25 July 2009

Sex Movies

When I first built this blog page, I had a different quote up there below the title than what's up there now. It said, quoting Lotus Weinstock, "I used to want to change the world. Now, I just want to leave the room with a little dignity". Lotus was, according to Wikipedia, an LA-based comedian, and Lenny Bruce's last girlfriend, but I'd never heard of her. She was quoted by Justin Bond's character in the John Cameron Mitchell movie, Shortbus, which I highly recommend for anyone who, like me, enjoys movies that temper their unabashed sex-positivity with a whole lotta mindplay.

To that end, one of my favorite movies ever is Made in Secret: The Story of the East Van Porn Collective, which uses the tale of a group of friends entertaining themselves by filming pornography, to explore how the contours of public vs. private intersect with "anarcho-feminist" communal politics and consensus building. I think one of the blurbs on the DVD box (which I have, but not in front of me), says something like, "most boring film ever made with porn in the title".

18 July 2009

Story of Enlightenment

Deb and I went, last night, to a monthly dinner conversation organized by a few Saint Gregory's folk, for other such folk living here in the city. There are other similar monthly dinners in the east bay and, I think, Marin. We've never been. My excuse is that I never feel like I have anything smart to say extemporaneously. And I'm antisocial. I haven't fully internalized that doing one's theological musing in communion with other church folk is the best way to dissipate the mists of error.

Amber asked us to go, to keep Colin and her company, in case the whole thing turned out to otherwise be completely socially awkward and unpleasant. The four of us pushed their attendance to a new record, apparently. It wasn't awkward or unpleasant. We made our usual stuffed dates appetizer, with cheese and dates leftover from our recent camping trip, during which it was too Godforsakenly hot to eat cheese and dates. Last night, they went quick.

Every month, there's a group conversation revolving around a pre-selected word. This month the word was Illumination. There were some photographers in attendance, and a theatrical lighting designer conveniently on hand to describe their relationships to light.

A lot of the talk turned, conversely, to cherishing darkness, to the difficulty of finding spaces unpolluted with artificial light; whereupon one woman commented that, at her home in Point Reyes, the isolation, mysterious noises, and threat of wildfire, combined to make the darkness of the woods frightening for her.

One guy brought up Don Cupitt's ideas about Solar Ethics, described as "being giving, always giving, always burning outward".

The woman who was afraid of the dark had, at some point in her life, had some sort of 'ecstatic vision' of the 'light of Jesus', and we all philosophized about what that 'light' was supposed to mean, exactly, and how it manifests itself, so to speak, in our... hearts? lives? I posited that it was a revolutionary understanding of the human potentiality to be divine. Or words to that effect.

13 July 2009

The Default Region

I was out for birthday drinks with friends this afternoon and started blabbing my mouth about this here "BLAT!", which has been largely a secret blog since its inception. So, I've given myself a little taste of exactly the sort of anxiety over productivity that I can accuse of stultifying my productivity. One reaction I had to that tonight was, "If I write anything whatsoever, I should prob'ly use it to pad the blog..."

I was thinking, specifically, about a comment I posted on a BoingBoing story this morning. There's been a spate (if two can make a spate) of posts there this weekend about the "default state", or region, of the mind--those areas of gray matter whose electro-chemical activity increases when focus and attention on specific tasks has ceased, i.e. the bits of brain that light up when the mind wanders.

Cory Doctorow's post, this morning, about a UC-Santa Barbara brain researcher's theories on the subject was titled "Wandering minds are active minds". As interesting as I think this is, I'm equally interested by the fact that I've been unable, even now, to summon enough attention to read the post the whole way through, not to mention whatever article it's drawn from. Nonetheless, I was moved to send in a comment: