Monday, December 31, 2012
Sunday, December 30, 2012
Frederick Barthelme – Elroy Nights and Waveland were stand outs. I also reread Bartheleme’s Two Against One, which is such a great book, his best and equal to any post WWII American Novel still being kicked around. Raney by Clyde Edgerton, one of the most stylistically mischievous Southern novels of recent vintage, I reread for the third time. For the holidays, I delved back into A Confederacy of Dunces (for the untempt time), that rare work of fiction that in addition to gaining more meaning with each encounter, is actually funnier the more familiar it becomes.
Since the dawn of time, or least recorded civilization, society has attempted to restrict sexual practices. Attempt is the key word, because Berkowitz points out that at every turn, the astonishing amount of corruption, hypocrisy and non-compliance accompanying every new sex law - not to mention the tragedies of the victims of this blatant injustice. In addition, he shows how arbitrary sex laws tend to be. What outrages law makers in one society - same sex relations, the age of consent for instance, even incest and bestiality - are treated indifferently by another.
Beginning in the ancient world, the combination of the ancient Hebrews, who Berkowitz credits not just with inventing bans against incest, homosexuality, and sex with menstruating women, but creating the concept of sin: "...the moral strictures of the ancient Jews, held together with the molasses of shame and the terror of God's punishment, have been more influential on Western sexual attitudes than any other collection of ideas."
Of course Hellenic culture of the ancient world eventually became intermingled with Hebrew thought, creating Christianity and Western Civilization. While Greek culture may on the surface seem more permissiveness than the Torah, they had their own immeasurable contribution to sex laws, or as Berkowitz credits the "...Greek Obsession: Litigation... the Greeks loved nothing more than a good sex trial."
Saturday, December 29, 2012
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Monday, December 17, 2012
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Bakers is going out of business. What, you never went to this store, it has the best…. I don’t know, I never shopped there either. I don’t feel compelled to make a memorial purchase this holiday season. This was thelocation of B. Daltons, a book store that had been in the Mall since the Mall first opened, closed two years ago as the brick and mortar bookstores consolidated. I think it was another store before it was this one. In other words, a long standing, successful retailer was eradicated while new ones can’t gain footing. Those who make decisions that affect our lives are far removed from our lives, yet we suffer the consequences