Archives for September 2006

Today in Porn, Children’s Classics Edition

The Onion reviews Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie’s Lost Girls, a graphic novel which “which has three heroines of children’s literature engaged in explicitly pornographic tableaux.” (The review gets a bit graphic in its description.)


“Moore has said in interviews that he considers Lost Girls to be a healthy, honest examination of what we get out of sex and pornography, and that’s probably so. But the brilliance of the book is that it isn’t harmless. Moore and Gebbie aren’t just doing a giggly porno version of classic children’s stories, they’re retelling them with the fantasy removed, replaced by the coming-of-age experiences that were previously rendered as metaphor. Dorothy’s “tin man” and “scarecrow” turn out to be the farmhands she lost her virginity to, Wendy’s “lost boys” are a gang of bisexual street hustlers, and Alice’s “white rabbit” is a family friend who molests her. These stories are about three women undergoing a not-always-pretty initiation into sex…”

Interesting conclusion:

The “ending also reduces the central message of the book to a choice between sex and war, and after showing the messy endpoints of unchecked sexuality, Moore and Gebbie have made that a fairer fight then they might have intended.”

Today in Porn, Halloween Edition

I bought First Son’s Flash, Hulk, Spider-Man and Superman costumes at Party City – yeah, they were expensive, but they’ve been handed down, plus they get plenty of year-round dress-up use. But when the mailer comes into Casa Godsbody featuring a bunch of pre-teen jailbait on the cover (sexy devil, pirate, and cheerleader, bared midriffs all ’round) and Playboy brand costumes inside (schoolgirl, nurse, cop, etc.), I think that might be enough. It’s one thing to sell Adult Costumes in one section of the store in a nod to the adultification of Halloween (Hey Honey! How over-the-top, eighth-circle-of-hell horrific can we make our front lawn?). It’s another to put blonde porn fantasies into a mass-mailing.

(The Wife adds that it makes a difference when you slap a Playboy logo on your sexy pirate costume – it takes away from the silliness and ties it directly to erotic masturbatory fodder.)


A propos of Not-Ted’s and CM’s comments here, and courtesy of Amy, a piece on Graham Greene and his Catholicism. Interesting tidbit:

“Although Greene claimed to dislike the label ‘Catholic novelist’, he retained his faith, if not his belief, in Catholicism all his life. To his dying day he kept a photograph in his wallet of the Italian stigmatic Padre Pio, whose hands and feet were said to display the wounds of Christ. Whether these lesions were of neurotic origin – psychological rather than supernatural – Greene did not care to know: he wanted there to be a mystery at the heart of life. It may seem incredible that an intelligent man could be awed by the irrationality of stigmatism. But as Greene told the Tablet in 1989: ‘There is a mystery. There is something inexplicable in human life.'”


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Pardon the language – gentle readers may wish to skip this…

It is dangerous to for any group to idolize the artist in their ranks, because the first rule of the group is that you don’t screw your own. But the artist is tempramentally disposed to call bullshit when he sees it, and eventually, the artist is going to see it somewhere within the group – it’s what’s most familiar to him/her. And what do you do when the one you idolize turns on you?

Sometimes I wonder what good Catholic folks thought of J.F. Powers back in the day, when the priestly culture he was skewering wasn’t a piece of history – when it was the way things were. I wonder if that was part of the reason he never sold many books during his life, despite his acknowledged mastery.

Have at it, people – disagree, mock, object, fulminate…or ignore.

Today in Porn, MSM Edition

So Gawker reports (and no, I’m not going to link to it, as there are photos there that I would not want to be responsible for anyone seeing) that Michael Lucas Entertainment, a gay porn company, filmed a rather explicit chunk of their upcoming film La Dolce Vita at the Marc Jacobs store on Bleecker Street. Gawker reports that “Magnolia Bakery brought by cupcakes and the Times was on hand…”

Why am I noting this? Because a couple of people, upon seeing female star Savanna Samson in the accompanying photos, complained in the comments section that the film appeared to be straight porn. A PR person for Lucas jumped into the comments fray to say this:

“We are a gay porn company. Savanna plays a non sex role- there was a … scene between Michael Lucas and Ray Star in the Marc Jacobs dressing room today. Savanna getting topless was at the encouragement of the Times’ photographers who were having fun at the shoot…”

Ah, those fun-loving Times photographers…

Dept. of License Plates

So I’m bloviating on the Toyota with the “2B NT 2B” license plate – “Sure, it sounds Shakespearean, but it’s about suicide…” – when a boxy little Scion pulls in front of me and silences my nonsense with the astonishing “I (Heart) BOOZE.”

Dept. of Getting It On, Academy Edition

Condom companies doing their part to keep the college-educated from breeding:

“So with condom manufacturers eager to mine a ready market, and with administrators happy to receive free or discounted products that will keep students healthy, condom distribution at many colleges around the country has become as fundamental to freshman orientation as buying textbooks and finding the dining hall.

At Oregon State, ‘safer sex’ kits are filled with condoms, lubricant and Hershey’s Kisses; at Stanford, each student receives 12 free condoms from the student-run Sexual Health Peer Resource Center, which is also beginning its annual educational ‘field trips’ on which freshmen are escorted from their dorms to the center for an introductory talk.”

No, no, no. “Escorted from their dorm rooms to the center for an introductory talk?” Talk is cheap. If they really cared, freshmen would be escorted from their dorm rooms to a three-day toga party, with free drinks for the ladies.

Oh, and by the by:

“Durex also boasts on one of its Web sites that it is ‘the world’s No. 1 source for penis outfits’ and displays an array of printable paper-doll-inspired cutouts, including a red cape and golden crown, and a tuxedo for sorority and fraternity formals.”

I can’t top that.

Something for the Online Crunchies…


The Last Whole Earth Catalog offered “deerskin jackets and potter’s wheels, geodesic domes and star charts, instructions on raising bees and on repairing Volkswagens, advice on building furniture and cultivating marijuana: all this can be found here, along with celebrations of communal life and swipes at big government, big business and a technocratic society.

Can this encyclopedia of countercultural romance have anything to do with today’s technological world, a world of broadband connections, TCP/IP protocol and the Internet?…

Soon after publishing ‘The Last Whole Earth Catalog,’ Mr. Brand started to write about the computer scene, helped create the ‘Whole Earth Software Catalog’ and, in 1985, became a founder of the WELL — the Whole Earth ’Lectronic Link — a pioneering online community. ‘As it turned out,’ Mr. Brand once explained, ‘psychedelic drugs, communes, and Buckminster Fuller domes were a dead end, but computers were an avenue to realms beyond our dreams.’ By the 90’s, those realms were celebrated by the magazine Wired.”

Godsbody, helping to untangle the apparent paradox of an anti-technological mindset embracing the technology of the PC and the Internet since 2006…

Flannery, Graham, Walker, Evelyn (male)…

…no wonder J.F. Powers went with the initials. He lacked the funksome first name of his 20th-Century contemporaries…

So I’m sure everybody here recalls Will Barrett’s failed attempt to prove God’s existence in The Second Coming:

“My experiment is simply this: I shall go to a desert place and wait for God to give a sign. If no sign is forthcoming I shall die. But people will know why I died: because there is no sign. The cause of my death will be either his nonexistence or his refusal to manifest himself, which comes to the same thing as far as we are concerned…

“Even if worst comes to worst, he thought with a smile, to suicide, it will turn out well. My suicide will represent progress in the history of suicide.”

The experiment fails. Barrett gets a toothache. “How does one ask a question, either a profound question or a lunatic question, with such a pain in an upper canine that every heartbeat feels like a hot ice pick shoved straight up into the brain?…There is one sure cure for cosmic explorations, grandiose ideas about God, man, death, suicide, and such – and that is nausea.”

Suicide, tinged with grandiosity, foiled by ordinary pain. Imagine my surprise when I arrived at this in Stannard’s bio of another Catholic novelist, Evelyn Waugh:

“Then, one night in early July, he walked down to the deserted beach and undressed. He had already prepared his valedictory note, a quotation from Euripides, taking the trouble to verify it from the school text. This he left with the pile of clothes and struck out defiantly into the dark water. We shall never know how serious was his intention to kill himself. He did not know himself. As it happened, this grand gesture ended, like everything else in his life then, in ignominious defeat. He swam into a shoal of jellyfish and was stung back to reason. Returning, shamefaced and shivering to the shore, he tore up the pretentious Greek tag.”

Suicide, tinged with grandiosity, foiled by ordinary pain. I thought it interesting.

Irons in the Fire…

…or something. Jeremy Irons returns to his new favorite cinematic subject: dragons. But this time, he’s got some rather exalted company.

Fire on the Mountain

My alma mater has been evacuated. Of course, when I was there, we had fires, floods, AND earthquakes.

“We are all Catholics now.”

Prequels in Waiting

Forgive me if this is an ancient idea – I don’t frequent the Star Wars fansites. But as I watch my children’s fervor for the myth rise, I find myself wondering, “Why didn’t Lucas give us a prequel about Han Solo?”

72 Virgins

From The Wittenburg Door

Remakes in Waiting

Darwin Catholic laments the film version of The Big Sleep, first citing the book:

“The plot centers around a rich general (now near death) who wants private detective to make a blackmail attempt against one of his daughters go away. The investigation soon leads to a peddler of high rent porn books; illegal gambling; several murders; the homosexual sub-culture; nude blackmail photos of the younger daughter and the missing (possibly murdered) husband of the elder daughter…”


“Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart go through the motions, and much of the dialogue is lifted straight from the book, but the result of cutting all the can’t-be-shown-on-screen content out of the original story is actually a less moral narrative than the original book. The nearly inhuman desperation of many of the underworld characters (desperately trying to get that one break that will provide the money for a ticket out of town to a comfortable retreat somewhere) is lost, as their vices are hidden.”

So now we’re in a new age – now, no vices are hidden. I know people are afraid of the whole Bogey-Bacall thing, but really – isn’t there some genius out there willing to do this story right?


This evening, I heard a sound from Second Daughter (age 9 months) that I’ve never heard from her before. A guttural growl of domination. The occasion: I laid down on the floor and allowed her to attack my head. She was so, so happy.

An honest liberal?

The question mark is because I don’t know if the party in question is a liberal or not. But if he is, he sounds like an honest one. This, from my latest reviewer at Amazon:

“While I do not agree with all of his opinions, I give him much credit for articulating his experience and perspective. I found Lickona to have many witty and poignant insights that are food for thought. That said, I also recognize that a good number of his lived experiences are not mine nor will they be reminiscent of the lives of other readers. Perhaps that is ever more the reason to pick this book up.”

“He’s not like me, and that’s a reason to be curious, especially if he presents himself clearly.” An honest liberal notion.