... [T]he imposition of censorship in American film created prurience. Censorship divorced sex from romance, so that a whole generation of American viewers grew up thinking of romance itself as sexless and phony - and sex as something for lurid giggles, as in a Marilyn Monroe comedy. When the pendulum went the other way and censorship was lifted, movies went in a flash from being romantic but asexual, to being sexual but unromantic. The divorce of sex and romance in American cinema remains in effect today, which is why our love scenes are so awkward and unconvincing, in contrast to those in films made in Europe, where sex and romance never divorced.

--Mick LaSalle, in the San Francisco Chronicle


There are two kinds of sex, classical and baroque. Classical sex is romantic, profound, serious, emotional, moral, mysterious, spontaneous, abandoned, focused on a particular person, and stereotypically feminine. Baroque sex is pop, playful, funny, experimental, conscious, deliberate, amoral, anonymous, focused on sensation for sensation's sake, and stereotypically masculine. The classical mentality taken to an extreme is sentimental and finally puritanical; the baroque mentality taken to an extreme is pornographic and finally obscene. Ideally, a sexual relation ought to create a satisfying tension between the two modes (a baroque idea, particularly if the tension is ironic) or else blend them so well that the distinction disappears (a classical aspiration).

--from Ellen Willis, "Classical and Baroque Sex in Everyday Life" (1979), Beginning To See the Light: Pieces of a Decade (1981)
"Do not despise the words of prophets, but test everything; hold fast to what is good, abstain from every form of evil."
"It was not so difficult to understand the warped view the Azadians had of what they called 'human nature' -- the phrase they used whenever they had to justify something inhuman and unnatural -- when they were surrounded and subsumed by the self-created monster that was the Empire of Azad . . . ."

-- from Iain M. Banks's The Player of Games (with props to [livejournal.com profile] unixronin for dropping the breadcrumb that led me to this writer)
No subject is ever too serious for humour. I think many people have a basic misunderstanding: There's a difference between being serious and being solemn... Solemnity serves pomposity, self-importance, and egotism. And the pompous and the self-important always know at some level that their egotism is going to be punctured by humour. That's why they always see humour as negative, as a threat to them personally. And so they dishonestly criticize it as frivolous and light-minded.

-- John Cleese
Fox News is hopeless; you might as well get angry at mildew.

-- Hendrik Hertzberg in The New Yorker, 6/23/2008
"My tendency -- perhaps my temptation -- is to see the [Episcopal] church crisis, at least in America, as I see most other political disputes between bourgeois conservatives and bourgeois liberals: as cosmetically differentiated versions of the same earnest quest for moral rectitude in the face of one's collusion in an economic system of gross inequality. [ . . . ] How does a Christian population implicated in militarism, usury, sweatshop labor, and environmental rape find a way to sleep at night? Apparently, by making a very big deal out of not sleeping with Gene Robinson. Or, on the flip side, by making approval of Gene Robinson the litmus test of progressive integrity . . . ."

-- Garret Keizer, in "Turning Away From Jesus," Harper's Magazine, June 2008
"Low voices most ordinarily belong to men. High voices belong to women; eunuchs and children also have feminine voices. Men can also approach a feminine sound by singing falsetto; but of all these high voices, I can only say . . . that none compare to those of women, not only in terms of vocal range, but also in terms of beauty in timbre. . . . All one must do is compare the voices which sing the top musical lines between the [all-male] sacred choirs of Paris and those of the [female-embracing] opera."

-- Jean-Jacques Rousseau, courtesy of Celeste's Scramblings
"I'm not sure but I think all music started in New Orleans."

-- Ernie K-Doe
Therefore, because you have trodden on the poor, and the burden of grain you take from him, houses of hewn stone you have built but you shall not dwell therein, precious vineyards you have planted, but you shall not drink their wine.

For I know that your transgressions are many, and your sins are mighty; you who oppress the just, taking ransom, and turning aside the needy in the gate.

Therefore, the prudent at that time shall keep silent, for it is a time of evil.

This pretty much sums up how I feel about the people who've been running the country since, oh, about 1980. No, longer. But the "time of evil" verse seems especially apropos for the Bush II years.


Sep. 25th, 2006 12:59 pm
"The Republicans give people something to be for: screwing other people."

-- John Burton (found in Leah Garchik's column in today's San Francisco Chronicle)


Gan Ainm

September 2010

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