Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Various Fragments

He doesn't loathe himself for the right reasons.

You're right that it's hard to understand why he chooses them, but in
fact the much greater puzzle, to my mind is -- why they choose him.

She hates herself for being a Jew -- as only a true Gentile can.

I love you more than I hate your work.

She wants so intensely to be admired that it feels like a cruelty to

I know you well enough to know that you will always be a mystery to me.

A despicable woman should have a beautiful house.

I'm not half as vain as I have a right to be.

It's part of the dignity of my life -- such dignity as I've managed to
acquire -- that I have lived it as a man without an instinct for the
winning move.

Just because they are hypocrites doesn't mean they are not saving the

Relationships do not end -- they merely disclose the fact that they
never existed in the first place.

I broke her hymen. She broke my heart.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

A Discarded Preface

There have always been people who have never quite been able to get over the outrage of sex. That men should want to do what they do to women -- which is, in the best of cases, an invasive penetration of another's bodily integrity intended it induce a wild excitement that might easily be mistaken for agony -- that women should consent to let it be done to
them, that they might even want it, indeed, more than they want anything else in the world -- there are many worldviews with which this tableau does not square easily, one of the most prominent of which happens to be the dominant Western spiritual tradition. The early Christians expected Christ to appear again in their lifetime; in the meantime they aspired
to remain, in emulation of their spiritual ideal, perfectly chaste.

Eventually those millenarian hopes faded, and the curious sect of Jews who believed the Messiah had come in their lifetime and would come again to redeem all mankind, made a rather successful transition to a new strategy of propagation of their numbers. But the concession made to the necessity of marriage was always a grudging one -- it was the thing you
had to do if you just couldn't manage the true ideal of chastity -- and the original contempt and hostility toward the body and its desires has never entirely been effaced from the way we regard sex. It flares up at different times and different places to bedevil us all.

In every age, even one as, by turns, "healthily sex-positive," and grossly licentious as our own -- from a certain viewpoint especially our own -- there's a temperament that still struggles with the conundrum of sex. The loftiness, vehemence, and idealism of youth can easily find themselves provoked by it, and provoked to a rage by the spectacle of a whole people freely rutting and flaunting it before world. When we try to peer into the menaced psychology of the Muslim youth that murder themselves in order to murder Americans, the dutifully right thinking in our number catalog the political grievances they hold against us, (American troops in the land of the three holy places, etc.) but the rest of us can't help but thinking -- and sometimes we'll even say it on our irreverent talk shows, and at our irreverent dinner parties, with the same cynical bluntness that we feel it -- those dudes just need to get laid.

And the thing to realize about this -- the dialectical balancing act that must be performed -- is that, of course, on this score, anyway, we're right about them, and they're right about us. They're right about us because it's true when they say that we love life and they love only death; and it's true when they say we find it impossible to conceive of an order of values other than our own grossly materialistic and hedonistic one. They're so desperate to prove otherwise that they're ready to kill and die, violating every stricture of decency and morality that they purport uphold, and we're right about them, because hey -- those dudes just need to get laid.Because once that happens they'll be just like us -- the eventuality they are willing to kill and die to prevent -- and then they'll see. They'll see that it's not so bad, that sex is a part of life and part of the freedom of being a grownup is to have it, though it comes with perplexities and difficulties, it's a thing that men and women have always wanted to do, and always will want to do, and it's no occasion for the apocalypse.

All of which brings me, by apparently circuitous means, to the subject of Otto Weininger. Stay tuned!

On the Ivy League



I used to have an online diary, then I took it down. Then I started again, and stopped, started and then stopped, and then I didn't blog for a long time. My online diary used to portray the people I knew a little and then the strange new people I met, and also the funny, or at times poignant, and often perplexing conversations we would have. Sometimes I would post email. I kept my blog, such as it was, private, or private enough, which is to say that I held it aloof from the search engines, so that anyone who wanted to read it would have to have gotten the address from someone else who knew about it, and the idea was -- there was no idea, really.

Today I begin anew, with a different mission, if not quite an idea. I used to be avid to write long emails to people, not excluding women I wanted to get to know better, and I used to watch a lot of TV and movies so as to be in touch with the times, and also because I found it a struggle to get through a book of any genre. I can no longer watch TV, and I've lost the urge to answer email other than tersely in all lower-class letters on logistical matters alone. Nothing really seems worth the effort anymore, though I sometimes trade the odd link or quip or aphorism or inappropriate confession with my old correspondents.

In my spare time -- and there is a sense in which all of my time is spare time -- I read a lot of wikipedia on subjects such as Mike Tyson, inter-species sex, and the career of Andrea Dworkin, (my current girl-crush of the moment) and updates on my favorite depraved news stories. My favorite news story from the last ten years is still the one about the schoolteacher who had a child with her 12 year old student, was released from prison after a few years under the stipulation that she not contact him on her release, immediately got herself pregnant by him again, spent a few more years in prison, and is now happily married to him.

I also try to stay in shape. I skip rope, do an ab workout, and push-ups, never as regularly as I should, just enough to slow rather than to halt or reverse the rate at which my youthful hardness diminishes into the softness and complacency of middle age. My life is a series of routines meant to hold at bay the existential torpor of a life lived in solitude, outside of any larger context, or even the illusion of such a context, of purposeful striving, historical consequence, or cultural meaning.

Dear reader, my double, my brother, my relevance to your life will exist, to the extent that it exists at all, in its total irrelevance to everything outside of its cramped and narrow self-regard. The world here will be parsed, digested, and consumed like a series of treats skewered on toothpicks and served up for you idle and sated appetite. I will go to movies, attend lectures, parties, readings, galleries, and museums, and write about them, idly, without notable expertise, and in accordance with my own somewhat perverted priorities alone. In lieu of individual relationships, which I hereby abjure, I will live my life in prose only through the medium of this blog, and of this blog alone. I make no promises to be entertaining or worthwhile, but I will never be anything other than truthful.

Follow me on this mediocre endeavor, if you dare.