Moon River (Song of the Week, 9/26/2012)

In memory of the great Andy Williams, and to honor my own few huckleberry friends (many aren’t as huckleberry as they pretend, alas), this week’s song is Williams’s “Moon River”…

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License To Thrill (Song of the Week, 9/19/2012)

In the past few weeks, I renewed my long dead passport. Today, I visited the Brazilian Consulate, where I was granted a visa allowing me entry to the country for the next decade.

My status as International Man of Mystery has been restored. I have a license to thrill. If you notice the processing label the consulate used on my passport, you can see that even the Brazilians seem to recognize my status. Look out Most Interesting Man in the World…

Considering my last vacation wound up reminding me entirely too much of Stephen King’s Misery, I am really looking forward to a few weeks in a tropical paradise with a gorgeous hostess and no fear of potential sledge hammers. It’s going to be a few months before I go, but I AM READY. Except that I really need a hair cut.

Boa noite. My name is Byrd. Tim Byrd.

Kate Elliott’s Omniscient Breasts

I’m usually annoyed when someone pulls out the “male gaze” concept in a discussion of art and culture. While the idea has undeniable merit, it is often wielded as a bludgeon of ABSOLUTE TRUTH. In other words, men like looking at sexy women and it ruins the world, do not pass go, do not collect two hundred dollars.

I happen to think that much of this sort of thing has its roots in the innate differences in men’s and women’s cognitive wiring. That doesn’t mean we should just accept the baseline set by our neurology as the sole standard to consider, but it does mean that there’s probably nothing wrong with men liking to look at sexy women, or vice versa, or even having art that caters to such desire.

Still, just as we aspire to more than simple orgasm in our relationships, we should aspire to higher levels of cultural relationship as well. At the very least, we should think about these things, and consider how the ways that we think and create impact the way we relate to each other.

Author Kate Elliott has written a very balanced, thoughtful post considering the male gaze (and other gazes) in fiction, and I recommend it for everyone, but particularly for writers. She avoids the fanatic’s tendency to use the concept as a blanket condemnation of men and their wicked staring eyes, which I appreciate as a man with a finely tuned male gaze of my own, and shares some insights I’ve never considered. I’m a better person, and likely a better writer, for having read it.

You can read it here.

Raise Hell (Song of the Week, 9/14/2012)

If you’ve been with me a while, you know I’m a HUGE fan of singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile. She’s got a new album out called Bear Creek, and, because I am a nice guy, I am sharing one of the songs from it for you to thrill to.

Play it loud.

A Bit of Racism I Just HAD to Share

So, this happened in my Facebook feed this morning.

Sabrina was classy enough to delete the comment, no doubt not wanting her wall polluted with such hateful filth. But I like casting bright light at roaches like these when they scurry out of the shadows.

Meanwhile, when a friend from high school posted a link yesterday to some “satire” about the Democratic National Convention which was low on wit and high on racist commentary, I commented saying exactly that. Now that “friend” has vanished from my friends list and even blocked me entirely. I guess I struck a nerve.

Good riddance.