March 18th, 2005

operesque

Websites, and other Freudian Slips

Desperately Seeking Susan is Terry Castle's bitchily fantastic, ultimately moving memoir of her years as a Susan Sontag groupie, published in the latest London Review of Books. There's a priceless description of a party at Marina Abramovic's loft in which Sontag hobnobs with Casey Spooner, Klaus Biesenbach, Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson and Terry gets ignored.

Video-game inspired artist Milos Manetas distinguishes between two principles he calls Neen and Telic. Telic is logic, direction, tools, slow steady sensible progress. Neen is a kind of unpredictable magic, a flash of inspiration or genius. "Nature is Telic and miracles are Neen," explains Manetas. "Miracles which have a purpose, become Telic, stupid miracles instead, like the one where Jesus walks on the water, stay Neen for centuries. But again, if Jesus would come back today and start walking on the water, that would be Telic. Really, there is no way to preserve Neen, because it expires after a second. Neensters are the people who are OK with this fact." (There's also a Flash site about Neen here.)



Namaiki are foreign artist-designers based in Tokyo, they run Super-Deluxe and I like their style. This is a list of their exhibitions, lavishly illustrated.

Next up, Onyanko Club on Neomarxisme. The main topic of controversy on Marxy's interesting blog this week has been a series of J-Pop singles released in the mid-80s by Japanese TV teen-stars The Pussy Club, featuring risqué topics like underage sex and train molestation. (Includes mp3s of the songs in question.)

Marxy tends to dwell on Japan's structural problems, but his homeland has a few of its own. Luckily, they seem to be cancelling each other out. A truly stunning story in Techworld News about Obesity in America tells us that although the American social security system can't cover the needs of America's ageing population, everything's going to work out fine because growing obesity rates mean many Americans won't live to be old anyway. Obesity currently reduces life expectancy by four to nine months, but, report researchers at the University of Illinois, the life-span effects of obesity could rise two to five years in the next 50 years. Obesity will help keep Social Security solvent because people will die younger. "One of the consequences of our prediction is that Social Security does not appear to be in nearly as bad a shape as we think." Well, that's all right then. Back to attacking the world's longest-living, healthiest-eating people, the Japanese!

Staying with weird science, British newspaper The Guardian reports that yawning and sex are linked; yawning is, apparently, a sort of "mini-orgasm". "In discussing pharmacology I found a link between yawning and spontaneous orgasm in withdrawal from heroin addiction. Likewise, yawning and sexual response were associated as clinical side effects of several antidepressant drugs. In one publication an undeniable causal relation was reported: both spontaneous and intentional yawning provoked instantaneous ejaculation orgasm."

Passing from science to Scientology, Beck has literally just heard the 500th Strokes clone. Beck has a big beard now (not pictured) and a new album, apparently quite good.

One of Beck's biggest fans, Kahimi Karie, is losing one of her longest-running fansites. We Love Karie is to close at the end of the month. We Love Karie was the site that, amongst other things, measured Karie's songs with fan votes. It looks like it'll close with I Am A Kitten still at number one in the popularity ratings, as it has been for almost a decade. Karie hasn't stood still, though. She's performing this week in Tokyo with Otomo Yoshihide's New Jazz Ensemble, and sings on a couple of tracks on their forthcoming album, the follow-up to 2002's excellent Dreams (Tzadik). You can hear a Kahimi special (in Swedish) and a clip of the New Jazz Ensemble on radio show Mero Mero, linked from Chipple.

The BBC has been running an interesting series of 15 minute radio programmes called Freudian Slips in which Lisa Appignanesi reassesses five of Freud's major works on their centenary. Here are the first four (the fifth airs later today, shortly before the sixth and final episode of the excellent Nathan Barley goes out on UK C4). But beware: "This programme contains adult sexual references."

1/5. Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality is one of the pillars on which modern psychoanalysis rests.

2/5. In Infantile Sexuality, Freud outlines why sexuality is the basis for adult neuroses.

3/5. The Transformations of Puberty is the last of Freud's Three Essays on Sexuality.

4/5. Dora was one of Freud's great case histories. She was just 18 when she was taken by her father to Freud.

Finally, "Sparkligbeatnic" is a Japan-based audiophile who's been making binaural recordings for a few years now. Scroll back to March 5th on his LiveJournal to hear some evocative recordings and cut-ups of the sounds of Kyoto.