Saturday, May 17, 2014


Sexual intercourse began
In nineteen sixty-three
(which was rather late for me) -
Between the end of the "Chatterley" ban
And the Beatles' first LP.
~ old dragon  by Larkin

"I believe in the sun, even when it's not shining.
I believe in love, even when I feel it not.
I believe in God, even when He is silent."

But, Lord, do not be silent or allow us to be deaf...

Image by Vali Myers
I am in Prague, eating dumplings and readingGraham Greene. That is an obvious sentence because, what else would one be doing in Prague and also, one should always be reading Graham Greene, so. I am aware, though, that I am in Prague 19 years too late for that to be interesting.
(Not only do the wonderful people at Deutsche Bahn get you to and from places in Europe cleanly and efficiently, their staff includes people who will sit next to you on the bus and tell you things about the Kingdom of Bohemia, which is pretty special.)
While I'm here, Bookslut is brand new, and it's a pretty great issue. We have a piece on the artist Vali Myers, alongside a call for a radical wing of feminism, by Valerie Solanas's biographer Breanne Fahs:

Something has to radicalize you; something has to push you toward that as a political solution or identity. Valerie Solanas didn't want to be a feminist, I think, because the early feminist movement was plagued with liberal sentiments and ideologies. Early NOW did not want to deal with 'the personal is political' (a phrase which came later in relationship to radical feminism) and issues of sex, marriage, the money system, and so on; they wanted to petition and lobby and make incremental change. They were liberals, and Valerie despised liberalism. As Valerie wrote, 'If SCUM ever marches, it will be over the President's stupid, sickening face; if SCUM ever strikes, it will be in the dark with a six-inch blade.' We can read this as literal, or as a sort of mentality, a position from which she is arguing that we can't just preserve the status quo by asking for 'equality'; we have to destroy the foundations of inequality. There's a difference, and it's something we as feminists today still don't deal well with. We are very interested in what I call 'PR feminism,' a sanitized, nice, friendly, happy version of feminism that relies upon assimilation, liberalism, and openness. Valerie called it a 'civil disobedience lunch club.' While I do believe that principles of connection, friendship, and even love have a place in the feminist movement, I also believe that radical social change requires us to question everything, down to the level of how and why we connect with others, how we understand the category 'women' at all, how we imagine a place for outrageousness.
Speaking of being radicalized, this week I'll be serializing an interview I conducted with Bruce Benderson about his book Against Marriage. Prepare to be outraged.
And as the Daphne Award deliberations continue, The Forgotten Twentieth Century column talks to itself about The Sailor Who Fell with Grace from the Sea. (I'd be most likely to be found under the "Skeptic" half of that conversation.)
As always, there's lots more.