Thursday, August 24, 2006

A paterian prince of a man


My determination to stay in the kiddie pool for the duration of this silly month is being nicely aided and abetted by newsreaders, Editrice and Shadow in Hiding himself.

On this, the dismal side, of the pond, the airwaves have spent most of their time following the footsteps, words and facial expressions of a pasty faced little oddity who appears to have somehow managed to engage the western world in his own dismal decomposition.

Lots of reasons for this obsession, of course. After all, it feels like an international interactive suspense novel of the more tawdry sort, perfect for armchair detecting or semi-sublimated voyeurism.

But then I thought of Lewis Carroll, with his similarly delicate features, diminutive figure and tiny obsessions. One senses, in both, a desire to escape, back to the certainties, simplicity and beauty of childhood.

Like others of similar bent they seem centered on their own fragility, feeding it even, as if to emphasize how impossible it is for them to traverse, let alone survive, this world, the real, the “grown-up” one. And, again, their need to flee, to find comfort in childish things.

One can sympathize with the impulse, understand the desire for flight, for imposing innocence and utopia once again. But even so, there are paths and then there are other paths.

Oscar Wilde, in his own way, writing delightful children’s tales and playing dress-up, but still managing to negotiate the real world. His tools, of course, were wit, elegance and sartorial excellence, the consummate paterian aesthete and self-described anarchist.

I like the combination, of course: a gentleman equally devoted to foppery and politics, who happily penned fairy tales and Swiftean tract. The hardest path of all, perhaps. Not back to dimly remembered garden, but rather firmly planted in the moral present. Flowers and all.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Girls, girls, girls!!


We are valiantly maintaining our current determination – at least through August – to refuse to countenance any Serious Discussion about North Korea, imperialist plots, Iron Man tales, subversion in the ranks of the newly Otra, creepy expatriate 2nd grade teachers and/or twisted sisters of any sort.

And so we are left with Girls.

Girls wishing to amuse themselves.

A subject not nearly as pervy as it might sound, unless, of course, they might so wish.

And, given the nature of less than perfect current circumstances, it had been much too long since I’d paid a visit to the valiant Ladies United for the Preservation of Endangered Cocktails, and such a visit it was.

Do take a peek at their Cannon Fodder page, delightful in and of itself, but especially resonant given present times and past concerns. As well as the obverse.

Speaking of drink, the Sound of Music Drinking Game far surpasses my previous favorite, devoted to the State of the Union Address, substantially notching up the perv factor.

Now that we’ve somehow managed to let ourselves be dragged, kicking and screaming, into the pleasantly debauched, there is also a roadshow for tarts afoot. A much better idea, and of this I’m certain, than waiting for other boys to come out of hiding and show them the way.

For those feeling a tad off-put and cranky, I promise your spirits will be lifted, and recipes provided, at Disgruntled Housewives. And, oddly enough, none of the fun has to do with acquiring a cache of automatic weapons and/or major tranquilizers.

And, in celebration of all the above referenced, and in hopes of giving hope to fledgling tarts everywhere, we have these delightful words from Suzie Bright, a lady who should know and whom all bad girls should know, as well:

“Every time a woman's blog proclaims her intellect, her sexuality, and her nurture — all on the same page— she has diced the dominant paradigm.
She has motherfucked her way into new consciousness, with the radiant touch of real life…”

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Halcyon pleasures


Seduction, once again.

Odd how my mind so rarely strays from that charming subject in all its incarnations.

But now, mid August and swooning from the swelter, I’m in the mood for languor. For tarrying in odd enticing corners, for gentle, intriguing notions.

I somehow imagine that courtship begun on a midsummer eve might flourish with such slow pace. A flutter of fans, night-scented blooms tucked unseen behind garden bower.

Thoughtful missives strewn here and there, waiting patiently for the quiet magic of discovery.

So, a time for discussing Wilkie Collins in the back garden with a charming new swain and for revisiting Durkheim in a cool, dark nook in the Study.

Stolen moments, when Time, as we know it, seems silly and irrelevant. Duty refuses to call, and we’re left with a meadow full of possibilities. A poem to write, a paella to concoct, even another world to be conjured.

Seduction in the time of indolence would be less focused, fraught or finite, a time for simple, silly indulgence, the delicious divertissement before the next Act must be considered.

And, speaking of a meadow of possibilities, cheering news from our amatory source of first resort, Dangerous Liaisons. I shan’t give it away, but suffice that we are pleased.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Sweeping the Parlour


Such an understatement to wearily note that we’re getting much too much bored with bores of late. Especially those with agenda on their little minds, vendetta in their teensy hearts and way too much time on their sweaty little palms.

Therefore, an evening of the very opposite. Substance, grace and honour.

First, locally speaking, as it were, CML-DF, or Centro de medios libres del distrito federal. I was directed there today by a Comment on the Page and was pleasantly surprised to find what actually does look like “free media”. Versus most of the “alt media” which somehow manages to pleasure itself while simultaneously servicing its gods .

No nasty little gatekeepers here [and a tip of my hat to the ever vicious La Otra Buena Conciencia at the Page -who grows more demented and homicidal by the day - for accomplishing what might have cost CISEN buckets of money: driving so many smart, committed compas out of the OC], wide-ranging coverage, reasoned discourse…

And, for those who might truly be interested in pursuing some of the issues which have surfaced in recent Comments, let me remind you of a group I’ve reminded you of on more than one occasion: Globalise Resistance. Their links are especially helpful.

But, if you’d like to go where I go, almost every day, and especially when overwhelmed by the intellectual and moral cowardice - and vacuum - that seems to envelope almost every corner of late, do try Social Anarchism.

There you will find delight, civility, scholarship, an astonishing array of good words and thoughts, a universe away from the Page or from googling wankers.

But best of all, tonight I finally found, there, the most perfect, delicious and spot on definition of anarchism ever:

"Hedonism…tempered by an acute sense of responsibility."

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Evening the playing field


Stealing voz.

It's been a matter of great concern at YO! of late, but Jasmine and Peony have been doing a damn fine job of unmasking and rehabilitating the evil-doers. We’ve even touched on it, more than once, right here in the Parlour.

And, speaking of right here in the Parlour and stealing voz, I’ve been amazed at how much of the latter has been attempted in the former. Not pleasantly amazed, of course, but, given my perverse and wrongheaded penchant for pattern recognition, I’ve noticed a certain taxonomy.

Yes, think of this as a folio in progress, a scribble of field notes:


The Pedant.

Not even a glimmer of surprise here, given his never-ending, annually renewed supply of naïve disciples. Syllabus writ in stone, resting on long-faded laurels, what better domain for the silencing of voz than fair academe?

His tactics are amusing and rife with the hurling of “correct sources”, “informed [read: his] thought”, tangential argument and hysteria. What might be awe inspiring to cowed freshmen inspires little but giggles to those with a mind and a library of their own. There is, after all, good reason and history for the term “ivory tower”, and he would do better to remain there, surrounded by sycophants of similar low self-regard.

There are also those who, for one reason or another, cannot hold forth from properly recognized hallowed groves, but they often act as Shadow-master or Ghost behind the Throne, issuing forth tract and doctrine.

The Pedant steals voz by stifling or supplanting.


The Politician

Unlike the academic, the hack has no ego problems, other than the fact that his own inflated sense of self-worth tends to quickly suck all the air out of any room he enters. Convinced that he is the best and brightest, he is driven to make sure that everyone around him is equally convinced.

He must weigh in on every conceivable issue, and word count is everything. His stratagems are numerous and, like him, ever shifting. Refocusing subject, whether subtly [by, for example, cherry picking an opponent’s argument and running with a single comment] or unabashedly; theft [“yes, as my dear colleague so aptly restated my point”; denial [as in, he never said that or, in the age of video loops and hard drives, he was deliberately misinterpreted] and all the rest of his tired gambits.

Their habitats are wide-ranging, and their messianic self promotion fills our airwaves, bandwidth and archives.

They steal voz through artifice, pomposity and brute force.


Zealots

These are the feverish ones, the ardent followers, unquestioning acolytes at an altar they did not create. Quick to detect doctrinal error, they act as classroom snitch, hall monitor, trusty.

When they’re not busy doing rude slapdowns on the Page [and abundant thanks, once again, to Jasmine and Peony for having sequestered and rehabilitated the False Web Administrator, thus lessening, if not entirely ending, said slapdowns], they’re contorting themselves, pretzel-like, in an attempt to explain and justify today’s Holy Writ. Phrases such as: “…(we) can only wait for the answer and continue to offer what political support is requested…”

This is a hallmark of zealots of any nature: the hierarchical nature of doctrine and follower. Right Doctrine exists above, far above them, and they exist but to serve it. Theirs, never, to “reason why”. Theirs, unfortunately often, “to do and die”. Since they have fashioned their entire moral, and often professional, universe on blind obedience to a particular set creed [although it, the creed, unlike the parishioners, IS allowed to shift], any questioning, no matter how minor, would indeed be tantamount to death.

So the zealots steal voz by turning it in, damning it, screaming at it.

And, yes, we have seen, and see, all the above, many times over, everywhere.

Even in Parlour, Library and YO!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

A field guide to field mice



Enquiring minds might note that I have added the full text of John Ross' article on the Red Alert to our very own Library.

I also added a Comment, which consists of a rebuttal of sorts, which was forwarded to me by a most dear friend. In the interest, of course, of meticulous Fox-like "fair and balanced". Do feel free to join the reasoned debate there.

And, for those of you who take special delight in the deliciously unfair and off-balanced, do look for More Girl on Girl Action, or Part 2 of Peony and Jasmine's mutual interview. We are promised that Violet shall be making her long-awaited entrance, and, depending on surveillance issues and what the Editrice gets up to this evening, Part 2 will make it to print either tonight or on the morrow.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Pleasuring


Where the bee sucks, there suck I
In a cowslip’s bell I lie;
There I couch when owls do cry.
On the bat’s back I do fly
After summer merrily:
Merrily, merrily shall I live now
Under the blossom that hangs on the bough.

"The Tempest" (5.1.97-103)


Firmly ensconced under the blossoms, with nary a thought of the Big Bad World.

Not mine to reason why, nor to tax my silly little head with questions of War and Peace, Reason and Insanity, Boys and Girls or why the stars come out at night.

Though I should warn our more timid readers to please avoid YO! right now, as they are indeed addressing some of the above issues. And not in the seemliest of fashion.

I do, however, want to proffer a flutter of my fan to the gentleman who recently managed to locate that rarest of current commodities, his cojones [I hasten to add that said commodity is by no means lacking amongst our own valiant salonistas]. You may find the reference in Comments under the previous Post.

No, what I’ve really been thinking about – tucked under the blossoms, as I am – are the birds and the bees. But of course. Blossoms overhead, birds fluttering about, bees tarrying here and there.

A veritable seraglio.