Category Archives: blogs

Introducing Illusory Confections

Introducing Illusory Confections

Marcel Roux

Self-portrait of Marcel Roux

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.

The blogroll of the blog I am about to introduce, Illusory Confections[1] shares a good deal of links with my own blog, among which the recently discovered A journey round my skull, BibliOdyssey, Femme Femme Femme, Herbert Pfostl‘s Paper graveyard, Morbid Anatomy and John Coulthart‘s Feuilleton.

Its motto reads:

“We are left over from the time of Przybyszewski,
Ghosts who love Lautrec and despair”

It introduces a film of Pierre-Auguste Renoir[2] at work, photographs by Zola[3] and Mucha[4] and artwork by the underrated Marcel Roux[5], the latter “similar to Rops in content and style”.

One of its exemplary posts is titled “Wherein Mirbeau, Schlichter, and personal fashion statements collide, if somewhat disjointedly [6].

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[7] [8] [9] are by the blog’s owner or by someone else.

Sitting on a bench in Antwerp

My copy of Of Human Bondage, sitting on a bench in Antwerp

My copy of “Of Human Bondage,” sitting on a bench in Antwerp.

I was recently very irked by a series of posts[1] 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.

[FR] [DE] [UK]

Introducing “Bright Stupid Confetti”

Introducing Bright Stupid Confetti[1]

Its latest post[2] gives us the following YouTube goodies:

Etymologically, the blog can be traced to bright, stupid and confetti.

Kontakte” is WMC #80.

One can’t argue with popular

Internet nostalgia.

Around 2002 I discovered Tom Ewing‘s I Love Music (ILM). The forum featured posts by bloggers and writers such as Simon Reynolds, Philip Sherburne, Mark Fisher, Scott Plagenhoef, Momus, Stevie Nixed and Sasha Frere-Jones. ILM represented the first batch of serious music writing in the blogosphere, and was notable because of its non-rockist approach.

I stayed around for a year or two, lurked more than I contributed and moved on, starting my own domain in that same year.

The reason I go back to these days is a blog I found by Tom Ewing on popular music[1] over at Freaky Trigger, a site/blog he has as a follow-up to NYLPM [2]. Tom means popular music in the literal sense, reviewing every UK number one single since 1952[3]. As of now, he has arrived in 1978.

The reviews are funny and well-informed. Consider this recent entry on Kate Bush‘s Wuthering Heights[4]:

“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[5], 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[6]

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[7], and secondly, that one can’t argue with popular.

Elsewhere #10

I’ve finished my catchup reading of the blogosphere:

In a post titled Possession[1], Valter from Surreal Documents writes:

“In a beautifully written and highly interesting recent post[2] on his interview with Mark Stewart for The Wire, Mark K-Punk writes”:
“…one link between the post-punk trio I wrote about in the July issue (Stewart, Mark E Smith, Ian Curtis) is channeling.

I have the impression, that after hauntology, channeling will be the buzzword of internet intelligentsia of late 2008.

Moon river (the blog[3]) presents Alex Kanevsky[4], a figurative painter reminiscent of Bacon.

American blog Simplyfantastico reports on V-necks[5], 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…”

I’m not sure where the wife beater comes in.

Three other blogs that deserve mention are Va Jouer Avec Cette Poussière[6], a fabulous Francophone blog which features juxtapositions of news items with outrageous visuals, and Austrian artist Herbert Pfostl’s two blogs[7], [8].

Trevor Brown has a post[9] on Marilyn Minter.

There is a very good Afro-Caribbean “mix tape”

There is a very good Afro-Caribbeanmix tape[1] (by DJ Geko Jones [MySpace] and a track listing here) over at Wayne and Wax. Other music blogs I am currently subscribed to include the Simon Reynolds, Swen’s blog[2], WFMU, Mixtuur, The Wire‘s The Mire[3] and Phinn. Woebot is still missed.

Needless to say, I cannot agree with Sebastian Horsley (Dandy in the Underworld ) when he angrily says:

I’ve had enough of this shit[4]. 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.

Can you live without off-line media?

P.S. From that mixtape:

Eres para mi Julieta Venegas

Eres para mi Julieta Venegas

Introducing French Book Covers

French blog Au carrefour étrange has ceased its activities for the time being and started a new blog called French book covers [1] which is illustrated with a chic cover photo [2] 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 surrealist theory to sleazy paperbacks, what I like to call nobrow.

A recent post[3] 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 entarteur Noël 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[4] 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.

Adam Kotsko’s blog on the newest The Roots album, and, on Kotsko

The Roots:


Rising Down “Get Busy” by The Roots: “one of the better large-label releases of 2008.[1]” –Brad via Adam Kotsko

On Kotsko

Blogging about blogging: “To some extent, I agree with Adam Kotsko that “Meta-blogging is the greatest vice yet developed by humankind.” –Adam Kotsko quoted in the The Reading Experience.
“Over the past three years, I’ve become a habitué of The Weblog, a “virtual neighborhood” created by Adam Kotsko, a graduate student in theology, and de facto in continental philosophy, who lives in Chicago.” —Scott McLemee

World cinema classics #38 by Nurse Myra


Rain (2001) – Christine Jeffs

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.

Nurse Myra:

“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.”

Previous “World Cinema Classics” and in the Wiki format here.