Friday, March 23, 2007

Fisting and other gifts for the graduate students

It seems we have been changing the lives of graduate students here at ITM ( http://karma-navit.livejournal.com/581125.html) and one crazy person even wants me to say something about fisting (in) Chaucer. So here goes (just a little tease):

Queer Theory is a theory that is not based on traditional theoretical rationalism, but on a theoretical eroticism. It thus becomes not merely a theory concentrated on sexuality, but a theory whose very underpinnings are based on the confluence of identity and desire. David Halperin talks in Saint Foucault about ‘queering theory’ and this suggests to me that queer theory has always been about, in a way, gaining erotic pleasure from theory (and that if it is to have a future it needs to be fisted); indeed, Ed Cohen, with double entendre intended offers the motto for queer theorists: “we fuck with categories”. Theory is, for D & G a toolbox: pick up a tool and see if it works for you. Queer theory picks up: a thousand pick ups, a thousand assfucks, a thousand tiny fistfucks. Deleuze (with and without Felix) seems to be totally fascinated with, if not obsessed with, the ‘behind’. In Dialogues, “Le mouvement se fait toujours dans le dos du pensour”(movement always happens behind the thinkers back); “avec Fanny, Je n’ai jamais cesse de travailler de cetter manier. Toujours ses idees m’ont pris a revers”(I always worked this way with Fanny. Her ideas seized me from behind). Sartre, “C’etait vraiment le courant d’air d’arriere cour”(was the breath of fresh air from the backyard). Spinoza “q’ui m’a fait le plus d’effect d’un courant d’air qui vous pousse dans le dos chaques fois que vous le lisez, d’un balai de sorciere qu’il vous fait enfourcher”(more than any other gave me the feeling of a gust of air from behind each time you read him, of a witch’s broom which makes you mount). Most famously, Deleuze imagines the history of philosophy as a kind of assfuck: “Je m’imaginais arriver dans le dos d’un auteur, et lui faire un enfant, qui serait le sien et qui serait pourtant monstreux” which is sometimes translated as ‘I imagined myself approaching an author from behind and giving him a child which would indeed be his but would nonetheless be monstrous”. The history of philosophy is a daisy chain in which GD gets to fuck and be fucked by Marx, Freud, Spinoza, Nietzsche, Guattari, and Foucault. But Deleuze's assfuck is still gendered; his penis fucks the ass of the philsopher he approaches from behind giving him a child, a monstrous arrivant to be sure, but yet this scene of copulation is reterritorialized by the overcoding Oedipal-machine of heteronormativity. But, what if ass fucking is deterritorialized by the permeability of fisting (a practice so favored by Foucault and Zizek)? What if the penis is replaced by a body part which has no gender? As Guy Hocquenghem says in Le Desir Homosexuel, the ass does not discriminate. And neither does the fist. Both belong to man and woman and yet neither (fist nor anus) is male or female.

Enter Chaucer (from behind) or more precisely Chaucer’s Summoner, whose tale contains a scene of eroticized male-male groping, of a male hand entering a male anus:

“Now wel,” quod he, “and somwhat shall I yive
Unto youre hooly covent while I lyve;
And in thyn hand thou shalt have it anon,
On this condicion, and oother noon,
That thou departe it so, my deere brother,
That every frere have also muche as oother.
This shaltou swere on thy professioun,
Withouten fraude or cavillacioun. “

“I swere it”, quod this frere, “by my feith”
And therewithal his hand in his he leith,
”lo, heer my feith; in me shal be no lak.”

“Now thane, put in thyn hand doun by my bak”,
Seyde this man, “and grope wel bihynde.
Bynethe my buttok there shaltow fynde
A thyng that I have hyd in pryvetee”.

“A!” thoghte this frere, “That shal go with me!”
And doun his hand he launcheth to the clifte
In hope for to fynde there a yifte.
And whan this sike man felt this frere
Aboute his tuwel grope there and here,
Amydde his hand he leet the frere a fart”

(The Summoner’s Tale, 2129-2149)

Catherine Cox in a discussion of the textual erotics of the Summoner’s Tale persuasively argues that when the Friar unadvisedly gropes Thomas’s behind, places his hand in Thomas’s “clifte”, and receives the gift of a fart “amydde his hand”, we are reminded of an earlier scene when the Friar explains how the law was written with God’s finger. If one conflates the Friar’s glossing with his groping, then one can argue that, as Cox suggests, “Thomas receives Friar John’s finger”. However, I would go even further, and Chaucer’s text permits my reading, and say that Thomas’s anus is penetrated by the entire hand or fist of the Friar. The Friar penetrates, gropes Thomas enthusiastically; the sexual encounter is, however, invited, not coerced and cannot be recuperated for a reading of eroticized violence and/or rape as other Chaucerian penetrations can. Rather, it charts the possibility for an erotic or social encounter beyond the phallus. The Friar, like Deleuze assumes an aggressive, assertive role and eagerly gropes the “tuwel” of his “compeer” (the Summoner gets to grope the Pardoner perhaps?) in search of the unnamed “thyng” located in his “pryvetee”, that is to say, inhabiting the zone of secret, private, but also genital territories as David Lorenzo Boyd has shown in a discussion of the Miller’s Tale. If, for Deleuze, the assfuck produces a monstrous text, for the friar his assfuck produces his own text, that is, if Cox is right to conflate fart /flatus and speech, groping and glossing, penetrating and hermeneutics. The fruit of Deleuze’s assfuck remains heteronormative however; his becoming-homosexual is reproductive. But, the Friar’s grope cannot be recuperated to a scheme of normative heterosexuality. The coupling described by Chaucer is unnatural, nonprocreative, sodomitical. The fruit of the “tuwel” is a fart; the fruits of homoerotic coupling produce precisely nothing; rather than the fertile fruit of the womb, of heterosexual conception, no conception is possible. As an unclean usage of male bodies that feminizes one of them, Thomas, homoerotic activity, to quote Boyd and Karras, “scorns the sweet heteronormativity sanctioned by Nature and God, and disregards the proper, gendered use of male bodies”. The fart is, in effect, shown to be the bastard fruit of unnatural coupling, a nuptial against nature. David Halperin sees fisting as an activity which challenges the goal oriented, end driven practice of sexual intercourse in that it may take hours, may or may not involve orgasm and its key values are “intensity and duration of feeling”. I agree with Halperin that “as a sexual practice and a subcultural phenomenon” fisting “has the potential to contribute to redefining both the meaning and practice of sex” (and theory) but Foucault is, I think, wrong to suggest that fisting is a twentieth century invention. I would like to think that in Chaucer we witness the first narrativization of male-male fisting as an eroticized, deliciously lubricious act. As Brian Massumi puts it: “So let us introduce ourselves by making the philosophical gesture of friendship: reach into your anus, and take my hand”. Or as Thomas might put it: “Reach into my anus and take your gift”.

27 comments:

J J Cohen said...

Bynethe my buttok there shaltow fynde / A thyng that I have hyd in pryvetee

When I teach the Summoner's Tale, I caution my students that, should someone tell them that they have hidden a special gift for them in the cleft of their buttocks, they should probably be more skeptical than the Friar proves to be. (Yes, I really do say that to them, in quite a serious tone. I'm all about imparting important life lessons.) In light of your reading of the episode, I see now that I will have to modify my advice.

An interesting analysis involving surplus of oh so many kinds. You might be interested, Michael, in Peter Travis's Thirteen Ways of Listening to a Fart: Noise in Chaucer’s Summoner’s Tale in a special Exemplaria cluster on Medieval Noise (Fall 2004). Pardon the pun, but much of what is there resonates with what you have composed (as do the essays by Valerie Allen and Michael Uebel) -- though none of it so queerly.

Just a footnote: the fart is not the end-all (again pardon the pun) of the gift exchange, since the compulsion to redistribute the gift is an important part of its bestowal. Thomas bequeaths to the Friar an "inpossible," a scholarly puzzle that appears unsolvable (just as in an earlier moment of the same fragment the Wife of Bath described the depiction of women in a good light by clerics as an "inpossible") ... but a puzzle solved all the same by a handy little squire (always trust a little boy to know all truths involving farts). The wordes of the lordes squier and his kervere for departynge of the fart on twelve: I'm drawn to the possibility that the squire's cartwheel solution invokes the distribution of the Holy Spirit's flame at Pentecost. Odd fact, or queer?

Karl Steel said...

if Cox is right to conflate fart /flatus and speech, groping and glossing, penetrating and hermeneutics

Re Valerie Allen, see her On Farting: Language and Laughter in the MA. I haven't looked at it, although I did find her Exemplaria advance preview useful for certain things on the articulation of sound.

I'm drawn to the possibility that the squire's cartwheel solution invokes the distribution of the Holy Spirit's flame at Pentecost.

No question about it. But to repeat: is the parody queer?

==

This piece is a lot of fun. I have only one quibble, and I'm not so much sure it's a quibble even, on the focus on the hand: As Brian Massumi puts it: “So let us introduce ourselves by making the philosophical gesture of friendship: reach into your anus, and take my hand”. Or as Thomas might put it: “Reach into my anus and take your gift”.

There's a philosophical tradition of seeing the hand and its power--the manipulate, to take things 'as such,' to take and give--as uniquely human.

Manus in homine loco pedum anteriorum naturaliter creatae sunt, ut dicit Aristotiles, quoniam homo maiores intellectus est omnibus animalibus et maiores ingenii, et ideo, habet maius instrumentum motionibus et operationibus multis. Thomas of Cantimpré, De natura rerum, I.23, 29.

Hands were naturally created for man in place of the front feet, as Aristotle says, since man is more intelligent than all animals and more crafty, and therefore, he has a greater instrument for moving and doing many things.

Hands [and here I quote from my diss.] do not precede human qualities, but rather are given by God because human rational qualities demand them for full expression. Hands therefore constitute a proof of the possession of mental qualities that require hands; Thomas’s unstated argument is that handless creatures lack hands because they neither need to do as much as humans nor are as intelligent. (end quote)

There's also Heidegger, and I should look at Derrida's piece on Heidegger's Hand? I have at hand here some chunks of quotations from it in Cary Wolfe's Animal Rites:

H wrote 'Apes, for example, have organs that can grasp, but they have no hands.'

D wrote 'if there is a thought of the hand or a hand of thought, as H gives us to think, it is not of the order of conceptual grasping. Rather this thought of the hand belongs to the essence of the gift, of a giving that would give, if this is possible, without taking hold of anything.' For H, as D says, the hand of man is far from the hands of animals 'in an infinite way (unendlich) through the abyss of being... This abyss is speech and thought. 'Only a being who can speak, that is, think,' H writes, 'can have the hand and be handy (in der Handhebung) in achieving works of handcraft....The hand does not only grasp and catch. The hand reaches and extends, receives and welcomes...extends itself, and receives its own welcome in the hand of the other'" (qtd 63 in the Wolfe).

What impact this has on your analysis, I don't know yet. But I thought I'd suggest it.

Also, I like how wonderfully evocative "in me shal be no lak” is. You--I--want this lak so much to be a psychoanalytic trope...

Anonymous said...

Could you please share some of the bibliography with us, particularly the Boyd, Boyd/Karras, and Cox essays? Thanks very much.

It would also be interesting to investigate the associations of "clite" and "tuwel" -- it appears that in Capgrave's chronicle, "tuwel" is the word used in the discussion of Edward II's execution: (a1464) Capgr. Chron.(Cmb Gg.4.12) 154/33: Edward [was] slayn with a hoot spete put into his body..þei put a horn in his tewhel, and the spete þorw the horn, þat þere schuld no brennyng appere outeward.

-B

Anonymous said...

errata/addenda:

"cliFte", of course. And the citation I give is, of course, from the online MED.

Anonymous said...

Ah Michael, again with the fisting as hermenutic...

Eileen Joy said...

But how, also, might one "approach from behind" and also "face" [a la Levinas's face-a-face-sans-intermediaire]? Just a niggling question.

Eileen Joy said...

Some more niggling questions, or are they merely points of confusion [?]:

Michael O. wrote: "As Guy Hocquenghem says in 'Le Desir Homosexuel,' the ass does not discriminate. And neither does the fist. Both belong to man and woman and yet neither (fist nor anus) is male or female."

I think I disagree, but haven't quite figured out yet why/how I disagree. I just don't see fisting as "beyond" certain gender identifications, imagined or more "real." Nor do I see it as somehow on the other "side" of ass-fucking, so much as it sits "beside" it. Indeed, whether practised by women or men [in any combination thereof], fisting is just another "version" of ass-fucking, and the act also seems to me to be coded "masculine." To claim, then, that ass-fucking could escape the overlay of heteronormativity strikes me as, perhaps, not fully defensible.

Now that I am even more than knee-deep in my queer theory "primer" reading [and have just finished Edelman's "No Future," as well as the responses published in PMLA to the 2005 MLA panel on the anti-sociality thesis in queer studies], I'm thinking a lot about all the ways in which, in queer theory, although it lingers often in sex and sexuality, which requires a lingering over queer *persons* and their queer behaviors/actions within a domain of intense physicality, real queer persons are always slipping away, so to speak, especially women, who, I have decided, are the most "queer" and "abject" figures of all, whether in the realm of aesthesis or the world itself. Queer sexuality, no matter how far it delves into what might be called a delightful and creative "perversifying" and "fucking" of certain gender norms, nevertheless relies upon gender norms [indeed, cannot survive without them], especially, I would argue, the heteronormative, or *straight* "woman." I don't even know if I have a point here.

Michael O'Rourke said...

Hi everyone,

Some bibliography to begin with (and thanks for supplementary suggestions--especially from JJC's wonderful special issue of Exemplaria on noise. You could talk about aurality and its facilitation of the fisting scene as well I think--a kind of queer ANT might work here):

David Lorenzo Boyd, `Seeking "Goddes pryvetee": sodomy, quitting, and desire in The Miller's Tale', in Words and Works: Studies in Medieval English Language and Literature in Honour of Fred C. Robinson, Toronto Old English series (Toronto, 1998), pp. 243-60

David Lorenzo Boyd and Ruth M. Karras, ‘“Ut cum muliere”: A Male Transvestite Prostitute in Fourteenth Century London’, in Louise Fradenburg and Carla Freccero, eds, Premodern Sexualities, pp. 99-116

Catherine S. Cox "'Grope wel bihynde': The Subversive Erotics of Chaucer's Summoner," Exemplaria 7 (1995): 145-77

That the fart is not the end of the story and is "inpossible" begs, I think, for a Derridean analysis of the gift exchange in the SumT. Although Deleuze (and Guattari) don't talk much about the gift (that I know of) their understanding of it might be incompatible with Derrida's (which, of course,stresses impossibility, non-reciprocity and unrestitutability). The differences between D & G and Derrida extend also to the animal too which brings in, as Karl astutely noted, the question of the hand. Derrida states in Paper Machine (somewhat hyberbolically but I love those gratuitous moments in JD) that he has written about nothing but paper. You could, equally hyberbolically and overdeterminedly, say that Derrida has, in the main, up to now (maintenant) maintained a very close interrogation of the question of the hand: Heidegger's, Husserl's, Nietzsche's, Kant's, and many others (There is a great moment in Kofman and Dick's film Derrida where they focus on his disembodied hands--he talks a lot in that movie about hands too). The question of the hand is, also, never far from the question of the animal and a critique of humanualism and anthropomorphism since Aristotle--in a recent post I mentioned how useful On Touching--Jean-Luc Nancy would be to medievalists and Tangent 3 "This is My body" of this book treats this question in some detail (reminding us also that Derrida has written about nothing but the animal from the very start). I urge people to read this while they wait for the unpublished later seminars on the animal (and on Deleuze's becoming-animal) to be published. Incidentally, there will also be forthoming work on Deleuze, the animal and psychoanalysis (the proceedings of a conference at Irvine). The question of the hand, the animal, and the Deleuze-Derrida relationship to both of these issues remains before us (please excuse all the hand puns).

The word "tuwel" is interesting and that it comes up in the description of the execution of Edward II is fascinating, especially since the hot ploughshare incident in The Miller's Tale is a very obvious reference to the more gruesome accounts Chaucer must have read. The connections between The Miller's and Summoner's Tales, especially where it comes to anality are particularly fruitful (another pun, sorry) to follow up although I haven't really thought too much about it.

Finally, Eileen's question (a niggling aporia for sure) is one which has stymied me before. I gave an invited paper at Newcastle on the face in Nancy, Butler, Derrida, Levinas and Agamben (and touched on critiques of this Levinasianism from Irigaray, Deleuze and Zizek). The day began with three postgrad papers on various topics and the talks were advertized by Tony Purvis at the University of Newcastle as concluding with an "Irish about Face". I promised him to begin with a vulgar Zizeckian joke, since the day began actually with a film on Zizek and Laibach and I delivered as promised something on self-buggery from Organs without Bodies. I then had to do a complete about face myself since this whole idea of philosophy as assfuck and the ethics of the ass-fist (or other body part) encounter are incommensurable with the face-a-face relation to the totally other. I very quickly sketched one tradition as belonging to Deleuze and Foucault (and to some extent Zizek who is every pervert's guide to the art of fisting) and the other to Derrida, Butler, Nancy et al. I'm not sure how to bring the two together or if I would even want to--since both involve openness, respect for, and responsibility towards the wholly other. But I need to think about this more.

Michael O'Rourke said...

Hey Eileen,

Patrick Califi-Rice, when writing as Pat Califia, has an article on fisting which I think partly answers your question about gender (if it is one!): "Gay Men, Lesbians and Sex: Doing it Together" collected in Iain Morland and Annabelle Willox's Queer Theory (Palgrave).

The straight, especially pregnant woman doesn't fare too well in Edelman's No Future. Susan Fraiman has a devastatingly smart critique of this in Cool Men: Queer Theory and the Second Sex which frames some similar questions to yours (and makes me wonder if I am a cool man?)

Eileen Joy said...

Confession: I can't stand Patrick Califi-Rice/Pat Califia, who I first read, as Pat Califia, believe it or not, back in 1992 or 1993, I believe. In fact, Califia, writing about lesbians fist-fucking each other, as a bisexual transman, really just re-emphasizes my point, I think, about this supposedly "perverse" sexual act not really being that perverse or queer at all. At the end of the day, "fucking"--no matter who's doing it to and/or with whom--will always retain a power dynamic haunted by the aura of male/female. At least, I think so, but argue with me! [This is fun.]

I was just thinking, too, am I going to get in trouble for writing on this in this format? I don't care, actually. Just another reason why I believe in non-anonymous blogging, and damn the consequences. Seriously.

Eileen Joy said...

Michael O.--I'm just dying to talk to someone about Todd Soldonz's film "Palindromes," which I just saw last week, in relation to some of the conversations we have been having about queer studies, and also in relation to Edelman's book. Setting aside how all of us might feel about Soldonz's ouevre [I actually think much of what he has done so far is too clever by half and often tries to hard to grotesque-ify its characters and settings], I actually think "Palindromes" is his masterpiece. The main character, Aviva, is a 13-year-old girl, played by six diiferent actors [an andrognous flat-chested "boy/girl," an obesely overweight black girl, a chubby white girl, the "adult" Jennifer Jason Leigh, etc.] who desperately wants to be pregnant, and after a botched abortion forced on her by her mother [played by Ellen Barkin] which leaves her without a uterus [only she doesn't know it], she runs away to fins someone who will impregnate her. The movie is a kind of "queer" Huck Finn/Alice in Wonderland story, and the hint but also "fact" of pedophilia runs throughout the narrative, implicating even the viewer who has to watch the rapturous close-up of six of Aviva's seemingly ecstatically transported faces/expressions as she is being "fucked," or is it "made love to?" [somewhat passively] by a childhood friend, Judah [who had impregnated her at the beginning of the film and who is now older and who she meets at the end of the film]. One of the peripheral characters is Aviva's cousin Mark [brother to the main character in Soldonz's "Welcome to the Dollhouse," thus creating an intertext between the two films], who has been accused of molesting an infant. When he tells Aviva at a family picnic that he is not a pedophile, she replies, "I know; you don't love children." Whoa. That line stopped me dead in my [viewing] tracks.

There is another plot thread involving the "Sunshine Family," a fundamentalist Christian couple who take in what could be called "cast off" or "abjected" children with various so-called "disabilities," and who are also secretly involved in plots to assassinate doctors who perform abortions. In one scene in which Aviva accompanies a trucker who she had earlier "picked up" [or is it the other way around?] and then been abandoned by, as he undertakes to assassinate the doctor who earlier performed Avivas's botched abortion, we watch the doctor and his happy family through the picture window of their front room, enacting a typical scene of domestic "bliss" and togetherness just before the rifle is fired and the doctor, as well as one of his children, are murdered.

One of the reasons Aviva accompanies the trucker, who knows the Sunshine family, on this errand, is that she has recently been ejected by the Sunshone family who, although they initially accepted her without question and even "loved" her, ultimately reject her because a doctor's examination has indicated that she has had sex, and is therefore a "slut."

What to make of this film I cannot quite yet say, but I am haunted by the figure of Aviva herself, who you can't but help sympathize with throughout the film--she is, indeed, an object ripe for what might be called queer tears, or even a queer discourse of the loneliness of the abject child who, at our own peril, we turn away from. I cannot yet say which.

Michael O'Rourke said...

Small point: Califia was writing then as a lesbian learning from gay men and was fistfucking men as well as lesbians.

I suppose I am less interested in gender than in the gendering of orifices but I would be uncomfortable arguing that either ass- or fist-fucking can disrupt the codes of hetero-normativity or hetero-patriarchy. I have written in Feminism & Psychology on the possibilities in queering the anus/vagina for destabilizing the active/passive binary which of course maps on to the male/female one. There has been suprizingly little response to what I had to say there especially since debates about sex, power and heterosexuality have raged through the pages of that journal since the early 90s at least.

In my writing on/about on fisting I am only partially inclined to think about it as a pervy/queer (sexual) practice and more as a trope for receptivity, openness, lubricity, welcome, generosity and so on in queer theorizing.

Michael O'Rourke said...

I haven't seen Palindromes (Aviva is one right!) but it sounds like she is indeed a figure for queer tears as you say. Also, her name is so powerfully evocative and life-affirming isn't it?

Eileen Joy said...

At the risk of appearing slightly ridiculous [because--full disclosure--I kind of abhor the idea of "fisting," whether as trope or sexual practice], I would say that even if you are interested in "fisting" mainly as a trope for, as you write, "receptivity, openness, lubricity, welcome, generosity and so on in queer theorizing," even a trope has to carry with it some of the "reality" of the practice from which it borrows its image, and therefore even the trope of fisting has to reckon somehow with fisting's violence, because its violence, in a way, and for some, is part of its attraction.

Michael O'Rourke said...

Full disclosure: I am only a tropological fister. But, from what I have read (Halperin, Rubin, and especially the forthcoming work of Dinesh wadiwel on "sphincterism") fisting is not violent nor for many practitioners is this part of its allure (part of the misunderstanding is that the active/passive (male/female) binary code gets overlain onto the fister/fistee relationship in a way that the fistee and his/her sphincter cannot be seen to be active or reactive). In any case, as Derrida argued long ago in "Violence and Metaphysics" violence is irreducibly present in non-violence, and even (dare he/I say it) a precondition for ethicality as such.

J J Cohen said...

Off to dinner so can't read all these amazing comments between Eileen and Michael ... BUT regarding how to be face to face when faced by the reaer, let's not forget that Chaucer calls that special spot "the nether ye" ("the nether eye") in the Miller's T (3852). Levinas, the nether ye is facing you ...

Eileen Joy said...

Okay--point well-taken on fisting's non-violent status, while also agreeing with Derrida that "violence is irreducibly present in non-violence."

I've been thinking, too, in conjunction with this and other of our queer studies threads, how part of "real" sex's allure is its interest in being "beyond thought" or "beyond theorizing." What does it mean for queer theory to be about *thinking about* that [sex] which often does not want to "be thought"? So much of what I am reading now, primarily in texts by Edelman and Judith Halberstam, talks about queer theory being about negation--it's anti-this and anti-that, anti-teleological and anti-social, etc.--and about refusal, which is so [almost hysterically] funny, because the very act of *theorizing* implies a belief in the positivity of thought--it is, to steal from Whitman, the "yawp" of affirmation of *something*, *anything* at all.

Michael O'Rourke said...

Its not just funny it is simply daft!

Karl Steel said...

Perhaps when I get my head around all this, I'll have something more substantial to say. For now, it seems apposite to quote the lyrics to "Fists of Love," by Big Black, superb nihilist noise punk from the 1980s:

Feel my hand, feel my hand, feel my hand
Feel it, feel it
Feel my hand, feel my hand, feel my hand
Feel my arm, feel my arm
Feel my fist, feel my fist
Fists of love, fists of love, fists of love
Fists of love, fists of love, fists of love
Fists of love

(apropos of little: EJ, even if you're a Solondz fan, I would advise strongly against his first feature, Fear, Anxiety, & Depression. Important for completists and hard to come by but finally interesting only as a bit of NYC late 80s ephemera)

Michael O'Rourke said...

And Nine Inch Nails "Sin":

It comes down to this.
Your kiss.
Your fist.
And your strain.
It get's under my skin.
Within.
Take in the extent of my sin

Michael O'Rourke said...

And also Justin Timberlake's "Sexy Back":

I’m bringing sexy back
Them other boys dunno how to act
I think youre special whats behind your back?

karma navit said...

How delightful (she says as she rushes off to lock posts she would be embarrassed for you guys to read) ! Best graduation present ever :-)

I really have to do something about these multiple online identities...

History Geek said...

I might not be a graduate student (yet) but that was a fascinating read.

Never thought about Sexy Back quite that way before.

I rather thought of Tool's Stinkfist first on the songs.

Knuckle deep inside the borderline.
This may hurt a little but its something youll get used to.
Relax. slip away.

Something kinda sad about
The way that things have come to be.
Desensitized to everything.
What became of subtlety?

How can it mean anything to me
If I really dont feel anything at all?

Ill keep digging till,
I feel something.

Elbow deep inside the borderline.

Karl Steel said...

no comment

J J Cohen said...

Here is a comment: "!"

J J Cohen said...

Here's another comment: "fisting" is now the number Google search term by which internet surfers find this blog.

Bryan Reynolds said...

Wow! What a brilliant conversation! I learned tons. Thanks!