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What I did on my summer vacation

Today in Porn(eia): Lent Edition

Living-the-10-Commandments

Any well-catechized Catholic knows that fornication and other sexual sins are not the worst sins; pride, vanity, and acedia, indeed all the other deadly sins, are worse in themselves than lust. We know, too, that all human beings suffer to a greater or lesser degree from the disordered concupiscence of our fallen nature; we are prone to sins of the flesh, and many will struggle with them for a long time. All this is true; and yet it is no less true, as St. John Cassian and countless spiritual masters teach us, that we must fight against this sin and conquer it if we wish to make any progress in the spiritual life, in holiness, in the charity that loves God for His own sake and our neighbor for God. If we get stuck in porneia, we make the devil’s job easy. He can leave us alone to wreck ourselves.

Plus ça change…

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Oh, my. A bondage-themed chandelier made from actual women, some cantilevered over the scene, backs arched and hands manacled over their heads, some supine with their legs spread and raised to heaven… Lady Gaga, perhaps? Or Madonna at the height of her “Express Yourself” antics?

Nope. The “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend” number from 1953’s featherlight rom-com Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. They’ve got women working as candelabras, too!

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Today in Porn: GOP Platform Edition

jesus_is_watching_you_masturbate

A response to the news that the GOP has added the “public health crisis” of pornography to its platform:

“It’s certainly the case that the people who think it’s bad, it’s bad for them,” says sex researcher Nicole Prause, who’s the principal investigator at the Sexual Psychophysiology and Affective Neuroscience Lab, in Los Angeles. “The actual inherent ‘badness’ there’s very little evidence for. Those who identify with no religious orientation or are agnostic don’t have porn addiction. The label and shaming has grown out of religious values and beliefs in the culture.”

Interesting. The return of the repressed and all that, I suppose. Though I do recall Martin Amis’ recollection of Gore Vidal: “Gore Vidal once said that the only danger in watching pornography is that it might make you want to watch more pornography; it might make you want to do nothing else but watch pornography.” And also this guy — though he does mention jacking it for 26 hours one Yom Kippur, so maybe the religious thing applies somehow.

Two Short Poems about Animal Husbandry

A Sacred Moment of Love
Sometimes it must be now:
the moment when, er, a bull
approaches his beloved cow—
it isn’t always so venerable.

The Bored Lover Seeks Novelty
The mares seemed so last year,
so the stud mused, “That zedonk
on the far side of the pasture
has one hell of a badonkadonk.”

One Short Poem about Two Lions of 20th Century English Literature

A Lark
That was a quite a conquest,
the poor author of that aubade
about waking in the dark,
believing he’d go to prison.
And did not. That’s not so bad.

Burrito

burritoBurrito, bolus in my belly, fire in my breast. My dinner, my doom. Boo-rree-toh: the trill of the tongue wrapped before and behind by the osculating opening of the lips. Boo. Rree. Toh. It was lengua, stewed lengua, in the middle, morsels melting from meat to stock. It was beans and rice below. It was salsa de tomate on top. But in the tortilla it was all a Burrito.

Catholic Celebrities in Need of Prayers

Of course all celebrites need your prayers, but since I was about to title this Catholics Behaving Badly or something similar, perhaps we could focus some of our spiritual efforts on behalf of coreligionist Brian Williams, who seems to be having an especially hard time of it these last few weeks. Right now it’s a somewhat embellished story about getting shot down in a Chinook helicopter, last month it was having to defend his daughter’s acting abilities, or maybe career choices (actually, no, don’t follow that second link, especially if you’re in a public place), as one of the stars on HBO’s Girls

“She’s always been an actress. For us, watching her is the family occupation and everybody has to remember it’s acting, no animals were harmed during the filming, and ideally nobody gets hurt.“

Think your life is rough? I don’t care how wealthy or insulated or just plain spoiled rotten he or they or you are—that is rough.

God help us all.

Today in Porn – Childhood Nostalgia Edition

I was perusing Hugh Hefner’s Twitter feed, as one does, when I happened upon this item from his Saturday Scrapbook collection:

Screen Shot 2014-06-02 at 9.50.05 AMI’m not sure what it means that two of the great architects of my childhood delight – Bill Cosby and Shel Silverstein – enjoyed playing croquet (and possibly other sporting activities) with the guy who founded Playboy magazine, but I did think it worth noting.

Those really were the glory days for ol’ Hef. Here’s a particularly witty cartoon from the magazine during that era:

Screen Shot 2013-07-28 at 8.37.43 AMGet it? Women are never too young to make men feel inadequate! Oh Hef, you scamp.

 

 

Today in Porn: Ground-floor offices edition

IMG_20140502_120820Walking through Little Italy, passed this lil’ artist-type place. I like papier mache as much as the next man, but not, perhaps, if this fellow is the next man.

 

Follow-up to follow-up to previous day’s post

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From See Dick and Jane Run by William S. Gray and Zerna Sharp…

 

 

What The Korrektiv Did for Its October Vacation

Perhaps Percy’s most intriguing work, Lost in the Cosmos is a weird yet satisfying book – a hybrid of philosophical inquiry, satire, cultural analysis, multiple choice questions, thought experiments and (“What the hell, why not?” you can hear Percy say) even fiction. Perhaps the book most closely resembles Melville’s own loose but not-so-baggy monster, Moby Dick. But Lost in the Cosmos stands well on its own. The quality and quantity of presenters at the conference attested to its enduring worth—with more than 40 papers covering everything from liturgy to pornography to interstellar exploration to mimetic theory to Marshall McLuhan.

Today in Porn: Calvinist Lapso Cineaste Edition

Bruce Fretts’s retrospective essay/interview with writer-director Schrader may be of interest to some of the readership here. The occasion for the article is the release of Schrader’s new film, The Canyons:

Aside from [pornography performer James Deen’s] character’s name—Christian—and a “Thy Will Be Done” tattoo across the chest of one of his sex partners, “The Canyons” features no overtly spiritual content. While Schrader denies that the film is about porn, “what’s terribly interesting is these kids in this movie—I’m a generation away from [screenwrier] Bret [Easton Ellis], and Bret’s a generation away from [stars Deen and Lindsay Lohan]—are the result of the post-porn generation. These are kids who have been raised in a world full of Internet pornography. How can that not affect someone’s moral ecosystem? I don’t know. All our cultural artifacts now come with the notion that we have to raise our children in a sea of pornography.”

from Fretts, Bruce. ‘Paul Schrader: Porn Again?’

Today in Porn: Don Jon

Never mind Yahoo! buying Tumblr, which is pretty much one step shy of Google buying YouPorn, here’s the big porn-related news of the week:

“My Church, my boys, my girls, my porn.”

Augustine’s Member can rest in peace.

Planned Parenthood, have you no shame?

Our Friend Duffy  has a terrific post up at Patheos today in response to Pope Francis’ recent comments on the healing power of shame.

There were no particularly Christian reasons to feel shame at that time in my upbringing. We slept in on most Sunday mornings of my early childhood, and no one had inferred to me in any way that sex was bad. But looking through the magazines was something Marcy and I definitely did under cover of darkness, regardless of how boldly they had been left in our path. We both knew that there was something inherently wrong with two little girls looking at grown-up naked women.

Read the whole thing.

Meanwhile, American Life League attempted to take out a full-page ad in the New York Times and the Washington Post that displays images used by Planned Parenthood in public school sex education courses. The ad was rejected because the images were considered “too graphic” for the newspapers’ readership.

I can understand the newspapers’ reasoning, honestly – I assume they would say the same about an image of the human reproductive system from, say, a ninth grade biology textbook. Right? I’m a little confused about this detail from the story:

Likewise, the New York Times offered to run the ad only if ALL would agree to blur the pictures. Its staff suggested that they could run a disclaimer saying, “Image too shocking for the New York Times audience. To see actual image and for more information, please visit: http://www.all.org/pdf/PP_HookingKids.pdf.

That actually seems like a good compromise – I’m unclear as to who suggested it; the NYT or ALL? As a parent, I’m not crazy about the idea of a newspaper that my child might read including these graphic images in a full-page advertisement.

Because the images themselves are so explicit – I don’t understand how something like this even gets designed. I don’t understand how you have a staff meeting to look over the mockups, share feedback around the table, decide to go with the image of the young girl bent double with a mirror, exposing her genitals to the viewer so that they can be properly labeled. That’s the one. That’s what we want to send to the printers, distribute to the students, talk about with the kids, emphasizing there’s nothing to be embarrassed about and we just want you to be comfortable with your bodies so we can all be sex-positive. And let’s couple that with the image of the young boy masturbating.

Aren’t you ashamed?

Is NOTHING sacred…?

anne upped

Apparently not.

Today in Porn: Life Imitates Art Edition

This news flash just in from Melbourne by way of our La Crosse office:

A Southern Health dental hygienist ceased work a day after being told dozens of images of her posing explicitly in the Cranbourne clinic were posted on a members-only internet porn site.

Which is as if ripped from the pages of Bird’s Nest in Your Hair, the latest publication from Korrektiv Press:

It took them a couple of trips up the elevator, but other than a dropped item here and there, everything went off without a hitch. While Tom and the others set up cameras and the rest of the equipment in the examination rooms, the performers sat on couches in the lobby, smoking cigarettes and thumbing through copies of Highlights and Ladies Home Journal. One fellow wearing a white lab coat was fiddling around with a tank of nitrous oxide, pressing a mask to his face with one hand while turning a dial with the other.

A couple of guys in tool belts were in the final stages of clearing out one of the overhead lights, deemed an obstruction for one of the more complicated shots. Near the front of the examination room were two women, chatting with a man holding what appeared to be a giant diaphragm. The women were unusually well built. This was obvious enough in their tidy little mauve smocks and white leggings—grossly exaggerated idealizations of dental assistants, judged Tom.

Perhaps they were inspired by the novel. Kind of hope they were, kinda hope they weren’t!

Read the rest of Bird’s Nest in Your Hair, available at amazon.com.

This is Something; This is Nothing; This is Something; This is Nothing: This is Lindsay Lohan in REM’s Final Music Video

You can just skip to 2:21 if you want to avoid the rest of the film, directed by our own James Franco.

If only someone involved with the production had been to acting class.