Archive for feminism

29 April 2013: repaired my dongle by myself! Yay for me!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on April 29, 2013 by spinoza1111

Back up 24/7.

Got Netvigator service working again on the right dongle & correct SIM card simply by means of a systematic test in which I tried combinations of SIM card and dongle to find that the black dongle with no cap and sim #1036 seems now to work. So my offline adventure with more time for books (dead tree books and offline Gutenberg texts and PDFs) and my drawings of grand-children ends: need to consciously take time away.

I just sat down, metaphorically since I’m in a hospital bed, and in a written systematic way tried different combinations. The only remaining puzzle is why the nonproprietary Huawei dongle won’t work since these are dirt cheap and if they only worked I could acquire ten of them as backup to my working, Netivigator dongle. These things have an unfortunate tendency to get bent since the dongle sticks out in a uniquely clumsy, bad design. Obviously, the dongle and its wiring should bend to the right and be flush with the side of the computer. Yes, this would potentially block USB or other ports but the Air and the Powerbook have few and you could always use the port closest to the end.

To avoid bending, all I can do is try like crazy not to lose the cap, another profound design flaw; the cap is designed to be lost since you must take it off the dongle. Boring people don’t lose these caps; exciting, artistic, creative people, who live in the heart of a maelstrom, do lose them; the Apple lesson being, design for the latter and let boring people buy PCs and do the many boring things that need to be done to make PCs work. You buy an elegant machine but for 24/7 internet access you have to get something ugly. Apple’s next generation’s designers should realize that wireless has failed, owing to the “free market”, to deliver on its promise, at least in Asia: its city-states won’t provide a sheltered free internet universally available, and at all locales except the library (where the service is admirable) the free service is stomped out by the monopolist, rent-seeking pigs at PCCW. So you give them your money ($1000 HKD per month!) and support that which you hate.

I don’t see any alternative being a newly handicapped person with a left leg possibly permanently wither’d up, a left leg that

…Is, like a blasted sapling, wither’d up:
And this is Edward’s wife, that monstrous witch,
Consorted with that harlot strumpet Shore,
That by their witchcraft thus have marked me.

Shakespeare, Richard III

I rely on the Internet much, much more than when I could run about Hong Kong.

Here comes congee (watery today but with nice multi-grain chunks of rice): time indeed to start Timon of Athens in my Shakespeare re-read on dead trees, a collected works which is falling apart since I’ve been reading it in bed.

Lower pain and more flexibility. Doctor impressed with the speed at which I sit up and slither around the bed because I’ve preserved midsection strength. Far more than sexual vanity, “six packs” were for Bruce Lee a fundamental source of POWER.

In the Grand High Shakespeare Re-Read, finished Coriolanus, started Timon of Athens. I was profoundly mistaken in an earlier post concerning the authorship of Timon. It was a collaboration between Shakespeare and his most talented co-author, Thomas Middleton.

I’ve been informed, more than once, in our small but active Shakespeare community here in Hong Kong, that Shakespeare was a collaborator first and foremost but as I’ve said, he was nothing of the sort until his crisis of the turn of the 17th century: financial issues, his relationship with Anne Hathaway and perhaps a delayed reaction to the loss of his son which occurred in 1596.

The downfall of the Author engineered by modern criticism including feminist criticism (something I enthusiastically read, and support) unfortunately dovetails with the rage in the corporate world to destroy our individuality, especially as a male individuality, by making us into “team workers” in a way that finds the male ego an obstacle…as if there’s no such thing as the female ego (hah!) and as if the feminist programme weren’t precisely the flowering of a previously subalterned female ego to bring it up alongside that of the alpha male. Of course, this leaves the Platonic-Huxleyan ordering of society into Guardian-Alphas, Warrior-Betas, and so on, unchanged but most scholars, feminist or otherwise, seemed to have missed this, lacking the cultivation to apprehend Huxley and Plato in the same breath. This is despite the fact that Huxkey had this, apprehending himself and reading Plato in the original.

That is (das ist). The male experiences feminism’s business end in the corporation because certain feminisms help the bottom line.

I’m serious, for I encountered a pre-feminist situation in the 1970s in corporate software (helping develop the first mobile phone at Motorola, modifying operating systems at Standard Oil Systems department, compiler development at Bell Northern Research) and found it mostly Hobbesian, with males and mannish females in constant, wasteful struggle to prove “who was Master” not realizing I was ha ha. It was only at the last-named company (BNR) that I found that employees and management had eliminated this struggle. Engineers felt safe in their jobs until 1985 and as a result, BNR delivered what other companies only promised in want ads: a humanistic, family-friendly, work/life balanced job.

Change Record

11 May 2013 Added this change record
11 May 2013 Corrected date (month was misidentified as May)

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Address to the Sphinx

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on June 8, 2012 by spinoza1111

Beldame! my name is where angels fear to tread,
And you can spare me your contempt
I ain’t scared o’ wimmen and my name is also Ed
And a banter or two with the likes of you shall me content.

Your monopoly on discourse creates monsters,
We are at a loss for words and know not what to say
You expect a man to speak according to the card
And when I speak you’re like WTF and hey hey hey

It would be fashionable for me to speak with brutality
Like my old school-fellow Ted Nugent:
It is to say what is expected of me
But I happen to be a rather disobliging old gent

Underneath the Great God Pan
And the insistence of the rod,
Men have an instinct women to respect
Men have an instinct women to protect
And to make concord with ’em in their advancing age
As they two share their love and rage.
In the forest, in labor, in the middle of the night
Even a bonehead knows what is wrong and what is right

So don’t play with fire, baby, in the ring
Don’t use the better angel of our nature, Sugar
Of good men I sing
Not some caricature, some monster, some Creature Feature

Don’t think of our respect and dignity
When we fall among women as timidity
And do me a favor do not use it
To give me a ration a ration of hot steaming s*t

Beldame! Get a clue.
There is nothing that I need or want from you.

“You’re not my father”

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on March 28, 2012 by spinoza1111

The nice thing about email is that when your grown child says “you’re not my father”, you can sit back, hit up with a Nicorette and a Red Bull, take a deep breath, and not react in a maudlin-violent way like Willy Loman.

Edward G. Nilges, “Death Messages Spoil Cheering War News”, assemblage of original drawings, photographs and newspaper article, 2005.

The assemblage is cut off on the right in the single-post view because I suck at WordPress image management. To see the entire drawing-assemblage, click it or click above on “Spinoza’s Blog” to see the multi-post view.

Instead, calm reflection reveals that his Mother was a piece of virtue, you had sex with his Mom about nine months before he was born, you could see his little hand on his Mom’s belly exploring the limits of the womb, and when he was born, he not only looked like you he acted like you.

For example, the son in question was getting his rations at only three months, and while his Mom was burping him, she tried to elicit a burp, saying, “where dat burp?” Whereupon my number one earthly branch said, “erp”, naming the thing in a remarkably sophisticated fashion as a joke. Truly, the apple did not fall far from the tree, for when I was at uni, working in the college bookstore, I liked, in the general climate of the times, to synthesize loud burps as a sort of rude and political gesture in the general direction of the draft, the war, and, of course, reactionary Fascistic business administration majors.

But today I must confess a certain helplessness as regards Yi Number One Son who needs to take responsibility for his behavior. I cannot refer him to a theological ground for doing the right, and he has tried to do right. But males are discounted, it appears to me, in some sort of toxic smog, back in the USA, of post and pseudo feminism which in Weininger’s sense still defines itself against phallic ideals which ordinary males cannot meet.

His Mom treated me to a lecture when we were going together back in the 1970s to the effect that I should never, ever, say that a woman who dresses flash is asking for unwanted male attention, and I participated in the Hong Kong slutwalk to support this last December.

But women do dress flash to get wanted male attention, even as I bathe to get wanted female attention. But it’s a broadcast signal. So, maybe I might not want a fat girl’s attention. Likewise, women don’t want the attention of a man who doesn’t make as much money as they do. They have a Mister Right template in mind, same as I have a Ms Right template in mind.

We need a society in which women can dress as they choose because it’s safer for them, and if it’s safer for them, it’s safer for men and children. What we’ve got are women and men in their twenties and thirties who, unlike me in the 1980s, cannot get decent jobs and act out in an increasingly brutal struggle. One in Chicago of rules that are unstated because they are unstateable: essentially the rejection of the small p Phallus in favor, not of freedom, but of a big-P Lacanian phallus that represents a lost America in which Father knew best.

But I have to be careful about this. Recent developments show that I am having a long-distance effect because unlike many divorced fathers I stayed concerned. I just don’t know if it’s any good. My signal is going into a deep matriarchy created by the Peter Pan syndrome of a lot of guys in the 1980s, myself included. I took, for the most part, a financial responsibility, and not day to day physical responsibility.

A funny guy in one of my recovery groups said it best, “Ed, quit complaining. My kid erases my hard disk every month with some new download. His Mom makes me raise him. Whereas you don’t have a teenager drinking your Red Bull, sitting in your chair, and erasing your hard drive.”

Basically, all I can conclude is that while I support Lysistrata, I do not support Elektra. There is, as Olaf the draft dodger said in ee cummings poem “i sing of olaf glad and big”, there is some shit I will not eat. Too many feminist Moms disempower their sons by sending conflicting messages.

I’ve tried, god knows I’ve tried, like Robert Crumb’s whiteman. Sure wish I’d had my wish in 1981. I wanted to drag the whole lot to Paris. But I was never taken seriously because I did not take myself seriously. I was the “mascot” of the classic dysfunctional family, self-destructive so as not to disrupt things, retreating to the Evanston library when things got too tough. I may have failed, big time, as a father as a result.

All I can do at this point is send out carefully written messages from the distant planet on which I live.

Sex, Power, and Julian Assange

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on December 9, 2010 by spinoza1111

I am absolutely appalled by the way in which sex is being used against Julian Assange. Oh, he used his body weight to hold a woman down whilst having sex with her? The cad!

“Use any man according to his desert, and none should ‘scape whipping”, Hamlet said. The two women are in all probability being covertly funded and encouraged, and perhaps coerced, to bring these charges against behavior of which many men, and some women, are guilty in intimate affairs. Mild coercion? Come ON, many couples use mild coercion and many plus size women are guilty of pinning their sweeties to the mat.

Sex without a condom while she is asleep? The Swedish prosecutor, probably before the full weight of the CIA (a Mr. Creosote and Fat Bastard indeed) was brought to bear down on her in the night, threw these ridiculous charges out. Had Assange been HIV positive, this could be a serious matter. But he isn’t, right?

Yes, it’s true that if she says “no” she often means “no” and a gentleman will desist when this is the case, for part of being a man of the world lies in knowing the difference. But there is also a right to privacy, and there are times in intimate affairs when “no” means “yes”. In millions of nights all ’round the world, such cases remain undecided and undecidable for the simple reason that women lack legal resources when truly coerced, and when not in truth coerced, take responsibility for their own actions.

Cf. Foucault. The ruling elite has one interest, and one interest only, in sex, for being part of it requires asexuality, whether in the form of hyper sexuality or an absent sexuality. This is the use of sex to control the rest of us at the deepest possible level, using licentiousness and Puritanism as needed.

The privacy of the women is being protected by law. This is as it should be, but it is also convenient to the forces encouraging, funding, and perhaps, as in the case of Monica Lewinsky ten years ago, coercing the women so as to bring Assange to trial, not for sexual crimes but for espionage.

Nobody, except Clinton himself (who was trying to protect two women, Hilary and Monica, when he failed to tell the truth) stood up for Monica Lewinsky in that scandal, where the Republicans were merely posing as defenders of women in a naked grab for power. Odds are the situation here is precisely the same. Odds are that as I write, the women are birds held in a gilded cage, perhaps with room service in a Stockholm hotel, bullied and interrogated daily. Odds are that they will be thrown to the wolves when Assange is safely back in the USA on trial for espionage, as was Lewinsky.

If Assange’s partly consensual behavior is criminalized, not of course to protect women who will continue to get a raw deal in our brutal society, but to nail him, then any sex act that starts with a woman who’s angry at you and a bit of mild coercion, that becomes laughter and then steamy passion, in short millions of such acts, is now rape. As Eddie Murphy would be the first to tell us, many, many sex acts start with a Mad (as in angry) Woman, and end in mutual satisfaction. Such is the way of the world which God made.

But to those hounding Assange, any element of coercion in a consensual sex act becomes, like the active ingredient in a homeopathic medicine, the property of the whole act. This is the coming of the Republic of Gilead, Margaret Atwood’s nightmare vision, in “The Handmaid’s Tale”, of how sex and politics can interact. It is Julia’s “Anti-Sex League” in Orwell’s 1984.

Well, as it is, sex is already used to control. My own sexuality, my being merely a man, was deliberately used against me in my former job. Because I am a man, and without knowing anything about me, a person who’s also left the firm made unfounded sex-related charges which I refuted. The sexuality and imagined proclivities of men, especially older men, is now fair game, and this is the sole reason for the charges against Assange.

I am let us say pinning a Mad Woman down and she is saying, “Edward! Stop!”

If she is a stranger (who somehow knows my name), I am guilty of rape.

If she is a girlfriend, even if I have like Assange a backup girlfriend, even if I have a girl in every city, I’m not if she’s giggling or changes her mind given my considerable charm, right?

If she’s a plus size the tables will get turned in a minute or two, right?

That is, more information would be needed: the words are not the thing. In the legal world, collecting this information costs money, as the Law and Economics boys would tell us. So, we either allow certain cases of real victimization to occur or else try a general Clampdown which will always target a certain class of people: here, men.

The campaign to silence women based on their sexuality which has lasted for thousands of years is merely generalized, today, to include non-powerful men such as Assange. It appears to me that his enemies within the USA’s intelligence community deliberately designed these ridiculous charges in hopes that feminism would converge with Puritanism into support for the USA’s world-views.

Guidelines for new writers (such as myself)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on April 26, 2009 by spinoza1111

1. Read Dorothy Parker and try not to blow your brains out. That’s because in the first Depression, a writer could actually check into a hotel, order up drinks and room service, bat out a story, pay an urchin to run it over to editor and return with a check, cash the check in the bar downstairs, and pay for her hotel room and a round of drinks.

Today, in the new depression, you must have a credit card or prepay in cash. Many baby boomers romanticise the thirties but it was hell on earth to be a writer at the time, and most writers of the time barely survived. F. Scott Fitzgerald was reduced to caricaturing himself in the “Pat Hobby Stories” about an aging screenwriter to support his wife in a mental institution and his daughter in school.

It might even be worse this time.

Don’t quit your day job.

2. Learn the basic structure of most English sentences. A Subject gets rowdy and does something to an Object. Then in run a series of zero one or more clauses like chicks behind hens, where the hens are prepositions. The prepositions must be spelled right but that’s easy.

3. Sometimes s**t happens to the Subject, most of the time on the morning after the night before when the Subject got rowdy. It is perfectly OK to use passive voice in this case, when the Subject can’t get out of the sack. In fact, some verbs have no active voice: it is impossible to be born in other than the passive voice: you can only express autogenesis using a reflexive pronoun, as in “why boys, I gave birth to myself!”. Other verbs, interestingly “to die”, have no passive voice: you are not died, you are killed and all of us must die, for in Adam’s fall, we sinned all.

4. Unless like me you were educated in Catholic schools prior to 1967, do not worry about “verbosity”; you probably strain instead to produce words. Trust me on this. “Verbosity”, properly understood, is a high x/y where x is word count and y is idea count: George Bush was verbose even though his y value was small since he had so few ideas.

5. Your writing, if it is any good, will offend somebody. First of all, it might get you in trouble at work, and we do not wish to quit our day job (see above). Worse, it may offend a family member, or get him in trouble at work. There is no surefire way of avoiding this except by writing for kids, and even there you have to stick to Flopsy Bunny.

You may offend an ex-spouse even if you change details, perhaps especially so. If possible, discuss this issue with him or her before setting pen to paper. But it may happen nonetheless, because even liberal, tolerant and enlightened people preserve reptilian and ape reflexes, and can become suspicious and censorious quite out of the blue, especially in the dysfunctional family systems which produce many (but by no means all) writers.

6. Your role model, not for writing, but for personal affairs, is not DH Lawrence but his friend, Aldous Huxley, who today is remembered only for his Brave New World, and not his readable-but-dated tales of late Empire personalities.

Lawrence messed up his life and blamed others. Huxley was stricken with blindness in his teens and heroically taught himself to see again. He then wrote Crome Yellow and Antic Hay based on the terribly gay (old sense) lives of the Bright Young Things of 1920s Britain and got paid handsomely. Always gracious, quite in fact an ideal stage Englishman, Huxley managed his life well and had the good fortune to be legally stoned when he died, on the same day as CS Lewis, another decent old fellow, and JFK.

6. Read Edward Said’s Orientalism, especially if you’re an unfashionable race and gender such as “old white guy”. If you write about the Other from outside the Other, you will anger the Other.

Shakespeare was natively able to see this. Captain MacMorris is an Irishman in Henry V but he’s no “stage Irishman”. When Captain Fluellen, another Other with respect to the “metropolis” of Shakespeare’s time, teases MacMorris about his “nation”, MacMorris replies, sure enough, in an “orientalizing” brogue. But this is overridden by the justice of what MacMorris says:

Of my Nation? What ish my Nation? Ish a
Villaine, and a Basterd, and a Knaue, and a Rascall. What
ish my Nation? Who talkes of my Nation?

In other words, don’t even “name” me if you’re just taking the piss: you have no right. Shakespeare instinctively avoided a sort of “orientalism” simply because he was so eager to give each character something to say.

Instead of making a “stage Irishman” out of MacMorris, Shakespeare tasks Fluellen to do so, increasing the fun and making it less vicious, because Shakespeare’s Fluellen is the first to appear, clearly speaking “English as a second language” and full of good qualities (he’s one of the two characters that are praised by the King himself: Erpingham is the other).

Which brings me to “writing about women”.

There is a sort of feminist white terror operant in contemporary letters, but it is important to be precise about it.

Any “enlightenment”, when normed to a set of easily enforceable and bureaucratic rules, can become, not just idiotic, but, as Adorno (yeah, Adorno) saw, not at some low level, but as the nightmare, dialectical inverse.

Thus in bureaucracies and in grammar checkers, “sexism” is determined as if English and other natural languages were “Chomsky type 3“, that is chains of words that can be fully understood by a machine with no memory, only a “state of mind”. An example would be a grocery list.

If “detergent” appears at all on a grocery list, we can infer, without reading more, that we must buy detergent unless just before that word we see “automobile”, meaning some sort of detergent for washing the car.

We can be sure, given that the “genre” of laundry list disallows irony or parenthetical digressions, or even negative instructions such as “don’t you DARE, oh don’t you DARE, buy detergent, you swine”, that “detergent” will mean “buy detergent”.

But, of course, general texts are Chomsky Type Zero. You need a “general purpose computing machine”, a Turing machine, or a human being, or a very bright four year old to explain to you what the text means.

“Why a four year old could do this! Get me a four year old!” – Groucho Marx

Of course, male writers continue to write about women, it being hard not to do so. They have ceased writing “I Tamed the Pirate Queen of Hong Kong”, and are well advised to write about what they feel about how women affect them. They make many errors in so doing and need to discuss their writing with the women in their lives, which I did in 2000 when I published “It Takes a Train to Cry”.

Nonetheless, their writing will be, if it’s any good, misinterpreted, and may well cause the women in their lives to exit stage left. What did I say in (1)? Blow your brains out now.

7. Money? What the devil, you say? What did I say above: don’t quit your day job.

8. A final “coda”.

In what my fat pal Adorno called an “administered” world, “administration” is labor and governed by economic scarcity, therefore we not only use scanners on computers to scan for nasty bits, we begin over time to fail to listen to each other, or read literature, with the attentiveness of a Jane Austen, that famous gal who figured out that the apparently odious Mr. Darcy was a good egg after all.

Adorno and his friend Walter Benjamin specialized in the regression of listening, and in Benjamin’s especial case art and film appreciation, as a consequence of technology. Here, in white-terror feminism and other administrative attempts to control writing, it’s a failure of reading, and listening to words.

Note that I don’t confuse “white terror feminism” with the genuine article. Do you? White terror feminism in fact worked hand in glove with a series of Republican administrations to destroy males. For an example, see the ravings of Robin Morgan. Don’t be fooled by the fact that she’s now taking on the religious right. Her book “The Demon Lover” caricatured revolutionaries and she’s inspired generations of zero-sum feminists who have confused liberation with sadism.

The result is a regression to a class-based partition of language and sumptuary language laws. Domination, being delegated in Adorno to the dominated and being a scarce “good”, is broad-brush at the bottom and the defense at the bottom is your friendly local public defender, hauled out of the corner bar to defend your life. You are in an administered world well advised to not use irony or nuance, but irony and nuance are the writer’s tools, aren’t they.

Welcome, not to the “real world” of the popular meme, that in itself idealized reality which we must perforce adapt to in all its sordid glory, but instead to the realer really real world of History.

That is, as in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, that 1991 movie I took my kid to in which Bill and Ted are taken by George Carlin to visit History in a time machine to avoid failing their history classes “most egregiously”, our “real world” can contain sudden shifts back to the world of our parents or grandparents.

A contemporary example would be the new depression in consequence of the credit crisis. For my homey Adorno, it was the sudden transition from the liberal, tolerant, modern and even stone hip world of Weimar to Hitler, something completely unexpected because Hitler never even won an election fair and square.

Throughout history, real writers have been persecuted, hounded, tormented and bullyragged and in most of the “real” world today, this continues, as in mainland China. Nor is it the case that they are free of this in developed, democratic societies: while an abstract freedom of speech is guaranteed, the real, embedded writer of course works under all sorts of constraints, including domination by the dominated.

I do not know what it means to be able “to write” above and beyond Winston Churchill’s understanding: while he flunked Harrow school most egregiously, he later had spare time in India and learned how to recognize and write an English sentence, and assemble these into larger and larger structures until he arrived a “Marlborough”, his biography of his famous ancestor, and “A History of the English Speaking Peoples”.

Or, as recent translations of Adorno by Edmund Jephcott show, Adorno, who it turns out (and taking into account my very limited facility with German, a language I do not read except for forbidding notices on German railway cars) was an excellent prose stylist.

Many self-appointed teachers of writing, holding seminars for the desparate and doomed at Borders on writing, couldn’t tellya what a gerund is, not in the sense of using that particular word accurately (I call it an ing-word in my classes) but in the sense of a comprehensible explanation of how it works and what difference does it make; de Saussure (and Turing) were right: it’s impossible for computationally theoretic reasons to construct an adequate metalanguage and the best way to view language is to ask “what difference does it make?”

Instead, most self-appointed teachers of writing specialise in blaming, if not thrashing, the victim: the author of Harry Potter or “Don’t Make Me Think” must perforce know how to write based on sales figures.

But a successful text cannot be so reverse engineered. The Weltgeist plays a role. Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind was successful precisely because Southerners in the United States were just beginning to understand that they were being looked at as peculiar. Harry Potter could never have been successful in Huxley’s Britain since it is explained by feminist mothers in some measure.

Anyway, these are my guidelines for new writers. Blow your brains out, or, get to work.

The impertinence of Actaeon: the development of a new painting, Dancer Victory

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on March 22, 2009 by spinoza1111

After careful review of Hong Kong law I have removed this entry. Nude figures are regarded in East Asia as indecent and while Hong Kong law permits display of nude figures within “bona fide art galleries and museums”, they must not be visible outside the museum or gallery.

I have noticed that art stores sell a complete range of plaster casts for art training here but that none of them are the nudes commonly used by students in the West.

I support Chinese artists who use the nude to protest the harsh repression of Chinese life but as a non-Chinese person I have, I think, a special duty to abide by its law, whether on the mainland or here in Hong Kong.

I shall continue to share my researches in figure drawing using my own kinesthesia, anatomy, and sport and dance praxis on Facebook with a restricted Friend subgroup. If you’re interested in seeing this material become my Facebook friend and request to be added to “Can See Figurative Art”. On Facebook I am “Edward Nilges” in Hong Kong.

I have not so much respect for a law that is so selectively enforced in favor of the well to do as for the customs of the Chinese people which I feel I must respect.