AO Scott has recently proposed that we are living in a post-partiarchal age that is also the end of adulthood. Here I want to suggest that the death of God continues to be a more fundamental liberating loss of our cultural moment.
When Josiah Gregg and a company headed southwest on the Santa Fe trail in 1831, the young man was confined to lie prone in the bed of a Dearborn wagon. He suffered from chronic dyspepsia and tuberculosis, and western travel was prescribed for his condition.
Political discourse surrounding healthcare reform has included purposeful disruptions of Congressional town hall meetings, the brandishing of firearms at opposition rallies, and the use of Nazi imagery to depict President Obama.
At a the annual conference for the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality last year, I heard a researcher describe how the pharmaceutical industry “jukes the stats”—that is, crunches numbers creatively in order to persuade the public that their products actually accomplish their stated tasks.
As an eighteen year old climbs up on top of a telephone box, a couple on their Saturday errands prepare to tell him to get down. By the time they have cantered over he is back on the ground, thanks to a reverse back-flip.
The furniture was gone. And only the promise of empty space stared back at me. It was the promise of empty space that had beckoned me to Utah six and a half years earlier. The naked sky offered me the possibility to do anything and be anyone, and the silent mountain sentinels assented to shield me from mistakes.
To be docile, demure and alluring. There's often focus on the soft aspects of women, but why not celebrate the aggressive side of female sexuality? I've started this series using collage elements from clothing catalogs. I looked for the least threatening part of the model's anatomy. Arms resting on a beach towel, arms hung to the side, or hands stuffed in a pocket. Sexuality has power. Not just to be the object of attainment, but to actively pursue with confidence.
The question, “Have you been back?” used to bother me much more than the question “Where do you come from?” because it stabbed me with a pang of guilt. It was this self-created guilt that I had not yet made the pilgrimage that so many of my fellow Filipino-Americans had already made, some multiple times. While most Filipinos do emigrate to the United States to create a better life for themselves economically, many of them visit frequently and end up retiring back in the Philippines since the cost of living there is comparatively low. I heard “Have you been back?”so much, I was tempted at times just to lie, to claim that I had been there so I could get out of having to explain why I hadn’t made the journey. Eventually the question only strengthened my resolve. I knew I would go to the Philippines at least once in my life before I became too old to appreciate its natural wonders and to see the places where my parents were raised before deciding to embark on the American dream they bequeathed to my sister, brother and me.