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The Mainly Annual
EastWesterly Review/Postmodern Village
15th Annual Conference
or the Highway: the Battle for the Heart of the Literary Male
from Bunyan to the Beats (and Back Again)
by N. Il-Cassidy
Il-Cassidy seems driven, and by showing the way in which the
traditional male has approached literature as a way to count,
discount, and recount masculine ideals, he finally takes us
back home. It's not the linear nature of the text, but the way
the literary male is himself a fiction that Il-Cassidy lays
bare. The more we write, the better we was. But given the continual
dumbing-down of the contemporary man, is that entirely a bad
Carnage: Belles Sans Merci, and What They Learned from the Etiquette
by Emily Vanderposte
Keats could never have written in the 20th Century, argues
Vanderposte; when he wrote to demure was to be proper, and to
be proper should have been to be cruel—when need be, naturally.
Beauty without mercy saves the soul, she says, but that chaste
way is the very Will-to-Power for the ante-liberated femme.
Thousand Flavors of Bunco: Feminist Games Theory and the Liberated
Housewife, Oddsmaking for Freedom
by Mittens DuBois-Dugan
DuBois-Dugan brought her dice, and a salad featuring goldfish
crackers suspended in sparkling white grape Jell-O, and taught
us all Bunco, a game she claimed is "sweeping the nation."
Is a game feminist because it requires no skill, encourages
women to squeal together, and involves a lot of eating? DuBois-Dugan
seems to think so and claims that Bunco Night is the great equalizer
to a stoker of men's poker.
Rock: Rococo Meets The Muppet Show, or How the Frills
Flew over the Cuckoo's Next
by Ruben Wembly III
From the out-of-control swinging of Red to the subtle naughtiness
of Wayne and Wanda, Jim Henson's Muppets employed a number of
Rococo ideals. While the refresher on Watteau, Boucher and Falconet
were interesting, we were much happier with the Rococo desserts.
How did they manage to get chocolate to curl like that? And
the cherub-shaped raspberries were just bizarre. Good, but bizarre.
White and the 10,000 Maniacs: Natalie Merchant as Innocent Revisioned
by Dillary Huff
Huff's got enough stuff to make puffing it tough; it's good,
solid research, not fluff. Smart chicks are savvy: no ribbons,
no lace, no white-muffs required. They take no guff and are
wise not to play in the rough, deftly handling the balls and
the clubs, but not so much as to let you play through.
and the Giant Peach: Kid-Lit and the Corruption of Drug Culture
By Peter "Puff" Meri
From the wacked-out puppetry of HR Pufnstuf to a certain magic
dragon, one would expect that the drug culture would be the
one corrupting the kiddies. Not so, counters Meri, who says
an innocent attempt to open the doors of perception was demonized
by the squares reading way too much into the hippy-trippy kids'
shows. Novel, but one wonders what he was smoking to come up
with such an idea.
Buckyballs: Carbon Nanotubes as Tools of Western Hegemony, a
Primer in Semaphore
by H.R. Wiebe
Are flagpoles really the best use of nanotube technology? Wiebe
seems to think small equals strong, and this semaphore enthusiast
spent the first half of his talk explaining to us, through flagging
metaphors, that "this room is far too small. I shouldn't
be able to see you." This correspondent drifted off a little
bit in his presentation, but woke up to something about "I
got your outsourcing right here."
Zevon: the Rock of Paranoia and the Rise of the Anglo-American
Police State, an Annotated, Animated Line Graph
by Bun E. Bach
Pink Floyd's The Wall was just the first to envision
the fascistic techniques used to make happen the stadium show.
Bach turns the tools of capital against its more tyrannical
cultural manifestations through his profusely annotated graph,
replete with unlikely resistance figures: with lawyers, guns,
and money your liberation is at hand. And that's no cheap trick.
Page 6: "The intellectual oasis of