“You can’t be a successful dictator and design women’s underwear. One or the other. Not both.”
‘Franzblau created Cuddle Sanctuary in 2014, after attending her first group cuddle event, to help others realize their own touch needs. Since the election, Cuddle Sanctuary has seen 252 new clients beginning as early as the day following the election. The usual Wednesday night cuddle workshop following the decision was dubbed “Election Detox.” Five of the 21 attendees were new.’
After reading ‘The Calm, Gentle Rise Of Cuddlers For Hire‘ in our household back in 2015 (a joke still that still runs), we knew we were on to something good. There’s talk of technology, literature, global economics, modernity etc. all in relation to professional cuddling. Why, you could have a day at TED focused just on professional cuddling, and maybe throw-in that guy who’s an adult baby.
As to politics: Whatever your thoughts on Trump, I doubt it helps any elected President having to deal with the slings and arrows of outrageous infantilization. I mean, this is a President who might well respond in-kind.
When the personal gets political, politics gets personal.
To be honest: Seeking intimacy and paying money to hug strangers in a warehouse with a fair amount of new-age blather might help some people.
Using the kind of judgment I reserve for people I actually care about, however, (you know, personally) I might say something like the following:
‘Hey, at least you’re not paying for sex!
No, really…you’ve got a lot to offer. Why don’t you go to meet-ups, book-clubs, take a course and start building yourself up that way? You can do it. Let’s grab a drink talk it out.’
A part of the piece that rung a bell:
‘Everyone should be in what Wyatt calls a “hell yes” space – that if asked for a specific touch, the reply would be a passionate OK. But more importantly, if you don’t want to partake, the word “no” should not be marred with guilt or shame.’
I’ll leave this from a post I put up about Jeff Koons, because I think it has some relevance to where parts of the ‘culture’ may be heading:
Koons’ Made In Heaven only amplifies that sound, blurring the line between art and porn, private experience and public show, innocence (so easily corrupted) and naive, narcissistic indulgence.
‘This type of dislocated imagery is what motivates people. They’re amused by it, but they have a lot of guilt and shame that they respond to it. I was trying to remove that guilt and shame.’
Freedom is next!
***Call me old-fashioned, but you don’t earn respect from others by demanding it, and you don’t convince others of your political views by using politics to beat them into seeing the world as you do.
Or perhaps you do if you’re business model isn’t so good…
Dear Reader, what are you doing with your imagination? For a few hours, this is what I’ve done with mine.
Apparently not all cuddlers are overtly political (addition: never mind, this is the same lady as featured in the Rolling Stone piece).
Imagine trying to ban all the Moose Lodges, Elks’ Clubs, Little Leagues, and Girl Scout Troops across the nation in the name of fairness (if these clubs and civil associations can’t be ‘equal’ according to the loudest voices demanding ‘equality’, then nobody’s going to have any clubs).
Of course, many of the same individuals and orgs seeking to influence everyone’s behavior at Harvard are also seeking to do so through the Federal Government.
Some people seem locked in [a] kind of slavish ideological dependency on the institutions they seek to either control or destroy.
‘Members of the Harvard University community are reacting to news yesterday that a faculty committee recommends the Ivy League institution eliminate all exclusive social clubs. The ban would effectively shutter any Harvard-connected off-campus clubs, including all fraternities and sororities, by the year 2022 — despite Harvard’s continued promises of unfettered freedom of association for its students.’
Via kottke.org: ‘Fictional Names For British Towns Generated By A Neural Net‘
Two miles from Brumlington, as the crow flies, deep in the moor past Firley Binch, lieth Fuckley….
I recommend Simon’s blog for photos and text of the English Countryside.
Mick Hartley’s blog is pretty good, too.
Five years on Mars can be boiled down to 1 1/2 hours of discussion. The data is telling a story, so how is that story being told?:
Did Mars harbor life?
Could it have harbored life?
What does this new data mean for Earth and our story?
A very Harvard affair: The Spelke/Pinker debate-The Science Of Gender And Science
I give you now Professor Twist,
A conscientious scientist,
Trustees exclaimed, “He never bungles!”
And sent him off to distant jungles.
Camped on a tropic riverside,
One day he missed his loving bride.
She had, the guide informed him later,
Been eaten by an alligator.
Professor Twist could not but smile.
“You mean,” he said, “a crocodile.”
“You can’t be a successful dictator and design women’s underwear. One or the other. Not both.”
I could not find it for free, but you can check out the first few pages at the above link.
Also, this piece discusses some of Wodehouse’s darker characters. There’s a polished musicality and a keen ear that leads to superb comic timing and great depth. It’s farcical and moves along nicely, but also a provides a look at a whole society and generation through the goings-on of a lovable fop.
You don’t have to be Anglo, nor an Anglophile, to appreciate such writing I don’t think.
What a ghastly Youtube still:
***I got nuttin’ these days but reposts. This blog doesn’t pay!
From The Seattle Times-‘Art, Crime And Survival: ‘Awaiting Oblivion’ Seeks Hope In Hopelessness:’
‘After his arrest at Occupy Seattle, a local actor and youth-homelessness worker corresponded with “AO” — a mysterious graffiti/street artist or artists who mailed him art-based “temporary solutions” to stave off despair. The result, “Awaiting Oblivion,” opens at On the Boards.’
The two pictures at the link probably tell more than my words ever could.
Nevertheless, here’s a brief write-up: Lost, desperate souls wander hopelessly through and around the world’s woes, ground-down and alone, bedraggled and suicidal, finally…perhaps finally, discovering some meaning and purpose by engaging in (A)rt as salvation and (A)rt as therapy.
One voice, a candle-flame flickering in the darkness, provides hope and succor, solidarity and structure, across the meaningless void. Perhaps, here, bodies of innocence and bodies of decadence spontaneously and rhythmically erupt in joy against systems of oppression and cold, uncaring authority.
Gender becomes fluid, intersectional; bodies heat-up, juxtaposed within many competing narratives of time and space.
Anti-Capitalist ‘Occupy’-style political activism and identitarian political ideology provide some replacement glow of family and friendship.
Enough of that, already.
Yet, dear reader, you might want to pay attention to how this thinking so easily can make its way up through many news and media outlets, seeping down from institutions of higher-ed into the popular culture, forming reefs of public sentiment and ‘right-thinking’ public opinion.
In fact, I’d say it will likely coalesce around a broader, more popular political middle (women’s marches) in a few years time, [that, in turn] cooling into more somewhat-reasoned anti-Trumpism.
On that note, more (A)rt as politics and protest: ‘In Protest of Trump’s Travel Ban, Davis Museum Will Remove All Art Made or Donated by Immigrants.’
‘From tomorrow, February 16, to Tuesday, February 21, 20 percent of the permanent collection galleries at the Davis Museum at Wellesley College will be shrouded or removed’
‘We’re a nation of immigrants’, not of laws, seems to have become the ‘dominant narrative,’ in many quarters these days.
Donald Pittenger, at Art Contrarian, and formerly of 2 Blowhards, has been looking at modernism. From the banner of his blog:
‘The point-of-view is that modernism in art is an idea that has, after a century or more, been thoroughly tested and found wanting. Not to say that it should be abolished — just put in its proper, diminished place’
‘…aesthetics is going to replace ethics, art is going to replace religion, as the means through which educated people express their spiritual worthiness…‘
Maybe anti-commercialism is kind of commercial after all, and ‘ironically’ ends-up becoming a spiritual prosthetic in many lives (update: Well, at least to hangers-on following artists around like cult-leaders, but more broadly, such influence is not hard to find in popular culture)
David Thompson offers satire on such matters.
Postmodern generator here, via David Thompson.
Do you remember the Sokal hoax?
I have a soft spot for contrarian social scientists, like Charles Murray and Jonathan Haidt, pushing against what can so easily become an orthodoxy: Repost-Charles Murray Lecture At AEI: The Happiness Of People…
***My own anecdote: After a fruitful Town Hall discussion here in Seattle, celebrated British mathematician Roger Penrose did some Q & A afterwards. Most questions were from math majors, physicists, engineers and hobbyists in the crowd (many were over my head…but I tried to catch a few).
One question came from a youngish man in a beret, a little unkempt, who asked (in a possibly affected, but in a very serious tone):
‘Mr. Penrose, what is meaning in a moribund universe?
‘Eh…sorry…I didn’t catch that?’
‘What is meaning in a mo-ri-bund universe?’
‘Well, that is a different kind of question…I mean, here’s what I can offer you…’
***That’s roughly how I remember it, and Penrose was gracious, but brisk, in moving onto the kinds of questions he might be able to answer, or for which he could provide some insight.
You might have noticed those tiles already look a little drab and dated, even though construction only finished a few years ago.
The above mural is part of the new Capitol Hill light-rail station on Broadway.
More here on the piece (apologies to all comic/graphic artists ahead of time, for not portraying your craft with as much fidelity as it probably deserves).
Our muraliste is a comic/graphic artist tapped to make signs and symbols for all the Community:
‘Forney, originally from Philadelphia…landed the light rail station gig back in 2008 after submitting a series of paintings of hands in provocative positions to Sound Transit — paintings which had originally been featured in the 2007 Seattle Erotic Art Festival. The series was called Big Fuckin’ Hands.’
Get it? They’re hands, and they’re…well…you know.
As for People’s Republic of The Northwest Territories, there’s that Diego Rivera-esque mural in Kane Hall at the University Of Washington…multi-ethnic laborers of the world uniting for the common good.
Comrade, I must confess: I see myself in those square-jawed, virtuous workers, gathered above their apparently crayon-scrawled manifesto. For long years now, I, too, have dreamed of controlling the means of production, in solidarity with all the Workers Of The World!
A bullet to the future, frozen in time!:
These public projects tend to become repositories for all the hopes and sacrifices people around here make for the ‘-Isms’ (counter-culture anti-establishmentarianism, vaguely warmed over socialism, environmentalism, radical collectivism, activism of all stripes etc.).
Many people don’t always know what they’re for, exactly, but it’s often easy to tell what they’re against, and it’s you should you choose to play the bad guy in their passion-play.
Don’t try and make too much sense of it: Cargo-Cult thinking is often in effect when it comes to the economics of these projects: The cost, numbers, budgets etc. usually come later. First seems to be the solidarity, the ‘sacredness’ and the tiny shrines which have sprung up this past century around which people gather in common cause.
You must show some belief in the vision.
Related On This Site:
-Amtrak to the Future!:Repost-From The New Yorker: ‘Writing Powered By Amtrak’
-A museum industrial complex…more complexes…who are the people museums should be serving? James Panero At The New Criterion: ‘Time to Free NY’s Museums: The Met Responds’
-Here’s a suggestion to keep aesthetic and political judgements apart-Roger Scruton In The American Spectator Via A & L Daily: Farewell To Judgment…
***I’m sorry for the glare and the lack of composition. I am but a humble prole passing through the Great Hall Of The People’s Transit.
–Zombo.com. You won’t know unless you click.
-Via David Thompson, if you don’t have time to watch Gymkata, this is the next best thing.
-Click here to experience ‘The Gobbler.‘
‘If you’re ever wondering what the War Room of “Dr. Strangelove” would look like if the movie had been directed by Prince, here you go.’
Seagulls are serious. Prog-rock shredding is serious.
The music + motion contains an element of absurdity that makes me smile each time.
From Pat Tobin (@tastefactory)
And this happened a few weeks ago in Australia, at Uluru, that big rock in the desert…which is a little awe-inspiring:
The fury of Mother Nature shuts down Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in Central Australia. Being described as a once-in-a-half-century event. pic.twitter.com/eyJKSlJOxV
— Gautam Trivedi (@Gotham3) December 26, 2016
Q & A with Mark Lilla via The Chronicle of Higher Ed:
‘They’re too obsessed with identity. There’s a subtle distinction. Diversity as a social goal and aim of social reform is an excellent thing. But identity politics today isn’t about group belonging; it’s about personal identity.’
Taking a stand against identity politics at Columbia must take some courage, for cries of ‘Heretic!’ can be heard over rooftops maintained by the Office of the Physical Plant.
On that note, revisiting Martha Nussbaum on Judith Butler might be instructive.
For my part, someone called me a Postmodern Conservative the other day, and I’d just like to say that there are many identities juxtaposed at the intersectionality of bodies in space. Dominant narratives, meta-narratives, and counter-narratives serve to liber…
In the drunk tank…!
Some previous links on this site for your intellectual (dis)pleasure:
-A quote from Leo Strauss’ Wikipedia page: From Wikipedia’s Page On Leo Strauss: A Few Quotes:
“Strauss taught that liberalism in its modern form contained within it an intrinsic tendency towards extreme relativism, which in turn led to two types of nihilism. The first was a “brutal” nihilism, expressed in Nazi and Marxist regimes. In On Tyranny, he wrote that these ideologies, both descendants of Enlightenment thought, tried to destroy all traditions, history, ethics, and moral standards and replace them by force under which nature and mankind are subjugated and conquered. The second type – the “gentle” nihilism expressed in Western liberal democracies – was a kind of value-free aimlessness and a hedonistic”permissive egalitarianism”, which he saw as permeating the fabric of contemporary American society.’
Deep in the German weeds…it’s all just nothing, man, and nothing needs to change:
–Roger Scruton suggests keeping political and aesthetic judgments apart in the humanities, via a lot of German philosophical idealism:
“In the days when the humanities involved knowledge of classical languages and an acquaintance with German scholarship, there was no doubt that they required real mental discipline, even if their point could reasonably be doubted. But once subjects like English were admitted to a central place in the curriculum, the question of their validity became urgent. And then, in the wake of English came the pseudo-humanities—women’s studies, gay studies and the like—which were based on the assumption that, if English is a discipline, so too are they.”
–Keep politics (and business) out of academia, when you can?-Repost-Stanley Fish At The NY Times Blog: ‘The Last Professors: The Corporate Professors And The Fate Of The Humanities’
-Just read for its own sake, man, it doesn’t need an endpoint, because art’s pretty useful and useless: Why Should You Get A Liberal Education? From The ASAN Institute Via Vimeo: ‘Michael Oakeshott’s Cold War Liberalism 1’
-Tim Kavanaugh at Reason: Every Man A Derrida
Mail delivery, Tuesday morning, Upper West Side. pic.twitter.com/nrSCvS52Ch
— Joe Nocera (@NoceraNYT) December 13, 2016
The Boston Evening Transcript
The readers of the Boston Evening Transcript
Sway in the wind like a field of ripe corn.
When evening quickens faintly in the street,
Wakening the appetites of life in some
And to others bringing the Boston Evening Transcript,
I mount the steps and ring the bell, turning
Wearily, as one would turn to nod good-bye to Rochefoucauld,
If the street were time and he at the end of the street,
And I say, “Cousin Harriet, here is the Boston Evening Transcript.”