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Hawara Kontrollpunkt nahe Nablus, 24. März 2004

Ein 16jähriger aus Nablus trägt einen 8kg-Sprengkörper wie eine Weste am Körper. Die Offiziere der israelischen Armee instruieren ihn minutenlang, wie er den Sprenggürtel mit einer Schere vom Körrper lösen kann, die ihm mit einem grellgelben kniehohen Bombenentschärfungsroboter herangebracht wird. Im Visier schussbereiter Soldaten beginnt der mechanisch-förrmliche Tanz des Zeitungsberichten zufolge lernbehinderten Jugendlichen, den jede der herübergebrüllten Anweisungen zu überfordern und zu ängstigen scheint. Seine untersetzte Erscheinung wirkt kindlich und erwachsen zugleich, seine Bewegungen werden mit wachsender Angst immer unbeholfener. Als der Sprengstoff für die spätere Sprengung am Boden abgelegt ist, verändert sich seine Haltung und beginnt an den Trotz eines ertappten Kindes zu erinnern.






"Sie kennen Ihren Mann besser als ich. Sie kennen ihn, wie er nicht einschlafen kann und in der Nacht aufwacht und nicht mehr in den Schlaf findet. Eine Frau, die um ihren Mann weint, weil er nicht schlafen kann – that’s amore. Glücklich der Mann, dessen Frau um ihn weint. PS: Mit dieser Post schicke ich Ihnen per Fleurop zehn Zierpflanzen mit herzförmigen roten Blüten. Sie tragen die floristischen Namen 'Tränendes Herz' oder 'Flammendes Herz'." (F. J. Wagner wendet sich in der BILD-Zeitung vom 21.3.2004 an Doris Schröder-Köpf)

"Hundertjährige Taxifahrer werden uns verfahren, hundertjährige Frauen sich die Lippen rot anmalen und uns verführen wollen." (F. J. Wagner rezensiert F. Schirrmacher in der BILD-Zeitung)


"However, we cannot say that those who die as a result of an abdominal disease, primarily caused by smoking, are martyrs." (via Le Sofa Blogger)

"Ja, das Dreikörperproblem ist nichts gegen das Zweikörperproblem, denkt man – manchmal ..."







Modern Masturbation since 1712

The seismic shift came about some half-century later, and then not because masturbation was finally understood as a horrible sin or an economic crime but rather because it was classified for the first time as a serious disease. "Modern masturbation," Solitary Sex begins, "can be dated with a precision rare in cultural history." It came into being "in or around 1712" with the publication in London of a short tract with a very long title: Onania; or, The Heinous Sin of Self Pollution, and all its Frightful Consequences, in both SEXES Considered, with Spiritual and Physical Advice to those who have already injured themselves by this abominable practice. And seasonable Admonition to the Youth of the nation of Both SEXES.... The anonymous author—Laqueur identifies him as John Marten, a quack surgeon who had published other works of soft-core medical pornography—announced that he had providentially met a pious physician who had found remedies for this hitherto incurable disease. The remedies are expensive, but given the seriousness of the condition, they are worth every penny. Readers are advised to ask for them by name: the "Strengthening Tincture" and the "Prolific Powder."
   It all began here, Laqueur argues. The question, of course, is why this shameless piece of mercenary quackery, instead of being thrown in the rubbish where it belonged, should have served as the foundation stone of a serious medical tradition that transformed cultural assumptions that had been securely in place for thousands of years. In part the answer was a clever marketing trick: subsequent editions, and they were many, included titillating letters from readers who breathlessly disclosed their own personal initiation into masturbatory addiction and testified to the liberating power of the patent medicines. But marketing alone cannot explain why "onanism" and related terms began to show up in the great eighteenth-century encyclopedias or why one of the most influential physicians in France, the celebrated Samuel Auguste David Tissot, took up the idea of masturbation as a dangerous illness or why Tissot's 1760 work, L'Onanisme, became an instant European literary sensation.
   Tissot was not peddling tinctures or titillation, and he was not taken in by the earlier work whose name and concept he appropriated: the English tract, he wrote, "is a real chaos...one of the most unconnected productions that has appeared for a long time." But far from rejecting its central idea, Tissot "definitively launched masturbation," as Laqueur puts it, "into the mainstream of Western culture." It was not long before almost the entire medical profession attributed an inexhaustible list of woes to solitary sex, a list that included spinal tuberculosis, epilepsy, pimples, madness, general wasting, and an early death. (S. Greenblatt: Me, Myself, and I, ebd.)

In one of his early sonnets, Shakespeare wittily turns such "unthrifty" wasting into economic malpractice:

Unthrifty loveliness, why dost thou spend
Upon thyself thy beauty's legacy?

In bequeathing the young man such loveliness, nature expected him to pass it along to the next generation; instead the "beauteous niggard" is holding on to it for himself and refusing to create the child who should rightly bear his image into the future. Masturbation, in the sonnet, is the perverse misuse of an inheritance. The young man merely spends upon himself, and thereby throws away, wealth that should rightly generate more wealth:

For having traffic with thyself alone,
Thou of thyself thy sweet self dost deceive.
Then how when nature calls thee to be gone:
What acceptable audit canst thou leave?
   Thy unused beauty must be tombed with thee,
   Which usèd, lives th'executor to be.

The young man, as the sonnet characterizes him, is a "profitless usurer," and when his final reckoning is made, he will be found in arrears. (S. Greenblatt: Me, Myself, and I, ebd.)

Laqueur's point is not that men and women did not masturbate throughout antiquity, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance—the brief confessional manual attributed to Gerson assumes that the practice is ubiquitous, and the historian finds no reason to doubt it—but rather that it was not regarded as a deeply significant event. It is simply too infrequently mentioned to have counted for a great deal, and the few mentions that surface tend to confirm its relative unimportance. Thus in his diary, alongside the many occasions on which he had a partner in pleasure, Samuel Pepys jotted down moments in which he enjoyed solitary sex, but these latter did not provoke in him any particular shame or self-reproach. On the contrary, he felt a sense of personal triumph when he managed, while being ferried in a boat up the Thames, to bring himself to an orgasm—to have "had it complete," as he put it—by the strength of his imagination alone. Without using his hands, he noted proudly, he had managed just by thinking about a girl he had seen that day to pass a "trial of my strength of fancy.... So to my office and wrote letters." Only on such solemn occasions as High Mass on Christmas Eve in 1666, when the sight of the queen and her ladies led him to masturbate in church, did Pepys's conscience speak out, and only in a very still, small voice. (S. Greenblatt: Me, Myself, and I, ebd.)

When theologians commented on Genesis 38 at all, it was to condemn Onan not for what he did but for what he refused to do: thus Saint Augustine interpreted Onan as the sort of person who fails to do what he can to help those in need. As befits a religion that rejected the strict rabbinic obligation to procreate and instead celebrated monastic chastity, the argument here has slipped away from the obligation to be fruitful and multiply and changed into a more general moral obligation. Church fathers could not share in particularly intense form the Jewish anxiety about Onan, precisely because the Church most honored those whose piety led them to escape from the whole cycle of sexual intercourse and generation. Theologians did not permit masturbation, but they did not focus sharply upon it, for sexuality itself, and not only nonreproductive sexuality, was to be overcome. A very severe moralist, Raymond of Peñafort, did warn married men against touching themselves, but only because arousal might make them want to copulate more often with their wives. It may be better to marry than to burn, but that sort of thing should be kept to a minimum. (S. Greenblatt: Me, Myself, and I, ebd.)

"Modern masturbation—and this is Laqueur's brilliant point—was the creature of the Enlightenment. It was the age of reason, triumph over superstition, and the tolerant, even enthusiastic acceptance of human sexuality that conjured up the monster of self-abuse. Prior to Tissot and his learned medical colleagues, it was possible for most ordinary people to masturbate, as Pepys had done, without more than a twinge of guilt. After Tissot, anyone who indulged in this secret pleasure did so in the full, abject knowledge of the horrible consequences. Masturbation was an assault on health, on reason, on marriage, and even on pleasure itself. For Enlightenment doctors and their allies did not concede that masturbation was a species of pleasure, however minor or embarrassing; it was at best a false pleasure, a perversion of the real. As such it was dangerous and had at all costs to be prevented."

Stephen Greenblatt: Me, Myself, and I. (Rezension der Studie Solitary Sex: A Cultural History of Masturbation von Thomas W. Laqueur - The New York Review of Boks, Bd. 51, Nr. 6)

Jam Session mit einem zu lauten Gast. (Forts.)

Chi trova un amico, trova un tesoro  Chi trova un amico, trova un tesoro

Chi trova un amico, trova un tesoro  Chi trova un amico, trova un tesoro








Das Vergnügen des Lesers an der Schwäche des Autors.

der taubenfalk ein teubin stiesz,
die ataub in ein lappen hiesz,
darumb sie der meusgeier stach,
die holtaub bald ir mummen rach,
wiewol sie ward zu tod geschlagen,
die türteltaub thet traurig klagen.




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