Category Archives: Culture

Enlightened Culture and the price we must pay

Enlightened Culture and the price we must pay crusade-2-300x225

We have absolutely no hope whatsoever of preventing the climatic catastrophe that is coming. Even were we to stabilise greenhouse gas production at today’s levels, the disaster would still happen. Were we to take them back to the levels of a hundred years ago – impossible anyway— it would still make no difference.

All that we might gain is a decade or two more time. However, we can decide whether our Enlightened Culture will survive, to help us rebuild, or be destroyed. But we must act quickly, for time is running out and we have given the enemy too much already. Continue reading Enlightened Culture and the price we must pay

Cursing and swearing: an art form.

Cursing and swearing: an art form. cursing-and-swearing2-300x210
Art: bluelionness. http://bluelioness.deviantart.com/art/King-Crimson-Album-Cover-113542942

Well, it’s been a fucker of a week, folks. I split up with my girlfriend. That train had already signalled its impending departure though. Also in the Philippines, the Half-Wit Prince has announced his intention to emulate Hitler and murder three million citizens. Hilary Clinton looks likely to be the next President of the Land of Fuckwit, which means we’ll probably celebrate the turn of the decade from a nuclear shelter. In the UK,  Auntie Tess is now showing that she couldn’t organise a piss-up in  a brewery. In France, full denial has broken out as, after all, one must never offend the Islamic rapists and child-shaggers —  in case they take the huff and murder another 100 or so innocent people. And in the latest US-inspired human tragedy, Syria, the body count rises. So I thought I’d do a piece about cursing and swearing.

Because cursing and swearing is something I feel like doing a lot of, right now. Continue reading Cursing and swearing: an art form.

Strömholm’s Beautiful Transsexuals

Strömholm's Beautiful Transsexuals Christer_Stro_mholm_with_Panama_1968
Christer Stromholm with Panama, 1968

Strömholm ‘s Transsexuals: Les Amies de Place Blanche

Christer Strömholm (1918-2002) was ‘the father of Swedish photography’. A talented and influential photojournalist, he favoured direct contact with his subjects. He never ‘stole’ candid pictures and instead always had a relationship of some kind with the person or people he was photographing.

For over a decade, beginning in 1958, Strömholm documented the lives of a group of transsexual women (male-to-female) living in an area of Paris called the Place Blanche. His body of work is remarkable. In 2011 Aman Iman Publishing in Paris republished it as as Les Amies de Place Blanche. The price is a very reasonable 45 Euros. Continue reading Strömholm’s Beautiful Transsexuals

The Man Who Would Be Queen

The Man Who Would Be Queen the-man-who-would-be-queen
This book caused its author, J Michael Bailey, to be accused of child abuse and to receive death threats. Why?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

J Michael Bailey’s seminal book, The Man Who Would Be Queen (TMWWBQ) sparked huge controversy when it was published in 2003. The furore it caused, while small in focus, was spectacular in its incandescent rage at the author. This was categorically different from the conservative reaction to works of other controversial authors like D H Lawrence, or even Vladimir Nabokov’s deeply unsettling study of male attraction to pubescent girls. In those,  the hostility was principally against the work; not so here. It was J Michael Bailey in person who was vilified.

And to cap that, TMWWBQ is not a work of fiction, but of popular science. It is well written, in non-scientific language, is easy to read and deeply sympathetic to its subject. So what on Earth happened, to provoke such a furious backlash? It included entirely spurious attempts to end Bailey’s career, personal slurs and threats of violence against him. His attackers even accused him of sexually molesting his children.

The campaign against Bailey, coordinated by a small group of internet bullies, amounted to nothing more or less than a blatant attempt at censorship associated with a virulent personal attack on the author. It’s time, now, to revisit this book and see why it caused such a storm in a latte cup. Continue reading The Man Who Would Be Queen

Sink the lifeboats.

Sink the lifeboats. lifeboat
Stephen Hawking suggests we should build ‘space lifeboats’ to preserve human culture. Here’s why we should not

In recent months there has been an increasing clamour, from well-meaning individuals all over the globe, to build ourselves some lifeboats. By this I mean, build space-ships that could transport human culture away from the Earth. This would be so that our culture might survive the planetary catastrophe that Stephen Hawking, amongst many others, is certain will happen within the next 1000 years.

The most immediate threats we face, however, are not natural but a direct result of human activity itself: global thermonuclear war and climate change. This has come about, in turn, because of the patriarchal culture that has come to dominate the Earth and humanity. And it is only that, patriarchal culture, the agent of our destruction, that would be preserved by the ‘space lifeboat’ scheme. Only the richest and most powerful would find places and the rest of us would be left to die. The patriarchy would escape.

We do not know when the patriarchy first appeared. Possibly as little as 5000 years ago, possibly 10,000, as the remains at Jericho seem to suggest. Maybe it has always been with us. What we can be absolutely sure of is that it was not alone. Matriarchal culture and Goddess-worship, which posited the spirit of the Earth as the primary deity and women as the centre of culture, was dominant throughout much of the world until around 4,500 years ago. We go into detail about this in ‘Why Men Made God’. Continue reading Sink the lifeboats.