Monday, November 29, 2004

in frame

in frame
in frame,
originally uploaded by SiRen65.
Ok, so I am frustrated with Roland Barthes and Kristeva...(oooh, she makes me MAD), and I am writing about confinement, incarceration, ranting and I put myself in a box...sort of, jsut for fun

THings are better...I can;t believe what a big difference it makes just feeling more cheerful to my work and everything

I don't even mind that I have a stupid amount of work anymore. I guess it's social conditioning Harvard style.hmmm.
Human beings can get used to anything, huh?


Friday, November 26, 2004


this is an audio post - click to play

The fabulous and naughty French songster George Brassens sums up my mood when waiting for an SMS date...Recorded from my mom's old vinyl (hooray Mom!!) from the late 60's, so crispy, but warm, huh? I am rying to promote George Brassens here...go out and find some...he seems pretty damn near forgotten and he's sooo cool. He writes with humour and passion about 10 minute love affairs beneath umbrellas, escaped gorillas raping judges, lovers on public benches, being hauled off by the police, feeling like a puppet to love, falling in love with the shape of a flower in the skin of a cow. I love him, I hope you all will too.

translated Lyrics:

My Lord the sun
As I do not admire him much
Takes away his fire, but I don't give a damn about his fire
I have a date with you
The light I prefer
Is the one from your jealous eyes
All the rest leaves me cold
I have a date with you

Monsieur my landlors
As I have wrecked everything
Kicks me from his house, but I don't give a damn about his house
I have a date with you
The residence I prefer
Is your rustling dress
All the rest leaves me cold
I have a date with you

Madame my housekeeper
As I owe her too much money
bars me from her table, but I don't give a damn about her table
I have a date with you
The dish I prefer
Is the flesh of your neck
All the rest leaves me cold
I have a date with you

His financial majesty
As I do nothing to his taste
Keeps his gold, but I don't give a damn about his gold
I have a date with you
The fortune I prefer
Is your heart of tinder
All the rest leaves me cold
I have a date with you.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

got thanks?

Folks, this is the first Thanksgiving I have spent in the United States since I was six, and I think I am ready. I have planned how to avoid Sport on TV, my parents have a plentiful supply of indigestion aids, and i am set for turkey heaven.

I am currently in the Sturbridge Host Inn in Sturbridge MA, where we used to come so often when I was a child, for holidays with my brother and all, and also when I would come up to Boston for surgery. We would always stop in Sturbridge and try to relax, swim in the superbly 80's pool, which still exists, and play arcade games, and eat muffins in front of the fire. THe fire is now electric and purely "decorative", (bastards) but the place is much the same. A bit more decrepit perhaps, or maybe it's just a matter of perspective. But they do have WIFI, and that you've got to love/

I am wishing all of my friends a Happy Thanksgiving, wherever you are. I am not sure exactly what the whole thing means, especially since I am not doing what I normally am doing at this time...making italian sausage stuffing with my brother and in the kitchen of our London house, and getting ready for a weird day. My Dad would put the turkey in the oven uber early in the morning so that you wake up to the smell of meat, whch is really strange, I think, but kind of exciting. My mother makes amazing pumpkin pie, and I really love pumpkin pie, I can't even tell you how yummy...with whipped cream and nutmeg! We always had a big dinner party to which all my parents' British friends would come and I would occasionally bring a few of mine. This would be the day on which I would be a pseudo American, just by virtue of the fact that I was more American than anybody else there except my parents, of course. Plus the Ubiquitous Priest, and of course, my Gran who is now gone, sadly, she would normally be hovering around, having taken the principle of a holiday that is pretty much purely about eating to heart, making sure that everything was being done exactly as she wanted, and being a fantastic fussbudget generally. I miss her so much. My father would invariably have some kind of loud, obnoxious and filthily conservative discussion at table. I remember one year it was on Thanksgiving that Margaret Thatcher got ousted from brother cried. help. I was too young to really understand, I just felt bad, cause everybody seemed so upset.

I remember too the first year Will came to my house for the whole affair...we turned up with a big bouquet of flowers for my mom, and I can remember being so proud to have him with me. And so pleased to have someone to conspire with in a "pinkosubversive" manner. Oh I pledge allegiance to the f(l)ag! (thankyou brad epps.)

So here I am, away from my little room in Cambridge and trying to fathom out what Thanksgiving is all about, and what horizons I am to keep my eye on now. But I was writing this to say to all, enjoy the break, and much love and I send my thanks to whatever powers that be for giving me the friends that I have and the friends that I have made, and the strength to be where I am doing what I am doing to which you all have contributed. much love.



nice doohicky I picked up from lady_babalon on LJ

tea is love
brought to you by the isLove Generator

Friday, November 12, 2004


It;s been snowing here almost all day...the first real snow of the season...I can't believe winter's here already. Normally snow makes me really excited and childlike, especially when it actually sticks...and we've got about an inch on the ground. But I got a kind of depressing email from my tutor, I have shitloads of work...I'm stressed, my skin is terrible and I'm generally kind of down. And I don't have anyone to share the snow with. I'm snowed under. I'm experiencing extreme academic anxiety, and I think my IQ is going down every second///Help.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Ballad of a Mapmaker

What is the lay of the land?
How does the land lay, and
How does it lie? I am making
Taking notes now when I walk Out
Humming in the canyon
Between waking and sleep,
On empty streets with only
The wind as my companion.
The light is cut in logical squares
And All the soft darkness that hides my
{My (invisible) } friend
They weave the web of sense the
Geography of wakefulness
The deceit of what could be.

The trees swing in that breeze, swinging with dancing like tangoing privately
In the cold. Lost in thought, not seeing that they are seen
A little striptease
(bend then, stand straight as compasses) as the leaves
at last
Stand Nude

Vulnerable and wholesome.
Frightened and thrilled
Waiting to be touched

By starlight, by moonlight, by a child’s hide -and
-seek -hand

And how does this land lie?
In the rustle of a paper bag in the park
In car horns and coded traffic the flashing
Light. In breaths and tones on telephones…
You ask me what it is that I am doing> what games nowadays?
I tell you I have become A CARTOGRAPher

Making sensual maps of the city streets
Walking a sentence around this town
With steps like words
Hiding from the punctuation of the road.


This poem has a lot more graphical play than it seems to have here...sorry, it won;t let me do it on the posting.
Any questions about that, just ask me.



Friday, November 05, 2004

I think this about speaks for itself-quoting Lady Babalon

TO all those on the mirror stage...again I am quoting a very astute person from LiveJournal for the purpose of better understanding. How does this election affect the average American you might well ask...well....Average we can't help you with, but American, we can certainly try. Lady Babalon wrote this in a fit of justifiable rage, but I think we all benefit from her rapier-like wit. Thanks for letting me quote you, Lady Babalon! Again, if you are interested in having a look at Lady Babalon's blog which is filled with strange dreams, occult divinations, weather gazing and black humour, go to:

muchos besos



Dear America,

How do I hate you? Let me count the ways...
I hate you for your unquestioning hatred and fear of dear friends and family of mine, and your eager willingness to deny them equal human status, which extends so far as to excuse people who violently beat them to death for merely being who they are by saying "Oh, they felt threatened, they couldn't help themselves."
I hate you for your eagerness to jump to war as the first solution for everything, and to rabidly defend your war leader even when he has been proved over and over and over again to have been lying about the reasons for the war, the difficulty of the war, the length of the war, the numbers of innocent people killed in the war; the goals of the war; and the benefits you will receive if you just give in and join his army.
I hate you for your knee jerk reaction to the word "liberal" as if it meant "baby raper" instead of someone who feels all people deserve an equal chance and has a somewhat different view of how things should be run than "conservatives".
I hate you for your willingness to use Christianity as a club to force through any law prohibiting adult consensual behavior, thereby making the nicer sort of Christians feel guilty if they don't go along with it and giving great energy to the asshole wanna be theocrats who are multiplying at alarming rates.
I hate you for your craven running and hiding in fear and being willing to give up every liberty granted you in the Constitution without a fight just because the television tells you your life will be better and safer that way.
And I hate you for your sheep like insistence on voting for only two candidates, despite the fact that you almost all admit you don't like either one of them, instead of fomenting a national revolution and en masse voting for a non Republicrat. Your easily won compliance virtually assures they will do nothing to change their policies which are slowly dragging us into fascism, an impossibly huge national debt, and a deep economic depression.
This is a democracy - you came out to vote - and you made yourselves the mockery of the world with the idiocy of your choices.

I hereby renounce you, America - I am no longer your citizen, I am a free person. I will take part in no more of your rituals other than the ones you threaten to imprison me for if I avoid them. Take heed that I do these things only under great duress, do not take them as a sign of happy good-citizen-like compliance. I will subvert you every place I can. Your nation's government is a worthless sham and not worthy of my support or respect, and neither are you.

Those who have actively worked for human equality and real political change may exempt themselves from this rant (which almost certainly includes most of you on my frineds list). But if you are anti-gay or pro-Bush you may go away now, you aren't wanted here. You aren't just part of the problem, you *are* the problem.
Now excuse me while I work out a bunker mentality for my family, whom apparently, most of America wants to destroy...

political piece/peace by SophiaSerpentia

Dear all on the Mirror Stage...I am posting some writings by very clever friends on another blog that I think may be especially interesting to those of you outside of the United States...THis one is by SophiaSerpentia a friend and Massachussetts resident who writes on LiveJournal, who has kindly allowed me to quote her here and provide you with a link to her blog which contains much spiritual searching and musing of the divine, philosophy, ephemera and politics, if you are interested please go to:

Enjoy, much love,

So, John Kerry said some pretty words in his consession speech about how we need to heal the divide between us and try to be nicer. It's not going to happen, and here's a few reasons why.

1. For many of us who are opposed to the war in Iraq, this matter is not a question of policy, not a matter of taxes and budgeting to be debated rationally. We believe that the war in Iraq is an unspeakable evil being perpetrated in our name.

2. The Republicans have no reason to start playing nice because they're winning. They consolidated their hold on the House of Representatives by creating gerrymander districts in Texas so severe, a federal court has ruled that they may well violate the civil rights of millions. They won the governorship of California through a campaign of misdirection. They sent out mailings in rural areas claiming that Kerry wanted to outlaw the Bible. Before the election they actively discouraged people from voting in New Hampshire and they worked to invalidate the registrations of many voters in Ohio and elsewhere. Sure, the Democrats have done their share of dirty tricks, but not on nearly the same scale.

3. Social conservatives in this country are not united around their support for something, they are united by their fear and hatred of people who are different. They speak of "defending marriage," but if that was truly their goal, they would focus on the people who are having trouble staying married, not the people who want to be able to get married. We who are queer did not start the culture war against us, but we have no choice but to fight it, as viciously as we must, until we prevail, or at least to a standstill. We are outnumbered and outgunned; our very lives and happiness are on the line. It is not reasonable to ask us to be "reasonable" in the face of organized hatred.

4. The very freedoms that fundamentally define this country are being threatened in the name of "defending" it. The cure (if indeed it is a cure; it has yet to be demonstrated that the loss of civil rights makes us any safer) is worse than the disease. This last point is actually aimed at both Democrats and Republicans, who have been united in their assault on basic American freedoms, and is the main reason I did not vote for the candidate of either party


Any of you on my friend's list who voted for Bush, I have a few questions. I'm really, really curious.

1. Regarding those claims about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. The specific WMDs Colin Powell and Donald Rumsfeld and Tony Blair claimed to have detailed information about, but which simply and plainly did not exist. You know, the "weapons" we said we wanted to keep out of the hands of terrorists so much, we started a war. Those claims either represent gross incompetence, or are blatant lies. What I would like to know is, what are you telling yourself about these claims that made it possible for you to vote for Bush?

2. Speaking of keeping weapons out of the hands of terrorists, what about the weapons and explosives in Iraq which really did exist, but which were left completely unguarded after the invasion? America is not safer now than it was before the invasion of Iraq. The security situation, in fact, is much more grave. Do you really find that acceptable?

3. Why should any friend of yours who is gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered ever speak to you again?

4. Please explain, using your understanding of economic theory, why you think it is good for America to continue to widen the gap between rich and poor in this country. For extra credit, explain also why we are better off working for Wal-Mart than keeping the high-paying technical jobs which now belong to workers in India or China.


Exhuming Nature

Exhuming Nature: The Matter of Sex and Self

1. To Thine Own Self Be True

In the essays and writings we are looking at this week, in Fausto Sterling’s erudite exposition (literally as well as metaphorically) of intersex and its treatments and her dissection of the underlying problematics of the nature/nurture dichotomy as well as in the majority of other works we have looked at over the last few weeks we are running against a basic problem. This problem although it is recognized in linguistic and conceptual terms really needs to be faced head on…that of where exactly we are trying to arrive at when we begin to dismantle the trip wired room of sexuality in current discourse. One of the main features of much analysis of the character of sexuality it seems is focused on unmasking its “natural” pretensions. But once we have accepted that the making of the sexual personality, the person marked by sexuality is discursive modern and a complex process involving both biological and cultural factors although in what admixture and along what axis we have no way of knowing, where are we to go? The problem is that all this stripping of sexuality’s robe of “nature” implies a hierarchy…nature, being true, is preferable to the sham.

2. Going Digging

In fact this brings us back to the same reductions and difficulties associated with attempts to locate a female or homosexual brain. We are still looking for an inherent “truth”, an essential, measurable nature of mankind (sic), desiring knowledge of the true desires and needs of the natural man. Feeling ourselves in the modern world to be far distant from “nature’ we seek to exhume it and breathe life into its corpse. Fausto Sterling addresses this in her discussions of the two models of an individual through time, as if cloned and propelled by time machine into the distant past…she points first to an understanding of sexuality as fixed, as biocentric, genetic or con-genital(sic) that it seems is commonly held and is essentially bound up with the idea of the self-knowing individual, as well as with the primacy of genetic science and thus with the construction, as we might have it, of both the phallic human and the monstrous perfect. . If a basic nature for a pre-social individual is buried somewhere, an unlikely prospect if not an oxymoron in itself we might think, it may well be a series of dis-membered(sic) parts, the fragments before the first confrontation with the mirror, and thus basically outside of the individual as a concept. There is no body for us to breathe into. Quite apart from the ultimate futility of framing ourselves thus within a self evident economy of desire, I think perhaps it is necessary to admit that we have no real context for understanding our hypothetical corpse, our un-socialized human, the basic essence of man, if there is one, and would have him either savage or sage, monster or innocent. Thus such seeking out of the true nature of sex, or sexual identity only serves to bolster ideas it ostensibly seeks to rend.

3. Mask or Face

Indeed, instead of decrying the false nature of our sexual roles, our personhood, the sham of the constructed and synthetic, I feel it would be well advised, having made clear our dissatisfaction with the roles into which we have been cast, note that there is much freedom in the constructed…there is freedom to add subtract and change, while taking well into account the limitations of such an endeavor for the “individual” mind. This perhaps is to find a locus of power in a creative act that can belong to all. That is not to say that one should not fling spanners liberally into the epistemological works, but perhaps more in line with Fausto Sterling’s second model accept the human mind in all its complexities, (the only way to do which is to admit that we only partially understand it and that this inability will most likely persist---consequently, from a biological perspective too, there is no way in which we can “know ourselves”, and consequently no way in which we can be “true” to ourselves since we do not know what that self consists of), as not covered or clouded by the constructed, but as perhaps precisely to be located within the constructed. In other words masquerade is not womanliness, it is personhood, but the plethora of masks donned at various time are not so much the masks of a carnival as precisely the at once disposable and integrated faces of the mutable person.

4.Catch 22 and the Möbius Strip

Charging head on and skirting away in successive regressive advances, the model of the Möbius Strip as introduced into the current discussion by Fausto Sterling’s article, has been my undulating guide here, but in the self stated uncertainties we have visited above a certain anecdote comes to mind. “There is no such thing as absolute truth” was for a while a tattoo across my tongue, but I have since revised my tattoo…it now reads “There is no such thing as absolute truth…sometimes.” The certainty of my uncertainty came back to haunt me. I have at the centre of this ribbon of reasoning a basic uncertainty that must be thus be brought into the half light…a catch 22 that forms the essence of our ramble with the ants, and all other tentative stumbling in our afore mentioned trip wired room…at the risk of falling head first into a solipsistic pillow we must take up a position that in its destabilizing facility may very well destabilize any proclamations we seek to make. The task of picking a path through these shifting sands is then perhaps at its heart both a basic denial and requirement of those grappling with the practicalities and theories of living in the sexed and sexualized self.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Anyone for Canada??

I've heard rumblings. People are getting their red and white flags/socks/tshirts in order, collecting the bright red leaves as they float gently down on the pavements of the people's republic of Cambridge. People are thinking about long can we actually enjoy railing our opposition to certain policies, certain politicians, certain penises (N.B. Not phalluses...they want to be...oh yes they want to be)? I saw myself in an everyman with a leafblower engaged in a syssiphian (did I spell that right?) sruggle against the wind (What the fuck are leaf blwers supposed to accomplish anyway?). No amount of chai tea can sew that one up sister. TO all my American compatriots in arms: in the interests of personal inquiry and greater understanding across the board I am posting a lnk to the BBC's coverage of the presidential election and particlarly to a page of comments from correspondants across the world on global impact of same:

it doesn't seem to be hypertexting so just copy and paste.

So on a beautiful Autumn day I found myself in the Science Centre (I know I know Center, not Centre...honestly, who gives a fuck.)eating Sushi and reading about the Mobius strip (would be a great name for a strip joint, no?) in relation to the creation/construction/conception/construal (is that a word?) of sexuality. Looking outside at trees that look like they've been decorated with painted paper leaves and a fresh blue sky with the cleanest sort of light, the closest I've ever come to the light in South Africa in Autumn...And in any case, dear friends, I thought about it. How is it that a nation as self consciously constructed as the United States can be so divided on precisely what it is that is the "content of the character" of an American? Or does it really have anything to do with that...are we all just frightened children looking for someone to look up to, someone to save us...squabbling over state hood and the constructed importance of marriage. We are being polarised. THis is bad. It's bad because it ends up being part of the same thing, a global struggle enacted in our petulant nation on a foucauldian grid of power, and it's even worse because the poles are artificial...we are closer together than we are shammed up to be...not to say that I'm happy with where we are. I'm not. I guess that makes me a Pinko Subversive. I dunno.

I shuffled along the pavement listening to Tracy Chapman and smoking a cigarette manufactured with the worst possibe auspices, and looked up a the sky. Going off the neatly swept path I kicked through a heap of red Maple Leaves. Consider your options, baby, they rustled in chorus. As I latched my front door shut I considered the Divine Comedia slouched on the sofa and with hands raised in a gesture of supplication cried out,

"God why couldn't you have Reversed the important Curse??"

Wednesday, November 03, 2004


this is an audio post - click to play

To all those of us who voted for Kerry, or who are horrified at the prospect of 4 more years of Dubbya, I give this song...Remember: "Nobody can steal the way you sway, the way you walk..."

"May there Never be a time you don't live through."

Monday, November 01, 2004

ever wonder2

originally uploaded by SiRen65.
Here Dimaco and Miguel pose for a photo op. "damned reporters" they think to themselves..."tasty though...what do you think...sauce bernaise, Dimaco, would that go??" says Miguel. "Oh yes," says Dimaco, pictured right, "Very well indeed".

Ever wonder....

originally uploaded by SiRen65.
How zee ovver hahf lives?? aristo vampires michele and Dimaco get ready their bloody appetites for a night on the tiles first checking out their "reflections", projected in an elaborate scheme from the small camera in Dimaco's cold hand of deathso as to keep their status secret when necessary. They would be rocking out with other ghouls but you never know when some dirty mortal is leering at the vampires only restrooms...anyway, vanity is no sin, especially for a vampire. tasty.


originally uploaded by SiRen65.
How much work did you say I have to do again?? Surely not. Surely there must be some kind of mistake. Surely you don't expect me to read a 150page novel, 100 pages of a novel in Chinese, 40 pages of comment and write a paper about it all for one class in one week. surely not. surely you don't expect me to also read 350 pages of theory for another class and 150 more for yet another. And prepare a chapter of business chinese. and starting writng about the chinese stock market. And have two precis of final papers and a mid term paper due in 2 weeks. surely not. somebody pinch me. oh yeah, can't be asleep because I DON"T SLEEP. I forgot.