Thursday, May 27, 2010


But as for Queequeg--why, Queequeg sat there among them--at the head of the table, too, it so chanced; as cool as an icicle. To be sure I cannot say much for his breeding. His greatest admirer could not have cordially justified his bringing his harpoon into breakfast with him, and using it there without ceremony; reaching over the table with it, to the imminent jeopardy of many heads, and grappling the beefsteaks towards him. But THAT was certainly very coolly done by him, and every one knows that in most people's estimation, to do anything coolly is to do it genteelly.


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  3. 'Dr.' Dean found another review that liked Sex and the City 2, thank you very much. She'll show YOU! I guess it is just the sense of helplessness--no, that's what they like to talk about, it's direct impotence without any rupture at all--they're just behaving like barfers on New Year's Day, the type that actually brag about it.

    I put this example because, even if you're not a fan of NYTimes, this is so brazenly idiotic like the rest of the hysterical thrill of LOVING this stupid ass movie, that it was worth extracting. 'Singlehandedly' is made up, 'gushing over 10 million dollar weddings' has always been in the 'society pages' of metro newspapers, but pure lunacy about the restaurant reviews, it's like the person hadn't even read the New York Times. They have every range of restaurant, down to very cheap places, and $150 is just part of the food-throwing these people are doing. They're saying 'aren't we so cute talking about this movie' and really making a big deal about it. The ballet board is little better, mind you. The one that turns everything into a 'women's issue' ('We have Brigitte Bardot to thank for making nice girls make themselves ugly', she once wrote, and yesterday wrote that she was going to show 'sisterly solidarity' by going to see this movie:

    "it is the NY Times that is almost singlehandedly responsible for backing the yuppification of the island of Manhattan. This is a newspaper with society pages gushing over $10 million weddings and whose restaurant reviews are strictly devoted to venues that will cost you $150 per meal."

    And that's even an important detail, because even the expensive ones like Daniel Boulud wouldn't cost that much unless you really splurged on the expensive wines, but there's always a way around that, with the glasses with the courses. Even the one time I went to Le Cirque, it was about $200 for two of us in 2002, although I paid slightly more (by accident and not paying attention to the aperitif and liqueur costs) at a less prestigious restaurant, Rene Pujol, which I like very much. But it's just not even true that NYTimes does restaurant reviews with only super-rich in mind. I stopped reading at that point.

    The very idea of a second Sex and the City movie being taken so seriously really is some sort of grotesquerie, though. They remind me of beer parties at frat houses, no better than that.

  4. there is certainly misogyny on display in the intensity of some of the reviews, as in discourse about (and in some cases, state conduct toward) Hilary Clinton, Sarah Palin, Condoleeza Rice, Heidi Fleiss, Imelda Marcos, Leona Helmsley, Martha Stewart,... Countess Bathory....hardly an argument for considering these individuals revolutionary communists. And the frenzied loathing and fear of women of a certain age on display in the franchise and its reviews, supercharged in Sex and the City 2 reviews (and i assume in the film) doesn't say much about the particular catalyst for this ever more frequently errupting crazed woman hating.

    The film is doing fine without the academic pr. It needs no rescuing by psoodexegesis - that's superfluous, but i guess it makes the academic pundit feel somehow a participant in the creation of the cocaculture commodity to which s/he is fanatically devoted and the success of the enterprise in accumulating capital. whoohooo! you go ruling class!

  5. "And when I mention Hillary, it’s not because I admire her, which I don’t, but because of the way she was ridiculed as a woman during the campaigns...Not since the nasty sexist campaign to drive Hillary Clinton out of the presidential race, has there been such an attack on anything expressing female political or sexual empowerment…" (Prairie Miller quoted by Proyect

    This is a fine analogy because its certainly not unlikely that, like Clinton, SATC 2 is in fact a misogynist, racist, imperialist and reactionary commodity the sole purpose of which is facilitating capital accumulation, despite being the object of misogynist attacks as part of its promotion.

  6. I don't know, Dominic doesn't like to appear 'mellow', although by nature basically is (which you can tell from the singing and guitar, not that Noise shit, which I don't care about, nor some of his other rock tastes, but he's nothing if not eclectic and interested in many things), because has to do British stiff-upper-lip frequently (I understand this need, although I have to do another version--but had forgotten about 'You go!' 2005...

    But so the way to read his posts is to skim until you finally start reading, he wants to come on all technical or semi-technical, knowing you don't want to hear it, but by the end of this one, he'll then come up with some fragments that are worth paying attention to:

    "(Consider, for example, the popular science journalism which informs us breathlessly of the “significance” of discoveries without being able to render anything more than the most perfunctory caricature of what has actually been discovered. All it knows, and all it cares to report, is the impactfulness of that which is impactful)."

    Seems obvious once you hear it, but I wouldn't have gotten around to thinking about that on my own (you probably would, not so lazy brain-wise.)

    And then this:

    "It is misguided to try to violently puncture “the spectacle”: it is not a realm of illusion covering a more fundamental reality, but a worldly apparatus which shares its world with the very objects whose manifestation it re-objectifies. Its powers are not really so great: it flourishes where other powers wane. Finally, as a parasitic redoubling of objectification, it is unable to stand against the creative unfolding of a subject, the determined re-entanglement of formal innovation with the unobjectifiable real."

    That may be derivative, and I've thought along these lines myself, but it still has a way of delivering the message in a vertical way, not needing to be more ambiguous for a moment. After all, one can always go back to irritating incomprehensible complexity. 'It flourishes where other powers wane' is very good, and reminds me of when we were talking about Lynch several years ago, and we were talking about how there are aspects of spectacle that do try to then cover up the fact that, although other powers wane and have waned, they didn't disappear into various ersatz forms everywhere. In that sense, even Sontag was right to call some of the overdone claims that media and the dominant-virtual, and claims that you'd find 'real time' via a fax machine in Tierre Del Fuego (that was just wanting to be a pain in the ass when he said that, I imagine, B. I mean...)'a breathtaking provincialism', since it obviously wasn't any more capable of spreading WiFi to parts of Zaire than it was getting people hooked up in poor parts of Philadelphia. I mean, I thought the CIA could figure out where anybody was, but that one guy that hid in the Appalachians for several years, I believe a murderer, had such rural connections that he wasn't found by FBI...we have to use these euphemisms these days, you know, even though the euphemisms are themselves often literally factual.)

  7. I found this hilarious paragraph from Sandra Lee, Queen of Semi-Homemade Cuisine's website. Sandra is now on the road, standing by her man, and I don't approve of having a first lady like this. She says you must used canned Vanilla Frosting and 'enhance' it with cocoa and cinnamon. I really just don't know why anybody complains about Maggie Stewart...

    I think this sounds like just the thing for Jodi and her girlfriends to do after their next movie outing, whether or not they choose it because it has been demolished by vicious critics:

    "Enjoy cocktails with the girls as you make soothing hand cream. These make great end-of-the-school-year thank-you gifts, and come with a downloadable gift tag."

    Here is the whole website, if you wish to be methodical in your study of Sandra Lee...

    She has some Artificial Red White and Blue Cupcakes for 'Dad's Day', while I thought it was gracious of me to ask someone to give a New York Dad something more along these lines, suggested by emails I received this very week from ABC Underwear. I thought the Suspension Jock was the only good one of these, because two guys could wear them and do a kind of dance like Eiko and Koma, while using soothing ylang-ylang cream...

    (WARNING: x-rated site and mostly too queeny even for me.)

  8. June 5, 2010

    Dearest Arpege,

    I am currently at work on my lessons, and oh my! what a flurry in the house! We have been busy as bees and I dare not assume I may catch up!

    To wit, I am practising making sentences with 'gainsay' in them. I wish to make a fresh start in life as young woman of 21 before the young gentleman, otherwise of such fine character, is rendered incapable of not wishing to deflower and thence the enravissement (sp.?).

    Well, I will start with this one:
    1) I wish to gainsay all reviews, both mainstream and bleug, of 'Sex and the City 2', because I believe that calling this object a 'film' is worthy of gainsaying.

    2) It is entirely possible that all buildings of a modernist variety which have bougainvillea or frangipani and other frivolous tropical and odoriferous blooms in front of their otherwise admirable Brutalist Facades must be gainsaid with the mere newly-minted phrase 'replete with orchidaceous superfluities that do not become the no-nonsense puh-poses of the style'.

    3) I may need to gainsay myself if I am herein guilty of risible yet loathsomely dangerous Howard Johnson style euphemisms, which may require a separate trial in which they will be accused of the crime of 'not having self-gainsaid enough'.

    4) I gainsay the notion that Owen Hatherley wants an apartment replete with French Empire style, unless it's the way Jackie Kennedy did the Blue Room. In that case, he may also wish to have some corners replete with the old French Provincial Style (but not from Sears) that Barbra Streisand used in her first post-kook 'n' thrift store period.

    Thank you for your time and uncooperation.

    Salutations distinguees,

    Pamela Andrews

  9. "dominic writes well but thinks badly - this is not so rare a combo;"

    Oh dear, I think it's more like lapses of TASTE, and a wrongful worship of SATAN! Of course, I wish I could give him lessons in how to do that properly, but he's gotta have an outlet, and it's BONDAGE! I guess...much like when you said Andrea dworkin thought sex and violence were one and the violence was the good part.

    Do you know what this shit sounds like? It sounds like my father's construction company, which built roads and poured concrete, even built swimming pool once, and he had this concrete mixer, and was always talking about 'slag' and 'curb 'n' gutter'. Oh shit, this stuff is not only awful, it's pedestrian. Oh well, I thought you'd want to know that it's not nearly as bad as when I didn't think he could write beautifully (that one poem about two months ago was just exquisite), but you probably thought I'll excuse the pretty ones anything (well, yes, but not without letting them know they truly have DEFICIENCIES!)

    I HATE this shit! Was interesting to know that the Downtown Knitting Factory closed last year, that had good stuff by Ben Katchor, his weird musicals.

    "Dominic likes this satanist noise my friend Piotr the satanist buddhist who follows the lamas likes. It's so lowbrow, a funny combo with his taste for canonical british littrachuh. I suppose the low and highbrow can go together - the real menace is the nobrow and the middlebrow (sex and the city) - the mass cocaculture."

    Yes, it's not such a serious neurosis, and anyway we know Dominic likes to be a pain in the ass. But this crap is musically worthless. As I said, he really is interested in all sorts of things, so I guess stifled people who look they themselves went to the Hemlock Society and breathed nitrous oxide or whatever it is they use to kill themselves with. Jesus, why people want to get tied up just for the hell of it I'll never know. I can't get into physical bondage that much anyway. Had old boyfriend wanted me to tie him up in 70s, I thought it was too much trouble and that we should just fuck.

    I think this weird shit with the hearts and crosses person from Yugoslavia reminds me of that scene from the Shining, where Shelley Duval finally sees that Jack has been writing profoundly nothing except 'All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy'. Could easily be Martin of Shanghai, she'll do anything AT ALL to be a smalltime bore.


    This was of some interest. Is Chabon's famous book 'Amazing Adventures..' a must-read. I kept planning to read it 10 years ago, and never did.

  11. Dearest Pamela, gainsay me now when I attest you may believe me, for laughing amidst the sneezing and cough, your fluish but amused debtor, chabert