okay…having engaged in that diabolical debacle, desperately demanding more people view this site, it’s about time we returned to taking care of our current affairs, for the same question remains as, “why supremacy?” In our opinion, there are only two groups of people around, white people and non-white people. In the opening chapter of Yurugu, Marimba Ani makes reference ot Plato and his somewhat arbitrary distinction between reason and emotion, using this ‘demarcation’ to claim that those with intellect (literacy) should rule over those who were deemed inferior (illiterate).
Itself, the concept of academia developed from these “greek academies”, and whilst the word school is used to reference groups of fish, it is derived from the word “schole”, which meant leisure. Indeed, these PRIMITIVE Greeks imagined that leisure, or liberty, was the domain of free-people, whilst slaves, as Douglass reminded us, were denied this level of literacy. Eventually, we arrived at the “liberal” arts, in comparison with ‘specialist’ and ‘technical’ training. In this article, however, we want to expand upon these nuances of language, and also, the type of “education” required to be taken before whiteness (the identity) becomes racist (the expression.)
Yesterday, we were watching a “show” on “crimes of passion” when a lady used the word “Kinky” quickly going on to claim that this couple were engaging in sex which played on themes of slave and master. At another time, she claimed that the sex was “wild”, sparking curiosity into the nature of the term and the uses and misuses of language.
Examining this further, we “consulted” a dictionary to get an opinion on the definition/meaning of the word, quickly finding it was associated with hair that had “curls”, but then, we saw another term, “twisted.” We also realised that the term was used to reference “unconventional” sexual preferences, and started to question the implications of this term.
Afican nations are referred to as tribes (connotation: wild) rather than “nations” (connotation: collective.) They are referred to as primitive (savage) rather than primary (in antiquity.) They are called “third world” rather than “first world.” They are referred to as “pre-historic” rather than “classical” or even “ancient”, unless europeans somehow, somewhere interfered with their way of “doing.”
Finally, these “primitives” (as if the adjective were a noun) are said to have various “fetishes.”
In her book “Fetish and the Art of Teese” Dita von Teese makes various allusions to the origins of terms, explaining, early on, the term fetish: “before the word fetish bloated with “obsessive” and “perverse” sexual connotations, the word meant, quite simply, “magical charm.” Isn’t that lovely? In ancient times, human beings worshipped these idols and amulets, hoping for rain or fertility or food. Over time, evidently, people hoped predominantly for sex because the definition grows increasingly carnal as it nears the modern age.” She adds “for me, fetish is a sensual magical charm.” I love fetish for its powers of transformation and also for its beauty. To me, there’s no lovelier image than that of a sobbing, exquisitely attired lady tied to the railroad tracks a train roars near, her hero racing to save her…i have always been inspired by the gorgeous girls…the hoursglass figures, the classic fashions, the lingerie (corsets, stockings, girdles), and second skins (furs, satins, silks, latex), the high0heeled shoes. I love those imags because they are – above all – beautiful.” FITtingly, beauty itself it often associated with “looks” (charm). It is seen to confer value, which itself, is a term associated with economics, and in mordern times, males find themselves entangled in a game where they trade in their power (money) for beauty (fame).
In our “modern” era, it might be realised that money is very much a “fetish”, if not only an aphrodisiac (which itself, is a term that invites questions about why “natural” hair is termed an “afro”.) It is also worth noting that blackness itself, in the western/european mind, is the ultimate erotic fiction. Blacks are, for instance, often seen as helpless children, and playthings, as epitomised by Rupert Bear;s travels in 1960 (he meets a “coon”) and 1976 (he meets a “golliwog”.) In these rupert the bear annuals, although small himself (as the narrator reveals), Rupert views these “others” (who, at one point, greet him with exotic fruits) as small people, and historically, the idea of the “happy slave” implied that thies enslaved people were better-off “civilised” and “educated.” It implied that once domesticated, docile and thereby pleasing, these “slaves” were like adorable infants and admirable children, who were generally reckless and irresponsible, but only because of their (mental) age. It was a form of censorship in as much as tehse people were denied; denied autonomy, liberty and their voices, as they were alienated from their bodies and enstranged from themselves. Greater still, later on, it was even claimed that these “dark” people were lascivious, and imprudent, despite the realities of rape, and the “abolition” of consent on the part of those enslaved. At any rate, these people were in BONDAGE. Blacks were SLAVES and whites were MASTER. They could be CHAINed (roped) and kept in darkness (blindfolds) with its connotations of “ignorance”, as opposed to “enlightenment”.)
Blackness is an enigma, for, although associated with “dirt”, “dirty” sex is seen as desireable, in as much as it is uninhibited, and yet, what is this implying? Perhaps it means that “dignified” sex is not authentic, and is missing imagination and passion, and yet, one only has to understand the implcations of being tagged a “pervert” to appreciate the “harm” that is done with being labelled in such a way. Pervert – as in perverting the course of justice – is, according to the dictionary, about turning people away from a right doctrine and into a false or erroneous belief, which implied something religious. Historically, chastity, like chilvalry (honour) was about VIRTUE, with VIRginity being a gift reserved for two people in marriage. The irony is, rarely did those espousing these notions abide by them, but more importantly, they engaged in the behaviours they publicly deplored. Here we find the major contradiction, for although blackness is “taboo” people engage in it, in the “darkness.” Building on the themes of Plato’s duality, people can “play” and “experiment” with darkness, going through a trial period, or “phase”, without settling in it, or being permanently “corrupted.” It is plausible denial, with their “high spirits” alibi suggesting that they are involved in these behaviours without becoming them (akin to sleeping with men – whether penetrating [using] or being penetrated [being used] – without being an anti-sexual).
Quickly disgressing, it is fascinatng to explore the findings of a recent internet survey (blackberry poll) which examined attitudes towards solo-eroticism. Guests (contacts) were shown a picture of a man performing fellatio on himself, and asked if he was a “punk”. [we are still in the process of developing better terms than “fag”, “queer”, “gay”, “homosexual” etc.] The question was, was performing oral on oneself any different to stroking oneself, and if not, would males “penetrating” themselves being any different. Although inconclusive, this begged the other question of sexual engagement, where we ask, at point do two peolpe engage in such activity. (Is it when they kiss, exhangeing fluids, when she is penetrated, also exchanging fluids, and if so, from what hole. Is it when they touch their privates, making them public, even if only between the two, or is it once she reaches a psychological climax, or he reached a physical peak.) We ourselves are not sure, however, the point we took away was the fact attitudes towards genitallia and exchange/intercourse.
It is as if there is a self-divided; rather than fragment the discussion, would it be easier and honest to advance that any sex or sexual act, in the absence of others, is perverse, for if we embrace one point, at what point can we deny any other. Ultimately, however, what it revealed more of were the underlying “orientations” towards genitallia, that seems to be “implicit” in the western paradigm, as epitomised by the “trauma” (abuse) myth: although generally abuse is divided into three forms/categories (sexual, verbal, and physical), for some reason, over here, people only emphasise the violation when it takes on a “sexual” tone. Why this “obsession” with sex and genitallia, and returning to the starting topic, why this fascination with dark matter?
We know that black man were said to have particularly large genitals (sexual potentcy and force), whilst their women, as the “Venus Hottentot” example reflected, were seen to be voluptuous, and somewhat sultry, later even referred to as “exotic” (other.) At this point, it is time to return to Dita, who explains the origins of Burlesque, in America, and yet, in doing that, like us, she takes a trip back to Greece and the workd of the playwright, Aristophanes, ‘who penned the sexy masterpiece called Lysistrata in which the wives of teh Athenian soldiers hole up in teh Acropolis, depriving their husbands of sex until the termination of the Peloponnesian War… the way I read it, these women are teasing their husbands, guiding their minds toward sex and then locking it away. She references Al Jolson, who along with other comics, were staples of its stage and theaters, as the word itself, with Italian roots, burlare, means “to laugh at.” Ultimately, just as Plato warned about in regards to the arts, these people contributed to breaking down the walls of decency and prudence with showgirls coming to the fore.
Our discussion, however, places particular emphasis on page 23, where she writes the following: “the way I understand it, America first discovered the femme fatal in a petite, dark-skinned dancer they called “Little Egypt” [Fahreda Spyropolos]at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. She performed the danse du ventre, or what we imaginatively renamed “the belly dance”…pulling up ticket sales and, says historians, single-handedly reviving the struggling World’s Fair – while tantalizing America with a new fantasy…”. Funny thing is, here in England, we associate this “belly dance” with the “Gypsies”, whether Romanian dancers or Irish travellers, and from the work of David Mac Ritchie (Ancient and Modern Britons) we come to understand that these travellers, GYPSies derived their name from the eGYPtians who were thought to have migrated around the world.
Dita Von Teese adds that “this growing appetite for a dark enchantress led America to import a Western European stage production of Salome, giving America a real look into the femme fatale’s psyche …at the Metropolitan Opera, soprano Mary Garden shimmied away her coverings during the Dance of the Seven Veils, inciting passion and fervor in her audience that would last forever.” (Reference to the Veils of Isis?) Meanwhile, on the other side of the book, (Fetish), Dita writes, “whatever your motivations, I will wager that you did not come for the kink, that you are merely sneaking a peek at this mysterious and peculiar side.” On page 3, she writes, “clothing is what we show the world of our bodies and, in a culture of crowds, our personalities. It is through clothing that we define ourselves as femme fatals, businesswomen, bikers, ladies of leisure, or intellectuals. Doesn’t each of these personalities have its own distinctive costume?” In “Burlesque” however, she ads that “teh femme fatale is, as you know, much more than a dark look or a saucy step.” On herself, she says that in an attempt to make her burlesque shoes more authentic, “practicing the femme fatale’s incarnatons through the ages […] I cut my hair shorter and dyed it red, adn then magenta, and then black. I curled it, straightened it, and sprayed the bells out of it. I drew dramatic ebony cat eyes with heavy liquid liner. I read up on her attitude, her history.”
In her searches, it appears that Dit von TREESE stumbled upon Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, ‘the legendary author of the fabulous fetish novel, Venus in Furs…” Meanwhile, the Venus Hottentot, Saartjie “Sarah” Baartman, was paraded in Europe – much like Ota Benga was held in the Bronx Zoo, and paraded during the 1904 St. Louis world’s Fair – and ‘first performed in Piccadilly on September 24 1810’ after British ship doctor, William Dunlop, in 1810, noticed her shape. She had, apparently, an elongated labia, and protruded derrier, as she was made use of by cartoonists and caricaturists. She arrived in Paris in 1814, but died in 1815 (or 1816), aged 26, having supposedly been drawn into prostitution and alcoholisim (degenerative consumption and destructive behaviours.) If correct, Ota Benga shared a similar fate, having arrived from the belgian Congo. This Batwa individual arrived when ‘The St. Louis World’s Fair had hired Samuel Phillips Verner, an American explorer and missionary, to bring African pygmies to the exposition.’ Although the 22 year old stayed in the zoo, Sept 8 1906, he was dead ten years later when he shot himself.
By contrast, Josephine Baker, who toured paris, was accepted. Connecting the tales, Freda Josephine McDonald was born in St. Louis, Missouri, and became a citizen of France in 1937. IN 1925, having only started as a comedy chorus girl, as part of Folies Bergère, ‘Josephine performed a dance that combined both comedy and eroticism were she wore only a skirt fashioned to look like bananas and comically crossed her eyes.’ Importantly, unlike Britain, France embraced her “others”, by integrating them into her metropole and making them citizens whilst Britain, on the other, maintained a distance and emphasised the master-servant power equation. Although Europe maintained this “empire mentality”, the key concept underlying this was their concept of pure blood and their ideal of a master race, which had to keep its stock pure to ensure they were not perverted, polluted and corrupted. They had to practice “good hygience” so as to avoid being “soiled”, or “dirty.” Although obsessed with these exotic and cultural others, the British were apparently still disturbed by the presence of these dark people, with all their taste, flavour and colour, and yet, (Begrimed and Black), a part of them still wanted to play both sides, and toy with these playful others who they came to subjugate through a system of domination, formerly known as “slavery”, and now functioning, through erotica, as an invisible, global empire.
In this new day, eugenics has taken on a more fashionable, acceptable, permissable form, as beauty, once again, is pushed in the mainstream, only this time, it is mixed with much confusion. Females want richer, fuller hair and find themselves consuming “island” food in the hope they will arrived at exotic, glamorous, desirable and curvy figures. They tan themselves trying to look “bronze”, and colourful, whilst the females who are non-white attempt to “pass” as white, or at least, least black/threatening – threatening to the status quo, the established order, white supremacy, the regime, The Situation. Gutter sex, dubbed “inter-racial” marriage is very popular as we all disappear in this cesspool of amorous, faceless, anonymity, which compels use to define oursleves through these other variables, and yet, race, or at least, our shade and complexion, still standout as distinctive identifiers. In the words of Jan Pieterse, ours is a world of largely false horizons.
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