis is dead. I would have liked to invite him over for aromatherapy.