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The Public Blogging of Pomosexuality, Homotextuality, Homophobiaphilia, and Drear Theory (aka Career Theory) [aka Gay4Pay]. We also read the Corner and OpJournal so the right buttock will be punished as well.
All comments subject to publication. Or dismissal. Or Both.
Nazi Death Docs Bad Arbiters of Imaginary Medical Practices, Media Critic Implies
More evidence Jayson Blair disturbs Andrew Sullivan on some other level than the one Andrew's elevator keeps stopping at. Sullivan cites this sentence as his "favorite line" in Jack Shafer's response to Jayson Blair's response (which Shafer quotes only very briefly, and paraphrases extensively--dig the big leagues journalism) to Shafer's negative review of Blair's book in the NYT's:
Allowing Jayson Blair to judge the ethics of a writer--or publication--is a little like green-lighting Josef Mengele to lead a malpractice investigation of Marcus Welby
If such a witless sentence can inspire Andrew's glee he must be ravenous for any scrap of Blair-trashing animus. It's so poorly written in so many ways that it offers the best (and shortest) argument for plagirism I've ever read. From its vaporous opening, that phatic "allowing", to the accidentally apt "a little bit", to the brake-slamming "green-lighting", to that brain-freezing climactic simile (Nazi goremeisters shouldn't judge the surgical procedures of affable, fictional TV doctors--there's a rule to live by), you're left wishing that Jack Shafer would consult Bartlett's more (or Nexis) (or Usenet) (or AOL chat) and his own internal phrasemaker less. Or not at all.
But this appears to be as good as Jack gets, so maybe Andrew was right in picking it as his favorite bit. The review Shafer wrote for the Times is as shabbily written. Imagine the hard-thinking (and speed-typing) that could lead to this sentence in the review's concluding paragraph:
The Times is a flawed, human institution that deserves every brick tossed at it except this one.
OK Jack, we believe you, you are no patsy for the Times. And likewise no patsy for reason and proportion. Just a brick in your own write, endlessly tossing yourself.
Here's a million dollar idea (chump change really, if you do it right), and I'm just giving it away. So simple. Some Music Row idiot in Nashville needs to remake The Byrds' Chestnut Mare. That's all. It would be a country hit no matter who did it and how they did it, but if you want it to be a great record too, then you must take my further advice.
1. All hail Roger McGuinn and the Byrds, but you need to remake the song with a butcher vocal. Roger already did the cowboy tenor version, so we're looking for a deeper-voiced x double y guy for this new take. I don't know the latest crop of Nashville himbos so I can't really say who, just, you know, more towards the Waylon Jennings side of male, but younger, prettier. Aliver.
2. You can cop the Byrds' arrangement or deep country-fry it with more banjos, sliding steel and fiddles. But it's got to be bigger than the Byrds did it. They made a great record but you have the technology to give it more space, and to fill that space with more sound, so use it.
3. This is key. The song already vibrates from beginning to end with pure emanations of the country mythos, it will stir souls like nothing Nashville has produced on its own in recent decades. But be aware that the song's most resonant spiritual moment is the penultimate verse, that so unexpected raga influenced pivot point (The Byrds put the Indian back into Country Western), the break from ABAB story/chorus structure to a shattering C--a sonic and lyrical orgasm. I hadn't heard the song in probably twenty years when I heard it again last night, and as I was listening and thinking how great it was and how it needed to be remade, I kept thinking it would really be perfect if there was a leftfield verse to break things up. I'd forgotten there was one. And how brilliant it was.
Tell the dude under the cowboy hat to sing it with dreamy masculine calmness and quiet, just a couple notches above a whisper, like he was stretched out under the stars telling another cowboy he loved him for the thousandth time. He'll know exactly what you mean. If he doesn't, he's the wrong man for the job. Try it for yourself:
Above the hills
higher than eagles were gliding
suspended in mid sky
over the hill
straight for the sun we were riding
my eyes were filled with light
behind those black walls
below was a bottomless canyon
floating with no sound
ghosts far below
seemed to be suddenly rising
exploding all around
Then wake from the dream with full voice for the end of the story and the final recap of the chorus.
And since it is a story-song there's the TV-movie, too (so you'll want to make sure your singing cowboy can act--a little bit). So yeah, easily a million dollar idea. Best of all, Mr. R. McGuinn (and Mr J. Levy--what wasJacques' story) will get a piece of the action, a well-deserved payday, their reward for valorous service in the cause of American culture.
I will be pissed if someone already did all this while I wasn't paying attention.
Yoko, the Old Wife, the Kids, the Stones and the Current Boyfriend
I so hope I have my wits about me enough to decline my Blog and Troll Hall of Fame induction in 2027. But I guess that post-heyday hunger for just three more minutes of limelight is pretty universal, so I'll probably be tripping over myself in my rush to get to the stage.
...there were some grand moments in the four-hour show, with Mick Jagger doing the honors inducting the only non-performer of the night, Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner. It was thanks to Wenner that the room had some extra celebrity sizzle. He had the Stones, plus Yoko, and Sean Lennon with his new girlfriend, actress Leelee Sobieski, among his guests. Wenner also had his wife Jane, who founded Rolling Stone with him, plus their three sons and his live-in boyfriend, Matt Nye.
Update: I misread this at first. I thought Leila Sobieski was Wenner's new girlfriend. Re-reading it I saw my mistake, so I'm less awestruck than I was. Wenner still did assemble a fairly amusing table, just not an heroic one. If only he still knew how to assemble a fairly amusing magazine.
I've always enjoyed jujitsu agitprop. The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence tactical device. Don't demonize your opponents, dress yourself in their drag, wrap yourself in their flag. Ironic love bomb them back to the stone age, or forward to the new stone age. (This is not to be mistaken with that signature feat of passive/aggressive fascarchists, the cream pie assassination).
The best of these strategic inversions seem to build on William Penn's observation that most causes are brought into greater disrepute by the words and deeds of their most fanatical supporters than by anything their enemies do or say. The lesson from this then is to make sure the most unbalanced of your ideological opponents get the attention they deserve (and crave).
There's also an element of surrealist syndicalism and the absurdist strike. Instead of walking off the job and leaving the poorest of their fellow citizens stranded, bus drivers keep driving, but they strike by not collecting fares. Toll takers just lift the barriers and let the traffic through without paying. High School teachers could strike by being really challenging and engaged for as long as it takes to win their free dental. I could strike by writing this page day after day for no possible reward.
Anyway, this is pretty good. It's from Philly's gay community center. I'm somewhat involved with the center, though I didn't know about this till I saw it on the webpage.
(AP) COLUMBUS, Ohio - Police were hunting for a 28-year-old man who they believe may be the elusive gunman linked to two dozen highway shootings that have terrorized area motorists for months.
The Franklin County Sheriff's Office said the suspect, Charles A. McCoy Jr., lived within miles of where the gunman's bullets killed a passenger, shattered windshields, dented school buses and drilled into homes and a school.
Sluggish Miasmic Dwellings With Slow Vehicles Left Throbbing At The Curb
Two occult books found in a basement in late February. Let the circumstances of their discovery remain as cloudy as the books:
The Earthen Vessel by Pamela Glenconner (London, JOHN LANE, The Bodley Head, MCMXXI. Printed in Great Britain by R.Clay and Sons, Ltd, London and Bungay). Its explanatory subtitle:
A volume dealing with the spirit-communications received in the form of book tests with a preface by Sir Oliver Lodge.
Book tests were a highly literary form of clairvoyance in which the medium would indicate a somewhat specific book by description of its approximate place on, say, a certain highish shelf, and maybe the color of its binding, too. You would then be further directed to a small range of pages within which your spirit communication resided. No wonder Oliver Lodge, F.R.S. was so bowled over by its scientific method.
Pamela promises us that the record of failed book tests are included as well. The most amazing thing here is the notion that a unsuccessful book test is even possible. What a shameful failure of imagination if my survivors couldn't find distinct traces my astral life-force in each and every sentence of each and every book ever published.
Oh, but then I read The Earthen Vessel, and as comical a record of byzantine self-delusion as it is, the laughs come hard. Pamela (Lady Glenconner) so loved her World War One devoured son, you'd be a cad and a brute to take any superior delight in her book test mania. Besides this book (and her own poetry), she wrote a memoir of his beauty and cleverness, Edward Wyndam Tennant, the boy and the book were called. The Times had this to say about that earlier work:
The charm, the gaeity, the seriousness and the sterling qualities of this brilliant youth are yet alive in the pages of this memoir.
Edward was a devoted son and brother, a party giver and poet. He published one volume before his death at the Somme. Its title, Worple Flit.
The second esoteric book I appropriated:
Echoes of the Cosmic Song: Leaves from an Occult Notebook by Mary Gray (Margent Press, New York, 1945)
From Section IV Demonic Evolution--Demons of the Dark Face and Fiery Demons
Hatred Has Its Purpose Hatred has its purpose. Hymns of hate and paeans of joy are expressions of intensity--one of hate, one of love. And both serve to bring man forward out of the sluggish miasma in which he dwells. Those two almost equally intensify the action of the molecules, and set his slow vehicles throbbing.