July 26, 2004

met a redneck on a grecian isle who did the goat dance very well

* While the logistics must be difficult and the level of play is likely not too much better than decent high scool soccer, the Homeless World Cup is underway. [via Heck's Kitchen]

* The Observer revisits The Story of O. excerpt:

"But first things first. Story of O is not a book to read on the bus - or not the "first 60 pages, anyway, which are written with an almost hallucinatory, erotic intensity that you would have to be rather peculiar not to be left hot and bothered by.

"A young woman, O, is ordered into a waiting car by her lover, René, commanded to remove her underwear, and driven to a chateau in the Paris suburb of Roissy. Here, she is initiated into a secret society with complicated rules: she is not to look any man in the eye nor speak to any of the other women. She must wear a corseted dress that exposes her breasts, a leather collar and cuffs. Any man may dispose of her as he wishes. O welcomes all this, understanding that the harsher the treat ments she endures, the more she proves her love.

"These are the pages that, in a third-person account written nearly 20 years later, the author described herself writing at night, 'lying on her side with her feet tucked up under her, a soft black pencil in her right hand... the girl was writing the way you speak in the dark when you've held back the words of love too long and they flow out at last. For the first time in her life, she was writing without hesitation, without stopping, rewriting or discarding; she was writing the way one breathes, or dreams... she was still writing when the street cleaners came by at the first touch of dawn.'

"Dominique Aury, lying on her side in bed with her pencil and her school exercise books, did not intend the work to be published. She wrote it as a dare, a challenge and an enterprise de seduction for her lover, Jean Paulhan. They'd met during the German occupation, when she distributed a subversive magazine, Lettres Françaises, which he edited. Probably, they were first introduced by her father, in the hope that she might solicit Paulhan's aid in publishing the volume of 17th-century devotional poetry she had collected. (She did, and it was.) Subsequently, they worked together at the literary magazine Nouvelle Revue Française and at Gallimard."
"But beyond its merits as a literary work, its merits or limits as pornography, there lies the paradox that this incendiary book was written by a woman who wore little make-up and no jewellery, who dressed with quiet elegance, who lived out a polite, bluestocking existence in a small flat with her parents and son. Beneath this unlikely exterior raged terrible passions. In the end, the most instructive aspect of the book is that it demonstrates the demoniac nature of sexuality in any or all of us. This quiet, learned woman understood the power of sex. She knew that desire can ignite compulsions to commit sudden, arbitrary violence and induce a yearning for voluptuous, annihilating death."

* A chronology of the 1968 Democratic National Convention. excerpt:

"August 25, Sunday: MOBE's "Meet the Delegates" march gathers 800 protesters in Grant Park across from the Hilton Hotel. The Festival of Life, in Lincoln Park, opens with music. 5,000 hear the MC-5 and local bands play. Police refuse to allow a flatbed truck to be brought in as a stage. A fracas breaks out in which several are arrested and others are clubbed. Police reinforcements arrive.

"At the 11 PM curfew, most of the crowd, now numbering around 2,000, leave the park ahead of a police sweep and congregate between Stockton Drive and Clark Street. The police line then moves into the crowd, pushing it into the street. Many are clubbed, reporters and photographers included. The crowd disperses into the Old Town area, where the battles continue.

"August 26, Monday: In the early morning, Tom Hayden is among those arrested. 1,000 protesters march towards police headquarters at 11th and State. Dozens of officers surround the building. The march turns north to Grant Park, swarming the General Logan statue. Police react by clearing the hill and the statue.

"At the Amphitheatre, Mayor Daley formally opens the 1968 Democratic National Convention.

"As the curfew approaches, some in Lincoln Park build a barricade against the police line to the east. About 1,000 remain in the park after 11 PM. A police car noses into the barricade and is pelted by rocks. Police move in with tear gas. Like Sunday night, street violence ensues. But it is worse. Some area residents are pulled off their porches and clubbed. More reporters are attacked this night than at any other time during the week.

"August 27, Tuesday: At 1 PM 200 members of the American Friends Service Committee and other pacifist groups leave a near-northside church to march to the Amphitheatre. Joined by others along their route, the marchers eventually number about 1,000. The police stop the march at 39th and Halstead, about half-a-mile north of the Amphitheatre. The marchers set up a picket line and remain in place until 10 AM the next morning. They are then ordered to disperse and 30 resisters are arrested. This is the only march of Convention Week that gets anywhere near the Amphitheatre—it also gets virtually no publicity.

"out 7 PM Black Panther Party Chairman Bobby Seale speaks in Lincoln Park. He urges people to defend themselves by any means necessary if attacked by the police.

"An "Unbirthday Party for LBJ" convenes at the Chicago Coliseum. Performers and speakers include Ed Sanders, Abbie Hoffman, David Dellinger, Terry Southern, Jean Genet, William Burroughs, Dick Gregory, Allen Ginsberg, Phil Ochs, and Rennie Davis. 2,000 later march from the Coliseum to Grant Park.

"In Lincoln Park, 200 clergy and lay church people, toting a 12-foot cross, join 2,000 protestors to remain in the park past curfew. Again, tear gas and club-swinging police clear the park. Many head south to the Loop and Grant Park.

"At Grant Park, in front of the Hilton, where the television cameras are, 4,000 demonstrators rally to speeches by Julian Bond, Davis, and Hayden. Mary Traverse and Peter Yarrow sing. The rally is peaceful. At 3 AM the National Guard relieve the police. The crowd is allowed to stay in Grant Park all night."


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