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|Wednesday, December 31st, 2025|
|HIC LOCUS EST UBI MORS GAUDET SUCCURRERE VITAE Welcome to the online journal of larvatus
. Stable texts are open to the general public. Squibs and sallies, schemes and stratagems, jaunts and taunts, are restricted to friends. Please note that locked texts subject to third party copyright are provided to my friends under the doctrine of fair use, subject to implied consent by all their readers to abstain from redistribution. Reciprocal friendship shall be extended to all sane, sound, and disinterested personae. Comments and critique are always welcome. Marriage proposals
and death threats
shall be entertained in the order received.
The House Rules are few and lax. All anonymous comments are initially screened. They shall be revealed or answered at your host’s discretion. All signed comments are initially presumed welcome, until and unless they cause an affront to your host. Thereupon their author shall become banned from further contributions to this journal. Otherwise, anything goes.
A treatise? You don’t say! I haven’t treated squat!
A study? Slothful wretch, my culture fetid rot.
A volume? Random heap, sheets stacked in disarray.
Good copy? Not with me enmired in the fray.
A poem? Not today, my lyre is being cleaned.
A book? Of fusty tomes far better to be weaned.
A song? Would that it were, my ear is made of tin.
Fun pastime? Sordid den, dire boredom dwells within.
A cadence? Rhythmic flow is broken by dull grind.
A product? I divide what others multiplied.
A story? Handicapped, my lame and laggard Muse.
Clear proof? My mind is fraught by grief and lit by booze.
High fashion? Wealth and style inform nowhere my dress.
Grandstanding or grand mal? My spasms fail to impress.
Evicted from the hall, I lurk behind the stage,
In transit, poised to choose: a joy house or a cage.
Too old? But to retire, my tenure won’t suffice.
Too young? My hectic life will rid me of this vice.
A sage, a slob, an ace, a master, and a clown,
A stud without a flock, a king without a crown.
THIS is without pretense, and yet a blatant pose.
It’s life and nothing but, confessed in deathless prose.
A masterpiece? Could be, I never made one yet!
A farce? A waste? A bomb? Decide and place your bet!
I bet… and I shall sign herewith my humble name;
My child shall overcome each tainted libel claim.
Through chance it will prevail, its fate a stroke of luck…
Art knows me not at all — and I don’t give a fuck.
— traduced by MZ, 6 September 2005
|for the anonymous troll
Over sixteen years online, I have received a broad spectrum of threats and pitches, and entertained a commensurate range of slurs and plaudits. This experience has crystallized two iron laws of online communications.
The first law is a corollary of Occam’s razor. No matter what you are promised or threatened on the Internet, the most you will get out of it is oral ministrations.
In other words, there is no downside in moving virtual bluster to realspace. Yonder puffed-out sock puppet is as unlikely to escalate its verbiage to physical damage, as the heiress of an African potentate, to bestow her commission upon Americans paying their facilitation fees. By contrast, that virtual fellatrix yearning to reward your eloquence with expert suction may well come through as promised, especially if you overlook minor discrepancies ranging from mien to gender.
The second law of Internet intercourse is a corollary of the first. Only a clueless newbie responds personally to an anonymous troll.
To illustrate its application, whenever one of the latter kind feels the urge to share its thoughts about anything but one of the former, it should take them instead to someone who can relate to its bogus persona. It makes no difference whether a figment of this sort touts itself as a public intellectual in mufti, or poses as a skank that services barnyard livestock for spare change. In the immortal words of Jack Nicholson, sell crazy someplace else, we’re all stocked up here
A final notice to the insistent incognito. When you surpass words in punishing my excesses, make sure that your hostile deeds leave me unfit to retaliate. My reckoning will define the remainder of your life. It’s happened to your betters before. Don’t let it happen to you.
|Wednesday, August 17th, 2011|
|Tuesday, August 16th, 2011|
|Wednesday, August 10th, 2011|
|go kill the bear
To prevail over refractory and punctilious assholes, you must leverage their punctiliosness against their refractoriness. All your moves must be commemorated in writing. Everything must be repeated at least three times to each party. Every seemingly stuck cog in the bureaucratic machine
will be loosened by a written request to identify his manager and refer the controversy upstairs. I have applied this strategy time and again to prevail over craven pencil-pushers. “What one man can do, another can do.” Go kill the bear.
|Saturday, July 23rd, 2011|
Like a circular firing squad, outstanding members of our Lumpencommentariat take aim at their opposites. Anders Behring Breivik
, conservative Norwegian activist currently credited with a body count steadily approaching three digits, has delivered a priceless boost for equal-opportunity bigotry
, by inspiring a flurry of fallacious finger-pointing towards Muslim fundamentalists throughout the ranks of Western media. In recognition of his fair and balanced mayhem, liberal Jews at Tikkun Olam are gleefully reporting
the allegations of Norwegian bloggers, crediting Beivik with having guest blogged for Atlas Shrugs
, Jihad Watch
and Gates of Vienna
, and outing him as the author of a blog
, long concerned with their goal of Defeating Eurabia
. Meanwhile, their antagonists have published an alleged statement by Fjordman
disclaiming “the utterly false rumor that [he is] the evil shooter from Utøya, the island just outside of Oslo”.
At the end of Sergio Leone’s spaghetti western The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
, a tale of three gunslingers competing to find a fortune in buried Confederate gold, the last eponymous antagonist, more formally known as Tuco Benedicto Pacífico Juan María Ramírez, finds himself consigned to an apex of an equilateral triangle inscribed in the circular center of a Civil War cemetery, facing a Mexican standoff with his Good and Bad counterparts, Blondie and Angel Eyes. As The Good prevails over The Bad, The Ugly attempts to contribute to his triumph, but discovers that Blondie had unloaded his gun the night before. Tuco’s homicidal frustration enables Blondie to delegate the dirty work: “You see, in this world there’s two kinds of people, my friend—those with loaded guns, and those who dig. You dig!”
Alas, hot air blown back and forth falls short of flying lead. You dig?
|Tuesday, July 19th, 2011|
|Monday, July 18th, 2011|
|Thursday, July 7th, 2011|
|a brief visit to the red light district
Logical positivist Alfred Jules Ayer
was renowned both as a fierce debater and an audacious womanizer. As his stepdaughter Gully Wells told his biographer Ben Rogers
, shortly after his seventy-seventh birthday party, Ayer cleverly conjoined these competitive qualities in an unexpectedly philanthropic encounter with a besotted raper wannabe:
It was at another party, given a little later in the year by the highly fashionable clothes designer, Fernando Sanchez, that he had a widely reported encounter. Ayer had always had an ability to pick up unlikely people and at yet another party had befriended Sanchez. Ayer was now standing near the entrance to the great white living-room of Sanchez’s West 57th Street apartment, chatting to a group of young models and designers, when a woman rushed in saying that a friend was being assaulted in a bedroom. Ayer went to investigate and found Mike Tyson forcing himself on a young south London model called Naomi Campbell, then just beginning her career. Ayer warned Tyson to desist. Tyson: ‘Do you know who the fuck I am? I’m the heavyweight champion of the world.’ Ayer stood his ground: ‘And I am the former Wykeham Professor of Logic. We are both pre-eminent men in our held; I suggest that we talk about this like rational men.’ Ayer and Tyson began to talk. Naomi Campbell slipped out.
In the following year, a no less competitive confrontation with a more formidable adversity left Ayer bested in a far less festive setting. In the articles reproduced and glossed below, he recounts and analyzes a near-death experience, which pitted him against a bright and painful red light that governed the universe, and the guardians of space and time. Some time later Jonathan Miller commented to Dee Wells
, Ayer’s final and antepenultimate wife: “Freddie is in spectacularly good form!” To which she replied: “He’s so much nicer since he died.” A character-building opportunity of this sort would improve almost all of us.What I Saw When I Was Dead
A.J. Ayer post mortem, London, 5 October 1988, photo by Steve Pyke
My first attack of pneumonia occurred in the United States. I was in hospital for ten days in New York, after which the doctors said that I was well enough to leave. A final X-ray, however, which I underwent on the last morning, revealed that one of my lungs was not yet free from infection. This caused the most sympathetic of my doctors to suggest that it would be good for me to spend a few more days in hospital. I respected his opinion but since I was already dressed and psychologically disposed to put my illness behind me, I decided to take the risk. I spent the next few days in my stepdaughter’s apartment, and then made arrangements to fly back to England. When I arrived I believed myself to be cured and incontinently plunged into an even more hectic social round than that to which I had become habituated before I went to America.
Retribution struck me on Sunday, May 30. ( Read more... ) Postscript to a Postmortem
My purpose in writing a postscript to the article about my ‘death’, which I contributed to the 28 August issue of the Sunday Telegraph
, is not primarily to retract anything that I wrote or to express my regret that my Shakespearian title for the article, ‘That undiscovered country’, was not retained, but to correct a misunderstanding to which the article appears to have given rise.
I say “not primarily to retract” because one of my sentences was written so carelessly that it is literally false as it stands. In the final paragraph, I wrote, “My recent experiences have slightly weakened my conviction that my genuine death … will be the end of me.” They have not and never did weaken that conviction. What I should have said and would have said, had I not been anxious to appear undogmatic, is that my experiences have weakened, not my belief that there is no life after death, but my inflexible attitude towards that belief. ( Read more... ) Did Atheist Philosopher See God When He ‘Died’?
“I haven’t told this to anybody before,” said Dr. Jeremy George, senior consultant in the Department of Thoracic Medicine at London University’s Middlesex Hospital. On the table in front of him were the official hospital notes of “Sir Alfred Ayer, date of birth 29/10/10, of 51 York Street, London, W1.”
We were discussing the incident of June, 1988, when the eminent 77-year-old British philosopher, arguably the most influential 20th century rationalist after Bertrand Russell, famously “died” in London University Hospital. His heart stopped for four minutes when he apparently choked on a slice of smoked salmon smuggled in by a former mistress. ( Read more... )
|Tuesday, July 5th, 2011|
|ruthenia est omnis divisa in amentes tres A native speaker of Russian
might appreciate this festering travesty of a French classic
solely as the inspiration of a popular Soviet self-esteem formula: “Все пидорасы, а я — д’Артаньян
” (“Everybody is a fag, and I am d’Artagnan”). Everything else, beginning with the physiognomy, habiliments, elocution, comportment, and gesticulation of its befuddled, stultified, and manifestly intoxicated cast, bespeaks spectacular ineptitude. Every witticism worth witnessing and every sword thrust worth watching in this preposterous pageant of Brezhnevite imbecility has been forestalled a quarter century earlier by the Three Stooges in Musty Musketeers
. Avoid at all costs.
|Monday, July 4th, 2011|
|feminism and freedom What is feminism? “Simply the belief that women should be as free as men … Are you a feminist? Hahaha. Of course you are.”
But there is a relevant difference in freedom between the sexes. In a heterosexual population with their equal distribution, on the average
men will have the same number of sexual partners as will women. In other words, the average heterosexual woman will be as free to be promiscuous as a heterosexual man. But female promiscuity will randomize biological paternity of offspring in the woman’s own family, whereas the male kind will randomize it in the families of other men. In other words, promiscuous women undermine family stability at home, whereas promiscuous men undermine it abroad. Women who are free to fuck mainly fuck up their own families. Men who are free to fuck mainly fuck up the families of others.
How much of this natural inequality can be abolished through legislation remains an open question.
Since 1973, when the U.S. Commissioners on Uniform Laws
proposed the Uniform Parentage Act
(UPA), which has been adopted by 18 U.S. states, the common law marital paternity presumption that holds that a child born during a marriage is the offspring of the husband, has been complemented by presuming the mother’s husband to be the natural father of a child if the child is born during the marriage or within 300 days after the marriage is terminated, unless his fatherhood has been rebutted by clear and convincing evidence. The revised UPA
, published in 2000, retained all of the original presumptions related to marriage, but replaced the clear and convincing evidence standard for rebutting an assumption of paternity with the provision that the presumption of natural fatherhood may be rebutted “only by admissible results of genetic testing excluding that man as the father of the child or identifying another man as the father of the child.” Despite the new emphasis on genetic testing, both the newly revised UPA and most state laws and courts rely on the best interests of the child in determining paternity, whether by upholding the right to refuse genetic tests if it is determined they are not in the best interest of the child, or by requiring that the best interests of the child be taken into account after the genetic testing determines paternity. But other states have passed legislation that allows men proven by DNA testing not to be the father of a child to be released from child support payments.
In sum, promotion of the best interests of the child through the marital paternity presumption empowers feminism by underwriting female promiscuity with a guarantee of child support levied against the cuckolded husband. By contrast, fathers’ right movement that opposes legal accommodations of paternity fraud
, qualifies as reactionary antifeminism
. In so far as feminism is the belief that women should be as free from the economic consequences of their sexuality as men, no one can be a feminist without denying the interest of children to be supported by their biological fathers and the right of men to be free of supporting fraudulent paternity
|Saturday, July 2nd, 2011|
|this multicultural love A young Muslim maid from old Guinea
Sucked frog cock to summon a djinnea:
“I wish for a way
To make the Jew pay!”
Alas, the DA was a ninnea.
Cyrus R. Vance Jr., the Manhattan district attorney,
on 19 May 2001 after the DSK indictment.
Seth Wenig/Associated Press
|Monday, June 27th, 2011|
|papa takes a piss
About the James book
: It is not great no matter what they tell you. It has fine qualities and greater faults. It is much too long and much too bitching and his one fight, against the planes, at Pearl Harbour day is almost musical comedy. He has a genius for respecting the terms of a kitchen and he is a K.P. boy for keeps and for always. Things will catch up with him and he will probably commit suicide. Who could announce in his publicity in this year 1951 that “he went over the hill” in in 1944. That was a year in which many people were very busy doing their duty and in which many people died. To me he is an enormously skilled fuck-up and his book will do great damage to our country. Probably I should re-read it again to give you a truer answer. But I do not have to eat an entire bowl of scabs to know they are scabs; nor suck a boil to know it is a boil; nor swim through a river of snot to know it is snot. I hope he kills himself as soon as it does not damage his or your sales. If you give him a literary tea you might ask him to drain a bucket of snot and then suck the pus out of a dead nigger’s ear. Then present him with one of those women he is asking for and let him show her his portrait and his clippings. How did they ever get a picture of a wide-eared jerk (un-damaged ears) to look that screaming tough. I am glad he makes you money and I would never laugh him off. I would just give him a bigger bucket on the snot detail. He has the psycho’s urge to kill himself and he will do it.
Make all the money you can out of him as quickly as you can and hold out enough for Christian Burial.
Wouldn’t have brought him up if you hadn’t asked me. Now I feel as unclean as when I read his fuck-off book. It has all the charm and true-ness of the real and imitation fuck-off. I give you James Jones, Gentlemen, and please take him away before he falls apart or starts screaming.
— Ernest Hemingway, letter to Charles Scribner, 5 March 1951, Selected Letters 1917-1961
, edited by Carlos Baker, Scribner, 2003, p. 721
Ernest Hemingway, late spring 1952, John F. Kennedy Library
Jones made another remark that I had difficulty dealing with. When Hemingway’s name came up, he proclaimed that, “The problem with Papa was he always wanted to suck a cock. But when he found one that fit, it had a double barrel.”
|Monday, June 20th, 2011|
|work and rest: genius and stupidity WORK AND REST: GENIUS AND STUPIDITY.
By ALEXANDER FRANCIS CHAMBERLAIN, PH.D.,
CLARK UNIVERSITY, WORCESTER, MASS.O
LDER far than the Tennysonian line, ‘Better fifty years of Europe than a cycle of Cathay
’ is the Chinese proverb, ‘One day is as good as three,’ i.e.
, if you know how and when to do the thing necessary. Scott has given the warrior’s version:
One crowded hour of glorious life
Is worth an age without a name.
Pope speaks for the statesman:
One self-approving hour whole years outweighs
Of stupid starers and of loud huzzas.
Through the Mohammedan saying the goddess Artemis expresses herself, ‘One hour in the execution of justice is worth seventy years of prayer.
’ The faith of the religious votary is voiced by the Hebrew psalmist, ‘A day in Thy courts is better than a thousand.
’ The folk and the poet, the two anticipators of science, have in all ages seen the accomplishments of great things in brief periods of intense activity. There is an aristocracy of the moment, as well as of blood or brain.
It is an interesting subject for inquiry how far the history of the individual and of the race justifies the belief that one day is as good as three, one hour outweighs whole years. In this brief paper, no exhaustive study can be entered upon, and the intention is simply to outline a theory based upon the phenomena thus recognized, and to defend the view that intense activity for comparatively brief periods alternating with longer periods of greater or less quiescence is, whatever incidents of environment, artificialities of civilization, exaggerated sex influences, etc., have at times interfered to disturb it, the normal phenomenon of work in so far as it is best and most genially productive and profitable racially and individually. The Animal.
— From the earliest times some of the lower animals have passed for models of industry, others as examples of utter sloth and idleness. But we may be sure that man has read into his observations of animal activity a good deal of his own passing reflections, for exact scientific investigation hardly justifies some of his familiar sayings. Young animals (kittens, for example) do not play so many hours of their day as is commonly supposed, and the busy bee
is far from ‘improving’ each ‘shining hour.’ The rest of young animals and children is quite as characteristic as their work or play. And we must be careful not to derive too much of our evidence from captive animals and restrained or metamorphosed children. We lack, too, authoritative delimitations of the periods of activity and of rest of animals. Groos,
in his discussion of the play of animals, has little to say on this question other than the remark: “Of children and young animals it is true that, except when they are eating, they play all day, till at night, tired out with play, they sink to sleep.” But there are night-animals, and to a certain extent, night-men, for the evening activities of the kitten, e.g.
, are often paralleled completely by those of her young mistress.
Of the lowest stages of animal life practically continuous activity has been asserted. Dr. Hodge and Dr. Aikins,
in their study of ‘The Daily Life of a Protozoan,’ observe: “A Vorticella
works continuously, and shows in its life no period of inactivity or rest corresponding to periods of rest in higher animals. In other words, a Vorticella
never sleeps.” But this is only under absolutely favorable conditions of life, for the same authors, a little further on speak of a stage of rest or encystment: “Encystment is, therefore, of the nature of an enforced ‘rest,’ a period of inactivity imposed by exceptional external circumstances.”
As we go up the scale noticeable activity and inactivity increase in their rhythmic alternations. The fishes and lower vertebrates sleep periodically, and alternate their rest and exertion. Professor McGee characterizes the intensified activity with long intervals of inertness exemplified by the Seri Indians as ‘simulating the habits of carnivorous and other lower animals.
’ The life history of the lion and the tiger, the elephant and the camel, the horse and the buffalo, to say nothing of other and smaller animals, furnishes us with much evidence in point. The anthropoids also, though not at all studied with reference to this theory, may afford a valuable quota of proof.
With many animals hibernation, and with many others æstivation, occupies a considerable portion of their lives, the length and broken or unbroken character of the ‘sleeps’ or ‘rests’ depending to some extent upon climate, species, individuality. How far these ‘sleeps’ interfere with or improve the physical and mental faculties of such animals during their season of real activity is not altogether clear, but since hibernation and aestivation must at one time have been factors in the survival of the fittest, they cannot have worked entirely to the detriment of the creatures concerned, even in later days. And the same may be said of the ‘winter-sleep’ of the Russian peasants. The Child.
— It is a fact of immemorial knowledge that the child at play, in some respects nearest the animal, in others the most typical representative of our human race, takes especial delight in continuing his activity to the uttermost extreme of exhaustion. This is true likewise of intellectual pleasures in that early age when the little child has not been subdued by the pedagogues; we see both in his first attempts to speak and to listen, and often in his imitation of his elders, the same genial exertion till weariness induces rest. Groos,
in his ‘Play of Man,’ discusses this feature of early childhood, pointing out, moreover, that, before the school places its ban upon the child, ‘his life, apart from feeding and sleeping, is spent almost wholly in play-activities.’ Play-time remains for years the absorbing, genial period of his existence. And in its acmes of intensity he exhausts himself corporeally and mentally. Some say it is ‘complete absorption into the genius of the present,’ others that it is ‘genial repetition of self,’ or ‘delighted remanipulation of the right combination happily stumbled upon.’ Whatever it may be, enough is revealed to make it certain that a sort of inspiration so works upon children as to make them tend to use their powers of mind and body intensely to the furthest possible limit, i.e.
, of course, when they are moved so to do, and not interfered with by things alien to their type and mode of action. There is undoubtedly monotony in the play-intensity of childhood, but the child has not the innumerable sources of variety appealed to by the adult genius whom he so often and so much resembles. The self-imitation of the child foreshadows a similar phenomenon, broader and deeper in the adult genius, which is higher and greater than all hetero-imitation of any sort whatsoever. All things considered, these phenomena of childhood suggest that the school is on the wrong track in seeking to force upon the young lesson-restraints of several hours duration (both morning and afternoon, nay, even at night sometimes), and placing the emphasis upon a high average in all things and at all times. Ought it not rather to utilize the brief periods of intense activity fathered by heredity, perhaps, and mothered by interest? Is more than an hour really necessary for the schoolman’s art to deal with the growing child? The shortening of the school-day, advocated now in divers parts of the pedagogical world, has not at all gone far enough, if it be true that a few minutes of the child at his best outweigh the mediocre rest of his hour, or even day. As the one brilliant figure or turn of speech in the arid desert of a set composition acquits the child and condemns the teacher, so the one bright answer or genial question, not the stupidity of the remainder of the lesson, should go upon record. How often the pupil is ‘stung by the splendor of a sudden thought,
’ which the routine mind of the teacher fails utterly to appreciate, nay often deliberately excommunicates! The adult, as a rule, by reason of his own artificially produced ‘normality,’ neglects or represses those ‘genial moments’ of childhood, which are kith and kin with the ‘inspiration’ and ‘intoxication’ of those greatest of the race whom we recognize sooner or later as true geniuses. Another characteristic of childhood is the rapidity with which the change from play to rest, from brilliancy to apparent stupidity, from action to inaction bodily and mental can be made, and vice versa. This is particularly noticeable in American school-children, whose power of summoning up their reserve knowledge or strength (often with almost entire neglect of regular training) is remarkable. The records of the amateur dramatics, of the young people’s associations of all kinds, religious as well as secular, of sports and games (here the English boy and girl count too) even, amply demonstrate this. Time and again has the instructor, driven to despair by the neglect, inattention and apparent stupidity of those in his charge, been moved to admiration by their performances when the critical moment arrived. This power of childhood, too, has been largely overlooked, or unavailed of, unappealed to, in our schools, where the desire has always been to make sure of the accomplishment of the task set by actual demonstration of the pupil’s parts, rather than, by indirection, to make sure that the latent genius will, in the right setting, assert itself in a fashion unattainable by the mere artificialities of hetero-persuasion and compulsion. In this respect we have still much to learn from the philosophy of primitive peoples. Woman.
— At first blush woman would seem to be an exception to the theory outlined in these pages. The popular saying has it ‘woman’s work is never done,
’ and Professor O.T. Mason
has shown the immense amount of labor of all sorts, from the care of the tribal religion to the merest drudgery, that has been performed by her. Says Havelock Ellis:
“The tasks which demand a powerful development of muscle and bone, and the resulting capacity for intermittent spurts of energy, involving corresponding periods of rest, fall to the man; the care of the children and all the very various industries which radiate from the hearth, and which call for an expenditure of energy more continuous but at a lower tension, fall to the woman.” But he admits that ‘the exceptions are very numerous.’ And woman has been so long under an artificial régime
inspired by man’s belief in her inferiority that many of the phenomena of work are with her no longer naïve, natural or strictly evolutional in character. The women of the Seris, e.g.
, possess a good deal of the marked characteristics of the men in respect to intense activity, continued rest and rapid transition from one state to the other, and the same thing may be said of other savage peoples as well. Something of this ability to change from the commonplace to the intense is seen in the quick perception and nimble action of woman’s thought to-day:
“Whenever a man and a woman are found under compromising circumstances it is nearly always the woman who with ready wit audaciously retrieves the situation. Every one is acquainted with instances from life or from history of women whose quick and cunning ruses have saved lover or husband or child.” The Breton fisherman confesses to a like quality in the other sex, when he replies to his questioner, ‘See my wife about it,’ and this is largely true of the lower and ignorant classes on the one hand, and of ‘society’ on the other, in most civilized communities. In this matter, as in many others, woman probably is leading the race. Traces of the night-inspiration, of the influence of the primitive fire-group, abound in woman. Indeed, it may be said (the life of southern Europe and of American society of to-day illustrates the point abundantly) that she is, in a sense, a ‘night-being,’ for the activity physical and mental of modern women (revealed, e.g.
, in the dance and the nocturnal intellectualities of society) in this direction is remarkable. Perhaps we may style a good deal of her ordinary day labor as ‘rest,’ or the commonplaces and banalities of her existence, her evening and night life being the true genius side of her activities. It is an interesting fact that in acting and dancing, two professions essentially of the night, woman shows marked genius, exceeding even that of man. Singing may belong here also, in part at least. Havelock Ellis
finds the organic basis of women’s success in acting in the fact that ‘in women mental processes are usually more rapid than in men; they have also an emotional explosiveness much more marked than men possess, and more easily within call.’ Again, ‘women are more susceptible than men to the immediate stimulus of admiration and applause supplied by contact with an audience.’ Legouvé said:
“It has been reserved to the female sex to produce the marvel which we admire to-day of a young girl reaching in a few months the heights of dramatic art which Talma, Lekain and Baron only attained to after long labor and in the maturity of their age.” In fiction women have also scored marked success, because, as Havelock Ellis remarks: “What it demands is a quick perception of human character and social life colored by a more or less intense emotional background.” These things our poets have sung to us time and again. Thus, when we consider women in the fields in which her highest genius asserts itself, we find that in general she conforms to the theory here advanced. Altogether the life of woman furnishes more evidence than one would be inclined at first to suspect, in support of the theory set forth in these pages. And were her individual emotional and intellectual life given more sway the evidence would probably be even greater, for, emotionally, she illustrates the theory in its most genial form, and her best-first efforts in many lines of thought and action indicate vast possibilities in the right direction. The Genius.
— Of the activities of men of genius we know altogether too little. But, as Platzhoff
has recently observed, the present is an age of personality, and there exists an intense desire to see the individual in the creative process, to catch, if possible, the personality as it metamorphoses itself into, or ‘secretes,’ the invention, the poem, the novel, the picture, the great thing of whatever sort. It is an epoch of biographies and autobiographies, of interviews, confessions and recollections, of diaries, love-letters, descriptions of private life, etc. At the two extremes we have an eminent littérateur
’s account of ‘How I wrote my greatest novel,’ and the Sunday newspaper’s illustrated article on ‘How Judge X. spends his vacation.’ Out of this immense, incongruous mass of facts and fancies, by patient selection, it is possible to obtain some data at least of the highest importance for our view of the activity of genius. Many of the definitions and characterizations of genius have dealt with its relation to work, — ‘genius is mainly an affair of energy,’ “genius is nothing but labor and diligence,’ ‘genius is only an infinite capacity for hard work,’ etc. But such characterizations of genius are born of the contemplation of the necessity under which, in our present forms of society, men of genius are compelled to work hard in order to live, and to work long in order to achieve fame. The capacity of genius for persistent, intense hard work, if it really exists, is only a temporary necessity, a transient expedient, not a permanent phenomenon of human evolution. True genius seems rather to accomplish its work by brief periods of intense activity than by unceasing labor and untiring diligence, by the raptus
, not by the ordo
or the ratio
. And, apart from the necessities of the ill-regulated social system of to-day, the genius, like the child, is marked by an extreme capacity for almost ‘lightning change’ from productivity to infertility, from wisdom and wit to ignorance and stupidity, from activity of the intensest sort to equally noteworthy inertness. And therein he really recapitulates the race to which he belongs, for, shorn of certain excrescences acquired in the making, he is the normal man, not the abnormal, as so many critics of genius ancient and modem, will have it. Lombroso
has a brief section on the stupidity of men of genius, the noddings of the Homers of all ages, and his school has made much of such things. But, far from proving the abnormality of genius, they are one of the proofs of its general sanity and inherent humanness. The common man does not focus upon himself the glare of investigation or his ‘peculiarities’ would stand forth in their kinship with those of the genius who is the cynosure of all. Genius, by virtue of its humanity, has a right to be stupid here and there. Talent, which is so largely artificial, abhors stupidity, as nature is said to abhor a vacuum, or the Devil to hate holy water, but genius proves its naturalness by its occasional stupidity. The keenest eye has its blind-spot, the most highly evolved brain its non-responsive cells. Says Lombroso:
“When the moment of inspiration is over, the man of genius becomes an ordinary man, if he does not descend lower; in the same way, personal inequalities, or, according to modern terminology, double, or even contrary, personality, is one of the characters of genius. Our greatest poets, Isaac Disraeli remarked (in Curiosities of Literature
), Shakespeare and Dryden, are those who have produced the worst lines. It was said of Tintoretto that sometimes he surpassed Tintoretto, and sometimes was inferior to Caracci.” The Criminal.
— Says Havelock Ellis:
‘While he is essentially lazy … the criminal is capable of moments of violent activity.’ The vacuous lives of criminals, with whom inertia is practically normal and continuous for long periods, have their brief epoch of excitement, explosion, diversion, uproar, intoxication, exhilaration and ‘breaking out.’ Indulgence in alcohol, gambling, sexual orgies, spasmodic and emotional manifestations of personality, and the like, are the sharp peaks that rise, few in number so often, from long low stretches of commonplace inertia and quiescence, or from the imprisonment that seems the normal condition of so many of them. The monotonous lapse of prison life is dotted with those outbreaks to which the German criminologists and psychiatrists have given the name of ‘Zuchthausknall.’ The French thief, in his jargon, calls himself ‘pègre
,’ or ‘idler,’ and a pickpocket said to Lombroso, “You see in these ‘moments of inspiration’ we cannot restrain ourselves; we have to steal.” In the execution of many of those acts denominated crimes the offender exhibits the phenomenon of a brief period of violent activity, extreme impulsivity, great emotionality, remarkable cunning, wide-awake personality, preceded and followed by longer (often very long) periods of inertness, quiescence, impassivity, obtuseness, subdued individuality. The Savage.
— That the savage hates work has been a favorite theory with travelers and philosophers, and the etymologists, by pointing out the real significance of flie terms for ‘work,’ which in so many languages (Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Italian, French, etc.) are synonymous with pain and suffering, have corroborated such a view. Indeed, in English one word is still applicable to the ‘labor’ of women in child-birth, of the peasant in the field and of the man of science in his laboratory or in his study. According to Ferrero,
the habit of work is one of the great acquisitions of civilized man, who has left his opinion of its disagreeableness, not merely in words by which it is named, but also in myths and legends scattered all over the globe, in which the necessity to labor is represented (as in some of the Eden stories) as a result of the sinfulness of the fathers of the race. Vierkandt,
in his recent study of savagery and civilization, synthetizes these two stages of human progress as ‘play’ and ‘organization’ respectively. Professor Karl Bücher,
of Leipzig, who devotes one section of a very interesting and suggestive book to the ‘work methods of primitive peoples,’ reviews briefly the ‘horror laboris’ theory, pointing out that the latest and most trustworthy studies of savage and barbarous peoples indicate, beyond a doubt, that a very large amount of work is performed by them, though the impulses leading up to it are not the same as those which influence the work of cultured races, the technical aids are very imperfect, the work processes complicated, and a tendency to artistic elaboration and adornment is marked among the uncivilized peoples. With Ferrero, Bücher holds that the horror laboris
could hardly have originated from bodily fatigue, since many of the phenomena of activity among primitive peoples, notably some of their dances, continue until utter weariness and exhaustion end them. According to Bucher,
it is aversion to effort of the mind and will, not repugnance to bodily exertion and fatigue, that causes the savage to dislike work. His dislike is of psychic origin, and in such performances as the dance, which are carried on to the point of exhaustion and fatigue he finds ‘an easy means of discharging, without destroying the condition of mental inertia so characteristic of him, the accumulation of nerve-force in his intellectual organs.’ That this theory can be carried too far and that the dance and cognate activities are not the only ones which the savage is capable of carrying on in genius-fashion is evident from the researches of Boas and other competent and thoroughgoing students of primitive man. The most suggestive of all recent writings on this head is Dr. W.J. McGee’s
account of the Seri Indians of Tiburon Island and the adjacent Sonoran coast of the Gulf of California. These Indians are not merely ‘one of the most strongly marked and distinctive of aboriginal tribes’ but ‘must be assigned to the initial place in the scale of development represented by the American aborigines, and hence to the lowest recognized phase of savagery.’ In Dr. McGee’s detailed description of this remarkable tribe of savages, the following passage is significant:
“So the observer of the Seri is impressed by the intensity of functioning along lines defined by their characteristic traits, and equally by the capriciousness of the functioning and the remarkably wide range between activity and inactivity which render them aggregations of extremes, — the Seri are at once the swiftest and the laziest, the strongest and the most inert, the most warlike and the most docile of tribesmen; and their transitions from role to rSle are singularly capricious and sudden. At the same time the observer is impressed by the relatively long intervals between the periods of activity; true, the intense activity may cover hours, as in the chase of a deer, or days, as in a distant predatory raid, or perhaps even weeks, when the tribe is on the warpath; yet all the known facts indicate that far the greater portion of the time of warriors, women, and children is spent in idle lounging about rancherias and camps, in lolling and slumbering in the sun by day and in huddling under the scanty shelter of jacales or shrubbery by night, — i.e., when their activity is measured by hours, their intervals of repose must be measured by days.”
This is an entirely different view from that which travelers of a day have expressed concerning savage and barbarous man, and statements such as those of Eengger about the pathological slowness and stupidity of the Guarani, as Hirn
terms it, must be read in a new light. And perhaps we may say the same thing about Sproat’s
characterization of the Indians of Vancouver Island, which has been cited with approval by Spencer. Many travelers and investigators have seen the savage during the period of laziness and stupidity only and have ascribed to him these qualities alone. But while the Seri Indians are so well developed somatically, are runners in a land of running peoples (their very name signifies ‘spry’), are expert paddlers in very stormy waters, excellent hunters and warriors of high prestige, in fact possess a physical strength-reserve which makes them masters of their habitat, ‘they have been no less notorious among the Caucasian settlers of two generations for unparalleled laziness, for a lethargic sloth beyond that of sluggish ox or somnolent swine, which was an irritating marvel to the patient padres of the eighteenth century, and is to-day a by-word in the even-tempered land of Mañana.’ Moreover this inactivity is so complete that ‘the sinewy hands and muscular jaws are noticeably inert during the intervals between intense functionings, are practically free from the spontaneous or nervous movements of habitually busy persons, and contribute by their immobility to the air of indolence or languor which so impressed padres and rancheros.’ Just as complete is the transition from the manifestations of race-hatred culminating on the war-path to ‘the abject docility of the Seri when at peace and in camp.’ Altogether the Seris offer a brilliant example of intuitive relying upon reserve strength to the disregarding of the mechanical and artificial devices known to civilization, which so often make the individual absolutely dependent upon them and not upon himself, causing many a dire calamity in times of real storm and stress. The rapidity of the transition from extreme inertness to extreme activity is also emphasized by Dr. McGee. It therefore seems that the long periods of inactivity do not appreciably injure either the brief periods of activity or inhibit the swift passage from one to the other so characteristic of these savages. According to Dr. McGee the Seri have acquired a ‘race-sense’ in these matters, that never fails them.
Generalizations are always hazardous, but we can hardly doubt that the Seris as described by Dr. McGee more fairly typify the savage and primitive man than do certain other tribes glimpsed at by incompetent or casual observers. The Race.
— That the races of man, and perhaps all mankind considered as a whole, have their alternations of activity and inactivity is very probable. Particularly is this true when we consider some special quality, which may be said to correspond to genius in the individual. There are ‘lean’ and ‘fat’ years of racial genius. Havelock Ellis, in his careful study of ‘British Genius,’
notes as one of the two most important factors, ‘a spontaneous rhythmical rise and fall in the production of genius
’; this is indicated in the distribution of men of genius by centuries and half-centuries, etc. The so-called ‘ages’ of English history — Elizabethan, Victorian — the Augustan period in Rome, the era of Pericles in Greece, and their innumerable counterparts in the annals of other lands afford proof of the rhythmic movement of racial genius at its best in comparatively brief intervals, while the ‘dark ages’ of much longer duration are represented in many other parts of the world than in Europe. The renaissances and revolutions of various sorts, the outbursts of political energy, invention, maritime discovery, literature, dramatic art, etc., represented in Athens by the period 530-430 B.C, in England by 1550-1650 A.D., and in America by 1783-1814, are well worth studying from this point of view. For Europe the brief period 1550-1700 is particularly glorious, since during it there came into the world Spenser, Marlowe, Shakespeare, Bacon and Lope da Vega, while during the period 1620-1640 were bom Dryden, Locke, Moliere, Eacine and Spinoza. Italian art, Semitic religion, Greek philosophy, Hindu metaphysics and Chinese rationalism are not without a like periodicity. Throughout European history especially there can be traced waves of activity and inactivity traversing every avenue of human thought and expression. For the race, as well as for the individual, the ‘magnum opus
’ is performed in the ‘minimum tempus
’ — a year is often more than a century.
We have now considered in the life of the animal, the child, the woman, the genius, the criminal, the savage, the race, the theory that brief periods of work at the highest possible tension alternating with longer periods of rest or changed activity represent the best working conditions and have found not a little evidence to support it in every quarter. The experience of other than mere professional athletes, the methods of animal trainers, the results of half-time schools, the progressive reduction of the hours of labor for working-men and shop-employees will furnish many more data of the same kind. It has been argued that two hours physical labor per diem would suffice, were the product economically distributed, to keep the whole world well supplied, so great has been the advance in labor-saving machinery, methods of transportation, etc. Is it altogether unreasonable to suppose that two hours intellectual work, under right conditions and with economic distribution of the product, would suffice to keep the whole world supplied here also? Two hours of every one’s best would be something worth achieving, physically and intellectually. An end something like this is the ideal to which things are bound to tend. Some poet of the future may be able to sing: ‘Better the New World hour than the long European day.’ The racial nervousness of the American people, non-pathological in reality, is perhaps the groundwork for this achievement.( Footnotes: )
— Popular Science Monthly, Volume 60, 1901, pp. 413-423
|Saturday, June 18th, 2011|
|figlie di giuditta More bad writing from The New Yorker:
How do you know that a Jewish woman has had an orgasm?The punchline muddies up the lede. You know that a Jewish woman has had an orgasm because you see her drop her emery board.
Oh, and you know about the Jewish woman climaxing because she drops her emery board.
Caravaggio, “Giuditta e Oloferne”, 1598-1599No one but barely possibly herself knows anything about a Jewish woman having an orgasm.
|Friday, June 17th, 2011|
|they asked him for some collateral and he pulled down his pants
Deshon Marman, 20, a University of New Mexico football player who was in the city to attend the funeral of a close friend, former Lincoln High School standout David Henderson, was being held at San Mateo County Jail on suspicion of trespassing, battery and resisting arrest.
Marman grew up a block from Henderson in the Bayview neighborhood, and the two were teammates at Lincoln High School and City College of San Francisco before they transferred to separate four-year universities. Henderson was shot May 26 on Kirkwood Avenue and died 11 days later.
On Wednesday, San Francisco police got a call about 9 a.m. that someone was exposing himself outside a US Airways gate, Sgt. Michael Rodriguez said.
An airline employee spotted Marman before he boarded Flight 488, bound for Albuquerque, and complained that Marman’s pants “were below his buttocks but above the knees, and that much of his boxer shorts were exposed,” Rodriguez said.
The employee asked Marman to pull up his pants before he boarded the plane, but he refused, Rodriguez said. Marman allegedly repeated his refusal after taking his seat on the plane.
“At that point he was asked to leave the plane,” Rodriguez said. "“It took 15 to 20 minutes of talking to get him to leave the plane, and he was arrested for trespassing.” Marman allegedly resisted officers as he was being led away.
—Justin Berton, “Grieving Passenger’s Sagging Pants Lead to Arrest
”, The San Francisco Chronicle
, 16 June 2011Folk etymology
connects saggin’ with backwards niggas.
The fashion actually transitioned from prison culture, said author-youth advocate Judge Greg Mathis of the “Judge Mathis” show.Deshon Marman is expected to plead guilty to possession of crack with intent to sell.
“In prison you aren’t allowed to wear belts to prevent self-hanging or the hanging of others,” said Mathis, who at 17 once served eight months in jail. “They take the belt and sometimes your pants hang down. The same with no shoestrings in your shoes. You aren’t allowed to have shoestrings. Many cultures of the prison have overflowed into the community unfortunately.”
Saggin’ also has sexual connotations in prison.
“Those who pulled their pants down the lowest and showed their behind a little more raw, that was an invitation,” said Mathis. “[The youth] don’t know this part about it. I always tease and tell them that they better be careful because some man who has been in prison 30 years who comes home and doesn’t know any different may think it’s an open invitation.”
|Monday, June 13th, 2011|
|don my nods
“They use IEDs because otherwise it’s not fair,” Ryan says. “You get rich Saudi teenagers coming to the mountains, thinking it’s an adventure. I’d flank them, and they’d still be firing one-handed over a rock. Just kids, you know?” When it’s only me, Ryan hardly ever talks about combat. But Papa brings it out of him. “At night at the firebase sometimes I’d look through my nods—night vision—and see these fuckers, pardon,” Ryan stands up and pantomimes a blind person stepping tentatively, “see these guys coming up the mountain for us.” Now he pantomimes holding a rifle. “We got an infrared beam that only we can see in our nods, and I’m painting these blind bastards right in the face.” He laughs a little, and so do Papa and I, because he pantomimes the sightless Taliban again. “So I’d let them do a little of this before I put the steel to ’em.”
—Kent Russell, “Ryan Went to Afghanistan”, n+1
, No. 11
To my friends who feel like holding forth on our “bloated military spending”, I offer a free loan of USGI AN-PVS14 nods
that show this issue in a very different light. Complaining that such spending fails to instill warm and fuzzy feelings in the breasts of our electorate is beside the point. Making the citizens feel safer is not a legitimate goal of foreign policy concerned with preempting and eradicating international threats to our body politic. On the contrary, the less the man in the street knows about the means of ensuring his safety, the safer he will be. In the event, the lack of stateside followups to 9/11 bears witness to the effectiveness of our preemption and eradication. Under the circumstances, the right policy is to spend more, not less, on the citizens and institutions responsible for making it so.
Notwithstanding the geopolitical notions promulgated by South Park, there is no such thing as “Team America: World Police”. Accordingly, wishing for preemption of foreign criminal conduct and eradication of foreign criminals who plot against the U.S. without deploying thousands of USGI boots on the ground wherever such criminals congregate in concord with local authorities, is not a coherent basis for U.S. policy. As Immanuel Kant pointed out
, whoever wills the ends also wills, in so far as his actions are subject to reason, the absolutely necessary means that are in his power. In the final analysis, military ends call for military means. Pakistani harboring of Osama bin Laden affords a vivid example of chronic failures stemming from consigning such matters to diplomacy. The absolutely necessary means in this matter begin with maintaining an effective ongoing military control of Afghanistan by the U.S. It bears recalling that Taliban got its start as a result of the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan. At this point, American withdrawal would inspire a rapid Afghani reversal to the status quo ante
. “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
|Saturday, June 11th, 2011|
|equal opportunity offense P.J. O’Rourke: Foreigners Around the World ( Read more... )
Resembling the Chinese in many respects but mercifully less numerous. Their idea of a good time is to torture people, preferably by inserting a glass rod in the penis, then doing the predictable thing. And this is only for captured business competitors. During time of war, they resort to more drastic measures entirely. They have no new ideas of their own or any native creativity, but they are able to copy everything we do quite nicely, considering the color of their skin. Their diet consists principally of fish, which they do not cook or even, in many cases, kill. It’s rumored that they know of sex acts peculiar unto themselves, and with any luck, so it will stay. The most frightening thing about the Japanese is that we’ve tried the atomic bomb on them twice and it doesn’t seem to have much effect. Good Points:
Frequently commit suicide. Proper Forms of Address: Nip, Jap, dink, gook, yellow rat. An Anecdote Illustrating Something of the Japanese Character:
There was once a half-Japanese, half-Polish businessman in Tokyo who attempted to export miniaturized dildos. ( Read more... )
— National Lampoon, May 1976P.S:
Allied prisoners often reported on individual cases of mistreatment they had personally witnessed: Kanburi No. 2 Coolie Hospital, where “coolies were kept standing for hours with weights tied to the penis” — apparently for sport; Kinsayoke Checking Station, where coolies undergoing rectal swab examination for dysentery were, “one after the other, kicked violently by the Japanese medical officers”; Niki Camp, where members of a Japanese hygiene unit, during routine examinations, delighted in inserting glass rods into the vaginas of Chinese women patients; Upper Concuita Camp, where “sick coolies were used for the practice of judo and thrown over the shoulders of Japanese.” At Concuita, too, fifty to sixty workers were killed with doses of morphia and potassium permanganate.
“These instances could be multiplied,” Crawford said, “ad nauseam
Repeatedly, the Allies protested the mistreatment of prisoners of war and others in the Thai-Burmese camps. As in a game of badminton, the Japanese foreign minister of the day swatted back the diplomatic shuttlecock, dismissing the accusations as lies. On July 24, 1943, for example, the defendant Mamoru Shigemitsu, through the Swiss ambassador in Japan, replied to one protest by observing that “competent authorities … inform me that the prisoners of the Thailand Camp are equitably treated; furthermore, those who are sick have received the best medical treatment in the prisoners-of-war hospital.” Shigemitsu’s “competent authorities” were officials of the War Ministry. But repeated Swiss requests to visit the camps as a neutral power were denied. “So far as the matter of visiting the camp is concerned,” Shigemitsu wrote, “authorization will not be given for the moment.” It never was.
— Arnold C. Brackman, The Other Nuremberg: The Untold Story of the Tokyo War Crimes Trials, William Morrow & Co., 1987, p. 258
|Friday, June 10th, 2011|
|untermenschen sind nicht brüder
On 16 September 1941, my maternal grandmother and great-grandmother were exterminated by Einsatzgruppe C
, led by Otto Rasch, holder of two university doctorates in political economy and philosophy. On 13 June 1942, my 16 year-old maternal aunt was raped and killed by a Tadjik collective farmer. I owe my descent to my mother’s refusal to follow the example of three generations of women in her family
, expressed by her bearing arms against Nazi invaders.
Comes now Slate senior editor Dahlia Lithwick
to bemoan and decry
“hurt feelings” that according to her comprise the real concern driving the hotly contested Florida law
that makes it illegal for any physician to “ask questions concerning the ownership of a firearm” or “harass … a patient about firearm ownership during an examination”. She fails to note the symmetry of this law across the political spectrum with proposed
laws that bar insurance companies such as those that bear the costs of medical inquiries at issue, from asking potential clients about their sexual orientation or framing questions in such a way as to determine their sexual orientation. In Lithwick World, protecting the purview and privacy of citizens’preference in the pursuit of happiness
goes without saying—until and unless their private preference stays outside the purview of pursuing the right to keep and bear arms. In Lithwick World, concern over President Obama “coming for yer guns”, realizing his signed support for legislation to ban the manufacture, sale, and possession of handguns and assault weapons
, is concern over “the lie that keeps on giving”.According to Wikipedia
, Dahlia Lithwick is Jewish, and keeps a kosher home. Regrettably, her Yiddishkeit does not deter her from pandering to lily-white middle-class gentiles eager to turn a blind eye to the perennial perils that inspire the keeping and bearing arms by Untermenschen
not privy to their innate privilege. The last word on her subject belongs to Zero Mostel: “With kikes like you on the loose, who needs Hitler?