A good blog watches part of the blogosphere you don’t frequently visit but ideally overlaps with your own blogroll for about 30% to 50%. This makes sure that you have common ground (the usual suspects). More than that percentage is too much overlap, you might as well be on your own blog.
I have one minor gripe with the blog. It isn’t in the habit of crediting its visuals. So it is impossible to know whether the excellent morbid pictures in its latest posts are by the blog’s owner or by someone else.
My copy of “Of Human Bondage,” sitting on a bench in Antwerp.
I was recently very irked by a series of posts over at the Anglophone blog Gatochy (known for its excellent image juxtapositions). The posts were about sexual masochism and she painted a ridiculously malinformed picture of the sexual masochist as a person suffering from a mental disorder. When I reacted by guiding her gently towards Zizek‘s Enjoy Your Symptom! she graciously acknowledged to never having heard of him. After an exchange of about 3 comments she proposed to never speak to me again, to which I proposed to oblige, but first pointing her to and quoting from the relevant Wikipedia article which shows that masochism, just like homosexuality is no longer considered a mental disorder.
The results of newer studies have led to calls to abolish sadism and masochism as disease categories completely, arguing that the truly pathological forms are adequately covered by other diagnoses. The sadomasochistic subculture added a political dimension to this drive with claims of discrimination and by pointing to the precedent of removing of homosexuality from the list of mental disorders.
In response, the American Psychiatric Association modified the criteria for sadism and masochism in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM IV) in 1994 so that consensual sadomasochistic behavior alone is not considered a sexual disorder anymore. In the DSM-IV TR, published in 2000, sadomasochistic behavior can be diagnosed if the patient “has acted on these urges with a non-consenting person” or “the urges, sexual fantasies, or behaviors cause marked distress or interpersonal difficulty,” so consensual sadomasochism can no longer be considered a disease unless it causes severe discomfort. In 1995, Denmark became the first country to completely remove sadomasochism from its classification of diseases.
Our entire conversation – and the comment above – was promptly erased by the author Marianna and I was doubly annoyed. I thought I had done her a favor by showing her the errors of her ways. I dedicate the photograph above to her. May she soon awaken from her obstinate ignorance.
“I’ve never read Wuthering Heights, though I like to imagine its heroine does a pushy-arm dance at some point. Looking it up on Wikipedia, however, I was shocked to realise that Kate Bush is singing this song as a ghost, but really that’s just another oddness on a teetering pile of them: in a really excellent article on Bush for the late Stylus magazine, Marcello Carlin (hi dere!) points out that she is “the last musician to be allowed to do what she likes, as and when she likes”, and the precocious, precious “Wuthering Heights” is both evidence and justification for this indulgence.” —Tom Ewing at Freaky Trigger
After viewing the list of 1977 number one hits one must come to the conclusion that a lot of interesting things can be said about what I like to call guilty pleasures, and secondly, that one can’t argue with popular.
American blog Simplyfantastico reports on V-necks, what I have worn in the first two weeks of July. He says: “V is the new black! …. by V I’m refering to V-Neck T’s. … It’s sexy it’s sleazy it’s trashy it’s classy. … The days of the wife beater (or boy beater) are gone…”
Three other blogs that deserve mention are Va Jouer Avec Cette Poussière, a fabulous Francophone blog which features juxtapositions of news items with outrageous visuals, and Austrian artist Herbert Pfostl’s two blogs, .
I’ve had enough of this shit. The internet is for those who lack the flair for conversation. A blog is what you write for after being rejected by all the reputable publishers. It is Loser Central. The last refuge of the refuse.
Where else but on blogs can I read, watch and listen at the same time. The only off-line media I still follow are Focus Knack (a Belgian general interest arts and culture mag), an occasional newspaper and occasional snippets of televised and radio-broadcast news.
French blog Au carrefour étrange has ceased its activities for the time being and started a new blog called French book covers which is illustrated with a chic cover photo  by the Italian designer and photographer Carlo Mollino. Its author, who goes by the pseudo of Losfeld, has a very extensive collection of books, running the gamut from surrealisttheory to sleazypaperbacks, what I like to call nobrow.
A recent post at this new blog featured cover art by French publishing house La Brigandine, for which Jahsonic regular Jean-Pierre Bouyxou has written novels under the pseudonym Georges Le Gloupier before that name was appropriated by the entarteurNoël Godin, a highschool buddy of Bouyxou. One particular of those novels is called Les Accidents de l’amer (Eng: Accidents of the Sea, or accidents of Bitterness, depending on where you place the apostrophe or blank space) and has one of the sexiest covers I’ve seen in some time, due to the particular areola shape of the woman depicted.
I cannot pinpoint (or haven’t tried) the date of these publications, but I would gather mid to late 1970s.
It is my sincerest pleasure to announce the first guest contribution for Jahsonic’s World Cinema Classics category. Could it be any more befitting that today’s classic should be contributed by this blog’s liveliest commentator – a cultural omnivore like myself: Nurse Myra of the Gimcrack Hospital (PG)? Over the past few months, I have discovered her as a lady of seemingly impeccable taste, acute powers of perception and a huge stash of humor. She chose the New Zealand film Rain, directed by director Christine Jeffs released in 2001.
“Rain deals with a very young girl observing problems in adult relationships at the same time as experiencing sexual awareness and the power that brings. The young actors are particularly good and the depiction of a new Zealand bach* holiday is perfect.
*A NZ holiday cabin was/is called a bach (pronounced batch). They were usually quite rudimentary and used to be very cheap to buy. Most of them are near the sea and prices would have skyrocketed by now.”