Entries from November 2008

Saturday, November 29th, 2008

Sex: It’s Not What You Think

I’m thinking about sex. (I know; you’re shocked.) But it’s not what you think. I’m often amused (and often more than a little bemused) about sex. About how sex is usually not about sex. And about how sex is often configured in some communities in seemingly contradictory (or to be more polite, “paradoxical”) ways. Margaret […]

Friday, November 28th, 2008

8 1/2

Emily Dickinson provides one of the finest tests of art: “If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can ever warm me, I know that is poetry. If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry. These are […]

Friday, November 28th, 2008


Bathos, from the sublime . . . to the ridiculous . . .

Thursday, November 27th, 2008

Trouble in the Stans

Yesterday’s terrorist attacks in Mumbai (formerly Bombay, a global financial capital) and car bomb outside the American embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, remind us of the instability in Central/South Asia. India, a secular democracy, has a large (over 100 million citizens) Islamic minority, and the Hindu majority country also has a cadre of militant Hindu extremists. […]

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

RIP Playgirl

We note with sadness the passing of Playgirl magazine. If you were a gay man coming of age or coming out in the 1970s, Playgirl (ostensibly a woman’s sexual revolutionary counterpart to Hugh Hefner’s Playboy) was the most readily available soft-core erotica available, particularly where similar (and often raunchier) gay men’s mags were not available […]

Monday, November 17th, 2008

The Oracle Is Not In

Proctoring an exam on Saturday in the Information Technology Engineering Building, I discovered the office of The Oracle. Faculty and professional staff are unionized here, so apparently The Oracle does not work on Saturday. I had so wanted to meet her since I had read so much about her for years.

Wednesday, November 12th, 2008

Dead Circuit

For years I had shopped at Circuit City, the Virginia-based electronics retailer, for a variety of products. News that they are filing for bankruptcy, however, comes as no surprise. ¬†When Circuit City fired experienced and knowledgeable retail sales staff a year or so ago but continued to pay its executives more than those at up-and-coming […]

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008


“When from our exile God leads us home again, we’ll think we’re dreaming. Then lead us home, bring us to life again, even as rivers which, in the desert, when the first rain falls, start flowing again. Sow seed in sadness, harvest in gladness. A man goes his way and sows seed with tears. Back […]