violently sexual

September 30, 2017

Sunday entertainment 3

Sex isn’t a subtext in “The Bloody Chamber,” but the text itself. (Angela Carter would explain that she was only making explicit a “latent content” that is “violently sexual.”) The title story is a version of “Bluebeard” in which a fin de siècle ingénue, the churchmouse-poor daughter of a widowed music teacher, weds an older, thrice-married marquis who is “the richest man in France.” He sweeps her off to his ancestral manse, where she gets a suite in a tower and where her curious wanderings unearth his collection of kinky books. Then he departs on a suspiciously timed business trip, leaving her with a ring of keys and permission to visit every room, except one.

Eroticism hangs heavy in the air here, as it does in much of “The Bloody Chamber,” like an expensive, drugging perfume. There is something vampiric about the marquis’ perversity, and about his “white, heavy flesh,” which the narrator repeated compares to lilies. Yet she is aroused to see him watching her in a mirror “with the assessing eye of a connoisseur inspecting horseflesh.” She believes he can see into her soul, perceiving “a potentiality for corruption that took my breath away.” It’s not so much his power that entraps her, as her own longing for surrender.

Laura Miller
Fairy tales, fantasy and dangerous female desire

A pig

Diary 6th April

Sure the hogs are troughing…Yet the media (and most politicians) carry on as if this is a big surprise to them? Sure they should know the nature of pigs, shouldn’t they?

Orwell recognised the potential of pigs to do harm in society: Napoleon emerged the leader after the Animal Farm insurrection, if you recall…and his porky underling, Squealer spread lies supported by false statistics to justify and rationalise their porcine behavior…their feckin’ greed!

Napoleon is totally corrupt. He shows no interest in Animal Farm itself, only in his power over it and its inhabitants.

In much the same way, the behavior of the rich and super rich, exposed by the recent release of confidential papers from the office of Jurgen Mossack and Ramón Fonseca, should come as no great surprise: pigs like to trough; rich men like to avoid wealth reduction. What the hell’s new in that?

If the documents obtained and analysed by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) are to be trusted, a total of 128 politicians and public officials around the world have had dealings with Messrs Mossack & Fonseca.

So now, suddenly, the media is awash with stories of corruption, tax evasion, tax avoidance and money laundering. The individuals involved will wait patiently for the hubbub of exposure to die down – for die down it surely will. A few may suffer minor damage from these revelations about their financial affairs, but for the vast majority it’ll be business as usual (resigning from one well paid position to take up another is inconvenient, perhaps, but hardly a major punishment).

Ah, if I was a rich man,
Yubby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dum.
All day long I’d biddy biddy bum.
If I were a wealthy man.
I wouldn’t have to work hard.
Ya ha deedle deedle, bubba bubba deedle deedle dum.
If I were a biddy biddy rich,
Idle-diddle-daidle-daidle man.

But what of the millions of mums, dads, sisters, brothers, sons, daughters, teachers, nurses, postmen, wage-slaves, eh? The disabled, the disadvantaged? What of them? The ‘ordinary’ people whose lives are more difficult, because money is being siphoned away from the services they rely on, in order to line the pockets of some of the world’s wealthiest feckin’ people?

Ah, sure, these are the people too easily forgotten in all the media hype, hypocrisy and condemnation…And within the UK, when the Chancellor of the Exchequer can stand up and defend a decision to scrap an official analysis that shows how much money his budgets take from the poor and give to the rich, then troughing is given official sanction, is it not?

Pigs in a trough, snouts twitching.

How did that song go?

‘Money don’t get everything it’s true
What it don’t get I can’t use:
I want MONEY (that’s what I want)…’