What i read today…

  • Letters from an American, December 06, 2021, Heather Cox Richardson… a little less depressing than the December 05 post, she discusses the Biden/Harris administration’s upcoming conversation with Vladimir Putin, the Summit for Democracy, and the administration’s comprehensive strategy for combating corruption around the globe which undermines democracy and allows illiberal governments to flourish… she discusses the West’s ability to hold Putin accountable should he invade Ukraine, which a troop buildup along the border suggests he might do… she then circles back to the problems we are having at home with a right bent on authoritarianism…
  • a review of Instructional Photography: Learning How to Live Now… the review is very positive… i am much more interested in I Am My Lover (1978) by Joan Blank and Honey Lee Cottrell, a book on female masturbation referenced in the article… i find i can have a copy for $65… hmmm says primal me… i learn more about Carmen Winant
  • Paradise, by Daniel Dorsa… i like the photography in this spread, excerpts from a new book…
  • my December horoscope by Lorelai Kude on Chronogram:
    • Intensity is still the name of the game this month, which starts out with a literal bang when Mars sextiles Pluto December 6, with Capricorn Moon square your Sun. Unless you are an active-duty combat soldier, resist all urges to engage in battle. The spectrum of aggression ranges from petulant pugnaciousness at best to punitive pyromania at worst. If power is your priority, Mars square Jupiter December 8 will supersize the struggles and their consequences. Align yourself with higher thoughts and broader horizons when Mars enter Sagittarius December 13. To whom do you owe your fiery allegiance, after all?
  • A Look Back at Art News in 2021, From NFTs to Restitution… in reviewing the art stories of the year presented by Hyperallergic, i found myself more hopeful… in many ways, the art world seems to be progressing and promoting liberal causes better than the discouraging mainstream news would seem to suggest… from protesting the Sacklers to unionizing museum staffs to repatriation of stolen cultural heritage, the news seems good…

Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn

… i read the review in AnOther magazine which i have been avoiding for days, largely because it was primal me that was interested in looking at it and i was trying to resist primal me… it surprised (disappointed?) me that it was not about the porn industry and was instead about societal attitudes towards sex and woman and largely about the polarization we are experiencing around the globe… i now want to watch it though with subtitles and it’s subject matter it will be a more difficult sell to H… a link to the trailer

… on to Feedbin…

… Jonathan Blaustein wrote about his trip to Chicago this morning… i learn about Weedmaps.com, for the weed dispensary near you… i look up what might be near me and find that it’s all medical marijuana in NY… weed was recently legalized for recreational use too, but i imagine the state is still working out the regulations and how to enforce them…

… overall, JB reported on numerous pizza restaurants which seemed to be the only food they ate while in Chicago… i mean, who eats pizza all weekend long and doesn’t gain a few pounds doing it?… not me… not at this point in my life… i try to eat healthier than that…

… i review the work of Leonardo Magrelli, published on Aint-Bad, and think, ok, but not compelling… all black and white, city environment…

… i look over, read, Proud, Provocative Portraits That Celebrate Feminine Authenticity… a woman photographer and stylist pursuing a project called Girls… an area of interest as anyone reading this blog will know… yes, interested because of primal programming, but also interested in the subject of how women are presented in photoland… i am especially interested in cases where women photograph women in ways that will, whether intended or not, provoke the male gaze… this set of photographs provokes the male gaze and seems intended to…

Albertine Photography Guen Fiore, styling Rubina Vita Marchiori

 A new series by photographer Guen Fiore and stylist Rubina Vita Marchiori celebrates the fearless authenticity of Gen-Z women1

… the article tells us the women are photographed in their own homes (a safe environment)… the broad message, i will present myself as sexy if i want to, i am in control of that… a legitimate question to ask, does this promote women as much beyond being sex objects?… my answer, i am not sure… apparently there are photo sessions with each woman, that, presumably, lead to multiple images… are they all laced with sensuality?, showing the women in states of partial undress?… are they presented in any other way?… the artist’s instagram account suggests otherwise…

… i look at some of the comments on one post… that the women are “hot” is appreciated… the photographer has 34.5k followers… did they build that following with these images?… yes, almost all the images are attractive young women displaying their bodies in sensual, sexual ways… the following has been built on the fact that “sex sells,”…

… it think what bothers me is not that the women are presenting themselves sensually, sexually, but that it is a celebration of “fearless authenticity of Gen-Z women… only if women are to be defined by their sexuality… so the project tries to be high minded, but isn’t at all…


  1. Bruno, Gilda, Proud, Provocative Portraits That Celebrate Feminine Authenticity [return]

First Thoughts

… i am up at 3:30 AM… the effects of the daylight savings change… it will settle out, but i again ask why do we do this to ourselves?… an article on whether DST saves energy is inconclusive… it saves electricity consumed for lights, but may increase electricity and other fuels consumed to heat and cool… is it worth the disruption of sleep cycles?… can’t we find another way to adjust ourselves?… like start work an hour earlier and stop an hour earlier?… don’t most of us work 24/7 anyway?… aren’t more of us working from home now?…

… i read an article that suggests 45 is the odds-on favorite to win the presidency in 2024… dear god how is it possible?… bookmakers, please check your calculations again… i really don’t know what i will do if that happens…

… are we really being pushed to authoritarianism because it is more efficient?… were the Middle Ages really efficient for humankind?…

… an article discussing Texas law SB8… something about judicial immunity from law suits hampering the clear cut argument that the vigilante provisions of the law are a dangerous precedent that has the potential to undermine constitutional rights in a variety of ways… something about enjoining their clerks from working on enforcement of the law rather than judges… i didn’t completely understand…

… all of this on top of not feeling well… kind of tired… maybe it’s alcohol, though i don’t believe i overindulged last night… it does seem to sap me… just doesn’t agree with my system anymore?…

… started watching Rake, an Australian series featuring a rakish lawyer surrounded by a complex of beautiful, smart and accomplished women who frequently bare their breasts (along with the men in the show, but a man’s bare breast is way less interesting than a woman’s to me)…

… if i am honest, i am in it for the beautiful women characters who bare their breasts first, the story telling second… did i mention that the women characters are also smart and accomplished?…

… the story lines are interesting, the main characters all have redeeming virtues to balance their flaws, and there is a gamut of reasonably well rendered human complexity offered up… but denying i am powerfully attracted by the titillation is the same as saying one buys Playboy for the articles (does anyone still say that? Does Playboy still exist in any meaningful way?)… yes, there may be good articles, but really, it’s the tits and ass that matters…

… i come up against this uncomfortable truth over and over and over again… to the point where i throw up my hands in frustration at what to do… i know that society’s continued emphasis on women’s bodies is a mess of objectification that does women general harm in their efforts to be taken seriously as smart and accomplished individuals… but there is this primal thing… i am hardwired to be sexually attracted to women i think are beautiful… the mechanics of it are different for the two sexes (and i will leave aside for the moment all the gender fluid nuances that exist), but the bottom line is primal attraction is primal and it is not possible to eradicate it from my being…

… i can try not to be drawn into programming and imagery that gets my libido going, but why?… i enjoy having my libido engaged… it feels good… as long as it involves adults portrayed consensually and in consensual engagement, and as long as i am able to separate fantasy from reality, i set myself free to be titillated without guilt…

… i am coming to the conclusion that it is best not to try to ban libidinous reactions from my mind (not that i have ever really tried)… nor do i think i should be embarrassed by it (which i sometimes am)… instead, i need to acknowledge to myself how powerful they are, take note of when and how they are activated, then let them move through like clouds in the sky, enjoyed simply for what they are…

… what matters to me is how i treat women (all human beings really, but women are the focus here)… acknowledging my initial primal reaction (to myself) and then letting it pass through is, as far as i can see, my best strategy for moving on to a more respectful and satisfying relationship with the women i share the planet with…

 Amia Srinivasan, The Right to Sex

… a book about the politics of sex?… from a philosopher no less… sounds interesting… might want to get…

Tschabalala Self

Tschabalala Self, “Love to Saarjtie” (2015)

… yesterday i posted about Vanessa Beecroft and two local-to-me artists, Debbie Masters and Judy Sigunick…

… today, Tschabalala Self comes to my attention as painting in a related primitive vein, with the subject matter being woman… i find the sexual frankness of some of this work”) interesting in that women are addressing their genitals openly and frankly which is new to me… a new trend or have i not looked at enough contemporary art beyond photography?…1

… i am also finding it interesting that i am frequently seeing work by woman rendered in a Venus-Earth-Mother-Goddess way… is this a sign that the matriarchal spirit is trying to reclaim it’s place…

… these are just reactions… much more study needed to accurately identify a trend and the meaning of it as well as discuss the ins and outs of the representation of women in art…


  1. … there is a similar trend in photography where women are photographing other woman in the nude, though not usually revealing their genitals… it raises the question of whether it is objectification if a woman is the photographer… the conclusion i have come to is that yes, it can be objectifying and that objectification is not always and forever a bad thing… it can take its place gracefully in an enlightened culture that does not automatically devalue women to mere sex objects… unfortunately, we have a long way to go in the United States on that score… [return]

04 Herbert List

an article on the sensual photography of men and sculptures of men by Magnum photographer Herbert List… i am not into the depiction of the male body sexually, so i view the images with a certain detachment that i don’t have when viewing depictions of female bodies, where viewing is always sexually charged… List photographed during the Second World War… he had little opportunity to exhibit or publish during his lifetime… looking at the images, i imagines him traveling through the Greek Isles and surrounding himself with youthful, heavenly bodies wherever he went…

03 Sex Sells, Again

… as much as i try to be an enlightened man, the sexual lead in image hooks me most of the time… hoping being conscious of it will be good for something… i scanned the article for further sexual eye candy, found little, moved on…

03 Kristina Shakht, To Be Or To Become

Kristina Shakht, To Be Or To Become

an article, This Zine Celebrates the Female Body in its “Raw and Authentic” form… the artist is a survivor of sexual assault i am told… she has made a zine representing how women see themselves i am told… the photographs are various, women, some flowers, some landscapes, the women in various states of undress and exposure… the lead-in photograph is of a young woman, naked, crawling across gravel, she is thin, angular, almost childlike… one feels the pain of gravel on knees… i suppose it is raw and authentic if one thinks that nudity is raw and authentic… i find it mostly engages my male gaze… that is, it is mostly sexual… the images are well made, artistic…

 “(The zine explores the) modern-day female experience: the way we feel ourselves, the way we move, think, and live that’s beyond sexuality and being sexual. I wanted to show that naked body doesn’t mean sexual, that it can be just body.1

… i would like to see the Zine itself, but i discover it is being issued in a very limited and very expensive format… book formats and zines in particular are not generally meant to be so pricey, a larger audience is being courted, usually…

… i am left with the images in the article, which mostly seem to objectify the women… that is my older white male take…

04 Turkish Delight, 1973 (Film Still)

another example of sex selling, it almost always works on me… i wish i could say that was not true, but it is, and perhaps i shouldn’t feel so bad about it because it works on the majority of us and maybe we should have less prurient idea of sex and the naked body… though, its her nakedness that sells, he’s just a prop… the male gaze sought and secured…

… it turns out that the film still is from a movie that will be discussed in the pilot episode of the podcast series reported on in the article…

_The season’s pilot episode will dissect Paul Verhoeven’s second feature Turkish Delight (1973) – an intensely violent and erotic film charting the fallout of a stormy love affair. Although unsung on an international stage, it has been named the greatest Dutch film of the 20th century by critics in its native Netherlands, and played a significant role in the country’s countercultural history.1