Saturday, November 30, 2013

An Auburn fanatic on Twitter:

College and Magnolia@collegeandmag

(three minutes later):
College and Magnolia@collegeandmag
My goodness gracious. Ladies and gentiles--and Jews, eight pageviews from Israel today--what an extraordinary public occurrence in American college tackle football within the last hour. This is "rivarly week" in the sport, when semi-professional teams sponsored by universities play each other as they have each year for 100 years. One of the most intense of these rivalries is between Alabama University and the University of Auburn, also based in Alabama. These schools and their fanatics h-a-t-e each other--much more than I hate Islam. Alabama was the best team in America and Auburn the fourth best. Alabama overwhelmingly was favored to win the game. Alabama took a 28-21 lead with about 2 1/2 minutes left in the game. Auburn tied it with about 30 seconds left. In that short time Alabama then got in position to win the game with a kick. With one second left the Alabama kicker had to kick the football between the uprights from a distance of 56 yards or so. That's a long way for any kicker, especially one in college but it was worth the try. Pause, pause, pause, NOT! Bless his heart, Channing Beauregard III or whatever his name is, kicked it a yard short. And still on the field of play. At which point an Auburn player caught the ball. And ran 109 yards the other way for the game-winning touchdown. Astonishing. Congratulations to Auburn, heartfelt condolences to Alabama whose fanatics we urge not to go out and poison any trees as a result of this heartbreak (Really, that happened.). Here's the play:

Makes me feel so good to be "ahead of the curve." Here, in 2010, just as fashionable--and as pretty--as the 2013 model at top. (She's jealous, see how she's looking at me?)

Damnedest fashion thing I've ever seen. Incomprehensible.

Seeking the Soul of America.

What was it Mailer said about us, we are a combination of  "ecstasy and violence?" A "concentration" of "ecstasy and violence;" "...[t]hat concentration of ecstasy and violence which is the dream life of the nation," that's the exact quote. Boy, I think that about nails it. We are the "orgasmatron" society, but that misses the essential violence. The concentration of ecstasy and violence is the "dream life" of America.

"...[i]t was almost as if there were no peace unless one could fight well, kill well (if always with honor), love well and love many, be cool, be daring, be dashing, be wild, be wily, be resourceful, be a brave gun. And this myth, that each of us was born to be free, to wander, to have adventure and to grow on the waves of the violent, the perfumed, and the unexpected, had a force which could not be tamed...[i]t was as if the message in the labyrinth of the genes would insist that violence was locked with creativity, and adventure was the secret of love."-Norman Mailer, "Superman Comes to the Supermarket," Esquire, November, 1960.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Some PRC guy was asked today if Chinese pilots would shoot down foreign aircraft. "No."
Then what does "emergency defensive measures" mean? Don't know. Ask the Foreign Ministry according to the Foreign Ministry.
The new Chinese ADIZ overlaps with Japanese and South Korean Do the South Korean and Japanese ADIZ's require overflight notification? Don't know.
Do the Chinese notify the South Koreans when they fly over their ADIZ? Don't know.
Do the Chinese notify the Japanese when they fly over their ADIZ? No.
That previously-quoted Chinese Foreign Ministry guy whose name I've forgotten said today that "commercial aircraft" were excluded from the notification demand. The official text doesn't make any distinction between civilian and military aircraft. Why? Don't know.
This is the full text of the PRC's ADIZ announcement of November 23:

The Ministry of National Defense of the People's Republic of China, in accordance with the Statement by the Government of the People's Republic of China on Establishing the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone, now announces the Aircraft Identification Rules for the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone as follows:
First, aircraft flying in the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone must abide by these rules.
Second, aircraft flying in the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone must provide the following means of identification:
1. Flight plan identification. Aircraft flying in the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone should report the flight plans to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China or the Civil Aviation Administration of China.
2. Radio identification. Aircraft flying in the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone must maintain the two-way radio communications, and respond in a timely and accurate manner to the identification inquiries from the administrative organ of the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone or the unit authorized by the organ.
3. Transponder identification. Aircraft flying in the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone, if equipped with the secondary radar transponder, should keep the transponder working throughout the entire course.
4. Logo identification. Aircraft flying in the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone must clearly mark their nationalities and the logo of their registration identification in accordance with related international treaties.
Third, aircraft flying in the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone should follow the instructions of the administrative organ of the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone or the unit authorized by the organ. China's armed forces will adopt defensive emergency measures to respond to aircraft that do not cooperate in the identification or refuse to follow the instructions.
Fourth, the Ministry of National Defense of the People's Republic of China is the administrative organ of the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone.
Fifth, the Ministry of National Defense of the People's Republic of China is responsible for the explanation of these rules.

The disputed real estate.
From the Wall Street Journal, showing the Japanese and Chinese air defense zones. 

"China Scrambles Jets for First Time in New Air Zone."-New York Times.

Two American and ten Japanese planes, all military-related according to China, were on overflights. Don't know what the Chinese jets were scrambled to do. "First time" though, so further escalation. Yet:

Qin Gang, [Foreign Ministry spokesman] said, “The Air Defense Identification Zone does not equal territorial airspace, and is not an expansion of a country’s territorial airspace. Aircraft of all countries, including commercial aircraft, carrying out normal flight according to international law will not be affected.”

Notification only is required. So why not notify the Chinese? Are "commercial aircraft" excluded from the notification demand? Why is the notification demand so provocative? Why did China scramble jets? They identified the Japanese and South Korean jets without sending their own into the skies. The new "A.D.I.Z." is not Chinese territory according to this, no violation of Chinese sovereignty occurs by these overflights. So why did they scramble jets as if the U.S. and Japanese military were flying over Beijing?

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Blockhead? No Blockhead?

In the hours since the last post the thought has repeatedly come to mind, "Chinese think things through." That is, Xi Jinping thought this through. I have thought, "Chinese over think, they don't under think." I have thought, "Chinese still decide wrongly sometimes." And then I thought, "Is this a distinction with a difference or are you contemplating your navel? Again."

Songie thought through her masked desperado appearance on Morning Sun. Songie, et al thought through "Remembrance." Deng et al thought through the Tianenman massacre. Lotta thought went into those decisions. Bird-pump decisions but considered.

Compare the present Chinese incident--Crisis? Hmm...Yeah, I think this is a crisis--with two others. Khrushchev did not think through the installation of missiles in Cuba. Right? I mean that is the most documented international crisis in the history of international crises. I assert without concern of challenge that Khrushchev was a blockhead in that instance and did not think it through. He thought he could sneak the missiles in without the U.S. knowing. Blockhead. He thought he could present JFK with a fait accompli, Blockhead, The Sequel, and he thought JFK, who he had sized up at Vienna as callow and weak, would accept the accomplished fact. A Blockhead Trinity.

That's not the present China crisis.

Compare the present China crisis to Argentina's decision to invade the Falkland Islands in 1982. Another instance of thinking an enemy could be presented with an accomplished fact. Blockhead. Another misread of an enemy leader's will. Blockhead II.

That is not the present China crisis.

Both Khrushchev and the Argentine generals took offensive action. This China thing is defensive-offensive, passive-aggressive.

So it is, to me, far on the implausibility side of things that Xi Jinping is acting as a blockhead here. I think he and the rest at the Center played this out one, two, or more steps. I think they decided on this defensive zone as an alternative to seizing the islands. Right? That would be Khrushchev/Argentine general offensive-aggressive, fait accompli lack of sufficient thought. Xi has, in effect, chosen JFK's blockade reaction as his action, inviting the U.S. et al to be the aggressor with, as the U.S. et al have done, these overflights. Xi, et al, didn't act sneakily, as Khrushchev and the Argentines did, Xi announced it publicly.

So, I hold, by a preponderance of the evidence that Xi is not a blockhead, meaning that he did not think this through, I hold that he thought this through, at least these opening gambits by both sides. It's still a bird-pump decision, but a bird-pump decision with Chinese characteristics, one of overthought, of missing the forest for the trees as we say in the West, one created by Chinese pride, insecurity, stubbornness, and a lower level of concern for human life, the latter also peculiarly Chinese for if there is a military confrontation, even a conflagration, Xi has precedent on his side. Mao Zedong contemplated a full-scale nuclear war between the U.S. and China and the Soviets with equanimity: "If two-thirds of the world's people were killed in a nuclear war, the one-third would still be socialist." Scared the shit out of those blockhead Soviets. 

"China Sends Warplanes to Newly Declared Air Zone."-BBC

In Xinhua's Chinese language version of the article, the colonel [Shen Jenke] said the aircraft would "strengthen the monitoring of targets in the air defence zone and do their duty".
I would now interpret this as Xi Jinping having miscalculated initially. No response at all to the first two overflights and now fighters? Chinese are very sensitive to humiliation and the Japanese and Korean overflights are being seen as humiliation. Chinese pride, insecurity and stubbornness--and Xi's own standing--are now being reasserted. Has Xi thought through what happens next? What are the fighters going to do if another overflight occurs? What is the Chinese fighter pilots "duty" in another overflight? Isn't a fighter pilot's duty to shoot down foreign jets? Is Xi going to shoot down foreign jets? What then would the other country--the U.S., Japan, South Korea--do? Has Xi an expectation what that will be?
This is China's doing, sure as shootin'. And I don't think Xi is sure what he has done. What should other countries do? I don't think resume the overflights. China has backed itself into a corner but it's still backed into a corner. My first reaction to the initial U.S. overflight was "Why?" It has now been done twice by three countries combined. Don't poke at a guy when he's in a corner. How about taking a page from the Cuban Missile Crisis? Tell China privately that if it rescinds this defensive air zone announcement, they, the three other countries, will honor it. Make it reciprocal: China must notify Japan when it intends to send military aircraft into the area (part of which is also a Japanese air defense zone). What if Xi wants a shooting fight out of this? What if, in other words, he did anticipate precisely this action-counteraction escalation? Then the question becomes, is that what Japan, South Korea and the U.S. want, also?  I cannot believe that it is. This would go down in history as one of the dumbest reasons for countries to begin shooting at each other. China looks really bad right now: reckless, prideful, stubborn, stupid. Obama and Kerry said recently they "don't think" they, Obama and Kerry, are "stupid." Reasonable people can disagree on that one in general. On this one in particular I hope they are not stupid.

"Japan, South Korea Fly Military Planes in Zone Set By China."-New York Times.

And here comes a Jamaican Air Force jet! That's pretty funny. Japan and South Korea, huh? Maybe ol' Xi is a blockhead.

Good morning. Heh-heh-heh.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The new Chinese air defense zone.

It is new, first time since the founding of the PRC that off-shore waters have been claimed.

It's principal aim is Japan. Those two goddamned uninhabited islands over which both countries claim sovereignty is within the new zone.

Zhongnanhai is also employing a version of Mao's strategy to "Let a hundred flowers bloom"--so it can cut off their heads. It wants to see how far America is willing to go in defense of Japan. China views world relations in zero-sum terms. It doesn't trust America, doesn't trust Obama, and considers Obama weak. "So now," the Chinese think, "we see where you really stand." That is Chinese thick-headedness for America's commitment to Japan is not new (since the end of World War II) and is not hidden (It's in a treaty which the Chinese can, like, read.) Alternatively, if, as some say, Xi Jinping "miscalculated" the American response, then he is beyond thick-headed. I don't believe Xi is that thick-headed. I believe the American response was expected. Chinese do not like American directness, this was direct, and China does not like it. I believe, in Chinese eyes, America has confirmed the correctness of the zero-sum world view.

China is proud, stubborn, insecure, paranoid. It is a first-rate economic power and wants to be treated as a first-rate world power (pride); "But, are we really? Nobody likes us." (insecure (It's not personal, it's just because you're Chinese.)). The Center is using domestic pride and insecurity--"We're a paper tiger if we don't respond to this provocation!" to garner support. (Chinese are indirect: criticism is support, see?) They will never back off this line in the water they've drawn; "They're encircling us. See!" They have a paranoia of encirclement. In his two secret messages to his successors Deng Xiaoping wrote "Enemy troops are outside the walls. We should be mainly on the defensive." This new defense zone is a classic Chinese defensive maneuver to set up an offensive. They see America, correctly, as over-extended. They don't see America as having the "will," the "pride," the stubbornness for a Sino-American military confrontation. I hope they are right there too, but I don't know what the Pentagon thinks.
I Hold On is a new country music song by Dierks Bentley. The song has good lyrics, a great beat and is sung with intensity by Mr. Bentley. I Hold On is going to win some awards. Here's the YouTube video:
Far as I can tell the weather is miserable just about all over North America. I don't imagine it's much better across northern Europe. Ukraine, how Kiev?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


That was a long time ago. Whoever clicked on that post tonight, and one other time recently, it means a lot to me.

"U.S. Flies Two Warplanes Over East* China Sea, Ignoring New Chinese Air Defense Zone."-Washington Post.

The Post needs to shorten its headlines.

But, my first reaction was "Why would the U.S. do that?"

*Corrected from "Easy." We apologize for any inconvenience.

Pope Francis.

 "Today everything comes under the laws of competition and the survival of the fittest, where the powerful feed upon the powerless."

There is, in the design of capitalism, the legend of the shark, designed perfectly albeit primitively for survival so that it must always advance, never retreat, never rest, or die.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Thank you. Now, that is more befitting an Opposition Leader. That is "Motherland," a statue in my beloved Ukraine.

Arright, you up there, drool-face, get off the header. Ogre.

My God. I have never seen such an opposition leader. I thought they all looked like John Boehner.

In recognition of Ukraine becoming eighth in pageviews of this-here site we wish to acquaint view pagers with Ukraine. Ukraine is a country...And also, my son's girlfriend is Ukrainian...Iryna is very nice. And this is the opposition leader of Ukraine, Yulia Tymoshenko:
Ms. Tymoshenko is on a hunger strike in protest of the swine Ukrainian president's decision not to sign a trade pact with the European Union. Russia objected. We announce that the full weight of the prestige and influence of Public Occurrences is behind Yul...Ms. Tymoshenko and we urge her to eat to keep up her health.

Ukraine is now eighth in pageviews, passing Australia. Cold, cool. Cool.

It's cold in the US&A.


Iran and the "P5+1", the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Russia, China, on Iran's nuclear program. Netanyahu's pissed.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Continuing our popular series "Classical Greek Scholars Killed with Guns," we have determined that the name of Milman Parry's wife was...we haven't determined that. Using the crack forensic tool "Google" we have discovered no information on this. Which we find weird. Milman's Wikipedia entry is sparse and does not include this intelligence.  There was a son, which requires a wife or wife-like being but you can't cherchez without la femme. We have determined that there was an inquest into Milman's death, which presumes an autopsy. However googling "Milman Parry inquest" and "Milman Parry autopsy" yielded nothing related to the death, which we found weird until we learned that the terms "inquest" and "autopsy" are used in Milman's field. Which we find weird. The location of the gunshot wound on the body is important, not determinative, in reaching a judgment on whether it was suicide (e.g. head) or accidental (center mass) or homicide, i.e. inflicted by another (back). The path of the bullet through the body would be important in determining whether the injury was self-inflicted or inflicted by another. The presence of gunshot residue on the palm of the shooting hand would strongly indicate an other-inflicted wound while gunshot residue on the web would strongly indicate a self-inflicted wound. Gunshot residue on Milman's clothing overlaying the entrance wound would enable an estimate of the range of fire and would be important in reaching a reasonable judgment on whether the injury was self or other-inflicted and if it was accidental. So the autopsy report and the inquest report would be essential. But...nada. According to something we read, the cause of Milman's death as determined at inquest was accidental firearm discharge. The competing hypothesis was suicide.

No obituaries on Google. 1935 too long ago? There is no account of the circumstances of the death besides that quoted in its entirety in a previous post. Like the location of the death scene, the Los Angeles hotel: nothing. Weird. This was a prominent person, not well known outside of his field surely, but a man about whom questions were going to be asked when his death was so untimely. And weird.

Milman's son, Adam (first-born son "Adam," get it?), and his wife Anne taught at Yale. In 1971 they were riding a motorcycle in Colmar, France and were killed. No obits, not even a Wikipedia entry for Adam.


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.


The Crimson-fingered dusk of my soul-mate Milman Parry has certain...indicia of unreliability, viz:

Was this, like, Harvard professor of Latin and Greek known to carry a handgun? Was that typical, "par for the course," pro forma, I say was that normal practice, "business as usual" in the Harvard Department of Latin and Greek or whatever in 1935? Were professors of Latin and Greek issued service revolvers by Harvard upon being tenured or something, huh?

Cherchez la femme. The wife was in the other room? Sure, sure, that's what they all say. Why wasn't she unpacking her husband's clothes like a good little 1930's wife, huh? Was this some kind of "modern marriage" or something? She just didn't "do" clothes unpacking? Don't make me laugh.

Why was la femme in another room? What other room? This is a husband and wife in a hotel. Separate rooms? Oh, now we're gettin' someplace.

Why would Milman be taking a gun/his gun to a meeting with his mother-in-law? Arright, strike that question.

"Where are my BVD's? Ah, here they are," BOOM! No. No boom. Sticky-fingered Milman would not have mistook a frigging loaded revolver for an article of clothing! No, I say!

Milman Parry, rest in peace? No! No Justice, No Peace! What do we want? Justice for Milman. When do we want it? Nowww.
Milman Parry, assistant professor Greek and Latin, (sic) died in Los Angeles yesterday afternoon as a result of an accidental shooting, according to were received (friggin sic) last night.
Parry, visiting his mother-in-law in Los Angeles, was unpacking a suitcase in his hotel bedroom when a revolver mixed in with his clothing went off, mortally wounding him.
His wife, who was in the next room, immediately summoned an ambulance, but he died before reaching the hospital.-Harvard Crimson, December 4, 1935.

So, I'm reading The Kalevala, right? Epic poetry. What's some other epic poetry? Homer, right? Right. Read Homer. Correction: tried to read Homer. Three different frigging translations, I think. Trying to find one I liked. Never did. Know why? "Rosy-fingered dawn." Yeah, like that. "Wine-dark sea." "Swift-footed Achilles."

Now here in The Kalevala: "The American scholar Milman Parry (1902-1935) revolutionized Homeric studies...His 'formulaic system', which accounts for 'swift-footed Achilles', [etc. and etc.] also accounts for 'steady old Vainamoinen', 'the sky all into windows', 'on the blue high seas', and much else in the Kalevala." :)

Thank you, Milman Parry! Oh, Milman died of a gunshot wound. :o Really. I had nothing to do with it. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

It happened right now, a half century ago. I remember. I have remembered for a half century. I was in third grade.

I remember a teacher coming into the classroom to tell our teacher. I can still see the look on her face. I remember when both teachers left. I remember leaning out a window with a friend and telling him that I thought "critical condition" meant that he was going to be "okay."

I remember hearing the name "Lee Harvey Oswald" over and over again.

I remember the coffin. I remember his little boy's salute. And my mother's moan.

I remember the dull sun flashing off the chrome of the official cars. I remember the procession and that wild horse. I remember how silent the streets were. I remember hearing the horses hoofs click on the road surface. I remember the caisson and the coffin. And I remember the drums. Those evil drums. I remember their sound crashing off those silent streets. I remember their echo. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

My daughter is a real girly-girl, there's not a tom-boy cell in her body. Like a lot of girly-girls she enjoys sports but...doesn't have the intricacies committed to memory. "What quarter is it?" (soccer match). She really likes to watch soccer and, of course, is a Man City fan.

She really likes soccer because of the "cute" players.

Cute and "hot!"

Monday she emailed me a Christmas idea: "I think it's only right to have the jersey of my future hubby <3 .="">

"Sure, honey!"

Monday night I asked her how this had come about:

"DAD, the only Man City shirt I have is a Thomas Cook one."
"Oh yeah, Etihad is our sponsor now."
"Dad, Thomas Cook the player. African-American? Duh."
"Thomas Cook the player? We don't have a Thomas Cook..."
"...It has his name right on the jersey."
"...He can't be African-American..."
"...Well, African. Black."
"Wait a minute, show me, bring it up on your phone."

(Laughing) "Goose, that's not Thomas...(laughing)...Oh my God...That's not Thomas Cook...Our shirt sponsor was Thomas Cook then."
"But it has his name on it."
(Convulsions on bed.)
"Thomas Cook was an old white guy...British..Oh my God...traveler's checks...Okay. The players names go on the back honey, the sponsor's name goes on the front."
(Laughing) "Oh...I thought..."
(Laughing) "Oh wait till I tell your brother..."
"Dad, don't, please."

(And immediately after the Aguero shirt request: "this works too of course")

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

It is time to stab a steely knife into this day, no? Oui-oui, monsieur. Bonsoir mon amis and mon enemies. 
Feisty again. That's two feists in three days. Oh well.  Feesty, feisty, foesty, fumsty, I smell the blood of a Chinaman.
The most read post, and it's not even close, in the last 100 is one of those goofy "Abnormal/Normal" entries. It's from November 4. "Abnormal" was Iraq as a country of a (no doubt single) reader. So, like, wtf?  "Normal" was two search keywords, "liu shaoqi and mao" and "song binbin." Heh-heh-heh-heh.

Songie, Gardes Rouges comrades, you're just fucking stupid.

A touch of bondage, no?
Or a sort of chastity belt?
The newest dieting cum fashion epiphany?
No blow job tonight.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


What the hell is going on here? This is fashion, Pilgrim, this is what passes for cutting edge frigging FASHION today! First hockey goaltender masks and now Headwear by NASCAR!

I was in court this morning with a client. Routine matter. TV cameras in courtroom, some other case, routine occurrence. Left court with client, girlfriend and interpreter. TV cameras in hallway, routine. Talked to client. Finished talking to client. Turned to leave. Took two steps. TV camera lights went on, reporter stuck mic in my face, "What is your reaction to the Corona case?"  " not Corona," I said, looking from reporter to reporter. "As his lawyer." " not Corona's lawyer." "Oh, okay, we thought you were."

Monday, November 18, 2013

I was scrolling through a Tumblr art site and saw this painting. And stopped. At a quick glance it looks like a fairly typical post-Impressionist work but something made me stop. The father and daughter are not similing; both, particularly the father, look preoccupied, pensive. Widower. Moving painting.
Oh my God. Now I, Benjamin Harris, am no scaredy cat. I don't have a fear of heights. I do have a fear of death. I posted a similar photograph a little while ago and questioned whether it was real or photo-shopped or whatever. Seeing this different one, in Sao Paulo I believe, convinced me. This does not make me want to jump up and down and grab my genitals.

Oh my God!  So cool. Ice hotels!  Makes me want to jump up and down and grab my genitals. There's an ice bar near Disney World in Florida. Carmen once tried to go there but you need reservations long in advance. They lend you coats, there's something like a two-drink minimum and you can only stay for a half-hour or an hour, I forget, but they limit the time.
Ah, good eye. Hot girl in a bikini.
Feisty today.

song yaowu.

Songie, are you clicking on your posts? Consider the image in the previous post as applicable to you too.
NSA! Islam! How the hell are ya? Been awhile. Oh, hey, NSA, I have been emailing an actual person in actual China. :o How about that, huh? We're looking into the feasibility of hacking into and redirecting all traffic to a gay porn site. Does Alexander still take facials, do you know? Islam, watched Innocence of Muslims. :( Again. :(:(  Have watched it again and again and again. Love that movie, man. Did Mohammad take facials, do you know?

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The preceding five posts are from Remembrance of Things Past. The book was written between 1909 and 1922.

Image: Left, bunny rabbit. Right, Eichmann (1953).
"[T]he practice of separating morality from a whole order of actions (and this is something that must also often happens to men who have public duties to perform, those of a judge for instance or a statesman and many others as well) must have been so long established that Habit, no longer asking Moral Sentiment for its opinion, had grown stronger from day to day until at last this consenting Prometheus had had himself nailed by Force to the rock of Pure Matter."
"And our own age no doubt, when its history is read two thousand years hence, will seem to an equal degree to have bathed men of pure and tender conscience in a vital element which will strike the future reader as monstrously pernicious, but to which at the time these men adapted themselves without difficulty."
"So it is that, when we study certain periods of ancient history, we are astonished to see men and women individually good participate without scruple in mass assassinations or human sacrifices which probably seemed to them natural things."
"They had long ceased to speculate upon the morality or immorality of the life they led, because it was the life that was led by everybody round them."
"As I made my way home, I reflected upon the speed with which conscience ceases to be a partner in our habits...and upon the astonishing picture which may consequently present itself to us if we observe...the actions of men whose moral or intellectual virtues may at the same time be developing independently in an entirely different direction."

Saturday, November 16, 2013

But you, and your and my own doubts about myself are hereby unceremoniously bumped off the cover for something more important: the most spectacular gown I have ever seen. Any doubts here?

Whoever designed this, and of course you cannot find out on Tumblr, I say whoever designed this gown IS A FUCKING GENIUS!

"Oh, I don't know about you, Benjamin."  
Yeah, I don't know about me either.

From a Tumblr site up there. Good advice, no? True? "The storm before the calm?"  Great tension relief. Temporarily. The sex drive is second in intensity only to hunger. When one is hungry and has a big, delicious meal, one is sated. No more. "If I eat another bite, I'll burst."

One is never sated with sex. Sex begets more sex. "Let's do it again."

You can work when you're hungry. Hemingway said hunger sharpened his senses, he could see things with crystal clarity. But when a beautiful French woman walked into his cafe, the cafe where he was writing, the saliva built up and gurgled in his throat. I was engrossed thinking about a case. I can be so engrossed that colleagues don't greet or approach. I'm not there. I don't notice them. I was engrossed and walking back from my secretary's desk to my office, down a hallway and a woman was coming down the hallway toward me. I noticed her. We passed. I turned around to look after her. I was unable to work at all for 15 minutes. It was hours before the thought of her left me entirely. It pissed me off. Unconsciously, uncontrollably, the sex drive leaped up, seized me, and kept me from work.

Sexual desire can overwhelm everything else.

They are bodily functions, the desire for food and the desire for sex.

I do not "do" lunch. I eat because I have to. "Fuck, I'm getting hungry." I go to the cafeteria by the office, get food, bring it back and eat at my desk so I can continue working. Ingestion, a bodily function. Little expenditure of time or energy. Discharge, a bodily function. Human beings must urinate, defecate. Little time, little energy. One does them because one has to. It can be the same with sex. Gore Vidal once lamented how at the end of the day "Ahh, I forgot to arrange sex for tonight." He had to go out, one supposes, and "pick up," having neglected to order ahead for "delivery." However it was for Vidal, sexual discharge for the male usually involves considerable expenditure of energy. The sex act for the male is exercise, sometimes vigorous. One perspires. I perspire blinking my eyes. I need an IV after sex. Sometimes. Sometimes one can have "porn sex," sex as a bodily function and without great expenditure of energy. "Mechanical" sex.

So, there are these things. There is porn sex, unemotional and non-rigorous, there are heterosexual "hook-ups," there are "booty calls," the French have a "five to seven" practice that tolerates liaisons after work and before a "respectable" time for arriving at home. Sex as a mechanical bodily function can be "arranged" in the straight world but it is not the "normal" way, however it may be for homosexuals. The normal is to have sex with feeling. Love or like. Consideration: "Don't take advantage," "Don't treat as a piece of meat." Or as a bathroom fixture, an outlet for discharge. Guilt. Sex as a "union of souls." Overwhelmingly, "union of souls" sex is the kind I, and most heterosexual males, have had. Sex not as a bodily function.

The sex drive stresses me. It grieves me. "I have had enough sex in my life, no more," I said to myself. And it was true, truly true. I pledged chastity. A pledge is a conscious act though; it meant that the desire, the overwhelming, distracting, stressing, aggrieving, guilt-ridden desire was still there. Chemical castration? Powerful drugs, scary. Too much collateral damage. No silver bullet.

Socrates, Plato, one of them, met the other on a byway. They chatted. "How is it to grow old?"  "It is not so bad. The sexual desire of youth no longer dominates." He, whoever it was, felt liberated. Age has helped. I don't get thrown off as easily or as completely as I did in that hallway. I haven't cheated on the last two girlfriends, it's been...I guess, it's been about ten years since I've cheated. The sexual desire has abated but it is still there. It has not gone away and it still distracts. Like now. Pisses me off. "Less stress, more sex?" Not true.