<= 2001.03.27

2001.03.29 =>

existential mew

Via Geegaw: the complete "If Only Bert Were Here," from Lorrie Moore's Birds of America, chronicling the aftermath of a beloved cat's death in that inimitable Lorrie Moore way.

The singing von Trapps from The Sound of Music: where are they now? Liesl does interior design work (she bought 17 mannequins for Michael Jackson's bedroom), Friedrich went on to be Spiderman, and Louisa posed nude for Playboy as "The Tender Trapp," then married Robert Urich.

Q: How do you take a stand against our President's backward take on reproductive rights etc.? A: Pubic hair.

The life and times of Arthur Hugh Clough (1819-61): just your average boy trying to deal with his libido in the Victorian era. It started at puberty and never got better:

From the age of 14, he periodically marks the pages with an asterisk that evidently indicates descents into the vice of masturbation. "Shame shame that there shd be any sensuality when I know full well the higher pleasures of intellect, yes, & those highest ones of Christianity," he laments at one point. But the asterisks continued, often accompanied by references to "my worst temptation", "visits to sin and wickedness", and "the passion to which I have given way".

In 1839, the diary records that he spoke to his father about his habit; the next day he saw a doctor. How would he have been diagnosed? Perhaps as the victim of a disease known to the Victorians as "spermatorrhoea". This was a medical nonsense of the time (although one earnestly believed in) which proposed that masturbation led to an uncontrollable flow of semen, which eventually led to impotence and depression before culminating in total physical debility.

 

<= 2001.03.27

2001.03.29 =>

up (2001.03)

The Warm South
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