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"Method of this work:
literary montage.
I have nothing to say only to show."
(Passagenwerk (1927 - 1940) - Walter Benjamin)

2005, Jul 18; 17:32 ::: God invented woman ...

Tagline: "...but the devil invented Brigitte Bardot!"

image sourced here. [Jul 2005]

try the Google gallery for affichescinema.com

see also: 1956 - French cinema - erotic cinema - Brigitte Bardot

2005, Jul 18; 16:55 ::: Eddie Constantine

image sourced here. [Jul 2005]

Anna Karina and Eddie Constantine in Jean-Luc Godard's Alphaville
image sourced here.

Expatriate American actor/singer Eddie Constantine made a career in the 1950s playing the quick-fisted FBI agent Lemmy Caution in the adaptations of British author Peter Cheyney: La Mome vert-de-gris / Poison Ivy (1952), Cet homme est dangereux / This Man is Dangerous (1953), Les femmes s'en balancent (1954), etc. Those films were self-consciously tongue-in-cheek and increasingly verged on parody. --http://www.geocities.com/Athens/6384/noirfilmsfr2.html [Jul 2005]

Eddie Constantine (born Los Angeles, California, October 29, 1917 - died Wiesbaden, Germany, February 25, 1993) was an expatriate American actor and singer who spent his career working in Europe. His most significant film was Jean-Luc Godard's Alphaville, une étrange aventure de Lemmy Caution (1965), in which he reprised (to a more radical end) the role of the hard-boiled detective/secret agent he had played in a series of French B-pictures, including Cet homme est dangereux (1953), Lemmy pour les dames (1961) and À toi de faire ... mignonne (1963). He took up the part of Lemmy for a last time in 1991, in Godard's Allemagne 90 neuf zéro. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eddie_Constantine [Jul 2005]

Alphaville, une étrange aventure de Lemmy Caution is a 99-minute 1965 science fiction film (dystopia) directed by Jean-Luc Godard, starring Eddie Constantine, Anna Karina, Howard Vernon and Akim Tamiroff. Several scenes incorporate concepts from La Capitale de la Douleur (The Capital of Pain), a book of poems by Paul Éluard. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alphaville%2C_une_%C3%A9trange_aventure_de_Lemmy_Caution [Jul 2005]

Caution (Constantine) is a parody of an American private eye: wearing a trench-coat and photographing people carelessly he is defiantly erratic in the logical city, dominated by the Alpha 60 computer which he has sworn to destroy. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alphaville%2C_une_%C3%A9trange_aventure_de_Lemmy_Caution [Jul 2005]

Certainly neo-noir – which many consider to be the same as film noir, only applied to films made after the 1958 barrier – has not been limited to the United States. The popularity and influence of film noir has expanded all over the world, and neo-noir films have been made in most countries with a prominent film industry. These include High and Low (Japan), Insomnia (Norway), Alphaville (France), The American Friend (Germany), and Blind Shaft (China). --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Film_noir#Film_noir_outside_the_U.S. [Jul 2005]

see also: 1965 - French cinema - crime fiction - film noir

2005, Jul 18; 16:31 ::: Peter Cheyney

La Môme Vert-de-Gris (1945)
de Peter Cheyney
premier titre de la Série Noire
[ ici, couverture cartonnée de la réédition de 1950 ]
info sourced here. [Jul 2005]

La Môme vert-de-gris (1945) - Peter Cheyney, translated by Marcel Duhamel[Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
eighties cover

Amazon UK has an English copy for 0.01 pounds.

La Môme vert-de-gris (1953) - Bernard Borderie

This film was after a novel written by Peter Cheyney, entitled Poison Ivy (1937).

It was the first title in Gallimard's Série Noire series, translated by Marcel Duhamel.

The French title was La Môme vert-de-gris and was published in 1945.

The Série Noire can be called the equivalent of the Italian gialli by Mondadori publishing house.

see also: 1945 - Série Noire - crime fiction - film noir

2005, Jul 18; 15:40 ::: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931) - Rouben Mamoulian

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931) - Rouben Mamoulian [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

see also: 1931 - film - The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

2005, Jul 18; 14:48 ::: Under the Influence : The Literature of Addiction (2003) - Rebecca Shannonhouse

Under the Influence : The Literature of Addiction (2003) - Rebecca Shannonhouse [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

“In the end, we simply can’t stand in icy judgment of those who sought Paradise and found Hell. . . . If the stories in this book have a collective statement to make, it is a simple one: I, too, was human.” —Pete Hamill

Drawing on two centuries of important literary and historical writings, Rebecca Shannonhouse has shaped a remarkable collection of works that are, in turn, tragic, compelling, hilarious, and enlightening. Together, these selections comprise a profound and truthful portrait of the life experience known as addiction.

Under the Influence offers classic selections from fiction, memoirs, and essays by authors such as Tolstoy, Cheever, Parker, and Poe. Also included are topical gems by writers who illuminate the causes, dangers, pleasures, and public perceptions surrounding people consumed by excessive use of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. Recent provocative works by Abraham Verghese, the Barthelme brothers, Margaret Bullitt-Jonas, and others expand and modernize the definition of addiction to include sex, gambling, and food. Together, these incomparable writings give shape and meaning to the raw experience of uncontrollable urges.

Shannonhouse’s recent anthology, Out of Her Mind: Women Writing on Madness, is also available as a Modern Library Paperback.

see also: influence - addiction - literature

2005, Jul 18; 14:31 ::: Robert Louis Stevenson

Robert Louis Stevenson was another great discovery for me - the notion that the story of Jekyll and Hyde had emerged from a cocaine binge makes so much sense of the story itself, as well as serving as a great example of the subtle ways in which an illicit drug like cocaine has found its way into mainstream culture. --Sadie Plant via http://www.absolutewrite.com/novels/sadie_plant.htm [Jul 2005]

Robert Louis Stevenson and his Wife () - John Singer Sargent

Robert Louis (Balfour) Stevenson (November 13, 1850 – December 3, 1894), was a novelist, poet, and travel writer.

Stevenson's novels of adventure, romance, and horror are of considerable psychological depth and have continued in popularity long after his death, both as books and as films.

He is the author of Jekyll and Hyde. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Louis_Stevenson [Jul 2005]

Sadie Plant, in her book Writing on Drugs (1999), holds that The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886) was written on a cocaine binge.

see also: 1886 - cocaine - The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

2005, Jul 18; 11:15 ::: James Gillray (1757 - 1815)

The Gout - James Gillray

Petit Souper a la Parisienne; -or- A Family of Sans-Culottes refreshing, after the fatigues of the day (1792) - James Gillray
image sourced here.

James Gillray (1757 - June 1, 1815), British caricaturist, was born at Chelsea, London. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Gillray [Jul 2005]

see also: caricature - French revolution

2005, Jul 18; 10:58 ::: First giallo novel published

La strana morte del signor Benson (1929) - S.S. Van Dine

Originally titled The Benson Murder Case (1926) - S.S. Van Dine

The Benson Murder Case was the first novel in the Philo Vance series by S.S. Van Dine which became a best-seller. The novel was very loosely based upon a real-life case that had made headlines, the unsolved murder of a bridge expert, and many people considered it a roman a clef. Modern knowledge of ballistics reveals that one of the central premises of the novel is absurd, because the reconstruction of the height of the murderer is impossible). --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Benson_Murder_Case [Jul 2005]

A roman à clef or roman à clé (French for "novel with a key") is a novel describing real-life events behind a façade of fiction. The "key", not present in the text, is the correlation between events and characters in the novel and events and characters in real life. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_a_clef

First four titles of gialli by Mondadori were translations of English novels

  1. La strana morte del signor Benson (1929) - S.S. Van Dine / The Benson Murder Case (1926)
  2. L'uomo dai due corpi (1929) - Edgar Wallace / Captains of Souls (1922)
  3. Il club dei suicidi (1929) - R.L. Stevenson / Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886)
  4. Il mistero delle due cugine (1929) - A.K. Green / The Leavenworth Case: a Lawyer's Story (1878)
--http://www.lfb.it/fff/giallo/mondador/1929-1941.htm [Jul 2005]

see also: giallo - translation - 1929

2005, Jul 18; 09:15 ::: Pain and pleasure

Four posts taken from Havelock Ellis's Psychology of Sex have moved to the Havelock Ellis page.

2005, Jul 18; 07:28 ::: Egbert's Penitential and bestiality

The social and legal attitude toward bestiality has reflected in part the frequency with which it has been practiced, and in part the disgust mixed with mystical and sacrilegious horror which it has aroused. It has sometimes been met merely by a fine, and sometimes the offender and his innocent partner have been burnt together. In the middle ages and later its frequency is attested by the fact that it formed a favorite topic with preachers of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. It is significant that in the Penitentials,—which were criminal codes, half secular and half spiritual, in use before the thirteenth century, when penance was relegated to the judgment of the confessor,—it was thought necessary to fix the periods of penance which should be undergone respectively by bishops, priests and deacons who should be guilty of bestiality.

In Egbert's Penitential, a document of the ninth and tenth centuries, we read (V. 22): "Item Episcopus cum quadrupede fornicans VII annos, consuetudinem X, presbyter V, diaconus III, clerus II." There was a great range in the penances for bestiality, from ten years to (in the case of boys) one hundred days. The mare is specially mentioned (Haddon and Stubbs, Councils and Ecclesiastical Documents, vol. iii, p. 422). In Theodore's Penitential, another Anglo-Saxon document of about the same age, those who habitually fornicate with animals are adjudged ten years of penance. It would appear from the Penitentiale Pseudo-Romanum (which is earlier than the eleventh century) that one year's penance was adequate for fornication with a mare when committed by a layman (exactly the same as for simple fornication with a widow or virgin), and this was mercifully reduced to half a year if he had no wife. (Wasserschleben, Die Bussordnungen der Abendländlichen Kirche, p. 366). The Penitentiale Hubertense (emanating from the monastery of St. Hubert in the Ardennes) fixes ten years' penance for sodomy, while Fulbert's Penitential (about the eleventh century) fixes seven years for either sodomy or bestiality. Burchard's Penitential, which is always detailed and precise, specially mentions the mare, the cow and the ass, and assigns forty days bread and water and seven years penance, raised to ten years in the case of married men. A woman having intercourse with a horse is assigned seven years penance in Burchard's Penitential. (Wasserschleben, ib. pp. 651, 659.)

The extreme severity which was frequently exercised toward those guilty of this offense, was doubtless in large measure due to the fact that bestiality was regarded as a kind of sodomy, an offense which was frequently viewed with a mystical horror apart altogether from any actual social or personal injury it caused. The Jews seem to have felt this horror; it was ordered that the sinner and his victim should both be put to death (Exodus, Ch. 22, v. 19; Leviticus, Ch. 20, v. 15). In the middle ages, especially in France, the same rule often prevailed. Men and sows, men and cows, men and donkeys were burnt together. At Toulouse a woman was burnt for having intercourse with a dog. Even in the seventeenth century a learned French lawyer, Claude Lebrun de la Rochette, justified such sentences. [Mantegazza (Gli Amori degli Uomini, cap. V)] It seems probable that even to-day, in the social and legal attitude toward bestiality, sufficient regard is not paid to the fact that this offense is usually committed either by persons who are morbidly abnormal or who are of so low a degree of intelligence that they border on feeble-mindedness. To what extent, and on what grounds, it ought to be punished is a question calling for serious reconsideration. --Havelock Ellis, The Psychology of Sex, Volume 5 (of 6) (1927) via http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/1/3/6/1/13614/13614-h/13614-h.htm

see also: sodomy - bestiality - Havelock Ellis - punishment - religion - middle

2005, Jul 18; 06:45 ::: Penitential books

While it is true that many of the great Church reformers, men such as Bernard and Damiani, were driven by a horror of sex which was as sincere as it was exaggerated and irrational, yet is also true that beneath a conscious hatred of sex always lies a unconscious fascination with it. As one reads the penitential books, it is impossible to avoid gaining, at the same time another and less worthy impression: that of a neurotic obsession with sexual matters, of a truly pornographic character.

For instance, in Egbert's penitential, supposed to cover all cleric abuses, all but two of the offences discussed are concerned with sex. (Migne, J. P. (ed.). Patrologia Cursus Completus. Vol. 89 (Latin). ) This was certainly not for lack of other targets: the were plenty of religious abuses to attack, from simony to blasphemy. But these were not of interest to the writers of the penitentials. Geoffrey May says: "Anglo-Saxon church penitentials place upon matters of sex more emphasis, both in quantity of regulation and minuteness of detail, than has, probably, any other general code of conduct." It is impossible to resist the conclusion that these authors were in love with their subject.

And this, of course, is the inevitable result of repression-as distinct from sublimation. Many Christian ascetics have described how they could never get rid of the thought of sex and tormented themselves in their attempts to get rid of sexual temptations. Some fasted in the hope that this would reduce their desire; others kept a butt of water in their cell to stand in when the temptation became unendurable. In this unenviable state, men are quick to find sexual overtones in every object, every action of others. And it was just these men, restless, unhappy, obsessed, driven by the energies of their bottled up libidos, who were apt to attain positions of power in the Church and stamp it with their character. The Cardinalate might become venal, the Pope involved in political issues, but there was always a Bernard or a Damiani to whip the flagging horse. Such men can be found, of course, in all periods; the crucial fact was the existence, in the form of the Church, of an institution through which they could attempt to impose their ideals on the average sensual man. --http://www.ourcivilisation.com/smartboard/shop/taylorgr/sxnhst/chap3.htm

see also: punishment - religion - middle

2005, Jul 18; 06:45 ::: Penitential books and sexual mores in the 700s AD

  • the beginning of a series of Church "penitential books" which became an enormously strict system which ruled in the Middle Ages and explored the subject of sex in all its details with every misdeed described & elaborated at length & penalties ascribed to each.
    • 3 main codes:
      1. sex & lust is sinful, all who could were urged to attempt the ideal of complete celibacy
      2. placing of an absolute ban on all forms of sexual activity other than intercourse between married persons, carried out with the object of procreating
        • this included attempts to fornicate, kissing, thinking of fornication, involuntary nocturnal pollutions, homosexuality, bestiality (this includes sex with Jews!), masturbation even infantile masturbation, sodomy.
      3. the sexual act must be restricted to:
        • the missionary position
        • not allowed on Sundays, Wednesdays, Fridays, 40days before Easter & Xmas & in the 3 days before communion as well as being forbidden for the duration of pregnancy to 40days after birth and during any periods of penance
    • although initially they allowed for divorce in cases of prolonged absence or capture by the enemy, later divorce was banned completely and there were only 2 options to terminate a marital state:
      • annulment - after proving the marriage was invalid eg. "public indecency"
      • separation (but cannot remarry) - proof of cruelty, adultery or heresy
    • other activities that involved spontaneous pleasure were discouraged such as dancing, music & sport
  • Alcuin (735-804), the English scholar & ecclesiastic in 8thC: "the land has been absolutely submerged under a flood of fornication, adultery & incest"
  • the AngloSaxon synod of 786 decreed that bastard sons shall be debarred from legally inheriting as an attempt at enforcing long-lasting marriages without adultery. This however took many centuries before it would succeed!
  • --

    see also: 700s - middle

    2005, Jul 17; 21:35 ::: Tradition and the Individual Talent (1920) - T.S. Eliot

    featured in

    Sacred Wood () - T.S. Eliot [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    In English writing we seldom speak of tradition, though we occasionally apply its name in deploring its absence. We cannot refer to “the tradition” or to “a tradition”; at most, we employ the adjective in saying that the poetry of So-and-so is “traditional” or even “too traditional.” Seldom, perhaps, does the word appear except in a phrase of censure. If otherwise, it is vaguely approbative, with the implication, as to the work approved, of some pleasing archæological reconstruction. You can hardly make the word agreeable to English ears without this comfortable reference to the reassuring science of archæology.

    “No poet, no artist of any art, has his complete meaning alone. His significance, his appreciation is the appreciation of his relation to the dead poets and artists. You cannot value him alone; you must set him, for contrast and comparison, among the dead” .

    see also: tradition - individual - author - literature - lit crit - 1920

    2005, Jul 17; 21:35 ::: Lichtenstein by Koo Stark

    Lichtenstein by Koo Stark
    image sourced here. [Jul 2005]

    2005, Jul 17; 21:35 ::: Love-hate relationship

    A love-hate relationship is a personal relationship between humans, or figuratively between a human and an inanimate object, like a computer, involving simultaneous or alternating emotions of love and enmity. This relationship may or may not be of a romantic nature.

    The term comes from the way one may love the object/person one moment, and yet the next moment feel great rage or hatred for it. For example a computer may impress a user with amazing video game graphics one moment, yet the next moment it crashes at a key point during the game.

    It often occurs when people have completely lost the intimacy within a loving relationship, yet still retain some passion for, or perhaps some commitment to, each other.

    An addiction is also a kind of love-hate relationship.

    A love-hate relationship is between two people who refuse to accept the liking of each other or the enjoyment of one another’s presence. The couple usually holds a weak grudge towards one another creating a feud between emotional depression and 'happily ever after’. The relationship is held together by the hatred each person conjures when feeling incomparable to the other’s perfection. This anger is the cover up for the “love” part of the relationship because the couple dislikes society's knowledge of the affair. The hate is also powered by the teasing of each person while the frustration reaches its maximum level through the restriction on releasing their sexual tension and intimacy.

    On the other hand, the relationship may be held together entirely by insecurity; the people in the relationship may believe that (for some reason or another) they are "unable to live without" one another, and knowing no other existence but with each other, choose the certainty of staying together over the risk of leaving. The two people in such a relationship are totally incompatible, but believe that they are both with the best person for themselves that they are going to get. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Love-hate_relationship [Jul 2005]

    Broadly speaking, a contradiction is when two or more statements, ideas, or actions are seen as incompatible. One must, it seems, reject at least one of the ideas outright.

    In logic, contradiction is defined much more specifically, usually as the simultaneous assertion of a statement and its negation ("denial" can be used instead of "negation"). (See law of non-contradiction.) This, of course, assumes that "negation" has a non-problematic definition.

    In colloquial speech and in dialectical methodology, the word "contradiction" has a completely different meaning than in formal logic.

    see also: love - hate - opposition - relation

    2005, Jul 17; 19:57 ::: God Told me To (1976) - Larry Cohen

    God Told me To (1976) - Larry Cohen [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    FI Was this quirkiness bottled-up inside of you? God Told Me To, for example, is light years from anything else you had done – not only different from other films in your own career but different from the rest of the American cinema. Was there always this genie inside of you, waiting to jump out?

    LC Yeah, I think so. Even when I was writing comic books as a kid, I was writing very eccentric stories – not the usual comic book stuff. When I got a chance to make my own movies, I figured, if you're going to do your own film don't just copy somebody else's movie, or make something in a traditional form that you've seen everyone else do.

    FI Was it more of an evolution, than a leap?

    LC Maybe. I don't know. I credit my subconscious for most of my work. I don't think too much about what I write. An idea comes to me, and then I feel like I should write it, so I sit down and just let it go. I don't work it out in advance. I don't make a step outline of what's going to happen. I like to let evolve. I'm always looking forward to the next day's work, so I can find out what happens to the characters. --http://www.filmint.nu/netonly/eng/larrycohen.htm [Jul 2005]

    via http://daily.greencine.com/archives/001067.html [Jul 2005]

    see also: 1976 - God - Larry Cohen

    2005, Jul 17; 18:49 ::: Be safe, readers

    be safe, readers
    6:00pm, 7 July, 2005: two people crying in the office at lunchtime, one when she finally heard from her flatmate, safe and sound; the other because her mother, angry with relief, had yelled at her for not phoning when she’d been trying all morning

    i marched against the war because i dreaded the unlidding of hell everywhere, but of course the hellmouth was already open, and what i dreaded was facing the implications of this fact — in some parts of the world, it’s been this way every day for decades

    outside my window now a quiet summer evening, a father plays with his small child, distant traffic, wind in the trees --Mark Sinker via http://tashlan.pitas.com/ [Jul 2005]

    On Thursday, 7 July 2005, a series of four bomb explosions struck London's public transport system during the morning rush hour. At 8:50 a.m. (BST, UTC+1), three bombs exploded within one minute of each other on three London Underground trains. A fourth bomb exploded on a bus at 9:47 a.m. in Tavistock Square. All four incidents are believed to have been suicide bombings, the first of their kind in Western Europe. The bombings led to a severe, day-long disruption of the city's transport and telecommunication infrastructure.

    Fifty-five people are confirmed dead as of 15 July 2005, including the four suspected bombers, with 700 injured. There are currently still several people missing and emergency services are at the scene of the Underground blast in Kings Cross, searching for bodies. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/7_July_2005_London_bombings [Jul 2005]

    see also: Mark Sinker - terror

    2005, Jul 17; 18:24 ::: Mark Dery and Erik Davis

    We am a fan of Mark Dery and Erik Davis, who work the cultural fringe with sharp critical pickaxes. Encyclopedic version of same? Try Jahsonic. --Carl Wilson via http://www.zoilus.com/links.shtml [Jul 2005]

    see also: criticism - fringe - Mark Dery - Erik Davis - theory - music

    2005, Jul 17; 18:02 ::: The Stuff (1985) - Larry Cohen

    The Stuff (1985) - Larry Cohen [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    The Stuff (1985) concerns a parasitic goo from beneath the Earth's crust which manages to get itself marketed as a dessert; the film's hero announces proudly at the beginning: "Nobody could be as dumb as I appear," and later delivers the maxim: "Everybody has to eat shaving cream now and then." --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larry_Cohen [Jul 2005]

    B movie maverick Larry Cohen always enjoyed slipping a little social commentary into his genre pictures, and the satirical sci-fi/horror comedy The Stuff is no exception. A mix of Invasion of the Body Snatchers and The Blob, The Stuff is an insidiously addictive, low-calorie dessert sensation that soon wins the hearts and minds of the nation, but mostly the minds. You see, to borrow a title from another Cohen classic, it's alive.

    Michael Moriarty is an industrial spy with questionable ethics and a certain moral flexibility behind his disarming drawl. "No one is as dumb as I appear to be," he informs his newest client, a snack food CEO who wants the secret of The Stuff. Needless to say he becomes the film's hero, a smart-talking everyman battling a compromised FDA and a corporate baddie who sees dollar signs in every Stuff snarfing zombie he converts. Cohen's satirical swipes at consumerism, advertising, and the ethics of corporate profit come fast and furious, if not exactly focused, and help drive the film past his--at times--sloppy direction. Moriarty's energetic performance is hilarious, and his rag-tag crew includes Andrea Marcovicci as an advertising wunderkind (who improbably falls in love with Moriarty), Saturday Night Live alum Garrett Morris as "Famous Amos" parody "Chocolate Chip Charlie," and Paul Sorvino as a commie-hating, conspiracy-spewing militia leader.

    The DVD features commentary by Larry Cohen along with trailers and detailed biographies. --Sean Axmaker for Amazon.com

    Larry Cohen (born 15 July 1938, New York City) is an American film producer, director and screenwriter. Although he writes and produces for others, he is best known for directing his own low-budget but inventive horror films and thrillers. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larry_Cohen [Jul 2005]

    THE STUFF, in which a mysterious substance is commodified as food? The film has something to say about fears about and credulity over what we put in our bodies as food and drink. There’s an inspired moment at the end where, after the Stuff’s side effects are known, the company tries to repackage the phenomenon as The Taste, which tastes like the Stuff but, you know, doesn’t come from a meteor or kill you. --http://www.shaviro.com/Blog/?p=425#comment-188 [Jul 2005]

    see also: 1985 - food - taste - Larry Cohen - film - director

    2005, Jul 17; 17:46 ::: God can be quite a bit of a bore

    Scroll down to the bottom of following post and listen to The Devil´s Trill (Sonata in G Minor) by Giuseppe Tartini (1692 - 1770)

    God can be quite a bit of a bore when it comes to having a good time, better to keep your bets on Satan for that. Satanic music has of course nothing to do with heavy metal and its offsprings; blackmetal, deathmetal and whatever. All hailing their own brand of conformity and completely missing the seductiveness, trickery and sophistication of the Black Angel. No, to get a grip on the tunes of Satan we have to go back in time. Back to the heydays of that truly satanic instrument: the violin. The voice of the Devil luring away our souls for a life in sin. Long before bluesmen started selling their souls at the crossroads the violinists had been pawning theirs for centuries. Nineteenth-century violinist Paganini even used to carry around a letter from his mother to prove his mortal origins. Not that anyone believed him anyway.--http://easydreamer.blogspot.com/2005/07/week-17-satanism.html [Jul 2005]

    via http://groovyageofhorror.blogspot.com/2005/07/whats-going-on.html [Jul 2005]

    see also: god - devil - music

    2005, Jul 17; 17:12 ::: Feminism and prostitution

    The feminist position towards prostitution is divided. Some, like Grisélidis Réal, theorize prostitution as an act of sexual self-determination, decry discrimination and demand destigmatization and decriminalization; women are supposed to be adults who can choose what they wish to do with their bodies. In that view, the moral prohibition of prostitution is just mere masked patriarchal moralism, with a traditional view of considering women to be incapable of making decisions for themselves. Others, exemplified by the American radical feminist and ex-prostitute Andrea Dworkin, consider it to be sexual abuse or even rape; the prostitutes are then victims, who must be protected from the abuse of the clients and pimps. The former group pushed a law reform in Germany, resulting in January 2002 in the recognition of prostitution as a regular profession, making it possible for prostitutes to join the social security and health care system and to form trade unions. The latter faction of feminists was able in Sweden in 1999 to implement the law outlawing the buying of sexual favors but not the selling.

    In the United States, the only political party that favors legalization of prostitution is the United States Libertarian Party. The USLP believes all consensual crimes (any act that is against the law where all parties involved voluntarily consent to engage in the activity) should be legalised. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prostitution#Politics [Jul 2005]

    see also: consent - prostitution - feminism

    2005, Jul 17; 17:12 ::: Patriarchy

    In gender politics
    In gender politics the word patriarchy refers to any form of social power given disproportionately to men. Many construe this to mean a gender hierarchy in which men dominate or exploit women, but that doesn't need to be the case.

    Feminist View
    Many feminist writers have considered patriarchy to be the basis on which most modern societies have been formed. They argue that it is necessary and desirable to get away from this model in order to achieve gender equality.

    Critics of Feminist View
    Some critics argue that these writers are oversimplifying the complexities of society, or that such gender roles are not necessarily harmful. These critics would also argue that this theory ignores that even in highly patriarchal societies, there are areas in which women enjoy significant benefits, such as being the first on lifeboats whenever a passenger liner begins to sink. They would also argue that feminist theories of Patriarchy rarely pass the self-consistency test required of accepted scientific principles as they attack male privileges as patriarchal but defend female privileges as necessary in a patriarchical world. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patriarchy#In_gender_politics [Jul 2005]

    see also: father - feminism

    2005, Jul 17; 16:44 ::: Vampires stalking nightclubs

    The Essential Ghoul's Record Shelf:
    A song-by-song tour through pop music's unexpected fascination with the ghastly and supernatural.

    DR. MYSTERIAN has already written about the growing cliché of vampires stalking nightclubs, and wondered why an ancient, undead creature might be so gauche as to spend eternity surrounded by bad music and unpleasant scenesters. The Bollock Brothers, as it turns out, have their own answer in the song "Drac's Back." Nightclubs, they point out, might very well be a vampire buffet table. --http://drmysterian.com/2005/07/dracs-back-bollock-brothers [Jul 2005]

    SOMETIMES, FILMS ABOUT VAMPIRES give the sense that the undead have nothing better to do with their eternal lives than malinger around discotheques. Vampires are so often presented as preening, self-absorbed monsters with few interests outside fashion and music: Consider, for example, David Bowie and Catherine Deneauve in The Hunger preening in a discotheque as Peter Murphy sings “Bela Lugosi’s Dead.” Or the slaughterhouse rave of leather-clad nosferatu that opens Blade. Or George Hamilton in Love at First Bite, flinging aside his cape to reveal a white polyester three-piece suit, a la Saturday Night Live.

    One would suppose that a creature that had lived through a few fads might avoid getting entangled in new ones — after all, vampires have long enough memories not merely to be embarrassed by the bell bottoms of the Sixties, but by the codpieces of the 15th century. Nonetheless, there they are: Chris Sarandon, with a foppish scarf tied around his neck, seduces Amanda Bierce in a dance club in Fright Night while Nicolas Cage, in an Armani suit, chases his victim through a different club in Vampire’s Kiss. --http://drmysterian.com/2005/07/soul-dracula-hot-blood [Jul 2005]

    via http://groovyageofhorror.blogspot.com/2005/07/whats-going-on.html [Jul 2005]

    see also: cliché - disco - vampires - nightclub - Dracula

    2005, Jul 17; 15:53 ::: Urotsukidoji - Legend of the Overfiend (1989) - Hideki Takayama

    Urotsukidoji - Legend of the Overfiend (1989) - Hideki Takayama [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Japan and France are also known to share ideas with each other in the realms of art and cooking. Japan has been heavily influenced by French cuisine within the past few decades, as seen on the television show Iron Chef. Anime is popular in France, and French historical figures and settings from medieval, Renaissance, Napoleonic, and World War eras have served as models for certain popular stories in Japanese entertainment. The purity of Japanese painting and illustration, and likewise the modernity and elegance of French visual arts has resulted in hybrid styles in those creative fields. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_relations_of_France#Japan [Jul 2005]

    see also: Japan - France - anime - film - 1989

    2005, Jul 17; 13:22 ::: The Essence of Christianity (1841) - Ludwig Feuerbach

    The Essence of Christianity (1841) - Ludwig Feuerbach [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Ludwig Feuerbach (1804 - 1872) held that he had proven "that Christianity has in fact long vanished not only from the reason but from the life of mankind, that it is nothing more than a fixed idea" in flagrant contradiction to the distinctive features of contemporary civilization. This attack is followed up in his most important work, Das Wesen des Christentums (1841), which was translated into English (The Essence of Religion, by George Eliot, 1853, 2nd ad. 1881), French and Russian. Its aim may be described shortly as an effort to humanize theology. He lays it down that man, so far as he is rational, is to himself his own object of thought. Religion is consciousness of the infinite. Religion therefore is "nothing else than the consciousness of the infinity of the consciousness; or, in the consciousness of the infinite, the conscious subject has for his object the infinity of his own nature." Thus God is nothing else than man: he is, so to speak, the outward projection. of man's inward nature. In part I of his book he develops what he calls the "true or anthropological essence of religion." Treating of God in his various aspects "as a being of the understanding," "as a moral being or law," "as love" and so on, Feuerbach shows that in every aspect God corresponds to some feature or need of human nature. "If man is to find contentment in God, he must find himself in God." In part 2 he discusses the "false or theological essence of religion," i.e. the view which regards God as having a separate existence over against man. Hence arise various mistaken beliefs, such as the belief in revelation which not only injures the moral sense, but also "poisons, nay destroys, the divinest feeling in man, the sense of truth," and the belief in sacraments such as the Lord's Supper, a piece of religious materialism of which "the necessary consequences are superstition and immorality."

    In spite of many admirable qualities both of style and matter the Essence of Christianity has never made much impression upon thought outside Germany. To treat the actual forms of religion as expressions of our various human needs is a fruitful idea which deserves fuller development than it has yet received, but Feuerbach's treatment of it is fatally vitiated by his subjectivism. Feuerbach denied that he was rightly called an atheist, but the denial is merely verbal: what he calls "theism" is atheism in the ordinary sense. Feuerbach labours under the same difficulty as Fichte; both thinkers strive in vain to reconcile the religious consciousness with subjectivism. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludwig_Feuerbach [Jul 2005]

    see also: religion - 1840s - Christianity

    2005, Jul 17; 13:13 ::: Marx's theory of alienation

    Alienation is a process whereby people come to be divorced or isolated from the society around them. Karl Marx offers a specific, i.e. Marxist, account of alienation. He developed this account through his critiques of Hegel and the 'Young Hegelians', especially Ludwig Feuerbach.

    It is normal to treat alienation as an undesirable condition for a human to be in. In Marxism, the polar opposite of alienation is the realization of man's species-being. By this, Marxists mean the global attainment of a new level of human society in which we do not confront each other as atomized individuals alienated from each other, but as colleagues in a collective human enterprise.

    Marxist alienation is closely related to the idea of 'fetishism' - the projection of human powers onto inanimate objects. Marx's Fetishism of Commodities arises because of the obscuring of human relationships behind material interactions, detailed in the first chapter of Capital Vol I. Alienation both drives and is driven by this fetish. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marx%27s_theory_of_alienation [Jul 2005]

    see also: alienation - fetishism - Marxism - commodity

    2005, Jul 17; 11:01 ::: False consciousness

    False consciousness is the Marxist hypothesis that material and institutional processes in capitalist society mislead the proletariat — and perhaps the other classes — over the nature of capitalism.

    The concept flows from the theory of commodity fetishism — that people experience social relationships as value relations between things, e.g. between the cash in their wage packet and the shirt they want. The cash and the shirt appear to conduct social relations independently of the humans involved, determining who gets what by their in-built values. This leaves the person who earned the cash and the people who made the shirt ignorant of and alienated from their social relationship with each other.

    Although Marx frequently denounced ideology in general, there is no evidence that he ever actually used the phrase "false consciousness". It appears to have been used — at least, in print — only by Friedrich Engels. (See Terry Eagleton, Ideology: An Introduction (London: Verso, 1991), p. 89.)

    Engels wrote in 1893 that:

    "Ideology is a process accomplished by the so-called thinker. Consciously, it is true, but with a false consciousness. The real motive forces impelling him remain unknown to him; otherwise it simply would not be an ideological process. Hence he imagines false or seeming motive forces." False consciousness is theoretically linked with the concepts of the dominant ideology and cultural hegemony. The doctrine of false consciousness has also been used by Marxist feminists in regard to other women.

    The notion of false consciousness has been a focus for some of the strongest critiques of Marxism, since in this instance high Marxist theory can appear to be implicated in the worst excesses of the Soviet experiment. Within the USSR, the state deployed the concept of false consciousness to justify authoritarian measures against the working class. Marxist critics of Stalinism, such as Trotsky and his followers, provide an account by which the theory is excused, on the basis that a corrupt regime is capable of perverting any theory.

    The concept of ideology as false consciousness, even where it is accepted that Marx did not use the term, has tended to dominate interpretations of Marx's statements on ideology, although arguably this in fact involves a misunderstanding of Marx (see, for example Joseph McCarney's essay "Ideology and False Consciousness"). --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_consciousness [Jul 2005]

    see also: false - consciousness - hegemony - Marxism - need - commodity

    2005, Jul 17; 11:01 ::: Infamous

    Marquis de Sade (1740-1814)

    Infamous: Having an exceedingly bad reputation; notorious. --AHD

    Celebrity and infamy
    A celebrity is a person who is widely recognized in a society. Fame is one prerequisite for celebrity status, but not always sufficient. For example, as "infamy" has passed out of common English usage, high-profile criminals may be considered to be famous, but they are not always celebrities. Traditionally, politicians are rarely described as celebrities, but in the era of television, some have had to become de facto celebrities. Today's celebrities are largely figures from television and movies. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celebrity [Jul 2005]

    see also: Marquis de Sade - celebrity - fame - bad - reputation

    2005, Jul 17; 10:53 ::: Violent crowds

    Frankenstein (1931) - James Whale [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    I think there's something deep-seated and archetypal about the fear of violent crowds. Freud characterizes the psychology of crowds as extremely regressive, mostly governed by "primary process." Psychiatrist Ernest Hartmann reports the following from his research into post-traumatic nightmares:

    Several people in my series who escaped from fires dreamed first about fires but then reported dreams of tidal waves and of being chased by gangs of criminals. Alan Siegel (1996) has reported similar findings in his victims of the Berkeley fire of 1991. Why dream about tidal waves or gangs of criminals when you have just escaped from a fire? Obviously the dream images do not come from the sensory input experienced in the fire but are guided by the dominant emotions of terror, fear, or vulnerability.

    Of course, Universal's monster flicks made extensive use of the iconic, archetypal torch-wielding villagers. Hammer followed suit, though never quite as spectacularly as in Whale's Frankenstein. --http://groovyageofhorror.blogspot.com/2005/07/bastille-days-gothic-legacy.html [Jul 2005]

    see also: Frankenstein - violence - mob

    2005, Jul 17; 10:30 ::: The Romantic Quest

    THE notion that marriage is the proper outcome of the close personal preoccupation which we ambiguously call "love" is of course a modern one. I can still remember the astonishment which I felt, at about the age of twenty, when I first learned that this conception had never existed in any other period of history and that it was confined, for all practical purposes, to Britain and the United States. At about the same time I became aware of Romanticism as a literary movement: if I had been asked to define Romanticism I should have done so, I expect, in terms of its lyrical quality and I should certainly have made some reference to the braving of physical dangers in order to win the hand of a fair lady. But why a rather short-lived literary fashion should have given rise, a century later, to a convention affecting actual behaviour, I had no idea. Nor could I have said why the word "romantic" was applied to it. The word "romancing" is sometimes used to mean fabricating stories which are untrue, and the implication is that they are wish-fantasies; so presumably a romantic marriage is the sort of successful love-match which we should all like to have but which few of us do. However, at this date, the idea that marrying for love and living happily ever after was not a thoroughly feasible proposition had scarcely entered my head; and the sinister suspicion that what I called "love" might be something which endured only as long as desire was frustrated had never occurred to me.

    Such are the defects of a system of education in which literary movements are discussed solely in terms of "historical influences" and with no reference to the general psychological and social trends of the time; and in which all reference to specifically sexual attitudes is rigidly excluded. This is a book about sexual attitudes and love makes only incidental appearances in it, but it is necessary to pay some attention to romanticism because it reflects a psychological shift of attitude of just the sort which we have been discussing. It represents, in fact, a movement towards matrism; a rather abortive movement, it is true, since it occurred at a time when the majority of persons, after a chaotic period in which little introjection had taken place, were moving towards patrism.

    [B]locked of outlets, Romanticism turned more and more to fantasy: the Gothic horrors of the Castle of Otranto were succeeded by the echoing caverns of Xanadu. And since growing public Puritanism denied the frank expression of libidinal motifs, the imagery became more and more generalised and more and more allusively sexual. Nineteenth's century poetry is full of waves beating on rocks: the alternatives are an infantile pretence that babies are found under gooseberry bushes or a retreat to the unpublishably pornographic. And since we have seen how, in periods of repression, the death instinct becomes excited by the repressed libido, it is not surprising to find a prolonged Romantic Decadence. The Movement which started-out with such noble hopes, terminates in the degraded attempt to gain an extra 'frisson' from perversion. If the doctrine that one must feel powerful emotions was responsible for such incidents as Byron's trying to wreck his wife's peace of mind by insinuating that he was living incestuously with his sister, and the Princess Belgiojoso keeping the embalmed body of her lover, Gaetano Stelzi, in the cupboard, the doctrine that one must conceal them was responsible for the even more depressing flagellatory poetry of Swinburne and the appalling sadistic fancies of de Lautreamont.

    Nevertheless, to the Romantics belongs the fame of having placed the ideal of romantic love within marriage on a respectable footing. It was a major achievement. --Sex in History (1954), http://www.ourcivilisation.com/smartboard/shop/taylorgr/sxnhst/chap10.htm [Jul 2005]

    see also: marriage - romanticism - Gordon Rattray Taylor

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