Jul 30, 2014

Coming out and of age in China (1) (reblogged)

Cool, folks, cool, the first part of a wonderful story by Massoud Hayoun, an Arab-American who went to China at the age of 19 to learn Mandarin. The piece---originally published by Gawker---is here reblogged with the permission of the author. It will easily count as one of the best examples of gay writing this year...


He would have been my first, I suppose---a Korean student at some other school in Beijing's Wudaokou university district.

I'd met him on a website. You're the first and only person I've ever admitted that to, handsome reader. I suppose I want to feel closer to you.

I was 19, Arab-American, studying Mandarin and poli sci at a Chinese university. I was exceptionally awkward, and still under the impression that no one knew I was gay. They all knew and indulged me my illusions of illusiveness.

(Just an illustration)

He was in his mid-20s. School was hard for him, he said, in our brief chat on a website for gay men in Asia.

I'd heard of a class of Korean students like him---unsuccessful and blowing their family's money away learning Mandarin, while China busily worked itself into the world's second-largest economy. Their parents wouldn't let them come home until they obtained a certificate of completion, and the Chinese universities appeared keen to keep accepting international student tuition fees, even if they were from the same students, year-in, year-out.

He was foreign---not just in the sense that we were of two different nationalities, living in China. He was a bad student, a rich kid, a magnificently athletic loser with a Rocky-like neanderthal chin and tall nose, the kind of man who is called, in Chinese, a baijiazi, a son who spoils his family's wealth. Fresh, preppy. He wore clothes my Chinese friends paid twice as much for at the bazaars: Korean fashion. His man-bag was made of real leather. He was a petit bourgeois; every lock of hair had been calculated and every pore tightened, perhaps surgically, because he had the time, money and inclination. He turned me on.

Jul 29, 2014

The view this morning


The Signalhorn seen from our chalet 

(How to explain this? You've heard of Trotzki vs. Stalin? Along those lines. The snowflakes are fake, but the rest is not. This morning, around 7 AM)

Jul 25, 2014

Gallery (7) (Hideki Koh)



"Les amores Kabuki" Hideki Koh

Gallery (5) --reposted

(Pedro Palanca died yesterday from HIV-related liver complications --- we posted this only 10 days ago:)

"Drinking men," Pedro Palanca
(We asked Pedro about the year of the painting, and the title, and he wrote back: "Oh this one has many titles... but in fact it's about grape distilling (an old fashioned way) to make wine or pisco and it is still practiced (but not so promoted). The piece dates from 1996-1997")

(For more art, go here)

"That's not enough!" (French for beginners)

Please read this...it's only one paragraph  from the London Review of Books connecting our recent Foucault post (by Mr. E.) with our own faux-French background with our quest for happy endings (just so that you know, Alain Robbe-Grillet was the inventor of the nouveau roman)...please read this:

Alain Robbe-Grillet

"By now, most readers in France had ceased to care [about Robbe-Grillet]; even his intellectual champions lost interest, although  [Roland] Barthes stood by him. ‘Transgression’ had come to mean l’écriture féminine and gay erotica; Robbe-Grillet’s hetero-sadist fixations looked decidedly démodé, quite possibly reactionary. (Fredric Jameson wondered whether his books had become ‘unreadable since feminism’.) At the party for  Barthes’s 1977 inaugural lecture at the Collège de France, Foucault confronted Robbe-Grillet: ‘I have told you this already and I will say it again, Alain: when it comes to sex, you are, and always have been misguided!’ Barthes rose to his defence, reminding Foucault that Robbe-Grillet was, at the very least, a pervert. Foucault replied: ‘Ça ne suffit pas!’"

Jul 15, 2014

Gallery (5) (Pedro Palanca)


"Drinking men," Pedro Palanca
(We asked Pedro about the year of the painting, and the title, and he wrote back: "Oh this one has many titles... but in fact it's about grape distilling (an old fashioned way) to make wine or pisco and it is still practiced (but not so promoted). The piece dates from 1996-1997")

(For more art, go here)

Jul 13, 2014

The fountain of Geneva (5) --- "Infinite Jest"

John and Alex, our friends from the Green Eyes, are being told the back story of the Fountain of Geneva, the most phallic object on the planet (in a liquid sense). Hadrian, the visiting Roman emperor (117-138 AD), had to help the Swiss locals deal with a ravaging Nordic tribe, the Muttoni. And he did so, apparently. Richard Zugabe, librarian of the city archives of Geneva, explains how (his last sentence was: "Nothing was ever heard of the Muttoni again.")


Part V --- "Infinite Jest"


There is a silence. “Cool,” Alex says. “You are going to elaborate?”
“I will try.”

“They got OD’d on this Megalo-wine,” I say, “they had no tolerance for the stuff.”
“Right, that would be hypothesis number one. It had been my working hypothesis until I discovered yet another document in the archives with an imperial order issued on the fifth of September of the same year, sending a platoon of Army Engineers across the Passo di Monte Moro into the Saas valley.

Saas valley, including Lake Mattmark, seen from the Passo di Monte Moro

“Hadrian had been given a tour of the place, so you can assume that he was shown Lake Mattmark, a pearl of a mountain lake sitting right above the grounds of the Muttoni settlement.”
“Above the grounds? Above?”
___________________

The ice barrier would collapse and the water would gush down the valley and destroy everything in its path. 
___________________

Gallery (4) (Wes Hempel)

"Triumph over empire," Wes Hempel

(For more art, go here)

Jul 12, 2014

"Mouth open," "motherfucker," "it hurts," "my thighs are apart," FKA Twig --- 2 weeks (Clip)

(This seems to be the thing now. Jezza Smilez has the clip on his site, and so on:) 


(Lyrics)

I know it hurts
You know I’d quench that thirst
(I can treat you better than the)
You say you're lonely
I say you'll think about it
Cause you're the only
One who resonates that chaste, mouth open like (High)

Jul 10, 2014

The fountain of Geneva (4) --- the Muttoni's last meal

John and Alex, our friends from the Green Eyes, are being told the back story of the Fountain of Geneva, the most phallic object on the planet (in a liquid sense). Hadrian, the visiting Roman emperor (117-138 AD), has to help the Swiss locals deal with a ravaging Nordic tribe, the Muttoni. And he does so in a circuitous way. He starts a school for erotic talent, the School of Antinous, named after his late lover. Richard Zugabe, librarian of the city archives of Geneva, tells the story. 

Part IV --- the Muttoni's last meal

“Yes, right. So, Hadrian would inspect his Antinousians lined up and fitted in Praetorian garb---the spectacular helmet with a feathered, Cherokee-like crescent fitted to the top, the breast-plate of chased bronze molded to the perfect fit of toned pecs and rippled abs, the humble belt with a loop for the scabbard and a notch to rest the shield. With the belt coming off everything else would drop, creating a wealth of quick opportunities behind (or in front of) the bushes.

Hadrian and Antinous, British Museum

“Trained personnel would see to the maintenance of the bespoke outfits. Hadrian, by the way, had by now been in residence for several months. His entourage had grown considerably with the addition of specialists from all walks of court life, spokespeople, equerries, not to mention personalized assistants who would handle Antinousian emails.”

“Huh?”

“Just to see whether you are still with me. So Hadrian would now select one or more of his pupils, meaning they were to join him on a dais fashioned for group activity---tiger skins, couches, cushions, ancillary toys---but the account I’m referring to is about a one-on-one from the early days of the program.

___________________

There he stands, naked, his genitals sparkling in the morning sun
___________________

The elected youth, Anaximandrius, takes Hadrian’s hand---it is his task now to seduce the Emperor---and lead him to the dais. He invites Hadrian to recline on a couch, then unties his sword and hands it to his personal assistant. Next comes off the helmet.

Jul 9, 2014

Νικασίτιμος οἶφε Τιμίονα --- Freshly excavated

"Nikasitimos was here mounting Timiona"
(From the Guardian:)

Wild, windswept, rocky and remote, Astypalaia is not an obvious place for the unearthing of some of the world's earliest erotic graffiti.

Certainly, Dr Andreas Vlachopoulos, a specialist in prehistoric archaeology, didn't think so when he began fieldwork on the Aegean island four years ago. Until he chanced upon a couple of racy inscriptions and large phalluses carved into Astypalaia's rocky peninsula at Vathy. The inscriptions, both dating to the fifth and sixth centuries BC, were "so monumental in scale" – and so tantalisingly clear – he was left in no doubt of the motivation behind the artworks.

Jul 7, 2014

The fountain of Geneva (3) --- erotic talent

John and Alex, our friends from the Green Eyes, are being told the back story of the Fountain of Geneva, the most phallic object on the planet, in a liquid sense. Hadrian, the visiting Roman emperor (117-138 AD), has to help the Swiss locals deal with a ravaging Nordic tribe, the Muttoni. And he does so in a circuitous way. He starts a school for erotic talent. Richard Zugabe, librarian of the city archives of Geneva, tells the story. Please note the adult content warning.

Part III --- Erotic talent

“When I said that Hadrian kept his plan secret, I meant he kept his intentions secret; the facts were plainly recorded. He put an empire-wide call out for, let me concentrate, let’s get this verbatim, for the primum proelium ego ingenium venereae.”
“Huh?”


Publius Aelius Hadrianus Augustus (Hadrian), Palazzo dei Conservatori, Capitoline Museums.

“I-have-erotic-talent, roughly. You’ll see soon. The call was a big success, the emperor calls upon the youth of the nation, what do you expect, most Roman careers involved the casting couch. So he held his own talent show---even women were admitted in the audience---first to filter for physical features, then to identify sexual prowess, then to select the sensual few. Hadrian had a sensual soul, and he yearned for reciprocity.
___________________

These boys were not for one night, mind you; to complete the program they had to get laid for several months.
___________________


These boys were not for one night, mind you; to complete the program they had to get laid for several months. His final selection comprised exactly fifty specimen of the finest proto-erotici ever gathered in one place.”

“Wow,” I say.


Water pistols are awsome (Chang)

Jul 5, 2014

Jul 1, 2014

Sirrr --- we told you so (Iraq war)

(Letter to The Economist)

Sirrr:

We sit on the lavatory where we tend to read your "newspaper" ever since you supported George W. Bush's invasion of Iraq, and---we can't trust our eyes, it's not possible, yes, let's have a third look---and you are writing elliptically in your edition of June 14, on page 11 in the European edition:

"No doubt, his [Obama's] predecessor's decision to go to war---which we mistakenly backed at the time---was a disaster."

Right, one would say, wouldn't one.

As far as I recall, you continued to justify your backing of the war for years and years---the last attempt to do so appeared ca. two years ago on your opinion pages---so perhaps you might find the space to elaborate what finally made you change your mind. The Iraq war was destined to be, as for example Barack Obama, or President Jaques Chirac, or many others---including yours truly---did tell you then, in advance, just putting one and one together, the war was destined to be a mayor mistake with foreseeable consequences, destabilization of the Middle East, strengthening of Iran, senseless squandering of taxpayer's money, senseless squandering of human life, we told you, we told you, we told you so.  

You are co-responsible for this...

 

The world soccer (football) cup and us (and our dentist)

Its always thus: while Bernard-Henri Lévy (don't ask, or google "pictures of French Intellectuals"---they are all his), so while Lévy and Dominique Strauss-Kahn (the IMF chief who fell onto his penis over a few sexual minutes in his Hotel Suite) are "good friends" who "know each other well," us---we only know the concierge of Michel Foucault, the other French intellectual, the guy who died an early AIDS-death in 1985. And even that isn't true (we don't know the concierge, that is).


Along those lines. We never met Sepp Blatter, the much-discussed head of the FIFA, the organization that runs the world soccer cup. BUT---we know his brother, almost. Have a look at this picture.


We took the picture this morning on the way to the dentist. It's a car dealership, located at the entrance of Visp, the nearest town from us down in the Valais valley. The home town of the Blatter clan.The Blatter AG, you see it? On the sign, to the left. That Blatter's brother, and we almost know the guy because they also have a car-wash where we have our car cleaned irregularly. Cool, isn't it.


And the dentist. Lives in nearby Naters (picture (this morning)). Don't get jealous. We've added a bit magenta to the picture. The real colors are less picturesque.

«Amis pédophiles, à demain!» (reposted)

Nikolas Sarkozy, former French president, was arrested yesterday for money laundering.

Remember our post of Nov. 23, 2010 about the then-French-president Nikolas Sarkozy and billionairess Liliane Bettencourt? He're the post again:

The French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, to journalists, in response to questions about his role in the Karachi affair (one of countless French scandals involving money being redirected into the coffers of the governing party):

Nicolas Sarkosy
«Et vous, j’ai rien du tout contre vous. Il semblerait que vous soyez pédophile… Qui me l’a dit? J’en ai l’intime conviction (…) Pouvez-vous vous justifier?».

(Translation: And you? I've nothing against you. It looks like you are pedophile. How do I know? I'm thoroughly convinced. Could you please justify yourself.)

Then he waved goodbye to the journalists with the words:"«Amis pédophiles, à demain!»

Celebrity deficiency?

Not famous enough? Go public with your ménage (à trois):