Friday, April 30, 2010

Paper Gangsta

There may be some extra layer of shame that one might feel upon realizing that a pop diva has shown them up, called them out.
It came when wanting to identify with the Lady herself--someone just as real, as fabulous. And then I realized I had the flavor but no follow-through.
And I've thought about this song once before when I felt mildly reproached for being all about "papers". As an academic, that's about all I get to be into. And then I realized she said "fakers" and I breathed a sigh of relief.

(your diamond words melt into ice... absolutely devastating. Obviously this is about exploitative music producers or agents or what have you, but also about prenuptial agreements or marriage licenses--and thus marriage is implicated; and the self-help cottage industry... oh this list is endless! Like, Gangsta rap "ice" is ephemeral, melting away whereas Gaga will have diamonds only, and thus gestures towards Marilyn, an enduring feminine sex-pop icon--and what about that she is the new "Lady"? It isn't "move over" Billie, but rather: make some room--not that I think Billie Holiday would object to Gaga's company--birds of a feather and all...)

But, ok, I admitted to being called out. Gaga's affirmation--just as real, as fabulous--is a serious aesthetico-ethical standard. If she can dismiss managers/lovers/producers/competitors or "fakers" on these grounds, she must be able to escape her own dismissal. It was this thought that caught me, ensnared in the seeming purity of the dichotomy. I was going to reproach J., but alas: I fake as much as he does. He admitted what I have known for ages: he knows more than he lets on. And he puts up his blinders of repression, forces himself to see only what won't disturb. But the disturbing is seen, and it disturbs: he gave himself ulcers, for fuck sake! He basically says as much to me.

I think to myself: I choose not to show you things, too.

A version, no doubt, of faking.

I realized that I don't want to "grow-up" and that, in part, moving to a "bigger space" meant that I was growing--if not in age, then in the amount of stuff that I can't do without if I'm to be/come who I want to... Part of what is frightening about having more space is the silent imperative to "fill it". The German didn't do this for ages--he had an empty museum of an apartment when I was dating him. It scared me. But I should have seen then how perfect we were for one another at the time: he was increasingly incapable of swatting away the droning call to finally exhale and then re-fill his weary body with a fresh history. I was the bug that he could finally swat. And I was, of course, needing someone to show me that I was capable of doing what I wanted to be able to do so badly--namely, be a decent boyfriend, be sexy for other men, to feel my skin touched in new ways that I wouldn't recoil from or have to feel guilty for enjoying. We gave each other what we needed: he nailed the bug, and I got my body back (as if for the first time). But it was all there in the echo-chamber of his apartment--my pleading, broken-record whinings for him to finally "get some shit on your walls!" and his "I will (but not now, when the time is right)...)".

We think we are so clever, and yet we have no idea just how clever we really are: we tell ourselves and one another the truth all the time, in many ways, on many registers, and yet we don't recognize it for what it is--like an old friend we haven't seen in a while, who has gotten an uncharacteristic hair-cut--recognition, but not realization. Like J.'s eyes when the blinders wear thin and become patchy and transparent in places. These truths, where do they go? They are "in," like Trojan Virus's, but we don't feel the impact of the corruption until much, much later. And usually these detections require an up-dating of soft-ware, the next operating platform (if you will). Imagine the body as a computer dating from when you got your first family PC/Mac, and then imagine that without being able to simply replace the machine (the body) you have to get supplemental RAM, multiple external hard-drives; and when a virus seeps in, you quarantine it, but you have to use alternative programs now, you have to send your computer in for "repair" or spend multiple hours on "technical support" as an "expert specialist" walks you through repairing the problem.

It's just funny to think about. Some boy sits down and doesn't know how to navigate your crippled OS and tries to run X program and you freeze--the part of you processing (that rainbow circle of boredom) is remembering the stress, the hassle, the time wasted the last time this happened. Bodies, like computers, adapt; quarantine that program, and this one becomes the new default.

There is a part of my body that likes getting infected. (One can think cynically or hyperbolically but I think Laplanche, for instance, describes--in Freudian terms--how introjection is primal, and by this he means something like: infection of the Other and then auto-immune adaptive response: this is neurosis--and for Laplanche it happens from the very beginning!) Gaga says as much, in a sense, when she sings in "I like it rough"--"Is it cuz I don't feel it, or because you don't mean it... guess it's love..."--cf. also: Poker Face: "When it's love if it's not rough it isn't fun". There is the pleasure in being taken-over; in being overwhelmed. Infected by sensations, stimulations, (simulations), passions (pathos). It is deadly (for Freud: la petite mort), but this is the height of pleasure: to dissolve into the throbbing of a dance rhythm that two bodies produce, naked, like sounds--inside--...

I've moved to a new apartment, and I see a corner of the world now, and not just a ratty court-yard. I see people come and go; buses pull over and hiss and squeal as they let passengers off; I hear taxi cabs grate to a jerking stop; and the remix pulses of Gaga from the club across the way. I see boys going to the ATM, walking out with newly-found fuck buddies, the signs down the street advertising GOT MILK and then the TIME and WEATHER (2.45 am, 66 degrees)... I see the Hancock Tower way down the avenue, and what would be a tall, imposing gym-bunny appear only the size of my glass. (Rum and Rootbeer.)

I'm tired, but wired. And I'm wired to you. So I twitch, and hope that you don't think I'm trying to push you away.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sexpo, Paparazzi, Moving, Longing

Last night J., de Milo, and I all went to this Sexpo downtown. It was TRASH (*accompanying contemptuous dismissive gesture mimed*). We were so excited. We though we'd see gay porn stars! We even allowed ourselves to get so carried away that we fancied Buck Angel would be there. And though we all laughed at ourselves about how fucking scary he is (really: every infant boy's anxiety of the "bad breast," of the fatal feminine: a woman who can catch us, and kill us--his with vagina!), I think afterwards we would have risked Buck's cunt over the douchy sleeze-bags that populated the place. Poor women. And, interestingly, we were unmolested--we vamped and camped up a bit, and I thnk for this reason we were more frightening to these dumb-ass men than they were to us. Hahaha. Oh how I love invert-ability (Freud's blessing to faggots: we know how role-play like motherfuckers).

I'm moving today. Just across the street. Into "Pride Tower": Pride party at my place this year! (Perfect view of the route :) ) I'm not looking forward to it tho... it's a pain in the ass... But I'm excited once it's done. It will be beautiful--so much sunlight, more room... and still in Boystown. So important!

Being in VA made me really appreciate how lucky we are here to have a space that is all our own, where we run the streets.

I miss VA. I feel so stupid saying it. I miss "Tall J."--though, his name also begins w/ "J" so, I dunno... maybe I should just stop. He's become like a splinter under the skin of my imaginary. Digging and then disappearing and then sharply re-appearing. He suggested movies I should watch. "Antichrist" and "Otto: or, Up with the Dead People" (a gay zombie flick out of Europe). I'll have to find them some how. But I don't know if I should. This, thus far, other than the intoxicating memory of dancing, is the only thread that extends between us. And it is so tenuous, so fragile that I could so easily snip it without any pain or loss. But that's a lie. So I keep these txts in my phone, these titles, these suggestions.

I re-read my last post: it was half-true (or un-evenly true): I wanted what was also _not_ J: the difference, the remainder that couldn't be folded into the image of J. His accent, his age, his particular appreciation for the music (he knew the words, and was electrically alive when a song he knew came on; 1243: none of the bitches are better than me... It came on at the Sexpo last night and I thought of him instantly, and was thankful for his introduction, for I felt she was singing for me, and so I sang along having learned this refrain for the first time with him, his voice nestling the words in my ear as he gyrated against me)... (real good: we dance in the studio... [I'm your biggest fan...]--there's no other superstar...)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Cuz I'm a Free Bytch, Baby!

"Bad Romance" was my theme song for our trip to VA Tech's Conference, Lady Gaga my muse, my Athena/Artemis/Hermes/Dionysus/Zeus/Hephaestus/Ares/Aphrodite/Demeter/Apollo/--my pantheon of personas blessing me with the gift of agility. In a nutshell: everything went swimmingly and we were well received. I was in rare form! Before leaving for this conference I say to the Grand Dame of our department, "I will reflect the glory of our department!" (I will channel Alcibiades for as long as possible!)

More to the point, I had a grand time with the Vegan, Cocoa and Parkaboy.

I also had the unique opportunity to get to know the local gay flora and fauna of the city of Roanoke.

We opened our night at "The Back-Street Cafe" where we saw a BRILLIANT drag cabaret show featuring Bunny Flingus and a stellar supporting cast. There I met a boy who did the make-up for Joe Biden and John McCain and Jerry Falwell Jr. (that's right the fucker's kid--Lynchburg is one of the "larger" cities in the area, along with Christiansburg, and the home to J. Crew and Jerry Falwell, until he died on my birthday, which also happened to be the birthday of this gorgeous boy, Caleb, who is a hair dresser/drag queen--tall, skinny, and looks 22 when he's really 27.) As the Vegan said, I scanned the room, found the cutest boy, bee-lined it to him, and was making friends within 3 minutes of being there. Well, more like 2 minutes, but w/e. hahaha...

Anyway, so apparently the place has been shot at. Surprise, surprise! But the Vegan loved it, and so did I, and though I wouldn't go so far as to say that they have gay culture "right," it is true that you don't usually see this sort of thing in Chicago (a cabaret that used "Alice in Wonderland" as the thread that wove all the performances together--for instance, the caterpillar performed--in a full caterpillar plush body suit--"Because I Got High" and the Queen of Hearts did "Poker Face" ect... all told, very clever deployments). The next night they did, at The Park--the only gay dance club in the tri-city area, with the "best sound system in Virginia!"--a rainbow themed show (obviously, Prince's "Purple Rain").

Friday the Park was next to deserted. It was interesting because the only nights they are open are Friday, Saturday, Sunday, so I had expected people to come out on Friday/Saturday, but alas: I was the only boy there who wasn't a total hot mess.

On a more somber note, I did meet a boy who was just tragic. (Tragic, not pathetic--the former, so far as I can tell, implies an overwhelming confrontation with Fate; the latter implies a confrontation with Fate which is not overwhelming but treated as if it were--victimization, "the spirit of gravity.") After a car accident, the boy is rushed to the local hospital which, because (no doubt) it is under-equipped and under-staffed, they send him to another hospital, which for the same reasons, sends him to a third. He is 6 y/o and wakes from the coma when he is 7 y/o--he literally lost a transitioning (symbolically, but with "real" affects)--and, though he is a lefty before the accident, has to learn how to write with his right hand because of uncontrollable spasms that rock the left side of his body. (We can imagine that if medical care were more immediately forthcoming the trauma he suffered, and which still plagues his body, would not have been so intensely damaging. We should keep this boy in mind, we pious theorists, when we feel compelled to issue forth denunciations of the "speeding-up" of time, of its terrible effects on our bodies, and when we sound the nostalgic call to "go back.") A scar, and a noticeable depression around his right eye, still indicate where the site of impact, crushing bone, probably damaging the nerves in his right eye (which is probably why he tripped and fell so many times--a dis-coordination of perception, which is only the organ-izing of sensuous data). He wants to be an actor, move to NYC and "become famous". It's Brittney over Gaga, but he still knows all of Gaga's songs and whenever one of them would come on he would take to the dance floor and mimic, with impressive accuracy, the stylized postures, gestures, moves, struts, syncopated jerkings of the video divas he has obviously studied with a desperate eagerness. And no doubt that I had bought him Coca-Cola's to get him to talk--Coca Cola because he was underage--had something to do with his choice to dance to Lady Gaga, as if still not believing my reassurances that I wasn't expecting anything in return. He was broke. Had driven over an hour to get to the Club. But the club was empty--saving some rather impressively trashy, and (to be perfectly honest) rather frightening, locals. "Hill people" the "city folk" call them. And indeed, we are in the valley of the hills out here. But this meant he could dance his little body all over the place, working himself against a pole in the middle of the floor, grinding his ass against it with all of the rapturous vacancy of a body on camera two lines down the rabbit hole, dropping to the floor back-down, pumping his torso up as if it were a mechanism in a car-jack, twisting himself around to simulate fucking the floor itself--as if the sexual energy were seeping up from the ground itself, an intoxicating perfume of sound and pulse and life giving him a freedom of movement, of unencumbered corpo-reality invigorating the musculature of his form--his performance at once the beautiful release of pleasure, and a gratuitous homage (he left his head and his heart on the dance-floor: a gift of self (to himself, and to the occasion itself for this opportunity, ).)

Then, and perhaps most interesting, I should say, was meeting "Tall J." as everyone called him. Indeed, he was J.'s doppelganger. Though he knew how to dance dirty.... lots of grinding, with no problem playing "top" or "bottom" on the dance-floor. But really: a spitting image: chops, skinny (with skinny jeans), the same mischievous smirk, the same unsure but cunning look in his eyes--a cinema major at the University (just as J. is a directing major--the visual arts). It was uncanny. He was both an impostor in my imaginary and an intriguing simulacra--the discrepancies fascinated me. I wanted him, to possess him--or at least the parts of him that reminded me of J. So strong was the resemblance that I could not help but want him. As if letting him go was losing some parts of J. that had become detached, which had followed me like a spirit or ghost and landed in this boy's body. As if not touching him, not hearing him breathe sporadically into the curve of my neck, not enjoying the pleasure of his attention... as if all of this loss was like losing J. I needed him. I begged for him. This imposing simulacra. Graciously, he was more like J. than I could bear: he said no, as if he were himself J., channeling his voice--the kind reminder that I wasn't in danger of losing what I had, that gentle reassurance (all spoken in the name of J.--"your boyfriend"...)--I clutched him before he left with his girlfriends, thanking him for knowing more than I knew--for understanding more than I could understand--even when he didn't even know or understand the desires wracking my body. I was thrown back--thrown back onto my own longing, my own desire, my own memory, my own anxieties: I wanted my lover, and this boy understood that. Better than I did, he understood, he knew--even though I can give no appreciable account of how. Perhaps I am that obvious.

Anyway, that was Saturday night. I also met Jeremy, who told me how, in W.VA, after one year of name-calling and taunts, his coming-out set a trend and "the cheer-leaders, the football and baseball players were all hooking up." I was stunned, having to flee the high-school in my own Liberal top-10 wealthiest American counties because the homophobia was so debilitating. I was jealous. I was completely flabbergast. I didn't understand, and I still don't. I desperately want to. Yes, there is homophobia in the South, but there is also something else that doesn't map onto the accounts that I'm so fluent in--from experience and academic training. (Interestingly, this plays out the same with bull daggers, too--the few I talked to also said that generally they were left alone, a sort of "not my business so long as you don't make it mine" governmentality operates in this area of the South. While obviously politically problematic, I'm was still jealous of the relative ease of these kids' experiences.)

Anyway, I made is home the next day. Made it back to the world where I dance "right," where I'm barely trendy enough to pass, where my lover and his contours and rhythm synched into mine like they so beautifully do. I made it back through back-water Ohio (where, at a gas station, a white woman just punched in her eye by her husband picked a fight with a Black woman for staring--as we all were--calling this woman a nigger, threatening to shoot her, threatening to burn down her house). I made it back past countless erections of trifecta Eucharist crosses. I made it past bad drivers, past XXX adult video stores, through rain, on badly maintained highways. I raced home. I sped back to my love, my home, my world. I fled. I did. I really did: it was a retreat. This world, this horror and this wonder, was too much. Enough for 3 days. But I had to get away. So much for the amor propre. I needed coherence again. My own frame. My world.

But that was because being there, in VA, was like living between two paradoxical frames, two mutually exclusive worlds: it was neither here nor there--we were like angels visiting from on high, and we were so readily recognized, but we were still spectral--our lives had no traction there, nothing solid to grasp onto--and so we dissolved, happily, into the pulses of music, the energies of the dance-floor, the indistinguishablity of the dark club where abjection, where shame, where fear was assaulted, buckle, and shattered under the insistence of the freeing siren call of the music (oooh lala!). Here we are just beautiful bodies, pleasure machines, wet with sweat, hot with energy, brimming with sexual need. We poured ourselves into the music, and we infected one another--our desire traveling on the tendrils of the webs of sound that bound our bodies together, quivering, spasming, "loosing" (but without loss--"orgasm")...

It is impossible not to fall in love on the dance-floor. I am you here, and you are me. We are not "WE"--we are impossibly separable. The dance-floor is where the paradox is kind, where it is loving--and we love this, we abject bodies and pleasures. This doesn't need a fortress of mountains to house, nor does it need a hip sophistication. I am so undone by this weekend... I left something of myself there, and I brought something of it back with me--and it is like a cancer now--it's cure is still there, somewhere, enigmatic and undecipherable--only showing signs.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Raaaaa! (When it's love if it's not rough it isn't fun)

I'm glad to read that the Writer and I have brilliantly common capacities to say nasty things to our loved-other which, in fact, only make sense in terms of the cliche "rubber/glue" division of labor. Something like the smooth curvature of a mirror that rebounds an echo back--a haunting return of the obvious (not the repressed).

Every once in a while I imagine what it would have been like if I dated him--though, interestingly, the sex doesn't figure as prominently as it once did when I would first think about these things. Instead, I imagine these brutal exchanges of volleys--something like the boring plugging away of Civil War naval battle, Monitor v. Virginia... I suppose the desire stems from the desire to have an equally vicious antagonist. One feels less guilty when here is a sense of self-defense, a moral self-righteousness that allows the most vile words to somehow seem legitimate.

J. never does this. He has never reared back and struck, the death-grip of a mortal embrace. I do, though. And it sucks. To lie on my side of the bed, too proud to ask for what I want, which is to stop punishing myself, to stop trying to elicit some moral justification for lashing out. And yet, of course, "this hurts me more than it hurts you" is quite possibly the most insipid recourse one can make to sympathy.

The Writer and I share, however, rather reserved partners in crime--reserved to the extent that neither are forthcoming with the sorts of quotidian reassurances. Nor are either particularly eager to engage in constituting the inter-esse that weaves the binding threads of a life together. Theirs is a different model. Of course, B. & J.--aside from what I imagine would be very hot sex--would be utterly useless to one another: absent the neurotic doting, prying, praising, and provoking characteristic of boys like the Writer and me these stoic beauties would devolve into a miasma of meaninglessness. Ironically, though we are the neurotic ones, we are also the ground, the foundation, the pillars that support whatever detached flights of fancy these men of ours endeavor on.

(Are these only _my_ fights, dear Writer, or do we lash out because of this stoic refusal to acknowledge their gratitude?)

This weekend I'll be in VA for a gender and technology conference, which I am looking forward to. The Vegan and Parkaboy will all be there, and we will go playing together. I banged out 11 pages on Heidegger, technology, Derrida, and Nietzsche. It was fun, and it sorta just flowed out--like a religious experience or an orgasm. This are moments of poetic ek-statis, and it is why I do what I do.

de Milo (he reminded me of his own name, how terrible--but I like it: Venus and Marquis implied at one and the same time--the fabulously gender-bending fucker...) may have found himself a partner in crime himself. And I am both jealous (though of who, I'm not sure) and very, very happy for him. My conceit as seducer shattered by reality... really? why always the Real? hahaha, whatever. de Milo is quickly becoming one of my best friends. I am regularly impressed by his ability to get and keep (provisionally) his shit together come what may. He is staggeringly strong, and here my conceit as seducer totally inverted: I feel for his savoir-faire, I suppose. And how gracefully, how aptly he has eased me into being happy with what I already have. He and J. were a bit awkward. I am wholly responsible for this. Playing a poorly orchestrated game. I've grown up, I think, and stepped out of the way, and surprise surprise: they like each other, and get along just fine. This makes me most happy.

Ok. I need to go talk to my Old Man. (Just Dance!)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Cold as Ice/Hot as Fire (you're a god, and i'm a liar)

I continue to fail to find Foucault's "ethics" satisfying. Or persuasive. As an interesting genealogy of the ways in which Christian asceticism develops out of certain Hellenic and Roman philosophical practices, especially Stoicism, Foucault captures my attention. But insofar as this analysis is meant to illuminate an _ethical_ dimension to life, and to the extent that this ethics is modeled after numerous _administrative_ examples (the soul as a ship, a bank, a house-hold, ect.), then Foucault seems to reinscribe a Christian figuration of the soul into Antiquity. I say this because, for instance, Plato and Aristotle--not to mention Heraclitus and Empedocles before them, and Diogenes after them--imagined the soul as an agonistic site of contestation and negotiation more closely resembling the Freudian tripartite psychic "structure" ego/s-ego/id, and not a technical/medical model of administration. There is also the ways in which Foucault's attention to "governmentality"--analyzed first in the context of a critique of neo-liberal economic rationalities--when it surfaces in his readings of the ancients repeats this self-same instrumental logic, "discovering" it in these texts (which may be true--but then, why build an ethic on the same rational foundations?)...

Anyway, I am feeling a bit overwhelmed with the prospect of my move coming up. My landlord was a douche about breaking my lease a month early--though, I also wasn't particularly interested in _asking_ either. Hopefully this won't really be a problem. It shouldn't be hard for them to find a new tenant, and anyway: it's not my issue: these people have been so regularly terrible to me, that the last thing on my mind is making sure _they're_ alright.

But this week also starts an insane blitzkrieg of "events"--Arendt Circle this weekend, and then our trip to VA for VATech's Gender and Technology. I still need to write my paper for this VA Tech conference.

Anyway. To finish "The Seducer's Diary". How about an ethic of boredom? Can we say that boredom is the ultimate evil, that it should be first philosophy to hold at bay this sensation? What would that look like?