The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade
Perhaps ironically, I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for the Marquis de Sade. I’ve had that cushy special space reserved for him ever since I first discovered who he was, which was around the time I was fifteen and exploring my sexuality textually. He’s one of the few people in history that is actually misunderstood, and that’s not for lack of trying to be understood: he wrote prolifically.
While I’m an existentialist I do hold the fundamental belief that most things in life relate directly back to sex, fetish and the pursuit and eventual fulfillment of that desire. Simply put: the vast majority of the human population wants to be laid and they want to be happy (and there’s nothing wrong with wanting either).
However, by rote of the fact that we cannot change our orientation (the existentialist’s lament that there’s something out of our control) it places limits on existentialism that will forever be outside of the domain of change.
No matter how much we can and do redefine ourselves, the world around us, and how we relate to it and interpret both it and ourselves, the universe does come with some default settings that we don’t have the ability to toy with. However, this hardwiring is also why I believe that human nature – while not necessarily good or evil – attempts to move away from war and towards peace…because in times of peace sexual gratification is easier (war is a very different kind of fetish).
Certainly there have been some great and grand retellings of wars (both non-fictional and fictional) that have been fought for the honor of a lover (The Iliad perhaps the most well known) but for every battle that’s been fought for the heart there’s thousands more that have never been fought on a grand scale, and certainly over the lifetime of our planet millions that have never even shed blood. Perhaps one brave soldier fighting against a windmill as he gets up the courage to fight the spinning dragon and ask the boy out on a date gets a paper cut on his way to hand his heart’s desire a note that he hopes will change the outcome of the rest of his life…but frankly, it’s a lot easier to get laid when you don’t have to worry about the rockets that are flying above you, when you don’t have to worry about where your next meal is going to come from and when you have secure shelter over your head.
“Cool town, evening in the city/Dressing so fine and looking so pretty/Cool cat, looking for a kitty/Gonna look in every corner of the city/Till I’m wheezing like a bus stop/Running up the stairs, gonna meet you on the rooftop”
– Summer in the City
So I am the proud new owner of a C.F. Martin & Co. Backpacker Guitar…apparently it’s a good brand (I know nothing about Guitars…I just know that I want to learn how to play one really well).
I told my Boss today while we were in a meeting about getting Guitar Hero for the office that I bought my Guitar the other day and she asked what brand and I went “C.F. something” and she went “YOUR FIRST GUITAR IS A MARTIN!?” (she plays guitar)…so I guess it’s good. All I know is that it’s the only backpacker guitar that I was able to find, it was on sale, and I’m ready to learn how to jam.
Now before anyone jumps on me and goes “Why in the name of Moses would you ever need Guitar Hero for the office?” it really is a valid purchase. Aside from feeding the hungry, giving condoms to students, hookers, and druggies (and sometimes a student does fall into all three categories) part of my job is student engagement which means bringing students to the office, letting them know it’s a safe space that they can all claim as their own and that the space is there for them to chill out and have their voice heard. It’s a place where they can eat lunch (bring their own or partake of our food if they can’t afford it), where they can take a nap, study torah, not study torah, party, dance, bring their own instruments and make some actual noise or sit and read in quiet, cuddle with friends…and if students want to jam on guitar hero (and we’ve gotten the requests) then guitar hero they’ll have…the only reason we would ever say no to a reasonable request is if we couldn’t afford it…but anything that brings students to the office is a plus in my book…and when they’re done playing Guitar Hero then they’ll help make a sandwich for someone who’s hungry, they’ll wrap tefillin, plant a tree, build a house for someone or do another Mitzvah.
As part of Chai Line we’re also providing free hot chocolate M-F to anyone who needs to warm up a bit. This is in addition to our Matzah Ball Soup program where we deliver free Matzah Ball Soup to the dorm of any student who requests some. I think of all the jobs I’ve ever had, this will be the one I’m most sad to leave.
I also really need to find a successor at the meeting this Sunday to take over my program…I’ve spent a long time creating and developing it…now someone else needs to take the reigns and bring it to the next level.
…I’ll have to go grab some of the Matzah Ball soup myself this week, I’ve seem to have come down with a cold (which is okay, given that it’s my first of the semester and comes with just enough time to get rid of it before Finals).
“Gotta make a move to a/Town that’s right for me/Town to keep me movin’/Keep me groovin’ with some energy/Well, I talk about it/Talk about it/Talk about it/Talk about it/Talk about, Talk about/Talk about movin/Gotta move on/Gotta move on/Gotta move on/Won’t you take me to/Funkytown…”
– Lipps, Inc.
I move to Israel in 26 days…and it can’t come soon enough…I’m tired of the cold wind beating against my skin, whipping past me as I walk to the bus stop each morning and as I walk to my apartment each night…I’m ready for another extreme…a different extreme
I’m ready for an extreme that lets men walk around in next to nothing, letting us extol every sweat glistened muscle rather than forcing people to bundle up…bundling up in layer after layer: starting first with bikini briefs, then boxer briefs, then jeans, then a t-shirt, then a button down shirt, then sometimes a sweater or a hoodie, and then a coat, and then a scarf, and then gloves, and then a hat, and then the hood from the coat on top of that hat…it’s enough to drive any minimalist nuts…too much shit to look after and bring with you everywhere you go so you can be comfortable with the climate as you go throughout your day.
I really need to do the final clean up of my apartment before I move out. My friends come to pick up the last three small pieces of furniture on Saturday…then the only thing that’s left is my Bed, which will go to Charity a few days before I move out.
Zum gali gali
He was a hard-headed man/He was brutally handsome, and she was terminally pretty/She held him up, and he held her for ransom in the heart
of the cold, cold city/He had a nasty reputation as a cruel dude/They said he was ruthless, they said he was crude/They had one thing in common, they were
good in bed/She’d say, ‘Faster, faster. The lights are turnin’ red.”
– Life in the Fast Lane – The Eagles
Today is World A.I.D.S. day.
I went and got HIV tested the other day (I get tested every three months compulsively). I’m negative – not that I was expecting anything different – but there’s no such thing as safe sex…there’s only safer sex.
Not that I’m expecting some kind of party with a banner reading “CONGRATULATIONS, YOU’RE NOT INFECTED!” (what a messed up Carvel cake that would be) but it’s amazing how life circumstances can effect speech…I don’t use the word ‘positive’ anymore in spoken discourse, it’s become a kinehora, a pejorative, something to avoid using regardless of whether it’s in context or not.
I am not one for going to the movies…as a matter of fact, I normally have to be dragged (the fact that I saw Stardust 8 times is nothing short of earth shattering…the only other movie I saw more was Titanic and no I’m not embarrassed to admit it). This also applies to shows. I love reading plays (actually going through the script) but I don’t often go and see them. When Evan had his final exams at New Paltz a couple of years ago I went down and enjoyed the Theatre Departments festivities.
One of the productions was ‘can of soup’ and in a one act play, I saw my worst nightmare (literally): the rich and successful older brother goes to ‘visit’ (read: check up on so he can report back to the family) his younger, AIDS infected, poor, never made it, gay younger brother who lives in the city…his boyfriend dead…leaving him alone.
The theater was dark which I was thankful for, as tears ran down both my cheeks…tears not only because the acting was good (actually, it was fantastic), but because I was thinking of how many time that scene had played out in reality.
A piece of latex saves lives: wear one. AIDS is not curable, but it can sure as hell be prevented. The excuse of “well I have to have fun too” as a reason not to wear a condom is bullshit…and just because it isn’t making headlines the same way it did in the 80s isn’t a good thing…it means we’ve moved from activism to apathy. Fight AIDS, not people with AIDS…but for the love of God…wear a fucking condom.
Thanksgiving & Bed
I’m probably not going to make it to my first class tomorrow (it’s an 8am class) since I’m feeling slow and groggy, but I will make it to campus for Phonetics (we should be getting our grades back on the Spectrographic Analysis which is exciting) and Grammar & Lexicon (less exciting). I have a staff meeting at 3pm and I’m supposed to have dinner with Scott and his Girlfriend since this week Hillel isn’t holding Shabbat Services but we’ll see given that my taste buds are presently on vacation.
I’ll blog about Thanksgiving later :o)