Reading the Kama Sutra – 5

Part Three carries the title “Acquiring a Wife”. You can ignore the individual chapter headings; they are misleading. For example, “How to Manage Alone” does NOT have to deal with masturbation (as I suppose you were thinking); rather, it’s about how to court a wife when neither of you has a family member, friend, or servant to help you out.

Anyway, this whole section is on what can best be described as courtship and marriage. Continue reading

A Pain in the

I have written in the past about suffering from colds. Illnesses and aches and pains are part of growing old. The body stops being young and resilient, injuries – even little things like paper cuts – take longer to heal, they even happen more often.

One of the things that I find myself dealing with at the moment is lower back pain.

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Reading the Kama Sutra – 4

And, well, it’s more stuff made dull by the need to make lists. Here we have a list of the possible ways to have intercourse. The first several are “How To Do It” when the partners are of different “sizes”, as described in Chapter One. I didn’t count them, but there are definitely fewer than sixty-four. There’s mention of group sex and homosexual relations, and how you can get ideas by watching animals in the wild. Note that there’s absolutely nothing about how any of the positions provide extra or special stimulation to your partner.

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Checking the Boxes

I happened to come across my first 2022 quarter today. There’s a new portrait of George Washington on the face – and Maya Angelou on the obverse. Now even though I haven’t read anything of hers, I understand she’s a very great writer and deserves more than just a few accolades. But being put on a quarter? There’s plenty of worthy Americans that should be honored with an appearance on our money, but why her in particular?

Might it have something to do with her being a black woman with a “tragic backstory”?

Are we honoring her because of her writing skills, or because she checks off a lot of boxes?

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Reading the Kama Sutra – 2

The work is divided into seven parts, each of which is divided into individual chapters. The first part is titled “General Remarks”, and serves as an introduction and background. You will note right off the bat that the original text is in a “chapter and verse” format common to a lot of religious texts. I guess it makes it easy to look things up, but it also means that the work is a LOT shorter than you’d think.

The first chapter is basically the contents of the remaining sections and chapters, with a few notes on why the topics are important enough to get special mention.

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Reading the Kama Sutra – 1

Way back in the mists of time, I belonged to a book club. Not one of those where a bunch of middle-aged housewives sit around talking about the latest books, but one where they sent you an actual little catalog of the discount publisher’s offerings every month.

One month, one of the highlighted offerings was The Complete Kama Sutra: The First Unabridged Modern Translation of the Classic Indian Text by Alain Daniélou. Like most of you, I’d only heard of the Kama Sutra as an erotic guide to making love. Here was a chance to actually read the darn thing, and then be able to say I’d read it.

Well…..

IT

WAS

BORING

And not just because it didn’t have any pictures. As I liked to put it, whoever wrote it had “the mind of an accountant”. Everything was in lists. From a list of the Types of Arranged Marriage to the Types of Fingernail Marks One Can Leave on Their Lover. Seriously, that was one of the lists.

It sat on my bookshelf for many a year, begging to be re-read. I shied away from it, recalling the boredom.

But now, I have this blog. And I need something to write about.

So, why not follow along with me as I have another go at it?

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Movie Review: Star Wars: Neon Noir (Online, 2015)

It is pretty much agreed that the Star Wars prequel trilogy was….. well, “Not Good”. Admittedly, it’s not easy to tell a story when the ending is predetermined. But one shouldn’t need three whole movies to tell how Anakin Skywalker became Darth Vader. Quite a few fans took it upon themselves to edit the trilogy (removing the boring or tasteless parts (i.e. Jar-Jar Binks)) into a single, more “streamlined” film.

These fans pretty much succeeded in creating films that are faithful to the Star Wars universe, and tell the story rather well. It’s essentially a Grand Tragedy, how a young Jedi filled with promise was turned to the Dark Side.

The team at Film Addicted went a bit further. What if you not only condensed the story, but changed the tone?

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Book Review: Conquistadores

Conquistadores: A New History of Spanish Discovery and Conquest
Fernando Cervantes
Viking Books
Copyright 2020 by the author

There seems to be a trend in the study of history these days to reexamine and reframe the past to highlight the evils that have been painted over in our “standard narrative”. Winston Churchill, for example, was not the brilliant leader who kept Britain fighting throughout World War II; instead he was the brutal colonialist whose policies led to the deaths of millions when famine hit India in the 1940s.

Some will claim they’re just trying to present a more nuanced approach, but to me it seems like they’re just being petty and vindictive, blaming the Past for all the ills of the Present that they feel powerless to deal with. Or perhaps they just enjoy being contrarian.

For if they were truly trying for a more nuanced history, surely they would be willing to accept a reexamination of what the “standard narrative” states was Bad and Evil – right? Would it be acceptable, for example, to show that the Spanish conquest of the Americas wasn’t one huge mess of rape, plunder, and murder by the white European males? Continue reading

On the Price of Gasoline

One cannot help but notice that as Putin’s war in Ukraine drags on, the price of gasoline has gone through the roof. A combination of post-COVID economic adjustments and sanctions on the Russian regime has driven the price to a comparative level not seen since the oil embargo of the 1970s.

Needless to say, there are a lot of complaints and questions:

Why can’t the president do anything about this?”

Why does it always seem like the price goes up even before any sanctions / disasters / whatever could possibly have an effect?”

Why is there so much variation in prices from one station to the next?”

The first question is a general gripe that reveals a poor understanding of economics and presidential power; the last two contain hints as to the reason behind the dramatic price increase. Continue reading