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Showing posts from November 4, 2007

Mailer - and I'm not feeling too well myself

God damn it. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Mailer's dead. I saw him read last year, and typically he chose a nicely salacious passage from his last novel with which to entertain the largely white haired audience. There were even males in the audience - Mailer's career spanned the time when there was actually an intelligent, novel reading segment of American malehood, hard as that is to believe now. Of course, those guys are disappearing, and their places being filled by the usual male shitheads, heads filled with babyish action movies, so imaginatively illiterate that they are unable to make it all the way to the end of a Penthouse letter. I wrote a piece for the Austin Statesman last year about the Mailer exhibit at U.T.'s Harry Ransom center. I had to radically rewrite the piece to get it published. Here's the unadulterated piece. It is newspaperish. Sorry about that. ... Although writers may be, as Shelley once said, the “unacknowledged legislators of mankind”, mus

the civilizing mission: Tahiti/Samoa

A thesis is the poetry of logic, and it usually ends up, x eyed and down, strangled by detail. Or at least this is my conclusion after hearing many many details in many many papers at the History of Science Society conference. It jolted me, since my own essay in the making, attacking the triumph of happiness, sometimes seems so mired in the Enlightenment underground, so intent on picking up odd writers, that it seems bent on disappointing my original inspiration, which was to strike a blow against a cultural dominant that is leading us to ruin. So, I need a bit of air and a leap ahead, which is why LI’s post today is about Andy Martin’s Willing Women: Samoa, Tahiti, and the Western Imagination, published in the Raritan in 1997. It is a superclever essay, since Martin takes Bougainville’s Voyage – an important Enlightenment text – as the background to dissect the famous controversy about Margaret Mead’s Coming of Age in Samoa – another famous text, this one coming out of the ‘mongrel

46 more shopping days till Hulaichi's deathday

Another black hole in the killing zone A little more mad in the methadrome … “Washington: Sir, the CIA rendition program was started under Bill Clinton. This is something that just gets lost in all this discussion. I hope your film reflects that. Stephen Grey [producer, FRONTLINE: Rendition]: Yes, we made that clear. It's an important legal point because it means that when the U.S. came to Sept. 11, they already had extensive experience in how these prisoners would be treated when rendered to places like Egypt. The biggest rendition was in the summer of 1998 (four from Albania, and one from Bulgaria). Of those rendered, two were hanged without trial. All alleged very serious torture; it was documented in court.” - Discussion, Washington post While I was away in D.C., I was unsurprised to see that there was no announcement that Andrew Moonen had been arrested for murder, nor any announcement that the justice department took any interest in Margaret Scobey’s status as an accessory. S

ezekiel returns from babylon, bearing gift certificates

I’ve known M since we lived together on ‘Manslaughter’ street in New Haven back in the 90s, and have loved her with as pure a love as this corrupt hulk can manufacture. She is now a professor, married to a writer and historian (who, she told me, just won one of Mexico’s most prestigious prizes for a book he published last year) in Mexico City, and has two incredibly beautiful kids. She was giving a talk on a panel at the Society for the History of Science conference in D.C., and floated me a ticket to come up and see her. So I flew into the Ronald Reagan airport with the kind of funny feeling Ezekiel would have had if he had were going on an all expense paid weekend to Babylon. D.C., after all, is at the very center of the American Jitters that have knocked me severely askew for years now – it is the symbolic embodiment of all that is lunatic, corrupt, short term and blind in this land where God shed his grace and the corn grows as high as the genetically altered elephant’s eye. When