MAD, BAD & DANGEROUS: THE DEMON LOVER (Part II)

MAD, BAD & DANGEROUS: THE DEMON LOVER (Part II)

Flesh comes to us out of history; so does the repression and taboo that governs our experience of flesh. — Angela Carter, The Sadeian Woman and the Idea of Pornography Stories of dark tempters are as old as tales themselves. Genesis 6:4 refers to the Nephilim, “sons of God” to whom “the daughters of men… bare children.” This passage has been interpreted many ways over the millennia; even Jewish scholars disagree about the proper interpretation of Nephilim. Various sources trace the word to Hebrew roots meaninggiants, wonders and – tellingly! – those causing others to fall. The Targum Yonatan claims that the Nephilim were descendants of fallen angels Read more »

MAD, BAD & DANGEROUS: THE DEMON LOVER (Part III)

MAD, BAD & DANGEROUS: THE DEMON LOVER (Part III)

What we often call morality is in fact defense… The only morality adequate to the complexities of life is one that has been sculpted in the presence of the shadow. — Thomas Moore, Dark Eros: The Imagination of Sadism In no guise is the Demon Lover gentle. He’s an erotic force of nature. He’ll gobble you up like a wolf, drain you dry and leave you wanting more. He’ll compose fantastic symphonies in your honor before killing you, or lead you “over the mountain” and “into the woods.” His “teeth do brightly shine,” even as he shifts from fox to wolf Read more »

Next Big Thing: Holy Creatures To and Fro

Next Big Thing: Holy Creatures To and Fro

“Don’t run off too far, Sarah,” said my father. But I guess I did. Sarah was me before I was Silk. I became Silk because Sarah couldn’t run away. I was five or so when my father took me walking to Woodside Park. It was just a few blocks away from home, but to me it felt like miles. There, rough concrete gave way to soft gray powder and chips of shredded wood. I swept out hieroglyphs with my toes, stomping up little clouds of dust. Despite sneaker-prints and an old mitten in the dirt, the park was empty save for us. Read more »

6 Points to Understanding (Conflicts With) Men

6 Points to Understanding (Conflicts With) Men

Why do men and women play so many head-games with one another? Why do dudes freak the fuck out when it seems like we’re not getting our way? The following note originated in my response to a female friend who posted a list of female relationship tactics, and then asked a man to explain the way men think in relationships… specifically, in relationship conflicts. I’m posting it to a wider audience because I think these insights might help folks of all genders understand each other, and themselves, and our conflicts a little bit better. For the most part, when we’re Read more »

Brief Notes About Compassionate Communication

Brief Notes About Compassionate Communication

We all have fears. We all have wounds. We all have needs. For most of us, the fear that those needs will not be met – that the people upon whom we most depend will refuse our needs and perhaps even wound us – is the biggest fear we have. We fear, most often, that the people closest to us will tell us that we don’t matter. Compassionate communication addresses that fear. Fear is the root of conflict. Attack and defense are valid responses to a threat, and fear tells us that we are threatened and must respond. However, when people Read more »

Thoughts About Being a Man

Thoughts About Being a Man

(Photo by Sandra Damiana Buskirk, 2011) What does it mean to be a man? We live in a confusing time in a confusing world. Is it any wonder, then, that so many of us search the rubble of old notions for clues about who we are and what sorts of people we should be? Sadly, all too many of us seem bent on creating more rubble (figurative and real) in the course of that search. This is especially true in the realm of masculinity. While both men and women have soundly rejected the SNAG (“Sensitive New Age Guy“) attempts of Read more »

Tea, the Bible, and the Marketplace

Tea, the Bible, and the Marketplace

Some time ago, a theatrical malcontent and his followers took drastic action. Enraged by the corruption of church, state and the marketplace, they attacked the merchants, trashed their goods, and occupied the temple where the marketplace had set up shop. Once there, this malcontent used that temple as a staging-ground for sermons and healing. He mocked the authorities, condemned their sins, and drew their fury against him. We know him now as Jesus Christ. Perhaps you’ve heard of Him. The tale of Jesus and the money-changers is well-known. What’s not nearly as famous, though, is His occupation of the Temple Read more »

What Virtue is Selfishness?

What Virtue is Selfishness?

You get what you pay for. Nice things cost money, but quality is worth it. Rich people understand this – better, perhaps, than anyone. And most of them are willing to pay well for quality.  Why, then, are so many people – rich and poor alike – convinced that spending money on our nation is wrong?  Where’s the disconnect between the ideas of buying quality shoes, and funding quality schools? Is it because things you buy for yourself are yours alone, while things you buy with taxes are part of your community as a whole?  And really – if it is, when Read more »

"Not Part of the 99%"? You're Fooling Yourself

"Not Part of the 99%"? You're Fooling Yourself

“I’m not part of the 99%.” That’s the catch-phrase of a counter-protest that misunderstands the entire nature of the Occupy movement. Buying the lies that 99% activists are just a bunch of unemployed hippies looking for handouts, people like the following young student trumpet their work-ethics, and chide the rest of us for not being them. (Later, after this essay was originally posted, the sign-holder’s claims were utterly debunked. Go figure…) Parodying the various signs held by Occupy demonstrators, this picture epitomizes a view that misses the entire point of the protests. “The 99%” does not refer to people who Read more »

Economics, Knowledge & Power

Economics, Knowledge & Power

Especially these days, all Americans should be required to take a real-world Economics course – in high school if not earlier. I’m not talking about “Home Ec,” that throwback to women-in-the-kitchen days that (last I knew) offers some practical household skills but teaches little, if anything, about real economics. Nor am I referring to Advanced Placement business course, the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) or other “egghead” courses for high-aspiration nerds (like I was in high school). I mean a real, practical overview of economics: history, principle, cultural factors, real-life application, and core economic ideas like value, exchange, and Read more »