Friday night’s all right for all kinds of fighting.
Look, when you are being banged like a screen door in a hurricane, things just kind of get said.
Friday night’s all right for all kinds of fighting.
Look, when you are being banged like a screen door in a hurricane, things just kind of get said.
This is the great day. This is the greatest event in all the history of the human race, up to this time. That is — today is New Year’s Day of the Year One. If we don’t change the calendar, historians will do so. The human race — this is our change, our puberty rite, bar mitzvah, confirmation, from the change of our infancy into adulthood for the human race.
And we’re going to go on out, not only to the Moon, to the stars; we’re going to spread. I don’t know that the United States is going to do it; I hope so. I have — I’m an American myself; I want it to be done by us. But in any case, the human race is going to do it, it’s utterly inevitable: we’re going to spread through the entire universe.
(Robert Heinlein. Interview with Walter Cronkite. CBS News. July 20, 1969.)
Is it gauche to use a Clarke cover in a Heinlein entry?
Happy forty-second birthday to the Apollo 11 mission (Hey, 42!). Which was apparently for nothing since we’re not going to colonize it even at all. Not under the aegis of organized government-funded scientific think-tanks, at any rate, which it seems are going the way of the Betamax and Karen Carpenter*. Privatizing space travel/exploration is about as dicey an idea as any I’ve heard in this life. There will be a Wal-Mart on the moon before a fucking hospital. Depend on it.
(I’m just bitter because I have always wanted to live on the moon. Sorry. This is not a joke: my ultimate fantasy would be to make love on the back lawn of my terra-formed moon house — by EARTHLIGHT. Picture it, you look up and the planes of your lover’s face are illuminated by light from Earth. HOW AMAZING WOULD THAT BE? Crazy amazing. Crazy. Plus outside sex.)
*Oh, my god, why would you even make that joke? Because I am a terrible person.
It’s Friday. Do what feels right.
More than anything else, I adore her stupefied look of delight from beneath the towel. Florence Henderson is my little candy-coated filthy miracle. Get it, girl!
Charming, romantic, a little sexy even, yes? These lines crop up on “quotes about love” here and there. But the scene is not so romantic when you consider it’s being reported to you by an envious, voyeuristic Satan who is literally hellbent on revenge on Man. Here’s what’s actually around that quote:
Sight hateful, sight tormenting! thus
[these two imparadised blah blah blah bliss]
while I to Hell am thrust,
Where neither joy nor love, but fierce desire,
Among our other torments not the least,
Still unfulfill’d with pain of longing pines.
So the lines are really more an illustration of how Paradise is still agonizingly out of Satan’s reach on every possible level than they are a spectacular commentary on the magic of love or whatever.
Suck it, romantics. Milton will have none of your frippery.
Tell a friend.
We all knew that, right? I mean, that’s why I can’t stand what I consider to be monotonous or repetitive, flat, uncreative music. I’d rather listen to nothing than something that doesn’t pull me in and start making me feel things. It makes me frustrated and mad. I really need music to take me There. You know?
“Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you’ve got about a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies — Goddamn it, you’ve got to be kind.”
(God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater. p. 129.)
Everybody’s always preaching on about what the world is coming to and how everything’s changed and children aren’t being raised right anymore, and perhaps that’s so in more cases than it used to be, but, when I am with my kidlet and her friends or I’m in the classroom teaching and interacting with children, I don’t generally find these bell-ringing end-of-days declamations of “oh-kids-these-days!” too be true at all.
If “kids” seem as a group to behave in a way that runs counter to previous societal standards, that is not reflective of their motivations, but of their parents’ lack. If they act out in a way they did not do twenty years ago, it’s because they’re being allowed to be fed bullshit from the television and other media by people too lazy to lift a finger to defend their minds from rot.
Children are still people, and as long as we continue to try to teach them to be compassionate and to love, they will have the same things in common with the people of history (who were never any of them that great to begin with, don’t be fooled) that every other generation has done: love, sex, passion, greed, honor, and the whole scope of personal emotions. Kids cannot be cut off from the birthright that is human feelings by technology — only we, and our attitudes, can cut them off from that.
Oh, hey: how’s the judging, Judgey Judgewell?
Look. In Marla's defense. We ladies? Sometimes we just say things and aren’t so much aware of what those things are, such like any person might do after getting banged like a screen door in a hurricane. It Happens.
Postulate that there is no privacy and no deceit possible in space: Your innermost thoughts, feelings and intentions are immediately apparent to those around you. So you want to be careful who is around you.
(William S. Burroughs. The Adding Machine: Selected Essays. New York: Arcade, 1993. p. 85.)
I did a lot of Burroughs reading in October to get all primed for the take-two of Burroughs month this November, and one of my favorite pieces from The Adding Machine was this little gem. I plan to share more later this week, about shit-spotting. But as far as this excerpt goes, I drew a lonely and ugly conclusion from the parameters of Burroughs’ postulate in this passage: if there is no privacy in space, I would not want to go.
Astronomy Domine by pequeñísimo ser on the flickr.
If that’s part of the rules, that I can be in space but people can read my thoughts and my feelings? My first instinct in the face of that stricture would be to reject the chance of space travel, which is something that I have wanted to do my whole life, to the point that I mist up when I think about how I’m getting too old to ever be approved to colonize the moon, which means giving up on my dream of making love on the lawn in my terraformed backyard by Earthlight (the most beautiful thing possible — just think about it), yet here I am saying “no-go” to space travel if it means tipping my hand about all my secret romantic notions. That is crazy. I need to work on tearing down some of my walls.
The original Wonder Woman costume must surely rank high in the list of all-time great, iconic comic hero get-ups. Is this part of what puts me off?
Costumed (or semicostumed) heroes such as Wonder Woman and Superman, rather than the villains they fought or the outlaws rampant in crime comics, were the main objects of the Catholic Church’s early  criticism of comic books, censure that began to take the form of a serious campaign against comics.
Bishop Noll explained that the NODL [National Organization for Decent Literature]* objected only to Wonder Woman’s costume. “There is no reason why Wonder Woman should not be better covered, and there is less reason why women who fall under her influence should be running around in bathingsuits,” Noll wrote.
(Hajdu, David. The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How It Changed America. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2008. Print. 75-78.)
I guess it’s true that I never liked her costume much, but I’ve never found it any more all-that-scandalous than those of usual dat-ass suspects such as Power Girl, Emma Frost, or Huntress. (God, I hate Huntress, and there is nothing mysterious about it. She sucks. You will not be seeing a “__ Days of Huntress” around here, ever.) I don’t think I ever gave Wonder Woman’s outfit much thought in print … but I did contemplate it onscreen, watching the Lynda Carter television series. The TV Diana had so many great wardrobe changes, not only with that wonderful spinning-into-Wonder Woman sequence, but with gear tailored to her various missions: remember that slick diving suit?
Separate from my later feelings about Wonder Woman as a comic hero, as an early television role model I had nothing but full esteem for the character, in particular her outfit. I can remember sitting on the tacky rose-patterned velour daveneau on which I’d been conceived and on which I took my afternoon naps — and, depending on where we were living, sometimes slept at night on the hide-a-bed as well (very strange experience, since my parents were extremely up front with me about the couch-conception thing and seemed to find it heartwarming; I had more mixed feelings) — in the early afternoons before I even started school, watching syndicated re-runs of the program and being wowed. If I picture Lynda Carter in a blouse and blazer speaking confidently to a male coworker, I can still vividly feel kid-sweat from playing after lunch melting the sofa’s scratchy, worn fabric in to faint little clumps under my legs. She was so glamorous that she wore earrings everywhere. Everywhere. I loved that shit.
This is definitely a non-issue. The outfit has nothing to do with me shying away from Wonder Woman for the last mumble-muffleth years. Asked and answered!
In any case, Wonder Woman’s costume recently underwent a redesign. That’s her new look up there. I don’t really care one way or the other. I guess I’m a little wary and disappointed, as always, by tampering with classics, even ones of which I’m not a fan — and, in the same way that I was slightly rankled by the initial reinvention of Kate Kane as a Jewish lesbian in the Batwoman comic (Why not make her deaf and HIV-positive, to boot? How unforgivably uninclusive of you, Non-PC D.C.!), I feel not-just-vaguely pandered to. Then again, I like the new Batwoman line now and I am hunky-dory with the matchup of Renee Montoya with Kate. So maybe the costume redesign of Wonder Woman will be another in-my-face situation. Tough to gauge since I don’t know if I’ll come out of this project wanting to read her or not.
Longtime fans, what do you think of the change?
*more on those guys soon.
Kind of a sequel to the “asphinctersayswhat” pearl of Freudian wisdom from a few weeks back.
Photographed by David Samson.
When a woman has scholarly inclinations there is usually something wrong with her sexuality.
You have no idea.
via suicidewatch on the tumblr.
Percent of women in the U.S. with a Bachelor’s Degree or higher, according to the recent United States Census: 10.9, versus 9% of males. Folks who dig deviant dames, it is looking good for you!
I’ve had a lot of friends celebrating romantic occasions recently. This is for them, and for hope.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Gondry, 2004).
i like its hows. i like to feel the spine
of your body and its bones, and the trembling
-firm-smooth ness and which i will
again and again and again
kiss, i like kissing this and that of you,
and possibly i like the thrill
of under me you quite so new
(E.E. Cummings, “i like my body when it is with your.” Written for Elaine Thayer. They divorced in December of 1924. The poem was published Valentine’s Day, 1925.)
If you feel often like me then these Cummings love poems might make us lost ones a little lonely, but if I can glean a positive from it, they are written with such passion that you cannot help, with some surprise, hoping to find a fraction of that abandon and joy, whether again or for the first time. And believing such a thing is possible to find even after you’ve experienecd deep pain or felt yourself set always apart from the crowd of the easily popular, incomprehensible, “normal” socializing world, the idea that you might still connect with someone in a deep, resonantly real way, one that isn’t predicated on current conventions of date-marking-success like alcohol or knowing lines from an eighties sitcom, is something that is never bad. I think too that stripping away all the trappings that surround a date or relationship, and seeing how well the vibe between you stands up absent of distraction, mood-altering substances, and the intervention of entertainment technology is maybe a good idea, too.
Maybe it’s even vital and something you should do right out of the gate instead of triking along together parallel-playing in front of the television at being in touch when really you are still little materialistic children faking love for someone else in a thousand ways while you prevent yourself from really loving anyone by putting up these walls of text messages and reality shows you have to watch and social networking and earbuds and booze and — hey-hey-hey — blogging. We make ourselves alone even when we’re together, and then we can’t understand why we can’t form connections… I am totally depressing myself. This was supposed to be about hope and it still is. Maybe I’m just whittling away the non-reality of all the malarkey that’s kept my hope from fulfillment in the past.
in spite of everything
which breathes and moves,since Doom
(with white longest hands
neatening each crease)
will smooth entirely our minds
-before leaving my room
through the morning)kiss
where our heads lived and were.
(E.E. Cummings, “in spite of everything.” 1931.)
It always ends in an empty room, but what ecstasy filled it before. Photograph by Anne Kristoff on the etsy.
What is beautiful to me in this poem is that it has more than a simple “stop and smell the roses” theme: Cummings admits that the world in its entirety as we perceive it will come to an end, yes, but that not only must we take joy in small moments, we must actually treasure these moments even as they have passed within our own lives. We must treasure one another and our time and connections, no matter how brief.
It’s a striking and emotional, encouraging message. But it’s also such a challenge because we can be so easily swept up in the dirty details and downtrodden state of life that we forget to kiss a pillow or take a moment purely for sentiment. Taking joy and deliberately remembering and treasuring a happy time: Is this a thing I am doing to the fullest, or am I always fretting about Apocalypse Yesterday and frittering away precious opportunities for connection and growth? I know my doom-and-gloom, fast-food-is-poison self to be guilty of the latter. This is a thing on which I resolve to work at improvement: accept that Doom I’m always gloomily prophesying is an eventuality and work within my life to make joy and find peace anyway.
Brigitte Bardot and Jane Birkin in If Don Juan Were A Woman (Vadim, 1973).
Faust: My heart’s on fire — let us depart!
Mephistopheles: This is the true poetic art
and I have never met with prettier poets;
Could they but keep the secrets of their trade.
(Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust. Part I, Act 1, Scene 3: “Witch’s Kitchen.”)