Mar 18, 2014

San Francisco (2) ("Sex im Zeitalter seiner technischer Reproduzierbarkeit")

Right. "Das Kunstwerk im Zeitalter..." Even readers of The New Yorker will know, this was Walter Benjamin. What they don't know, what even I didn't know at the time, I went to school with Walter Benjamin, sort of, in the sense that the house of his (Walter's) parents was located right opposite to my primary school in Grunewald, Berlin, Germany. He was born there. I didn't know since I didn't know about Benjamin at the age of 6 through 11, and because the plaque that informs post-nazi Germany about his birthplace had not been in place so soon after the war.

Walter Benjamin

Reader's of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung will certainly know (about Benjamin), Germany's newspaper of record, although a bit less than the New York Times (the record), because they (the Frankfurters) had been leaning a bit too far to the right (then). They sound more balanced now (the FAZ), (are you still there?) (nice, isn't it, running your own blog, no anal copy editor to deal with), the layout has changed (the FAZ's), and square miles of its tree-based newspaper space are now dedicated to large, pictogrammatical pieces of artwork so that Germany's post-intellectual elite doesn't have to read so much. The German sounds different, too, a bit more modern. What sounds surprisingly old-fashioned is an article in the last weekend edition of the FAZ about sex and the internet. I didn't keep the copy of the paper, so this is from memory (stupid). (See below for more about Ampersant's hyper-parenthesization).

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Listen, there has always been give-and-take between nature and nurture, so nowadays it's between sex and porn, right?

For eons the medical profession denied what everybody else on the planet knew, namely that mosquitoes like sweet blood, that they prefer sweet-blooded victims to other victims to such an extent that your weren't bitten at all if your partner's blood was sweeter than yours. Everybody knew it, except the medical profession, which got called once a year by the editor of the Science/Health page of your newspaper about this and answered without fail: "That's a myth, a myth, a myth, there is no such thing as sweet blood." Until five years ago, that is, when somebody in the medical profession had the brilliant idea to take the term "sweet" metaphorically and, voila, discovered that mosquitoes prefer some of their victims very much to others because of their (the victim's) body odor.

 A picture in need of a capture: Culiseta longiareolata

Along those lines, really. You get it, right? Along those lines, we would have more sex now, and more sex while the light is still on, because of all the inspiring internet sex, but the medical profession (i.e., the FAZ) would deny it.

But that's not quite what happens. Instead, the weekend FAZ reads as if we are back in the 50's. People with privacy-protected a.k.a.s go---finally---after having hyper-masturbated themselves raw because of internet-induced porn addiction---finally---they go on the record and see the sexologist. And the sexologist tells them that's a good thing (them having seen the sexologist), because they need help and therapy and they should talk to the FAZ too. And they doo. Masturbation hangs like a bad cloud over their past & their foreshortened future & over the story in the FAZ & some internet users can't even have proper sex anymore because they've masturbated themselves to death & civilization as we know it will come to cropper & some girlfriends---wives, even---get suspicious and get hold of the password of their boyfriends's computers & are taken aback when "confronted with the extent of their partners's porn addiction" as evidenced by the amount and size and color of the flesh, and the genitals, and the, yak, yak on their partners's hard---spoiler alert---disks. Yak.
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This little post peters out prematurely. So let's reiterate Ampersant's latest find,


Hyper-Parenthesization in The Age of Its Technical Reproducibility,

invented ca. three weeks ago, in Chapter 10 of Part II of the Green Eyes ("A box of sleepy kittens"). Here's a modest sample (this is a chapter in a book for the general public, not for sophisticated blog readers):

The third candidate is Richard Roper. We know this because each candidate was introduced to the crowd, could even say a few words, and because he’s Romeo’s sugar daddy, the black kid that had returned from the trailer under the pretext of buying junk food from Ben and alighted on a folding chair next to Juliette, who then asked more questions. Romeo didn’t say Roper is his sugar daddy, but described him as his trailer-mate, dropped out of school a long time ago (Romeo), and does errands for the guy (Romeo) (Roper), like buying snake oil or not buying condoms because Roper likes it raw, and he hates him (Romeo) (Roper). Despite all this Juliet read a few more lines from Shakespeare’s script, and Romeo answered from his photographic memory. It was prep school in an old-fashioned sort of way, in particular in view of the fact that the girl has completely lost her mind now---yes, Alex interrupts, she has, she put paid to the notion of romantic gravity, 'falling is love’ is so yesterday, not a split second of gravity wasted, nothing to break the fall, boom. Romeo as in Juliet, boom, although that’s not his real name, he made it up on the spot  (we tell you) (Maurice). Would be a nice addition to the play (Maurice suggests), wouldn't it, a touch of old-fashioned self-reference, Romeo’s real name being, say, Rudolph, and then he happens upon Juliet, at the party, and says “call me Romeo” (and boom). He’s disturbed youth, though, tormented one minute and less tormented the next, and gets violent when you say a wrong word, like “boy,” which Juliette did. We managed to calm him down, though, and they are still in love, since Juliette can see beauty in the eye of the beholder. He resembles Ben a bit because he’s black (and beautiful). And when he talks to Ben, Ben talks back like Pogo Possum. Yes, Ben, Luke’s stand-in behind the market stand, you’ve never met (Maurice). The box of kittens is less sleepy now, somebody has heard there’s milk in the fridge, Alex is going to fetch it (“only one beer each”).


Go here for the previous SF-post, and here for the next.

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