At Home He's a Tourist

He fills his head with culture/ He gives himself an ulcer.

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Not much to say, unfortunately. I stayed at home from Friday evening to Monday morning watching DVDs, listening to discs, and reading, a hermit devoted to the contemplation of pop culture. I enjoyed my first Philip K. Dick novel, Radio Free Albemuth, an entertaining blend of tense conspiracy theory and sci-fi gnosticism in which the secret meaning of Christianity is revealed to have something to do with, yes, pure energy beings. I got acquainted with Kraftwerk's Autobahn, which I feel lucky to have found for only $7 since at amazon it's only available as a pricey import. It's repetitive, simplistic, lo-tek synth music which should be boring but somehow isn't. Finally, I saw La Collectioneuse, another installment in Roehmer's "Six Moral Tales."

Since we aren't ordering anything during the summer, the director suggested I work on weeding the reference collection. And it needs it. It's perversely entertaining to read the antiquated viewpoints expressed in some of these books. Speaking of which, a Penguin Dictionary of Psychology referred to oral sex as a "perversion." Nowadays you couldn't torture a psychologist into using the term "perversion" to describe even the most outré behavior; there are only, if you please, "paraphilias." Even better, a 1901 Encyclopedia of Philosophy and Psychology discussed the cranial angle as an indicator of intelligence, with Negroes, of course, falling at the bottom of the ranking.

Going to Austin tomorrow, although the conference will keep me too busy to do anything fun there.