Saturday, October 21, 2017

Do aging androids fear electric creeps?

When did my cell phone become the courtesy line to my life? All of a sudden I started getting a lot of sales calls. I thought I was on that list. Who knows, but they're pissing me off. Why don't they make a phone feature that any number that you don't know will be automatically routed to your voice mail, which will then automatically delete every message that's left there. 

Why readers? Why?

It might not bother me as much if they were honest about the nature of the call and apologized for it the moment they started talking, especially if they referred to the thing they're selling as either bullshit, an unapologetic scam, or complete and utter crap in the first sentence. That would make me listen to another sentence's worth before hanging up after responding with, All telemarketers die from syphilis. Who knows what might happen? Introducing the unwanted intrusion into my personal life as a "courtesy call" only makes it worse for them. I guess that suggesting that they'll get syphilis means that they might one day also have sex, so I'm unsure what effects my response have. They're like the slutty girl or a class clown in in high school - they get the wrong type of attention, but they never seem to learn. 

What the fuck is polite or considerate about calling somebody who doesn't want to be called to try to sell them something, then introducing it as a courtesy call?

Wait, am I the slutty girl in this scenario? 

Moving on. This post is not going to be a review of Bladerunner 2049, though I did go see it last night. I liked it quite a bit. They have installed large and reclining seats in the theater in Petaluma - the next town over, the one in the opposite direction from the miles of scorched earth - so I figured I would go have the full cinematic experience, and maybe take a nap. America's new bombing range: wine country!

I arrived, chose my plush seat from the computer touch screen that every disease carrier also touches, bought my ticket, made sure to scratch my eyeball, went to the theater and immediately got into an argument with two older women who were trying to sit in and near my seat. Looking around for reinforcement I noticed that I was surrounded by retirees and old ladies in pairs that seemed like romantic couples. After a comparison of seat locations they pointed out to me that I was in the theater for Victor and Abdul

I considered staying. They all seemed to have a much better idea of what was going on than me. Instead, I apologized to all of them for the indignities of being old and rushed off to my theater. Once there, I reclined my seat fully and began a series of gentle farts. My body at this point is little more than a replicant-shaped wave machine for intestinal gases. I moved over one additional seat from the one free space that I had already chosen, even though this is probably illegal. This would help separate me further from the strangers. I wanted to feel disconnected from humanity for this movie. I took my shoes off in case the aliens came to get me and then tried unsuccessfully to lie on my side with my head propped up. It seems the reclining seat thing might really turn things around for me at the cinema. If they ever install just a room full of mattresses with robust wifi and endless refills on popcorn then I might never leave.

The film started - my eyeball was itching. I considered taking my pants off. I should have brought a blanket. Next time.

Right away I felt the acting and outfit changes of Ana de Arma were perfect and that she was truly going to make this film a viewing experience. And I was right. It was if Ryan de Gosling wasn't even there. The initial scenes with Ana de Arma were better than the entire film, Her. What the republican right has been saying all along is true: Canadians and Cubans do make good sandwiches. 

Spoiler Oil...! In today's post I am going to demonstrate that I know many plot points of this film, which means that I am smarter than you. I wish to steal the only attribute of a film that seems to bring you any pleasure: its storyline. That is what makes me happy. It's known as cinemafreude. 

Again, moving on... and please stop interrupting.

So, Ryan the "skin job" lives a modest and joyless life as a cop that kills other replicants. His days end with him coming home to a holographic apparition that he talks to, listens to, and looks at. One must imagine the perpetual indignities of their intimacy. That being said, looking and listening were plenty for me also. I was happy there in that apartment with her, already thinking of ways to get rid of him. I wanted to experience this world of the future. 

Of course Ryan G meets a prostitute in the rain while eating noodles. Now, Mackenzie Davis - she has the type of sad and understanding eyes that make me want to watch her have sex. The director of this film seems to understand certain things about me in advance of having made the film, so that's what he intended to have happen also. So they wrote that stuff into the script. That's how these type things happen - scripted sex. Ana hires Mackenzie to come back to their shared industrial hovel and they proceed to do so in a series of threesome suggestions where presumably the pleasure is mainly derived from Ryan's character pretending one woman is another while both women pretend they are real and being loved. It takes very special filmmaking to make me feel so smart and so pubescent, but I think they've finally fucking nailed it. 

I swear to you, this sex scene happens, in a film in the year 2017... Truly, where is the liberal outrage, and how long will it take to include me? 

What I fail to understand is why everybody can go see Bladerunner 2049 and enjoy watching two replicants and a ghost have sex but I get in trouble any time somebody catches me fucking a pillow at an after-party. 

I am certain that the replicants have an answer for this age old mystery. That's the great thing about the original Bladerunner, and to a degree this new one: it makes you wish to be slightly less real, not more. I felt like a battery-less dildo lying there in the dark of the theater. But, there is a coolness to the replicant character that humans do not have - they yearn. 

I have assumed that sex with Daryl Hannah would be similar to the same with a silicone android. I'm reasonably certain that suggestion is the shared intention of the two filmmakers. Say whatever you want, but these films are as much about the impossibility of human affection as they are about personal identity. Everyone wants their masturbation to be real, yet projecting it towards others is not the way to get there. 

Bladerunner 2049 did not bother hiring any of the actresses from the original, but instead brought back Rachael's character as a newly made replicant. She has a scene in which the animated cadaver Harrison Ford gets to deny her love based on incorrect eye color, which results in an oddly timed sex killing. She seemed so antiquated here anyway. She still had her hair up in some forward facing Leia-esque bun. Because you know, sex and all of its isms. At least we now have men wearing their hair up in buns, finally. 

Or is it only that blondes really do have all the fun? Where is Rod Stewart when the world requires answers? I sometimes wonder what Mick Jagger thinks. That horny old goat must be inviting death by now. Does he just become a gargoyle in dying, or is there a process involved in transitioning from satyr to stone? 

Well, I do like films that question the recursive nature of identity and persona. Because I'm an art snob I prefer Bergman's meditations on the subject more than I do the musings of "disappointed androids wandering a future junkyard," but I do like how they have reflected again upon the idea that most behavior is a complicated series of preferred imitations and self embraced delusions. I see those same attributes in those that I know and love. They seem to take pleasure in that observation as it applies to me, especially when they can verbalize their epiphanies, usually in response to my own scripted behavior, etc.


This post was written as an imaginary one-way conversation designed to offend one particular person. She will love Bladerunner 2049, of course, and discuss it and Ryan Gosling in objectifying and sexist terms. She often does. So, in a sense, this script was all for her

There are times, however, and this is one of them, when even being right feels wrong. What do you say, for instance, about a generation that has been taught that rain is poison and sex is death? If making love might be fatal and if a cool spring breeze on any summer afternoon can turn a crystal blue lake into a puddle of black poison right in front of your eyes, there is not much left except TV and relentless masturbation. It's a strange world. - Hunter S. Thompson



Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Three Commandments

These came down from Mount SinaiMarket, as a covenant from Dad, on tablets of cardboard:

I. Stop That!

II. Don't Touch That!!

III. Put That Down!!!


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Pirates before a midnight run

(Better times)

What a week, or two; what a mess; what disaster in all directions. There is too much to tell, too many details now forgotten, almost of necessity. Too much stress. 

Once we left the house that we were staying in we were then lent a studio apartment in Berkeley. It would be just Rachel, Rhys, myself and Barkley the dog. We knew that once we had space to ourselves we would likely suffer some of the stress that we had each been repressing. Life is easier when you are distracted, when there are other people there to get along with, to help. People whose problems made ours seems less significant. Once those people were gone then we would confront our own difficulties, which were by comparison not nearly as severe, though experience of this kind is always cumulative. Everything was becoming too much for each of us. It could be felt even in the niceties. We needed new terms, the old ones were too much in flux.

So, the studio in Berkeley. 

Had the internet functioned at something beyond 90s up and down standards then it might have been passable. It wasn't. I couldn't even tether from my phone, the network signal too weak from within the closed doors on the second floor. The place was lovely, though. The 21 year home of an older woman who was clearly intelligent and well traveled. Her books alone made me want to stay - Japanese art books, various design books from diverse sources, Faulkner, European works, other classics. The place was decorated along those tastes, also. There was an Egyptian camel saddle as one piece, tables from Japan, China, maybe India. Everything was interesting to look at, everything unique, antiques collected over a lifetime of travel. A fascinating place with comfortable places to read, which is all that I wanted to do.

I retired to the bedroom early-ish, even for me, and began to do so. Trying to focus on the words, then the paragraphs, then the setting - NYC. It was the collection Up In The Old Hotel by Joseph Mitchell. Familiar street names and even a few familiar places - McSorleys - all from a very different time than mine, decades previous. I was about halfway through the first essay on Joe Gould when Rachel walked into the room and very calmly said, I am only asking you this because I know that you love me very much, but can you come out here and tell me if you smell smoke?

It was the smell of smoke. I went barefoot downstairs to the street and it was everywhere. It could be seen between where I stood and the streetlight, moving quickly enough. I yelled up to the window for Rachel to call 9-1-1. Somebody from their window yelled down to me, asking if I smelled it also. I yelled back that I did. I did. I yelled again to Rachel, then maybe once more, louder. Nothing. As I started to run back upstairs a young woman there on the street with me asked if she should call 9-1-1. Yes and yes. Barefoot still, I ran back upstairs, not quite in a panic, but very uncomfortable with them still being on the second floor. The fire was close. This one was. Nearly terrified, I looked in the windows of the first floor for any sign, any flash of danger. 

Upstairs I grabbed my shoes, wallet. Rachel grabbed Barkley. We both gave terse instructions. No time to grab anything more, just get downstairs, all of us, now.

By the time we were all standing out on the sidewalk a single stretched minute later more people were outside, all agreeing with each other on the smell and sight of smoke. A few of us walked around a bit. I gave up looking quickly and first. My plan was to leave California and never again look back. I am not sure if that does not still represent my newly completed plan. 

The firefighters arrived in the big red truck with sirens and lights, a rectangular savior machine. They all looked around and agreed also. There was a fire, it was close. In truth the smoke and smell had lessened greatly by then. They said that was okay, that calling them was the right thing to do. This did nothing for my state of nerves standing out on the sidewalk, pushed out of one last place again by some blaze somewhere. I had had enough. I wanted an apartment in Atlantis, no matter the hurricanes that might pass through. The stress was overwhelming. Smell does a very strange thing to the mind. The adrenaline was rushing through my body, arriving in my words. With nothing to fight, flight felt natural and still does. 

Its effects are immediate and can be lasting, smell. We lack the ability to recall scents individually. I vaguely remember once reading why that is. There is some evolutionary advantage to its purpose. I hope that is what all of this is for, some increased chance of survival.


Sunday, October 15, 2017

Berkeley: Mandatory Faith In Unicorns

I do not wish to write too soon, again, but things seem to be returning to some sense of normalcy in Sonoma, near home. The most dangerous of the fires burning yesterday have been fought back into the woods where they continue to burn, but away from the houses on the valley floor and towards the homes of others.There is just no way to feel good about what has happened. It is all terrible, with much suffering. People are announcing their intentions to return soon, though. We will wait it out in Berkeley a bit still. We have access to a studio apartment whose owner leaves for Japan today. I like Berkeley, though some of the people here epitomize the attitudes and beliefs the most irk me about the west coast in general, particularly the Bay area.

To wit, this morning we went to get coffee and some breakfast stuffs. After placing our order there was a brightly dressed fellow sitting by himself at a table for four in the center of the seating area, doing his best to interact with everyone who came near. He was very nice and doing his best to send positive vibes out into the universe. I heard him telling another man who seemed to be listening only out of courtesy that he was going to meditate to help stop the fires, because we all have the power within us

That will come as quite a relief to the firefighters up in the hills, I thought, to know that the fire squelching power of meditation will soon be on its way. 

And yet, his heart is in the right place, I know that. But still... why must those most filled with the inner strength of spiritual nonsense always export that noise to the rest of us. For the most part I keep my mouth shut, now that I am older, and only let my craziness seep out here on this site. I beg no one to participate and I blame no one for avoiding it. I can hardly even stand reading my older posts. I am tremendously misguided at times when pursuing the illogic of my own opinions, and do not believe internally much of what I do express daily. I am just pushing back against the spirit of the times a bit. I am smart enough to recognize that. 

I enjoy meditation. A close friend owns a yoga studio and I wish that I went more often, because I recognize its health and well-being benefits. Of all the people you might know I likely need the healing and recuperative powers of meditation more than most, yet with so many things, I am skeptical of those who push it on others uninvited at coffee shops. It feels as if they are sharing a debt of their own rather than helping anything or anybody. It's like those who need to announce their liberalism online, it seems suspiciously self-serving in its affirmations. 

Then, I write about my feelings here for anyone to read... A very minor difference, I know, but one that matters to me, and since mine is the voice I am trying to transcend while meditating, that is the voice I'll focus on silencing - my own.

Until then.....


Saturday, October 14, 2017

To the gods who so love fire....

(The house of Gundlach Bundschu, now gone)

This is all becoming stressful as fuck. Being displaced and never quite knowing what is going on, and when we'll be able to go home, and whether home will still be there, is all taking its toll. It keeps seeming as if the fires are receding away from our house, then the winds will shift and we are re-threatened again. A large fire has come down from the hills above Sonoma from the north now. It si very threatening, and very close. I can only hope that the firefighters are able to keep it from consuming the vast majority of the houses down on the valley floor.

This morning I went to get some coffee. I was listening to a sad old Hank Williams song, one that just happened to be playing, and I started crying. I had to pull myself together a bit before going in to Starbucks, otherwise they would all know what an enormous pansy I am.

Is that toxic masculinity? That's what I am I guess, or rather what I represent - poison maleness. I don't seem to know how to talk about my feelings, overly self-reliant, when I play chess I prefer winning to losing, I like pussy, etc. This morning was the only time that I have ever cried and when I did I made sure to publicly remind myself that I'm a little bitch. 

I should be careful, admitting that you like sex is tantamount to the crime of ravishment now, or soon will be. Only transgender sex should be celebrated. I've been telling everyone that will listen that my scrotum is actually only a protective sac for somebody else's ovaries. I refuse to touch them because one of my hands is still male and I'm not entirely sure that they are developed enough to provide consent. They don't have mouths and it would be very wrong to speak for them. I've given myself a Brazilian from my navel all the way to the clitoral hood of my anus.

When having sex I insist on being on the bottom and laying face down with Rachel standing over me with one foot on my back like Captain Morgan, an eye patch on to protect her from the shame of my maleness. Anything more from me could constitute a form of assault. All the women I know are exclusively attracted to purely submissive men. No man should ever occupy a dominant position during the act of coitus, not for the first ten years or so, anyway. Everyone should make love like Hillary Clinton - fully clothed in the finest polyester. I always make sure to chastise myself for getting an erection. I'll read the thing passages from Simone de Beauvoir until it withers. I only let women see me naked in very, very cold water. The entire act of intercourse involves me begging for forgiveness for my clitoris being larger than theirs, which is sometimes true. 

Do you see what this fire has done to me? It has turned sex evil in my mind. I have been having impure, degenerate thoughts, where nothing but purity and beauty once freely roamed.

I don't have an anus, ignore that sentence. I had it removed because I didn't want any woman I loved to ever feel that it was competing with their vagina. 

Jesus, what is wrong with me? 

Why can't I laugh at the right things.


It is impossible to get good, reliable information. Everybody is doing their best but the area has been evacuated and those fighting the fires are not spending much time documenting their updated efforts on Facebook. So, I have been doing my best to add to the misinformation. Yesterday, I posted an image of what was claimed to be part of the fire rescue efforts:

It turns out that it was not real. Or rather, it is real but not from "our" fire.

This one is:

That was taken from the park near our house, yesterday or the day before. Not quite as dramatic as the one above it, but I suppose it might have been from a closer proximity. 

To think, a week ago my biggest dilemma was deciding whether or not to buy a new lens. 

The fire keeps moving in towards us. Here is the latest, the arrow pointing to our street:

All of this must be boring for those elsewhere. It is tiring for us also, though we have less choice to look away. The mind wishes to peer through the smoke, to see into the heart of the flames, to treat with a keen but tiring alertness the raging mortal darkness. The heart can hardly fathom the vast sea of cinders that remain. 

We will return, if all goes well soon, to a partial rather than complete wasteland.

What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow 
Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man,
You cannot say, or guess, for you know only 
A heap of broken images, where the sun beats, 
And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief, 
And the dry stone no sound of water. Only 
There is shadow under this red rock,
(Come in under the shadow of this red rock), 
And I will show you something different from either 
Your shadow at morning striding behind you 
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you; 
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.

- T.S. Eliot, exceprt from The Wasteland


Friday, October 13, 2017

Day 5, some signs of relief


I haven't taken a single picture of what I am seeing, and have seen, at home and on the way in and out of Sonoma. It somehow seems disrespectful, or something.

I don't wish to speak (or write) too soon, but it seems as if we were spared, at least for now. The winds helped push the fires north and east, which is much better than the south and west they were heading. 

Here was the closest the fire seems to have come:

That same map shows less activity near us today. The human reports are either horrible, heartbreaking, near-misses, or just boring old survival. 

Is it wrong that I am fascinated with fire's transformative capacity and possibilities? If my house burned down I thought that maybe I would move back to New York. Then I'll ask myself, Why wait for fire? I'm not quite sure. I can't quite answer that question. But complete and total destruction of place (not person) contains a liberating component. Some portions of your life you might only truly start over when absolutely required to do so, so there is an odd sense of invitation to the idea of it. It's not as if I get aroused thinking about it, but something happens; some floating sense of the excitement in possibilities.

Perhaps it is wrong to talk about this in that way while so many people's lives are going through such enforced uncertainties. I will write more about the dynamic of my mild case of pyromania some other time. 

The fires have taken their psychological toll. We are all emotionally drained, on edge at times throughout the day, sometimes unexpectedly. I am trying to focus on work, which has been helpful. I do not wish harm on anyone, of course, but am relieved that the fires seem to have moved elsewhere for now. It has been since early Monday morning that we have lived under these burning uncertainties. It feels as if everything everywhere is made of nothing but dry leaves.


Thursday, October 12, 2017

Fahrenheit for a ~50 one

Where we live is located at the red center of the image shown above, but so many of the maps and updates are unreliable and unconfirmed. This was taken from the most recent update from the government, but you know, they fuck lots of things up all of the time, so why not fire? There was no legend or key to this map and it does seem that the fires are designated with different symbols and other location information that is not like what seems to be where we live. Who knows until it is all over. 

Everything seems temporarily balanced between the very real and the entirely surreal. Yesterday, I went back to Sonoma once more, to recover a few things that my conscience would not let me relax without - my car, my bikes, my computer, a picture of  my mother when she was a girl, my wedding ring, boxes of other old pictures. I wanted to take my Weber grille, but I haven't owned a pickup truck since Florida. What I was not able to recover - the books I've read and many that I haven't, the remaining boxes of 12" records that survived the flood a couple years ago, what I would consider my absolute favorites, the ones I told myself that I must keep. 

The scene in Sonoma was from a dream, stretching in every direction. The outline of trees in the distance were as haunted apparitions of life, the fall leaves and branches awaiting a spark, to become fuel. The smoke was everywhere, coloring every vista with both its actual and existential menace. Wildfire haunts the mind in the way that nothing else does, or has for me, yet. Its barely predictable direction makes it a terror like few other events. Its destruction rarely partial, more likely complete.

I stopped at the pub and had two beers, the only people there had been evacuated from a few miles north of where we were. The fire was within two miles. 

As I was leaving the announcement was made that the mandatory evacuations were now in full effect and being strictly enforced. The things I looted from my home and had in the car would be all that I was sure to have saved until this is all over. I tried to look across my shelf of books but it was too much of an emotional effort to undertake after everything else. I tried to find examples that could not be easily replaced, but my eyes only made it about 20 or 30 in before I recognized that these can not be saved. 

Only Ray Bradbury's books are flammable anyway.


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

"Once upon a time you dressed so fine"

Gundlach Bundschu, a winery that I wrote about yesterday. I read a statement from one of the family members that it burned to the ground. It was the oldest family owned vineyard in Sonoma, started in 1906. It was my favorite, pretty much the only one that I would ever bring people to when they would visit.

The loop road of estate houses up in the hills that I write about often and where I almost daily ride my bike,  Lovall Valley, also all burned to the ground. The reports said that there was nothing left standing. I'm not very good at estimating costs but based on just a handful of the homes up there my guess is that the damage was well over a hundred million dollars in loss. Maybe much more, very doubtfully any less. There were a number of homes up there worth at least $10 million, or much more. 

We will check which roads are open and possibly try to go back into the valley briefly today, if the police will let us in. There are blockades, many of the roads are closed. We hope to retrieve some things that we left behind in our rush. There is a home server I can't believe I left that contains all of my music and photos, maybe some more clothes, my birth certificate and social security card. I'd like to take my Martin acoustic guitar if it will fit in the car.

I tried to access the server remotely yesterday, but it was not available, which could mean something as simple as the power was out, or it could mean more than that. I do not yet suspect the place has burned down. It is hard to know, the reports are not detailed and the damage is widespread and still spreading.

I have my work computer with me now, which has some pictures on it. I might grow to cherish this site soon as being the only remaining repository for pictures of my previous life. Who knows, I am trying not to be morbid or maudlin, but loss ignites the imagination the same way that gain might for others. Fire of this kind is like losing a very big lottery without ever having bought a ticket, without ever having wanted to play.

Perhaps I will start life anew, wander off into another desert identity like Jack Nicholson's character in Antonioni's The Passenger. 

Many years ago, there was a woman that I had a crush on, the visionary type. I would often think of hugging her all day long on Sunday in bed, wearing only our underwear or less. None of that ever happened, but one day her house burned down while she had run to the store in only shorts, shirt, sandals, and presumably underwear. She came back to the house that she grew up in, the one that her parents had left her, and it was gone, or rather it was going. 

The firemen were there and trying to save the cinders, but it was too late. For months afterwards she would describe to me the feeling of suddenly not being sure who she was any more, or where she belonged. I tried to convince her that she was the type woman that belonged in her underwear with me, on any Sunday or Tuesday and all the days between, but it was not meant to be. Not even the complete loss of her house and all of her belongings was enough. I can understand how she might want to keep her shorts on after something like that. 

I remember her telling me the replacing and use of the smallest things became the most unsettling part of what had happened - a hair clip that wasn't the same as the one she had on her bathroom sink, the fresh note pad she now kept in her newly purchased backpack seeming as if she had just picked up someone else's life accidentally, feeling as if she was wearing somebody else's clothes. There were also the small things that could not be replaced, where no replacement was possible. She kept thinking about her shower, that she felt as if it was still out there and it was only her that was now somehow in the wrong place. Her bed, her sheets, her pillows.


Monday, October 9, 2017


That's a satellite image of our beautiful little valley burning to the ground. We're not alone, as of now there are fourteen un-contained fires burning in the region, a few big ones in Napa also. The vineyard I went to see the show at last night, Gundlach Bundschu, is on fire (below). 

We just received news that the fires have reached the B.R.Cohn winery, which is only a couple miles from our house, maybe four miles away at the most.

I didn't take the fires seriously enough when we were leaving. I grabbed most of my cameras but left my server in the house which has all of my music on it, a lifetime's worth of collecting. I only have the clothes I'm wearing. My birth certificate and social security card are still there, waiting the flames.  

Ah well, it is lunchtime. There is nothing that I can do. If I were there I would offer to try and drink their wine for them.


Sunday, October 8, 2017

Friday all over again


Ross Douthat is a useless cunt. 

I've added that opening sentence for Google search purposes only. I hope that the author finds it. I want his attention for a few seconds. He seems like the type that just might search "Ross Douthat is a..." Yes, he is a lazy, pompous, priggish hack. The same turd that wrote about Hugh Hefner has now taken on the sins of liberalism, or at least those of Harvey Weinstein and Woody Allen, I can't tell. 

I want Maureen Dowd back, or even William Safire. 

He seems to be one of those journalists that aligns the claims of liberalism with the presumed "sins" of its supporters, even as he's attempting to claim that he's not. Once he found that Harvey Weinstein was a rich old horny progressive satyr he seems to believe he has found the undoing of all liberalism, the sworn enemy of his beloved conservatism. He seems to forget that when conservatives sin they end up with their cock buried in some teenage boy's asshole. Not that the sweet love of male-on-male sodomy is a sin, but that level of hypocrisy should be. 

Or, maybe sodomy is a sin... Who can ever be sure? The old testament was a long time ago, back when Tipper Gore was a much younger vixen. Do you remember when she was scolding rappers for profanity? What a tart. 

We know all of that already, though. I have nothing new to add to the conversation of sin. So, I await Ross Douthat's cease and desist notice. 

Okay, this is not what I wanted to write about at all. 

Sunday is here; it will pass quickly. Sunday is the weekend's evening, many spend it relaxing in preparation for Monday. It seems as if we should get paid for Sunday, maybe half the normal rate, We're not really working but neither are we free. Not like a Saturday, in which something unexpected might happen, the enchanting glow of possibility. Sunday is a day for making a roast, and knowing how the day will end. It resolves far more mysteries than it summons.

Oh yeah. I'm going to see Hope Sandoval and The Warm Intentions tonight. With the right amount of morphine maybe I'll feel like it's Friday all over again, when everybody floats along as helium liberals in the sky. 


Saturday, October 7, 2017

The effect of images across time

A weekend spent not working, but on call - leisurely, not entirely free, and possibly working. I have been texting with CS all morning. We have been taking note of the changing world. He sent a bunch of pictures from the 70s and early 80s - a skate rink in Tampa, kids just being kids. The type pictures that are difficult to take now. Such is the ubiquitous effect and nature of photography - extreme self consciousness, even to the point of anger at any perceived violation of personal space. 

Perhaps the way that  my son will one day identify the picture above. Innocence, over time, becomes a future or present sin.

Kids just being kids. Are we allowed to say things like that? 

One of the things that CS sent was an article about a school that is moving away from using the terms boy and girl. These binary designations no longer adequately suit the times, nor the needs of the student neutral population. Some find the terms offensive, a form of stereotyping when monotyping is what these courageous times call for. 

Am I allowed to be critical of efforts to reduce language's most basic descriptive capacity in the contemporary rush to reduce offense? The denial of humans being separated by sexual reproduction, and the resulting sexual characteristics that general division entails, seems the best way to confront it as a social problem. Those much smarter than me are in charge now, so I must assume they know what they're doing and what is best. History has never shown that all forward progress is anything but helpful. Certainly there is some enlightened term for me to employ now when trying to confuse a child about some of their most basic illustrative qualities as a human. Can we even call a child transitioning into adulthood a child? Does that term not suggest a diminutive, a non-existent division between one state and another?

I do not wish to offend nor to be offended, so soon I will no longer refer to a boy as a boy or a girl as a girl. I wonder if there is a stated objective to the new practice (I did not bother reading the article). I prefer to let its headline conduct its imaginary wonder upon me without having to sully myself with fact. What will a genderless or sex-neutral world be like, I wonder, where I will assume the authority to speak as whomever I choose to be, whatever I feel like from moment to moment. Never again will anyone enjoy the luxury of assessment towards me. Those will be fun times for anyone that knows me well. I've been practicing for this for what seems a lifetime. 

You might think that I am denigrating these efforts to reduce personal suffering, but I'm not, at all. I like and even prefer challenges in language. I find them interesting and educational, if not also fun. I wish to offend no one, even though I might toy with offense here and elsewhere fairly regularly. If removing the word boy or girl will help those who might have resentment, aversion, antipathy or confusion towards those designations then that is what we should do: burn the witchy words. All celebration and humor will submerge itself underneath layers of language where it belongs.

I know plenty of people that would like to stop using words like cop, judge, inmate, guard, boss, parents, teachers, scholars, students, and priests. How many times have those imaginary and polarizing nouns done real and lasting harm.  

Did you know that it's against the law to solicit sex for money, from an adult? Doing so makes you a prostitute, or perhaps you might be called a sex worker. In this scenario anyone can be a client. 

One starts the transaction with money, the other ends with it. 


Friday, October 6, 2017

It's better to gurn out


everybody should
be treated
but we

I know

I can't


but I






Thursday, October 5, 2017


I've turned all comments on this site off. A spammer targeted me and I quickly grew tired of it. I reported them to Google. I actually went to an authority page, filled out a text field with the info. for their user profile, and electro-snitched. 

I feel like a fallen angel, or maybe a cop on paid leave. There was some unpleasant incident. Now, I sit and watch television, eager to get back out on my regular beat.


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

"We said all there is to say..."


Okay, okay, okay... I suspect I get it. 

I should stop browsing social media, becoming flustered or disappointed, then responding here. It makes nonsense. We all agree - people are mostly stupid. I see that now, and I hear your voices. I've learned my lesson. 

The prudish liberals have irked me lately, but that's because I have so precious few conservative friends, for whatever reason I still very much enjoy arguing with them. Arguing with liberals only confuses them and makes me feel sad. They are attuned to arguing with conservatives exclusively, such that ending up in an argument with another takes them by surprise. If there is one thing that liberals no longer want it is surprises. Stupefaction is no fun for the losing party. They're used to being right - anyone that argues is evil, like... conservative-evil. It doesn't matter what you want to conserve. The attempt to conserve liberal ideals is depraved - it's a form of ver. obsolescence.

My Latin friends will see that joke one way, my tech friends another.

So, I relinquish my squatter rights on Facebook, as well as my squirter rights on many other sites. Being a liberal doesn't work or matter any more. I will shuffle my allegiances towards the neo- of the next. 

I have to be careful, though. To disagree with liberals makes them believe that you support Trump. They only seem to understand rightness and wrongness - theirs and yours. The more you question, the more you are just Making America Great Again.

Who knows what socially restorative slogan they'll concoct soon. 

Barack / Hope - Trump / Make. 

It almost boggles my mind that when I tried to find an online image of Trump, emulating the HOPE image of Obama with the MAKE tagline it's not there. Has NOBODY been paying attention to the convenient abbreviation of thought in the form of slogans, the war of noun and verb?


Where is the Trump - Make response to the above image?

I guess the cleverest designers in America have forgotten or overlooked the secondary definition of the word:
Make (noun) - the manufacturer or trade name of a particular product. (example: TRUMO)
There are days I wish I was a graphic designer, other days I nap. Trump has made nothing of value that I can buy - the Trumpiest outcome of bad Coca-Colonialism. You can not love the choreographed success of Michael Jackson and still wonder where and why Trump succeeds in this culture. The Kardashian vote has spoken; they will speak again.

The simple term, MAKE, is more cutting than any of the accusations made about him otherwise.

Wouldn't it be ironic if irony was dead, or on the make?

The American mind is no longer tuned to hearing opposing arguments from their own side (irony). It is best not to confuse anyone in this post-polar-partisan-paradox-period. 

This is the best America bothered with:


Moving on:

Yes, automatic guns are stupid. Vegas is the American translation for Jesus. Who would have guessed that selling automatic guns freely could ever cause a problem there? I mean, whom. I would have never imagined that letting civilians buy automatic weapons would not work out perfectly for everybody. Wasn't that the argument? All that it takes is good guys with guns. All of it, mind numbingly bad. The arguments are even worse than the behavior. Then, we just contend with the sound and result of gunfire. 

And yes, Tom Petty. I grew up loving his albums, particularly Damn the Torpedoes and the few albums that came before and after. He was the south's Bob Dylan, for a brief time. He knew how to tell stories in song and he knew how to be a rock and roll star.

Now, he gone.

I liked Gloria Steinem. She was a fun feminist to listen to, at times. The image below does not represent anything she ever said or wrote, but I found it online and liked it, and fondly remembered the pro-abortion era of Steinem.

I know I said I would stop this just above. That was then, this is here.

I liked Germaine Greer more than Steinem. What a woman. That's who you want on your side, GG. I know I want her on mine.

The town hall in which she eviscerates Normal Mailer should be required viewing for today's sex tyrannists. That was my Battle of the Sexes - Greer won. She was clearly the smartest person in the room, consistently offering the best arguments, and with a confident flair that was inspiring, if not more than inspiration. There for a brief moment in the 60s and 70s it seemed as if a dialogue was forming. By the 80s there was much needed listening happening, by the 90s the jihadists had taken over the feminist conversation. The Cher Guevaras won. 

Now, I just want them all to have equality in space away from me.

To watch the clips of her, Greer, arguing with Norman Mailer... it was interesting and exciting in my early years. I loved her, and anybody else that had such great counter punches for that rotten old oaf, Mailer.

I read The Naked and the Dead.  It lacked many things, like nudity.

If you watch that video above (there may be better recorded clips online), she openly accuses him of latent homosexuality, to give you an idea just how much the times have changed. Women somehow lost the ability to be the reactive sex in the battle for the rights of others. This is natural I suppose, white women enjoyed far more equality than did women of color.

Dave Chapelle responded well to a white woman lodging her public complaint of "equal suffering" towards him: You was in on the heist, you just didn't like your cut. 

Men regularly praise comedians yet live guardedly watchful lives, afraid to say anything that might be funny without an apology in advance, as if there is a special category of human that speaks their truths for them, willing to tow the strictly aggrieved line, wherever it may lead. They all have wives and girlfriends, I guess. Who knows. I fail to understand what it is they believe any more, except perhaps that all of life should have an HR department they can run to when it's time to tattle-tale.

Their grievance: comedic ambiguity used freely in conversation by a person of obvious guilt.    

Being for equality is not enough - you must be willing to examine the reasons for inequality as well as the veracity of the claims. Our contemporaries seem content to do neither or both, though they bite when the firing is hot.


As for the feminists: the second-wave comprised the most compelling conversations and arguments. Once they allowed the Andrea Dworkins to start telling women why they should or shouldn't enjoy sex then many lost the purpose, essence, and point of how and where equality meets freedom: in consensual adult choice.

I use none of those words lightly. I have argued unselfishly for the pro-sex feminists and always will. I'll also argue for the anti-sex feminists if they demonstrate damage, beyond having to suffer the private or public joy of others. So far, no takers.

Being offended is never good enough.

The ever advancing cults of masculinity, femininity, and the betweens is a turn off. We need more moderate voices. All I hear is the nothing hum of liberal correction, anti-compelling. When did everybody stop arguing for everybody? How do we return to that point in the conversation, without employing patriotism, prejudice, or worse?

When did romance become silence, love rape, and consent complaint?

Something inside of you is feeling like I do, we said all there is to say. - Tom Petty 

Loneliness is never more cruel than when it is felt in close propinquity with someone who has ceased to communicate. - Germaine Greer

Steinem did not write this, but who cares, she was once an undercover Bunny:


Tuesday, October 3, 2017

A celebration of diversity

Everywhere I look there is bad journalism - poor thinking married to good sentences.  I'll shut up soon about the public-media response to Hugh Hefner's death, but the latest is that he is now responsible for violence against women. He invented it. There is no evidence to suggest that it existed before 1953, it seems, or that it is on the decline. 

That's just good science meeting the implacable truth of history. Unfounded corollaries that suggest causality can be a writer's best friend. I know, dear readers, I know. One does not have to support the ideas or methods of Hefner to recognize the bad blame that marches on unquestioned in our contemporary quest for justice and equality. 

The spectrum of sexuality is used to discuss and protect those who deserve its continuum of understanding but ceases to demonstrate any overlap in characteristics once we veer dangerously into maleness. Accusation can be freely applied to anybody that chooses to be on the unfortunate side of sexuality. The male heterosexual exists alone by a poor series of decisions. Only substandard thought can possibly fix them, best accomplished with vague gender guilt. 

We all stand against extremes, of course, and what could be more extreme than maleness? One day we might all hope to meet in the middle of sexuality, where we can discuss and enjoy the sameness of our differences. I'm certain that if we dig back far enough in human history we'll find that it was man who first caused sexual division and sexual reproduction within our developing species. They are always so obsessed with its playful mechanisms.  

Adam averts his gaze; inviting the tempter in to paradise.

Few things are more suspect to the modern mind than those who would indulge in the binary nature of sex. The imaginary division between sexes is a fire on the mind of vile humanity. It should be stopped, mocked, and roiled with chemicals, academic columns, and surgery. Some, in their ignorance and insensitivity, have even had the temerity to suggest that sexual reproduction is where human offspring used to emerge. They draw innocent little babies into their web of sexual bigotry. 

Men do this. 

It starts with them looking at women then results in them telling stories from a male perspective. Those monsters. Had they been speaking for women all along then we might not have these problems. Or, if we had only fixed on asexual reproduction then we might not experience any of these first-species problems, either.

Of course, before women learned to hate men they naturally hated their own mothers. Then, popular academic opinion filtered its way down through Cosmopolitan magazine and changed all of that for the better. A barely grasped portion of post-modernism nearly ruined the 1980s. You can't launch liberation with mothers and daughters on opposite sides of the battlefield, reading different magazines. 

Every reader needs a common enemy. 

The only way to correct the situation, it seems, is to embrace in full the female response to maleness. That alone must de-flaw the evils of gender. What could possibly be more right than a reaction to wrong? 

Every crime needs its punishment. 

I don't know how to feel any more. These articles have me so guilt-ridden that I no longer notice or desire women. They've caused me to ignore the healthiest specimens of my own species. A 50 year old man should not have to feel this way, unless of course he's just a gamete driven animal. 

Post-script: I'm not claiming victimhood, at all, only noting half-satirically that being human offers little escape from sexual division, and that some associated suffering is inevitable for all. Injustice should be fought with the shared tool of understanding, equally, not with the dull blade of convenient accusation. 

A study was done among a number of college students at different universities and it was discovered that only about 40% of college kids, male and female, could adequately define the meaning of the word "consent." When I first read this article I was amazed and yet not entirely surprised. My thoughts immediately went to the many problems that this paucity in understanding causes. 

In the last few days - while reading the moralistic responses to the life of Hugh Hefner - that same study has allowed me to realize that this misunderstanding creates alternate problems for some. None of the journalists who freely sermonized on the damaging moral evils of Hefner seemed to notice or care that his empire was built upon the foundation of female consent. 

It's one thing to be enraged at an outcome in which a woman who was abused never granted their consent, it's quite another to claim the same harm ensued when they did. 


Monday, October 2, 2017


I wasn't defending Hugh Hefner, though maybe I should. I didn't read the article carefully yesterday. I hated the tone of the piece, and of the author, instinctually and immediately and until the end. Some feel Hefner is worthy of attack, being both a benefit and detriment to feminism. Torch and pitchfork can be taken up equally or optionally by anyone who cares. Few women I know seem to wish to. Though, I've hardly befriended the type of woman-object that would shy from the curiosities or content. That might just be the purity of coincidence. 

But man... white male liberal becoming very mad about thing it can sink it teeth into - man like me. 

The smart have lost their collective mind; they say that kneeling is the first to go. The messaging is restrictive, attuned to minor-correction, the macros in waiting, bound by newly assumptive jurisdictions, and yet so contradictory to the claim of liberalism anybody can predict now what will soon happen in 2020: Trump will triumph. They are going to hand the country over in perpetuity to a juggernaut of blunder, or whomever he passes the torch of anti-intelligence over to. Go blue - expect red. The clever set are out there somewhere, still searching for the clitoris of Eva Braun.

Why not, though, really? The past is the easiest of moving targets. It appeals to any dolt and many dotards. Confuse the comedic hindsight of Mad Men with personal activism, and why not? Satire is dissolved in affection for the past, we miss its message, its playfulness with time. Judgement then comes easy, its stars so often aligned to appease.

Pretend to possess the morality of the future, attack the past you never or hardly participated in, express advanced attitudes, then you, you, you....  lone space guardian inviting arrival.  Walk away this hero, swoon in insouciant self-admiration, such non-contemporaneity, such thisness.

Those who uniformly denounce religion, but then take up that same struggle and its authoritative posture - best at doubting the intelligence of others, always big believers in democracy.

What can be done, if you listen they will speak, only louder. 

Writing curses those cursed. 


Sunday, October 1, 2017

'86 Chateau D'Issan Margaux

(Wine, pleasure from another time)

Under normal circumstances I wouldn't let my undocumented workers drink this stuff, unless maybe they were hiding in the basement from the latest in ICE raids. However, I found this bottle to be pleasantly intoxicating. It tastes of the many changing wonders of romance. 

Well, that was last night.  I started a wine review of sorts... This morning, there are other concerns to address. Playboy needs me!

CS sent this op-ed article this morning. It details one of the many ways in which men can pretend to be feminists, garnering imaginary self-praise for their upright positions. I believe the term is exploitative

The writer, Captain Ahab, doesn't seem to understand the meaning of his own words, nor the purpose of his mission. 

I know the curse well, I catch myself in it all of the time. I become so excited while writing - transfixed with the obsession of my obsessions - particularly when I am pursuing or attacking a subject, that I forget that when doing so I am revealing more about myself than I am addressing the subject. Each sentence a harpoon aimed at the only object worthy of the piercing. The quest of expression can act as lasting nepenthe on the faculties, while the polarity of moralism creates mythical phantoms in reflection. 

Male feminists in particular just love to use words like exploitative. It removes responsibility from the object they pretend to be treating as an individual. That adult women making adult decisions compete to participate in the Playboy enterprise never seems to sink in to the mind of the true feminist. They've read the literature, they know that these women are incapable of independent thought. Treating them as something other than child victims destroys their own capacity for heroism. No true feminist of this kind would ever hold a victim accountable - I mean, how could you? That would require granting them the power of choice and responsibility, far too little room for liberation involved there. 

He seems to have no waking thoughts in this failed reach of a closing passage:
That this should be the case, that only prudish Christians and spoilsport feminists are willing to say that the man was obviously wicked and destructive, is itself a reminder that the rot Hugh Hefner spread goes very, very deep.
A swing and a miss... 

Never questioning for himself, only answering for us, that the writer happens to be both a prudish Christian and a spoilsport feminist - very, very deeply. Exhibiting excessive loyalty to a cause, itself being the very definition of the term chauvinism, is lost here. Perhaps he is so accustomed to placing the word "male" in front of the term he has forgotten its actual meaning, and that it can be used to describe something other than maleness. 

The term he might be searching to confuse next would be hack. Or, perhaps he can explore conflating vile and virile. He hints at it, but never quite arrives. The likelihood of him ever examining his own disdain of male aging and the possibility of pleasure, also seems remote. 

In addition to his overall tone of prudery - evidenced best in his use of the words "refuge" and "scoundrel" earlier in the piece, presumably when referring vaguely to the Playboy Philosophy - he assumes without proving that most or all of the changes of the past 60 years were the result of the magazine's outsized influence on American thought. Then, wondering aloud why others are not now ascribing to the publication all of the attendant guilt it seems to deserve. 

Well Ahab, I just don't know why that would be... 

I hope his wife, daughters, and neighbor's daughters are pleased with his position on this and other matters. The ethical decline he describes, brought on by Playboy and the changing times, seems very dangerous. Yet never once suggesting how things might have unfolded differently, or any better, for the many victims he know protects with his valiant feminist journalism.  

I can picture the Captain wearing a pink "pussy power" hat while writing this piece, blissfully unaware of what that or anything else might possibly mean. Having deleted his repeated use of the phrase "Filth, in broad daylight...." before going to publication. 

His mention of unread Updike stories is useful. 

Bye, Felicia. Have another cherry...

The feigned moral hysteria is predictably in line with many of the op-ed pieces from the NYT lately. But the tone of surrogate morality - that he is having to attack for us something we are too blind or rotten to attack for ourselves - would be shocking if it were not in alignment with the neoliberal attitudes towards all things now morally bankrupt and corrupt. We encouraged people to say something if they see something and only the new liberals decided to act on the absurd request. They are out there now in all directions, burning the witches of your mind for you.

That more journalists like himself aren't willing to stand up for these righteous puritanical positions only seems to indicate that Hugh Hefner must be to blame. What other possible explanation could there be? Hugh ruined everything about America, and that one lone journalist is willing to finally take on the sultan of smut is the clearest indication imaginable that every mind in America was warped rotten by the many velvet curves of sultry sensationalism. 

Or maybe the explanation is much, much worse than that.... people are merely guilty of the sin of liberal apathy, not willing to take up battles to defend the sanctity of monogamy, nor any other imaginary casualty in the liberal reformation. 

Will no one rid Ahab of his turbulent priests?


Saturday, September 30, 2017

San Diego

I arrived yesterday and met my buddies at the airport. We had a lunch on the bay where the view of two aircraft carriers could be casually contemplated in peace time. Then, a dinner in Encinitas, interspersing domestic suburban activities throughout - a walking of the dog to pick the kids up at school, a football game, some chatting and laughing around the kitchen with a little red wine.

I stayed up late hoping that my sleep patterns would somehow coincide with other people's schedules and I nearly succeeded. I am still up early while everybody else is sleeping. The mildly cool wind coming in off the coast is pleasant. The sound of life beginning its day at the open windows is fine and peaceful as I sit and drink my coffee.  

We discussed politics in its social sense and the daunting possibility of (gasp!) living in a red state, the failure of the democratic party and perhaps of liberalism itself, as well as the potential charms of a place like Des Moines, Iowa. I tried to argue for living in a place that possessed some cultural vitality, that there was more to choosing a place to live than the cost of housing and low crime rates, though the voice of being a father was nagging at me, telling me that perhaps I do not believe so much of that that any more. 

Sonoma is far from being vital. Its charm in that regard is mainly its proximity to San Francisco. The majority of the "culture" that I now consume is streamed into my living space by choice, such is the embodiment of the American model of culture, it is only immersive in direct relation to the size and placement of your television. The days of regularly going to the Moma and the Met are no more. 

So, I checked on broadband speeds in Iowa. Don't tell...

My friend from Washington said that he never goes to the Seattle opera, so what does it matter to him. I questioned whether Seattle even had an opera. I checked; they do. The point was taken though. Why do I live in such an expensive place if it confers no special advantages, either real or imaginary, to me. 

Sonoma is naturally beautiful, I suppose. There is that. Culturally it is no more advanced than anywhere else. The region is mainly agricultural, the county religion is yoga, whose principle advantage seems to be the indeterminate physical and spiritual benefits it bestows on its most disciplined adherents. So there seems to be some imaginary competition for the achieving of those benefits, even though they can be had freely by many. Its truths are fundamental in a personal capacity. I suppose that may be preferable to the truths found in politics, the religion of fundamental social management. 

Choosing to live in a place based on the options available there is a clever choice only if you exercise those options every now and then. Otherwise, too many options creates a crowding of inner and outer space. Choices become fatiguing noise when not regularly exercised. 

We discussed the failed assumptions of liberals, the idea that somehow being right should mean that they were also destined to win. The condescension they possess towards any and everyone else has become tiring, the moral surmising of their own superiority no longer worth the argument that would ensue to have them clarify their position on most things, or to point out that their value judgments are not nearly as implacable as they seem to believe, or at all. 

Being correct means little compared to winning elections. Smugness turned out to be a bad platform for winning over the hearts and minds of the stupid and angry.

It is difficult to be at a place in life where you still very much wish to believe in liberal ideals, but to watch those ideals thrive in their abbreviated form, winning on the lips of people who seem to have embraced them from expediency rather than conviction. Their most comprehensive message has to do with the wrongness of others, which can have a rather limiting capacity when attempting to advance or justify one's' own questionable postulates.

I know, dear reader, I well know... I am smug, but also vain, arrogant, and loud. What I lack in nuance I adjust for in volume. 

Maybe young people are still expounding, testing, arguing the edges of liberal thought. Who knows. The people in my age group seem to have conceded intellectual defeat and exhaustion. Opinions advanced in silence or not at all. Those who now self-define as liberals do not interest me much beyond them all being my friends. Those who self-define as conservatives have always been my moral enemy, which leaves me in the party of shut the fuck up and leave me alone. My only political agenda is advancing the proposition that you shouldn't talk to me about what is best for America, or worse, what should come next. 

As an experiment, ask everyone you know who should be the next democratic presidential nominee. The crisis is not only not over, it's worsening. The dems don't have a very deep bench when it comes to potential leaders. Trump took advantage of that as well as the desperate confusion on the right. He won in part because of there being too many options on the right and not enough on the left. 

CS said it well - he'll vote for whomever doesn't destroy his retirement quickly, thoroughly, or both. He said something like that. If I had any retirement funds then maybe I'd feel the same. I want a young charismatic Bernie Sanders type of anti-politician to tell me that people have already made enough money, but that sadly I am not one of those people and something should now be done about it. An untested political remedy is what we need most.

I'll vote for whomever tells me that I am owed a Prius. 


Friday, September 29, 2017

Define - Pornography

(Sally Mann)

It's a noun.

A Google search results in this: printed or visual material containing the explicit description or display of sexual organs or activity, intended to stimulate erotic rather than aesthetic or emotional feelings.

I'm not sure how the determination is made as to the intention of an image. Do they use the moment of creation, knowledge of the life or beliefs of the photographer, or is it the image's effect on the viewer? How can we know if a given viewer possesses any aesthetic faculties? A person like that might perceive the intention of all things as being erotic, even if they are incapable of those sensations themselves. Do they measure a physical reaction? I had believed that erotic stimulation was emotional.  Do they mean feelings that are openly displayed?

Again, the terms used to define seem intentionally confusing and contradictory.

Define - intention, also a noun: a thing intended; an aim or plan. Or, in medicine: the healing of a wound.

That clears things up, if you were curious about photography's intentions. As long as your desire to heal a wound is aesthetic and not erotic then you should be fine.

When an artist like Sally Mann takes pictures of her own children then we can safely assume that any effect they have is entirely within the viewer. Who would ascribe erotic intentions to a mother looking at and photographing her daughters, right? So, Sally Mann's intention exists wholly within the pornographic viewer, I guess. You should only experience the emotions of the aesthetic. If you look at these images as being sexual and not sensual then you begin to understand what is meant by the definition.

The only monster in any room is always you.

We know a mother is always pure, almost virginal.

I'm preparing a loosely legal, mostly social, argument for a friend. I'm trying to find a safe, responsible way to discuss Hugh Hefner with people under 30. Or, was it Howard Hughes? I forget.

Whichever one objectified, then died - that one.

(Sally Mann)