07 April 2007

Cum for me, my melancholy baby.

The power of art is that it lets us see, in someone else’s work, an idea that we dimly formed but lacked the skill to realise or convey, and in this way makes us feel less alone. - Alan Moore on Pornography
I ran across this quote this morning. The linked essay, while somewhat long, is a fascinating exploration of the history of erotica and its effects on society at large. What struck me as interesting is the early bit, when Mr. Moore tells of pre-Christian Europe, and the generally relaxed sexual attitudes of the inhabitants thereof. I started thinking that I'd heard something vaguely similar in recent days. I tried to recall conversations I've had with the few people I can speak to at such a level. This led me to realize that all discussion I have with native English speakers gravitates to risqué humor, fatalistic resignation over the performance of our students, or exchanges of shopping tips. Then I remembered that a few days ago, I read another fairly long essay by Barbara Ehrenreich entitled How we learned to stop having fun. Ms. Ehrenreich's first sentence states that Europe in the 17th century looks for all the world like the point when depression was invented.

So, my brain, adept as it is for completely fucking up anything involving numbers, globbed the two essays together, and came to the conclusion that Constantine doomed mankind to inexplicable melancholy by stigmatizing pornography and masturbation. But there's a few centuries in the middle of the two events I'm trying to link. The fact that I cannot bring myself to make an effort to look for the connection perfectly exemplifies why I shouldn't go to grad school.

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