Swan is a porn star. Rightly so. When these pictures were taken, she was maybe 19, but I'm guessing. From what I've been able to gather, she's a hairdresser from Southern California. I've tried to gather what I can about her, because she drives me crazy. She's one of the most beautiful women I've ever laid eyes on. And I can't have her, can't touch her, can't even send her email. If I could, what would I say? Swan, I love you. I know you're a lesbian, not into men, but that's OK with me. Lame. No, I wouldn't say that. Maybe, if I had her address, I wouldn't write to her at all. I'd be admitting what a dirty old man I am. Or maybe I'd say, I love how you make love to the camera, how you know thousands of men are masturbating to your photos, and you like that they are, that you're helping them to come. But no, let me speak for myself here. I love how you represent irreducible desire.
Abraham Maslow would have loved Swan. In a manner of speaking. Because what he was most interested in early on was social dominance -- which he equated with "self-esteem" -- especially in young women. Ah Abe. You were so transparent, meeting with all those foxy coeds in your office, searching for the elusive "self-actualizers." Did you think, like so many before you and after, that they would actualize you, magically make you more real? Questions of a thousand dreams, a thousand ships, a thousand and one nights of stories told to keep the game afoot, postpone the inevitable.
and I'm conquered in a car seat
not a thing that I... can do.
So sang Van Morrison on Astral Weeks, way up on (way up on) Cyprus Av...enue. Back before he lost it and became the passably devilish darling of the easy listening Anglo-Celtic lite rock set, coal-black black-Irish blues reduced to emotional cliché. How white of you, Van. Back in the days when love meant something and was actually dangerous. Remember them? Sic transit G-L-O-R-I-A mundi.
All this New Age bullshit isn't wrong because, as so many Christian books and websites rail, it sidelines the God of our fathers. It's wrong because it devalues whatever humanity we've got. In its smarmy self-convinced insistence on spiritualizing life, this brand of pussyfooting back-door grandiosity, with all its gnostic posturing and swooning over Nature, in the end denatures what it seeks to sanctify. So let's not talk about relationships. Let's talk about sex. Let's not talk about "healthy narcissism" and getting your needs met. Let's talk about the humility that comes for free with being what we are, without any need to pretty it up with hearts and flowers and breathy whispers about Truth and Beauty.
Maybe what I'd say to Swan is simply thanks for playing with the camera like that. Thanks for helping me remember, for putting images in my head I couldn't imagine without you. Something about vulnerability as power. Something about baseline straightahead. Call me a fool, call me naive, but when you crook your finger like that, baby, you just knock me out.
the unlikely story of how America slipped the surly bonds of earth & came to
believe in signs & portents that would make the middle ages blush
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SPECIAL THANKS TO
New Age "Asiatic" thought ... is establishing itself as the
hegemonic ideology of global capitalism. (Zizek)
Saturday, August 13