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Tuesday, December 07, 2004



Seems to me like a typical alt-weekly story about weird people doing weird stuff, why some people are offended by it, and how --aside from that major quirk-- these weird people are people too.

Nothing to get upset about, really. If the people written about in the article get a prime-time slot at the Democratic convention, then okay. But that ain't gonna happen.

Stephen Cheng

Long past time for lefties to paraphrase Voltaire's opinion on free expression.


Yeah, I'm with LYT - I couldn't see anything in this other than a description of what some (pretty unusual) folks get up to. I think you could read a piece like that in a mainstream newspaper and assume that it was there purely for sociological/entertainment/titillation purposes, rather than as an endorsement.

I don't know this publication - maybe the context implied a political dimension that I missed - but I didn't see it in the text. The only levels of analysis I saw were sociological and psychological.

I can't say that anything about the piece particularly appealed to me, or even interested me that much, but nor did I get a sense that the writer of the piece was suggesting that as a right-thinking person, I ought to applaud what these folks get up to.


time to rent El Matador again--

Josh Legere

Lenny Bruce really wasn't that funny. He strikes me a creepy. Not just crude, but someone that would sleep with an underage girl and complain about how uptight everyone is. My guess is he would have done something outlandish like Roman Polanski. I know many Hollywood types that defend him as well.

I guess I am a bit skeptical of many of the 60's icons because most do not live up to the hype and seem to only be hyped because they died of a drug overdose. Jim Morrison comes to mind for one, he was awful despite what Oliver Stone things. The Beats are another scam.

George Carlin is crude and funny and will be around a long time.

The reality is that Mollena Williams article is the gift that Lenny gave to us. Some frank talk about sexuality is one thing, but it has gotten a bit overboard. When I turn on the TV I want to vomit. Nor do I really want to see BDSM become mainstream.

Pop culture figures are never really that significant in the grand scheme of things.

too many steves

"Once I hear a guy is a heroin addict, and they tell me he's a genius, I think, really? I'm not trying to be judgmental. But anybody whose last vision is of a tile pattern on a bathroom floor, I don't know what kind of genius they are."
- Dennis Miller talking about Lenny Bruce.

I love music by Hendrix and Joplin and Cobain. I love comedy by Belushi and Candy and, even, Bruce. But they were all, clearly, misguided, maybe even tortured, souls. I am saddened, in a selfish way, by the self-inflicted shortness of their lives.

So, without being overly judgemental, this whole BDSM thing strikes me as sad and pathetic - kind of like the lives of all these other folks mentioned above.

Great music, wonderful comedy, and totally fucked up - dead - human beings.


Mr. Legere,
for someone who bemoans hypocracy I find it a little ironic that you proclaim(judge), Lenny Bruce isn't really that funny, and Jim Morrison was awful despite what Oliver Stone thinks. Should I assune you meant these statements as subjective opinions, or am I a, "pseudo intellectual", if I think Lenny Bruce is a comic genius?
I'm also curious as to what makes the Beats a scam.
For the record: I know almost nothing about Lenny Bruce, the Beats, and I hate the doors. But that's just my opinion.

Josh Legere

They were my opinions. But in none of my opinions did I accuse anyone of being "intellectual inept" because they have different tastes than me. They, just have different tastes than me.

I am a huge fan of The Anthology of American Folk Music. This collection was released in the 50's and has been acknowledged as the most influential music collection ever released. Not many people own it and most people do not like it. But I would not accuse people of being "intellectually inept" for not being a fan of the collection.

It is one thing to be a fan of something; it is another to accuse a large population of people of being stupid because they do not share your tastes.

Is Lenny Bruce part of the IQ test? If you answer "yes" when asked if you are a fan of Lenny, do you instantly become a member of Mensa?

Since Lenny's time, America has embraced obscenity. Are we a smarter country for it? Are the youth in America smarter thanks to MTV sex filled videos?


Having lived in San Francisco for the last 12 years, I'm struck by how many here seem impelled to explain their sexuality in left-leaning political terms. It's not enough for a woman to say she enjoys pornography or S/M, for example--she's also got to "subvert the male gaze", or "empower female sexuality", or somesuch. (That line is also employed in moral support of stripping, prostitution, and other sex work. Also, note that I'm calling it "sex work", because in San Francisco, it's considered politically unrefined to, say, call someone who takes money for sex a "hooker".) It's as if it can't just be fucking, it's also got to be a blow against the white capitalist patriarchy. So yes, Marc, I think you're basically right.

Robert Fiore

I just got hit by a bolt of kitchen logic: The left is supposedly aligning itself with the degradation of American culture by lionizing Lenny Bruce, right? So what is it in this culture that is more tawdry, more degraded, more obsessed with the trivial, the grotesque and the meretricious than supermarket tabloid journalism and tabloid television? And who is the audience for that?

But it's not explicitly sexual and bleeps out the dirty words, so I suppose it's all right.

Marc Cooper

Well.. you know, Im gonna go with the analysis of WJA (up two comments). I read the piece I posted and it just seems to reek with a sense that the author has discovered some new stripe of the Left Rainbow. I cant shake that phrase she uses saying that these folks who impersonate Nazi torturers and Slave Masters (or Jews and Slaves) to get their ya-yas off are neither "weird" nor "Uncle Toms." The first descriptor is obviously apt. Hate to be a prude about it all, but these people are really fucking weird (so to speak). And what's her point that they are not Uncle Toms? Who the hell cares?Obviously the author does.. she's reminding her leftist audience that these fetishists (despite the fact that acting like a Nazi guard makes them comes) are also bona fide leftists. What utter silliness. In any case, there are plent of conservatives who are into S & M... I know one very well. It's just that the author didnt interview any for her piece.... it's all very very strange.


A fetishist is someone who has displaced the process of sexual arousal or gratification to a fetish; shoes for example, BDSM.

Regardless of how it happens, the fact is that the fetishist has difficulty in "normal" (what ever the heck that is) arousal patterns and has adopted the fetish as a way to achieve (sexual) arousal.

I agree with Marc and WJA basically. Yeppers, these folks are indeed weird. At an extreme end of normal perhaps, but personally speaking (as opposed to professionally speaking) weird!

Now, How about them Red Sox! (sorry, just couldn't help myself there) ;-)

Brian Siano

WJA's comments mirror mine, actually. My own attitude towards sexual extremism is, basically, it's fine with me, but it's not something that's part of my life.

The closest I get to making this a _political_ issue is this. I grew up as a severely unpopular kid, and hearing about the richness of other people's sex lives is like hearing about yachting regattas from rich kids. That's something the lucky people get to do.

What bothers me about discussing sex in political terms is that the people who do it slip into a reactionary stance so easily. For example, back in the 1980s, the local anarchist bookshop had a poster depicting Ronald Reagan being buttfucked by Jesse Helms with some witty voice-balloon above. There's a lot wrong with that-- lack of wit, for example-- but every time I'd see it, I'd wonder, "Okay, so what is _wrong_ with buttfucking?"


As long as there's no agression in BDSM or RDSM I'm not against it.


Steve, Sado-masochism is by it's nature aggressive. Bondage/discipline somewhat less so, though for "discipline" to be effective, the threat of "punishment" (usually by a humiliation type threat) must be there.

Masochism: 1. The deriving of sexual gratification, or the tendency to derive sexual gratification, from being physically or emotionally abused.
2. The deriving of pleasure, or the tendency to derive pleasure, from being humiliated or mistreated, either by another or by oneself.
3. A willingness or tendency to subject oneself to unpleasant or trying experiences.

Sadism: 1.The deriving of sexual gratification or the tendency to derive sexual gratification from inflicting pain or emotional abuse on others.
2. The deriving of pleasure, or the tendency to derive pleasure, from cruelty.
3. Extreme cruelty.

From what I've seen, a goodly portion of the abuses at Abugrahb were sado-masochistic in nature.

Josh Legere

That was the best Steve line ever!

Josh Legere

That was the best Steve line ever!


I'm not sure about that Josh, I thought my line about peaceful non-agressive fishing was even more creative. no? GM, ya with me on that?


Steve, Steve, Steve. So many comments, so many choices. What's a poor conservative to do?


GM, your irony cap needs new batteries. Donate a pair to Josh too...


Steve, like any good CONSERVE-ative, my Irony Cap is solar powered. I abjure batteries in favor of renewable energy sources. ;-)

Robert Fiore

Hey, look on the bright side; if they were conservatives they'd be getting buggered by someone in a Bill Clinton mask.

Mollena Williams

Well. Well. Well.

This is what happens when friends Google you. You find little nodules of discussion about yourself that you never knew existed.

Eye-opening commentary, to say the least. I simply am tickled at the propensity for dismissive rhetoric that so many people have when passing judgment on people's motivations and reasons for speaking out.

I was interviewed for an article, and it somehow found its way to a little enclave of political masturbation.


It is just sex. You might not like it, but that is what it is. You might get off on small kitten porn: I don’t give a rootin-patootin. But among people who have, as a substantial segment of their psyche, their sexuality, this sort of thing is a Very Big Deal.

So, fine. You think we are weirdoes. I assure you, if you had the pleasure of a lunch hour with me, you’d find me neither abrasive nor extremist. Your assumptions are based on little but your own spin on one article.

It isn’t a “new stripe of the left rainbow”. It is just kinky people doing what makes us happy.

And, to those who pule and moan about Sado-Masochism becoming mainstream: believe me, the perverts don’t want to be any mainstream at all.

Good grief. When did kinky sex become a rail upon which you self-absorbed pseudo-0intellectual middle-class wankers could ride all over everyone?? Lighten up.


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