August 23, 2005

The Cold War vs today

Sting - Russians song lyrics

Sting - Russians lyrics

In Europe and America, there's a growing feeling of hysteria
Conditioned to respond to all the threats
In the rhetorical speeches of the Soviets
Mr. Krushchev said we will bury you
I don't subscribe to this point of view
It would be such an ignorant thing to do
If the Russians love their children too

How can I save my little boy from Oppenheimer's deadly toy
There is no monopoly in common sense
On either side of the political fence
We share the same biology
Regardless of ideology
Believe me when I say to you
I hope the Russians love their children too

There is no historical precedent
To put the words in the mouth of the President
There's no such thing as a winnable war
It's a lie that we don't believe anymore
Mr. Reagan says we will protect you
I don't subscribe to this point of view
Believe me when I say to you
I hope the Russians love their children too

We share the same biology
Regardless of ideology
What might save us, me, and you
Is that the Russians love their children too

Interesting thought for today's world. Do our adversaries love their children too?

Posted at 06:09 PM

March 29, 2005

A Tribute to Magritte

Ecrans Transparents: 'transparent' Mac screens. An homage to Magritte. | MetaFilter

One of the best links ever! One of the works of art I like a lot is Magritte's 'Promenades of Euclid' pictured below. One of my all time favorites is his Ceci n'est pas une pipe (also pictured below).

Posted at 09:54 AM

February 28, 2005

The Gates

Pictures from my trip to the Gates.

The Gates

Posted at 04:15 PM

February 21, 2005


uno...dos.... tres.....catorce (1...2...3...14).

Whenever I listen to Vertigo by U2 I find myself trying to determine the next number in the sequence. Given my lack of ability at math and incomplete information in the series I find this an impossible task. The following strip illustrates my apathy past the initial thought quite appropriately.

Posted at 08:49 AM

February 10, 2005

Art Museums

Here is a running list of art museums I've visited.

Chicago Art Institute
Metropolitan Museum of Art - New York
Musuem of Modern Art - New York
Guggenheim - New York
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Minneapolis Art Institute
Kimball Art Museum - Fort Worth
The Modern - Fort Worth
Milwaukee Art Museum
Getty Museum - Los Angeles
Los Angeles Country Museum of Art
O'Keefe Museum - Santa Fe, NM
Bellagio Art Gallery - Las Vegas, NV
Boston Museum of Fine Arts - Boston,MA
Seattle Art Museum - Seattle, WA
Austin Museum of Art - Austin, TX
Blanton Museum of Art - Austin, TX
Menil - Houston, TX

Posted at 01:53 PM

February 08, 2005

Malraux quotes

André Malraux - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The greatest mystery is not that we have been flung at random between the profusion of matter and of the stars, but that within this prison we can draw from ourselves images powerful enough to deny our nothingness
The attempt to force human beings to despise themselves - is what I call hell
Posted at 10:34 PM

February 01, 2005

Tyger Tyger

Understanding William Blake's "The Tyger"

Tyger Tyger. burning bright, In the forests of the night: What immortal hand or eye, Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies.
Burnt the fire of thine eyes!
On what wings dare he aspire!
What the hand, dare sieze the fire?

And what shoulder, & what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?
What the hammer? what the chain,
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp,
Dare its deadly terrors clasp!

When the stars threw down their spears
And water'd heaven with their tears:
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee
Tyger, Tyger burning bright,
In the forests of the night:
What immortal hand or eye,
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

Posted at 08:49 AM

January 30, 2005

Buddhist Barbie

In the 5th century B.C. an Indian philosopher Gautama teaches "All is emptiness" and "There is no self." In the 20th century A.D. Barbie agrees, but wonders how a man with such a belly could pose, smiling, and without a shirt.
- Denise Duhamel

Smile - Denise Duhamel
Denise Duhamel page at

Posted at 09:47 AM

January 14, 2005

Gladwell Archive

gladwell dot com / Article Archive

Posted at 10:13 AM

November 21, 2004

Let them sing it for you

Let them sing it for you

Posted at 09:22 AM

October 16, 2004

Roy Lichtenstein


Posted at 08:58 AM

June 12, 2004

June 02, 2004

May 13, 2004


Peitho's Web Home

Posted at 11:12 AM

May 03, 2004

May 02, 2004

January 07, 2004

Tyranny of Choice

The perils of living in a consumer paradise |

Driving this malaise is the problem that "everything suffers from comparison." Schwartz describes a simple experiment in which people are asked whether they'd rather be given $100 outright, or gamble on winning $200 at the toss of a coin. That the vast majority would prefer the $100 may seem strange at first: A 50 percent chance of earning $200 is mathematically equivalent to a 100 percent chance of earning $100. Half the people asked ought to opt for the coin toss. However, the alternatives are not psychologically equivalent: Getting twice the money is not twice as pleasurable. The distance between zero and 100 is subjectively greater than the distance between 100 and 200. Economists capture this phenomenon in the law of diminishing marginal utility (and provide us the formulae to calculate that, psychologically, we'd need winnings of $240 to be equally tempted by the coin toss). How, though, does this asymmetry relate to real-life choices? If losses subjectively weigh more heavily than gains, the advantages of any chocolate chip cookie or career path we select will count for less than those of the options we pass up.
Posted at 11:21 AM

January 06, 2004

Judith and Holofernes

In the bible, Judith saves her people by beheading the invader Holofernes. She and her maid servant enter the enemy camp by charming the guards with their physical beauty. When alcohol and feminine charms had over powered Holofernes, Judith cuts off his head. This story became the subject of paintings by several artists (including Carvaggio). This link covers the various perspectives of the paintings.

Portraying Judith and Holofernes: A Matter of Gendered Perspective

Posted at 08:59 AM

January 05, 2004

Crepe Recipe

Crepe Recipes

Posted at 03:49 PM

December 23, 2003

Spoiler Alert - Explanation of Mulholland Dr.

If you watched the movie closely then you probably got it. Here's a recap, nonetheless.

Frank's Reel Movie Reviews - Mulholland Drive Plot Explanation

Posted at 10:07 PM

Opera Synopses


Synopses of major operas. Tristan und Isolde (Wagner) is the one I'm trying to read. A quicker snopyses is at Seattle Opera

Posted at 05:13 PM

December 20, 2003

Onion Classic

The Onion | Bill Of Rights Pared Down To A Manageable Six

A classic Onion contribution to the humor of our world.

Posted at 11:25 AM

December 19, 2003

December 15, 2003

Power point makes you dumb

PowerPoint Makes You Dumb

I diagree. I think it all depends on the "dumb" person preparing the presentation.

Posted at 11:16 PM

December 12, 2003

December 10, 2003

December 06, 2003

December 04, 2003

A handy reference

Professor Ian Johnston of Malaspina University-College has an excellent site with plenty of translations and collections of literary works.


Posted at 06:22 PM

Charge of the brigades

Tennyson wrote about two brigades; the light and the heavy. However in our collective memory only the light brigade is immortalized.

Half a league, half a league, Half a league onward, All in the valley of Death Rode the six hundred. "Forward, the Light Brigade! "Charge for the guns!" he said: Into the valley of Death Rode the six hundred.


"Forward, the Light Brigade!"
Was there a man dismay'd?
Not tho' the soldier knew
Someone had blunder'd:
Their's not to make reply,
Their's not to reason why,
Their's but to do and die:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.


Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Rode the six hundred.


Flash'd all their sabres bare,
Flash'd as they turn'd in air,
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army, while
All the world wonder'd:
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right thro' the line they broke;
Cossack and Russian
Reel'd from the sabre stroke
Shatter'd and sunder'd.
Then they rode back, but not
Not the six hundred.


Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro' the jaws of Death
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.


When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wondered.
Honor the charge they made,
Honor the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred.

Copied from Poems of Alfred Tennyson,
J. E. Tilton and Company, Boston, 1870

Posted at 03:06 PM


Posted at 11:35 AM

December 03, 2003

Theater snob cheat sheet

Should you find yourself in a situation where one has to discuss the major theatrical works on the western world then the following link will protect your cover. Remember to switch topics before your depth of knowledge is depleted.

Play Summary

Posted at 05:46 PM

December 01, 2003

Ovid's Metamorphoses

Publius Ovidius Naso is considered one of Rome's greatest poets along with Virgil. His Metamorphoses contains 250 myths that have entered our imagination and vocabulary. This link is an excellent introduction and overview of the books that comprise Metamorphoses.

Ovid's Metamorphoses

Posted at 05:25 PM

November 30, 2003

Urdu resources on the web


Urdu dictionary

Urdu word of the day

Posted at 03:47 PM

November 24, 2003

Art history through Philately

Art history on stamps

Posted at 08:02 AM

November 23, 2003

Opera at the movies

Opera's presence in popular cinema usually goes unnoticed. Here is an initial list of cameo appearances.

Philadelphia – Andrea Chénier
Moonstruck – La Bohème
The Witches of Eastwick – Turandot
Pretty Woman – La Traviata
A Room with a View – Gianni Schicchi
Fatal Attraction – Madama Butterfly
Bend it Like Beckham - Turandot
Family Man - Overture to the opera 'La Scala di Seta'

Detailed List

Posted at 05:31 PM

Feminism and 'Pretty Woman'

Pretty Woman at the Opera

Posted at 05:25 PM

November 09, 2003

A guide through wasteland

T.S.Eliot's long 1922 poem The Waste Land was a departure from traditional rhyming schemes as much as it was a foray into the world of cultural hopelessnes.

The Waste Land by T.S. Eliot as hypertext

Posted at 11:26 AM | Comments (1)

September 29, 2003

Guide to techno music

w w w . i s h k u r . c o m

This is a great introduction to the various forms of electronic music out there. (from j-walk)

Posted at 10:46 AM

March 21, 2003

The Sartre Programming Language

Cat's eye technologies lists some esoteric technologies including the Sartre Programming Language. The data types por soi and en soi cracked me up.

Posted at 09:23 AM | Comments (0)

March 18, 2003

Camille Paglia again

Paglia's speech on Cults and Cosmic Consciousness

Posted at 09:28 AM

December 16, 2002

Abstract Expressionism

Franz Kline's MahoningFranz Kline painted "Mahoning" on the left. Mahoning is the name of a county in PA that was a center for steel production. This painting is supposed to invoke an existentialist emotion in the viewer. The painting is not black on white but "white and black". Observing this piece of art is supposed to convey the Sartrian concept of existence before essence. I view it as a koan. If you want more fodder for thought, examine the following pieces by the same author:

Black, White, Gray by Franz Kline
Black, White, Gray white forms by Franz Kline
White Forms

Posted at 11:56 PM | Comments (0)

December 15, 2002

Magritte's Pipe

Son of ManRené Magritte, the guy who painted son of man also dabbled in semiotics. One of this paintings, The Betrayal of Images is a picture of a pipe. The inscription in the painting says Ceci n'est pas une pipe (This is not a pipe). It implies that the painting of a pipe is not a pipe itself. hmm.

The Betrayal of Images. This is not a pipe. Really!

Posted at 10:07 PM | Comments (7)

Is it a Bird? A work of Art?

Or is it a propeller blade? Constantin Brancusi sculpted several of these birds. This sculpture presents an intresting case study in art appreciation. When Edward Steichen (a prominent photographer) purchased this item from Brancusi (in France) and attempted to bring it into the country, the US Customs decided this was a propeller blade masquerading as art. They slapped a $600 import duty on this bird. The resulting trial had witnesses discussing the attributes that made this a bird. If an artist labelled it a bird, does it then automatically become a bird. My mind immediately wishes to include some Saussurian structuralism or Derridean deconstruction, but alas I do not know enough.

Posted at 09:47 PM | Comments (0)


Reaction is not revolution. It is not a sign of revolution when the oppressed adopt the manners of the opressors and practice oppression on their own behalf. Neither is it a sign of revolution when women ape men, and men women, or even when laws against homosexuality are relaxed, and the intense sexual connotation of certain kinds of clothes and behavior is diminished. The attempt to relax the severity of the polarity in law bears no relation to the sway that male-female notions hold in the minds and hearts of real people. More women are inspired to cling to their impotent feminity because of the deep un-attractiveness of Barbara Castle'sseamed face and her depressing function as chief trouble-shooter of the Wilson regime than are inspired to compete as she did for a man's distinction in a man's world. We know that such women do not champion their own sex once they are in positions of power, that when ther are employers they do not employ their own sex, even when there is no other basis for discrimination. After all they get on better with men because all their lives they have manipulatred the susceptibilities , the guilts and the hidden desires of men. Such women are like the white man's black man, the professional nigger; they are obligatory woman, the exceptional creature whos is as good as a man and much more decorative. The men captitulate.

-- Germaine Greer.

Posted at 01:47 PM | Comments (0)

October 29, 2002

August 18, 2002

College Football

Here is some information on College Football

Posted at 11:08 AM

June 26, 2002

A Camille Paglia reader

If you are a neophyte in the world of Camille Paglia then this guide may be of use to you.

Sandor Ferenczi: Hungarian psychologist who corresponded with Freud.

apotropaion - something used to ward off fears.

Heracleitus: greek philosopher known for his once derided theory that everything is connected. He believed that fire was the origin of all things.

chthonian of relating to the underworld

Dionysian vs Apollonian. Two fundamental impulses. Apollonian representing all that is good and harmonious. Dionysian alluding to the passion, change and destruction.

touchstone: the intrinsic property of any thing.

The daemonism of chthonian nature is the west's dirty secret. Modern humanists made the "tragic sense of life" the touchstone of mature understanding. They defines man's mortality and the transience of time as literature's supreme subjects. In this I again see evasion and even sentimentality. The tragic sense of life is a partial response to experience. It is a reflex of the wests's resistance to and misapprehension of nature, compounded by the errors of liberalism, which in its Romantic nature philosophy has followed the Rousseauist Wordsworth rather than the daemonic Coleridge

A little background might help. Jean-Jacques Rousseau (18th century) was the originator of "Romantic" sensibilities. He argued for the estabilishment of feeling rather than reason as the basis of theology and politics. Rousseau said we should "go back to nature" implying the primeval human being was in harmony with nature. His Social Contract became the inspiration of the leaders of the French revolution with its emphasis on participatory democracy. I am unsure how his words inspired the head-chopping, guillotine-using free-for-all.

All I know of Coleridge was that he was a opium addicted poet. Maybe if he had been addicted to meth or speed he might have more cheerful poetry?

Aeschylus, a 5th century B.C. playwright wrote the trilogy Oresteia
mimesis: imitation.
Euripides was another playwright and a peer of Aeschylus.
agon: conflict especially between protagonists of a literary work

Camille Paglia argues that western literary works possess suspence and climax unlike eastern works which are just horizontal events tied together. She finds parallel between the climax (the plot of the story) and the male sexual climax and blames this focus on the climax the result of male obsession with sexual climax. I disagree. There are plenty of eastern works that have a story and a plot, (Ramayana, Mahabharata) and frankly without a climax a story will be inspid. so there.

Camille goes on to state that in the East: buddhism, chinese philosophy what have you, yin-yang includes male/female balance of power. The Indian goddess Kali is both a creator and destroyer. In the west the last society to worship a female God was Minoan Crete. She says the pre-dominant influence turned out to be the warrior culture of the mycenaean. Camille mentions the Virgin Mary at another point but fails to use her as an example of female worship in the Western Culture. The Catholic church places Mary in an exalted position. This is not mirrored by the Eastern Orthodox church.

Camille presents a highly readable harangue on women and their unfortunate position in society. She brings in the concept of vagina dentata (vagina with teeth) that renders man less than what he was before his encounter with the female. Another excerpt:

Male homosexuality maybe the most valorous of attempts to evade the femme fatale and to defeat nature. By turning away from the Medusan mother, whether in honor or detestation of her, the male homosexual is one of the great forgers of absolutist western identity. But of course nature has won, as she always does, by making disease the price of promiscous sex
This excerpt riles me more than some of the other things Camille has said. Why is this logic any different than that of narrow minded religious fanatics who claim that disease is God's punishment for homosexual and promiscous people. In anycase disease is the price for unsafe sex not for promiscous sex.

Camille also talks about Michelangelo's Pieta which shows the young virgin mary holding her martyr son Jesus Christ. Camille weaves a tale of Oedipus and chthonian nature of woman and man's Freudian lust for his mother into this tale. She says this picture depicts as Freud claimed the man's primary incestual relation with his mother. It displays the woman chthonian nature with her offspring. Particularly striking is that Mary is young in the sculpture.

Athena: daughter of Zeus. Virgin goddess of intelligent activity, reason, art and literature. Born as a result of a splitting headache Zeus had. She sprung out of his forehead full grown in a suit of armor.

Diana and Actaeon - by TitianArtemis (aka Diana): daughter of Zeus. Virgin goddess of chastity, virginity, hunt, moon, and the natural environment. Twin sister of Apollo. The story of Diana and Actaeonis as follows: One day Acataeon while separated from his hunting party chanced upon Diana and her pre-menarche nymphs. She converted him into a stag and he was subsequently killed by his own hunting dogs. This myth reveals the Greek fear of females who they feared possesed the ability to capture and destroy them

Apollo: Son of Zeus. God of music, light and truth. Apollo drove his chariot (the sun) across the sky.
diana at versailles - the huntress
couvade Ritual in some cultures where the father , after his child is born takes to bed rest as if he was in labor.

Aphrodite: patron of love and beauty. Her birth is chronicled by Hesiod when Uranus's mutilated genitals come crashing into a body of water and splash the foam.

Some interesting quotes from Camille:

Zeus too is hermaphrodite: he has the power of self-insemination and procreation or conception which in English as in Latin has the double meaning of pregnancy and comprehension. Egyption Khepera, the mastrubatory first mover, is shown coiled in a uroboros-like circle, feet touch head from which leaps a tiny human figure

scatology: interest in or treatment of obscene material in literature
the biologically oriented study of excretement.

tumescence: The state of being tumescent(swollen) i.e. readiness for sexual activity. (vascular congestion of sexual organs == blood fills 'em up)

transubstantiation: the miracle by which the elements of the eucharist (bread and wine) become the body and blood of jesus during the catholic mass.

omophagy: eating of raw flesh.

Camille's theory:

Dionysus is identification, Apollo objectification. Dionysus is the empathic, the sympathetic emotion transporting us into other people, other places, other times. Apollo is the hard, cold separatism of western personality and categorical thought. Dionysus is energy , ecstasy, hysteria, promiscuity , emotionalism - heedless indiscriminateness of idea or practice. Apollo is obsessivesness, voyeurism, idolatry, fascism - frigidity and aggression of world seeking cathexis. Here, there everywhere , it invests itself in the perishable things of flesh, silk, marble and metal, materializations of mony is impossible. Our brains are split, and brain is split from the body. The quarrel between Apollo and Dionysus is the quarrel between the higher cortex and the older limbic and reptilian brains. Art reflects on and resolves the eternal human dilemma of order versus energy. In the west, Apollo and Dionysis strive for victory. Apollo makes the boundary lines that are civilization but that leads to convention, constraint, oppression. Dionysus is energy unbound, mad, callous, destructive, wasteful. Apollo is law, history, tradition, the dignity and safety of custom and form. Dionysus is the new, exhilarating but rude, sweeping all away to begin again. Apollo is a tyrant, Dionysus a vandal. Every excess breeds its counteraction. So western culture swings from point to point on its complex cycle, pouring forth its lavish tributes of art, word and deed. We have littered the world with grandiose achievements. Our story is vast, lurid, and unending.

Hermes by Praxiteles
Knidian Aphrodite by Praxiteles
Palaestra: Greek gymnasium
Phaedro: Plato shows how contemporary Greek thought revered the aesthetically pleasing.

Francesco Petrarch met Laura in Avignon. Her beauty captivated him and the Italian scholar wrote several poems addressing her beauty.

Dante met Beatrice (who was 9 years old) and composed several poems on her.

apotheosis: raise to divine status | perfect example

Sappho was on born on the NE Aegean island of Lesbos. Sappho was well known for her vast work of poems some of which have survived to this day. Her poem to Aphrodite may be one reason she is identified with the lesbian movement. While it is not obvious what her sexuality was (most likely bisexual) it has become an issue long after her death.

Catallusalso wrote a bunch of poems

Iphis is another example of the sexual confusion. Iphis was born a woman and then changed into a man so she could marry another girl.

Misc - somewhat related
An Upstate New York mother has her own opinion on Camille Paglia's Male urination really is a kind of accomplishment, an arc of transcendence
A good article on the end of feminism, or atleast as we once knew it.
Contemporary Critical Theory

Posted at 11:41 PM | Comments (1)

June 14, 2002

Intelligent but not intellectual

Frank Wu bemoans the paucity of membership in the group of Asian American Intellengsia. [via aldaily]. His contention is that while Asian Americans thrive and sometimes in abundance in some fields they remain woefully under represented in the over-all fabric of the US.

Posted at 09:17 AM

June 12, 2002

resentment worldwide unlimited

Sounds like resentment against the USofA stretches way past the tents in the deserts of middle east into the minds of the Koreans in the East.

The Washington Post has a column on the anti-american sentiment on display at the South Korea vs USA soccer match.

Posted at 10:13 AM

June 11, 2002

57 Jazz tracks

Gary Giddins of the village voice presents his list of 57 jazz tracks from 1945 - 2000

Posted at 10:55 AM

May 30, 2002

self sacrifice defined

The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement believes we must live long and die out. Not sure quite what to make of it. I'm more in support of the American Association for Single People or Child Free

-- via [metafilter]

Posted at 12:12 PM | Comments (0)

Eugene O'Neil

Eugene O'Neil the Nobel prize winning playwright is one of America's famous authors. The Eugene O'Neil project has most of his texts online.

Posted at 09:21 AM

Dido in Roman Mythology

Dido also known as Elissa founded the modern day Carthage. She was originally a princess of Tyre but left for modern day Tunisia when her husband was murdered by her brother. She bought a small plot of land and founded the city of Carthage with a small band of followers. One day Aenis (the Trojan hero) arrived in Carthage by accident after being blown off course. Dido and Aenis fell in love but the Roman God Jupiter sent Mercury with a message to Aenis to continue on his journey. Aenis left Carthage and Dido behind. Dido in sadness over the loss of her love killed herself. For a better idea of what happened I'm sure Virgil's Aeneid will accomodate your curiosity. (A summary for the rest of us)

In other news Dido Armstrong is a pretty good recording artist.

more info at Genealogical guide to Greek mythology

Posted at 09:17 AM

Mahler et al

Gustav Mahler's Gustav Mahler5th symphony has earned a reputation for being inaccessible. Mahler was born in Austrian Bohemian at the turn of the 20th century.

Other resources:
Mahler web pages
Essentials of Music

Posted at 09:10 AM

May 29, 2002

Major artistic movements and their personalities

Fauvism bold colors. Think Matisse and Jazz icarus or blue nude. Other Matisse works include Nude with arms lifted and reclining nude with blue eyes
Surrealism Think weird. Salvador Dali and Persistence of Memory
Cubism Picasso
Pop Art Andy Warhol and Campbell soup or Marilyn Monroe
Op Art Use of optical illusions. Think M.C.Escher
SymbolismThink Rodin.
bauhaus Name of an architecture school in Germany that promulgated worker quarters of functional design.

Artcyclopedia should keep you well informed. The Comm project at USC has some examples as well.

Other notable works of art:
George Seurat's A sunday on la grande jatte

Van Gogh the bedroom

Gustave Caillebotte Paris street, rainy day

It is quite likely that the selection of links above betray the fact that I was recently a visitor at the Art Institute of Chicago. I highly recommend it.

Posted at 11:00 PM

May 24, 2002

Bad male. bad

Dr. David P. Barash posits that in the intrinsic nature of man is violence. Violence in males crosses cultural and special barriers. Why? because mating requires the male to dominate other males for the propogation of his genes.

Does this mean our war for our way of life is no different than our animal instinct to ensure that Earth is dotted with little red-blue-and-white genes?

Read more at the Chronicle. [ via Arts & Letters Daily]

Posted at 10:11 AM

May 22, 2002

Who is Camille Paglia?

Camille Paglia, an internationally known social critic and author, is noted for her focus on gender issues, media and art. Her books include Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson, (1992) and Vamps and Tramps: New Essays.

A good introduction to Paglia is at fluxeuropa. Paglia is a professor of Humanities in Philadelphia. An excerpt from Sexual Personae is available online.

I dont know anything about Irma Kurtz. Do you? She is a agony aunt who writes columns for cosmo

hmm. I was surfing for more Camille Paglia information and I found a speech by Camille at MIT on Crisis in the American Universities.

From what I can tell currently Paglia is a feminist with a difference (italics indicating lack of credibility in my statements). Traditional feminists have eschewed feminity, asking women to stand up against the stereotype of the fairer sex. Paglia seems to prefer women retain their feminity. Paglia claims Naomi Woolf and other contemporary feminists have railed against traditional beauty (and use of female nudes in art) as a sort of heterosexist conspiracy to dominate women.

Camille raises a very valid point in her extempore speech at MIT. An excerpt:

So: aesthetics. Because one of my earliest faculties was my responsiveness to beauty. I think it may be something innate in Italians, I honestly think it may be. There's an art thing, an art gene that we've got. Early on, I was in love with beauty. I don't feel less because I'm in the presence of a beautiful person. I don't go [imitates crying and dabbing tears], "Oh, I'll never be that beautiful!" What a ridiculous attitude to take!--the Naomi Wolf attitude. When men look at sports, when they look at football, the don't go [crying], "Oh, I'll never be that fast, I'll never be that strong!" When people look at Michelangelo's David, do they commit suicide? No. See what I mean? When you see a strong person, a fast person, you go, "Wow! That is fabulous." When you see a beautiful person: "How beautiful." That's what I'm bringing back to feminism. You go, "What a beautiful person, what a beautiful man, what a beautiful woman, what beautiful hair, what beautiful boobs!"

Camille also makes some interesting points about date-rape. She says that women are not taking ownership of their sexuality. Finally a list of Paglia's articles for Salon

Posted at 06:22 PM

May 20, 2002

airline meals

Do airline meals suck? Is the pope Catholic? Not all airline meals suck. I've had many pleasant experiences on Singapore Airlines, Malaysian Airlines and other Asian airlines. Now the web has a place where you can atleast look at the meal if not taste it. The site is Do contribute!

Posted at 08:44 AM

May 13, 2002

Sushi world

When a sushi chef reaches master status he/she is called a shokukin
The main sushi preparations are: sashimi, nigiri and maki

Sushi in Austin

Sushi can be defined as a slice of raw fish or seaweed wrapped in a cake of cooked rice tied in a nori or dry sea weed.
nigiri is a lone piece of fish over a rice ball.

Posted at 05:09 PM

May 09, 2002


This article laments the lack of attention paid to poetry these days.

Personally, I like haiku, especially Basho's works. I subscribe to tinywords for their daily haiku which has its rare gems.

Posted at 11:18 AM

April 28, 2002

Now, lets blame the man

Notable excerpts:

....He has the Audi TT (two seats, natch) and a Clerkenwell loft with acres of expensive square footage. He has the large and carefully housed record collection and Bang & Olufsen audio equipment to play it on; the G4 Mac with the 23in screen; the L-shaped brown sofa from SCP; and the kitchen with industrial-spec Parmesan shaver and stainless-steel tops from Bulthaup. And he doesn't have to share any of this with anyone....

and what journalist Richard Benson calls a SCREAMER - a Self-Centred, Rich, Educated, Adventurous Materialist. He is what trend-busting magazine Viewpoint calls a Lone Wolf and others have called a Metrosexual. He's the new pink pounder. A straight, single man with few ties, responsibilities or obligations and a healthy bank balance not being drained by dependents. He's the man who loves his technology, furniture (mid-century modernism all the way), Camper shoes and drizzling olive oil over everything. He has learnt to look at himself through the eyes of gay fashion stylists and photographers (the trim waistline, the haircut, the Helmut Lang). He's the whole package....

But the article loses its way after making a couple of insightful comments. To read more of the incoherent attempt to understand the new male-female dynamic from across the pond go to the guardian

Posted at 12:40 PM

April 22, 2002

Men at fault.

Sylvia Hewlett's new book claims that 'having-it-all' for the modern woman is more fiction than fact. This has provoked vituperative diatribes from several female journalists on a man's inability to accept a smart woman. Now a response

Posted at 09:22 AM

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