aesthetics

Stuff I Like: A List cum Apologia of 5 Things that I Enjoy

So my last few posts have been pretty heavy, full of angry political nonsense. I thought it would be a nice change to just take a minute to list off a few things that I think are awesome and that you should also think are awesome.

1.) Rottweilers

Rottweilers are just awesome. They are big stupid animals that don't understand how big and stupid they are. If raised properly and treated well they are wonderful cuddly companions wholly undeserving of their ferocious reputations. People who train rottweilers to be mean should be shot. I like rottweilers a lot.

2.) Corn Dogs

I don't know who invented the corn dog, no one does, but that man or woman is a wonderful illustration of the genius that's possible with a simple idea. Take a sausage, put it on a stick, dip it it in corn bread batter, deep fry. Genius. Now granted, like many people I generally treat the corn dog as a delivery system for a variety of condiments, primarily hot mustard. But even as such a device, the corn dog excels. Mr. Anonymous corn dog inventer, I salute you.

3.) Googie Architecture

Scum begets scum

So Bernard-Henri Lévy has started a Free Roman petition.

This is how it reads:

Apprehended like a common terrorist Saturday evening, September 26, as he came to receive a prize for his entire body of work, Roman Polanski now sleeps in prison.

He risks extradition to the United States for an episode that happened years ago and whose principal plaintiff repeatedly and emphatically declares she has put it behind her and abandoned any wish for legal proceedings.
Seventy-six years old, a survivor of Nazism and of Stalinist persecutions in Poland, Roman Polanski risks spending the rest of his life in jail for deeds which would be beyond the statute-of-limitations in Europe.
We ask the Swiss courts to free him immediately and not to turn this ingenious filmmaker into a martyr of a politico-legal imbroglio that is unworthy of two democracies like Switzerland and the United States. Good sense, as well as honor, require it.

Read more at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bernardhenri-levy/artist-rally-behind-polan_b_302371.html

Here are the signatories currently listed:

Bernard-Henri Lévy
Salman Rushdie
Milan Kundera
Pascal Bruckner
Neil Jordan
Isabelle Adjani
Arielle Dombasle
Isabelle Huppert
William Shawcross
Yamina Benguigui
Mike Nichols
Danièle Thompson
Diane von Furstenberg
Claude Lanzmann
Paul Auster

If anybody has contact info for these people, I'd like ask them about their thinking on why Polanski's status as a holocaust survivor and ingenious filmmaker have any bearing at all on whether or not he committed the crimes he admitted to and if you can point me in the direction of how to contact any of them, particularly the English Speakers, I'd very much appreciate it. I'm particularly disappointed that Milan Kundera is on here. As for the rest they're mostly overrated. I think some people will be disappointed that Paul Auster is on there though.

Starfuckers Inc.

On the issue of Roman Polanksi:

First off, let me just say that this post is inspired primarily by the gaggle of idiot starfuckers defending Roman Polanski on the usually much more sane Huffington Post. I wouldn't feel so compelled to say something about this if it wasn't becoming quite clear that there is a sizable and perhaps growing constituency of starfuckers in the wider world who are willing to accept all manner of innuendo and half truth in the defense of Polanski. As best I can tell there are three basic arguments that are being advanced to excuse Polanski:

1.) He had a hard life/He's Paid his Debt/The Victim Has Forgiven Him/Time to Move on

2.) He's made some great movies and doesn't that count for something.

and most pernicious of all

3.) The girl lied about her age, her mom put her up to it, didn't you see what she was wearing, she totally was asking for it

I intend to take each argument in turn and demonstrate why it's ridiculous. In so doing, I hope to show that all of this ultimately just boils down to the cancerous crypto-starfuckery that plagues American culture.

The Facts
In 1977, Roman Polanski plied a thirteen year old girl with drugs and alcohol, photographed her in the nude, committed an oral sex act on her without her consent, then repeatedly raped her vaginally and anally. These are the facts entered into evidence by the prosecution against him as can be read in the victim's deposition taken at the time. Smokinggun.com has done the public service of posting the relevant portion of the grand jury testimony as a PDF here.

Reading Versus Watching: Toward a New Aesthetic

What I really question is whole division between art and entertainment; fundamentally, I wonder why it has to be this way at all. Why can't literary novels be just as entertaining as genre novels? Why can't genre fiction have the depth and psychological sensitivity of literary fiction? Who made this division in the first place and why do so many people take its existence as gospel truth?