Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Male prostitution

John Rechy's novel, "City of Night," now marking its 50th anniversary, allows one to gauge the changing history of male prostitution in this country.

A while back, with no special qualifications for the job on either side, I essayed to write an article on the subject. i missed a major evolution. When Rechy wrote, hustlers were macho, crude, surly, and straight-identified. They were also relatively cheap.

Not even called that now (the proper term is "escort"), the new ones tend to be educated, polite, able to converse on a variety of topics - male geishas in short. Rates start at $200 an hour. This is a big change.

For an attempt to reconstruct the earlier mode, see

Friday, October 18, 2013

Sometimes theology matters

While I am not a Christian, I have made a close study of this religion over many years, and have summed up the results in my Abrahamica studies. In this regard I have noticed that of late a kind of mantra has developed among liberal commentators, who chide conservatives and especially evangelical Christians for neglecting the central message of the New Testament, which is, in this view, the imperative of helping the poor and downtrodden. 

In fact, this is not the central message of the Jesus movement as recorded in the New Testament. Ever since the time of Albert Schweitzer a hundred years ago, it has been accepted that the goal of Jesus and his followers was eschatological, the achievement of the Basileia, or Kingdom, a new and more just dispensation on earth. When this aim was not accomplished during the lifetime of the Savior, as clearly it was not, his followers expected the Parousia, or Second Coming, when the Kingdom would in fact be proclaimed. In the interim, to be sure, one should do what one can to help the poor, but this is not the central aim of the Jesus movement. It is this eschatological goal that grounds the support of so many evangelicals for the state of Israel, including its most conservative policies, because they believe that this political development is an essential step towards the coming of the Kingdom.

Friday, October 11, 2013

"Epicene" pronouns

I remember a good deal of discussion of this subject in radical circles in the 1970s. We never could seem to agree on a candidate for a gender-neutral pronoun. Some feminists felt that eliminating he and she--particularly she--would detract from women's uniqueness. Someone proposed that we use "she" one day for everyone, and "he" the next--equal time as it were.