Saturday, August 16, 2003

—it was the form of a woman, a kneeling woman, kneeling in front of the man, and she appeared, that is, she seemed to be—could it be?—fellating the man. Could that be right? Could his neighbour actually have a marble statue of a blow job on his piano? So that when he played, say, a Chopin polonaise, he could peer over the score and be inspired by the sculpted image of oral sex? Where, he wondered as he was ushered out the door, would a person get such a thing? He imagined all the people who had walked past this window and seen the statue without knowing what they saw: the children on their bikes and the little old ladies and the avuncular priests on their way to mass: the poor slobs, infected now with the subtle, subliminal germ of perversion. Would it one day metastasize, he wondered, colonizing the innocent with lewdness and bad taste? But that wasn't Albert's problem: Albert's problem was that his mission had failed.

J. Robert Lennon, “Five Cats and Three Women,” in Granta 82 (96)

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

"Hollinger's morgue. We're a full-service morgue. A person couldn't pick a better place to leave a stiff. We're not only a storage facility/incinerator, we also prepare the body for burial/incineration. One of the things I do over there is to make sure that all the bodies that come in are dead. Here's my test: I just do things to them that no living human would allow, and if they don't react, then I know they're dead. And if they react, well, the severity of the test usually makes that moot. A lot of people have a fear of being buried alive. But I am here to tell you that if you ever have the good fortune to pass through Hollinger's place, you may not be dead when you come in, but you'll be dead when you leave. You can bank on it."

Amy Sedaris, Paul Dinello, and Stephen Colbert, Wigfield: The Can-Do Town That Just May Not (68-69)
I wonder what it is, he thought. They were in every combination of attire, formal and informal, from one severely elegant woman in her sixties dressed in a Grecian-style gown of pure white, through uniforms of every rank in the Domination, to a few who had just come up from the lake in nothing but the glistening water on their skins. Sitting on the benches, strolling, talking, one even in a wheelchair. ... There was a sickness to them, he could feel it, a rot somewhere within, but it had not seemed to weaken them. Instead they fed on it and it made them strong. ... You could see it in their eyes and movements, a consciousness of power. Power of life and death over other human beings, power held since birth by hereditary right.

S. M. Stirling, The Domination (430)
Incidents like this seem to run together in the panorama of an average ride. Cyclists are seen as "bonus points," targets for motorists to focus their sexually repressed psyches on. Being as asshole becomes confused with being empowered. Ironic, I'd say, because there is nothing more emasculating than having to hire a machine to do a simple chore for you. If you are choosing to live surrounded by supplementary machinery (as opposed to beign forced to live this way), you lose more respect in my eyes for willfully relinquishing the power you were granted simply by being born a human being blessed with an able body and good health.

Travis Hugh Culley, The Immortal Class (293)