Another Way To Begin...

"For a long time, *the story goes*--"

My asterisks.

Who told the story?

It's been... going on for "a long time", hasn't it?

The title of the book is THE (my caps) History of Sexuality, Intro, Vol I.

But where does Foucault start *his* story? First by saying that "we
supported a Victorian regime" (connotes 19th century), and then contrasting
this with the 17th century, where "a certain frankness was still common,
*it would seem.*"

Disclaimers along the way.......

And actually, if I think of something like Michelangelo or Botticelli,
visually, Renaissance images, some of which the Catholic Church were using
to try to lure people away from Luther/Protestantism, by saying, "Hey...
Come back! You can have SEX in this life, too..."

But then there was a backlash against Michelangelo by the following Pope.
And the *sensuality* of the Baroque becomes merely fluffy Rococco in France.
I mean, can anyone reproduce the seductiveness of "The Birth of Venus"
or many of Michelangelo's hot studs in... Rococco France?

But they did a mighty fine job in the 19th century (Victorian). I mean,
last time I was at the Museum of Orsay, I saw some pretty HOT imitations of
what perhaps were merely Italian derivatives, deriving themselves off of

There is truth about codes being more lax in, say, Shakespeare's time. I
mean, Da Vinci had to go to France because he was dissecting dead people
and almost dared to "come out" as a homosexual (perhaps)-- and perhaps that
was why he was writing backwards, much of the time--

But reactions to reactions to reactions.

This has been going on for a long time.

"Fools" often had some of Shakespeare's greatest lines. And some of his
greatest tragic figures were reduced to mere fools, by the end of the play.
That Shakespeare never wanted the Sonnets published, for example, because
they were written to a courtesan, that some speak of a love that dare not
name its name, this is outside Foucault's circumscription of the subject.

"Sexuality was carefully confined...", Foucault would have us believe, is
part of the Victorian bourgeois problem. And... maybe it is/was. It
certainly was something that the Greeks, who practiced moderation, however,
also had. But he's contrasting to the 17th century, in a vague place, for

And so what am I doing?
I'm questioning Foucault as I read him.

And one thing for which many people credit Foucault is this idea of
"Question Authority." And yet... it's been going on for some time!
Nietzsche, Freud, Marx are within his vocabulary. I have one that also
includes Blake (his heretical Christianity is so complex and contradictory
as to drive one into one's self!), JS Mill ("On Liberty" defends
individuals and "eccentricity" to the max, except when it is harmful to
others), William James (what's wrong with a wild guy like Santayana who was
unmarried, running around campus with a black cape, Mr. President of
Harvard? I happen to think he's quite a good professor!)..........

But getting back to Foucault. I question his authority. He questions
others' authority. He has placed me inside a circle to which I do not
necessarily subscribe, as an "other Victorian". Although here I am, with
enough time in my day to write this e-mail message. So maybe I AM a Victor.
And I am willing to play along with the construct.

(For one thing,
time moves so FAST these days, Michel!
You wrote this in 1978, and...
it all seems so... so dated compared to... others...
or does it?)

He says some good things on this first page which will guide the rest of
this book:

a "legitimate and procreative couple"....
"utilitarian and fertile"


I mean, literally, a male/female couple *can be* fertile, whereas a
same-sex couple would have to adopt or do other medical measures that one
may not connect with "love". And "love" is not being mentioned in this
first page, either, I note. Sex is disconnected from love. It's the history
of SEX that we're talking about.

But to be MERELY utilitarian...?
Could that be like Sparta was, compared to Athens,
which was fertile in other areas,
metaphorically speaking,
such as *the arts AND sciences*?

Contributing to the commonwealth, to the progress of humankind, to a truer
freedom, to a greater tent of tolerance and understanding, to fighting
plagues even as we know that new ones will always be there, maybe lurking
beneath the surface...

That could be "fertile", even if you're a homosexual like Da Vinci,
Shakespeare (maybe), Michelangelo, Nietzsche (maybe), too. Regardless of
whether your sex, talked about or not, is Taboo or blessed by "the experts"
(and who are they, to set themselves up as "experts", too, by the way?),
your "taint of abnormality" (roughly 90% of people identify themselves as
"heterosexual) may be part of your asset, or not.


"You see it on the TV. You see it in the magazines.
And sex KILLS."
---Joni Mitchell, from a recent album which I've since misplaced!


Oprah Winfrey, Geraldo...

Noam Chomsky... are we *buying* that "manufactured consent"?

Who are "we"?
Why are "they" manufacturing it?


---Randall Albright

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