[ by Charles Cameron — opposite extremists at opposite extremes — for JM, if he ever gets time to read / view / hear it ]
As I write this, JM Berger is publishing what will no doubt be a powerfully argued and fascinating theoretical and, I suspect, anecdotal account of a wide range of extremists, Extremism (The MIT Press Essential Knowledge series):
extremism arises from a perception of “us versus them,” intensified by the conviction that the success of “us” is inseparable from hostile acts against “them.”
I presented JM’s tweet-stream detailing the stages of his developing theoretical researches culminating in this book on ZP not so very long ago, at JM Berger, Extremism — you have been alerted, informed
Both the groups I’ll discuss here finally fit JM’s definition, but my interest is in a comparison between two searches at an earlier time in their development when their motives can be seen prior to violence. And what interests me is that their situations are polar opposites. In brief, one laments zero sex, the other enjoys infinite sex.
In both cases, sex is central, central is too weak a word..
Cobsider the ways of the world around you, Vogue, the tabloids, Playboy, porn..
Consider your own desires and fantasies, your urgencies and restraint, lust and romance, your personal Casablanca (and note Janis’s Casablance ref!! when we get there)..
And having considered sex, consider these two extremes on its spectrum:
Sex to the almost infinite power:
Consider Christina Aguilera, live, body & voice:
And consider Janis singing:
“Move Over” is the only song on the 1971 album “Pearl” that Janis wrote on her own. If the lyric doesn’t strike you as particularly suggestive, just listen to the way she sings it and you’ll see what we mean.
Apply that to:
And now multiply by this, drawn from her letters:
She certainly didn’t subscribe to the radical-feminist orthodoxies of the superfluousness of men. She fell in love at a heartbeat; her sexual appetites are perhaps best described as ravenous (she had female as well as male lovers), her judgment frequently awry.
That’s — listen to her singing again, concert after concert —
— sexuality, pure & full-throated.
This — I can’t manage both — from a male (ie female) perspective..
[ & btw, philosophers, listen up, if you don’t already ]
janis song: “a woman left lonely”
“she would make love to 25,000 on stage, then go home alone..”
ight be able to do both sex & incel with Janis..
Given that, that strnegth, that compulsive pull, that driven drive —
Zero Sex, the absence, involuntary
Those who are involuntarily celibate — can’t get none — perceiving themselves shunned by those who attract them __
final lyrics, one version:James Brown, It’s a Man’s World..:
Oh how, how man needs a woman
I sympathize with the man that don’t have a woman
He’s lost in the wilderness
He’s lost in bitterness
He’s lost in loneliness
The last three lines occur frequently in different recordings, the line I sympathize with the man that don’t have a woman comes from a version I don’t have access to on video. And that last stanza, with that line in it, could be an incel anthem.
The raw reality of it: a child’s wail — see how much you can bear to see —
Hreere, should you care to watch it, is the boy’s full video, unvarnished:
This boy, this young man, a day or so after making this video, went out and killed six people in Isla Vista, Calif., in an attempt as “the prefect gentleman” to get his revenge on the hottest blondes in UC Santa Barbara. And became, for some, a hero to be emulated.. And emulated he was.
Readings follow suit:
Forbes, The Disturbing Internet Footprint Of Santa Barbara Shooter Elliot Rodger Clarion Project, What is the ‘Incel Revolution’ and Why Should I Care? NYTimes, Toronto Van Attack Suspect Expressed Anger at Women NYTimes, What Is an Incel? A Term Used by the Toronto Van Attack Suspect, Explained WaPo, Inside the online world of ‘incels,’ LRB, Does anyone have the right to sex?
It is this extreme I have greater difficuty understanding.
This most recently, btw:
The SPLC report counts Rodger among 13 alleged alt-right killers whose actions left 43 people dead and more than 60 injured since 2014.
Elliot Rodger, the 22-year-old who killed six students in the college town of Isla Vista in 2014, was the first “alt-right killer” to strike in recent years..
As I said, BTW..
Sex raised hopefully to the power of the infinite:
And then I hear that howl against the backdrop of the (mixed-bag) documentary about the Rajneeshis:
Wide-open their hope, shut-down their finale.
And finally, Something Other —
Now I want to watch, binge-watch Brideshead Revisited, the Jeremy Irons version, for some very un-American, upper-class-snobbish, public-school-boy, Roman-Catholic-gay historical-throwback art-level Britishness:
Dropping you in at an odd, a very odd luncheon:
I who have been beaten — four, with a bamboo cane, at Wellington College, (a sort of military academy slash prep school) — for doing the Times crossword in place of my math moework. Ah yes, and when I came up to Christ Church, Oxford, dunked in Mercury, that college’s Tom Quad pool, after exacting the price of a glass of port from my tormentors, almost twenty years before the film from which this excerpt was taken, was filmed.
For I too am Anglo and Roman Catholic and Buddhist and Taoist and a snob — at least until I meet you or you, and humanity breaks in.