Cameron Esposito: Tell your rape jokes. Expect to be challenged on them. -
Seems like every 6 months or so - maybe once a year - there is a debate about rape jokes. Here’s how it goes:
A dude tells jokes about rape or deals with hecklers in way that includes rape. A woman hears these jokes or is the heckler. She publicly states that she is upset or didn’t like the joke…
Never mind my post yesterday, here she is herself.
So I guess I should probably start doing that backup now.
This serial-in-illustrations by James Montgomery Flagg from 1912 is amazing, at least if you’re interested in linework. Don’t know that I’d recommend the “plot,” such as it is.
‘Lonely Girl’ by The Paris Sisters is my new jam.
Now that I think about it, I loathed A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court when I first read it for much the same reasons. Which just seems ridiculous now — Twain was obviously operating in the realm of satire, using well-known material in order to make his points about social, technological, and even literary mores. But I was still so charmed by the source material that I couldn’t accept it as a given and enjoy the improvisations he was making — like some cloth-headed classical-music lover in the age of jazz, I just wanted to hear the main theme again, over and over. I couldn’t accept it as a given; it was still too new for me, too fresh. All mythology and folklore, really, operates the same way for me; it still kind of bugs me that Tex Avery’s Red Hot Riding Hood slips away from the structure of the original fable. (Which is, let me reiterate, COMPLETELY irrational. It’s one of the greatest single cartoons of the studio era.) I’m a poor modernist; or rather, I’m just now getting to the point where I can experience modernism as the revolution it was. Just wait until I hit retirement and get on the postmodern tip.
In my the occasional book posts, I haven’t been including audiobooks, both out of an obscure sense that they don’t count, not really, and because everything I’ve listened to this year has been, technically, rereading. Wodehouse, Dot Sayers, Lloyd Alexander, Frank Baum, and now T. H. White. I’ve had the Once and Future King cycle from Audible for a dog’s age, and only began listening to it in desperation one evening with a long walk before me and all my podcasts finished, and kept up with it by fits and starts, usually in similar circumstances. I finished the first book tonight, which was as far as I ever got in the books as a child too. I resented it when I was young for being appalling history — rather than going Full Nerd into the remote possibility of a Historical Arthur of the sixth century, White very sensibly takes the legend (mostly filtered through Malory) as the metaphor for a post-Norman Britain it obviously was, and which his own scholarship equips him to conjure with — as well as for being as much comedy of manners and slyly subversive Bildungsroman with anachronisms aplenty as it is a faithful imparting of the creaky old Matter of Britain. I preferred Tennyson’s Idylls, if you can believe it. I was, in fact, a massive geek about Arthurian romance in my teens (blame first Prince Valiant and second C. S. Lewis), and like any geek I had strict rules that the things I loved had to follow in order to be worthy of my love. Winking jokes about eighteenth-century landed gentry and twentieth-century scientific debates definitely did not fall under the category of Acceptable Elements of the Arthurian Mythos. So of course now I’m deeply in love with White’s tragicomic vision — though perhaps even more deeply with his prose style — and I’m thinking once more about revisiting my own youthful desire to produce a version of the cycle to suit my mature, less-stark tastes. (Once, in my early twenties, I promised myself that I would let Logres sit until I was fifty, as I had so many other projects I wanted to work on in the meantime. Ten years on, I’m hardly any closer to accomplishing any of them than I was then; and two or three of them still seem to me to have some merit. These past two decades have been one long distraction after another.) I’ve already started on the second book in the series, though I have to wait until I get to a place with wifi to download the whole thing. Anyway. Just thought I’d mention it.
Veronica Lake and Joel McCrea in Sullivan’s Travels (1941)
American humorists in the 1920s had all to contend with the looming figure of Robert Benchley, the master of gentle absurdism snuck into the anthropology of the middle-class American literary, commercial, and social diet. With his first book, I don’t know that Corey Ford really escapes that shadow; he’s rather more absurd, but he follows the same essential format of high-toned parody and clueless explainer-of-all-things that Benchley established.
Most of the pieces originally appeared in venues where Benchley was well-known too: Vanity Fair, the New Yorker, and so forth. Later, in the 40s and 50s, Ford would establish himself as a sporting and outdoors humorist (an early Patrick F. McManus, perhaps), but here he sticks a little too close to the general Algonquin script to have much of his own identity.
Most of the best pieces in the book are the literary parodies. Well, practically everything in it is a parody of some form of writing or another (mostly the general-interest magazine piece), but I mean the fiction parodies, which press down on the absurdism accelerator so hard that they’re practically surrealist. “But Why Do We Go On?”, a vicious parody of British modernism, is surrealist.
The only other piece that while reading it I had the thought that it would be worth the trouble of tracking down the rights and reprinting in an anthology or on the web was “The Intimate Study of Fugitive Art,” a tongue-in-cheek but still wholly sympathetic “report” on a fictitious branch of scholarship on graffiti, doodling, and various abstracted elements of urban living. It ends up being a beautiful meditation on the demotic shared spaces of New York in the early twentieth century, even as it pushes a faux-scholarly tone and hyperbole about urban density into nonsense. Its sly observations about ephemera actually reminded me of the modern social Internet, where everyone is sending out their own intimations of common humanity to the void, and anyone who sees it may be nourished thereby.
haha remember when we all used tumblr in the late 00s/early 10s that was a weird intermediary period right
“7 in ‘77” FULL COLOR EDITION, now available is a print. GET ONE HERE!
Kurt Wolfgang’s amazing pop culture mandala, now for sale.
What I take from this is that Kurt Wolfgang is a couple of years older than me, and watched way more TV. I still recognize pretty much everything.
girlboymusic asked: Empress, Lovers, Chariot, and don't answer the last one just "yes" or "no" just because it's a yes-or-no question.
What do you desire most?
Security, in the twin sense of “the opposite of insecurity” and “enough money to live on.”
What qualities would your ideal partner have?
If I knew that I might be able to identify them in a flesh-and-blood human being, and we can’t have that. Apparently.
Have you ever had to fight for something?
Probably. I can tell you, though — whatever it was — that I didn’t. For most of my life I’ve been rather proud of this character trait, which I’ve self-flatteringly identified variously as pacifism, flexibility, or humility. It’s only as I near middle age that I start to think it might not have been the best idea to always avoid conflict and take the path of least resistance all my life.
ourroyalcustomers asked: Following Eurovision at all?
I’m not. It would be hard to without an Internet connection (this is on my phone); but even at the best of times I’ve never cared about Eurovision. My version of enjoying pop has never included an element of mockery (though I recognize it as a venerable method of interacting with pop, cattiness is maybe my least natural mode of expression), and my tolerance for generic Euro productions and unblinking earnestness is low. I’m also poor enough at sociability that I can’t even be bothered to get into it for the excellent reason of chatting about it with friends, online or off.
I know I don’t actually need to be defensive about it — I’m only like the vast majority of straight US males in my lack of interest — but I’m in that kind of mood, I guess.