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The House That Jack Built

I mean, is anybody a fan of Lars von Trier, really? I happen to be intrigued by him, because if you can say one thing about him is that he’s never boring. Or, at least, even when he’s boring, it’s because he’s doing something outrageous to death. Speaking of outrageous and death, LVT has a new flick out, and you don’t have to walk out of a theater at Cannes to see it. “The House That Jack Built” is available for streaming on Amazon. Convenient! Nothing like home delivered endless slaughter of women and others in scenarios in which the victim fairly makes the killer kill, I always say. The movie’s best kill, if you will, is the first one, when Matt Dillon, aka Jack, kills Uma Thurman, who plays a really annoying woman. Because this is LVT, you’re not sure if you’re supposed to laugh hysterically, feel grim, or just hold on for the duration of the ride. But, boy, can Uma take a jack to the head. In any case, you can look at the movie as a series of vignettes in which Jack murders people, or you can look at it as a meditative study on the creative process as told through the persona of someone who happens to use murder as his tool d’art. Frankly, the mutterings of Jack to a Virgil stand-in are the most interesting parts of the movie, particularly when Jack waxes philosophical about how matter dictates its form in art. Don’t search #thehousethatjackbuilt on Instagram, like I did, if you don’t want to have the penultimate shocker spoiled for you. It’s crude, but this is LVT, isn’t it? I won’t mention the part with the windshield wiper; I mean, that’s just ugly (or is it?). We have come to expect this sort of thing from the enfant terrible of Dogme 95. What I could never quite resolve with Jack is if LVT is trolling masculinity or wallowing in it. Toxic masculinity is a fair thing in which to flail. To attempt to redux The Inferno, the place to which the film devolves, is a mistake. Stay in your am-I-a-misogynist-or-not lane, LVT! Alighieri you ain’t.

Buy "The Tumor" — my short story that’s been called "a masterpiece of short fiction."

Your Fucking Research

Yesterday, a Twitter account called New Real Peer Review tweeted a thread about a research article entitled "On Sex in Fieldwork: Notes on the Methodology Involved in the Ethnographic Study of Anonymous Sex." The research had been conducted by Jose Antonio Langarita Adiego, who is a Doctor en Antropologia Social per la Universitat de Barcelona.

Simply put, Adiego had sex with his research subjects.

As the article's abstract states:

"This article addresses the use of sexual relations with research informants in fieldwork for the purpose of gathering information. The analysis is based on the research that the author himself carried out between 2009 and 2014 on anonymous sexual encounters between men in public places in Catalonia. The article aims to demonstrate that sexual interaction with informants – notwithstanding appeals to scientific objectivity and professional ethics – can be a useful tool for gaining a better understanding of social reality. This study on anonymous sex shows that participating in sexual activity can provide the researcher with a great deal of information which would not be accessible via other relationships with research informants. However, the article also addresses certain limitations – which cannot be ignored – in fieldwork of this sort and in the interpretation of the data obtained."

In other words, Adiego takes the concept of scientific objectivity and explodes it.

On Twitter, New Real Peer Review tweeted a series of screen grabs from the original article (which is available for purchase), highlighting sections and lampooning Adiego's argument.

Indeed Adiego's postulations regarding his having sex with those whom he was researching are as hyperbolic as most academese: "We could resolve the problem by accepting the Foucauldian proposal that sees sex as a social construct," "the practice of anonymous sex is simply one more form of culturally mediated sexual interaction," "Why do anthropologists not experience sex with the groups they are studying?"

Lacking for provocative positioning, Adiego's approach is not.

Shifting to a more intimate analysis, he investigates his own body politic. In the midst of his investigations, he notes: "I could see how the social meanings of cock were constructed in a way that was different with respect to ass." It is only by putting his cock, presumably his balls, and his ass on the front line of his immersive work that he can experience the ways in which this culture works.

His body is "a key factor in understanding"; physical and emotional distance is not only too far from the action but a position of utter blindness: "[being] a spectator was not enough, especially as it was often too dark to see anything." His "bodily experience [...] becomes a source of knowledge in itself which contributes to the ethnographic production." In his conclusion, he asserts: "Sex is a key contributor to the regulation of our culture fabric; we should therefore be able to incorporate sex into fieldwork -- as a technique that helps to maintain a particular mode of relationship between the researcher and the object of study -- without thereby sacrificing objectivity or professional ethics."

This is a true embed, in every sense of the word.

New Real Peer Review doesn't seem to think much of this new, eroticized form of ethnographic study. "Let's make cruising scientific now," one tweet sneers. "Seems legit, bro." Later: "Can't make this shit up."

But is Adeigo's suggestion so absurd, after all? Or is it symbolically and practically intuitively brilliant? If one simply considered this methodology as if it were a thought experiment, what can we learn? To tear out one's hair that this sexualized approach causes a cataclysmic breakdown between researcher and subject is to perpetuate the fantasy that objectivity exists at all between the scientist and that which he studies.

Surely, any scientist -- or any investigator, for that matter -- brings to bear a constellation of biases, presumptions, and agendas. How could he not? He is human. The idea that it is sex, of all things, that betrays the scientific code is possibly a pure fallacy, when, in fact, the reverse may well be true. How can we know something if we know it only in the mind, and not the body?

(Thanks to Lawyer Dog for pointing out the thread.)


Where I grew up, they didn't have people like this. I guess it's an East Coast thing. I gawked at them when I saw them. They were on their way to a wedding. They saw me agog and smirked.

I don't think they really got what I was thinking.

Support the arts! Buy a digital copy of THE TUMOR, a "masterpiece of short fiction" by me, Susannah Breslin.

To get information and tell about myself

Most request fully that I have known about you my friend name [redacted] and I am from India I am 22 years young boy and this time also student
Image credit:  Chet Zar

Image credit: Chet Zar

I want to tell you that in matter of sex I am something special and also experience holder
My study would be completed after 5 month then I want to work in your company like pornstar
So please help me to arrange this job I don't know that what should I write you so that you could pay attention on me but I like to speak truth
I will be great full you and if you support for me it will be great help
I hope you will not disappointed me and do act upon my request I will be highly obliged you
Science I have 5 or six month so I will improve my self much
So please reply if you think it better and I will wait your replying
Yours truthfully

i would like too go on an adventure to be a pirn star

John Holmes via  Zazou Fans

John Holmes via Zazou Fans

I get emails practically every day from men who want to be porn stars because I wrote a post for my (former) Forbes blog called "The Hardest Thing About Being a Male Porn Star."

To date, I have received 355 of these emails.

(And that post has nearly 1.7M views.)

I posted some of the emails here, but I need to update that.

Can someone please explain to me why large numbers of the men who email me wanting to become porn stars are from India and Pakistan?

I would be very interested in knowing the answer to this question.

You can illuminate me here.

Here's a recent one (I used the subject header of the email as the title of this post):

"What on earth do i neef,i know no one no contacts nothing,whete fo i start,
Pls,pks help me i will be indebt to you,
Yours faithfully
.... .[redacted]"