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The editor of The New Republic, 1993

With the old New Republic in the news lately for its sins of straight white gentile male privilege, it’s worth noting that if you had read the news very carefully back in the day, you might have noticed that wasn’t really what was going on. From the New York Times Magazine in 1993:

The Editor as Gap Model
By Walter Kirn;
Published: March 7, 1993

At this morning’s staff meeting of The New Republic — the elite weekly journal of political opinion that has counted Labor Secretary Robert Reich as a frequent contributor, Vice President Al Gore as a close friend and the moderate political philosophy known as “Clintonism” as something of an in-house invention — Andrew Sullivan, the editor, has two major subjects on his agenda: Somalia and the Gap.

… The younger, 30-ish editors, like Michael Lewis and Jacob Weisberg (both of whom pursued graduate studies in England and both of whom, with Sullivan, reside in a renovated Washington schoolhouse nicknamed by Kinsley “the Kindergarten”) exhibit the cocksure, sped-up expressiveness of young men stamped “gifted” from their earliest report cards. If the nation’s ruling bodies were chosen not by popular elections but according to scores on the verbal section of the Scholastic Aptitude Test, the Government might look and act much like this staff meeting of TNR, as the magazine calls itself.

Ol’ Pederasty Face

One older man sticks out. Dressed from head to toe in black, radiating pride in his golden proteges, he is The New Republic’s 53-year-old owner and chairman, Martin Peretz (Marty to friends, and to his many enemies). Since buying the magazine with his wife, Anne, in 1974, Peretz — a no-apologies Zionist and Harvard sociology lecturer who once taught the young Al Gore … He sits at the end of the long, crowded conference table, absorbing his underlings’ views on the Somalia mission. Eventually, he clears his throat and says last-wordishly: “Me, I never saw an intervention I didn’t like.” …

Within a few weeks, [Sullivan] will accept a longstanding offer to become a Gap model himself and pose in a magazine ad. It’s true: the editor of what is, arguably, America’s leading political journal lending the dignity of his position to a line of moderate-priced sportswear. …

I can recall rolling my eyes while hauling my carry-on bag through O’Hare Airport past a 9-foot tall photo of Andrew Sullivan advertising Gap t-shirts. (This was before Sullivan announced he was HIV-infected in the mid-1990s and before he attributed his comeback in 2002 to his prescription testosterone injections.)

Aided by a senior editor, Anne Hulbert, one of the very few women on the masthead (Dorothy Wickenden, the executive editor, resigned last month to become national editor of Newsweek), Wieseltier strives “to slow things down a little so people can actually think about them.” Sometimes he slows things down a lot, as was the case with a recent multipage John Simon essay on Janacek’s operas. …

[Peretz's] gushing Oct. 19 editorial, “Gore in Private: The Other Al,” which praised its subject as “very much a man of parts,” …

Okay, Walter, Marty Peretz gushing over Al Gore’s manly parts … I get it.

“When Marty bought TNR, he was despised as an interloper,” says Michael Kinsley. “It’s either a betrayal or an accomplishment that we’re now taken seriously.” And how did Peretz effect this betrayal/accomplishment? By moving slowly and steadily right, most observers agree — particularly on matters of race and foreign affairs. “In cartoon form,” Morley says of his stint there in the mid-80′s, “TNR was about not being easy on blacks, not being easy on Communists and not being tough on Jews.”

… Sometimes, the evolution away from liberalism was downright embarrassing, as when New Republic Books published “Merger Mania” by Peretz’s friend Ivan Boesky, of whom Peretz once enthused, “It’s easy to be a very shrewd investor when you’re investing with such friends.”

Uh … yeah!

Other evolutionary growing pains included raucous screaming matches between Peretz and his editors in the hallways, out of which developed a peculiar rhythm of editors departing and returning only to leave and return again. (“TNR,” says Fred Barnes, “is a hotbed of prodigal sons.”)

The metaphorical term “hotbed” turns up a lot in profiles of golden age TNR. At least I hope it’s metaphorical.

But the real credit for The New Republic’s current prestige both inside and outside the Beltway goes by almost all accounts to Michael Kinsley …

Kinsley really was an astonishingly energizing editor in the 1980s at several magazines. His health has been poor in recent years, so he’s pretty obscure today, but he was an important figure in his youthful prime.

None of this is to imply that many of the Bright Young Men of the golden age of The New Republic shared their owner’s predilection, with the obvious exception of Sullivan and a few others.

Peretz’s early crush, Al Gore, for example, is a pretty straight guy. When he divorced Tipper Gore, it was over another woman. Indeed, Al sees himself as a heterosexual hero, claiming that Harvard professor Erich Segal’s enormous bestseller Love Story was based on him and Tipper.

But Al, with his subtle sibilant S lissssp, wasn’t the prime object of fascination of Prof. Segal, an expert on Greek and Latin. Instead, Love Story’s Oliver was based on Al’s more masculine roommate, football player Tommy Lee Jones (with only a few traits of Oliver, such as his overbearing politician dad, being based on Al). While Tommy interested Prof. Segal, Al’s shikso-ness amazed Professor Peretz.

My impression is that Peretz’s type of misogynistic youth-worshipping homosexual is fairly rare. Generally, male homosexuals and women get along pretty well, so the Peretz-type who considers women of zero interest is rather unusual.

On the other hand, Marty’s type of masculinity-worshipping gay man has been of outsized importance in the role of impresario. I suspect that the dirty little secret of cultural history is that humanity’s cultural high points (e.g., ancient Athens) tend to coincide with Marty’s kind of girl-despising homosexuality. (This is not a popular opinion on any side at present.)

 
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  2. slumber_j says:

    Gore Vidal always struck me as another key member of the He-Man Woman Haters Club. But of course he wasn’t homosexual, according to him.

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    • Replies: @Art Deco
    Gore very explicitly and publicly despised his mother. He was on congenial terms with at least one of his sisters.
    , @anonymous-antiskynetist
    William S Burroughs as well.
    , @syonredux

    Gore Vidal always struck me as another key member of the He-Man Woman Haters Club. But of course he wasn’t homosexual, according to him.
     
    According to Gore, kissing is "girly."
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  3. Sorry to hear of Michael Kinsley’s health problems (Parkinson’s): he was one of the few moderate liberals whose opinions interested me, because on occasion he actually had original thoughts.

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    • Replies: @charlie
    I go the same gym as Kinsley -- the health problems are obvious but he works hard to building muscle.
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  4. “the dirty little secret of cultural history is that humanity’s cultural high points (e.g., ancient Athens) tend to coincide with Marty’s kind of girl-despising homosexuality.”

    Do they? I’ll give you ancient Athens, and maybe Abbasid Arabia, but shouldn’t the other side of the column get late Republican Rome, Carolingian Europe, the Italian Renaissance, the Northern Renaissance, Revolutionary War America, the Enlightenment, Romanticism, whatever you call the the late 19th and early 20th century Western cultural innovation (and yes, I know its goodness is debatable, but it was undeniably prominent and consequential)?

    Maybe someone who knows more about them than I do can comment on Tokugawa Japan, Ming China, Mughul India, classical Persia, ancient Babylon and the many other high points I left out.

    To be sure, there is an unapologetic masculinity that links all those eras, but only in the above two exceptions does it become “girl-despising homosexuality” from what I can see. Indeed, those two exceptions may even be notably less masculine than the other high points.

    Also, turning the equation around, there is an awful lot of girl-despising homosexuality around nowadays, but I don’t think future civilizations will look back at the The Current Year’s manic Maoism and degeneracy as any kind of cultural high point. The other recent outbreak of girl-despising homosexuality, early Nazi Germany and its rubbishing of cosmopolitan Central European achievement, doesn’t look to me like a cultural high point either.

    Read More
    • Replies: @David
    I think 15th cent Florence is an example of Steve's observation. From Forbidden Friendships by Michael Rocke:

    The men of Renaissance Florence were so renowned for sodomy that "Florenzer" in German meant "sodomite." In the late fifteenth century, as many as one in two Florentine men had come to the attention of the authorities for sodomy by the time they were thirty. In 1432 The Office of the Night was created specifically to police sodomy in Florence. Indeed, nearly all Florentine males probably had some kind of same-sex experience as a part of their "normal" sexual life.
     
    , @Anon
    Thank you for expressing it clearly. Sailer was lazily repeating the current gay revisionist mantra.
    , @Jake
    I think that perhaps if you read my previous comment and think of it that way, the notion will make more sense to you.

    I don't see Golden Age Athens as a gay male culture. It was a culture that had degenerated into pederasty as the social norm. But adult men who had sex only with other males of any age? They were widespread objects of mirth even there and then.

    Today's male homosexuals are very rarely 'girl-despising.' They are male feminists.
    , @The Z Blog
    The gay Athenian stuff has been heavily retconned. In Greece and Rome, homosexual acts were tolerable, only if the man was in the dominant role. In other words, you could be a high status pitcher, but all catchers were low status.

    The fact that this is true in male prisons suggests availability of women plays some role.
    , @TomSchmidt
    shouldn’t the other side of the column get late Republican Rome, Carolingian Europe, the Italian Renaissance…

    Uh, have you actually LOOKED at Michelangelo Buanarroti's women on the Sistine Chapel ceiling? Or read much of the life story of Leonardo? Or checked out why Caravaggio had to flee Rome? I don't think you can claim that last one for our side.
    , @Johnny24
    It varied from civilization to civilization. Some, like feudal Japan and classical Persia, had open Grecian/Florence style institutionalized homosexuality between older and younger men, that openly held the idea that real masculine men found love with other men and used women for breeding. Others, like ancient Rome, had a libertarian sort of attitude toward it: it was expected that free Roman citizens would take lovers of both genders, but they were to *strictly* be the active/dominant partner. To be submissive was considered the ultimate shame, hence its regular use of political slander. Julius Caesar was forever dogged by rumors that he played the passive role in a relationship with an Eastern King when he was in his early 20s. And heaven forbid that you actually fall in love with your passive partner, as Sulla and Hadrian did.

    (Insert Gibbon's remark here about Claudius being the only emperor who was 100% heterosexual. You also had guys like Trajan and Hadrian who probably were 100% homosexual. Most fell in between.)

    As a general example, the general social attitude in much of old time Asia was that as long as an adult man took a wife and created a stable family unit, what he did sexually beyond that was up to his own inclinations, provided that you didn't break social norms (dressing up like a woman would have been a non-starter, even for teenage boys/younger men in the passive role in the relationship). Note that this wasn't optional: regardless of whether you liked girls or not, you were expected to do your duty to the state/race and pop out some heirs. The social emphasis on that could not have been blunter. But beyond that? You had predominantly gay scholars, gay warriors, and gay emperors (google "the pleasure of the cut sleeve"-Emperor Ai of the Han Dynasty), and it was considered normal for men to try out both and see which they liked better.

    And female sexuality was considered to be of so little consequence/social worth that nobody bothered to write about it much, hence the lack of records about lesbianism.

    > The other recent outbreak of girl-despising homosexuality, early Nazi Germany and its rubbishing of cosmopolitan Central European achievement, doesn’t look to me like a cultural high point either.

    It long predated the Nazis and stretched back to the Wilhelmine period, where Germany produced more Nobel Prizes than all the other advanced nations combined. Victorian Britain, too, had something of a "female despising" homosexuality that ran rampant among young men in the upper classes. It also served a practical outlet: if you wanted to have fun before marriage, and you wanted to do it with a social equal who you could do other stuff with...

    , @syonredux

    Do they? I’ll give you ancient Athens, and maybe Abbasid Arabia, but shouldn’t the other side of the column get late Republican Rome, Carolingian Europe,
     
    As cultural high-points go, Rome and Carolingian Europe are not equal to Golden Age Athens.

    the Italian Renaissance,
     
    The Italian Renaissance was fairly Gay (Leonardo, Michelangelo, etc)

    the Northern Renaissance, Revolutionary War America, the Enlightenment, Romanticism, whatever you call the the late 19th and early 20th century Western cultural innovation (and yes, I know its goodness is debatable, but it was undeniably prominent and consequential)?
     
    Leaving Benjamin Franklin to one side, Revolutionary War America was not an intellectual leader...
    , @blank-misgivings
    And late 16th century England should be added as a high point of civilization surely - also a sexually ambiguous period.

    Perhaps (this is very speculative) homosexuality in these ambitious periods comes to symbolize a conscious veering away from tradition, a sort of celebration of the ability of the species to defy its biological origins and Malthusian necessity? The use of homosexual themes in Shakespeare's sonnets might reflect something like that - with the bard's words achieving a 'generation' more fertile than mere biological reproduction (the subject of the first few sonnets).

    When this 'willful perversity' is combined with real achievements it can be bracing, if risky.

    Today's celebration of homosexuality, by contrast, as transcendental victimhood, is plebeian.
    , @The Millennial Falcon
    Cultural high points tend to resemble the Tower of Babel.

    Give me the middle-brow 50's.
    , @Pedro

    Do they? I’ll give you ancient Athens, and maybe Abbasid Arabia, but shouldn’t the other side of the column get late Republican Rome, Carolingian Europe, the Italian Renaissance, the Northern Renaissance, Revolutionary War America, the Enlightenment, Romanticism, whatever you call the the late 19th and early 20th century Western cultural innovation (and yes, I know its goodness is debatable, but it was undeniably prominent and consequential)?

     

    Unfortunately with the deadly hostility of christianity for homosexuality, people with these tendencies needed to hide their orientation. But homosexuality is independent of the historical moment or culture. I don’t think that occur more often in golden ages. Because homosexuality was always quite common, even in hostile environments, some homosexuals left clues about their lives.

    For example, the passionate for STEM subjects Leonardo and the frugal, stoic Michelangelo are good examples of masculine, indifferent to women homosexuals, from the Italian Renaissance. The germans Kurt von Steuben in the Revolutionary War America and Frederick the Great in Enlightenment were very war-like mysogynist pederasts. At the zenith of the British Empire, in the late 19th and early 20th century, Cecil Rhodes comes to mind.


    Maybe someone who knows more about them than I do can comment on Tokugawa Japan, Ming China, Mughul India, classical Persia, ancient Babylon and the many other high points I left out.

     

    In ancient Japan, homosexuality was structured in an incredibly analogous way to that of the ancient Greeks. In the Tokugawa period, the shogun responsible for the expulsion and massacre of Christians, Iemitsu Tokuwaga, was a man with strong homosexual urges.

    The Chinese people traditionally have been quite indifferent to this question. A historical period that had many homosexual emperors was in the Han dynasty, including its founder Gaozu of Han. The Han Dynasty was seminal in the history of China. Because this, people of the dominant ethnic group in Chine describes themselves as “Han people”.

    Among the Islamics, there was usually a lot of pederasty. In the specific case of the Mughal Empire, its founder Babur, assumed his lack of interest in his wife and homosexuality in his autobiography. Among the Persians it's a bit confusing, because there are reports of acceptance, but Zoroastrianism reproved homosexuality. In Babylon, it had homosexual priests. The Babylonians believed that men who penetrated these priests were given good fortune.

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  5. Veracitor says:

    Sir Clements Markham, President of the (British) Royal Geographical Society for twelve years in the early 1900′s, was a closet homosexual who cultivated many attractive young men. He was smitten with the notable good looks and physical strength of Robert Falcon Scott and sponsored Scott assiduously to command two RGS expeditions to Antarctica and the South Pole, despite the unsatisfactory performance of the first– and leading to the disasters of the second (including the miserable deaths of Scott and his companions). Scott himself seems to have been heterosexual, though not very sexually aggressive, but he was a skillful flatterer who rewarded, though perhaps not reciprocating, Markham’s affection for him.

    Out of imperial sentiment, Scott’s failings were glossed over for decades despite the dreadful achievements of the expeditions he led.

    Markham did a lot more, of course, than sponsor Scott. He promoted other young men, in many cases with happy results, and he wrote a lot– though Markham’s writings and translations are now considered unreliable by other historians and scholars.

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    That's pretty interesting about the much romanticized British South Pole expedition.

    It seems like British culture had an obsession with the gay poet AE Housman's 1896 poem "To An Athlete Dying Young" with Scott of the Antarctic and later Mallory of Everest seen as real life avatars, along with a number of poets who died young in WWII.

    Maybe Alan Turing has come to be fitted into this model.
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  6. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    re: Gap models– IIRC Sullivan’s HIV proclamation even seeped into a joke on Saturday Night Live’s “Weekend Update” (with Macdonald?) At the time, not being a follower of Beltway yuppies, I had zero context for why this might have a shred of cultural significance– other than that somebody widely announcing his HIV positive status was about a weekly ocurrence back in the late 80s/early 90s.

    Also interesting that TNR has been succeeded by SNL/TDS middlebrow court jesters as the tastemaker of whiteliberal ideology

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  7. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Regarding Michael Kinsley, I remember Kinsley when he served as interlocutor on Bill Buckley’s old “Firing Line” show and always considered him a leftist who at least had his head screwed on reasonably tight and who didn’t suffer fools gladly i.e. though he himself graduated Harvard Law School, he found lawyers–particularly trial lawyers–loathsome. On more than one occasion when he co-hosted CNN’s
    “Crossfire” he would wind up agreeing (more or less) with his opposite number (usually Pat Buchanan). There were rumors that Kinsley was a bit light in the loafers but he did date Mo Dowd and wound up getting married so…

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    • Replies: @Vinteuil
    "There were rumors that Kinsley was a bit light in the loafers but he did date Mo Dowd and wound up getting married so…"

    A friend once asked Andrew Sullivan: is Kinsley gay? Sullivan's reply: well, obviously, of course - but he doesn't know it.

    FWIW
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  8. George says:

    No, Peter Thiel Didn’t Win Any War Against ‘Outing’ — And He Never Will

    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/michelangelo-signorile/no-peter-thiel-didnt-win_b_11652576.html

    I think Thiel did, but it was too late to save Peretz.

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  9. anon says: • Disclaimer

    “Generally, male homosexuals and women get along pretty well,”

    Women have been brainwashed to think the should have gay-best friends, by the gay MSM. In reality, gays and women want the same prize: a true male. Women who lack a boyfriend/husband, or a good female social network will try to spice it up with the gay male friends, it looks cooler at the Friday night scene. So this can happen to girls new in college, or who landed a job in a big city. Hopefully the girl will outgrow the phase.

    Older and wiser women, if wealthy, may have a gay friend (the great travel agent, the sophisticated writer, the ‘in’ hairdresser, and so on) to take along to bashes. But the gay gayness loses luster after a while. One such woman just complained to me after some event about the gay friend, “So and so couldn’t stop bitching, but not in a funny way, you know? You can imagine what he says about us when not around.”

    Gays don’t really like women, let alone wives and mothers.

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  10. Luke Lea says:

    “I suspect that the dirty little secret of cultural history is that humanity’s cultural high points (e.g., ancient Athens) tend to coincide with Marty’s kind of girl-despising homosexuality.”

    Would that apply to the Italian Renaissance?

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    According to Raymond Chandler in The Long Goodbye, yes.
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  11. David says:
    @Almost Missouri

    "the dirty little secret of cultural history is that humanity’s cultural high points (e.g., ancient Athens) tend to coincide with Marty’s kind of girl-despising homosexuality."
     
    Do they? I'll give you ancient Athens, and maybe Abbasid Arabia, but shouldn't the other side of the column get late Republican Rome, Carolingian Europe, the Italian Renaissance, the Northern Renaissance, Revolutionary War America, the Enlightenment, Romanticism, whatever you call the the late 19th and early 20th century Western cultural innovation (and yes, I know its goodness is debatable, but it was undeniably prominent and consequential)?

    Maybe someone who knows more about them than I do can comment on Tokugawa Japan, Ming China, Mughul India, classical Persia, ancient Babylon and the many other high points I left out.

    To be sure, there is an unapologetic masculinity that links all those eras, but only in the above two exceptions does it become "girl-despising homosexuality" from what I can see. Indeed, those two exceptions may even be notably less masculine than the other high points.

    Also, turning the equation around, there is an awful lot of girl-despising homosexuality around nowadays, but I don't think future civilizations will look back at the The Current Year's manic Maoism and degeneracy as any kind of cultural high point. The other recent outbreak of girl-despising homosexuality, early Nazi Germany and its rubbishing of cosmopolitan Central European achievement, doesn't look to me like a cultural high point either.

    I think 15th cent Florence is an example of Steve’s observation. From Forbidden Friendships by Michael Rocke:

    The men of Renaissance Florence were so renowned for sodomy that “Florenzer” in German meant “sodomite.” In the late fifteenth century, as many as one in two Florentine men had come to the attention of the authorities for sodomy by the time they were thirty. In 1432 The Office of the Night was created specifically to police sodomy in Florence. Indeed, nearly all Florentine males probably had some kind of same-sex experience as a part of their “normal” sexual life.

    Read More
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  12. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Almost Missouri

    "the dirty little secret of cultural history is that humanity’s cultural high points (e.g., ancient Athens) tend to coincide with Marty’s kind of girl-despising homosexuality."
     
    Do they? I'll give you ancient Athens, and maybe Abbasid Arabia, but shouldn't the other side of the column get late Republican Rome, Carolingian Europe, the Italian Renaissance, the Northern Renaissance, Revolutionary War America, the Enlightenment, Romanticism, whatever you call the the late 19th and early 20th century Western cultural innovation (and yes, I know its goodness is debatable, but it was undeniably prominent and consequential)?

    Maybe someone who knows more about them than I do can comment on Tokugawa Japan, Ming China, Mughul India, classical Persia, ancient Babylon and the many other high points I left out.

    To be sure, there is an unapologetic masculinity that links all those eras, but only in the above two exceptions does it become "girl-despising homosexuality" from what I can see. Indeed, those two exceptions may even be notably less masculine than the other high points.

    Also, turning the equation around, there is an awful lot of girl-despising homosexuality around nowadays, but I don't think future civilizations will look back at the The Current Year's manic Maoism and degeneracy as any kind of cultural high point. The other recent outbreak of girl-despising homosexuality, early Nazi Germany and its rubbishing of cosmopolitan Central European achievement, doesn't look to me like a cultural high point either.

    Thank you for expressing it clearly. Sailer was lazily repeating the current gay revisionist mantra.

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  13. Jake says:

    “I suspect that the dirty little secret of cultural history is that humanity’s cultural high points (e.g., ancient Athens) tend to coincide with Marty’s kind of girl-despising homosexuality. (This is not a popular opinion on any side at present.)”

    Camille Paglia would agree with you.

    When male homosexuals see women as annoyances to be ignored whenever possible, they tend to remain better grounded in the real world. That makes their ‘work’ more grounded in the real world, and therefore much less destructive of the family and general society than the work of feminist male homosexuals.

    When male homosexuals tend to be delighted with ‘fag hags’ and love promoting ‘women’s issues,’ they directly and continuously cause great harm to the family and society.

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  14. I’ve often thought the same thing about hyper-localized “movements” or “schools” in literature and the arts. Music seems a bit different.

    Every time you look into one…”Hmm, the Bloomsbury group? I wonder what–oh”

    Postmodern art in NYC?

    As for Socrates I always wondered why nobody talked about what corrupting the youth really meant.

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  15. Jake says:
    @Almost Missouri

    "the dirty little secret of cultural history is that humanity’s cultural high points (e.g., ancient Athens) tend to coincide with Marty’s kind of girl-despising homosexuality."
     
    Do they? I'll give you ancient Athens, and maybe Abbasid Arabia, but shouldn't the other side of the column get late Republican Rome, Carolingian Europe, the Italian Renaissance, the Northern Renaissance, Revolutionary War America, the Enlightenment, Romanticism, whatever you call the the late 19th and early 20th century Western cultural innovation (and yes, I know its goodness is debatable, but it was undeniably prominent and consequential)?

    Maybe someone who knows more about them than I do can comment on Tokugawa Japan, Ming China, Mughul India, classical Persia, ancient Babylon and the many other high points I left out.

    To be sure, there is an unapologetic masculinity that links all those eras, but only in the above two exceptions does it become "girl-despising homosexuality" from what I can see. Indeed, those two exceptions may even be notably less masculine than the other high points.

    Also, turning the equation around, there is an awful lot of girl-despising homosexuality around nowadays, but I don't think future civilizations will look back at the The Current Year's manic Maoism and degeneracy as any kind of cultural high point. The other recent outbreak of girl-despising homosexuality, early Nazi Germany and its rubbishing of cosmopolitan Central European achievement, doesn't look to me like a cultural high point either.

    I think that perhaps if you read my previous comment and think of it that way, the notion will make more sense to you.

    I don’t see Golden Age Athens as a gay male culture. It was a culture that had degenerated into pederasty as the social norm. But adult men who had sex only with other males of any age? They were widespread objects of mirth even there and then.

    Today’s male homosexuals are very rarely ‘girl-despising.’ They are male feminists.

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    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
    Duly noted.
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  16. Polymath says:

    I thought you were referring to their recently confessed educational privilege but then I saw you were talking about the other Gap.

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  17. The Z Blog says: • Website
    @Almost Missouri

    "the dirty little secret of cultural history is that humanity’s cultural high points (e.g., ancient Athens) tend to coincide with Marty’s kind of girl-despising homosexuality."
     
    Do they? I'll give you ancient Athens, and maybe Abbasid Arabia, but shouldn't the other side of the column get late Republican Rome, Carolingian Europe, the Italian Renaissance, the Northern Renaissance, Revolutionary War America, the Enlightenment, Romanticism, whatever you call the the late 19th and early 20th century Western cultural innovation (and yes, I know its goodness is debatable, but it was undeniably prominent and consequential)?

    Maybe someone who knows more about them than I do can comment on Tokugawa Japan, Ming China, Mughul India, classical Persia, ancient Babylon and the many other high points I left out.

    To be sure, there is an unapologetic masculinity that links all those eras, but only in the above two exceptions does it become "girl-despising homosexuality" from what I can see. Indeed, those two exceptions may even be notably less masculine than the other high points.

    Also, turning the equation around, there is an awful lot of girl-despising homosexuality around nowadays, but I don't think future civilizations will look back at the The Current Year's manic Maoism and degeneracy as any kind of cultural high point. The other recent outbreak of girl-despising homosexuality, early Nazi Germany and its rubbishing of cosmopolitan Central European achievement, doesn't look to me like a cultural high point either.

    The gay Athenian stuff has been heavily retconned. In Greece and Rome, homosexual acts were tolerable, only if the man was in the dominant role. In other words, you could be a high status pitcher, but all catchers were low status.

    The fact that this is true in male prisons suggests availability of women plays some role.

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  18. Art Deco says:

    Sort of jarring to see a picture of Sullivan when he had hair and didn’t look decrepit. Michael Kinsley has aged better.

    My impression is that Peretz’s type of misogynistic youth-worshipping homosexual is fairly rare. Generally, male homosexuals and women get along pretty well, so the Peretz-type who considers women of zero interest is rather unusual.

    Of zero interest except for his wife of 40 years, his daughter, and his grandchildren, presumably. His wife has said she insisted he move out and served papers on him because she was tired of his temper.

    The Gores remain legally married.

    Albert Gore, Sr. bore little resemblance to the fictional Oliver Barrett III. Oliver Barrett III was a hereditary patrician (Harvard ’24) employed in business and had no political involvements; his wife was a polite society matron. Albert Gore Sr was an ambitious farm boy educated at local colleges. Pauline Gore also came from a farming background. She had a law degree, quite unusual at a time when the student body at professional schools was nearly 90% male (not sure she ever practiced). The Gores were ambitious; if they were ever wealthy, it was late in life. Also, the fictional Oliver Barrett IV treated his sensible and forgiving father quite badly for no apparent reason. Albert Gore, Jr., by contrast, was oddly dutiful toward his father. Tipper Gore bears zero resemblance to the fictional Jennifer Cavilleri, and it’s impossible to think of the young Gore (whom Michael Kinsley once described in a radio commentary as ‘a slick student-council goody-goody’) as a handsome and athletic swordsman. Gore never read the book or was lying his tuchus off. (At the time the book was published, Segal made it plain that his models for the characters were two people he’d known who were unacquainted with each other).

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  19. @Almost Missouri

    "the dirty little secret of cultural history is that humanity’s cultural high points (e.g., ancient Athens) tend to coincide with Marty’s kind of girl-despising homosexuality."
     
    Do they? I'll give you ancient Athens, and maybe Abbasid Arabia, but shouldn't the other side of the column get late Republican Rome, Carolingian Europe, the Italian Renaissance, the Northern Renaissance, Revolutionary War America, the Enlightenment, Romanticism, whatever you call the the late 19th and early 20th century Western cultural innovation (and yes, I know its goodness is debatable, but it was undeniably prominent and consequential)?

    Maybe someone who knows more about them than I do can comment on Tokugawa Japan, Ming China, Mughul India, classical Persia, ancient Babylon and the many other high points I left out.

    To be sure, there is an unapologetic masculinity that links all those eras, but only in the above two exceptions does it become "girl-despising homosexuality" from what I can see. Indeed, those two exceptions may even be notably less masculine than the other high points.

    Also, turning the equation around, there is an awful lot of girl-despising homosexuality around nowadays, but I don't think future civilizations will look back at the The Current Year's manic Maoism and degeneracy as any kind of cultural high point. The other recent outbreak of girl-despising homosexuality, early Nazi Germany and its rubbishing of cosmopolitan Central European achievement, doesn't look to me like a cultural high point either.

    shouldn’t the other side of the column get late Republican Rome, Carolingian Europe, the Italian Renaissance…

    Uh, have you actually LOOKED at Michelangelo Buanarroti’s women on the Sistine Chapel ceiling? Or read much of the life story of Leonardo? Or checked out why Caravaggio had to flee Rome? I don’t think you can claim that last one for our side.

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  20. Art Deco says:
    @slumber_j
    Gore Vidal always struck me as another key member of the He-Man Woman Haters Club. But of course he wasn't homosexual, according to him.

    Gore very explicitly and publicly despised his mother. He was on congenial terms with at least one of his sisters.

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  21. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    “I suspect that the dirty little secret of cultural history is that humanity’s cultural high points (e.g., ancient Athens) tend to coincide with Marty’s kind of girl-despising homosexuality. (This is not a popular opinion on any side at present.)”

    What a coinky-dink. And not such a secret. My book on this very subject will appear in its new, embiggened edition quiet soon.

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  22. @slumber_j
    Gore Vidal always struck me as another key member of the He-Man Woman Haters Club. But of course he wasn't homosexual, according to him.

    William S Burroughs as well.

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  23. Art Deco says:

    Other evolutionary growing pains included raucous screaming matches between Peretz and his editors in the hallways, out of which developed a peculiar rhythm of editors departing and returning only to leave and return again. (“TNR,” says Fred Barnes, “is a hotbed of prodigal sons.”)

    That describes Hendrick Hertzberg, not anyone else. Michael Kinsley was hired away by the MacArthur Foundation to edit Harper’s and returned to The New Republic when the MacArthur Foundation fired him. He left again when his other employments (on CNN, on PBS, for Time, his syndicate, &c) reached a critical mass. Morton Kondracke was hired away by Newsweek and then returned after a year (presumably Newsweek let him go due to his admitted heavy drinking); Andrew Sullivan later fired him without explanation.

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  24. Langley says:

    “I suspect that the dirty little secret of cultural history is that humanity’s cultural high points (e.g., ancient Athens) tend to coincide with Marty’s kind of girl-despising homosexuality. (This is not a popular opinion on any side at present.)”

    Cecil Rhodes is one example.

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  25. ctb5 says:

    “I suspect that the dirty little secret of cultural history is that humanity’s cultural high points (e.g., ancient Athens) tend to coincide with Marty’s kind of girl-despising homosexuality.”

    If so, then it’s strictly a case of termite damage that is not yet apparent. As Camille Paglia said, this stuff (sexual confusion) coming out into the open is a marker for decay and imminent collapse.

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  26. I had first-hand acquaintanceship with Marty Peretz. He swam in a social circle above me, a first year graduate student at Harvard. He was teaching at Brandeis at that time. He took me up briefly as a guy he wanted to hang out with or rather do stuff with which happened at least once when he took me to a AFTER-HOURS downtown Boston restaurant with cops and louche others, this is after 2am cutoff of legally served alcohol in Boston. Wine was on the tables in club-soda bottles. It was an interesting experience. I pulled back from his friendship because he wanted me to share his jewish self-hating thoughts expressed in deprecating NYC-type jews. I had enuf of that back in NYC. Not something I meant to bring along with me to Cambridge.

    Gay? You’re talking about a very controlled personality, very industrious, very bright. Looking at current pictures of the man, I recall him as comfortable in his body, obviously aware that he had a degree of presence. I heard later that he had married an heiress. Looking at pictures of myself back then, I recognize that I was far more handsome than I realized at that time. I have to admit that my gay-dar was not turned on or that I even had any gay-dar. The role of suppressed eros in modern male friendships is not to be belied.

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    He swam in a social circle above me, a first year graduate student at Harvard. He was teaching at Brandeis at that time.
     
    How much prestige is there in teaching at, or holding a BA from, a school that's ten years younger than you?
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  27. Johnny24 says:

    Probably. Just look at Da Vinci and Michaelangelo.

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  28. Johnny24 says:
    @Almost Missouri

    "the dirty little secret of cultural history is that humanity’s cultural high points (e.g., ancient Athens) tend to coincide with Marty’s kind of girl-despising homosexuality."
     
    Do they? I'll give you ancient Athens, and maybe Abbasid Arabia, but shouldn't the other side of the column get late Republican Rome, Carolingian Europe, the Italian Renaissance, the Northern Renaissance, Revolutionary War America, the Enlightenment, Romanticism, whatever you call the the late 19th and early 20th century Western cultural innovation (and yes, I know its goodness is debatable, but it was undeniably prominent and consequential)?

    Maybe someone who knows more about them than I do can comment on Tokugawa Japan, Ming China, Mughul India, classical Persia, ancient Babylon and the many other high points I left out.

    To be sure, there is an unapologetic masculinity that links all those eras, but only in the above two exceptions does it become "girl-despising homosexuality" from what I can see. Indeed, those two exceptions may even be notably less masculine than the other high points.

    Also, turning the equation around, there is an awful lot of girl-despising homosexuality around nowadays, but I don't think future civilizations will look back at the The Current Year's manic Maoism and degeneracy as any kind of cultural high point. The other recent outbreak of girl-despising homosexuality, early Nazi Germany and its rubbishing of cosmopolitan Central European achievement, doesn't look to me like a cultural high point either.

    It varied from civilization to civilization. Some, like feudal Japan and classical Persia, had open Grecian/Florence style institutionalized homosexuality between older and younger men, that openly held the idea that real masculine men found love with other men and used women for breeding. Others, like ancient Rome, had a libertarian sort of attitude toward it: it was expected that free Roman citizens would take lovers of both genders, but they were to *strictly* be the active/dominant partner. To be submissive was considered the ultimate shame, hence its regular use of political slander. Julius Caesar was forever dogged by rumors that he played the passive role in a relationship with an Eastern King when he was in his early 20s. And heaven forbid that you actually fall in love with your passive partner, as Sulla and Hadrian did.

    (Insert Gibbon’s remark here about Claudius being the only emperor who was 100% heterosexual. You also had guys like Trajan and Hadrian who probably were 100% homosexual. Most fell in between.)

    As a general example, the general social attitude in much of old time Asia was that as long as an adult man took a wife and created a stable family unit, what he did sexually beyond that was up to his own inclinations, provided that you didn’t break social norms (dressing up like a woman would have been a non-starter, even for teenage boys/younger men in the passive role in the relationship). Note that this wasn’t optional: regardless of whether you liked girls or not, you were expected to do your duty to the state/race and pop out some heirs. The social emphasis on that could not have been blunter. But beyond that? You had predominantly gay scholars, gay warriors, and gay emperors (google “the pleasure of the cut sleeve”-Emperor Ai of the Han Dynasty), and it was considered normal for men to try out both and see which they liked better.

    And female sexuality was considered to be of so little consequence/social worth that nobody bothered to write about it much, hence the lack of records about lesbianism.

    > The other recent outbreak of girl-despising homosexuality, early Nazi Germany and its rubbishing of cosmopolitan Central European achievement, doesn’t look to me like a cultural high point either.

    It long predated the Nazis and stretched back to the Wilhelmine period, where Germany produced more Nobel Prizes than all the other advanced nations combined. Victorian Britain, too, had something of a “female despising” homosexuality that ran rampant among young men in the upper classes. It also served a practical outlet: if you wanted to have fun before marriage, and you wanted to do it with a social equal who you could do other stuff with…

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    In "Brideshead Revisited" an old Italian lady of the world says that in her observation watching rich young people come through Venice, "romantic friendships" seem to be a British and German thing, not a French or Italian thing.

    The Brits and German education systems idolized Greece, the French and Italian idolized Rome.

    , @Jim Don Bob
    Well said. Thanks
    , @AnotherDad
    Homo-history.

    Homosexuality is pretty rare--1-2% seems to be the ballpark. I consider myself as a pretty ordinary guy in most traits beyond "academic ability" or whatever you want to call it. I've been attracted to girls since I can remember and never had the slightest desire to stick my dick up some guy's ass. (I wouldn't do it even in prison.) And I don't believe very many other normal guys ever do either. It's just unnatural, and we aren't wired up to want to do it.

    Now maybe Cochran is right and the gay germ was a lot more common "back then", and there were homo-bubbles. I'm skeptical. I don't believe renaissance Florence was full of fags. I can believe that various institutions have been infected with a homo-network now and again. (Like the sad goings on in the Catholic Church that fostered the "child abuse"--i.e. gay grooming--disaster.) That's about it.

    All this "so-and-so was really gay" is just b.s. There are a lot of heterosexual guys who are not "ladies men". In fact, that's the norm. There's a subset, who just aren't naturally good socially--ergo with women. My dad--a farm boy and lifelong engineer--is like that. If my mom hadn't decided he was "the best available" at Vinton High School in the mid-40s, he would have spent his life tinkering away as an engineer, which he's still doing pushing 90--unless some other gal came along and locked him down. Einstein seems like the same sort of type. His scientific theorizing--rather than chasing girls--captured most of his time and abilities. Doesn't make him gay, makes him a nerd. If we didn't know about Einstein's life i'm sure the fags would be claiming he was "not interested in women" and "a closet homosexual".

    The nature of selection in civilized societies means that there are a lot of men with traits like "oriented to working on their stuff"--be it farming or mechanical arts or commercial endeavors--and are not necessarily romantic super-stars. (What civilization is supposed to do is get girls to marry those guys hence propagating precisely their civilization preserving "takes care of his stuff" genes.) Guys who obsess over their stuff--science, art, philosophy, politics--tend to be the ones who make advances and so are remembered by history. But that obsession over stuff as opposed to girl chasing does not make them gay.

    It certainly seems to be the case that in the sort of strong masculine environment you have in a rising civilization, a few homosexuals can find a space and chip in. Though their efforts tend to be flouncy artistic flourishes, rather than the scientific, technological, commercial or political advancement that moves a civilization forward.

    The bottom line is if homosexuality never reared its ugly head ... it would never be missed and history would look much the same, just less "gay".
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  29. As someone who is gay and not on the political left, I have followed Andrew Sullivan’s writing with some interest for approximately 15 years. This New Republic stuff is before my time.

    That’s a pretty nonsensical, self important quote next to his photo in the Gap ad. He looks good in the photo but not nearly as good as professional models I have seen. Kind of odd that he landed that gig.

    IIRC Peretz is a pretty strong Zionist, while Sullivan has become very critical of Israel. Sullivan has also been very over the top in his denunciation of DJT. He’s kind of a curiosity now.

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  30. syonredux says:
    @Almost Missouri

    "the dirty little secret of cultural history is that humanity’s cultural high points (e.g., ancient Athens) tend to coincide with Marty’s kind of girl-despising homosexuality."
     
    Do they? I'll give you ancient Athens, and maybe Abbasid Arabia, but shouldn't the other side of the column get late Republican Rome, Carolingian Europe, the Italian Renaissance, the Northern Renaissance, Revolutionary War America, the Enlightenment, Romanticism, whatever you call the the late 19th and early 20th century Western cultural innovation (and yes, I know its goodness is debatable, but it was undeniably prominent and consequential)?

    Maybe someone who knows more about them than I do can comment on Tokugawa Japan, Ming China, Mughul India, classical Persia, ancient Babylon and the many other high points I left out.

    To be sure, there is an unapologetic masculinity that links all those eras, but only in the above two exceptions does it become "girl-despising homosexuality" from what I can see. Indeed, those two exceptions may even be notably less masculine than the other high points.

    Also, turning the equation around, there is an awful lot of girl-despising homosexuality around nowadays, but I don't think future civilizations will look back at the The Current Year's manic Maoism and degeneracy as any kind of cultural high point. The other recent outbreak of girl-despising homosexuality, early Nazi Germany and its rubbishing of cosmopolitan Central European achievement, doesn't look to me like a cultural high point either.

    Do they? I’ll give you ancient Athens, and maybe Abbasid Arabia, but shouldn’t the other side of the column get late Republican Rome, Carolingian Europe,

    As cultural high-points go, Rome and Carolingian Europe are not equal to Golden Age Athens.

    the Italian Renaissance,

    The Italian Renaissance was fairly Gay (Leonardo, Michelangelo, etc)

    the Northern Renaissance, Revolutionary War America, the Enlightenment, Romanticism, whatever you call the the late 19th and early 20th century Western cultural innovation (and yes, I know its goodness is debatable, but it was undeniably prominent and consequential)?

    Leaving Benjamin Franklin to one side, Revolutionary War America was not an intellectual leader…

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    "As cultural high-points go, Rome and Carolingian Europe are not equal to Golden Age Athens."
     
    Probably nothing has ever equaled ancient Athens, but that doesn't mean there were not other high points as well. Only one mountain is as tall as Everest. That doesn't mean there are no other mountains.

    "The Italian Renaissance was fairly Gay (Leonardo, Michelangelo, etc)"
     
    Not sure who, if anyone, is lurking behind that "etc", but Leonardo's supposed gayness comes down to a solitary arrest record in a gang of offending youths in the company of a male prostitute. Whatever it was about, the court dismissed it. However homosexual Michelangelo felt, he lived, according to his friend Condivi, like a chaste monk.

    "Leaving Benjamin Franklin to one side, Revolutionary War America was not an intellectual leader…"
     
    It was disparaged by contemporary Europeans, but time has shown that Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton, Jay, Paine and the rest have had a deep and still ongoing effect on political, legal and national thought, both in the English-speaking world and beyond. And there is no reason to leave Franklin to one side.

    Also, now that I'm thinking about it, I'm less willing even to concede the gayness of ancient Athens. This was the culture that launched the enormous Trojan War to recover fair Helen. And the culture that revered the epic of Odysseus traversing the wine-dark sea to return to Penelope and home where he would slay his wife's suitors (after pitstopping in nymph Calypso's bed for seven years). That doesn't really sound like "girl-despising homosexuality". By contrast, it is hard to imagine Marty Peretz slaying his wife's suitors, or even noticing if she has any.

    Admittedly, by the time, place and social class of Socrates's circle, there did seem to be a lot of gayness about, but that may have been more a symptom of Greece's incipient decadence and decline, rather than a hard-wired feature of Greek culture or a necessary component of Greek achievement.

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  31. I suspect that the dirty little secret of cultural history is that humanity’s cultural high points (e.g., ancient Athens) tend to coincide with Marty’s kind of girl-despising homosexuality. (This is not a popular opinion on any side at present.)

    I suspect you’re correct. I also suspect I’d fit in great within such a milieu…except for that whole, pesky not-being-a-homosexual thing.

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    As a good friend of mine once said "you're only gay if you take it." And I have known gay people who have no interest in the "posterior" to start with.
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  32. syonredux says:

    The wisdom of Marty Peretz:”Eventually, he clears his throat and says last-wordishly: “Me, I never saw an intervention I didn’t like.” …”

    Why would any sane man listen to someone who believes that kind of nonsense?

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  33. @Almost Missouri

    "the dirty little secret of cultural history is that humanity’s cultural high points (e.g., ancient Athens) tend to coincide with Marty’s kind of girl-despising homosexuality."
     
    Do they? I'll give you ancient Athens, and maybe Abbasid Arabia, but shouldn't the other side of the column get late Republican Rome, Carolingian Europe, the Italian Renaissance, the Northern Renaissance, Revolutionary War America, the Enlightenment, Romanticism, whatever you call the the late 19th and early 20th century Western cultural innovation (and yes, I know its goodness is debatable, but it was undeniably prominent and consequential)?

    Maybe someone who knows more about them than I do can comment on Tokugawa Japan, Ming China, Mughul India, classical Persia, ancient Babylon and the many other high points I left out.

    To be sure, there is an unapologetic masculinity that links all those eras, but only in the above two exceptions does it become "girl-despising homosexuality" from what I can see. Indeed, those two exceptions may even be notably less masculine than the other high points.

    Also, turning the equation around, there is an awful lot of girl-despising homosexuality around nowadays, but I don't think future civilizations will look back at the The Current Year's manic Maoism and degeneracy as any kind of cultural high point. The other recent outbreak of girl-despising homosexuality, early Nazi Germany and its rubbishing of cosmopolitan Central European achievement, doesn't look to me like a cultural high point either.

    And late 16th century England should be added as a high point of civilization surely – also a sexually ambiguous period.

    Perhaps (this is very speculative) homosexuality in these ambitious periods comes to symbolize a conscious veering away from tradition, a sort of celebration of the ability of the species to defy its biological origins and Malthusian necessity? The use of homosexual themes in Shakespeare’s sonnets might reflect something like that – with the bard’s words achieving a ‘generation’ more fertile than mere biological reproduction (the subject of the first few sonnets).

    When this ‘willful perversity’ is combined with real achievements it can be bracing, if risky.

    Today’s celebration of homosexuality, by contrast, as transcendental victimhood, is plebeian.

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  34. As a TNR reader for almost 2 decades beginning in its Michael Kinsey peak years under Peretz I never knew Peretz was gay until the mid-aughts after I canceled by subscription in 2002.

    Even then Peretz never struck me as a especially homosexual. And if you read TNR back in 80s and most of the nineties until Sullivan came along it was pretty clear that there was a strong distaste for effeminate homosexuality.

    The New Republic’s Martin Peretz visits Brandeis

    Which makes me wonder about the causes of Homosexuality.

    When I was growing up in the 1970s it was pretty much understood that while there may have been a kid or two who was born gay, the vast majority of homosexuals became that way through some sort of contagion.

    Boys Beware! (1961)

    Perversion for Profit (1965)

    Like my mid 1970s middle school Heath and Safety/Gym teachers said when asked, “What causes homosexuality?” “Well boys I don’t know for sure, but I think it has something to do with Ducking Socks”.

    Peretz is one of those bisexuals/gays who is not attracted to obviously gay men but is turned on by idea of seducing or being found desirable by an otherwise straight man.

    Or maybe Peretz has been reliving his own experience of having been “turned out” by an older man in his youth.

    Perhaps Peretz only hired Andrew Sullivan when he could no long attract his ideal of the masculine straight male object of seduction.

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  35. @Almost Missouri

    "the dirty little secret of cultural history is that humanity’s cultural high points (e.g., ancient Athens) tend to coincide with Marty’s kind of girl-despising homosexuality."
     
    Do they? I'll give you ancient Athens, and maybe Abbasid Arabia, but shouldn't the other side of the column get late Republican Rome, Carolingian Europe, the Italian Renaissance, the Northern Renaissance, Revolutionary War America, the Enlightenment, Romanticism, whatever you call the the late 19th and early 20th century Western cultural innovation (and yes, I know its goodness is debatable, but it was undeniably prominent and consequential)?

    Maybe someone who knows more about them than I do can comment on Tokugawa Japan, Ming China, Mughul India, classical Persia, ancient Babylon and the many other high points I left out.

    To be sure, there is an unapologetic masculinity that links all those eras, but only in the above two exceptions does it become "girl-despising homosexuality" from what I can see. Indeed, those two exceptions may even be notably less masculine than the other high points.

    Also, turning the equation around, there is an awful lot of girl-despising homosexuality around nowadays, but I don't think future civilizations will look back at the The Current Year's manic Maoism and degeneracy as any kind of cultural high point. The other recent outbreak of girl-despising homosexuality, early Nazi Germany and its rubbishing of cosmopolitan Central European achievement, doesn't look to me like a cultural high point either.

    Cultural high points tend to resemble the Tower of Babel.

    Give me the middle-brow 50′s.

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  36. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    Somewhat OT: I have come to the conclusion that magazines start appointing female editors, especially those of color, right at that point when it’s become apparent the magazine is failing and needs to be shut down. When the magazine goes under, the new editor is supposed to deflect criticism because of her race/gender, and distract attention away from the previous editor who inflicted most of the actual damage.

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    • Replies: @Daniel H
    >>Somewhat OT: I have come to the conclusion that magazines start appointing female editors, especially those of color, right at that point when it’s become apparent the magazine is failing and needs to be shut down.

    Case in point: Vanity Fair. The editor Graydon Carter was being paid $5 million per year! For what? choosing what celebrity fawning or dissing articles should be printed each month, on very expensively produced, printed and distributed glossy paper. The new editor - an exotic Indian/White/Brit hybrid will be paid $500,000. Still way too much for a publication that will likely exist solely as a web page in 5-10 years.

    Magazine/Newspaper publishers still haven't gotten it into their heads what business they are in. They are not in the business of investigative journalism, political/social opinion, literary essays, cultural tastemakers, celebrity profiles. They are in the business of transmitting advertising campaigns. That is it. Advertising pays the bills and returns the profit on capital invested. Craigslist is a more valuable franchise than all the newspapers and magazine in the US combined.
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  37. @syonredux

    Do they? I’ll give you ancient Athens, and maybe Abbasid Arabia, but shouldn’t the other side of the column get late Republican Rome, Carolingian Europe,
     
    As cultural high-points go, Rome and Carolingian Europe are not equal to Golden Age Athens.

    the Italian Renaissance,
     
    The Italian Renaissance was fairly Gay (Leonardo, Michelangelo, etc)

    the Northern Renaissance, Revolutionary War America, the Enlightenment, Romanticism, whatever you call the the late 19th and early 20th century Western cultural innovation (and yes, I know its goodness is debatable, but it was undeniably prominent and consequential)?
     
    Leaving Benjamin Franklin to one side, Revolutionary War America was not an intellectual leader...

    “As cultural high-points go, Rome and Carolingian Europe are not equal to Golden Age Athens.”

    Probably nothing has ever equaled ancient Athens, but that doesn’t mean there were not other high points as well. Only one mountain is as tall as Everest. That doesn’t mean there are no other mountains.

    “The Italian Renaissance was fairly Gay (Leonardo, Michelangelo, etc)”

    Not sure who, if anyone, is lurking behind that “etc”, but Leonardo’s supposed gayness comes down to a solitary arrest record in a gang of offending youths in the company of a male prostitute. Whatever it was about, the court dismissed it. However homosexual Michelangelo felt, he lived, according to his friend Condivi, like a chaste monk.

    “Leaving Benjamin Franklin to one side, Revolutionary War America was not an intellectual leader…”

    It was disparaged by contemporary Europeans, but time has shown that Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton, Jay, Paine and the rest have had a deep and still ongoing effect on political, legal and national thought, both in the English-speaking world and beyond. And there is no reason to leave Franklin to one side.

    Also, now that I’m thinking about it, I’m less willing even to concede the gayness of ancient Athens. This was the culture that launched the enormous Trojan War to recover fair Helen. And the culture that revered the epic of Odysseus traversing the wine-dark sea to return to Penelope and home where he would slay his wife’s suitors (after pitstopping in nymph Calypso’s bed for seven years). That doesn’t really sound like “girl-despising homosexuality”. By contrast, it is hard to imagine Marty Peretz slaying his wife’s suitors, or even noticing if she has any.

    Admittedly, by the time, place and social class of Socrates’s circle, there did seem to be a lot of gayness about, but that may have been more a symptom of Greece’s incipient decadence and decline, rather than a hard-wired feature of Greek culture or a necessary component of Greek achievement.

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    • Replies: @Logan
    Also, now that I’m thinking about it, I’m less willing even to concede the gayness of ancient Athens. This was the culture that launched the enormous Trojan War to recover fair Helen.

    Well, no. When people talk about "ancient Athens," they're generally referring to the time of Socrates, Pericles, Plato, Euripides, etc. 500 to 400 BC or thereabouts. The Golden Age.

    The Trojan War, if it happened, was sometime around Bronze Age 1200 BC, and on the other side of a Dark Age. The two cultures really didn't have much at all in common except that the language and culture of one was descended from that of the other.

    It's a lot like saying the France of Louis XIV was "the same" as the Rome of Constantine.
    , @syonredux

    “As cultural high-points go, Rome and Carolingian Europe are not equal to Golden Age Athens.”

    Probably nothing has ever equaled ancient Athens, but that doesn’t mean there were not other high points as well. Only one mountain is as tall as Everest. That doesn’t mean there are no other mountains.
     

    In terms of intellectual achievement, Rome and Carolingian Europe are foothills; ancient Athens and Renaissance Europe are towering Alpine peaks.

    The Italian Renaissance was fairly Gay (Leonardo, Michelangelo, etc)”

    Not sure who, if anyone, is lurking behind that “etc”,
     

    The sexuality of lots of key figures in 15th and 16th century Italy is rather debatable. To name another figure, there's Caravaggio...

    but Leonardo’s supposed gayness comes down to a solitary arrest record in a gang of offending youths in the company of a male prostitute. Whatever it was about, the court dismissed it.
     
    You really think that Leonardo was 100% hetero?

    However homosexual Michelangelo felt, he lived, according to his friend Condivi, like a chaste monk.
     
    A chaste gay monk.

    Leaving Benjamin Franklin to one side, Revolutionary War America was not an intellectual leader…”

    It was disparaged by contemporary Europeans, but time has shown that Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton, Jay, Paine and the rest have had a deep and still ongoing effect on political, legal and national thought, both in the English-speaking world and beyond.
     

    In terms of intellectual achievement, they were followers, not leaders.

    And there is no reason to leave Franklin to one side.
     
    Sure there is. Franklin stands apart from people like Madison and Jefferson. Unlike them, he was an innovator.

    Also, now that I’m thinking about it, I’m less willing even to concede the gayness of ancient Athens. This was the culture that launched the enormous Trojan War to recover fair Helen.
     
    The Iliad was composed in the 8th century BC, not in Classical Athens....
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  38. Logan says:

    I suspect that the dirty little secret of cultural history is that humanity’s cultural high points (e.g., ancient Athens) tend to coincide with Marty’s kind of girl-despising homosexuality. (This is not a popular opinion on any side at present.)

    I also do not like the idea, but suspect there’s a good deal of truth to it.

    A lot of Christians and other conservatives use the horrible examples of Greece and Rome to illustrate how tolerance for homosexuality leads directly to civilizational collapse.

    Sadly for this idea, the height of both civilizations also coincided with the height of their open homosexuality. Their decline of both took place in periods of increasing interest in heterosexuality and even drastic punishment of homosexuality. Under the later Roman Empire it was a capital crime.

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    • Replies: @Romanian
    But I think the two ideas are not mutually exclusive. Being plugged directly into the cultural output of the West now, you experience not only the good bits but also the bad. However, we get a heavily curated version of the Greek cultural products which has withstood the test of time. It is the same for the Renaissance, for Elisabethan England, for Victorian England etc. Who is to say that it will not be the same for the US or the West in a few hundred year once the dross we are swimming in has been filtered out? There are extraordinary things being done also culturally by this civilization of technologists. For instance, gaming as a storytelling and aesthetic medium that is the least infected by PC bs by being the newest and the most heavily hetero male such medium. Gamergate was a frontal assault on this bastion. You complain about the BS that is modern art, but, far away from the "art as having price but not value" environment that we despise, some great art is being created and shared for free online or as a backdrop to videogames, movies etc.
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  39. Logan says:
    @Almost Missouri

    "As cultural high-points go, Rome and Carolingian Europe are not equal to Golden Age Athens."
     
    Probably nothing has ever equaled ancient Athens, but that doesn't mean there were not other high points as well. Only one mountain is as tall as Everest. That doesn't mean there are no other mountains.

    "The Italian Renaissance was fairly Gay (Leonardo, Michelangelo, etc)"
     
    Not sure who, if anyone, is lurking behind that "etc", but Leonardo's supposed gayness comes down to a solitary arrest record in a gang of offending youths in the company of a male prostitute. Whatever it was about, the court dismissed it. However homosexual Michelangelo felt, he lived, according to his friend Condivi, like a chaste monk.

    "Leaving Benjamin Franklin to one side, Revolutionary War America was not an intellectual leader…"
     
    It was disparaged by contemporary Europeans, but time has shown that Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton, Jay, Paine and the rest have had a deep and still ongoing effect on political, legal and national thought, both in the English-speaking world and beyond. And there is no reason to leave Franklin to one side.

    Also, now that I'm thinking about it, I'm less willing even to concede the gayness of ancient Athens. This was the culture that launched the enormous Trojan War to recover fair Helen. And the culture that revered the epic of Odysseus traversing the wine-dark sea to return to Penelope and home where he would slay his wife's suitors (after pitstopping in nymph Calypso's bed for seven years). That doesn't really sound like "girl-despising homosexuality". By contrast, it is hard to imagine Marty Peretz slaying his wife's suitors, or even noticing if she has any.

    Admittedly, by the time, place and social class of Socrates's circle, there did seem to be a lot of gayness about, but that may have been more a symptom of Greece's incipient decadence and decline, rather than a hard-wired feature of Greek culture or a necessary component of Greek achievement.

    Also, now that I’m thinking about it, I’m less willing even to concede the gayness of ancient Athens. This was the culture that launched the enormous Trojan War to recover fair Helen.

    Well, no. When people talk about “ancient Athens,” they’re generally referring to the time of Socrates, Pericles, Plato, Euripides, etc. 500 to 400 BC or thereabouts. The Golden Age.

    The Trojan War, if it happened, was sometime around Bronze Age 1200 BC, and on the other side of a Dark Age. The two cultures really didn’t have much at all in common except that the language and culture of one was descended from that of the other.

    It’s a lot like saying the France of Louis XIV was “the same” as the Rome of Constantine.

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  40. charlie says:
    @PhysicistDave
    Sorry to hear of Michael Kinsley's health problems (Parkinson's): he was one of the few moderate liberals whose opinions interested me, because on occasion he actually had original thoughts.

    I go the same gym as Kinsley — the health problems are obvious but he works hard to building muscle.

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  41. >Counter to the status quo
    >For individuals
    >Gap

    Did they even believe this? Did anyone (consumers) take this seriously? The Gap is the epitome of generic status quo conformist mass produced clothes. A bugman’s uniform, before the term was coined.

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  42. CDN says:

    Gay men say they love women, but almost always hate them at their core. They see them as competition for attention, especially the attention of powerful straight men, which is ironically very important for gay men. Peretz just doesn’t bother with pretense.

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    • Replies: @Daniel H
    >>Gay men say they love women, but almost always hate them at their core

    I believe this to be true in many (most cases?). You hear it in the cutting comments that gays make about the appearance of women when the girls aren't around. And gays have a real repulsion towards female genitalia. The very thought of it nauseates many gays. They project defense by mocking and making horrifically rude comments about women's genitalia.

    I once worked in a small office and we had an aggressive gay on staff. We had to expand and rented an adjoining office where the gay and one of the women had to work together, alone in the office. At the end of the first day the lady demanded of the boss that she be removed from working with the gay. He said something - which she refused to repeat - that should could not bear to be in the same room with him. Strange.
    , @larry lurker

    They see them as competition for attention, especially the attention of powerful straight men, which is ironically very important for gay men.
     
    My experience has been that if I can somehow fool at least some of the women in the room into being attracted to me (presenting myself as straight or ambiguous, but not as gay), I'll automatically win access to every gay guy there - even if they appear to be out of my league.

    If a man is attractive to women, that's about as strong a validation of his masculinity as he can get, and I think authentic masculinity is what most gay men are really attracted to rather than "straightness" per se.

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  43. I know people who knew Sullivan at Oxford. Believe it or not, he was considered the epitome of youthful male beauty, and was pursued all over campus by public school boys after a bit of rough trade (Sullivan is working class Irish).
    They mostly grew out of it (after all, they had dynasties to keep going), but his head was turned and he has never looked back.

    As for the Greek Golden Age, and indeed the Italian Renaissance: the older man adopted the younger, but (ideally) did not violate him. Those that did had failed to exhibit self-control, and were despised, particularly if they kept it up.
    Women were not part of the polity, of course they weren’t, but they had their essential and respected function: to bear the next generation. For this they were respected and, I am sure, loved in due measure.

    Women are very lovable after all, particularly when they fulfil their natural role, which, be it emphasised, does not include politics.

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  44. LW reminds me of Buzz Bissinger. The revulsion factor for Bissinger who wrote about high school football players being an order of magnitude higher. (#@! (((Bissinger))) had locker room access for crying out loud)

    https://goo.gl/images/6C3AWc

    Any LW 6 figure shopping sprees stories floating around?

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  45. Vinteuil says:
    @Anonymous
    Regarding Michael Kinsley, I remember Kinsley when he served as interlocutor on Bill Buckley's old "Firing Line" show and always considered him a leftist who at least had his head screwed on reasonably tight and who didn't suffer fools gladly i.e. though he himself graduated Harvard Law School, he found lawyers--particularly trial lawyers--loathsome. On more than one occasion when he co-hosted CNN's
    "Crossfire" he would wind up agreeing (more or less) with his opposite number (usually Pat Buchanan). There were rumors that Kinsley was a bit light in the loafers but he did date Mo Dowd and wound up getting married so...

    “There were rumors that Kinsley was a bit light in the loafers but he did date Mo Dowd and wound up getting married so…”

    A friend once asked Andrew Sullivan: is Kinsley gay? Sullivan’s reply: well, obviously, of course – but he doesn’t know it.

    FWIW

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  46. syonredux says:
    @slumber_j
    Gore Vidal always struck me as another key member of the He-Man Woman Haters Club. But of course he wasn't homosexual, according to him.

    Gore Vidal always struck me as another key member of the He-Man Woman Haters Club. But of course he wasn’t homosexual, according to him.

    According to Gore, kissing is “girly.”

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    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    According to Gore, kissing is “girly.”
     
    As opposed to that other Gore (no known relation), famous for (besides inventing the Internet) kissing his girly.

    I will, however, give him credit for defending the Electoral College at just the right moment.

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  47. @Jake
    I think that perhaps if you read my previous comment and think of it that way, the notion will make more sense to you.

    I don't see Golden Age Athens as a gay male culture. It was a culture that had degenerated into pederasty as the social norm. But adult men who had sex only with other males of any age? They were widespread objects of mirth even there and then.

    Today's male homosexuals are very rarely 'girl-despising.' They are male feminists.

    Duly noted.

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  48. syonredux says:
    @Almost Missouri

    "As cultural high-points go, Rome and Carolingian Europe are not equal to Golden Age Athens."
     
    Probably nothing has ever equaled ancient Athens, but that doesn't mean there were not other high points as well. Only one mountain is as tall as Everest. That doesn't mean there are no other mountains.

    "The Italian Renaissance was fairly Gay (Leonardo, Michelangelo, etc)"
     
    Not sure who, if anyone, is lurking behind that "etc", but Leonardo's supposed gayness comes down to a solitary arrest record in a gang of offending youths in the company of a male prostitute. Whatever it was about, the court dismissed it. However homosexual Michelangelo felt, he lived, according to his friend Condivi, like a chaste monk.

    "Leaving Benjamin Franklin to one side, Revolutionary War America was not an intellectual leader…"
     
    It was disparaged by contemporary Europeans, but time has shown that Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton, Jay, Paine and the rest have had a deep and still ongoing effect on political, legal and national thought, both in the English-speaking world and beyond. And there is no reason to leave Franklin to one side.

    Also, now that I'm thinking about it, I'm less willing even to concede the gayness of ancient Athens. This was the culture that launched the enormous Trojan War to recover fair Helen. And the culture that revered the epic of Odysseus traversing the wine-dark sea to return to Penelope and home where he would slay his wife's suitors (after pitstopping in nymph Calypso's bed for seven years). That doesn't really sound like "girl-despising homosexuality". By contrast, it is hard to imagine Marty Peretz slaying his wife's suitors, or even noticing if she has any.

    Admittedly, by the time, place and social class of Socrates's circle, there did seem to be a lot of gayness about, but that may have been more a symptom of Greece's incipient decadence and decline, rather than a hard-wired feature of Greek culture or a necessary component of Greek achievement.

    “As cultural high-points go, Rome and Carolingian Europe are not equal to Golden Age Athens.”

    Probably nothing has ever equaled ancient Athens, but that doesn’t mean there were not other high points as well. Only one mountain is as tall as Everest. That doesn’t mean there are no other mountains.

    In terms of intellectual achievement, Rome and Carolingian Europe are foothills; ancient Athens and Renaissance Europe are towering Alpine peaks.

    The Italian Renaissance was fairly Gay (Leonardo, Michelangelo, etc)”

    Not sure who, if anyone, is lurking behind that “etc”,

    The sexuality of lots of key figures in 15th and 16th century Italy is rather debatable. To name another figure, there’s Caravaggio…

    but Leonardo’s supposed gayness comes down to a solitary arrest record in a gang of offending youths in the company of a male prostitute. Whatever it was about, the court dismissed it.

    You really think that Leonardo was 100% hetero?

    However homosexual Michelangelo felt, he lived, according to his friend Condivi, like a chaste monk.

    A chaste gay monk.

    Leaving Benjamin Franklin to one side, Revolutionary War America was not an intellectual leader…”

    It was disparaged by contemporary Europeans, but time has shown that Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton, Jay, Paine and the rest have had a deep and still ongoing effect on political, legal and national thought, both in the English-speaking world and beyond.

    In terms of intellectual achievement, they were followers, not leaders.

    And there is no reason to leave Franklin to one side.

    Sure there is. Franklin stands apart from people like Madison and Jefferson. Unlike them, he was an innovator.

    Also, now that I’m thinking about it, I’m less willing even to concede the gayness of ancient Athens. This was the culture that launched the enormous Trojan War to recover fair Helen.

    The Iliad was composed in the 8th century BC, not in Classical Athens….

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    • Replies: @Almost Missouri

    "In terms of intellectual achievement, Rome and Carolingian Europe are foothills; ancient Athens and Renaissance Europe are towering Alpine peaks."
     
    Ancient Greece was indeed a towering peak, but as described earlier, less gay than current fashion admits. Renaissance Italy was a towering peak in painting and sculpture. In other fields, less so.

    "To name another figure, there’s Caravaggio"
     
    Married and whore-keeping Caravaggio may have swung both ways, but then I would call him Mannerist rather than Renaissance.

    "You really think that Leonardo was 100% hetero?"
     
    I think he wasn't grossly erotic at all. Exhibit A: his art.


    However homosexual Michelangelo felt, he lived, according to his friend Condivi, like a chaste monk.
     
    A chaste gay monk.
     
    If a gay tree falls in the forest and no one gets poked, is it really gay?

    "In terms of intellectual achievement, they were followers, not leaders."
     
    Says you. Statesmen, scholars and jurists the world over say otherwise.

    "The Iliad was composed in the 8th century BC, not in Classical Athens."
     
    Yes, but the point is the Iliad and Odyssey were revered in classical Athens.

    And since we're on the subject, the greatest Greek of all, indeed arguably the man with the greatest achievements of all time, whose achievement may have equaled that of all other Greeks combined, was Aristotle: married, widowed, married again, asked to be buried with his wife. His romantic life seems as unremarkable as any mid-century middle American. Not gay.

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  49. Daniel H says:
    @Anon
    Somewhat OT: I have come to the conclusion that magazines start appointing female editors, especially those of color, right at that point when it's become apparent the magazine is failing and needs to be shut down. When the magazine goes under, the new editor is supposed to deflect criticism because of her race/gender, and distract attention away from the previous editor who inflicted most of the actual damage.

    >>Somewhat OT: I have come to the conclusion that magazines start appointing female editors, especially those of color, right at that point when it’s become apparent the magazine is failing and needs to be shut down.

    Case in point: Vanity Fair. The editor Graydon Carter was being paid $5 million per year! For what? choosing what celebrity fawning or dissing articles should be printed each month, on very expensively produced, printed and distributed glossy paper. The new editor – an exotic Indian/White/Brit hybrid will be paid $500,000. Still way too much for a publication that will likely exist solely as a web page in 5-10 years.

    Magazine/Newspaper publishers still haven’t gotten it into their heads what business they are in. They are not in the business of investigative journalism, political/social opinion, literary essays, cultural tastemakers, celebrity profiles. They are in the business of transmitting advertising campaigns. That is it. Advertising pays the bills and returns the profit on capital invested. Craigslist is a more valuable franchise than all the newspapers and magazine in the US combined.

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    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob

    Craigslist is a more valuable franchise than all the newspapers and magazine in the US combined.
     
    Agree completely.
    , @Brutusale
    As Dan Jenkins writes in You Gotta Play Hurt, his columnist protagonist has a disagreement with the publisher about his literary license. The publisher tells the writer that he doesn't write for SM, he writes for Marlboro cigarettes and J&B scotch (the alternating ads on the back page facing the writer's column), and he's free to write what he wants as long as Marlboro and J&B don't have a problem with what he wrote.

    Jenkins has had a 50-year career as a magazine columnist. At age 87 he's listed as a contributing writer.
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  50. Daniel H says:
    @CDN
    Gay men say they love women, but almost always hate them at their core. They see them as competition for attention, especially the attention of powerful straight men, which is ironically very important for gay men. Peretz just doesn't bother with pretense.

    >>Gay men say they love women, but almost always hate them at their core

    I believe this to be true in many (most cases?). You hear it in the cutting comments that gays make about the appearance of women when the girls aren’t around. And gays have a real repulsion towards female genitalia. The very thought of it nauseates many gays. They project defense by mocking and making horrifically rude comments about women’s genitalia.

    I once worked in a small office and we had an aggressive gay on staff. We had to expand and rented an adjoining office where the gay and one of the women had to work together, alone in the office. At the end of the first day the lady demanded of the boss that she be removed from working with the gay. He said something – which she refused to repeat – that should could not bear to be in the same room with him. Strange.

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  51. @Johnny24
    It varied from civilization to civilization. Some, like feudal Japan and classical Persia, had open Grecian/Florence style institutionalized homosexuality between older and younger men, that openly held the idea that real masculine men found love with other men and used women for breeding. Others, like ancient Rome, had a libertarian sort of attitude toward it: it was expected that free Roman citizens would take lovers of both genders, but they were to *strictly* be the active/dominant partner. To be submissive was considered the ultimate shame, hence its regular use of political slander. Julius Caesar was forever dogged by rumors that he played the passive role in a relationship with an Eastern King when he was in his early 20s. And heaven forbid that you actually fall in love with your passive partner, as Sulla and Hadrian did.

    (Insert Gibbon's remark here about Claudius being the only emperor who was 100% heterosexual. You also had guys like Trajan and Hadrian who probably were 100% homosexual. Most fell in between.)

    As a general example, the general social attitude in much of old time Asia was that as long as an adult man took a wife and created a stable family unit, what he did sexually beyond that was up to his own inclinations, provided that you didn't break social norms (dressing up like a woman would have been a non-starter, even for teenage boys/younger men in the passive role in the relationship). Note that this wasn't optional: regardless of whether you liked girls or not, you were expected to do your duty to the state/race and pop out some heirs. The social emphasis on that could not have been blunter. But beyond that? You had predominantly gay scholars, gay warriors, and gay emperors (google "the pleasure of the cut sleeve"-Emperor Ai of the Han Dynasty), and it was considered normal for men to try out both and see which they liked better.

    And female sexuality was considered to be of so little consequence/social worth that nobody bothered to write about it much, hence the lack of records about lesbianism.

    > The other recent outbreak of girl-despising homosexuality, early Nazi Germany and its rubbishing of cosmopolitan Central European achievement, doesn’t look to me like a cultural high point either.

    It long predated the Nazis and stretched back to the Wilhelmine period, where Germany produced more Nobel Prizes than all the other advanced nations combined. Victorian Britain, too, had something of a "female despising" homosexuality that ran rampant among young men in the upper classes. It also served a practical outlet: if you wanted to have fun before marriage, and you wanted to do it with a social equal who you could do other stuff with...

    In “Brideshead Revisited” an old Italian lady of the world says that in her observation watching rich young people come through Venice, “romantic friendships” seem to be a British and German thing, not a French or Italian thing.

    The Brits and German education systems idolized Greece, the French and Italian idolized Rome.

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    • Replies: @Vinteuil
    Hey, Cara isn't old - she's a middle aged, but still beautiful & worldly wise companion to the elderly Lord Marchmain. She gently warns Charles Ryder against pursuing his ongoing infatuation with Sebastian.

    It was a great scene in a great series - and very faithful to Waugh's book.
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  52. Vinteuil says:

    “Marty’s type of masculinity-worshipping gay man has been of outsized importance in the role of impresario. I suspect that the dirty little secret of cultural history is that humanity’s cultural high points (e.g., ancient Athens) tend to coincide with Marty’s kind of girl-despising homosexuality.”

    A couple of other relevant data points:

    (1) The impresario to end all impresarios: Sergei Diaghilev. Fostered the careers of Nijinsky, Stravinsky, Balanchine – the roll call is really quite amazing.

    (2) Almost all of the American composers with any claim to greatness: Aaron Copland, Samuel Barber…the only big exception is Charles Ives.

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  53. Vinteuil says:
    @Steve Sailer
    In "Brideshead Revisited" an old Italian lady of the world says that in her observation watching rich young people come through Venice, "romantic friendships" seem to be a British and German thing, not a French or Italian thing.

    The Brits and German education systems idolized Greece, the French and Italian idolized Rome.

    Hey, Cara isn’t old – she’s a middle aged, but still beautiful & worldly wise companion to the elderly Lord Marchmain. She gently warns Charles Ryder against pursuing his ongoing infatuation with Sebastian.

    It was a great scene in a great series – and very faithful to Waugh’s book.

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    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
    A great series indeed - but for the sad fact that both of the principles were too old for their roles.
    The best performance? Gielgud's; he plays Ryder's father to perfection.

    Someone should write a book about Waugh's love affair with fathers, and old men in general. They are uniformly his best creations.

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  54. There are no great American composers.

    All of the truly great composers were heterosexual, Peter Ilyich not being the exception, by which I do indeed mean that he was not one of the true greats.

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    • Replies: @Vinteuil
    OK, OPA, let's set aside, for the moment, *Appalachian Spring* and *Knoxville: Summer of 1915*. You're denying the greatness of this:

    https://youtu.be/rwBjok3YdnI

    I beg to differ.
    , @Vinteuil
    People get Tchaikovsky all wrong. They judge him by noisy, crowd-pleasing stuff like the 1812 Overture & the 1st Piano Concerto. They don't know about Eugene Onegin and the Serenade for Strings.
    , @syonredux

    There are no great American composers.
     
    The Anglosphere is notoriously weak when it comes to music. Even the best Brits and Americans don't come near the Germanosphere....
    , @rg
    Morton Feldman was great.
    , @inertial
    Tchaikovsky is great.

    Your rule is not broken though, as there is zero evidence that he had been homosexual. Rather , he was a heterosexual guy with fairly typical Victorian-era hangups about sexuality. Like for example he'd visit brothel and then feel dirty and depressed for weeks.
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  55. @Vinteuil
    Hey, Cara isn't old - she's a middle aged, but still beautiful & worldly wise companion to the elderly Lord Marchmain. She gently warns Charles Ryder against pursuing his ongoing infatuation with Sebastian.

    It was a great scene in a great series - and very faithful to Waugh's book.

    A great series indeed – but for the sad fact that both of the principles were too old for their roles.
    The best performance? Gielgud’s; he plays Ryder’s father to perfection.

    Someone should write a book about Waugh’s love affair with fathers, and old men in general. They are uniformly his best creations.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    I will never forget Gielgud in that role, with his characteristically veiled sarcasm -- "It must be boring for you here....how else could it be otherwise?"

    "principals" BTW

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  56. Vinteuil says:
    @Old Palo Altan
    There are no great American composers.

    All of the truly great composers were heterosexual, Peter Ilyich not being the exception, by which I do indeed mean that he was not one of the true greats.

    OK, OPA, let’s set aside, for the moment, *Appalachian Spring* and *Knoxville: Summer of 1915*. You’re denying the greatness of this:

    I beg to differ.

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    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
    I'm afraid I've no time for anything by Copeland, but I would not wish to be though a belittler of either Barber or the obviously greater Tchaikovsky.
    My point was not that they did not at times reach a very high level indeed, but that the occasional work which might fairly be called great (a level which I think only Tchaikovsky of the three under discussion ever reached) does not automatically entitle the composer himself to that title.
    More is needed than two, three or even a dozen works of abiding quality: the entire opus (juvenilia excepted) must breath a constant exalted inspiration which is instantly recognised by the cognoscenti as deserving of the word "genius". Brahms, for example, when heard for the first time by Schumann.
    Monteverdi, Bach, Handel, Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Brahms, Wagner. I would add a few more of my own favourites; you, a few of yours; let us admit that there is room beneath the supreme level for amicable disagreement.
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  57. @CDN
    Gay men say they love women, but almost always hate them at their core. They see them as competition for attention, especially the attention of powerful straight men, which is ironically very important for gay men. Peretz just doesn't bother with pretense.

    They see them as competition for attention, especially the attention of powerful straight men, which is ironically very important for gay men.

    My experience has been that if I can somehow fool at least some of the women in the room into being attracted to me (presenting myself as straight or ambiguous, but not as gay), I’ll automatically win access to every gay guy there – even if they appear to be out of my league.

    If a man is attractive to women, that’s about as strong a validation of his masculinity as he can get, and I think authentic masculinity is what most gay men are really attracted to rather than “straightness” per se.

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  58. J.Ross says: • Website

    My impression is that Peretz’s type of misogynistic youth-worshipping homosexual is fairly rare. Generally, male homosexuals and women get along pretty well, so the Peretz-type who considers women of zero interest is rather unusual.

    Brion Gysin (William Burroughs’ muse) was once so desperate to avoid chatting with an Italian noblewoman who lived near his North African manpad that he twisted an ankle.

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  59. Vinteuil says:
    @Old Palo Altan
    There are no great American composers.

    All of the truly great composers were heterosexual, Peter Ilyich not being the exception, by which I do indeed mean that he was not one of the true greats.

    People get Tchaikovsky all wrong. They judge him by noisy, crowd-pleasing stuff like the 1812 Overture & the 1st Piano Concerto. They don’t know about Eugene Onegin and the Serenade for Strings.

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    • Replies: @Baythoven
    "People get Tchaikovsky all wrong. They judge him by noisy, crowd-pleasing stuff like the 1812 Overture & the 1st Piano Concerto. They don’t know about Eugene Onegin and the Serenade for Strings."

    Late Tchaikovsky is the best. His 3rd Piano Concerto (only the 1st movt. completed) is terrific. His Hamlet Overture is even better than his Romeo and Juliet. Much as I like Eugene Onegin, I definitely prefer The Queen of Spades. (And Yolanta is woefully neglected.) Nutcracker is his best ballet, though mainly on the strength of Act One.
    , @Old Palo Altan
    I listened to a great deal of Peter Ilyich until I turned 20, and then suddenly lost all interest, and have only lately regained a real admiration for quite a few of his works, including those you mention above. Iolanta too is wonderful; if played with understanding and not just as a vehicle for the dancers, so also is Swan Lake, the last act in particular.
    It is not impossible, in other words, to love a composer without insisting that he is one of the all time greats.
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  60. syonredux says:
    @Old Palo Altan
    There are no great American composers.

    All of the truly great composers were heterosexual, Peter Ilyich not being the exception, by which I do indeed mean that he was not one of the true greats.

    There are no great American composers.

    The Anglosphere is notoriously weak when it comes to music. Even the best Brits and Americans don’t come near the Germanosphere….

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    • Agree: Almost Missouri
    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    The Anglosphere is notoriously weak when it comes to music.
     
    Only if you are one of those who thinks short forms are inherently frivolous.

    Composing music is like composing prose. It takes more time and effort to write small and tight than to be windy. Beethoven's Fifth is just endless variations on a riff. I'm more impressed by the twelve-tone bridge of One Note Samba.

    The English are good at folk songs, Christmas carols (religious and secular), music hall, and, for awhile, rock-and-roll, which is pretty hard to write well. But if you judge music like supermarket novels, by volume and net weight, then of course you won't be impressed.
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  61. @Johnny24
    It varied from civilization to civilization. Some, like feudal Japan and classical Persia, had open Grecian/Florence style institutionalized homosexuality between older and younger men, that openly held the idea that real masculine men found love with other men and used women for breeding. Others, like ancient Rome, had a libertarian sort of attitude toward it: it was expected that free Roman citizens would take lovers of both genders, but they were to *strictly* be the active/dominant partner. To be submissive was considered the ultimate shame, hence its regular use of political slander. Julius Caesar was forever dogged by rumors that he played the passive role in a relationship with an Eastern King when he was in his early 20s. And heaven forbid that you actually fall in love with your passive partner, as Sulla and Hadrian did.

    (Insert Gibbon's remark here about Claudius being the only emperor who was 100% heterosexual. You also had guys like Trajan and Hadrian who probably were 100% homosexual. Most fell in between.)

    As a general example, the general social attitude in much of old time Asia was that as long as an adult man took a wife and created a stable family unit, what he did sexually beyond that was up to his own inclinations, provided that you didn't break social norms (dressing up like a woman would have been a non-starter, even for teenage boys/younger men in the passive role in the relationship). Note that this wasn't optional: regardless of whether you liked girls or not, you were expected to do your duty to the state/race and pop out some heirs. The social emphasis on that could not have been blunter. But beyond that? You had predominantly gay scholars, gay warriors, and gay emperors (google "the pleasure of the cut sleeve"-Emperor Ai of the Han Dynasty), and it was considered normal for men to try out both and see which they liked better.

    And female sexuality was considered to be of so little consequence/social worth that nobody bothered to write about it much, hence the lack of records about lesbianism.

    > The other recent outbreak of girl-despising homosexuality, early Nazi Germany and its rubbishing of cosmopolitan Central European achievement, doesn’t look to me like a cultural high point either.

    It long predated the Nazis and stretched back to the Wilhelmine period, where Germany produced more Nobel Prizes than all the other advanced nations combined. Victorian Britain, too, had something of a "female despising" homosexuality that ran rampant among young men in the upper classes. It also served a practical outlet: if you wanted to have fun before marriage, and you wanted to do it with a social equal who you could do other stuff with...

    Well said. Thanks

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  62. @Daniel H
    >>Somewhat OT: I have come to the conclusion that magazines start appointing female editors, especially those of color, right at that point when it’s become apparent the magazine is failing and needs to be shut down.

    Case in point: Vanity Fair. The editor Graydon Carter was being paid $5 million per year! For what? choosing what celebrity fawning or dissing articles should be printed each month, on very expensively produced, printed and distributed glossy paper. The new editor - an exotic Indian/White/Brit hybrid will be paid $500,000. Still way too much for a publication that will likely exist solely as a web page in 5-10 years.

    Magazine/Newspaper publishers still haven't gotten it into their heads what business they are in. They are not in the business of investigative journalism, political/social opinion, literary essays, cultural tastemakers, celebrity profiles. They are in the business of transmitting advertising campaigns. That is it. Advertising pays the bills and returns the profit on capital invested. Craigslist is a more valuable franchise than all the newspapers and magazine in the US combined.

    Craigslist is a more valuable franchise than all the newspapers and magazine in the US combined.

    Agree completely.

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  63. Daniel H says:

    I wonder how much of what motivates Peretz is due to the fact that he did not attend Harvard as an undergraduate but second tier Brandeis. Though he did attend graduate school at Harvard and taught some classes there what really matters to a certain type is where he went as an undergraduate.

    And Peretz cannot blame anti-semitism that much for his exclusion from Harvard because by the late 50s there were plenty of Jews attending Harvard. Envy can be a powerful, motivating force, be it constructive or destructive.

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  64. Baythoven says:

    “All of the truly great composers were heterosexual, Peter Ilyich not being the exception, by which I do indeed mean that he was not one of the true greats.”

    Handel, one of the greatest, was probably homosexual.

    Tchaikovsky is perennially beloved, though in recent times unfairly disparaged by some. By contrast, the other known gay classic composer, Schubert, has been enjoying high acclaim by the “cognoscenti” in recent decades. In short, I think Tchaikovsky is underrated, Schubert overrated.
    But it’s nothing new for composers and their works to go through swings of attention and neglect. Returning to Handel…As his operas continue to gain in popularity, performances of his oratorios seem to be declining.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Almost Missouri

    "the other known gay classic composer, Schubert"
     
    Aargh! It's like everybody-was-secretly-gay-whack-a-mole.

    I don't think there is any evidence that Schubert was anything but a shy introvert. He took a romantic interest in Therese Grob but hadn't the means required for marriage, so he remained a bachelor. The fact that he didn't marry and had no other known romantic attachments has been seized upon by the fagtivists to to make Schubert into a fake gay icon. When does the madness stop?
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  65. Baythoven says:
    @Vinteuil
    People get Tchaikovsky all wrong. They judge him by noisy, crowd-pleasing stuff like the 1812 Overture & the 1st Piano Concerto. They don't know about Eugene Onegin and the Serenade for Strings.

    “People get Tchaikovsky all wrong. They judge him by noisy, crowd-pleasing stuff like the 1812 Overture & the 1st Piano Concerto. They don’t know about Eugene Onegin and the Serenade for Strings.”

    Late Tchaikovsky is the best. His 3rd Piano Concerto (only the 1st movt. completed) is terrific. His Hamlet Overture is even better than his Romeo and Juliet. Much as I like Eugene Onegin, I definitely prefer The Queen of Spades. (And Yolanta is woefully neglected.) Nutcracker is his best ballet, though mainly on the strength of Act One.

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  66. @syonredux

    Gore Vidal always struck me as another key member of the He-Man Woman Haters Club. But of course he wasn’t homosexual, according to him.
     
    According to Gore, kissing is "girly."

    According to Gore, kissing is “girly.”

    As opposed to that other Gore (no known relation), famous for (besides inventing the Internet) kissing his girly.

    I will, however, give him credit for defending the Electoral College at just the right moment.

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    • Replies: @Polearm
    I believe they actually are related — second cousins or something like that.
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  67. @syonredux

    There are no great American composers.
     
    The Anglosphere is notoriously weak when it comes to music. Even the best Brits and Americans don't come near the Germanosphere....

    The Anglosphere is notoriously weak when it comes to music.

    Only if you are one of those who thinks short forms are inherently frivolous.

    Composing music is like composing prose. It takes more time and effort to write small and tight than to be windy. Beethoven’s Fifth is just endless variations on a riff. I’m more impressed by the twelve-tone bridge of One Note Samba.

    The English are good at folk songs, Christmas carols (religious and secular), music hall, and, for awhile, rock-and-roll, which is pretty hard to write well. But if you judge music like supermarket novels, by volume and net weight, then of course you won’t be impressed.

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux

    Only if you are one of those who thinks short forms are inherently frivolous.



    Composing music is like composing prose. It takes more time and effort to write small and tight than to be windy. Beethoven’s Fifth is just endless variations on a riff. I’m more impressed by the twelve-tone bridge of One Note Samba.

    The English are good at folk songs, Christmas carols (religious and secular), music hall, and, for awhile, rock-and-roll, which is pretty hard to write well.
     
    Hey, I'm a patriotic Anglo; I adore the Anglo musical traditions, from folk-song to Broadway musicals....It just doesn't equal what the Germans have achieved....

    On the other hand, the Anglos have the Germans beat when it comes to many forms of literature: the novel, the short story, and drama.

    But if you judge music like supermarket novels, by volume and net weight, then of course you won’t be impressed.
     
    Obviously, merit and length are not connected ( How does the quote from Callimachus go? "A big book is a big evil." ).And I would certainly much rather read the short stories of Hawthorne than the interminable novels of people like E.D.E.N. Southworth.....
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  68. Polearm says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    According to Gore, kissing is “girly.”
     
    As opposed to that other Gore (no known relation), famous for (besides inventing the Internet) kissing his girly.

    I will, however, give him credit for defending the Electoral College at just the right moment.

    I believe they actually are related — second cousins or something like that.

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    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    I believe they actually are related — second cousins or something like that.
     
    Maybe more like tenth or twelfth. Via the old country. Their Gore lines go back to early Virginia, but don't connect on this side of the Pond.
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  69. @Anonymouse
    I had first-hand acquaintanceship with Marty Peretz. He swam in a social circle above me, a first year graduate student at Harvard. He was teaching at Brandeis at that time. He took me up briefly as a guy he wanted to hang out with or rather do stuff with which happened at least once when he took me to a AFTER-HOURS downtown Boston restaurant with cops and louche others, this is after 2am cutoff of legally served alcohol in Boston. Wine was on the tables in club-soda bottles. It was an interesting experience. I pulled back from his friendship because he wanted me to share his jewish self-hating thoughts expressed in deprecating NYC-type jews. I had enuf of that back in NYC. Not something I meant to bring along with me to Cambridge.

    Gay? You're talking about a very controlled personality, very industrious, very bright. Looking at current pictures of the man, I recall him as comfortable in his body, obviously aware that he had a degree of presence. I heard later that he had married an heiress. Looking at pictures of myself back then, I recognize that I was far more handsome than I realized at that time. I have to admit that my gay-dar was not turned on or that I even had any gay-dar. The role of suppressed eros in modern male friendships is not to be belied.

    He swam in a social circle above me, a first year graduate student at Harvard. He was teaching at Brandeis at that time.

    How much prestige is there in teaching at, or holding a BA from, a school that’s ten years younger than you?

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  70. By Walter Kirn

    Talk about unusual upbringings, this is the only store in Kirn’s hometown:

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  71. @Polearm
    I believe they actually are related — second cousins or something like that.

    I believe they actually are related — second cousins or something like that.

    Maybe more like tenth or twelfth. Via the old country. Their Gore lines go back to early Virginia, but don’t connect on this side of the Pond.

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  72. Harold says:

    ‘I don’t like you using that word hotbed

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  73. @Luke Lea
    "I suspect that the dirty little secret of cultural history is that humanity’s cultural high points (e.g., ancient Athens) tend to coincide with Marty’s kind of girl-despising homosexuality."

    Would that apply to the Italian Renaissance?

    According to Raymond Chandler in The Long Goodbye, yes.

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  74. @Veracitor
    Sir Clements Markham, President of the (British) Royal Geographical Society for twelve years in the early 1900's, was a closet homosexual who cultivated many attractive young men. He was smitten with the notable good looks and physical strength of Robert Falcon Scott and sponsored Scott assiduously to command two RGS expeditions to Antarctica and the South Pole, despite the unsatisfactory performance of the first-- and leading to the disasters of the second (including the miserable deaths of Scott and his companions). Scott himself seems to have been heterosexual, though not very sexually aggressive, but he was a skillful flatterer who rewarded, though perhaps not reciprocating, Markham's affection for him.

    Out of imperial sentiment, Scott's failings were glossed over for decades despite the dreadful achievements of the expeditions he led.

    Markham did a lot more, of course, than sponsor Scott. He promoted other young men, in many cases with happy results, and he wrote a lot-- though Markham's writings and translations are now considered unreliable by other historians and scholars.

    That’s pretty interesting about the much romanticized British South Pole expedition.

    It seems like British culture had an obsession with the gay poet AE Housman’s 1896 poem “To An Athlete Dying Young” with Scott of the Antarctic and later Mallory of Everest seen as real life avatars, along with a number of poets who died young in WWII.

    Maybe Alan Turing has come to be fitted into this model.

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    • Replies: @JMcG
    Should you find yourself looking for a good read, pick up a copy of “Into the Silence” by Wade Davis. It tells the story of Leigh-Mallory from his service in the Great War through his disappearance on Everest. I did some mountaineering in my younger days and I was completely amazed at the description of the early Himalayan expeditions. They were truly a tougher breed of men.
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  75. rg says:
    @Old Palo Altan
    There are no great American composers.

    All of the truly great composers were heterosexual, Peter Ilyich not being the exception, by which I do indeed mean that he was not one of the true greats.

    Morton Feldman was great.

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  76. Romanian says: • Website
    @Logan
    I suspect that the dirty little secret of cultural history is that humanity’s cultural high points (e.g., ancient Athens) tend to coincide with Marty’s kind of girl-despising homosexuality. (This is not a popular opinion on any side at present.)

    I also do not like the idea, but suspect there's a good deal of truth to it.

    A lot of Christians and other conservatives use the horrible examples of Greece and Rome to illustrate how tolerance for homosexuality leads directly to civilizational collapse.

    Sadly for this idea, the height of both civilizations also coincided with the height of their open homosexuality. Their decline of both took place in periods of increasing interest in heterosexuality and even drastic punishment of homosexuality. Under the later Roman Empire it was a capital crime.

    But I think the two ideas are not mutually exclusive. Being plugged directly into the cultural output of the West now, you experience not only the good bits but also the bad. However, we get a heavily curated version of the Greek cultural products which has withstood the test of time. It is the same for the Renaissance, for Elisabethan England, for Victorian England etc. Who is to say that it will not be the same for the US or the West in a few hundred year once the dross we are swimming in has been filtered out? There are extraordinary things being done also culturally by this civilization of technologists. For instance, gaming as a storytelling and aesthetic medium that is the least infected by PC bs by being the newest and the most heavily hetero male such medium. Gamergate was a frontal assault on this bastion. You complain about the BS that is modern art, but, far away from the “art as having price but not value” environment that we despise, some great art is being created and shared for free online or as a backdrop to videogames, movies etc.

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  77. @Johnny24
    It varied from civilization to civilization. Some, like feudal Japan and classical Persia, had open Grecian/Florence style institutionalized homosexuality between older and younger men, that openly held the idea that real masculine men found love with other men and used women for breeding. Others, like ancient Rome, had a libertarian sort of attitude toward it: it was expected that free Roman citizens would take lovers of both genders, but they were to *strictly* be the active/dominant partner. To be submissive was considered the ultimate shame, hence its regular use of political slander. Julius Caesar was forever dogged by rumors that he played the passive role in a relationship with an Eastern King when he was in his early 20s. And heaven forbid that you actually fall in love with your passive partner, as Sulla and Hadrian did.

    (Insert Gibbon's remark here about Claudius being the only emperor who was 100% heterosexual. You also had guys like Trajan and Hadrian who probably were 100% homosexual. Most fell in between.)

    As a general example, the general social attitude in much of old time Asia was that as long as an adult man took a wife and created a stable family unit, what he did sexually beyond that was up to his own inclinations, provided that you didn't break social norms (dressing up like a woman would have been a non-starter, even for teenage boys/younger men in the passive role in the relationship). Note that this wasn't optional: regardless of whether you liked girls or not, you were expected to do your duty to the state/race and pop out some heirs. The social emphasis on that could not have been blunter. But beyond that? You had predominantly gay scholars, gay warriors, and gay emperors (google "the pleasure of the cut sleeve"-Emperor Ai of the Han Dynasty), and it was considered normal for men to try out both and see which they liked better.

    And female sexuality was considered to be of so little consequence/social worth that nobody bothered to write about it much, hence the lack of records about lesbianism.

    > The other recent outbreak of girl-despising homosexuality, early Nazi Germany and its rubbishing of cosmopolitan Central European achievement, doesn’t look to me like a cultural high point either.

    It long predated the Nazis and stretched back to the Wilhelmine period, where Germany produced more Nobel Prizes than all the other advanced nations combined. Victorian Britain, too, had something of a "female despising" homosexuality that ran rampant among young men in the upper classes. It also served a practical outlet: if you wanted to have fun before marriage, and you wanted to do it with a social equal who you could do other stuff with...

    Homo-history.

    Homosexuality is pretty rare–1-2% seems to be the ballpark. I consider myself as a pretty ordinary guy in most traits beyond “academic ability” or whatever you want to call it. I’ve been attracted to girls since I can remember and never had the slightest desire to stick my dick up some guy’s ass. (I wouldn’t do it even in prison.) And I don’t believe very many other normal guys ever do either. It’s just unnatural, and we aren’t wired up to want to do it.

    Now maybe Cochran is right and the gay germ was a lot more common “back then”, and there were homo-bubbles. I’m skeptical. I don’t believe renaissance Florence was full of fags. I can believe that various institutions have been infected with a homo-network now and again. (Like the sad goings on in the Catholic Church that fostered the “child abuse”–i.e. gay grooming–disaster.) That’s about it.

    All this “so-and-so was really gay” is just b.s. There are a lot of heterosexual guys who are not “ladies men”. In fact, that’s the norm. There’s a subset, who just aren’t naturally good socially–ergo with women. My dad–a farm boy and lifelong engineer–is like that. If my mom hadn’t decided he was “the best available” at Vinton High School in the mid-40s, he would have spent his life tinkering away as an engineer, which he’s still doing pushing 90–unless some other gal came along and locked him down. Einstein seems like the same sort of type. His scientific theorizing–rather than chasing girls–captured most of his time and abilities. Doesn’t make him gay, makes him a nerd. If we didn’t know about Einstein’s life i’m sure the fags would be claiming he was “not interested in women” and “a closet homosexual”.

    The nature of selection in civilized societies means that there are a lot of men with traits like “oriented to working on their stuff”–be it farming or mechanical arts or commercial endeavors–and are not necessarily romantic super-stars. (What civilization is supposed to do is get girls to marry those guys hence propagating precisely their civilization preserving “takes care of his stuff” genes.) Guys who obsess over their stuff–science, art, philosophy, politics–tend to be the ones who make advances and so are remembered by history. But that obsession over stuff as opposed to girl chasing does not make them gay.

    It certainly seems to be the case that in the sort of strong masculine environment you have in a rising civilization, a few homosexuals can find a space and chip in. Though their efforts tend to be flouncy artistic flourishes, rather than the scientific, technological, commercial or political advancement that moves a civilization forward.

    The bottom line is if homosexuality never reared its ugly head … it would never be missed and history would look much the same, just less “gay”.

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    • Agree: Almost Missouri
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Your screed is angry and this is telling. This observation probably angers you even more and this is even more telling.
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  78. Ben H says:

    So maybe the anti-sexism of people like Hannah Rosin and the rest is really their frustration at encountering intra-Jewish sexism at their jobs and, unable to do anything about it because of ethnic solidarity, externalize their frustration toward what they see as gentiles institutions?

    Makes sense. Jewish culture is far more patriarchal than those of us outside realize. These Jewish girls probably think everyone else has it as bad as they do.

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  79. Brutusale says:
    @Daniel H
    >>Somewhat OT: I have come to the conclusion that magazines start appointing female editors, especially those of color, right at that point when it’s become apparent the magazine is failing and needs to be shut down.

    Case in point: Vanity Fair. The editor Graydon Carter was being paid $5 million per year! For what? choosing what celebrity fawning or dissing articles should be printed each month, on very expensively produced, printed and distributed glossy paper. The new editor - an exotic Indian/White/Brit hybrid will be paid $500,000. Still way too much for a publication that will likely exist solely as a web page in 5-10 years.

    Magazine/Newspaper publishers still haven't gotten it into their heads what business they are in. They are not in the business of investigative journalism, political/social opinion, literary essays, cultural tastemakers, celebrity profiles. They are in the business of transmitting advertising campaigns. That is it. Advertising pays the bills and returns the profit on capital invested. Craigslist is a more valuable franchise than all the newspapers and magazine in the US combined.

    As Dan Jenkins writes in You Gotta Play Hurt, his columnist protagonist has a disagreement with the publisher about his literary license. The publisher tells the writer that he doesn’t write for SM, he writes for Marlboro cigarettes and J&B scotch (the alternating ads on the back page facing the writer’s column), and he’s free to write what he wants as long as Marlboro and J&B don’t have a problem with what he wrote.

    Jenkins has had a 50-year career as a magazine columnist. At age 87 he’s listed as a contributing writer.

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  80. syonredux says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    The Anglosphere is notoriously weak when it comes to music.
     
    Only if you are one of those who thinks short forms are inherently frivolous.

    Composing music is like composing prose. It takes more time and effort to write small and tight than to be windy. Beethoven's Fifth is just endless variations on a riff. I'm more impressed by the twelve-tone bridge of One Note Samba.

    The English are good at folk songs, Christmas carols (religious and secular), music hall, and, for awhile, rock-and-roll, which is pretty hard to write well. But if you judge music like supermarket novels, by volume and net weight, then of course you won't be impressed.

    Only if you are one of those who thinks short forms are inherently frivolous.

    Composing music is like composing prose. It takes more time and effort to write small and tight than to be windy. Beethoven’s Fifth is just endless variations on a riff. I’m more impressed by the twelve-tone bridge of One Note Samba.

    The English are good at folk songs, Christmas carols (religious and secular), music hall, and, for awhile, rock-and-roll, which is pretty hard to write well.

    Hey, I’m a patriotic Anglo; I adore the Anglo musical traditions, from folk-song to Broadway musicals….It just doesn’t equal what the Germans have achieved….

    On the other hand, the Anglos have the Germans beat when it comes to many forms of literature: the novel, the short story, and drama.

    But if you judge music like supermarket novels, by volume and net weight, then of course you won’t be impressed.

    Obviously, merit and length are not connected ( How does the quote from Callimachus go? “A big book is a big evil.” ).And I would certainly much rather read the short stories of Hawthorne than the interminable novels of people like E.D.E.N. Southworth…..

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  81. JMcG says:
    @Steve Sailer
    That's pretty interesting about the much romanticized British South Pole expedition.

    It seems like British culture had an obsession with the gay poet AE Housman's 1896 poem "To An Athlete Dying Young" with Scott of the Antarctic and later Mallory of Everest seen as real life avatars, along with a number of poets who died young in WWII.

    Maybe Alan Turing has come to be fitted into this model.

    Should you find yourself looking for a good read, pick up a copy of “Into the Silence” by Wade Davis. It tells the story of Leigh-Mallory from his service in the Great War through his disappearance on Everest. I did some mountaineering in my younger days and I was completely amazed at the description of the early Himalayan expeditions. They were truly a tougher breed of men.

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  82. @Vinteuil
    OK, OPA, let's set aside, for the moment, *Appalachian Spring* and *Knoxville: Summer of 1915*. You're denying the greatness of this:

    https://youtu.be/rwBjok3YdnI

    I beg to differ.

    I’m afraid I’ve no time for anything by Copeland, but I would not wish to be though a belittler of either Barber or the obviously greater Tchaikovsky.
    My point was not that they did not at times reach a very high level indeed, but that the occasional work which might fairly be called great (a level which I think only Tchaikovsky of the three under discussion ever reached) does not automatically entitle the composer himself to that title.
    More is needed than two, three or even a dozen works of abiding quality: the entire opus (juvenilia excepted) must breath a constant exalted inspiration which is instantly recognised by the cognoscenti as deserving of the word “genius”. Brahms, for example, when heard for the first time by Schumann.
    Monteverdi, Bach, Handel, Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Brahms, Wagner. I would add a few more of my own favourites; you, a few of yours; let us admit that there is room beneath the supreme level for amicable disagreement.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Just to be a tad argumentative, Stravinsky is clearly and by all serious accounts a musical genius of the first order but I think his reputation rests upon fewer than twelve great works. Just FWIW mind you.
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  83. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Old Palo Altan
    A great series indeed - but for the sad fact that both of the principles were too old for their roles.
    The best performance? Gielgud's; he plays Ryder's father to perfection.

    Someone should write a book about Waugh's love affair with fathers, and old men in general. They are uniformly his best creations.

    I will never forget Gielgud in that role, with his characteristically veiled sarcasm — “It must be boring for you here….how else could it be otherwise?”

    “principals” BTW

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    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
    Delighted that you agree about Gielgud.

    And ... oops! My eyes just aren't what they were (and too many hours in front of this damn machine are to blame).
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  84. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Kevin O'Keeffe

    I suspect that the dirty little secret of cultural history is that humanity’s cultural high points (e.g., ancient Athens) tend to coincide with Marty’s kind of girl-despising homosexuality. (This is not a popular opinion on any side at present.)
     
    I suspect you're correct. I also suspect I'd fit in great within such a milieu...except for that whole, pesky not-being-a-homosexual thing.

    As a good friend of mine once said “you’re only gay if you take it.” And I have known gay people who have no interest in the “posterior” to start with.

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  85. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @AnotherDad
    Homo-history.

    Homosexuality is pretty rare--1-2% seems to be the ballpark. I consider myself as a pretty ordinary guy in most traits beyond "academic ability" or whatever you want to call it. I've been attracted to girls since I can remember and never had the slightest desire to stick my dick up some guy's ass. (I wouldn't do it even in prison.) And I don't believe very many other normal guys ever do either. It's just unnatural, and we aren't wired up to want to do it.

    Now maybe Cochran is right and the gay germ was a lot more common "back then", and there were homo-bubbles. I'm skeptical. I don't believe renaissance Florence was full of fags. I can believe that various institutions have been infected with a homo-network now and again. (Like the sad goings on in the Catholic Church that fostered the "child abuse"--i.e. gay grooming--disaster.) That's about it.

    All this "so-and-so was really gay" is just b.s. There are a lot of heterosexual guys who are not "ladies men". In fact, that's the norm. There's a subset, who just aren't naturally good socially--ergo with women. My dad--a farm boy and lifelong engineer--is like that. If my mom hadn't decided he was "the best available" at Vinton High School in the mid-40s, he would have spent his life tinkering away as an engineer, which he's still doing pushing 90--unless some other gal came along and locked him down. Einstein seems like the same sort of type. His scientific theorizing--rather than chasing girls--captured most of his time and abilities. Doesn't make him gay, makes him a nerd. If we didn't know about Einstein's life i'm sure the fags would be claiming he was "not interested in women" and "a closet homosexual".

    The nature of selection in civilized societies means that there are a lot of men with traits like "oriented to working on their stuff"--be it farming or mechanical arts or commercial endeavors--and are not necessarily romantic super-stars. (What civilization is supposed to do is get girls to marry those guys hence propagating precisely their civilization preserving "takes care of his stuff" genes.) Guys who obsess over their stuff--science, art, philosophy, politics--tend to be the ones who make advances and so are remembered by history. But that obsession over stuff as opposed to girl chasing does not make them gay.

    It certainly seems to be the case that in the sort of strong masculine environment you have in a rising civilization, a few homosexuals can find a space and chip in. Though their efforts tend to be flouncy artistic flourishes, rather than the scientific, technological, commercial or political advancement that moves a civilization forward.

    The bottom line is if homosexuality never reared its ugly head ... it would never be missed and history would look much the same, just less "gay".

    Your screed is angry and this is telling. This observation probably angers you even more and this is even more telling.

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    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
    If you have an actual argument, I'll listen. If backhand ad hominem is all you got, then Zzzzzzzzz.
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  86. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Old Palo Altan
    I'm afraid I've no time for anything by Copeland, but I would not wish to be though a belittler of either Barber or the obviously greater Tchaikovsky.
    My point was not that they did not at times reach a very high level indeed, but that the occasional work which might fairly be called great (a level which I think only Tchaikovsky of the three under discussion ever reached) does not automatically entitle the composer himself to that title.
    More is needed than two, three or even a dozen works of abiding quality: the entire opus (juvenilia excepted) must breath a constant exalted inspiration which is instantly recognised by the cognoscenti as deserving of the word "genius". Brahms, for example, when heard for the first time by Schumann.
    Monteverdi, Bach, Handel, Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Brahms, Wagner. I would add a few more of my own favourites; you, a few of yours; let us admit that there is room beneath the supreme level for amicable disagreement.

    Just to be a tad argumentative, Stravinsky is clearly and by all serious accounts a musical genius of the first order but I think his reputation rests upon fewer than twelve great works. Just FWIW mind you.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    My guess is that WWI wrecked Stravinsky's momentum. He was on a terrific hot streak of Firebird, Petrushka, Rite of Spring with the Ballet Russes, doing big budget glamorous avant-gardes stuff, and then, suddenly, there was no opportunity or money for the kind of composing he'd been specializing in.
    , @Old Palo Altan
    Steve's reply to you strikes me as an insightful one.

    Funny thing about me and Stravinsky - I love his reactionary politics and deep Orthodox belief, but tend to react like the enraged French mob at the premiere of the Rite of Spring when I hear his music.
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  87. @Anonymous
    Just to be a tad argumentative, Stravinsky is clearly and by all serious accounts a musical genius of the first order but I think his reputation rests upon fewer than twelve great works. Just FWIW mind you.

    My guess is that WWI wrecked Stravinsky’s momentum. He was on a terrific hot streak of Firebird, Petrushka, Rite of Spring with the Ballet Russes, doing big budget glamorous avant-gardes stuff, and then, suddenly, there was no opportunity or money for the kind of composing he’d been specializing in.

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    • Replies: @Vinteuil
    "My guess is that WWI wrecked Stravinsky’s momentum."

    No.

    L'Histoire du soldat (1918)

    Les Noces (1920)

    Oedipus Rex (1927)

    Apollo (1928)

    Symphony of Psalms (1930)

    Violin Concerto (1931)

    Symphony in C (1940)

    Symphony in 3 Movements (1943)

    WWI didn't slow Stravinsky down, at all.
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  88. @Baythoven
    "All of the truly great composers were heterosexual, Peter Ilyich not being the exception, by which I do indeed mean that he was not one of the true greats."

    Handel, one of the greatest, was probably homosexual.

    Tchaikovsky is perennially beloved, though in recent times unfairly disparaged by some. By contrast, the other known gay classic composer, Schubert, has been enjoying high acclaim by the "cognoscenti" in recent decades. In short, I think Tchaikovsky is underrated, Schubert overrated.
    But it's nothing new for composers and their works to go through swings of attention and neglect. Returning to Handel...As his operas continue to gain in popularity, performances of his oratorios seem to be declining.

    “the other known gay classic composer, Schubert”

    Aargh! It’s like everybody-was-secretly-gay-whack-a-mole.

    I don’t think there is any evidence that Schubert was anything but a shy introvert. He took a romantic interest in Therese Grob but hadn’t the means required for marriage, so he remained a bachelor. The fact that he didn’t marry and had no other known romantic attachments has been seized upon by the fagtivists to to make Schubert into a fake gay icon. When does the madness stop?

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  89. inertial says:
    @Old Palo Altan
    There are no great American composers.

    All of the truly great composers were heterosexual, Peter Ilyich not being the exception, by which I do indeed mean that he was not one of the true greats.

    Tchaikovsky is great.

    Your rule is not broken though, as there is zero evidence that he had been homosexual. Rather , he was a heterosexual guy with fairly typical Victorian-era hangups about sexuality. Like for example he’d visit brothel and then feel dirty and depressed for weeks.

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  90. @syonredux

    “As cultural high-points go, Rome and Carolingian Europe are not equal to Golden Age Athens.”

    Probably nothing has ever equaled ancient Athens, but that doesn’t mean there were not other high points as well. Only one mountain is as tall as Everest. That doesn’t mean there are no other mountains.
     

    In terms of intellectual achievement, Rome and Carolingian Europe are foothills; ancient Athens and Renaissance Europe are towering Alpine peaks.

    The Italian Renaissance was fairly Gay (Leonardo, Michelangelo, etc)”

    Not sure who, if anyone, is lurking behind that “etc”,
     

    The sexuality of lots of key figures in 15th and 16th century Italy is rather debatable. To name another figure, there's Caravaggio...

    but Leonardo’s supposed gayness comes down to a solitary arrest record in a gang of offending youths in the company of a male prostitute. Whatever it was about, the court dismissed it.
     
    You really think that Leonardo was 100% hetero?

    However homosexual Michelangelo felt, he lived, according to his friend Condivi, like a chaste monk.
     
    A chaste gay monk.

    Leaving Benjamin Franklin to one side, Revolutionary War America was not an intellectual leader…”

    It was disparaged by contemporary Europeans, but time has shown that Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton, Jay, Paine and the rest have had a deep and still ongoing effect on political, legal and national thought, both in the English-speaking world and beyond.
     

    In terms of intellectual achievement, they were followers, not leaders.

    And there is no reason to leave Franklin to one side.
     
    Sure there is. Franklin stands apart from people like Madison and Jefferson. Unlike them, he was an innovator.

    Also, now that I’m thinking about it, I’m less willing even to concede the gayness of ancient Athens. This was the culture that launched the enormous Trojan War to recover fair Helen.
     
    The Iliad was composed in the 8th century BC, not in Classical Athens....

    “In terms of intellectual achievement, Rome and Carolingian Europe are foothills; ancient Athens and Renaissance Europe are towering Alpine peaks.”

    Ancient Greece was indeed a towering peak, but as described earlier, less gay than current fashion admits. Renaissance Italy was a towering peak in painting and sculpture. In other fields, less so.

    “To name another figure, there’s Caravaggio”

    Married and whore-keeping Caravaggio may have swung both ways, but then I would call him Mannerist rather than Renaissance.

    “You really think that Leonardo was 100% hetero?”

    I think he wasn’t grossly erotic at all. Exhibit A: his art.

    However homosexual Michelangelo felt, he lived, according to his friend Condivi, like a chaste monk.

    A chaste gay monk.

    If a gay tree falls in the forest and no one gets poked, is it really gay?

    “In terms of intellectual achievement, they were followers, not leaders.”

    Says you. Statesmen, scholars and jurists the world over say otherwise.

    “The Iliad was composed in the 8th century BC, not in Classical Athens.”

    Yes, but the point is the Iliad and Odyssey were revered in classical Athens.

    And since we’re on the subject, the greatest Greek of all, indeed arguably the man with the greatest achievements of all time, whose achievement may have equaled that of all other Greeks combined, was Aristotle: married, widowed, married again, asked to be buried with his wife. His romantic life seems as unremarkable as any mid-century middle American. Not gay.

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    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
    Anyhow, this whole everyone-important-was-gay meme relies on a bit of statistical sleight of hand.

    In any period, there is some amount of background gayness, some times more than others. Just showing that some gayness coincided with a period of unusual achievement hardly proves causation. After all, Afghanistan for example has had very elevated levels of gayness for a long time, yet this hasn't led to any great cultural achievement. Rather the opposite, I would say.

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  91. @Almost Missouri

    "In terms of intellectual achievement, Rome and Carolingian Europe are foothills; ancient Athens and Renaissance Europe are towering Alpine peaks."
     
    Ancient Greece was indeed a towering peak, but as described earlier, less gay than current fashion admits. Renaissance Italy was a towering peak in painting and sculpture. In other fields, less so.

    "To name another figure, there’s Caravaggio"
     
    Married and whore-keeping Caravaggio may have swung both ways, but then I would call him Mannerist rather than Renaissance.

    "You really think that Leonardo was 100% hetero?"
     
    I think he wasn't grossly erotic at all. Exhibit A: his art.


    However homosexual Michelangelo felt, he lived, according to his friend Condivi, like a chaste monk.
     
    A chaste gay monk.
     
    If a gay tree falls in the forest and no one gets poked, is it really gay?

    "In terms of intellectual achievement, they were followers, not leaders."
     
    Says you. Statesmen, scholars and jurists the world over say otherwise.

    "The Iliad was composed in the 8th century BC, not in Classical Athens."
     
    Yes, but the point is the Iliad and Odyssey were revered in classical Athens.

    And since we're on the subject, the greatest Greek of all, indeed arguably the man with the greatest achievements of all time, whose achievement may have equaled that of all other Greeks combined, was Aristotle: married, widowed, married again, asked to be buried with his wife. His romantic life seems as unremarkable as any mid-century middle American. Not gay.

    Anyhow, this whole everyone-important-was-gay meme relies on a bit of statistical sleight of hand.

    In any period, there is some amount of background gayness, some times more than others. Just showing that some gayness coincided with a period of unusual achievement hardly proves causation. After all, Afghanistan for example has had very elevated levels of gayness for a long time, yet this hasn’t led to any great cultural achievement. Rather the opposite, I would say.

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  92. @Anonymous
    Your screed is angry and this is telling. This observation probably angers you even more and this is even more telling.

    If you have an actual argument, I’ll listen. If backhand ad hominem is all you got, then Zzzzzzzzz.

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  93. @Anonymous
    Just to be a tad argumentative, Stravinsky is clearly and by all serious accounts a musical genius of the first order but I think his reputation rests upon fewer than twelve great works. Just FWIW mind you.

    Steve’s reply to you strikes me as an insightful one.

    Funny thing about me and Stravinsky – I love his reactionary politics and deep Orthodox belief, but tend to react like the enraged French mob at the premiere of the Rite of Spring when I hear his music.

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    • Replies: @Vinteuil
    "I love his reactionary politics and deep Orthodox belief, but tend to react like the enraged French mob at the premiere of the Rite of Spring when I hear his music."

    Are Leoš Janáček & Béla Bartók also outside your comfort zone?
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  94. @Anonymous
    I will never forget Gielgud in that role, with his characteristically veiled sarcasm -- "It must be boring for you here....how else could it be otherwise?"

    "principals" BTW

    Delighted that you agree about Gielgud.

    And … oops! My eyes just aren’t what they were (and too many hours in front of this damn machine are to blame).

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  95. Pedro says:
    @Almost Missouri

    "the dirty little secret of cultural history is that humanity’s cultural high points (e.g., ancient Athens) tend to coincide with Marty’s kind of girl-despising homosexuality."
     
    Do they? I'll give you ancient Athens, and maybe Abbasid Arabia, but shouldn't the other side of the column get late Republican Rome, Carolingian Europe, the Italian Renaissance, the Northern Renaissance, Revolutionary War America, the Enlightenment, Romanticism, whatever you call the the late 19th and early 20th century Western cultural innovation (and yes, I know its goodness is debatable, but it was undeniably prominent and consequential)?

    Maybe someone who knows more about them than I do can comment on Tokugawa Japan, Ming China, Mughul India, classical Persia, ancient Babylon and the many other high points I left out.

    To be sure, there is an unapologetic masculinity that links all those eras, but only in the above two exceptions does it become "girl-despising homosexuality" from what I can see. Indeed, those two exceptions may even be notably less masculine than the other high points.

    Also, turning the equation around, there is an awful lot of girl-despising homosexuality around nowadays, but I don't think future civilizations will look back at the The Current Year's manic Maoism and degeneracy as any kind of cultural high point. The other recent outbreak of girl-despising homosexuality, early Nazi Germany and its rubbishing of cosmopolitan Central European achievement, doesn't look to me like a cultural high point either.

    Do they? I’ll give you ancient Athens, and maybe Abbasid Arabia, but shouldn’t the other side of the column get late Republican Rome, Carolingian Europe, the Italian Renaissance, the Northern Renaissance, Revolutionary War America, the Enlightenment, Romanticism, whatever you call the the late 19th and early 20th century Western cultural innovation (and yes, I know its goodness is debatable, but it was undeniably prominent and consequential)?

    Unfortunately with the deadly hostility of christianity for homosexuality, people with these tendencies needed to hide their orientation. But homosexuality is independent of the historical moment or culture. I don’t think that occur more often in golden ages. Because homosexuality was always quite common, even in hostile environments, some homosexuals left clues about their lives.

    For example, the passionate for STEM subjects Leonardo and the frugal, stoic Michelangelo are good examples of masculine, indifferent to women homosexuals, from the Italian Renaissance. The germans Kurt von Steuben in the Revolutionary War America and Frederick the Great in Enlightenment were very war-like mysogynist pederasts. At the zenith of the British Empire, in the late 19th and early 20th century, Cecil Rhodes comes to mind.

    Maybe someone who knows more about them than I do can comment on Tokugawa Japan, Ming China, Mughul India, classical Persia, ancient Babylon and the many other high points I left out.

    In ancient Japan, homosexuality was structured in an incredibly analogous way to that of the ancient Greeks. In the Tokugawa period, the shogun responsible for the expulsion and massacre of Christians, Iemitsu Tokuwaga, was a man with strong homosexual urges.

    The Chinese people traditionally have been quite indifferent to this question. A historical period that had many homosexual emperors was in the Han dynasty, including its founder Gaozu of Han. The Han Dynasty was seminal in the history of China. Because this, people of the dominant ethnic group in Chine describes themselves as “Han people”.

    Among the Islamics, there was usually a lot of pederasty. In the specific case of the Mughal Empire, its founder Babur, assumed his lack of interest in his wife and homosexuality in his autobiography. Among the Persians it’s a bit confusing, because there are reports of acceptance, but Zoroastrianism reproved homosexuality. In Babylon, it had homosexual priests. The Babylonians believed that men who penetrated these priests were given good fortune.

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  96. Vinteuil says:
    @Steve Sailer
    My guess is that WWI wrecked Stravinsky's momentum. He was on a terrific hot streak of Firebird, Petrushka, Rite of Spring with the Ballet Russes, doing big budget glamorous avant-gardes stuff, and then, suddenly, there was no opportunity or money for the kind of composing he'd been specializing in.

    “My guess is that WWI wrecked Stravinsky’s momentum.”

    No.

    L’Histoire du soldat (1918)

    Les Noces (1920)

    Oedipus Rex (1927)

    Apollo (1928)

    Symphony of Psalms (1930)

    Violin Concerto (1931)

    Symphony in C (1940)

    Symphony in 3 Movements (1943)

    WWI didn’t slow Stravinsky down, at all.

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  97. Vinteuil says:
    @Old Palo Altan
    Steve's reply to you strikes me as an insightful one.

    Funny thing about me and Stravinsky - I love his reactionary politics and deep Orthodox belief, but tend to react like the enraged French mob at the premiere of the Rite of Spring when I hear his music.

    “I love his reactionary politics and deep Orthodox belief, but tend to react like the enraged French mob at the premiere of the Rite of Spring when I hear his music.”

    Are Leoš Janáček & Béla Bartók also outside your comfort zone?

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  98. My beauty plus profundity and craftsmanship zone you mean?

    Love Janacek; loathe Bartok (although this, I admit, may have something to do with having been forced to learn Mikrokosmos as a child).

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  99. @Vinteuil
    People get Tchaikovsky all wrong. They judge him by noisy, crowd-pleasing stuff like the 1812 Overture & the 1st Piano Concerto. They don't know about Eugene Onegin and the Serenade for Strings.

    I listened to a great deal of Peter Ilyich until I turned 20, and then suddenly lost all interest, and have only lately regained a real admiration for quite a few of his works, including those you mention above. Iolanta too is wonderful; if played with understanding and not just as a vehicle for the dancers, so also is Swan Lake, the last act in particular.
    It is not impossible, in other words, to love a composer without insisting that he is one of the all time greats.

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