Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I Tell My Love To Wreck It All

He understood nonetheless the gravity of that stare, which at that moment expressed total human despair. But at the same time, in his mind, he was shrugging his shoulders and thinking:
"Faggot!"
He despised the officer. He kept on smiling, allowing himself to be lulled by the monstrous and ill-defined notion of "faggot" sweeping back and forth inside his head.
"Faggot, what's a faggot? One who lets other guys screw him in the ass?" he thought. And gradually, while his smile faded, lines of distain appeared at the corners of his mouth. Then again, another phrase drifted through his mind, inducing a vague feeling of torpor: "Me, I'm one too."
--"Querelle," Jean Genet

It is quite the contrast moving from the vacuity of "Kept Boy"--which I started only as a joke, really--to Genet. Why don't more fags read Genet? And what of the "band of outlaws" Genet was a prominent member of which included Foucault, Daniel Defert, Sartre, Angela Davis, and many other prominent (often queer) intellectuals? Then, I answer my own question: we are too busy reading "Kept Boy". I long for the university so that I can, again, move among my equals. While the Vegan is a dear, he refrains from moving on an intellectual level most of the time, unless necessary--and I don't fault him this compartmentalization. The German is wonderful, but we've often discussed our love-lives. It was, no surprise, with the Writer that I found intellectual and erotic stimulation. He has a boyfriend now.

A brief note on Sartre: he has a way of destroying what he values. For Fanon he destroyed the vitality of the negritude movement of Senghor and Cesaire, and for Genet--with the publication of "Saint Genet"--he stymied the author's confidence to such a degree that he was launched into a massive depression. Of course, the relationship between Sartre and Fanon is more comfortably bandied about than that of Sartre and Genet--a reticence on the part of many academics to approach questions of sex and sexuality, especially between men.

Capture the image: I am on the beach in Naples, FL surrounded by highschool Dude-Bros-in-training (it was Memorial Day and no one had school) laid out on my pink towel in my skimpy black swim-trunks reading Genet. Some guy walked by and with a mixture of disgust and wonderment asked, "What the fuck is that?" It was a little unsettling, but then, I think what was so disturbing was the image of a sexualized male body. When you think about it, men do not sexualize themselves--they do not expose flesh except for their biceps in "normal" life, and when on a beach, they actively work to cover their genitals and ass--sometimes by wearing underpants underneath their bathing suits. Hence the appellation, "that," as though I was something alien, unrecognizable and dangerous: the surging force of the male body, refusing atrophy.

I'm a bit tender from my time on the beach and so I think I'll take it easy today. I want to see the Terminator movie (Guilty pleasures: Christian Bale, senseless but visually pleasing violence, and post-apocalyptic messianism). We shall see if we can get Gramsy into the theater, for I am wholly broke--per usual. But at least I start my career as a "sex educator" when I get back which means pay checks, even if meager, and blog-posts! I have to come up with a lovely name.

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