I have to add a note that Dr. Martin did something no other teacher I’ve had did overtly: he made it clear “this is not my everyday personality; this is the one I’ve found students like and learn from the most.” I’d never sensed so well how a clever soul could create and maintain a facade.
As you can tell, very witty, yet made sharp, even corrosive points. One story I remember is that he mentioned learning Elvis Presley songs on acoustic guitar “so young people would trust us at parties.”
One of the most informative and enlightening classes I ever attended.
A nice berserk intro to the Malleus Maleficarum (Hammer of the Witches), which is a really freaky volume worth checking out of the library if you can stand a dip into a world rife with superstitious sexism.
On the demonic flipside, here’s a necklace of human tongues made by Sonnyboy Ed Gein:
My understanding, from the first I began to think about girls as partners, is that affection and love centers on peace and contentment. As many shared worlds as possible. Intimacy is an escape from the anger and jagged tone of the best day-to-day, let alone the worst. It makes you stronger together. There is a huge torrent of art in all media that reflects this.
Of course, there is a smaller, plainly more obsessive, current of art in all media that reflects the opposite. This is all psychopathology on a sliding scale: slap is fun; beat to pulp is fun; strangle is fun; slash and cut to pieces is fun. Touching on this is not wrong, in fact even worldly. Embodying it is different.
If you got intimate violence out there, I don’t want you to have no control over me whatsoever.
Excellent essay on the unavoidable eclipse of “free” journalism. I’ve known this was coming since Amazon devoured Rock.com by starting to sell recordings. I would only add one of the sorriest culture currents I know: deep down, too many people think writing, even journalism, is not real work. As McArdle notes, they have no idea.
When I regularly wrote poems, their beginnings were effortless, pure pleasure. The lines would start blooming in my head and I would write them down soon as possible. Sometimes took two or three sessions to complete a work. I would reread many times and do refinements and revisions, but those first flashes were all fun.
Only got a half-dozen (not-great) poems in the last 40 years. But occasionally a small piece of writing like a caption or a blurb or a short preview will suddenly start flowing out of the tap in my brain. Happened today when I was driving. Had to keep repeating the thing to myself until I could get to a keyboard. But I didn’t mind a whit.