Tuesday, 22 September 2009


Dear reader, sister, brother. Whenever you feel offended or provoked by anything published in this "personal notebook of sorts" – whose title is "Cultivation of Intimacy", nevertheless – please notice the conspicuous absence of the irony mark,* implying that the author might mean something totally different than what you first think he means. Or maybe not.

* For the irony mark, see below or the article in Wikipedia.

"Forget about the brotherly and otherly love..."

From a Facebook conversation: "... the (originally Platonic?) notion of Evil as absence of Good or absence of reason, knowledge, etc., bothers me. Could we not say, with at least as much justification or maybe even more, that there is radical Evil (a propensity to Evil, etc.) and that the Good [worldly, sublunar, secular good, the only good we non-believers have knowledge of – and I don't dare to claim there is no Good beyond knowledge] means just a conspicuous absence of Evil? And that the banal evil (e.g. der Fall Eichmann) is actually built on a cultured system of evasion and excuses that desperately try to convince us of the absence of 'pure evil'? That 'good' consists of such cultured evasions? That our culture consists of such evasions? And I'm not suggesting that being "cultured" is bad, quite to the contrary... And I concede that this idea is just an inversion of a metaphysical hierarchy and, as such, remains imprisoned by the 'closure'... By using the word (verb) 'cultured' I do not want to suggest that Evil comes naturally, and so on and so forth. By 'cultured' I mean even such very 'natural' things as nurturing, i.e. 'motherly love' ("forget about the brotherly and otherly love")..."

Meat is murder, babe, meat is murder.

I did not find a good video on Youtube for "Motherly Love", but this is a nice cover. TRIBUTOaZAPPA writes: "LOS HUESPEDES FELICES - MOTHERLY LOVE. / Many thanks to Luis G. and HALL OF FAME RECORDS for permission to use music from the UNMATCHED - TRIBUTO A ZAPPA collection of CD's."

I doubt I doubt I doubt

I edited my previous post, "Hetrosexuals [sic] Have the Right to Rock" (The Mentors), by changing the expression "Utter bullshit" to "I doubt". An act of remorse implying that "utter bullshit" may have been a too rash judgment on Jerry Springer and his show. The choices made may well have been done in good faith; it may indeed be necessary to show by any means, to those who don't realize the fact by themselves, that rape is wrong – saying this sounds funny, but if you can imagine that there are people who don't realize that (there is evidence of their existence, I guess) – and that there is no such thing as rape by consent (and that rape is not sex and sex is not rape) – it may not be funny at all. But in any case, I have my doubts. Or maybe my doubts have me and don't let me take things at face value, especially when someone's wearing a hangman's hood over his head.

I tend to agree with the YouTube comment saying "any God that would create a Hell is even more sick and demented then [sic] El Duce."

I doubt I doubt I doubt: all I can write about this portrayal of Evil, maybe a mirror held at popular culture and our obsessions with violence, horror, pornography (or "fantasies" if you prefer that), scapegoats, etc., turns out insufficient, I'm afraid. "Our obsessions" – including mine.

* * *

A little later: One way to make things visible is to push them to the extreme. I suppose this could be why (as I hear) there are militant feminists who actually appreciate the Mentors.*

Marquis de Sade has become one of the most important sources for moral philosophy. And that is not because moral philosophers are immoral supporters of de Sade and sadists.
* Citation needed, as Wikipedia would say. I found no better evidence than this All Female Tribute to the Mentors – the WoMentors – enjoy it:

Monday, 21 September 2009

"Hetrosexuals [sic] Have the Right to Rock" (The Mentors)

The first time I saw footage of El Duce, the drummer of the "rape rock" band the Mentors, was in Nick Broomfield's documentary Kurt & Courtney, aired some time ago (on the Finnish Teema channel, I guess). I can't say I remember exactly how I felt about him, except for the shock that you are probably expected to experience, and a certain ambivalent vacillation between disbelief, horror, disgust and amusement (he really does not seem a very credible witness, as Broomfield tells him face to face – and by the way he laughs, El Duce seems to agree to Broomfield's reasonable judgement).

Only the United States of America could rear such a monstrous figure, I might have thought, and the Wikipedia article certainly has a point in arguing that Eldon Hoke (which is El Duce's original name) "in general played a wrestling-style villain for the audience." In the following we have an example of playing the role consistently to the end:

Utterly disgusting? Of course. But the questions of good and evil are usually not that simple. I wonder if the hooded monster could have resigned his role for a moment and shown sympathy for the other guest, instead of the atrocious comments or jokes(?!) he makes. Well – at least that would not be very consistent, would it?

Talking about good and evil, what about the situation in which the talk show host (or whoever) has staged the scene so that we have a middle-aged mother who tells she was raped as an adolescent on the one side, and this utterly antisocial hooded monster, the "rapist mentor" figure on the other? Are we on the side of the Good when we sympathize with the other guest – the mother guest – and with the booing audience, with Jerry Springer and the Television Company? I doubt. This staging is no better than any "Reality TV" show, the blood-thirsty tabloids, or any hypocritical piece of social porn. Why are they doing this? The "victim" is of course brave to have taken part in this, but what about the other woman on stage? Is she a "victim" too? What's in it for her – just a "career"?

I am almost beginning to feel sympathy for the not-so-credible-as-a-witness alcoholic with the vulgarly Latinic artist name "El Duce". After all, how could someone singing lines like "Bend up and smell my anal vapor / Your face will be my toilet paper" be purely and completely evil?

(Thanks to Pupu for reminding me of El Duce.)