zenpundit.com » sex

Archive for the ‘sex’ Category

Eros, the Renaissance and advertising

Sunday, May 5th, 2019

[ by Charles Cameron — Dell ad challenges magic, Couliano shows advertising is magic (in the Renaissance sense) — intro to a series on TV commercials ]
.

Continuing the series we began with Advertising series 01: Music..

Dell intro:

Dell Technologies, not having much historical insight into either magic or advertising, pits magic against tech and suggests that tech wins, hands down..

I take that as a personal affront..

**

Ioan Couliano:

The late, esteemed scholar Ioan Couliano, in contrast to Dell, shows in his great book Eros and Magic in the Renaissance that magic, as practiced in the Renaissance, is precisely what advertising is up to today..

Renaissance magic, according to Couliano, was a scientifically plausible attempt to manipulate individuals and groups based on a knowledge of motivations, particularly erotic motivations. Its key principle was that everyone (and in a sense everything) could be influenced by appeal to sexual desire. In addition, the magician relied on a profound knowledge of the art of memory to manipulate the imaginations of his subjects. In these respects, Couliano suggests, magic is the precursor of the modern psychological and sociological sciences, and the magician is the distant ancestor of the psychoanalyst and the advertising and publicity agent.

That’s from the cover of Couliano‘s book, and the remainder of this post will track eros from simple erotic desire — mostly from the male perspective? — to the mystical ascent in response to the divine beloved..

**

Desire, the universal lure:

The lure of the erotic will peel your money from your wallet in various skillful ways:

Sandals

What is love? Love is advertising. Love — didn’t the Beatles mention this? — is all you need.

Nugenix:

What is love? It is nod-nod, wink-wink..

You wanna go more overt still?

For that (beer) you’d best be in Rio..

**

And then there’s the broader sense of desire:

Wanting it all:

But that’s just the desire for food — easily satisfied, even here in these United States..

But wanting the world, in the cultural appropriation sense? That’s a more subtle desire, and Las Vegas aims to satisfy it by bringing analogs of Venice, the Pyramids, whatever, to a single easily accessible location:

**

But wait..

All of these inevitably fall short of what interests me: the desire to be acquainted with the ludus globi or game of the world, which Couliano describes:

The ludus globi is the supreme mystical game, the game the Titans made Dionysus play in order to seize him and put him to death. From the ashes of the Titans struck down by the lightning of Zeus, arose mankind, a race guilty without having sinned because of the deicide of its ancestors. But, since the Titans had incorporated part of the god, men also inherited a spark from the murdered child, the divine child whose game is the metaphor of the ages: ?Aion is a child who plays checkers: the sovereignty of a child!

and the desire for the mystical ascent, not infrequently expressed in erotic terms:

In Mecca in 1201, he composes a Diwan dedicated to Nezam (Harmony), daughter of an Imam nobleman of Persian origin, Zahir ibn Rostam. Entitled The Interpreter of Burning Desires, the
Diwan’s prologue contains these intimate confessions:

Now this sheik had a daughter, a slender and willowy adolescent who attracted the attention of anyone who saw her, whose presence alone was the embellishment of public meetings and struck with amazement all who looked upon her. Her name was Nezam (Harmonia) and her surname ?Eye of the Sun and of Beauty” [?ayn al?Shams wa’Z-Baha? .[Scholarly and pious, with experience of the spiritual and mystical life, she personified the venerable antiquity of the Holy Land and the innocent youth of the prophet’s great city. The magic of her glance, the grace of her conversation, was so enchanting that if she happened to be prolix her speech was filled with references; if concise, a marvel of eloquence; holding forth on a subject, clear and lucid. . . . Were it not for petty minds eager for scandal and inclined to slander, I would here comment on the beauty that God lavished on her body as well as on her soul, which was a garden of generosity. .. .

Plato in The Symposium:

Love is simply the name for the desire and pursuit of the whole.

TripleQuoting trees and spirits, onwards, 37

Monday, April 15th, 2019

[ by Charles Cameron — a woman so lovely she’s pure spirit, carved in stone and overgrown by trees — great christina greer quote — rachel’s mille feuille mar-a-lago ]
.

Here’s the TripleQuote:

To the left, the statue of an apsara or female dancer spirit peers out from a tangle of forest encroaching on abandoned Khmer temples.. Center, she looks to him, Khajuraho temple sculpture, India,mand right — look closer — tree.

**

Craig Melvin, 4/12/2019:

There’s no daylight between him and the Attorney General ..
He wanted to show that he’s in lockstep with the Attorney General on this issue ..

**

Nicolle Wallace, 4/12/2019:

Nicole: Three dominios have fallen in this story since late last night: the Washington Post reporting about his desire to release human beings into sanctuary cities as some sort of pawn in his political battle over immigration —

— Julia Ainsley and Courtney Kube, superb reporting on how he wants to use the military in effect as human toy soldiers to carry out his political goals on immigration .. and now Annie Karni and her colleagues reporting about the dangling of a pardon ..

Chuck Rosenberg: At least historically, pardons were always an act of Presidential compassion and mercy, that’s certainly how they were designed and intended….

**

Erin Burnett 4/12/2019::

I heard those words, and I didn’t know if I was in 1967 or 2017..

**

Not sure where, but war room *****

**

DoubleQuote:

Bannon embraces Trump

Pope embraces Imam of Al Azhar

**

MTP 4/12/2019:

You don’t want to replicate Trump; but you want to beat Trump .
**

Ari Melber:

Let’s see if they have open arms

Tillerson:

When the President would say, Well here’s what I want to do, and here’s how I want to do it, and I’d have to say to him, Mr President, I understand what you want to do, but you can’t do it that way, it violates the law, it violates the treaty, you know — he got really frustrated..

Matt Miller:

When the DHS Director — who was willing to do a lot for Donald Trump — when Kirstjen Nielsen said, the one thing I can’t do is break the law, he fired her. And now you have him telling the new Acting DHS Director, It’s okay if you break the law. I want you to break the law, and if you do it, and if you go to jail, I’ll pardon you. So even this constraint, where you have officials that say, The one thing I can’t do is break the law, he’s trying to find away around that — and it’s about the most lawless thing you can imagine for a President..

Victoria DeFrancesco Soto:

They like his boldness, they like that he’s authentic, they like that he shoots from the hip. And he’s leveraging that, even to the detriment of our democracy.

Christina Greer:

Unfortunately, there are far too many Americans who look at these families at the birder, and they don’t see human beings. This is the consistent message that the President is giving his base, when he talks on Twitter, on television, calling them animals, calling them undeserving, saying the doors are closed. Even though he is the child of an immigrant, even though two of his three wives were immigrants, even though four of his five children are children of an immigrant, he doesn’t see these people at the border as of the same lineage as his family.

John Flannery:

I sort of think of them as nested Russian wacky dolls, you know, one supporting each other..

And what it looks like is, the Justice Department is so despoiled now that they’ve becpome a p[olitical arm of the West Wing ..

You can’t win an argument you don’t make, and we’re not making that argument..

Ari Melber:

You can’t win a legal argument you don’t make — is that sort of a court version of Michael Jordan, You miss 100% of the shot you don’t take?<

**

Hardball:

Chris M:

If that’s not impeachable, I don’t know what is. A President of the United States using his authority to tell government senior officials, cabinet level people, to break the law, I’ll cover you.

Leon Panetta:

I think we’ve all gone down the rabbit-hole with Donald Trump into Wonderland, I have no idea what is going on here with the President, who acts like a punch-drunk fighter striking out in all directions ..

Richard Engel:

The Pope under attack, and look who’s leading the charge..

Bannon:

He’s constantly coming back and putting all the faults in the world on this populist nationalist movement..

CC comment — this is what really has Bannon exercised, not pedophilia, which is something that both left and right can agree on, and a terrific diversion from his real concern..

Bannon’s Institute:

Chris M:

He’s also building a monastery .. he is putting together a huge facility on a hilltop outside Rome .. It is an 800-room monastery .. and this is going to be the center of his movement ..

— but we’ll get to all that, after Richard Engel’s evening special tonight..

All In Chris Hayes:

That’s John Yoo, unbelievably enough now the Emanuel S. Heller Professor of Law at the University of California —

— Berkeley.!– which a right-edge very bearded ‘vette-owning vet friend said could be nuked, no problem..

Apocalypse:

Jeff Biggers:

Coal is really like a fourth-string pitcher ..

Rachel Maddow:

on having her first taste of mille feuille on her b’day —

Rachel:

Apparently this is a whole category of dessert ..

**

And ain’t this delicious, too? DoubleQuoting two brilliant women in science — fifty years in a single tweet:

**

ANd I’m done.

32, let’s begin with Her Majesty’s hat

Sunday, March 31st, 2019

[ by Charles Cameron — hat and flag, insecurity clearances, quantum physics and what it tells us about truth and spin, paris, city of lovers, sex, scandal naturellement, and would you believe it, treason? ]
.

Brexit. Her Majesty’s hat draws a clear parallel, but is it a metaphor?

That was the hat HM wore for the 2017 Queen’s Speech to the joint Houses of Parliament — and we have no reason to suppose her opinion has changed since then. Visual DoubleQuote courtesy of Federica Cocco

And then…

I mean, what a nightmare…

**

But then, you can’t always trust the facts:

I mean, news these daze:

Spin corresponds to fact, like the hands of a stopped clock, twice a day.. (thanks, Wolfram)

Here’s some detail from the Ars Technical piece:

You, however, are in a box and cannot report your measurements to me. Instead, I have to measure your state to discover the result of your measurement.

So what we have here, if I might say so, is a case of Matryoshka measurements..

That means you are in a superposition state of having measured a vertical or horizontal photon, even after you have made the measurement. I can measure your state, and we end up with two sensible outcomes: you measure horizontal, and I measure you to have measured horizontal; you measure vertical and I measure you to have measured vertical.

But there are two more possibilities: you measure horizontal, but I measure you to have measured vertical, and you measure vertical, but I measure you to have measured horizontal. If the second measurement is governed by quantum mechanics, those two are just as likely to occur as the sensible outcomes. So half the time, the measurement result you obtain contradicts my measurement of your measurement.

Got it?

If not read, the whole article, then read it again. Frown. You’ll get it.

There is nothing wrong with either measurement, and there is no calculation that we can perform to resolve the contradiction.**

**

Reading an account of the Al Franken affair, focused on the questions of piling on (scapegoating?)nand equal justice for accuser and accused — two sports metaphors:

Fellow Democratic senators quickly entered the scrum as they fought to be next in line to proclaim outrage and demand he should go.

One of the most disturbing aspects of #MeToo is that watching someone get destroyed in real time has become something of a sport.

In the course of reading in and around that article, I ran across this brilliant visual DoubleQuoting of the Christine Blasey Ford / Brett Kavanaugh matter:

On such balance we may project each our suppositions: but to have achieved such balance!

**
And so to my dialysis viewing:

Hardball, 3/29/2019:

Julia Ainsley:

He [Barr] doesn’t have blinders on, he knows the public criticism here..

David Corn:

It doesn’t look like he’s playing Even Stephen here..

Zerlina Maxwell [on Barr making decisions ahead of release of Mueller report]: I look at this situation almost like the track and field runner that’s running down the hoe stretch, and they put their arms over their head, and then they’re crossed at the finish line..

.. this feels like a premature victory lap

Chris M:Well, David, Zerlina caught me .. with that visual of the President of the United States, this particular one, running a hundred yard dash. I don’t think that would be his event. I think riding a golf cart would be his event.

.. that must be the sound of a bus going over you ..


Chris M [ourob]:

How can a white person [ie Hillary Clinton] bea racist agfainst white people?

[ but cf “self-hating Jews”]

With anyb luck, I’ll get access to a complete Hardball video for 3/29/2019 and be able to find the chyrons “DeVos grilled’ (42); Trump “overriding” (43); and “Trump questioned” (50)

I have a note, “that’s the inverse of what’s true” which is a superb example of reverse (pos-neg) symmetry, cf the spy vs spy image in a recent post).. There was also a ref to David Ignatius, How the mysteries of Khashoggi’s murder have rocked the U.S.-Saudi partnership

**

Then there was the Green New Deal, with Chris Hayes:

Seb Gorka: They want to take away your hamburgers. This is what Stalin dreamed of and never achieved.

AOC: I expected a little more nuance..

It’s surreal ..

No more disposable people, no more disposable places ..

Ref:

A Green New Deal Is Technologically Possible. Its Political Prospects Are Another Question.

**

Rachel Maddow 3/29/3019:

Rachel re Barr:

It was kind of him free-styling, this was him showing off his dance moves ..

Now, tonight, it appears there’s a little bit of panic in the disco, because now William Barr has released yet another unexpected, taken it upon himself, ad lib, figuring it out as he goes along letter ..

**

Let’s close with this stunning image by Stephane De Sakutin / AFP / Getty:

A mold of the Genie de la Patrie damaged during a “yellow vest” protest at the Arc de Triomphe in December is seen during its renovation by the French restorer Agnes Le Boudec in Paris on March 25, 2019.

.. and including any and all interesting game language & stories ..

Wednesday, September 19th, 2018

[ by Charles Cameron — a 75-year old poker club in DC, more ]
.

It seems I’m moving from collecting only sport and game metaphors for politics, via sport and game metaphors more generally to sport and game language and stories — whatever catches my fancy. The paragraphs from William Finnegan, Off Diamond Head which I quoted in Storm special, surf’s up would have fit here nicely, and were my first signal, or perhaps one of my first, that my search interests might be widening.

Lets start with A club of their own: The story of a secret poker society started by pioneering African Americans. It’s a great story of a poker club that’s been going 76 years now:

In 1942, a group of university professors, doctors, lawyers and other black professionals in Washington wanted to get together on weekends and play poker. But they had a problem. Not only did segregation in the District bar them from joining country clubs or other social organizations where men could gather, but the president of Howard University, where many of them taught, was a religious man who did not approve of card-playing.

So they started a monthly gathering in their homes and came up with a name to mask its true nature — the Brookland Literary and Hunting Club.

The founding members of the club included a College president and consultant on Brown v. Board of Education, and the first black chief judge of DC’s federal court, and one of the the oldest current members at 96 — none of the founders are still with us — was a Tuskegee Airman. Over the last seventy-five years, these men have seen, and shaped, history. Their club is named the Brookland Literary and Hunting Club as code rather than abstract camouflage — “literary” because they’ve always discussed the topics of the day, from WWII via the Civil Rights movement to the present, and “hunting” because players are always hunting for a good hand when playing cards..

Play..

There were two tables — the big table, where hundreds of dollars exchanged hands over five-card stud, and the little table, whose participants played for coins or dollar bills and peppered the games with wild cards. Men would start at the little table and sometimes move up to the big one. As they got older and went on fixed incomes, some would move back to the little table.

And the spirit of play:

We’ve had great games and there’s never anybody who ran out of money, because somebody says: ‘Here, take some more. Just take it. Give it to me when you can,’

**

And it looks as though I can’t evade the sports and social parallelism business either. How can I resist What Serena Williams’s defeat tells us about the criminal-justice system? And how better to get at its essential than via another of today’s WaPo pieces, Yes, get consent. But be human, too.?

After describing the two opinion camps around the kerfuffle between Serena Williams and chair umpire Carlos Ramos, the WaPo opinion writer Marc Howard, a professor of government and law at Georgetown, indicates the closeness of the parallel between tennis and social justice:

This disagreement is about more than tennis, or even sports. It connects with a much deeper American divide about policing and criminal justice, with strong undertones connecting to race and racism.

and later:

Just like the criminal-justice system, tennis and many other sports depend on the subjective discretion of neutral arbiters to apply a set of supposedly objective “rules.”

Ramos did indeed follow the code, and each of the three sanctions had some justification, thus satisfying the “rules” camp. But for two of the three violations (the racket smashing was unambiguous), he used his discretion to punish Williams for acts — coaching and heated exchanges with an umpire — that occur routinely in tennis but are seldom punished.

So one “deeper .. divide” is about “policing and criminal justice” — but another deep divide exists between “rules” and what I’ll call “fairness” camps, following this paragraph:

In all of these instances, one can always say, “Well, this person didn’t follow the rules,” and on an individual basis that may seem sufficient to justify the consequences. What gets lost, however, is that rules are rarely applied regularly, consistently or fairly..

You’ll have to read the whole article to get many of the details, but the analogy between a sport and the judicial and penal systems is clear.

How does this relate to the WaPo piece on consent in potential sexual aggression situations?

The question there is whether, in the pithy words of a feminist writer quoted by WaPo:

consent is just a hurdle you have to clear in order to Get The Sex

Consent is the rulebook, and the missing ingredient when consent is the only consideration, is the human context, in the words of the same writer, the need to see our sexual partners:

not simply as instrumental to our own pleasure but as co-equal collaborators, equally human and important, equally harmable, equally free and equally sovereign.

I’m not sure that even that doesn’t smack a bit of the “rules” camp, but it’s certainly a strong step beyond the bare=bones “consent” rule towards an understanding of human circumstances. But the parallelism between that and the Serena Williams piece wouldn’t have struck me so forcefully without this exchange:

“Yeah,” one, a junior, agreed. “The logic is sort of Cartesian.” (Oh, college!) “Do this, not that. Don’t break the rules ..

That really nails it — as Lao Tzu would say:

The rules can be codified in a rulebook aren’t the subtle rules of wisdom.

That’s my Tao Te Ching translation #207 I know, but I think it’s apt for this occasion.

Comments?

Contexts for Catholic Church child abuse & cover up

Monday, August 27th, 2018

[ by Charles Cameron — responding to E.J. Dionne Jr. and others in a similar plight ]
.

You may consider this post a response to E.J. Dionne Jr.‘s Washngton Post op-ed, It’s becoming harder to explain why I’m still Catholic

**

The Catholic Church is being hammered, nailed — there’s even a crucifixion echo there, but no, that won’t work here — for its extensive clerical — priests, yes, but nuns too — child abuse, long covered up and mushrooming under that cover..

The focus is on the Catholic Church, as though Catholicism itself were the problem. In its bureaucratic structure, it surely is — but the message in the second panel of this DoubleQuote, a quote from one of Billy Graham‘s grandsons, should remind us that the rot is found outside as well as inside the Catholic tent:

Worse!
And btw, they don’t have (repressed!) celibate clergy!

**

That’s to say, don’t keep the “conversation” focused on the Catholic tent, as though it’s all on Pope Francis, when it’s not. And this second one is to remind us of the very real spiritual implication of the abuse for those who commit, or by extension permit it, for instance by assigning a known pedophile priest to a new parish where he can continue his practice de novo — as Dionne mentions in his opening salvo.

Here in the second panel is Christ’s response to all such:

**

If we bear in mind Christ’s personal and divine identification with the innocent, the victims, the gravity of the situation will not be lost. And if we can take Tullian Tchividjian’s word for the state of affairs in Protestant circles — he has a somewhat checkered past — then maybe we can escape the Catholic silo so prevalent in current news reports, and search more broadly for similar manifestations across faiths (and “none”) laterally, and vertically in terms of psychological drivers, generational descent, and so forth.

This is no time for blame-calling within the box.


Switch to our mobile site