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Eros Rising

From out of the desert it came: a virtual world named Sin. For two millennia, the world was enthralled by the priesthoods of this demonizing world. But a new day has dawned with the reemergence of Eros, the Pagan God of Love. An eyeblink ago, when the Baby Boomers were young, the Age of Aquarius announced the dawn of this new day. But it had a little setback, as the church and its patriarchs struck back. Eros Rising is here to help freedom lovers everywhere reclaim their human rights.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Images, Desires, and Cave Man Morality

Ever think about how glibly the Ten Commandments are evoked? Ten! Hey, that's a lot. Now quick, tell me what they are. Betcha' can't. I couldn't, and so I googled them with the "feeling lucky" button, which took me to a site wherein I learned that these commandments, far from being "written in stone," are presented quite differently by Jews (for whom they were first written), Catholics, and Protestants. But there is enough commonality between them to allow from some general comments on the move by certain Americans to turn our fair land into a theocracy, in much the same manner as the fundamentlist Islamic nations which are now perceived to be our enemies. (What a victory for those terrorists, who turned so many of us into them, right?)

I'll cut to the chase. IMHO only three of these vaunted commandements even deserve to be taken seriously as laws to live by: Don't kill, and don't steal, and don't bear false witness. (Incredibly, the commandment against murder was expunged from the list when Moses rewrote the commandments, after smashing the first stone tablets!) Anyway, what kind of a God was it who would put at the top of the list: Hold no other God above me! Gee, the Muslims say the same thing: There is only one Allah! If ever anyone wanted a clue that these commandments were written by power-hungry patriarchs, this is it. Priority number one is: Don't you dare pay any attention to those prophets across the mountains, in the next valley!

And then there's all this business about "graven images," which was written by Moses in such a way as to prohibit ALL graven images. Hello! Message from the 21st century. We now live in an image-saturated world. How could the Supreme Court, let alone serious leaders in various states, expect the population to take this seriously? What? We should close down all the image gravers--all the magazines, all the broadcast media, not to mention all of the arts, and drag our women back to the caves, where these commandments seem to have originated?

And then there's all this stuff about "coveting" in the last two commandments. As in coveting your neighbor's wife or his ass. These have been interpreted (by serious scholars, mind you) as the "psychological" commandments. This is where we are told it is just as bad to have bad thoughts as it is to do bad things. (Though apparently it's okay to think about killing someone, just don't lust after them or their property.) As ridiculous as these coveting commandments are, is it not surprising to find support on the far right for the demonization of greed, which is how the anti-property-coveting commandment should be interpreted? Hello. Is the USA not now in the iron grip of the Greed Party? A party put in place by millions of People of Faith, who would like to replace the American Constitution with the Ten Commandments? Good thing there's no commandment against strange bedfellows!

And finally, there is the commandment against adultery. This is actually the big kahuna, IMHO. It is from this commandment that stems the entire demonization-of-sex mindset that so characterizes Christianity, Judaism, and Isalm too. According to the true believers, sex should only be put in the service of procreation. Period. The more liberal-minded of the true believers might allow some recreational sex between those married folk who are lucky enough to have a "flame that won't go out." As for the rest of us: burn, baby, burn. The Ten Commandments are not only loony tune morality (as seen by one of my patron saints, Mark Twain), but they are mean-spirited to the core. They make it a crime to be human. What is a proud human being to do in the face of this kind of anti-human tyranny? Burn, baby, burn. But it's up to YOU whether you want to burn in hell, or burn with righteous contempt for the bible tyrants.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Apple Pie Exhibitionism & Tom Cruise

It's just all too perfect, too ready made for the new age of right wing exhibitionism. A 42-year-old Hollywood old-timer, Tom Cruise, jumping up and down on sofas in TV studios across the world, pounding his chest like a middle aged man recently implanted with monkey glands, and proclaiming to the world: I'm as normal as Apple Pie! In the meantime, his church, to use the term loosely, continues to work at "curing" homosexuals who happen to fall into their money grasping clutchs.

Word's been around for years that Mr Cruise, along with Mr Travolta and Ms Alley, are shining example of this church's sexual rehabilitiation magic. Here's what's behind it: Certain groups of people, like homosexuals, psychiatrists, and journalists, are infected with bad vibes. Well, the church might call it "bad energy." Whatever. Bad, bad, bad. Whole groups are branded in one fell swoop. Hmm. Sounds like some other churches, right? Weird thing, though. Those other churches don't have strong footholds in Hollywood and the entertainment media, which many of us thought were bastions of enlightenment. Well, the success of this "Hollywood Church" proves just how much has been lost in that old bastion. Anyway, by shelling out lots of money to this church, and subjecting yourself to certain indoctrinations, you can get over those bad gay vibes, journalist vibes, or Freudian vibes. You can get over all that bad energy and actually become a star--just like Tom Cruise.

Why don't I mention the name of the church? Simple. I'm scared of them. They are mean motherfuckers. Why should I take on a cult that the Internal Revenue Service validated as a legitimate church a few years back. Yes, you heard that right. We have now entered an age where tax collectors are in effect "licensing" our religions. Isn't that just like our Brave New America, where money has become both the measure and the reward for everything, including our spirituality? The IRS legitimized this church, part of whose program is to demonize large swatches of the American public. Apparently those swatches--queers, journalists, and shrinks--aren't valued too highly at the IRS, nor for that matter are they much loved by the nation's dominant political party and (critically) the all-powerful Catholic Church. Mr Cruise's church is politically savvy at picking its enemies!

In the meantime, Cruise himself continues his media blitz of nonstop Apple Pie Exhibitionism. According to the polls, movie goers are unimpressed. People don't especially like to see normalcy making a spectacle of itself. Not only does it seem gutless, it is downright boring. Most movie stars in heat prefer to keep us guessing about their hormonal states. They can intuit that true love is best unexhibited. To make a show of it encroaches on turf that more rightly belongs to fantasy and the risk-taking fringe--which by definition shuns normalcy. For a true look at exhibitionism's real domain, see Jonathan Light's groundbreaking book, The Art of Porn, which--title aside--is a nonpornographic existentialist study in sexual economics. There you will discover not only a chapter on exhibitionism, but on voyeurism as well.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Nietzsche & The Body Snatchers

Eros Rising celebrates the human body in all its pain aversion and pleasure seeking. Those who would enforce a stoic denial of the body's demands were treated with proper scorn by Nietzsche in his greatest work, Thus Spoke Zarathustra.
I wish to speak to the despisers of the body. I would not ask them to
behave differently, but only to cast off their own bodies--and thus become silent.

Saying that there is "more reason in your body than in your best wisdom," he makes the bold assertion that it is our bodily pain and pleasure that causes us to think (and to thus be human). Moreover, those who despise their own bodies are those who have lost the creative instinct that is the hallmark of humanity itself. A right-wing libertarian philosopher like Ayn Rand might have called such people "death wishers," and in this instance she would have been right on. Says Nietzsche:

O despisers of the body, your self wants to go under. That is why you have become thus! You no longer are able to create beyond yourselves.

Zeroing in with Zarathustran psychology, he delivers the wallop:

This is why you are angry with life on earth. And an unconscious envy speaks out from your squint eyed contempt.

Thus spoke Nietzsche. Amen.

Monday, June 06, 2005

The Supreme Court & The Body Snatchers

Today the Supreme Court upheld the Federal government's longstanding tyranny over its citizens' right to decide for themselves how to manage their pleasure and their pain. Who would have thought, back in the '60s and '70s, that the thoroughly demonized herb, marijuana, might someday stage a comeback as "medical marijuana" and as a pain manager? Back then, after all, the issue was pleasure. But back up even further for a moment. In the '40s the people's government caved into the bullying tactics of a fanatical bureaucrat named Henry Anslinger, and put marijuana on the controlled substance list. They couldn't stand his nagging anymore, and ended up giving him what he wanted--a newly prohibited drug to replace the recently liberated drug, alcohol. The profoundly asinine substance of Anslinger's case against marijuana has been enshrined in the camp movie, Reefer Madness. Though we look at that movie as a comedy, the truth is it represent an American tragedy--a drug war that has ruined more good and decent lives than all of our real wars combined. Compared to the legal drugs, alcohol and nicotine, marijuana is about as harmless to human health as baloney. Yet it remains the drug of choice for DEA enforcement, representing the lion's share of arrests, imprisonments, and tax dollars squandered against a sadly misbegotten ideological demon. Marijuana is a virtually harmless herb. You shouldn't drive under its influence. But hey! The same is true with alcohol, right? Reasonable laws can protect us against stoned driving without criminalizing the safe and pleasurable feeling that this herb imparts for harmless activities like listening to music. As for harmful effects on "our" bodies, it has been connected to breast enlargement in men. Is this the reason that tens of thousands of truly non-criminal people have had their lives uprooted and virtually ruined by a government that is as fiercely ideological as the old Soviet Union, and just as adept at inventing enemies in order to maintain its inordinate hold on power? Americans today live in a bizarre atmosphere of loony toon morality that rivals anything Franz Kafka conjured up in his book, The Trial, in which virtually all citizens are subject to a knock on the door and incarceration. Nothing cements power like that kind of ubiquitous government control. But I drift. Perhaps today's Supreme Court decision will help to crystallize the picture of what's going on here in Kafkaesque America. Eros Rising will leave you with this thought: Your body is your castle, and your castle alone. They can take everything else from you, all your belongings, your savings, your social dignity, even your sons and daughters. But your sacred body should be your own business, your one sovereign claim to freedom. If you have no freedom over your own body then you have no freedom at all. Period.