Friday, November 26, 2004

Masked and Anonymous

Found this passage interesting in light of what I'm forever going on about here:

It is curious, the term that [musicians in Rio in the early 1960s] used to designate one who didn't do drugs: "careta." Apparently this word, which traditionally had mean "mask" or "masked person," emerged among criminals as a jocose diminutive of cara, which means both "face" and "person." So if one abstained from taking a mind-altering substance, it was said that he had a "cara limpa," a clean face. And many times I heard musicians say that they had to deal with this or that awful situation "totalmente de cara," by which they meant "completely clean," not high. In this roundabout way, through the outlaw slang of musicians, careta came to mean the opposite of masked or disguised. But even this "pejorative" use, referring to those who did not do drugs, ended up bringing back something of the old meaning, since to do drugs was understood as opening up to God and to music--an unmasking of oneself.

That's from careta musician Caetano Veloso's book Tropical Truth, and I'm struck by the whole connection between removing a mask and "opening up to God"--and to the role that drugs play in both. Of course, you can't really take a mask off till you put one on, and that, for me, is where batplay comes in. Now that the Monk has deprived me of mine, the question is: to what am I opening myself? And what will my new face look like?

Knightfall 7: Death of a Mauve Bat

There haven't been many "Knightfall" updates here lately because both the Monk and I were otherwise engaged for much of the last month and a half. We resumed sparring in earnest a week or two ago, the Monk convinced that he would ultimately succeed in destroying the Batman and replacing him with Ratman.

And damned if he hasn't gotten away with it--or so it seems for now. All I can say is, in one of many moments of weakness a couple of days ago I finally did as I was told and replaced my cowl with a new mask constructed from the "flag" of yellow cumstained undies he ordered me to create back when he first broke me. I did so offline--not under his direct instructions but of my own volition, more or less--and then logged on and found him waiting to see the end result of his handiwork. All along I'd been expecting some huge, titanic confrontation, but it never really happened. I just felt my bat-self start to slip away and a new one take hold.

So I guess the unthinkable has happened: The Bat in me is--or at least damn well appears to be--dead. Long live the Rat. (Amazingly, it didn't dawn on me that I was actually born in the Year of the Rat until just a few weeks ago.) I can't believe that's completely true, but I'm willing to play this out and see where it takes me. For starters, he's now the one in the bat-mask, playing the part of The Evil Bat. And I presume he intends me to become a villain, or at least his henchman. But I can't say for sure--and I'm certainly not the one in charge now.

By coincidence (or divine providence), last night and tonight I watched the movie The Five Obstructions, in which crazy Danish director Lars Von Trier convinces his mentor Jørgen Leth to remake one of Leth's earlier films 5 times, in 5 different ways, adhering to a series of preposterous rules (examples from 3 separate "obstructions": no shot can last more than 30 seconds; it must be remade as a cartoon; it has to be shot in the most miserable place on earth). The relationship between the two men is surprisingly similar to that between the Monk and me: there is a root friendship and mutual admiration, but the surface interactions are straight out of s/m, with Von Trier as the Top determined to humiliate his victim (and convinced that he knows Leth better than Leth knows himself), and Leth as the humble bottom gamely agreeing to one demented rule after another (using each as an opportunity to further his own craft).

For the last few weeks I've also been driving around listening to Don Delillo's book Cosmopolis on tape, read by ultra-cutie Will Patton, and I just finished it the same day as my downfall. Here, too, there is a Top/bottom dynamic, though I won't say too much about it for fear of revealing too many late-chapter plot developments. (Another coincidence: rats serve as a recurring motif throughout the novel.) If you're interested in the deeper ramifications of s/m-style interactions, I recommend both works to you. I'm not totally crazy about either one, but both have their interesting qualities.

Now that my bat-self appears to be dead, I've been toying with the idea of ending this "Knightfall" series of blog entries and beginning a new one, with the working title "Diary of a Bottom" or something like that. (Maybe the title will focus on my new role as villain instead... if that's what the Monk has in mind for me.) But who knows what the future will bring? The last time I thought I'd been beaten for good proved to be only temporary--I donned the batsuit many times in the intervening weeks, as soon as I had the opportunity to spend a few glorious hours by myself once again. Something tells me (okay, the MONK tells me) this time will be different.

But we'll see. The bat within me is too strong a driving force, for too many years, to be exorcised in a few months of online roleplay. He's bound to return sooner or later, in some brand-new state. Or so I hope.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

The politics of ... ooo, feelin' good

Must admit I got a little nervous when I visited GlovdCopSF's beautiful website for the first time in a while, and discovered this prefatory text:

"Forget about advancements of technology, social progress... We have entered into a forced regression to uber-Christianity rule, rivaled only by the Dark Ages. Galileo - hide yourself, and your ideas. This is the new Amercian Theocracy."

Was it a warning, or a boast, this talk of a New Theocracy? I assumed/hoped for the former, but I've always been a little wary of the webMaster's politics--even if he is a permanent resident of my Top Ten Top Men list--based in part on his "disclaimer for PC shitheads" accompanying his description of the rather rigid qualities he looks for in a sex partner. (I mean, I've been known to find both Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly disturbingly hot under the proper lights, but in reality I don't particularly want to share a room with either of them.) Granted, GlovdCopSF has always been quite clear that his site is entirely about sex and NOT about his own personal politics or any other aspect of his life, but even so, I tend to be put off by other people's brushes with authoritarianism (just as I am by my own attraction to jackbooted thugs).

Fortunately, any misgivings I might have had about the true meaning of the "New Theocracy" quote were immediately cleared up when I visited the site's November 2004 "Fetish of the Month" photo gallery. I make a point of checking this one out every 30 days or so, because 9 times out of 10 GlovdCop's taste resembles mine. (Damn, not only is he a hot number, but he's got a good eye for beauty in others, too!) This time around, the images themselves don't excite me as much as the explanatory text, which begins

So what does the Bush Administration have in common with this month's gallery? A bunch of assholes...

From there you get a staggeringly vast collection of pictures of "leather breeches with a zipper down the ass." Highly specific, and not exactly my cuppa drool, but I applaud the man for providing "105 assholes for you, but the kind you actually like" in response to our countrymen's recent regrettable reappointment of one of the biggest buttholes around to the highest office in the land.

GlovdCop may claim his site is politics-free, and the blog you're currently reading tends to focus on sex over the other issues that matter most in my life, but sometimes the cold light of reality falls on even the deepest, darkest places.

Come out, come out, wherever you are, Galileo. Don't let the theocrats and assholes get you down. We need you, dude--and that goes double for you, GlovdCopSF.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Four More Years... of kinky fantasy! (Shhh.... Don't anybody tell the Red States)

Fantasy is mighty tempting these days, given the rather dreary state of reality following Tuesday's election results. I could go on and on about that, and I certainly have in my Bruce Wayne self. But real-life Heroes & Villains are not my focus here.

Nope, this site exists mainly to alert my fellow perverts to kinky bat-images like these, which I learned about from my budding blogbuddy (say that 3 times fast), Teresa at She came across them indirectly, thanks to an article on the photographer, Terry Richardson.

As all batfans know, there are plenty of folks creating this kind of thing on the internet; they're just not art-world provocateurs, and their work doesn't end up in L. A. Weekly. On the other hand, to be honest, a lot of the truly underground slashpic stuff is not as fun--or as appealing--as Richardson's. Give me a bat in a tight black top and leather chaps over a photoshopped porn star any day! (The young Robin is another story; I directed a friend to Richardson's pix and he said they almost looked like kiddie porn, something I hadn't noticed, which just goes to show that I'm more of a Bat-man than a Robin-lover.)

Needless to say, my favorite fine-art/fetish crossover remains Mark I. Chester's stunning portraits of Robert Chesley as Superman, KS scars and all. I'm pretty sure I've already written about those here long ago, but if you haven't seen them, you've gotta check them out.

Speaking of the overlap of art and fetish, I've only just begun to explore the treasures at this tribute site devoted to the gloriously lurid work of pulp/men's mag/comic book artist Norman Saunders, which appears to be maintained by his son. While his biggest claim to cult stardom is probably his Mars Attacks! bubblegum card series, immortalized by Tim Burton, all kink-minded batfans owe Saunders a tip of the sweat-drenched cowl for his legendary bubblegum card portraits of Our Hero, which are by far the most fetishistic of officially sanctioned bat-art (and just plain beautiful, too). The site is packed with images and informative text; whether you find the bat-pix as hot as I do or not, if you have any interest at all in fantastical pop imagery, Saunders is your man. (Bonus: from the gallery of men's mag covers, I learned where Franz Zappa got the inspiration for 90% of the title "Weasels Ripped My Flesh.")