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9 posts categorized "literature"

October 25, 2007

Power, Sex and the Improbable

“Let us go one step further. It is high time to recognize that we humans are far better at doing than understanding, and better at tinkering than inventing. But we don't know it. We truly live under the illusion of order believing that planning and forecasting are possible. We are scared of the random, yet we live from its fruits. We are so scared of the random that we create disciplines that try to make sense of the past--but we ultimately fail to understand it, just as we fail to see the future.” Nassim Nicholas Taleb

There was no way of predicting that I’d walk into a bookstore today, and go ape shit.  I briefly cringed at my receipt. I wasn’t sure what I was hunting. I even made a return trip to pick up a work that fanned my mind after I attended a work counseling session. The session made me think about power, and the thought grew. Power is an intriguing element, and one of the most perverted abstract schemes; power is not an object, and people respond to it as though it is a magical orb.

I decided to explore the philosophy section. Philosophers discuss subjects like power, learning, thought and how they impact on society. I normally don’t think of blogging as an educational medium; there are few posts that contain educational merit, that propel a one to expand one’s reading. Let’s face it, a large proportion of posts (in general) are written with the audience in mind: likes, preferences, traffic potential and popularity. One of my book selections directly related to a blog post in Sexegesis, that mentioned Michel Foucault. I stood, scanning the bookshelf, and opted for Madness and Civilization, Foucault’s first work and its early chapters prove interesting; more on that, later.

Although one is told never to judge by a over, I have to admit that the cover of Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable (Nassim Nicholas Taleb) intrigued me. There was no title, and certainly no author credit on the cover. I opened it up, and read briefly, and thought it interesting, certainly potent in its content and argument. Black Swans aren’t new. They have been a part of humanity since the dawn of time; every unpredictable event in history can be considered a Black Swan. Environmental disasters, massacres, plagues, basically every overwhelming event that one can think of can be a Black Swan. The only issue or problem associated with Black Swans is the way humans claim ownership; according to the individual, or the individual who requires a mix of linear logic, indoctrination and isms, each event is explainable in hindsight.

Continue reading "Power, Sex and the Improbable" »

May 15, 2007

By the River/Note in the Margin

There are moments in a person’s life or biography that appear to be missing. Then again, it’s highly possible that the moments add together to make a whole. The below story is a writing experiment, taking one story, and adding a section to it either before or after an event. I chose the before. It’s something I like to do every now and again, in my own personal time. Those who get up to the second part of the story might exclaim, ‘why the erotic encounter?’ I don’t know why, not really. It just evolved this way. This is like a small writing experiment for me, a way to bridge a gap, and there are many moments within this known identity’s life that don’t revolve around sex, and this is what makes his life as a man all the more intriguing. This is a two-part story. The first part (or flight of pure fancy) is my part, titled By the River, and it relates to an imaginary moment during a phase of a person’s life. The second part of the story is from a biographical extract, and once you come across the title, you’ll know the identity of the man.

By the River

The soaring midday sun began to recede, straggling behind her; she met the glowing orb as she trudged through long grass, eager to slip away for a cool dip. Maria, the only daughter to the aging Don Marcello, left her father to his game of solitaire and made her way through the copse of trees framing her favorite spot; summer offered her the river, and all its lively surroundings.

The soft breeze, playing hide and go seek, wove through the trees; leaves sashayed and whispered, detailing the day. Each bird, bee and earthworm, blended with the windswept song, transporting Maria away from her chores. She arrived, stripping off her clothes with the eagerness of a five year old; her skirt always came off first, and she carefully draped her off-white peasant blouse over her faithful, gnarled, tree branch.

Her feet edged closer to the riverbank, igniting a bolt of ice that raced up her legs. A moment, perhaps two; she frowned, squeezing her eyes as tight as she could, and waded through the water.

‘Brrr…’ her teeth chattered, and her breasts broke out in gooseflesh.

Continue reading "By the River/Note in the Margin" »

April 27, 2007

Eros + Horror

"The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents," - HP Lovecraft (The Call of Cthulhu)

Fear, above most other emotions, galvanizes a person into action. The action, or fight-flight response, hinges on survival and fear, unlike most other emotions, makes one realize one’s own mortality and there is no minimal age for fear. I clearly remember nights where I’d huddle under the bedcovers, terrified to open my eyes or poke my head through the covers lest some monster, or shadow, ended my days; I’d wonder if I’d wake up the next morning, or if I’d safely fall asleep, sleep being relegated to some kind of safety zone in my childish mind, and this all thanks to the horror movies I’d enjoy watching. I just never stopped to consider the period of time after the television was switched off.

By night I’d be seduced by actors like Vincent Price (such a haunting voice) and watch Peter Cushing transform into a dark provocateur, like the shopkeeper who’d knowingly sell evil antiques (pure, unadulterated Hammer House of Horror). Then there was Christopher Lee, seductively blending into the dark as Dracula. All this before I turned ten. Horror, back then, was more about the notion than the gore of today. Contemporary horror, or what is considered horror today, films like the Saw trilogy and Hostel, operate on gore as the prime mover, whereas films of yester-year operated on synergy; gore manifested as blood during pivotal scenes (not overkill), and along with this, the supernatural, folklore, and occult.

After experiencing horror films of then, I moved onto the world of comics and I think that once upon a time horror comics were more popular than horror literature. Comic books were more accessible to me, as a kid, than horror novels. I really didn’t know about horror literature or novels until I was older. I still think Stephen King put horror literature (in terms of worldwide book sales) in its current form, on the map with Carrie in 1974, and is considered a master of contemporary horror for the sheer volume of work he has created. That’s not to dismiss horror legends like H P Lovecraft, and Edgar Allen Poe, but King more or less resuscitated horror literature in our contemporary time; his stories revived horror, and enabled new readers to explore Poe and Lovecraft, to name a few. Horror literature isn’t a core subject in high school curriculums.

Continue reading "Eros + Horror" »

March 12, 2007

Stripped

Stripped used to live in my Blogger Sex & Music blog, and I removed it six or so months ago. I decided to return it to this blog tonight for two reasons. First, today was a long day and I just want to crawl into bed, have an early night, and second, because few of my stories contain group sex or the kind of group sex that focuses on one woman, and three men, and sometimes I find the atypical 'woman-bi' element a little tedious, not to mention cliched "two women just happen to get it on for a bloke to get his rocks off" (okay one woman just happening to get it on with three guys out of the blue is unusual, fair enough, but I've always been selfish with my fantasies; I don't think I'd buckle down to a man's suggestion for a three-way, because each suggestion in the past has never taken my preferences into account, and there have been many suggestions - it's all about them), so this story is a little like Three Men & a Horny Lady, where I thought, "screw the male harem fantasy, let it be about one of my fantasies for a change" when I wrote it and it. The story also explores the sexual-ethnic element, along with the taboo element.

It's more explicit beneath the cut.

Stripped

"The bird that would soar above the plain of tradition and prejudice must have strong wings." - Kate Chopin

To look at me, one wouldn’t assume I lived to swim in the whirlpool that is sex. When I first spied them, they resembled – and still do – the educated academics that one often sees and hears on television. Damon, an associate professor of English literature assessed me first whereas Anthony, a frightening managing director, sat alongside him interviewing me, firing off a series of well-thought-out questions. Tobias, on the other hand, a nomadic war photographer, busied himself in the kitchen stirring coffee and tea.

‘What do your parents think about this Alexandra?’ Anthony asked, peering through a pair of rimless spectacles.
‘About?’
‘About you sharing a residence with three men, what else?’
Damon’s blue eyes met mine. Tobias interrupted by asking me whether I took sugar in my coffee and Anthony patiently waited as he licked his lips.
‘Well…’
Anthony frowned.
‘Look, we’re busy as it is. We don’t have time to wrestle with frantic parents and ethnic concerns,’ Tobias stated, while Anthony turned to eye his colleague with surprise.
‘Ethnic?’ I replied.
‘Oh, you know. The usual concerns, whether or not we’re out to debauch you and whether we enticed you, so on and so forth…’
My face felt the first wave of blood pooling in my cheeks.
‘I’m not a teenager and I’d be a good housemate,’ I maintained.
‘We have no qualms about that. Your resume indicates as much…’
I adopted the logical male view.
‘It’s either a yes or no,’ I heard myself state.
Tobias, at that moment, graced us in a pair of close fitting ancient jeans and ragged tank top, resembling a bricklayer than an internationally renowned photographer.
‘You are aware of the confidentiality clause,’ it was Tobias, bending over the coffee table. The four mugs were deposited, with four identical hollow taps, on the square coffee table.
I nodded.

Continue reading "Stripped" »

September 11, 2005

Philosophy in the Boudoir by my favourite Marquis

To think that as little as slightly two centuries ago was a man who spun society into a web of inner conflict. The allure of sex is primal, a natural end point but to then take an addition step and to throw caution to the moral wind placed the then reader into another predicament. Taking the works of Marquis de Sade as works from the thought processes of one writer, without analyzing the possibility of them being literal in his life, they are interesting works. They all vary, and he has written some other sedate short stories but even in these stories he illustrates the various foibles within society and these foibles aren’t too different from what we see around us today. I’m currently reading Philosophy in the Boudoir by de Sade and I have to say that it does amuse me; it’s language or how it comes through after its translation makes one laugh, smile and dare I say, delve into one’s sexual thoughts in terms of mental arousal.

So from this little book I bring you a bit of the dialogue (and it is a dialogue rather than a novel) between Eugenie and Madame de Saint-Ange:

Eugenie
: Oh, my dearest love, I adore you! You will never find a more submissive pupil! But I believe, in our earlier conversation, you implied it was difficult for a young maiden to lunge herself into libertinage, without her future husband later perceiving it?


Continue reading " Philosophy in the Boudoir by my favourite Marquis" »

August 09, 2005

Best Selling Guide on How to Become a Female Drone

It’s not enough that The Rules was published, but along came The Rules II; a sick sequel that only clarifies the insecurities that exist out there, or so I thought and still think. Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider may think that the ‘information’ is different, but people don’t vary that much unless they’re transforming into a new species. One male will differ from the next; not all separated males have the same mindset but according to these authors there are set rules and women ought to pay attention. The desperate tomes also clarify why I no longer pay attention on what’s on the New York best seller list. In the case of The Rules, it only confirms that there are tons of insecure women out there; who else would buy a book that tells them how to date males?
Why doesn’t anyone write a book about chivalry and the importance of chivalry? Why do I, as a woman, have to do ‘all the work’? Because that is what the Rules is all about; women inputting so much effort to the level of forgetting about themselves, it’s all about the male because males are like green emeralds that are so rare the ones that people see in jewelry stores have to be artificially made. And that’s not the case.

Continue reading " Best Selling Guide on How to Become a Female Drone" »

May 25, 2005

Love & Sex to the Tune of Marquis de Sade Quotes.

The notion of love conquering just about everything is a foolish notion. The idea of first love holding a supreme place of office, above all ensuing loves is absurd due to an individual’s personal evolution. When one crosses paths with what one deems first love, one’s idea is at best a naïve idea that cannot be compared to relationships generated later in life. How does one compare that first adolescent relationship, where one’s ideals differed, to a later relationship after a process of maturation?

The first sexual experience is always exciting but subsequent experiences surpass it. Do people elevate that first sexual experience above all others? Does the sexual experience occupy a special place in the heart? It all depends on the emotions one held for the person at the time. Usually the emotions are naïve, embroidered with fancy threads that make a beautiful pattern that may not have existed. Love is not an absolute determinant. Its conquering ability hasn’t been proven but the ideal exists and many strive to attain this ideal.

Love’s indeterminable properties are emphasised in cases of unrequited love. The one sided relationship often occurs when one is young. One spies another person, sometimes entering in a relationship out of a selfish need to acquire something other than altruistic love. Is this love? Alternatively, one is pursued by another who represents an ideal and the relationship commences because of the adoration. This is a bit like, ‘You’ll do,’ with brass knobs. As certain age milestones crop up, panic can set in and this creates another illusion. We’ve all heard of the ticking body clock and how hormones can influence coupling. It does occur but it’s not love. Many times a person embellishes a union, transforming it into a likely scenario. This creative visualisation is also carried out concerning sexual relationships.

The mating ritual differs between the sexes. Males tend to be introspective. Their emotions are categorised. Love and sex are separate categories for males whereas women tend to lump them in the same bucket.

"I've already told you: the only way to a woman's heart is along the path of torment. I know none other as sure.” - Marquis de Sade.
It is always by way of pain one arrives at pleasure.” - Marquis de Sade

Agony, dilemma, frustration, cunning and many other wonders concerning male-female relationships can relate to females. This has been seen in popular television shows that were broadcast to millions of women and men. Novels feature stories that display the supposed struggles. It’s why romance and erotic fiction remains popular. I tend to agree with the quotes. Many feminists may jump up and down but there is an element of truth in the quotes. These quotes are more than two centuries old and in the twenty first century women and men still appear to prefer torment. In many ways, it flows with the importance of any struggle. Growth occurs through some sort of struggle and one has to be prudent when such things are stated. It depends on the struggle. As with shoes, one can select the type of struggle one desires.

How will a certain type of struggle benefit you?
More often than not people simply struggle for the sake of struggling. They never stop to ask themselves whether they truly desire one type of struggle over another and there is no introspection. Just ‘because’ the media puts forth a particular type of view then one must emulate a particular kind of image or person/character type. A struggle exists according to various sources, within the realm of love and sex. Love and sex are meant to coincide or exist within the same sphere when, on many occasions, they can exist in separate realms.

“All universal moral principles are idle fancies.” - Marquis de Sade.

Love conquering all is a universal moral principle, as is the notion of sexual intimacy being an exclusive representation of love. Within a relationship, sex is linked with love but outside of a relationship, it can be linked with the need to follow desire. Classifying something amoral is useless particularly when those who uphold moral principles struggle to keep a firm grasp. To err is human and this is a known fact. It also follows that one definition, such as first love or love, can waver depending on the individual, circumstances or course of time. At other times, fulfilling a certain ideal can lead to other misfortunes.

"It is not my mode of thought that has caused my misfortunes, but the mode of thought of others.” - Marquis de Sade.

May 22, 2005

Romantic Fiction Males

I don’t see anything wrong with domination. Frankly? I think it’s essential for that extra dynamic but what really annoys me is this standard ‘romantic’ fiction dominant male role model/character that is really so unrealistic. Here are a few standard characteristics that haven’t changed over time:
- Male has to have lean hips, a six pack, in fact be very well muscled without resembling Arnie or Dorian Yates.
- Male has to be emotionally ‘vacant’
- Male is very wealthy.
- Minimal body hair or no body hair.

The fact that millions of romance novels are sold each year is indicative that many women have skeletons in their sexual fantasy closet. I find it interesting in view of all the supposed feminist strides. I suspect that many have read, or read, romance novels even now (for millions of these books to be sold) and although I don’t mind that they are sold, I wish the male ‘formula’ would shift a bit.

What happened to the brutish males? The Heathcliff kind of male.

May 17, 2005

"The Naked Husband" - A Walk into Infidelity

Take two terms, swinging and infidelity, and no doubt the second word will be associated to a cesspool that speaks of deceit. Infidelity is what it is, it functions on taboo and deception. In many ways I'm entirely uncertain whether the urge is fuelled by the taboo or fuelled by one's boredom, perhaps both? Perhaps a lack of courage also features, something like the inability to say, 'I can't be faithful, I don't know how.' An admission is surely better than torturing one's self surely, but millions of people around the world prefer to keep things under the lid because (depending on their situation) they feel they have much more to lose.

The Naked Husband, the courageous outcome, a novel by an author who was unfaithful to his wife. His infidelities, it can be said, pushed her over the edge and she sought - what she saw - a final solution to her angst and that was to commit suicide. In my mind this is more intriguing than reading the life of a 'high priced call girl' that everyone seems to find 'wow' at the moment. Mark D'Arbanville selected an event he experienced directly, he wrote a story about it and in many ways it is a demon he will continually wrestle with, according to an interview with ABC's Jane Cunningham.

http://www.abc.net.au/gnt/people/Transcripts/s1240194.htm

It's ironic how an outcome - embracing the events and writing about them 'after' - can be courageous, more so than the prelude to that outcome. I think it's admirable for a male to tackle the issue of infidelity. We often hear about infidelity from a woman's perspective.

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