“Robots in disguise!”: … in December’s Remix Magazine.

The essence of the transformer scratch is a rhythmic cutting off and on of the sound while moving the record back and forth or letting it play. Using that simple technique, you can create an amazing variety of sounds.

Heteronormativity can blow me: … and Audre Lorde reminds me why (spurred by a Kinky Thoughts entry that I remembered when looking back through an old page’s link to a review of “The Day Lady Died,” a classic Frank O’Hara jam and then the archive where I got all that Mark Doty stuff from last week:

Claudia Tate: I am frequently jarred by my sometimes unconscious attempt to identify the sex of the person addressed in the poem. Since I associate the speaker’s voice with you, and since I’m not always conscious that you are a lesbian, the jarring occurs when I realize the object of affection is likewise a woman. I’m certain this disturbance originates in how society defines love in terms of heterosexuality. So if we are to see love as a “universal” concept, society pressures us to see it as heterosexual.

Audre Lorde: Yes, we’re supposed to see “universal” love as heterosexual. What I insist upon in my work is that there is no such thing as universal love in literature. There is this love in this poem. The poem happens when I, Audre Lorde, poet, deal with the particular instead of the “UNIVERSAL.” My power as a person, as a poet, comes from who I am. I am a particular person. The relationships I have had, in which people kept me alive, helped sustain me, were

sustained by me, were particular relationships. They help give me my particular identity, which is the source of my energy. Not to deal with my life in my art is to cut out the fount of my strength.

Pearl Harbor: … The University of Colorado’s Ira Chernus in Common Dreams:

The Pearl Harbor myth tells about a final and complete victory over the enemy. In an era of terrorist threat, clinging to such a myth may make the myth irrelevant. It perpetuates the historical conflict that spawned the problem in the first place, insuring that there will be no final victory. It helps make the words of Vice-President Cheney a self-fulfilling prophecy: “There’s not going to be an end date when we’re going to say, ‘There, it’s all over with.'”

Unending war is not what we are supposed to celebrate on the anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack.

I was a teenage preppie wannabe: … I was busted in my freshman English class by my teacher, Mr. Steptoe, for hiding reading material behind my textbook. (Telltale signs: I didn’t answer him when I was called on, and I was sitting in the front row of class — and I was one of those Hands of Perpetual Levitation students.)

The material in question? Lisa Birnbach’s The Official Preppie Handbook.”

Of course, this was 16 years ago. I believe the statute of limitations has expired. But on certain still nights, I can hear the laughter of my classmates ringing in the air before me and see the single raised eyebrow of Mr. Steptoe, a Roscoe Lee Browne manque if ever there was one.