#AtoZChallenge: April 26, 2013 ~ Women

La liberté n’offre qu’une chance d’être meilleur, la servitude n’est que la certitude de devenir pire.” ~ Albert Camus


A wall painting by Franz Xaver Simm from the Caucasus Museum in Tbilisi. The original painting has not survived. Date 1881 Source Hermann Roskoschny, 1845-1898. Das asiatische Russland, Leipzig: Gressner & Schramm, 1884

Perhaps one day – how far in the future is a matter for speculation – it will be suggested that parthenogenesis is the way forward for the human species on its way to the Stars.  In my novel, The Page, the alien race poised to colonise Earth, offers it to the female gender, arguing, with some reason, that exterminating the males would be a favour to the Universe in general, Earth in particular, and free them from the kind of slavery no law or feminist revolution has so far succeeded in doing.  The unanimous reply is: “Please go – and clone yourselves.” This may be yet further evidence supporting Paulhan’s idea of “bonheur dans l’esclavage”…

Yet you are irreplaceable, even if we might be.  Not only are we hopeless at bearing children – pace “mummy” Schwarzenneger – let us banish for ever the thought of a male only world, even if biologically such an enormity was conceivable: it would be hell, even for the more softly inclined among us.  Who would we copy, whose lingerie would we try with rising emotions?  Whose panties would we rub our stubbled cheeks with, dreaming of the thousand and one nights delights? Whose lovely ways of walking would we try to emulate, us, the primates, occasionally goose-stepping morons, of otherwise poor artistic tastes?  And, worst of all, whose slender necks would wear those sober collars, emblematic of our deepest dreams?

“Neanderthal rising” is an hallucination lurking in my “writer-in-learning” ’s mind: an apocalypse of primal beasts rushing back to the stone age in a flurry of females being dragged by their (long and gorgeous) hair… and frightened mammoths…

But there are biological and physical facts: a different – but then, are two brains ever similar? – wiring of the synapses, longevity (a crucial quality for deep space travel)… and of course the potential for asexual reproduction.  If a (presumably female) Columbus of an unfathomable future wished for “peace on board” the proverbial ship, what would be her best bet?  A mixed gender crew soon rioting into roman orgies and muscular hand to hand fights, or a spartan and disciplined amazon crew of jar-headed female warriors, athletic, evidently lesbian, and, well… just tremendously sexy to this Neanderthal’s imagination. Peace.

#BlogMeMaybe: May 29 – May I tell you something about myself?

Intelligent Life

What we read makes us who we are. And technology is changing the way we read, not only in terms of hat we hold in our hands, but also where we can read, and how much. Yet I still love the touch of a book, the feel of turning real pages in a magazine. Today my partner, Gorgeous, bought me the May/June (printed) issue of Intelligent Life, the glossy from The Economist. IL has a wonderful IPad edition too.

The articles, the photographs are all interesting and attractive. On Prometheus and Ridley Scott: “Can he still  make us feel trapped when there’s so much room for manoeuvre?” (Nicholas Barber). “Non cogito, ergo sum: sometimes thinking is a bad idea – to make good decisions, you need to be skilled at ignoring information” (Ian Leslie)! On the opera director, David McVicar: “He often deploys violence, but never gratuitously: he’ll mine the text of a familiar classic  with passionate rigour, and induce his singers to do the same” (Michael Church)… “The shapes we are in”, by Isabel Lloyd is wondering about fashion, “matching bodies to decades”. “Like?” is about, of course, Facebook, “what it’s doing to real life”, an article by Robert Lane Green, all tweeps must read!

A nice touch: the magazine lists its contributors, with a nice pic of a shelf with their books (Shelf-publicity).

Of course it’s full of advertising, but quality (quite a few banking and investment outfits too, as it fits an Economist’s product)! Well, I have to admit I am a bit of a sucker for glamour and style. After all I am married to Gorgeous (mind you, not just glamour…)! How does she put up with this uncouth Neanderthal is another sweet mystery.