. . . 2000-12-09 . . . The Hotsy Totsy Club
Current Report - Topical Search - Annals
Responses welcomed

Dialog you don't want to hear shouted outside your window early on a Saturday morning

"Rico, you ever worked on power lines before?!"


"You know how to tell which ones are dangerous?!"

. . . 2000-12-10

I've just read two Henry James stories from 1900 that, it strikes me, may strike certain friends and correspondents as useful correctives to my own rhetorical positions. Counterpoint away, my dear fellow!

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Speaking of pointless sentimentality -- man! I wish we could somehow ship the recent political news over to Henry Adams. Openly partisan intervention by the Supreme Court is, I think, more than even he could have hoped for at this point, and these two months might afford him keener amusement than any others in American history.

. . . 2000-12-15

News that stays news

I hope the well-funded London tourist office is lending full support to the Pumpkin Publog, East Eire's first real allurement since the British Museum shoved all those books out of sight. Miss not the Blue Posts Crawl, December 4 - 12, 2000. It's what I call an epic.

. . . 2000-12-16

Travel Advisory

Vancouver seems awfully full of itself, considering how small the portions are.

. . . 2000-12-21

Movie Comment: The Dekalog

Bresson for Dummies.

And, after all, isn't it really dummies that need Bresson the most?

. . . 2000-12-17

Willie McTell

Genre is the kind of second-hand tourist guide that gets you excited about a place, then gets you completely lost once you're there.

I remember Peter Guralnick saying somewhere that when he first started researching the blues he liked Willie McTell a lot, but then sort of didn't, he wasn't sure why.... And John Lomax seems to've been put off by McTell's bend-with-the-wind facility and refusal to complain about oppression, like he was some kind Sammy Davis Jr. or something....

Trouble is, as fans get to know a genre, they start to think of their generalizations as rules instead of descriptions and start to think of the genre itself as some sort of honor that has to be won, instead of what it is. After all, they worked hard to learn those generalizations, and the least the artists can do is follow suit. This gets specially nasty with genres like blues, folk, and hip-hop, where built-in assumptions about race and class invite the question of "authenticity" in to murder one's nearest and dearest.

  Willie McTell

... to be continued ...

. . . 2000-12-22

I could not love reindeer so much, loved I not Donner more.
I don't remember just how I picked up this recipe from NYC's own Santa Claus, Samuel R. Delany, but now you're picking it up from me....

Delany family eggnog

Quart of bourbon + one cup of sugar, left overnight.
Beat 18 eggs till smooth but not foamy and dribble into bourbon.
Whip a quart of heavy cream and fold it in.

Treat Yourself

. . . 2000-12-27

Dr. Wilson   Movie Comment: Cast Away

I can only say what I've said many times before:

It might've been great if it'd starred Bill Murray.

. . . 2000-12-28

My favorite story of the holiday season (from jamie.com) goes beautifully with my favorite email of the holiday season (from Douglas Hawes):

Dear Mr. Davis,

This morning while working in the front lobby of this Santa Clara hi tech firm, I checked out the site on Tuesday Weld. It took me a while to find out how to respond to the creator of the site, but I ultimately found your e-mail address...

I have been studying Tuesday Weld for about 12 years. Right now I am hoping to set up an interview with Ken Anger, who knew her intimately, through [...] the owner of the Silver Screen Hollywood memorabilia shop, which is located in Manhattan. He is a friend of Anger, and I have a friend in Santa Cruz who is an associate [...] And I happen to have a young niece who is an aspiring journalist who is transferring to New York University this spring semester, where she will study journalism...

Over the years I have met a number of people who were aware of the remarkable behind the scene aspects of Tuesday Weld's life and influence. The manner in which you present your information on your web site suggests that you are aware of some of these hidden things as well...

The friend of mine in Santa Cruz [...] talked at length with Ken Anger at the Silver Screen years ago about Tuesday Weld's hidden influence in the realm of underground occult activities. Another figure I know, a New Age teacher (now deceased) with widespread Sufi/Masonic/Rosicrucian contacts told me that Tuesday was involved in the promotion of a certain grand master to the leadership of the AMORC Rosicrucian order in San Jose back in the eighties... A Vietnam veteran I knew in Santa Cruz who was a political activist said he had attended a ritual in the Santa Cruz mountains in which Weld officiated (it didn't involve anything scandalous). He once got up in a political meeting I attended in Santa Cruz and said that Weld was doing all she could to help the cause....

I could tell other stories as well... The hidden life of Tuesday Weld has largely been undisclosed in the media, and remains one of the great undisclosed stories of the sixties and seventies. The only major reference to her that discloses her occult connections, but only in a discreet way, is a long forgotten book, "Popular Witchcraft," which was published by Bowling Green University Press in 1972. In it Anton LaVey in an interview says that his book "The Satanic Bible" was partially dedicated to Tuesday because "she was the embodiment of the goddess," and was "part of the ritual." LaVey's remarks reflect a close personal acquaintanceship with Weld, and hints heavily on her involvement in his ritual activities. So why the coverup?

Anyway, I await your response.

You Do It To Them

My response:

Pants Off Thanks for the note -- I'm glad you're enjoying the site.

I'm sure you know much more about Weld-the-person than I do, and you're bound to know still more much after dipping into Kenneth Anger's pool -- everything I've learned has been through letters and packages sent to me by kind readers of my initial essay. Her biography turned out (very unusually for an actor!) to be a suggestive match to my critical interests, and so I've been glad to pass the second-hand knowledge along to my web audience. But I can't claim to have been thoroughly taken by the biographical impulse myself.

Similarly, my only personal interest in the occult is as a distance-and-direction-estimating narrative-generating parallel to other ineffective-yet-compelling pursuits, such as art-making and emotional outbursts, that I feel closer to.

But if you find the idea of a dilettante leech appealing, please feel free to pass your findings along!

. . . 2000-12-30

A horse and carriage go together when you're a horse-drawn carriage driver

Marriage takes a sexual relationship and publicly acknowledges it to state and church. Which is a pretty perverse thing to do with a sexual relationship unless state and church need the knowledge to properly allocate rights and responsibilities -- of citizenship, say, or of child-rearing.

Across all disciplines, experts tend to overestimate the importance of what they're focused on -- things get bigger up close -- and so blowhards encouraged to provide the most criminally unreported news or the most egregiously popular fallacies will always come up with something from their own fields. (See Fig. 3, Fig. 4, and also.) And that's where theologians and priests made their entirely understandable mistake: Sex isn't solely for procreation. Procreation just happens to be the only way in which sex is of professional interest to theologians and priests.

Sailors is importink

. . . 2000-12-31

Happy New Year!

A thrush in the syringa sings.

"Hunger ruffles my wings, fear,
lust, familiar things.

Death thrusts hard. My sons
by hawk's beak, by stones,
trusting weak wings
by cat and weasel, die.

Thunder smothers the sky.
From a shaken bush I
list familiar things,
fear, hunger, lust."

O gay thrush!

-- Basil Bunting, 1964

. . . 2001-01-06

Where's Cholly Kokonino?

The Three Thugs have been swinging me hard face-first against work deadlines, dangling me out of twentieth-story windows without an Internet, and occasionally inserting red-hot viruses up my nose. I've been too busy even to notice our dear acquaintance Anselm Dovetonsil's seasonal display.

Readers who need to justify their Palm Pilots should set up an alert for February 2, when normal publication is expected to resume. The rest of us might want to read a good book, or mix a cocktail, or walk around in the rain and snow for a few weeks. Be sure to wrap your feet in nice dry plastic bags before lacing up your sneakers, though, or you might catch what I have!

. . . 2001-01-14

Science News

Hotsy Totsy readers have likely already seen this smasher mantis story and stomatopods portal via Honeyguide, but I can never resist an E. C. Segar opportunity, viz:

  Just a shrimp

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And ephemeral archivist Juliet Clark forwards the news that real American hero Rick Prelinger has opened an Internet Moving Image Archive with several hundred downloadable archival films "free for everyone to use for any purpose except resale," including such edutainment favorites as "About Fallout," "Helping Johnny Remember," "As Boys Grow," and "Narcotics: Pit of Despair."

. . . 2001-01-16

Blog Party

Once again, our readers step into the breech after we've split our breeches:

... an' anotha thing ...... then again ...

Copyright to contributed work and quoted correspondence remains with the original authors.
All other material: Copyright 2000 Ray Davis.