Monday, February 20, 2012
Basic Writes: Reflections on Presidents Day about the words of A...: "O Captain! my Captain!" "... for you the flag is flung ..." When Walt Whitman wrote his tribute to Abraham Lincoln, so today's media info...
"O Captain! my Captain!"
"... for you the flag is flung ..."
When Walt Whitman wrote his tribute to Abraham Lincoln, so today's media inform us, the United States were still far from reunited and the population, both north and south, was far from unanimous in praise for its fallen leader.
Almost a century and a half later, it's hard to think of another person — in the political sphere at least — who is so revered.
One may well conclude that it is how
expressed himself that made the difference. The addresses he wrote have become part of the lexicon of democracy. Lincoln
At a time when the written word is challenged by rapid changes in technology and public taste, it is heartening, to this writer at least, that something so basic as words on paper (or electronic screen) can have such profound and enduring resonance.
In ways that
probably could never have imagined, and perhaps would not even have condoned, the written word remains in the vanguard of a continuing campaign to extend the frontiers of liberty. Lincoln
The content of this website focuses on consenting adults, and that — to borrow a phrase from
— is altogether fitting and proper. Lincoln
But one hopes this genre contributes too in some modest way to a wider struggle for expression.
As long as there are places where females are forcibly kept illiterate and deprived of the physical capacity for sexual pleasure, as long as people are unable to make legitimate lifestyle decisions about their sexual roles, as long as people feel constrained from exploring their sexuality through creative arts, Lincoln's vision of a new birth of freedom will continue to find worthy applications.
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Am I alone in feeling just a tiny bit turned off by St. Val’s Day? With all that pressure to perform in the shopping department, it’s like relishing the prospect of a cold shower.
OK, I might feel better after the shake down, I mean rub down. But am I being led by the nose rather than by some other appendage I’d rather be led by?
Of course, it’s a great feeling to give a present to a loved one and experience their appreciation. Letting each other know how much we care is the very worthwhile essence of St. Val’s.
But in the back of my mind there’s the image of romance being held hostage by a multi million dollar advertising campaign. We’re being leaned on heavily when it comes to how to celebrate. Cards, chocolates, jewelry, flowers, wine. Lots of red hearts. The usual things.
Maybe it’s time for a St. Val alternative. It could be called Romantivus, and celebrated any day you want, year round. Let’s say, the night of each lunar first quarter — or the nearest weekend.
Its colors could be any combination you find sexy. If a haze of purple and orange turns you on more than crimson, or if stripes of black and lemon yellow are your aphrodisiac, then go for it.
And why stick with those hearts? Weren’t kidneys considered the seat of passion in bygone times?
As for wine? Depending on the season, there’s a multitude of beverages that might put you in the mood just as well. Mead might work for a winter Romantivus. Tequila can be an inhibition buster when temperatures climb. At least opt for a vintage variant. Port, say, or sherry.
Chocolate? Well, that’s not so easy to substitute admittedly. But why not sample it in combination with something more daring? What that might be I’ll leave to your imagination.
A rebellion against the orthodoxy of St. Val will take time, it’s true. Romantivus will not be built in a day. So in the meantime, let’s all splash out on the same old bottles and bouquets, and dream. Come to think of it, that’s what St. Val’s is about anyway, isn’t it? Dreams, I mean.