von_geisterhand: (Default)
Here we have a book collecting accounts of various blokes' first sex:


Does that not speak of silent sexuality blooming? Tender touches and the moment when a boy becomes a man? Does it not? Well, at least it speaks of sex about to be initiated. Houston, we are getting naked! It may not reflect my personal experience but it sure is a good cover for a book about sex.

Now here we have the cover of a book about the same subject by the same author, only this time dealing with accounts by women.



Excuse me, what the fuck is this? It looks like a bloody ad for sanitary towels, maybe even medication against nervous bowels. This does not scream sex or even sensuality, except of course if you see women as mainly tender emotional creatures frozen with fear in the headlights of their first erection. What is the thinking behind this? How is this to be representative?
von_geisterhand: Monika küsst Jörg. Sie liebt ihn. (nekro)
It seems a bit silly to complain about this as I guess that things turned out exactly as expected, except that I obviously expected to be disappointed and therefore am surprised that I wasn't. If you get my meaning.

I picked up a book at a library sale. It is a book which I had been interested in for well over 10 years now, after somebody mentioned it as having been an inspiration to a play I had been rather impressed by.

"Happy like murderers: The true story of Fred and Rosemary West". If you don't know who the Wests are/were and are of a sensitive disposition, you might not want to google them.

Seriously, even though I knew of them and even though I sought that book in order to find about all the grisly details, it is making me feel eversoslightly filthy and uneasy.
I was about 100 (of 468) pages in when I thought "I absolutely lost track of how many rapes and sexual abuses were featured up to now and only one of them was committed by the Wests."
The book does not really give you the feeling that Gloucester was/is a particularly nice place to live, especially if you are young and female. And while it does describe the harsh life and abuse that Fred and Rose suffered themselves, you never really feel any sympathy for them. They are just that sickening.

Or maybe it's just the author's odd way of phrasing things.
von_geisterhand: (Default)
If you ever felt discontent with what is nowadays advertised as, claimed to be and/or sold as punk, if you ever thought "What happened to those ideals and grand ideas that some of these older folk sometimes talk about?" or if you are just in any way interested in some of the "deeper" aspects of punk (or of those genres that punk gave birth to), you can really do a lot worse than picking up (and reading!) "The Philosophy of Punk" by Craig O'Hara.
It's good to read, not to heavy to carry and it makes some fantastic points about what the original idea of punk was/is (like, for example totally liberal, anti-sexist and anti-racist. Years later we suddenly had Limp Bizkit. How did that happen?) and what the fuck happened for it to nowadays quite ofteb simply reflect the good old traditional bigoted values punk was supposed to gob at. Not to mention fuckheads proper that really seem driving by nothing but wanting to be even holier than the last holier-than-thou-guy and don't mind breaking a few skulls on the way. (Seriously, how can you unironically call your band "Vegan Reich"?)

Some of the stuff O'Hara suggests seems simple but turns all elusive on you once you try to work out what it actually means or even try to incorporate it into your day-to-day life. What I really enjoyed about the book, though, is that it is totally subjective. O'Hara, true to the DIY-Think-for-yourself ethic, makes some very good points to start examining the "scene" with but in the end, there are enough vague spots to force you to figure it out for yourself. That's the wonder of it. What it certainly does is make you want to actually get up and do something about the issues/points that you feel discontent about, not just mope about how things used to be so much better "back in the day".
And it doesn't just work for punk or related genres. Personally, I know little about rap culture* and even less about the original revolutionary energy of Techno that I keep on reading about, but I suspect that a lot of the points raised in this book also apply to these genres.

The book comes highly recommended.


*but always think of some lines from Dälek's Distorted Prose when thinking about modern mainstream rap:
"Bleak circumstance led masses to only want to dance
A bastard child of Reaganomics posed in a B-Boy stance"
von_geisterhand: (Default)
I had a look at the notice board of the rehearsal space today and spotted an ad looking for a housemate for a flat-share. Which, of course, is not unusual in this city.
This ad sported the picture of a My Little Cthulhu and people running away from it in terror, though.
Which amused me greatly.
If I was still looking for a flat up here I'd definitely give them a call. :-)

Also I am currently reading "Raw Spirit", a non-fiction book by Iain Banks about Whisky and Scotland (and a few other things) and if you are interested in either subject, I can only recommend it.
The only downside is that you feel kind of urged to try all the whiskys he talks about, which is not all that practical on the tube. But at least there is a pronounciation guide at the back.
Edinburgh = Embra
;-)

Hope you are having a lovely day.

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