A Lover's Plaint,
The Good Sir Mix-A-Lot
I am given to rotund backsides. I, duty-bound against prevarication by the strictures of honor, trust none amongst my peers-at-court can repudiate the honorarium of tumescent attention he pays when a lady, svelte of belly and plentiful of thigh, strikes his fancy. These gentlemen halt, no matter their endeavors, upon observing this lady's derriere, squeezed pleasingly and with no room to spare, into her pantaloons. For myself -- when in the presence of such damsels, my fixation is almost monomaniacal. I would not only like to engage these peerwomen in sexual congress, but also to capture the image of their orbitual posteriors for obituary posterity.
When my chums, confederates, and confidants note me in this comportment of desire, they attempt to give me pause by prophesying hexes and mongering doom. I, however, am unable to attend to their advertisements as the sapid hindquarters inspire me with a lasciviousness rather difficult to brook.
Oh woman, since it is the case that the flesh of your rump has the look and feel of something soft as felt or suede, I invite you to exploit my attentions and affections for the use of my equipage, for you are not a common whore of the street. You are something more.
I have seen these vaunted women performing saltations; such sights render me inimical to the conventional proprieties of courtship, as when a lady is glistening with perspiration, moist as the morning dew, and in such spirits as a well-bred mustang, high of blood in the mating season.
I find myself fatigued by certain recent popular periodicals, endorsing the position that buttocks of attenuated convexity are attractive. On the contrary, put the question to the representative man of equatorial complexion and, I pledge, his response will be, "The marked convexity of her buttocks is paramount!" So brethren, fellows, is your paramour possessed of adequate hips for birthing? If indeed she is pleasingly shapely, enjoin her to waggle her goodly rump.
M'lady is possessed of haunches!
Her countenance is of a sweet, angelic city; her privity of a land of hardwood trees.
It is to my preference that the anatomical oddities in question be both spherical and bountiful, and whilst engaged in bardic oratory I become enraptured, ravished, ecstatic -- all but deprived of my humanity. But soft, friend, it might be controversial, nay outrageous to opine that it would be desirous to me to retreat with this paragon of femininity to mine own abode and, so to say, make the beast with two backs, if you will.
This truth is not to be had by the blue-books of our time, and not to be found in them. The embellishments undergone by these publications in the pursuit of voluptuary delight instead give the impression of playthings.
What is wanted, on the contrary, is authenticity, density, and a preponderance of moisture. And yet not without danger, for I, the good Sir Mix-A-Lot, am often afflicted with doubt and botheration by these aphrodisiacal lures.
Even as we speak, I turn my attention to musical tableaus preferred by the occidental rabble, and in them see coquettes with thighs so emaciated that their knees percuss in the manner of bone rattles. These coquettes are less to my taste than, for example, the esteemed track-and-field athlete Jackie Joyner--Kersee.
An aside, to the women of corporeal solidity and ethereal mystery: My desire is to fornicate with you. I will neither upbraid you verbally nor abuse you physically, but it is my duty to be forthright, and therefore to tell you my desire is to fornicate with you for many hours, perhaps until the sun rises. You are sexually desirable, and I desire you sexually.
Many philistines will disapprove of my lover's plaint because they fornicate with these women in question but once; I on the other hand, due to my abundance and mesomorphism, am more inclined to create heat through repetitious rubbing of tumid flesh and the slapping of bone on bone for sustained, hedonic duration. If you, fair lady, are possessed of these qualities, demonstrate them outwardly and you will be rewarded with the ululations of even the fairest of youths.
Some men's concubines, in the pursuit of shapeliness, employ the routines of Jane Fonda, and, for the purposes of rhyme, drive popular and economical Japanese automobiles. Yet backside of the former, Ms. Fonda, is bereft of the power afforded by the locomotive engine of the latter, a Honda, and as such, the longing of my serpentine phallus is unprovoked by this undesirable want of curvature. I grant the importance of exercise, and cast no prohibitions upon it as long as it comes in the form of side-bends or sit-ups. However, I enjoin and remonstrate, to perform exercises such as those demonstrated by Ms. Fonda might have the loathsome result of slimming the callipygous fundament in question.
There may even be those diabolical tricksters and madmen who argue that sizable haunches are less valuable than lead run through the alchemist's alembic and, in their phrenzy, part with you as lovers. In a way, I even thank these men -- their castoffs are my treasure, my dread pirate's booty!
Though the aforementioned popular periodicals confuse your copious voluptuousness with corpulence, I cannot agree with this assessment. Your stomach does not protrude, but your hips and breasts protrude mightily, and I want to have sex with you. The overly-linear ladies proffered by these periodicals are not to the taste of the times; rather, a woman who has not been denied a diet high in starches and complex carbohydrates is to the liking of the modern man.
Even some men who prefer these zatfig ladies, as is proper, are nothing but fools and charlatans. Though practiced and successful in the ways of wooing, these mongrels smite their embonpoint maidens with fists. But again, the rakes' refuse is my reward, and even as the unfortunate women nurse their wounds and anoint their bruises, I anxiously approach with the intention of engaging them in prurient caresses.
In conclusion, damsels and peeresses: If your hindquarters are orotund, and you are desirous of engaging with me in lubricious and shocking contretemps, dial 1-900-Mix-A-Lot and divulge to me the perverse and demoniac motive and content of your phantasies.
M'lady is possessed of haunches.
A Lover's Plaint,
In a hysterical Wired UK article about social networking called Your Life Torn Open: Sharing is a trap, Andrew Keen decries the "increasingly ubiquitous social network -- fuelled by our billions of confessional tweets and narcissistic updates -- that is invading the 'sacred precincts' of private and domestic life." He wants us to know that he thinks narcissism is bad, and that exposing strangers and would-be voyeurs to the machinations of our private lives is sacrilege, defilement of the holy ground that makes and keeps us human.
But he also wants us to know what a fucking cultured world-traveler he is, so he begins the article with this: "Every so often, when I'm in Amsterdam, I visit the Rijksmuseum to remind myself about the history of privacy. I go there to gaze at a picture called The Woman in Blue Reading a Letter, which was painted by Jan Vermeer in 1663." See, he's in Amsterdam a lot, but sometimes when he's in Amsterdam -- he'd like us to know -- he goes to "the Rijksmuseum," which, he would further like us to know, he refers to as if he only speaks with people who know what that is. It wouldn't be enough to tell us that this painting exists; he has to set the scene, placing himself front and center, standing with his fist pressed thoughtfully to his chin, contemplating reverently this monument of Great Art. Because Andrew Keen, you understand, is very sophisticated.
The painting, Keen tells us, "is of an unidentified Dutch woman avidly (?) reading a letter. Vermeer's picture, to borrow a phrase from privacy advocates Louis Brandeis and Samuel Warren, is a celebration of the 'sacred precincts of private and domestic life'. It's as if the artist had kept his distance in order to capture the young woman, cocooned in her private world, at her least socially visible." This painting, in which a girl who doesn't know she's being watched is captured in a moment of privacy, is a "celebration" of not invading private spaces. I guess you've got to show a kid what his bathing area is before you can tell him that it's wrong for strangers to touch him there. Painting is one way to do it, but I tend to celebrate this blessed sacredness by watching women towel off while sitting on a tree-limb just outside their bathroom windows.
So Vermeer's painting keeps its distance "in order to capture" this poor woman "cocooned in her private world," which is basically the equivalent of preserving the magic of its transformation into a butterfly by tearing open a chrysalis and freezing a caterpillar with liquid nitrogen. Nothing celebrates what you love quite like killing what you love, embalming its corpse, pinning it to a wall, and inviting any dilettante with enough money to fly into Schiphol International Airport to take a look.
But Andrew Keen isn't just an appreciator of the arts and a champion of privacy -- he's a student of philosophy (and an ogler of corpses) as well. Oh, and he's still a fucking sophisticated, jetsetting, globetrotting playboy, he'd like us very much to know, and he's still strongly opposed to narcissism. "Every so often, when I'm in London, I visit University College to remind myself about the future of privacy. I go there to visit the tomb of the utilitarian social reformer Jeremy Bentham." See, sometimes he's in London -- but he's in London a lot, and only sometimes when he's in London does he vouchsafe his bougie taste and sophistication, and also his intense concern over the issues of the day that will be up to him to diagnose and, if this article is successful, maybe even cure, by communing with the dead body of a man he regards as his ideological enemy. Because, you see, Jeremy Bentham didn't believe in privacy, so it's not at all creepy for Andrew Keen, who says that looking into the private lives of other people is a kind of secular sin, to stand, fist pressed thoughtfully to chin, to gander at the "glass-and-wood mausoleum... from which the philosopher's waxy corpse has been watching over us for the last 150 years." Dead people don't have private lives. You can't rape a corpse.
Keen also demonstrates that I'm not the only writer in the world who can come up with misleading analogies: The compromised "real life" we're left with after the encroachment of omnipresent digital networking "could have been choreographed by Bentham." Moreover, Mark Zuckerberg's idea of "sharing," Keen writes, "could have been invented by Kafka." I like this misleading analogy very much: "Just as Josef K unwittingly shared all his known and unknown information with the authorities, so we are now all sharing our most intimate spiritual, economic and medical information with all the myriad 'free' social-media services, products and platforms." Except for the superficial differences -- like Joseph K being denied jurisprudential due process, being forced to undergo all kinds of meaningless and bizarre rituals that make it all but impossible for him to carry on with the job he hates at a shitty bank, and, in the end, being convicted for an unspecified crime and then stabbed to death by anonymous officials as punishment for this obscure guilt -- I am persuaded. Perhaps Kafka was secretly working on a manuscript he destroyed before his death called The Social Network, in which a number of shallow-yet-clever people search for meaning in their lives, against all odds and in the face of the strangling authority of the Law of the Father.
Keen further doomsays, "Today's digital social network is a trap. Today's cult of the social, peddled by an unholy alliance of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and communitarian idealists, is rooted in a misunderstanding of the human condition. The truth is that we aren't naturally social beings. Instead, as Vermeer reminds us in The Woman in Blue, human happiness is really about being left alone." This, of course, is preposterously stupid, and is based the idea that lasseiz-faire liberty -- "being left alone" -- is the opposite of being "social." If Keen is setting himself in diametrical opposition to the sociality offered by networking, then his ideal of human happiness -- and his idea of the truth of the human condition (!) -- is that we don't want to be watched or touched by anyone. The ideal manifestation of our humanity is solitary confinement, in which prisoners suffer "memory loss to severe anxiety to hallucinations to delusions and, under the severest cases of sensory deprivation, people go crazy" (CNN). This craziness, according to a different psychiatrist, is a "a specific syndrome" due to "inadequate, noxious and/or restricted environmental and social stimulation. In more severe cases, this syndrome is associated with agitation, self-destructive behavior, and overt psychotic disorganization."
The Woman in Blue, we should remember, isn't left alone -- she just doesn't know she's being watched (by Vermeer and by us, voyeurs all). She is reading a letter, and enjoying the social contact that can be created -- miraculously -- in the void left by the absence of loved ones. Social networks, sinister as they can be, also let us feel watched by people we care about; and the feeling of their eyes on us is, not to put too fine a point on it, a reason to go on living. Keen asks, "What if the digital revolution, because of its disregard for the right of individual privacy, becomes a new dark ages? And what if all that is left of individual privacy by the end of the 21st century exists in museums alongside Vermeer's Woman in Blue? Then what?" Then we'll go on living our lives, just like they did in the "dark ages." And when the next renaissance comes, they'll have persecution and crusades, just like they did the last time. And if this is the beginning of the apocalypse, Keen will just be lucky to have blindfoldedly pinned the tale on the ass of the donkey every other fearmonger in history has missed.
Curated by D at 5:19 PM