Monday, April 24, 2017

The New York Review of Books Gay Tilt?

Copyright 2017, InterAmerica, Inc.
The May 11, 2017 issue of The New York Review of Books had the (full page) photo (above) along with a “review” of an exhibition at the Japan Society (in New York City) called A Third Gender: Beautiful Youths in Japanese Edo-Period Prints and Paintings (1600-1868).
(The photo, of the boy on beach, has no connection to the Edo-Period prints, but I’ll provide a connection.)

Ian Buruma, Professor at Bard, hosts the “review” of the Edo-Print exhibition, and makes a clear point that the adoration of young men in the era under consideration, while having a sexual patina [shudo], is more to do with the aesthetic appreciation of the temporary beauty of boys before they mature (move to puberty).

The Japanese youth [wakashu] pictured and “worshipped” as the exhibited prints show are not depicted in pornographic poses but, rather, are shown to be immersed in activity that mimicked that of geisha
The boy-love depicted by the Japanese prints illustrates the taboo topic of boy-love in the West, where seduction of youth is criminal.

The Edo prints, in exhibition, had no illustrations of shunga, homosexual acts offering, rather, young boys being seduced by older women, generally.
The Japanese shudo is very like that of pederasty in ancient Greece: samurai warriors adopting boy-love much as Greek warriors – Achilles being an example – “adopted” young boys as sexual partners and aides.

As for the photo above – surrounded by a review of Caravaggio paintings, Caravaggio, himself, a homosexual renegade of the Baroque era – is not to be viewed lasciviously but as a paean to youthful beauty.

That the NYRB chose to include this handsome photograph, in context with reviews about homosexual art and artists, is, perhaps, troublesome, although I doubt that many practicing pedophiles subscribe to the Review.

Nonetheless, I feel that the boy photographed is not to be viewed as a sexual object but as an icon of innocent youth, something not to be marred by leering homosexual men (or cougarish women).

(The sources of the Edo prints shown here appear in their JPG titles.)


Miracles, Myth, or Psychotic Episodes?

Copyright 2017, InterAmerica, Inc.
There are two odd accounts about Jesus, after his death and alleged resurrection, in The New Testament Gospel of Luke, Chapter 24:13.

Two disciples, walking along a road in Emmaus, were approached by a man (Luke writes it was Jesus) who struck up a conversation with the men and accompanied them to the village where he sat and broke bread with them, whereupon the men purportedly realized that the man was Jesus, who then vanished before them.
Later, while relating the incident to the other disciples (apostles), the man (Jesus, Luke writes) appeared before them all.

He showed them his wounds and asked if they had anything to eat. They gave the man a piece of broiled fish which he ate. The he instructed them in the mission they were to perform, and accompanied them to Bethany, “and, raising His hands, He blessed them. While He blessed them He was parted from them and taken up into heaven.” [Luke 24:50-51]
Here we have an actual visitation of a resurrected Jesus Christ or a mass hysteria, a folie à plusieurs ("madness of many").

Luke’s discourse offers an example of a psychotic episode in the first related account, when the two disciples don’t recognize the man they met and spoke with, even when they sat close up at dinner.

The second account provides an example of an induced hallucination when another group of disciples/apostles see and talk to a man, providing “confirmations” that makes it appear he’s the Jesus they all knew, and who had seemingly died shortly before.

What’s at work here, a mass psychosis or a truly miraculous event?