Nov 5, 2014

Locker room politics (Tryg Verran) (reblogged)

A Whiter Shade of Pale by Procul Harum was the world n°1 song in 1967 (scroll down for the UTube clip (but not yet)).  Along those lines, this piece by Tryg Verran, here reblogged, is a Paler Shade of Dark, but it's not what you think, despite the misleading, circulation-seeking pictures (which are entirely our fault). Give it a try:



"Peeking man," Pedro Palanca

One of the perks of doing post graduate research here at Birkbeck university is that I have been able to join the University union gym in Bloomsbury. Not only is it a great central exercise space with an Olympic size pool, but it's packed with fresh-faced, lovely students; just to make this absolutely clear,

"Locker room," Paul Cadmus

I HAVE NOT BECOME A LECHEROUS OLD QUEEN AND THIS IS NOT A CASE FOR OPERATION YEWTREE!


True, time spent in the locker room getting changed with the UCL swimming team hasn't escaped my Gaydar, but there is something about listening to their banter that polarizes me. I'm not exactly sure why all of this seems so alien, is it because I'm older? Perhaps it's because I am no longer a full time resident of London? Maybe I am being a little insecure? Whatever the reason, as I eavesdrop their conversations I gleam little comfort from their glistening presence and I am conscious of a division.


"Undressing," Michael Leonard

I bob away completely adrift in an irriguous world of beautiful, slender, muscled physiques from every curve in the world; they are a vibrant testament to their successfully diverse ethnic heritage. There are Chinese guys, Arab guys, Africans, Europeans; all of them well spoken and clearly from incredibly affluent backgrounds. These boys are the real winners of global multiculturalism and of course the only currency that has any currency in their exclusive world is probably the currency of their international currency.


"Brad," David Alan Crumpler

Naturally I detect the vague whiff of subliminal homo-eroticism and nestled even deeper beneath the awkward homophobic jibes and references to latent sexual tension, lies the assurance in their entitled eligibility. They know that London is their playground. They are young, beautiful and more importantly in this town - they are rich.

"A state of undress," Lin Jiu

As I pry into their world, I am struck by an adumbrative silence. I am usually quite outspoken in most situations, yet I cannot quite configure this sensation. They speak with confidence and ease of prospective employment and there are no conditionals in these statements, they have no doubts of their entitlement to privilege. They have unencumbered access. They speak of jobs in accounting, marketing, and media, finance and law. They speak of companies and trans-global invitations and limitless luxury travel across inconsequential borders; however, I am well aware that they too have their insecurities. Yes, I sense that they fear something. I'm not exactly sure what it is. Maybe they worry about their perfectly proportioned bodies, or their clothes, or their hair? Ah yes, I know what it is, deep down they are petrified of saying something inappropriate. Despite having everything that a privileged life can offer, they come across quite dull. They are too safe.

"Caged," Michael Breyette

This is the failure of the academy.
This is the failure of our culture.
We have totally succumbed to the cult of the marketable personality.

"Jesse," David Alan Crumpler

These boys that we have privileged to be the leaders of our future possess a total lack of conviction. Their successes and failures will be personal and financial. They are perfectly aware of their responsibilities, they owe allegiance to no single nation or culture - only their companies and their share holders. All we have taught them is how to hijack the language of ideal utopias and sell our dreams back to us devoid of any agency or substance. We demand to be placated by beautiful people; Which would be fine, if these boys had any conviction beyond personal grooming and the accumulation of wealth.

"Blindman's Bluff," Jack Cowan

The western academy, once revered as one of the most enlightening institutions, merely catechizes glorified systems managers and encourages inoffensive mediocrity.

"Boy," J.J. Kirby

I intentionally use the words 'us' and 'we' because we have encouraged this. I say this is 'our' failure, and I completely stand by that. We have allowed this to happen. We have stood by and watched as our privileged political and economic institutions have traveled the globe and greedily appropriated resources. We did nothing to prevent homogeneous religious and cultural narratives from utilizing the language of progress and compassion to unpick the fabric of convention in every truly diverse community around the world.

"Sitting man," Miguel Angel Reyes

They will inherit the system of their own subjugation. And now of course, unelected and unwarranted, these beautiful men will employ the language of empathy to spread discord and plunder the hopes of our grand children - and we will encourage them. Even though they come from a multitude of ethnic backgrounds, they understand the true bond of kinship and together they speak with one voice, and regardless of the content, we will be transfixed. We will demand that they look good at meetings and that they speak eloquently to the camera while they allay our fears of what we have become.

"The hockey team," Michael Kirwan

It is hardly their faults that they are this unexceptional. We in the academy have presented them with paradoxes and questions without answers, half truths and unquantifiable reasoning that does not stand up to even the most superficial scrutiny. We have given them plurality and insisted upon objectification and critical thinking and all the while they have learned to loathe their fellow men.

"Comparison," Marc De Bauch

This is all our fault.

"Risk more discipline," Drubskin

If I had any courage I would say something, but I don't, just like everyone else I secretly ignore these feelings inside and I cling to the fantasy that they will work for the good of everyone. They look so magnificent, surely we can trust them. I am distracted by the spectacle of their contrived perfection, and I am reluctant to relieve them of their burden or demand they earn their way. I do not point out the resources they have stolen from their kinsmen. No, I say nothing, just like everyone else I am enchanted by their beauty. Indulgently, I bob away completely adrift in an irriguous world of beautiful, slender, muscled physiques from every curve in the world...

You're still with us? Deep, isn't it? We've touched on this before in our posts on the Davos Man, and will come back to this soon.

Okay, here's the clip:

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