J. D. Salinger, 1919-2010

J. D. Salinger, Enigmatic Author, Dies at 91 [NYT]

John Hodgman: “I prefer to think JD Salinger has just decided to become extra reclusive.”

@nojo: I was going to write “Who would know the difference” but, not surprisingly, Hodgman bested me.

somewhere Mark David Chapman is weeping.


An unclassified study from a military research unit in southern Afghanistan details how homosexual behavior is unusually common among men in the large ethnic group known as Pashtuns — though they seem to be in complete denial about it.

The study, obtained by Fox News, found that Pashtun men commonly have sex with other men, admire other men physically, have sexual relationships with boys and shun women both socially and sexually — yet they completely reject the label of “homosexual.” The research was conducted as part of a longstanding effort to better understand Afghan culture and improve Western interaction with the local people.

The research unit, which was attached to a Marine battalion in southern Afghanistan, acknowledged that the behavior of some Afghan men has left Western forces “frequently confused.”

In one instance, a group of local male interpreters had contracted gonorrhea anally but refused to believe they could have contracted it sexually — “because they were not homosexuals.”

Apparently, according to the report, Pashtun men interpret the Islamic prohibition on homosexuality to mean they cannot “love” another man — but that doesn’t mean they can’t use men for “sexual gratification.”

The U.S. army medic also told members of the research unit that she and her colleagues had to explain to a local man how to get his wife pregnant.

The report said: “When it was explained to him what was necessary, he reacted with disgust and asked, ‘How could one feel desire to be with a woman, who God has made unclean, when one could be with a man, who is clean? Surely this must be wrong.'”

Another American voice that went round the world. Had he allowed his stories to be filmed he would have been much more famous, and much richer. But unlike John Hodgman who, despite all his efforts is not actually English but merely facetious, Salinger is not known for a series of tatty commercials but for a series of novels and stories still much beloved by many. Personally, I could never quite work out what was quite so astonishingly wonderful about Seymour Glass that should cause his creator to shut down but that’s just me. Salinger was not the first novelist to decide the game not worth the candle, Forster too stopped writing and went into a seclusion of his own at Oxford.

@redmanlaw: Miramax hasn’t been an indie since — what? 1991?

@Capt Howdy: Sounds like a job for Ted Haggard.

But good to see the Greek ideal is being kept alive.

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ: Looks like Stock Boy is gonna hang it up, too.

love this:

she and her colleagues had to explain to a local man how to get his wife pregnant.

The report said: “When it was explained to him what was necessary, he reacted with disgust

‘You know those ducks in that lagoon right near Central Park South? That little lake? By any chance, do you happen to know where they go, the ducks, when it gets all frozen over? Do you happen to know, by any chance?'”


I wish I knew for sure. Godspeed, J.D.

@Dodgerblue: They hold women in such low esteem they only mate with them to meet their social obligations. Their romantic life is lived with boys. Just like the Spartans. It’s a very old structure. Of course there are deviants who actually like to be around women but their families try to keep it quiet.

@Tommmcatt Say Relax:
the hibernate

seriously, they probably go someplace not frozen.

this is what the lake behind my house looked like a few weeks ago. they presto they are all gone.

Which makes the RW love for the movie 300 all the more amusing.

no idea but that thing is totally true. I have a friend who was married to an afghan man who told be about this years ago.
imagine my eyes sparkling with a far away look.

speaking of 300 has anyone seen the new starz series Spartacus?


@Capt Howdy:

Honey, it’s a quote from Catcher in the Rye. My favorite, actually.

You probably knew that already but far be it from me to pass up a chance to condescend.

@Capt Howdy: Lawrence of Arabia. I thought it was those robes they wear.

@Tommmcatt Say Relax:

actually I did not. a book I never read. after the Lennon thing I could never bring myself.

@Capt Howdy:

That’s too bad. You shouldn’t let MDC ruin something for you like that. The book is quite moving.

@Tommmcatt Say Relax:
maybe I will get around to it.
maybe it will be my first book on IPad.

@ManchuCandidate: I thought it totally homophobic – and not in the good way. All those sweaty frat jocks bustin ass. I don’t know why it wasn’t called Die, Fag, Die. Can’t wait for their version of the Theban Band. And no, they weren’t Heavy Metal.

@Tommmcatt Say Relax: You probably knew that already but far be it from me to pass up a chance to condescend. As if. Read it so long ago. For some reason I read Franny and Zooey a lot. I was a mere child. The world was a happier place. But now he’s dead and his son is lit executor dare I say… musical?

@Capt Howdy: We just got Starz. Installed today. But judging by the stills all I can say is I’m Spahticuss!

Now everyone piss off, I have work to do.

it would probably play well with the Pashtuns.

have you seen the Spartacus trailer

That’s Frank Miller’s take on everything. Frank’s got some serious issues.

I also found 300 to be incredibly stupid which is what usually kills me for most movies.

I liked his take on the Dark Knight (Batman) and nothing else.

@Capt Howdy: Hilarious.

Of course the great gay novel ever is Satyricon by Petronius who, when Nero took a fancy to his art collection and ordered him to commit suicide so he could steal it, invited all his friends to witness his slow ingesting of poison. And as he died he showed his treasures and smashed them one by one so Nero would never have them.

Now that is class.

@ManchuCandidate: My FB fictional character avatar is the cover of “Batman: Year One”.

@ManchuCandidate: Angry musclemen in tights with dependent teen boy also in tights who are not part of ABT’s Ballanchine retrospective? Call your shrink. She has drugs.

also the greatest gay movie ever.
I have that on DVD and watched it recently. I thought, man, there is no way in hell this movie could ever be made today.

@Capt Howdy: I watched the last few minutes of the first episode of Spartacus. It’s great if you turn the sound off to enjoy plenty of almost nude male and female bodies drenched in oil, plus the screen sprayed with blood in slow motion over and over and over. My opinion was it made 300 look like a documentary.

I think it will be a monster hit and it will run for the next hundred years. It beats NASCAR and even the NFL. Everybody gets all the fun of the gladiatorial games without leaving home, with heaping helpings of sex and topless women EVERYWHERE. I’m guessing the Disney-produced version of Spartacus: The Musical will hit Broadway within two years.

@ManchuCandidate: Only because you want to put his fine butt over your knee and spank him. Oh yeah. Everybody wants to spank Robin.

@Capt Howdy: It is a splendid movie (I was in a play with Martin Potter right after it came out. He was tiny but very beautiful and looked fine in tights. Couldn’t act his way out of a jock strap but was so appealing that everyone was only to willing to try to help) but the novel is super double plus good. Trust me.

“They hold women in such low esteem they only mate with them to meet their social obligations. “

Yep, that sounds like Republicans, alright.

@Dave H:
same here. I only caught the last few minutes. but awsum.
I plan to be in front of the tv tomorrow night. and every friday or sunday now and forever.
did you notice the rating is NR/AO (not rated/adults only)
because of the completely over the top violence. loved the bit where he hacked off both of the guys legs.

dont you agree that it would be really really hard to get that film made today.
its a different world than 1970whatever.

@SanFranLefty: You understand that I hold such attitudes to be both repulsive and repugnant?

I’m reading as much as I can of The Family before I start throwing it about the room (trashy style). All those fresh-faced young jocks in the Arlington houses are so contemptuous of women I can’t bear it.

Pashtuns of Afghanistan. Erastes of Sparta. Mentors of Arlington.

All the same.

@ManchuCandidate, Benedict: There’s no Robin in Year One. Sidekicks, as I’m sure Manchu knows, were a Golden Age of Comics (c. late 1930s-late 1940s) development in which younger male characters were introduced in superhero comics to appeal to younger male readers to diversify the readership and grow the market because so many regular comic readers were off at war. In addition to Robin, another notable sidekick was Captain America’s Bucky Barnes.

Creators were split on the subject of sidekicks. Marvel’s Stan Lee hated sidekicks, while the highly influential artist Jack Kirby felt that they had universal appeal. Both Robin (when Jason Todd assumed the identity; Dick Grayson was actually Batman for a while, although he came Nightwing after outgrowing the Robin identity . . . complicated . . . ) and Bucky were killed. Bucky came back and became known as the Winter Soldier, a Soviet assassin although he also stepped up to the shield and became Captain America* after Cap was himself assassinated in what untilately proved to be a hoax on the Red Skull (. . . again, complicated . . . ). Jason Todd also came back at some point . . .

*which was Iron Man’s idea

@Dave H:

importantly everyone gets to watch someone getting their legs hacked off without actually, you know, seeing someone getting their legs hacked off.
its sort of like that new laboratory grown meat that is not actually meat.
now vegans can eat meat without killing an animal.

@Capt Howdy: Not in Europe. They’d do it better. Less Catholically cramped.

I meant a REAL movie.

forgot the smiley face

isnt that his only purpose?
when that awful Joel Schumacher Batman movie came out with the nipples on the suits I said to one of my coworkers, ‘damn, I wish I had one of those suits’.
he said, ‘you would wear it’
I said, ‘fuck no, I would make someone else wear it’


And I keep trying to get Mr. ‘Catt to dress up as Robin for, um, art’s sake. So you see, there’s no accounting for taste.

Have you read the new series Batman and Robin written by Grant Morrison? He is doing some great things with it (Bruce Wayne is DEAD, y’all), and completely removes any trace of homo-eroticism from the relationship between the two characters. Check it out, it’s worth it…really interesting stuff going on there.

Oh , and this. Because it is a thing, and also a thing on the web, that’s why.

@Tommmcatt Say Relax: I wait for the comix to get collected as trade paperbacks and get them at the library. I used to pay 12 cents for them back in the day, so I never pay the current cover price. I also keep up by reading Wizard every month.


Mr. Catt and I go to the comic book store every week. It is a little ritual, and when we were first dating, it is one of the ways we fell in love. True Homogeek story.

Oh, and by the way, I am going to take you and the missus up on your invitation this year…not sure when, or if I can get Mr. ‘Catt to come (he’s a little weirded out about making friends on the intertoobz), but I am going to make the time this year. One of my resolutions.

@Tommmcatt Say Relax: She’ll be so happy. Pick a time of year and we’ll have some recommendations for Maximum Fun. We’ll stock up on the T 10.

How’d ya’ll get from Salinger to Pashtun gaydenyinggayness to 300 (sucked) to Homoeroticism in Batman? Huh?

I barely remember Holden Caulfield, really. But I had read Johnny Got His Gun long before, and that set the bar for me, as far as sad stories, I and was not really too impressed with adolescent angst. Now, at 50, I am filled with adolescent angst, maybe I should read it now, I have finally reached my teens, as far as emotional maturity, yay for me.

I read long ago, 2001, that the joke told about Kabul in that part of the world goes “why do the birds only use one wing when flying over Kabul? So they can cover their asshole with the other one.” The implication being that they would get butt-sexed if they did not take precautions.

Spartans were full-on loons, and their society the original fasism, fucking state of slavery, no freedom for nothing.

I love The Ambiguously Gay Duo, though.

Does it bother anyone else that one of the top comments on that Spartacus trailer was bemoaning all the “porn” and wished they’d just skip over the nasty sex parts and go right back to the blood splatter? Is anyone even slightly bothered that perfectly normal activities and things (ie, sex and boobs) are repulsive to people, while death and destruction (which I will admit are also pretty normal, but less generally constructive of a good society) are held up like some crimson-bedecked idol?

it sucks but its not exactly news.
personally I am for sex AND violence. alone or together.

and about YouTube comments. my coworker has a rule that has become know as the sammuels rule.
it takes exactly (at most) five youtube comments before there is a racist, sexist or homophobic one

also about the violence in Spartacus, its so completely over the top its cartoonish. I bet the person making that comment was a 12 year old boy who is a game addict. who in a few years will be a sex addict.

@IanJ: Like we are pagan Rome? CGI is the perfect standin.

@Capt Howdy: No, definitely not a new issue, just one that recommends itself freshly to my attention some days.

It does, but it does not surprise me.

A tale of one movie. I remember some 20+ years ago when RoboCop first showed up on TV. I saw the US America feed for it. They showed the infamous scene where Red Forman aka Kurtwood Smith blows off Peter Weller’s hand with a shotgun and then cut scenes in the locker room where a female cop was taking off her body armor.

The Canada City version kept all the swearing and nudity, but cut the hand scene. The Canada City edit made more sense.

@ManchuCandidate: Which is why Hollywood reckons Canucks as Ice Niggers.

@Capt Howdy: “Everybody I know is addicted to sex.” Sports talk guy Jim Rome on whether Tiger Woods in in sex addition rehab.

its just a question of denial or not


The ultimate irony along those lines were the parent’s groups complaining about the “bad language” in the South Park movie. Clearly, they hadn’t seen it and were just repeating talking points.

Either that, or they saw it and completely missed the point…

Mr. OA loooooooovvvvvvveeeeesss those flicks. The more lasers, nekkid men, guns, spaceships and explosions, the better.

He watched the new GI Joe and Transformers 2 back to back on Apple TV.

I aughtta sue the studios ’cause the most complex sentence he could verbalize afterwards was “big light-box go boom boom.”

@redmanlaw: Expected.

@Prommie: I never understood the Holdenlove. Maybe because I’ve never liked teenagers, even especially when I was one.

@Original Andrew: He did well. I could only manage. Blaaargh ji bo i. Jammi jammi! sploder!

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