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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.
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The Lady Eve tagged me. Not only is it an honor, but I believe my gout is clearing up.
The bookish perimeter-sitters have come up with their own playground game:
1.Total Number of Books I've Owned: A few thousand. 2? 3? 4? Once you reach a certain point it can't get any more ridiculous, so why stop?
2.Last Book I Bought: I've bought so few books lately, and those so cheaply that the purchase quickly fades from memory (average price paid for the books in my place can't be more than a twenty-five cents). I acquire so many from just glomming through discards and such that this is the hardest question to answer. I bought two manga paperbacks (in Japanese, I guess) that appeared to be comical tales of teenage romance with an almond-eyed Scooby Doo/Archies/ Boogie Nights vibe from a store full of discount Asian books and imported Asian pop music in NYC last month. They were a buck each and were gifts for two of my nieces (only half of whom appreciated the gesture). The store is on that interrupted street in the east 40's that runs right into the front steps of the N.Y. Public Library. It is definitely the place to go for inscrutable para-literary artifacts on the cheap.
3.Last Book I Read: I just mentioned it in the post below this, so I'll substitute the book read previous to that, Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder. I don't think I like this book, but it challenged a couple basic assumptions of mine in ways I keep thinking about, so the book liked me no matter what I think of it. It's about Dr Paul Farmer, Haiti and other poor places, Multi-Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis and other scourges, and international public health policy.
4.Five Books That Mean A Lot to Me: I'm all about the archetypes so it's gonna be eight (archetypical self-image number one -RULEBREAKER!) kinds of books with placeholders (authors or books) noted for each. Though I will mention The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame all by itself since it made a reader out of me:
(1.) British Doorstops of the Nineteenth Century: Middlemarch, Vanity Fair, The Ordeal of Richard Feverel, The Heart of Midlothian. Books are the software and the reader is the hardware. Why read novels? To let another consciousness flow through you, to give another operating system a chance to run the machine, to feel another mind inside your own. Might as well let George Eliot give you a spin around the block, let Sir Walter Scott limp around inside your head.
(2.) Smart composers who write it all down, or travel with someone who writes it down for them: Ned Rorem's Diaries, the Igor Stravinsky/Robert Craft books.
(3.) Authors as flavors. This is my Neapolitan: Philip Dick/ James Ellroy/William Gibson
(4.) Books about the last century's big question by dudes who changed their minds, one fat, one skinny, one middleweight--the books and the dudes: Witness by Chambers, Road to Serfdom by Hayek, Radical Son by Horowitz.
(5.) Technoptimism, i.e. basically the whole Wired Mag reading list: Out of Control by Kevin Kelly, Metamagical Themas by Douglas Hofstadter, How Buildings Learn by Stewart Brand.
(6.) The Funny pages: Flan O'Brien, S.J. Perelman, James Thurber, Stephen Leacock.
(7.) Gay Novels/AIDS novels: Even better than his very good panoramic novel of AIDS, The Farewell Symphony, is Edmund White's very,very good particularistic novel of AIDS, The Married Man.
(8.) So many Crimes, So little hard time: There are many terrific one-off true crime books, but there was a master of the genre too, beloved Jack Olsen. I know Saint Jack would approve of me hailing Jon Krakauer's Under the Banner of Heaven as one of the best murder stories ever written. It is so much more than that, as all the great crime books are, but Krakauer's book is especially brilliant. It's the best book of any kind that I've read in quite awhile. A murder of a mother and infant child set amidst the Mormon polygamy underground. The description of the murder itself is the most unsettling thing I've ever read, its verisimilitude (the details coming as they do from one of the unrepentant murderers) is stunning. Add to that Krakauer's breakneck history of Mormonism and his well-informed examination of delusion and fanaticism and you have more instructive craziness between two covers than even I could possibly have hoped for. The book has been Amazon bombed with "reader" comments by interested parties who would like to sink it with opprobrium. I would love to see a list of all books against which this same foolish gambit has been employed. That is bound to be a list of books worth reading.
I was reading Breaking Open the Head, Daniel Pinchbeck's psychedelic memoir/travelogue/history/manifesto, over the same weekend that Amerie's 1 Thing (Trippin') was trepannin' its way into my third eye. Which helped me realize once again why I'd much rather be an erosnaut than a psychonaut. I like bodies with real edges, bodies that hold minds focused on the moment. I like my beauty very specific. If you think everything is beautiful then pretty soon you stop caring what the fuck you look like (see title of this post).
Oh, and I like beats-- big, unsubtle ones.
I'm glad everyone's not the same as me though. Knock your selves out, dopamine cowboys and serotonin surfers. And send back reports from the Omaha Beaches of your own private chemical D-Days. I'm convinced it's important stuff. It interests me greatly that certain drugs engender very particular visions, their own iconic figures and landscapes ('sup with all those elves anyway?). It interests me less to really (irreally) see them for myself. I just have no desire to spend any time actually inhabiting The Safety Dance video.
The thing that surprised me most in reading the book was learning that Terence McKenna was dead. Five years ago now. How did that pass me by? Kinda takes the edge off the singularity for me.
Sending this one out to Terence M.:
It's this 1 thing that's got me trippin It's this 1 thing that's got me trippin (you did) This 1 thing my soul may be feeling It's this 1 thing you did oh oh It's this 1 thing that caught me slippin It's this 1 thing I want to admit it This 1 thing and I was so with it It's this 1 thing you did oh oh 1:03 PM
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
U.N.official, I mean:
(Yahoo News)...May 17 (Tuesday) is the official International Day of Homophobia, commemorated with events and rallies around the world. The date was chosen to mark the day when the General Assembly of the World Health Organization deleted homosexuality from its list of disorders.
But hold on international party people, someone needs to proofread the holiday. Earlier in the same brief article about gay activists demonstrating in Hong Kong we are told:
The event, which took place on a busy street, was a celebration of the International Day Against Homophobia.