Thursday, May 31, 2012

Necrophilia -- Not that there’s Anything Wrong With That

It is a lifestyle choice like any other.
Particularly savory when combined with cannibalism -- a very personal choice of cuisine.
Who are you to say that your lifestyle is better?

The porn star and the body parts:

My lifestyle is *my* business -- defend a Paraphiliac's Right to Choose

[Pour plus d'informations: ]

In a  langorous  lifestyle interview, Magnotta called himself “a people person”, and scolded society for its prejudice against “male escorts” (he-whores):

Naked man chows down on derelict’s face:
And his mom protests that he's a good boy and should not have been shot before he'd finished his meal;  the officer should rather have inquired politely, "Would you like fries with that?"

And, of course, the classic, by which all other entries are measured:

Here's looking (right straight) at *you*, kid.

(The connection between anthropophagy and certain other paraphilias  is not new: cf.

This message paid for by the People’s LGBTQN Coalition.


And now this.  More ipsigeneric gourmandizing:  In Baltimore, African immigrant kills another African immigrant, eats his heart and brains:

Such acts are purveyed as hip fantasies by the deranged culture of Hollywood:

Overlong, overcrowded, overstimulating and with an over-the-top performance by Charlize Theron as the evil queen Ravenna, the movie is a virtual orchard of toxic excess, starting with the unnecessarily sprawling cast of characters.
Why is this movie even called “Snow White and the Huntsman”? As the man sent to capture Snow White (Kristen Stewart) and bring her back so that Ravenna can chow down on the heroine’s still-beating heart -- ewww, by the way -- Chris Hemsworth is no more important to the story than, say, the queen’s creepy brother

Viewers can enjoy other same-sex intimacies as well:

Ravenna’s beauty regimen involves bathing in milk as thick as latex paint, and sucking the youth out of young women’s mouths, like a Dementor from “Harry Potter”

Not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course, as the New York Times dutifully informs us:

The evil stepmothers of the past have been monsters of self-generating female narcissism, but Ravenna seems to be a woman with a legitimate grudge against a male-dominated world of sexual violence and patriarchal entitlement.

Oh -- well then!  Bon appetit!

[Update]  Further Hollywood fingerprints on this:

The Montreal body parts murder seems a ghoulish case of death imitating art, with weapon, setting, actions and even specific words by alleged killer Luka Rocco Magnotta mimicking those of a popular Hollywood thriller from 1992.
In the Oscar-winning movie Basic Instinct, starring Michael Douglas and Sharon Stone, the film starts with a graphic sex slaying, where the victim is bound to a bed in the killer’s bedroom, the two have sex and then the victim is vividly killed with an ice pick. Later, the killer, Ms. Stone’s character, says: “Killing isn’t like smoking. You can stop.”
In the graphic real-life video slaying, the victim, Lin Jun, is bound to a bed in a Montreal bedroom while he is sexually assaulted and then vividly stabbed repeatedly with an ice pick. Earlier, in a letter, the wanted fugitive Luka Magnotta in the case said: “Killing is different than smoking… with smoking you can actually quit.”
In a further similarity, while the Montreal murder seems to imitate the movie plot, the suspect in the movie, who is a crime novelist played by Ms. Stone, attracts the attention of police because her slaying imitates a murder described in one of her novels.

And here as well:

[Update]   Good lord, it gets worse:
"The Freshman" (1990) was an excellent, unjustly neglected movie.  It had a somewhat similar, flamboyant theme.  But it pales beside the reality.
There are no depths to which the paraphiliacs and their fey groupies will not sink.
There is no bottom to this bucket;  it goes straight down to Hell.

This is not an isolated aberration.  Such toadstools thrive in the poisonous soil of the decadent entertainment industry:

Si fait.  La culture est pourrie:
Luka Rocco Magnotta a un fan club. Des blogueurs vouent un véritable culte au désormais célèbre « démembreur ».

*     *    

Tired of marinating in a rehash of such squalid shenanigans?
Then bail out and read something timeless instead:
(For those not opting to do so --
We now return you to the folly of life here below.)

*     *     *

[Update Oct 2012]  More on the wonderful world of male models here:

[Update 27 Dec 2012]  And now this:

Had enough?  No?  Then you'll keep taking it.,0,846175.story

At this point, it is not so much a slippery slope, as a slippery cliff.

[Update Oct 2013]  Further cinematic fascination with cannibalism:

[Update Dec 2013]  In view of recent events (which must go unnamed), we must concede and confess that there is nothing anyone has a right to say against the, mm, innovative cuisine choice of the Japanese chef;  nor  the creative foreplay (or afterplay:  some of it pre-mortem, some of it post-) of the Montreal charcutier.  To do so would be mere bigotry.  All Is Permitted, when Lord Satan holds sway.   For details of our Non-Comment, click here:

Life-Cycle of a Lion

sleep, kill, eat;
sleep, kill, eat;
…   mate …
sleep, kill, eat; …  …..  ………

(Life could be worse...)

Life-Cycle of a Hamster

  (look cute)

Morality and mindlessness

Today’s headline in the Washington Post:

Appeals court rejects Defense of Marriage Act
Federal appeals court says law discriminates against married gay couples

I’ll not say a word here for or against homosexual marriage: that is a matter for moral reasoning, personal preference, legislation, etc., not for a logician.   But it does fall within our purview to observe that the wording above is absurd, and a travesty of law.   Legislate for gay marriage if you wish, fine;  but to justify overturning existing law with such paltering tergiversation as that above, is to degrade your legal, moral, and linguistic understanding.

In exactly the same sense:
=> Laws against incest “discriminate against” married brother-sister pairs.
=> Laws agains polygamy “discriminate against” plural marriage.
=> Laws against bestiality “discriminate against” anyone who wishes to wed his pet goat.   (That last is no satire;  such things have happened.  One woman actually “married” the Berlin wall.)
=> Laws against burglary "discriminate against" burglars.
And so on.
An elementary logical point, but one increasingly beyond the grasp of an infantilized electorate.


See the Comments section below for Dr Massey’s thoughtful reply.
Yet I must observe that, strictly, he is changing the subject -- or rather, introducing a subject, since my original point, being strictly one of logic, was (as such and eô ipsô) independent of any particular subject-matter (in particular, of anything to do with sex per se).   The point concerns legal and moral reasoning; if we go wrong there, then we shall err in any particular case as well.

The point was first brought home to me in John Searle’s ethics class, at Berkeley, lo these many years ago.    The Right being considered on that day was not Marriage, but Free Speech.    Professor Searle wished to clear up the confused thinking that says, say, that banning or restricting access to movies that wallow in romanticized paraphilia is Censorship (bad);  likewise when a government, while nowise banning certain art, declines to continue to subsidize it (bad, very bad);  whereas mulcting someone for falsely crying “Fire!” in a crowded theatre  is no infringement upon the sacred and intangible Right to Free Speech.
“What I want to say is” (said Searle, in characteristic phrasing) “that of course it’s an infrigement upon Free Speech -- a limitation of its exercise.  It simply happens to be one which, when all the countervailing factors are considered,  society has decided to approve.”

In similar fashion, various societies at various times may decide to infringe Free Speech by crimping treasonable speech, slander, blasphemy, "speaking evil of the dead" (a law of Solon) or incitement to riot.


Consider, further, this, from this morning’s New York Times:

Once again, it is no part of my brief, in this thread, to comment on the ins and outs, the whys and wherefors of public financing of education, let alone upon The Idea of a University and beyond.   But simply to point out that the following two quotations (from different public figures) that appear uncommented in the article, are in fact in direct contradicition:

“This is the code red we’re in,” he said. “We’re not cutting into muscle or tissue, we’re cutting into artery.”
 “Like anything in California, the delivery of higher education is not performance based. They’ve created new campuses and programs based on politics and not need.”

The former quote is rhetorically arresting, ratcheting the usual metaphor of “by now we’re not cutting fat, we’re cutting muscle [or bone]” up one eye-catching notch.  But the second quote suggests that there is in fact plenty of fat, and that if the surgeon is hacking up arteries, he must be impaired.

Note that, in the Labels section below, you will not find either “sex” or “education” (subjects on which we have elsewhere explicitly blogged), since this particular post concerns neither.


Or indeed, this, from the radio, just a moment ago.   (This sort of  offense against logic and bare empiricism  goes on all the time, all the time.  Mostly we filter it out;  but having just posted the above, my antennae were up.)

Husni Mubarak has just been sentenced to life-imprisonment.  The gravamen of the charges against him:  having ordered his security forces to fire on the Tahrir Square protestors with live ammunition.
Now NPR reports the same story but saying that the core of the case was that Mubarak “failed to stop the killing of protestors”.

Well, so failed we all.   -- Wipe from your mind all political preferences in this particular case, and notice the rank contradiction between the two characterizations.  
The former version of the charges is narrow;  the analogue might apply to President Hoover and General MacArthur for their assault upon the Bonus Army in 1932;  under the broader, we might all be in the dock.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Overdue Notice … It Tolls for Thee

Back in my day, we were  as children  given very strict instruction in Library Etiquette.   No more would you raise your voice in that sanctum, in infantile mirth, than you would in church, or at a funeral.   Books were to be returned unharmed and on-time;  the concept of the Overdue Library Book was our first introduction to the notion of having a sin on one’s conscience.
The situation is somewhat reminiscent of that prevailing during Freudian/Victorian times, when children were subjected to overly-strict toilet-training, with odd and lasting consequences. 

In the current issue of The New Yorker,  in a typically witty review of the new movie “Moonrise Kingdom”, Anthony Lane writes, of a couple’s mad romantic encounter, before they go off on their great adventure:

Now they come face to face once more -- Sam with his canoe, gun, tent, and all-around scouting skills;  Suzy with her library books  and a cat in a basket.  [dbj: BTW, note the Harry/Hermione motif].  His most urgent concern, obviously, is the books:  “Some of these are going to be overdue.”

I totally get that.

Posts related to language

Lore for word-lovers:

The analysis of meaning:

How to pronounce things:

Word origins:



Translating from one language to another:

The scientific study of language:

Voters are Demanding Answers

* By this point  it is pretty much universally acknowledged, by men and women of good sense, that Mitt “Mitt” Romney is actually Black.  (WDJ was the first to break this story;  we proved these startling assertions here.)
But what voters want to know is:    Why do you not more publically celebrate your African heritage,  hmm, Guv’nor?

* The press has been notably reticient about probing into the dark corners of the former moderate’s love-life.  But voters want to know:   Just what were you doing in that motel room with the capybara, hmm, Guv’nor??

* Some guy on the Internet  claims you’re a Space Alien.  Now what do you say to that, hmm, Guv’nor ??!??!

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~ Commercial break ~
We now return you to your regularly scheduled essay.

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[Linguistic note:  We are not here using the term “Guv’nor” with any reference to Mr Romney’s previous employment in the State of Massachusetts.  Rather, we are using it in the Cockney sense, just to be snarky.]

Monday, May 28, 2012

Alter Ipse Amicus

There once was a woman  I loved too much.
She was  a Christian -- which was good -- and I, not yet:  which may in part explain (while it does not excuse) my foolishness.

Anyhow.  She recommended a book, A Severe Mercy, by Sheldon Vanauken.  I didn’t enjoy it much, as it turns out;  the recommendation is not transitive;  but it does make one valid and important point:  that self-exalting mutual infatuation, however auto-romanticized, is at odds with the Scheme of Things.

To be another’s all-in-all  is a sort of category mistake -- to borrow the terminology of the philosophers.   More simply:  Your relation to another need be as the lower nodes of an isosceles triangle, the vertex being the Maker of you both.  (The point is intended to be more logical than religious, and perhaps could be phrased in a different way.)

C.S. Lewis (Vanauken’s penpal) made a similar point, regarding the more basic relation of friendship:  This should be founded, not upon gazing into each other’s eyes, but in sighting along converging parallax, upon some external thing.  We spot the same Truth, and explore it together.

The Malian Candidate

They can dish it out, but they can’t take it.
Now that the Obama campaign has picked up on some of the same anti-Bain talking-points that the Republican candidates happily trotted out during the primary, they are squealing like stuck pigs.   One of them, after emitting some gassy platitudes on NPR, was confronted by the interviewer, quoting back to him statements made by the former candidate and by his campaign manager, very similar to what he was now denouncing as scandalous excess.  “I can’t be held responsible for what my campaign manager says,” was all his retort.  This takes Deniability to a new level (and would, indeed, exonerate Obama, since the statements being objected to generally emanate from others than himself).  There is only one level beyond that:  “I can’t be held responsible for what I said five minutes ago.”  Oh wait -- one more:  “I can’t be held responsible for what I am saying right now.”

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~ Commercial break ~
We now return you to your regularly scheduled essay.

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Now, a sense of proportion.  (And here we refrain from advocacy, and merely ply the tools of logic.)   Though subject to empirical constraints, one’s position on Bain is ultimately a matter of opinion, influenced by necessarily fallible technical analysis,  weightings of various pieces of evidence using a metric not logically given in advance, and by unshared tacit assumptions, so that reasonable men may differ.  Thus, if  for you  workers are just a cost-input like fuel costs or bribes/campaign-contributions, your calculus will produce a different evaluation-measure when these workerunits are excessed (or, more efficiently, recycled as fuel), than if you hold some other assumption quite at variance with Romneyesque principles -- say, that workers are actual people.   About such essentially irresoluble differences,  the World of Dr Justice shall, in its above-the-fray objectivity, have nothing to say;  “de gustibus”, as the Latin has it (or: de minimis, per Mitt and Newt).  But, note:   Wherever you may happen to stand on that spectrum, the debate at least takes off from a matter of shared admitted fact:  Bain Capital does exist, did do various things, and Romney ran it.

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~ Commercial break ~
We now return you to your regularly scheduled essay.

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Such empirical tethering has traditionally not restrained the Republicans -- the party of Birthers and Swift-Boaters, and the whisperers that Obama is a Muslim.    The analogy to those campaigns would not take as its starting-point  something so mundane, and subject to fact-checking, as Mr Romney’s business history.   It would make something up out of whole cloth, something that would stick in the craw of the American electorate; like, say, whispers to the effect that Mitt Romney is …  a Mormon.
No wait -- he is a Mormon, and the Dems haven’t made an issue of it.

Face it, the ‘crats just plain lack imagination, and are chutzpah-challenged to boot.   Accordingly, and as a public service, the World of Doctor Justice has confected a richly detailed parallel universe  in which all sorts of bizarre factoids about abu-Mitt al-Romni  are available for your perusal and review.  Begin the adventure here:

Here further are some late-breaking nuggets from our research department:

*  Mitt Romney is not an American, but was born in Azawad.  This is clearly stated on the Moebius Form of his birth certificate.

* Back in kindergarten, young Romney was sent to the principal's office... on a charge of treason !!

*  Continuing a long American tradition of such innuendo, in South Carolina in 2000, the Bushies ran a whispering campaign against John McCain, alleging that he had fathered a black child.  Well, we’ll see your bet and bump the pot: 
Mitt Romney is in fact black.  Appearances to the contrary  are just a trick of light.

The World of Dr Justice:
Truthitude U Can Trust ®

[Mise à jour ] Pour plus d’information sur la négritude du candidat Républicain,
cliquez ici:

[Update 29 V 2012]  Nothing in satire can be as biting as the reality:
This ... man ... is ... scum.

[Update 13 June 2012] Know him by the company he keeps:
You just can’t make this stuff up.


Sunday, May 27, 2012

Word of the day: “cisgendered”

I used to keep a list of things like acoustic guitar when I came across them -- neologisms necessitated by intervening inventions, a roundabout way of designating what was once taken for granted and named with a single word.   These came to be dubbed “retronyms” -- a happy coinage.  For example:

Timothy Noah, Slate 12 II 01: "The New Yorker gives online readers more than half the contents of the current issue, which we must now refer to using the retronym "print issue"."

Since the immortal god Wikipedia has a very good list of such things, I’ll let this collector’s hobby drop, and refer you to theirs:

Even so, there is a distinction to be made  that Wiki does not draw:  namely, between
(1) coinages <X Y>, designating what used to be called <Y> simpliciter, and where <X> supplies appropriate semantic differentia.  These are the commonest: wired phones/corded phones/landlinesFrench franc; etc.
(2) coinages where the <X>, in its original sense (the sense it still had when it was applied to form the new <X Y>), seems truly redundant, logically applying even to the newly invented object from which our Y is being distinguished.  Thus, unless it is a fake stage-prop, a guitar is necessarily “acoustic”, i.e. ‘emitting a sound’;  this applies quite as much when the sound emitted by the guitar is electrically amplified.  Or again: eating apple.  As opposed to what, Lord help us?  To baking apple, it turns out;  but of course you eat these too, once they come out of the oven.
(This category is psychosocially poignant, as it shows folks confronting new distinctions, not intersective-analytically, but naively, in their linguistic overalls.)

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~ Commercial break ~
Relief for beleaguered Nook lovers!
We now return you to your regularly scheduled essay.

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Two new ones, not yet listed in Wiki: 

* p-book, with “p” from “print”;  as opposed to e-book.
* cis-gendered, as opposed to trans-gendered.  (The cis-vs-trans terminology stems from chemistry.)  In time, no doubt, we’ll have to check this off  as a box on official application-forms.   Along with many another as-yet-undreamt, as each new paraphilia lobbies its way into state-directed establishment.
Note:  You might expect that heterosexual was itself a retronym, but it seems to have been coined in tandem with homosexual, in 1892. (Source: Webster's Collegiate.)

On the horizon (you heard it here first):  disgendered, denoting the latest fad in paraphilias; learn all about it here.

Biblical Minimalism

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Route 66

(Episode 1)

  “How’s your lip?”
  “I been hit hahdah by deames.”

Amazingly enough, it turns out  Buz Murdock and Michael Murphy  attended the same, mm, Prep School:  the St. Francis Home for Foundlings.
Details here:

Found monostichs

Inadvertent monostichs (being sentence-fragments, though otherwise unedited save for spacing):

a row of stolid Frisians on the quay
-- Erskine Childers, Riddle of the Sands (1903)

Through that  window   the yellow sun
-- J. P. Donleavy, The Ginger Man (1955)

Disaster came faster  than the French could comprehend.
-- Wm Shirer, The Nightmare Years (1984)

[For more on "found monostichs", click here:  ]

Friday, May 25, 2012

We Protest !!

Freedom-loving peoples of the freely independent Populo-Islamic Republic-cum-Emirate of free & independent Azawad

Abu-Emo:  "We jihadis have feelings too!"

PROTEST against the crude and satirical portrayal of our independently freedom-loving land, thinly disguised as “Wadiya”, Africa, by the evil Baron known as Sasha Cohen.   Here the Baron says mean things, many of which are only part-way true.  "C-4"  Ur Self!  Come vacation in People’s Azawad -- Land of the Free!

[Update 14 June 2012]  Bad actions by evildoers threaten peaceable peace-loving peoples of freedom-loving Azawad!
Bad, bad -- very bad !!

Coincidence? We Think Not.

Time to pay the Verizon bill.
I noticed I had reached number “666” in the check register.
Ha!  Totally appropriate.

[For more on the Mark of the Beast, click here:

Monday, May 21, 2012

Evening on a Balcony at Woods-Edge

Reading… the light fading…
but a breeze has sprung up;  I cannot bear to go back inside.

And so shall sit, till the text fades,
and each bird returns  to its nest  for the night.

Unto Thee I commend my spirit.
Lord, I stand braced for Thy breeze.

 I wrote that yesterday evening.  And later, in the leaden, deadened waste-hours in the armpit of night, had  apparently  some sort of cardiogenic event. 
When such things actually happen, it is often nothing like the vespertine calm of awaiting quietus, depicted in the poem.  Turns out I couldn't even recite any traditional set-text prayers -- more like just, "God, get me outa this."  You’re sick and shivering and you feel like hell.
Oh well.]

More Musical Meta

By chance, I heard on the radio, an interview with JD McPherson, together with a sample of his singing. 

He basically re-plows the furrow of rhythm & blues, but with a scholar’s exactness;  and he channels his black masters (this Oklahoma whiteboy) with impeccable intelligence and artistry.   His delivery matches that of any of them;  albeit, half a century too late.

What caught my attention, though, was the title of his album:  “Signs & Signifiers”.  Anyone who has ever attended an MLA convention  will instantly recognize this phrase as semiotic ingroup-speak.  Thus, more than merely retro, his exhuming, or re-imagining, is itself an exercise in meta, or even faux-naif.

Sunday, May 20, 2012


“It” is?  What is??

-- Aah-ha!  That’s just what they want you to ask.

Click here… if you dare…

The only known photograph of Riemann-conspiracy mastermind Aloysius Tychonoff

FLASH/CRITIC: The Latest from Thomas Friedman

On the front page of the Review section of this morning’s New York Times, deep-thinking globe-trotting glad-handing pundit Mr. Thomas L. Friedman, reports that he (and I quote) has “spent the last week traveling to two of America’s greatest innovation hubs -- Silicon Valley and Seattle”.   He further reports -- and this may be a cause for some concern among his numerous fanbase -- that the trip (again, we reproduce his exact words) “left me feeling a combination of exhilaration and dread.
Hopefully more of the former than the latter, eh, Tom?

Note:  For those of you  who for some reason  failed to receive your copy of today’s NYT at the end of your driveway (paper-boy off smoking dope, no doubt), be of good cheer:  You didn’t really miss anything.  Tom’s column today was basically the same as the one last week, which in turn closely mirrored the one from the week before that.
Sort of like "Beetle Bailey", really.


[Update 27  May 2012]  In this morning's op-ed in the New York Times,  Tom brings us up to date on the latest developments in his personal emotional life.  The piece opens:

"During a recent discussion in Seattle with a group of educators, one of them surprised me ..."

Life is just full of surprises, eh, Tom?



A gander, full of the sap of spring, spies a remarkably fine goose, with a well-turned ankle-spindle and an inviting eye; and proposes that they unite their fortunes, and set up housekeeping.  She consents.  Then Pan, unseen yet sensed, solemnizes their union; and for a brief instant their tiny brains like precious eggs atop their stalks of necks, resound to a prayer of thanksgiving and petition, for goslings – goslings! -- fluffy precious paddling appealing goslings, so sequent behind the pair now fairly bursting with gratitude and pride. 
They are fallen, as Nature herself fell, when her copestone tumbled mightily, by the serpent beguiled; yet they recall as if remembering Eden, when a strong sun shone on such pinions as line the wings of seraphim, and where their wedded fidelity and parental care  were a jewel in the unfallen firmament.
            So now, amid a world of mud, of reeds and weed-thick ponds, and drifting logs, they patiently recapitulate what little they recall, of flight before the fall.

+ + +


It is spring, and God's new handiwork stands unveiled.  He blesses the ducks with ducklings, the geese with goslings, each after their kind.  There is plenty to eat for everyone; no-one is trying very hard, mostly paddling about and enjoying the sun.  The river flows in its appointed bed, plants cast the shadows that are natural to them, laying lacy silhouettes across the stream.
A wedded pair stand on a bank, dainty-ungainly, distant image of their maker; well content, surrounded by their offspring, who stalk like kiwis among the swamp cabbage, as though on an Easter-egg hunt. The swift wings busily, spreading the news, with its unmistakeable cry, "praise-HIM, praise-HIM!"