The Dark Age (ca. 1946-1968CE, and continuing....)
I, who was labelled at birth: "Bradford Hubert Robert McCormick", and later assigned Selective Service System identification number: 18-11-46-503, presumably was born (←I have no relevant recollection) and then childreared (not: raised, as in "raised up") and schooled (not: enlightned) in The Dark Age, the age of: "in loco parentis", which translates as: "parents are insane".
My childrearers, my warders, seeemed to believe that they had three missions: (1) to prevent me from having or even knowing about erotic pleasure, and (2) to coerce me to obey them whatever their whims, like a dog is trained to do tricks for its master, and (3) to stuff my head with facts that meant nothing to me. their bodies were thick and I found nothing appealiing in any of them. But I was stuck with them, to borrow a term from the philosopher Martin Heidegger, I was thrown into their existential situation ("Geworfenheit").
The world was flat and it was small. It might as well have been a Potemkin voillage as far as I thought anything went on inside the outsides of the houses on the streets. If I failed to appease my warders' ever prying eyes, I would fall off the edge, down into an abyss popuated by uncertain horrors: the "Or else!".
Entirely without it intending to, it prepared me for Husserlean philosophy becaue I always at least vaguely "bracketed" it all. I was spatio-temporally in it but not of it. Had someone told e it wa all going to go away, I would probably soon enough have started wondering where my hext meal was going to come from. Even though I did not have the words, it was more or less noematic correlates of noetic acts: Pick one from eath set: (1) affective states, and (2) objects (including trees and people). All encompassed in the overarching horizon of the guards' watching eyes (Maybe part of the reason I always liked the story of Odysseus putting out the Cyclops's one eye was not just that my warders were "thick in the head" like the Cyclops, but also because I would have liked somebody to put their eyes out so they would no longer monitor me; since ther was little in my visual field I wanted to see, threatening that I might go blind would not have much bothered me unless it involved physical pain like having surgical instruments cut into my eyeballs).
In the inerest of truth I have cheated on the above picture of Study Hall. A scriptorium inthe age of printed books where the copyists wrote out homework that would get thrown in the trash soon enough, not illuminaed manusripts. The original picture has light from a large window above the students' heads, but that was a study hall like I was not accustomed to: an othewise unused classroom. The study hall I wanted no part of was in the attic, a knotty pine paneled room with a couple dormer windows, mostly lit by glaring fourescent overhead ights. Judge for yourself, but the truth was oppressiea and i did not have to suffer it because as an "Headmaster's List" student i could spend my free periods in the otherwise empty school library which was sunlit and, as noted, free of people, which were noemata with which I rarely associated a noetci modality of liking it.
Ass-ide: That word "period" is curious. I had no idea that women bleed each month. Had I known that I might have found the idiom of school periosds a bit amusing. Heaven forbid I would have got aome tea and sympathy! I got:
Mr. S. Atherton Middleton (a pompous name for a self-important person) was [fill in the blank]. He was as if from birth DOA (Dead On Arrival). But nonetheless, there he was anyway, occupying space and time and converting oxygen into carbon dioxide. He was tenebra in lucis (darkness in the light). Much too late, but better late than never, his body, while giving up no ghost, stopped metabolizing +1982.12.21. A black hole had evaporated. Poof!
This [fill in the blank] did so much harm to me in so many ways. But to pick one item for which, if there was a court of justice for sush things, I think I would have an air-tight, open and shut case of winning: When I decided to stop writing cursive script and started writing all upper case block letters in the 7th grade (1959), the English teacher, a large adult male named Mr. Mike Rentko whose main job was coaching lacrosse, since apparently he decided he could not send me to pedagogical hell on the spot by givng me "F" grades on my ass—ignments because i was an "A" student, did the best he could and predicted my future damnation for my sin. HE THREATENED ME that while I might "get away with it" in the shool, I would "never be able to keep up in college". I was the wimpiest kid you would ever see outside the comics page of a newspaper. This LARGE MASS OF ADULT MALE FLESH hulked over me delivering his impotent damnation. ABCEDFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ. At least relatively speaking, here: Verba volent, scripta manent.
In loco parentis means parents are insane
One of the most injurious things for me about my parents and school teachers was their sexual disease, but that we not thei only problem. I even have numbers.
They were also sick about domicilage. In 1958 they bought a house they could not really afford and which when it ame time to sell it, wa almost unsaleable except apparently to some people with the same disease but a less severe case of it than them. They bought a split level house in an upscale suburban housing development in 1958, fo $49,000 USD: see here.
Ten years of economic inflation later, I knew some people who bought a much nicer house for $32,000. What was wrong with it? It did ot have an acre of grass for my father to waste his time mowing on Saturdays. And it was in an upscale in-town neighborhood, not 5 miles from nowhere in, as Donald trump calls them: "our beautiful and successful suburbs". My mother could not drive an automobile so, since my father had a job where he was away from home Monday morning thru Feiday afternoon, she was a prisoner in the place most of the time. My parents suffered from an extremely severe case of: "The American Dream". We could have had a much better life had they suffered from that affliction. (The person who bought the far more rational $32,000 hous was more educated than my parents, a chemist, but also he was a Unitarian, and rumor had it that the minister of First Unitarian Church (Baltimore Maryland), Howard Waterhouse, had a fine colledction of pre-20th century pornography but I didnt have enough self-esteem to pursue this.)
But I had worse problems: nothing in my life gave me much pleaure or satisfaction, perhaps preeminently -- but why compare sinse all suffering is intolerble (ref. Elie Wiesel) -- that I was deprived of enjoyment of my body. Ididn't even know I was missing out on erotic pleasure. And since I was a very lonely child, it would have been especially helpful had I been able to pleasure myself. then came involuntary celibacy, since I was sentenced to a single gender school, like the Taliban, and I was not a jock so i did not get omerta sanitary services.
Why was the summum bonum of these people's existence to prevent me from having erotic pleasure? What was wrong with them? What had been done to them to make them that way? I would soon enough be dead anyway, even if lived to abe 113 years which is the world record. What did they get out of it? Did keeping me from enjoying my body their pornography? What was the problem? What was their problem? They sure were hell-bent on it. What was wrong with these people?
By logical deducation, unless I was indeed delivered from the Netherlands by Stork Express, they presumably must have copulated, yes? Well, Signmund Freud was sick, too, with his idea of "the primal scene", which would indeed would terrify a small child to see if they were physically violent about it instead of gently savoring erotic pleasure. But then they didn't savor anything, not even what passed for food, like it's a wonder they could get away with calling it bread (aka "Wonder Bread"). But it ws all contradictory: Womewn wore brigh tred lipstick, to make their lips the color of swollen sex organs, but mention menstruation and you had better duck and cover, because such subjects were radioactive. These people were, really, to adduce an ironic idiom: f*ced up, weren't they? Or was it only me? Was I being punished for being intelligent and fragile (I didn't get all excited to look up to people who offered me nothing that appealed to me but that was the only kind of people who were available to me: they needed to find me somebody whom I ou really like -- as if they could have recognized such a person if they tread on them, teee, hee!) Why was this done to me?
People were no good. Most of the physical objcets in my surround were no good. If someone had offered me a little box with a little button on it and told me that if I pressed the button the entire universe would be annihilaed and that I would not feel any pain because it would all be instantaneous, I think I might have inspected the box for a minute or two to study it, before resolutely pressing the button. That's how good my life was as a child.
What was wrong with them? What was wrong with the society that peoduced them? I was as if of a different (higher) species than them. I should have been chldreared underfoot with persons ike George Steiner. would I have been able to "keep up"? We will never know. But if I had any boxing skill at all, I would far rathrr lose to Muhammad Ali than beat Mr. Mike Rentko (see biographical detil, above). Unless! Unless I could smash his head to hard that i would not just knock him out but cause him to die on the spot of a massive cerebral hemorrhage, and then I would not take any pride in what I had done, just feel relief that he was gone.
The good fairy could have come down from the sky and presented me with a pet cat and showed me how to gently take care of and play with the cat because I would not have understood thoe things -- that's how ignoraced I had been made to be. If John Locke wanted to find a tabula rasa, here I was. I was childreared in a very Dark Age. Meow!
I'll probably never get to the bottom of what caused my parents and teachers to become what they were....
I'll probably never get to the bottom of what caused my parents and teachers to become what they were and how they came to champion chidhood innocence: ignorance about sex and erotic pleasure (which are not the same thing but overlapping sets, each with elements not in the other) coupled with exposure to full frontal violence.
It was weird on its face: I should not know about sex but had I learned how to punch other kids with my fists, that would have been, if not the greatest thing since Wonder Bread, certainly a good thing. Kids should know about hurting each other but not about pleasuring themsleves or each other. Make war not love. That's innocence.
Since a lot of these people had offsprings, it seems rasonable to hypohesize they copulated. What was so bad about it that it had to be hidden? I'd really like to see video tapes of what they did with each other. Sigmund Freud prig wrote about: "the primal scene", which supposedly frightened small children. So the parents must have been doing scary things with each other?
Why else would the child be frightened? Puzzled? Curious? There are lots of things that are new and different to a kid. If a parent had an ostomy bag would that terrify the child and need to be hidden in shme from him (her, other) to peotect the child's innocence? I always thought the adults around me were brutes rarr; especially my 7th Grade Engish teach, Mr. Mike Rentko.
So doesn't thee question become whether sexual activity can be gentle or does it neceesssaruly have to be scary? never could get up the aggression to do the missionary position (is that proselityzing conversion of the heathen female?). I would invite all the prigs and prudes who repressed my sexuality to watch the following "porn" video and be offended.
But there is no violence in it, just a young lady who looks like she is moonlightng from her day job in a library -- she's even wearing eyeglasses -- making a man enjoy his body; the prigs and prudes might learn something from it about how to be alive? here. "Let us now offend offensive men, and our fathers that begat us." (Sirach 44:1)
"Sex", insofar as it has anything to do with pregnancy is distasteful to me. My ideal woman should be "barren", so she would not need to use contrceptives nor run the risk of getting foeticized should contraception fail. Erotic pleasure is what interests me. Since most woman are not infertile, then it is presumably necessary to teach young persons ho to avoid getting pregnant, i.e, sex educatiton restrictively understood. But I strongly feel the main point should be to teach kids how to enjoy hteir bodies. Not SexEd but OrgasmEd.
Prigs and prudes, of course disagree. I have no objection to them not enjoying their own bodies if that's how they enjoy themselves; I just ask them to have the decency to not share this with me, just like their infectious disease germs too, when they breathe in my face uninvited (but tthey don't share the contents of their bank accounts with me; since they are so generous wiht their one treasure, why not the other, too?).
America is still in the Dark Age in 2022
In an article about the right-wingers' attempts to make public schools be 1950s Levittown white again, one right winger running for a seat on a school board launched what he apparently felt would be a devastating accusation against his apparently middle-of-the-road opponent:
"Gruffee said that she'd heard Russell, in the parking lot, accuse Welsh of having 'voted to teach third graders how to masturbate.'" ("Class Warfare", Paige Williams, The New Yorker, +2022.11.07, p. 62)
Well, guess what? Since they, the them, deprived me of female companionship, the very best thing anyone could have done for me would have been in the third grade to teach me how to pleasure m=yself since I wasn't going to get any any other way.
It's The Scarlet Letter time all the time for these "people". Their meanspiritedness knows no limits. they are still in the same Dark Age today as I was oppressed by at St. Paul's Illiberal Day Carcel for Pubescent Male Virgins except for omerta sanitary serivces for jocks, 1958-64.
"What a piece of work is man." (Sophocles, paraphrased)
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- ↑ ["Yes, beloved in God wife, we have to do it. God needs new worshippers when we shall depart this veil of tears and go to Heaven. But we can imagine and prey(sic) that we are burning at the stake for His sake while we make the sacrifice to do it." "His glorious Wwill be done, husband. Satan testeth us always with temptations of concupiscence and even to enjoy the taste of food." "But we shall be strong, wife." "Yes husband, in the name of our Lord and precious Savior who died on a cross to redeem our sins." .... ]
- ↑ Your Comment on How Henri Matisse (and I) Got a 'Beautiful Body'
The New York Times <email@example.com>
2:15 PM (34 minutes ago) [+2022.12.26]
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Bradford McCormick | New York
My youth was wasted by anti-sexual parents and teachers and a single gender school where I did not even get the advantages that might be had in a monastery. It is a terrible crime to waste a young person's body due to adolts' sex hangups, such as: "in loco parentis", translate: patrents are insane. Yes as we grow older our bodies will suffer the inevitable effects of the 2nd law of thermodynamics and other insults and injuries. I had an infection a couple years ago at age74 which was not severe enough to put me in the hospital but before it I was still young, now have difficulty cllimbing a small hill near my home Iron rusts. Young persons should be enlightened with connoisseurship of erotic pleasure from earliest time possible because you never know when you are going to lose some of what you stared with. Much of my life was stolen from me by prigs and prudes. I guess repressing my joy in living was what turned them on. There are crimes of commission but there are also crimes of omission: denying a young person knowledge and opportunity to enjoy their body. As an aside what do they often do instead: make minotaurs out of young males and well, I wonder if, at the single gender school for females asociated with the place I went to, they had courses like elementary look don't touch, intermediate hard to get and advanced alimony. Signed: Rrose Selavy.