Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: Macroinformation.org & Knatz.com / Teaching / Society / Survival / Social Semiotics /
Some things are so obvious no one sees them.
Many, world wide, not just in the West, recognize that graphic to depict a “heart.” No?
Before I discuss how “good” a drawing it is, I must say something about schematics.
(I’ve already addressed this subject. as Cultural Artifacts [Link to be restored] at Macroinformation.)
The oldest schematic drawing known to searchers is one carved in bone from Cro-Magnon times: eighteen or so thousand years ago. It’s a “V” with a bar crossing it two-thirds of the way up: making a “face” with “horns.” That schematic is also one of our oldest sure calendars: the ibex was the first animal known by European ice-age man, huddled in the mountains, to signal spring.
The symbol wasn’t Chaucerian. We weren’t just waiting to shed our furs and frolic among daises; we weren’t trying to get warm (we wouldn’t have huddled in the mountains if warmth were the primary thing we sought). No: we were in the mountains waiting for the big game to migrate: through the narrow pass where hunting would be surest: and the appearance of an ibex meant that meat would come soon.
The drawing was not a portrait of an ibex. The animal’s ear was not notched for identification. The artist didn’t care to get an individual ibex’s eye color right, or its birthmark. There was no tatoo, no tag, no brand. One ibex was fungible with another: fully fungible: a half of an ibex was worth half of a whole ibex. The eye color, the whole eye, the birthmark … were omitted. The drawing was a symbol: for ibex: a synecdoche for spring: a synecdoche for food!
The schematic lives on today. Eventually, among the Egyptians, it became the first “letter”: though by that time it was no longer a symbol of ibex, spring, or meat; but was associated with a draft animal: used in agriculture: food just the same. The drawing would gradually turn upside down: and become our letter A.
OK. Take a look at our “heart” again.
What does “heart” mean here? We all know what a heart is: ordinarily we’re referring to a muscle — it pumps blood … Do medical schools use the above (or any similar graphic) to teach anatomy? Is this Valentine heart an accurate depiction of the four-chambered organ so central to our survival? No. That’s not what’s depicted at all; that’s not what a Valentine heart means.
Oh. Does that mean that “nothing” is depicted? Or nothing concrete? nothing than can be seen, felt, etc.? On the contrary: I for one find that drawing to be utterly accurate in its depiction of what it depicts: schematically: non-essential details left out. Certainly sentiment, affection … love … are depicted — but they’re associative: there’s something else utterly graphic which is the principal depiction.
What I’m about to say I’ve thought and said for decades: though I don’t recall yet saying it at any pk domain. So here goes, world. Uh … Ah! I’ll come in on the same tack that made me choose to launch this module now, not wait for Valentine’s Day.  I am currently having a private Ridley Scott festival. His Conradian The Duellists was recommended to me on its release (1977) by a classmate whose movie sense I respected; but I never got to see it till recently on DVD. Then I recalled great Scott movies I’ve seen since then, and decided to re-view some, chronologically, starting with a minor film I’d seen a snatch of on TV. So now I’m watching it, (Legend (1985)). Early on, a Lord among devils declares that he plans to eliminate dawn, have only dark. He appoints some goblin to effect this, initially by stealing the horn from a unicorn, using Innocence as bait.
Now we meet Mia Sara (just out of high school, and looking like she’s just out of her first Communion) playing Princess Lily. In the forest, a forest teeming with fecundity, so fertile that if Scott had saturated the air of the set with any more blowing “seeds” or “pollen” scudding about, then we wouldn’t be able to see the forest, or the trees, or Mia Sara: or her Jack, whom she summons when frightened. Jack, played by Tom Cruise, out of diapers I guess, veteran even by then of several films already, but looking sooo young, falls out of a tree, out of the sky, and lands on all fours before her. Lily is a princess; Jack is clearly no prince: except in his incredible genetics, his perfect face, his symmetrical bod …
Lily throws Jack a parcel. “Look inside. See what you can find.”
Jack pulls out a pair of cookies: Valentine cookies: brown, not red, as in the schematic above, but perfect Valentine shapes: the paired curves of the upper side annihilating into that mystic cleft. Jack holds the curves and cleft above his fingers right into the camera’s focus.
“That’s something to eat,” Lily advises him.
Immediately Jack bites off one of the curves. He holds the second cookie for the camera, while munching his bite from the first.
“I made that myself,” Lily says. (Then adds something my aging ears didn’t catch perfectly: “Well, I took it from …” that woman, her friend in the forest, I guess.)
Jack eats: always showing us the obverse end of the Valentine.
“You like it?”
Jack holds the curves of cookie number two right at his delectating lips as he munches: still smack in the focus of the camera.
“Is it sweet?”
Well, that depends on how old Jack is, how far into, how far past, puberty. I won’t say that every human recognizes the Valentine heart for what it depicts: not in the cortex, at least. And human genders are skewed on the subject. The schematic is definitely a male view: of something very common. And that view is shared by the mature males of any number of species: certainly all mammals.
The Valentine heart is not a schematic of any particular animal, or of any particular organ; it’s a drawing, wonderfully accurate, of an environment (as the face is an environment): an ecology, involving a suite of organs. If you haven’t known what I’ve been talking about all along, take another look:
Is this the face that launched a thousand ships?
… before I spell it out: risking more opprobrium, more shunning, on top of the pandemic of such I’ve chosen for my whole spill-the-beans life. The Valentine heart is an utterly efficient, minimalist schematic of …
The nether face of the female: prone: note bending over (in humans), aligning yonis for phallus, sheath for sword. Enflamed, both blood-flushed, the fleshy cylinder prepares to snug for the fleshy piston: the female (for all other mammals (but man on occasion)) on all fours . Ass, quim … any of the synonyms.
We’re not used to seeing with our deliberate mind what everyone sees with our real mind: and if we do see it, we’re used to keeping mum — people who talk out loud about what we’re repressing don’t fare well. (Oh well, we honor myths of dead heroes: while we’re tormenting the living ones: myriad real brave people, a handful of half-fictitious dead ones.) But: in the last century or so, Freud (for one) sold phallicism to the Edwardians (who weren’t half as phallus/Valentine obsessed as the Victorians). Now everyone sees phallic symbols everywhere. And of course we see bosoms everywhere. After all, we’re the super-sexed primate: the only apes not in a population decline (while everything else’s habitat declines to sludge). (Don’t worry: it can’t last.) Anyway, for a century we’ve talked and talked about the phallus: while we show the Valentine everywhere: see it where we aren’t showing it. What we don’t do is talk about the Valentine. Ass, man. Pussy. (Same thing: the female nether-face: the ass-pussy continuum.) note
Scott continues the eating theme: One demon says of Lily, “I could eat her brains.” His companion, a pig-like demon, says, “I could suck her bones.” A bit later some other demon tells Jack that he’s about to be dinner: clearly the film’s interest has now turned literal, a common trick when you don’t want to take responsibility for the atmosphere you’ve saturated. (I’m not faulting Scott: that’s the kind of art we want.)
So. The unicorns are phallic. Even little girls see that. The unicorns are magical. It’s the unicorns that are the magic that makes the sun “rise.” But nearly the whole of the movie (no, that’s not a pun) is yonic.
“Yonic” is a word invented by Professor Max Patrick (loathsome faggot). He did it believing that the word “phallic” needed a feminine complement: counterpart. I don’t agree. That spoils the neat contrast of how we talk about the one, are silent about the other (substituting boobs), while obsessing with all of it.
Anyway, pk no longer writes with subtlety. (At least I no longer write with subtlety alone.) So: I spoil the simplicity of the schematic drawing by sketching in a few details:
That’s not nearly as nice, is it? But it’s utterly true. It’s ugly because we don’t want to see certain things in the cortex. Especially not with that anus right where Jack was smacking his lips. Ah, but that’s where it is anyway.
Fortunately for our super-sexuality, the anus is the last thing on the rutting male’s mind as he targets the Valentine: the bulls eye.
I grant that human females are extra round in their female parts. We’re the one mammal with extra breast flesh. But then no other animal packs so much fatty tissue in with the gluteus muscles either. (The amount varies with race (Darwin’s Sexual Selection (on top of Natural Selection) as well as by individual.) (There’s one African group where the women store all of their reserve fat in the buttocks!)
Something very much like the Valentine is what a stallion sees just prior to the peak of his rut. The mare swings her tail aside for him — no more being coy — and bingo, there it is. Same with a bull. Same with the pig, the bison, the armadillo … any mammal. Of course the stallion had already smelled her from a mile away, seen the red flash from two hundred yards.
I remind us what I’ve dealt with elsewhere: all mammals except man copulate from the rear. What we call “doggie fashion” is the universal: until the last hundred thousand or so years, when man moved around to the female’s front. Still, the signals, the memories, the urges, the associations, that drive the male from the brain stem are mostly unchanged. We want to see the girl bend over: show us the Valentine. We’re super-sexed because women look all red, all curved, all receding to the mystery … whether they’re coming or going. Desmond Morris recaps the arguments that the human breasts are an extra set of buttocks, transplanted to the front.
But, I shouldn’t need to go into that here. Morris’s books were popular (I am referencing The Naked Ape in particular): and I’ve already recapped parts of his arguments:
Or try a pk Search on “Desmond Morris,” on “vagina” …
2004 10 17: I just caught a snatch of Hitchcock’s Lifeboat on WUSF, directly followed by a WC Fields movie I hadn’t seen since my mid-twenties: the one where WC (as in water-closet) plays a dentist wrecking havoc on the golf course: the one where he keeps telling his caddie, “Don’t stand there, stand there.” Back in his operating theater a tall blond comes in, complaining not only of her teeth but of her leg, her lower calf, her ankle, where some dog has supposedly just bitten her. She turns her back on WC and bends over to point. Then she does it again. The audience doesn’t get the direct Valentine flash; WC gets it. But anyone in the audience over ten sees him getting it: and imagines it for themselves: the nether face, the Valentine.
What’s harder than to address frontally what everyone skirts obliquely? I’m pleased with how I’ve done this so far.
Some appropriate feedback I’ll cite below.
2011 04 14 I’ve written since 1948, didn’t get published till 1971, seldom been published again since then, have been censored, after being fired, blackballed, shunned … This module got put at K. 2004 10 15, when I was reading Leonard Shlain on Women, Sex, Power. In 2006 the FBI arrested me, in 2007 the fed court censored everything I had online, destroyed my business, obliterated nearly 3,000 text files, whole books by Ivan Illich, destroyed several thousand graphics files: logos, paintings … by several dozen artists! Now I’m recreated those K. files at blogs. What made me shove this Valentine piece in ahead of other more important modules was this pic: at another WordPress blog.
Isn’t that neat? I love this woman!
For supine, the conventional human copulatory position, the Valentine would have to be inverted: mons up, bottom down: as the cartoonist in the linked file saw.
I can’t emphasize emphatically enough: the core association for mammals is the pussy prone, not the pussy supine. For actual penetration I too like the missionary position best; but that is irrelevant to the original programming. Males are wired to respond to the rear, prone view.
And visual stimulus is merely in passing. The stallion, the bull, don’t stand there gaping; they get busy.
We speak natural languages: fuzzy, ambiguous, precision impossible. Where we learn or create artificial languages, where we can define precisely, the artificial language will quickly merge with the natural language, the precision blunting.
I’m watching Swann in Love, for the second time, specifically to check out Fanny Ardant after adoring her (and all the women) in Balzac, not at all minding another gander at Ornella Muti. Fanny Ardant’s Duchesse de Guermantes says, “To the dog in love the bitch’s ass smells sweet”: and I recoil. The dog is sniffing the bitch’s cuny (Bowdlerizing K. 2016 07 29), not her ass; completely forgetting my own point: they’re the same! Dogs do sniff anuses, but not when they’re aroused by estrus. There, it’s the vaginal pheromones they’re after.
But my precision is inappropriate. Ass, quim, c- … it all smears.
We may thank bkMarcus for his prompt supplying of that parallel perception.
Again though I’ll say that the cartoon, like my drawing in the parent file, is ugly in comparison to the plain, schematic: outline, filled with red. It’s far more effective on our reactions for the hidden mind to “see” the hidden particulars. My piece is addressed merely to that afterthought of evolution, the conscious mind. And again, the perception, the interest, the obsession, grossly, is gender-skewed.
I must admit that for all that humans gained by evolution futzing with human sexuality (here especially, see the Leonard Shlain book), there’s something to be said for the bull seeing the red flag, charging, and being done with it: no conscious fatherhood, the female being the sole parent, nurse, teacher.
We should also realize the range of behaviors demonstrated by related species when it comes to engendering: the chimps take turns in a gang bang, the ruminants, the seals … battle to see which males win that season. There may even be something to be said for the male losers in that latter scenario: you’re hot to get laid but take lumps instead. Well, maybe you’ll grow up. Maybe you’ll try harder next time. Or maybe you’ll just go off and sublimate your misery into submission: like a Redsox fan. The Redsox fan may be more fundamentally human than the Yankee fan.
Which also reminds me of the several-times pk-point that the conventional teaching that battles assure the best genes flourishing. Yes, but not so simple. Last year’s winner, this year’s loser, still has the same genes he had a year ago. But then, maybe his sperm are no longer quite so motile.
Wise isn’t quite the right term for nature; but numbers do tell over time.
2004 11 02: The first time I ever saw Jennifer Lopez was in Anaconda. I noticed her. She looked distinctive. I made mental note to myself early on to notice and remember her name once I’d ID’d the actress from the credits. Later in the movie we get a look at her hip. Somewhere from the side. Casual: the camera didn’t zoom down and plunge her buttocks. It didn’t have to. The JLo derriere sucked us (all males, most males) on its own. Some years later, I’m fairly sure it was in Out of Sight, she stands off to the side of the room, another character, a male, George Clooney almost for sure, is more in the foreground, but again, we get a glimpse of that hip profile. Holy Jesus God.
Now I ask you, has any female, any female ever photographed, been able to flash a Valentine sideways better than JLo?
I’m not suggesting that the female knows what signals she’s sending. (Neither am I suggesting that she doesn’t.) Nature would have to have been pretty stupid to put important things like that in the wholly unreliable consciousness.
Here’s another thought: you tell me if it’s related. Everyone knows that the matador uses a red flag to enrage the bull, right? Everyone knows that with some species of bird, it’s the red spot on the parents beak that gets the chick to open up and get fed. Put a red spot on a whitish stick, bring it near the chick, and the chick opens up. Synecdoche. Now: with the bull, what’s the red flag a synecdoche for?
The Valentine! That’s a reasonable guess, no? Ah, but the bull wants to fight, so there’s got to be another step. Maybe the bull thinks that the matador is a rival bull and that the rival is hoging the Valentine for himself. That will make many a male fight. Even human males.
2005 05 13 I’m just seeing Murnau’s Faust  for the first time. Faust had had enough of helping humanity deal with the plague after five minutes and, magically young, having gone through woman after woman, now wants some devout virgin from his home town. Mephisto argues that there are wenches more suitable for him. Faust commands Mephisto to get him Gretchen. So Mephisto secrets a magic locket in her chamber. It’s a “heart”: a rather plump heart. In one corner of her room is her shrine: the “mother of God” holding the infant Jesus. In her dresser drawers is Mephisto’s heart. She places it on her bosom!
I’m telling you: that’s some symbol!
PS I already knew, from multiple exposures how great Murnau could be: from his Nosferatu. At the same time I have to admit that I don’t know Goethe, his source, nearly well enough. It was assigned sophomore if not freshman year. I won’t swear that I read all of it: on time, or attentively. That’s what I get for running around seeing movies like Nosferatu instead of reading Goethe. That’s partly a joke (on me), and partly not. I know from Bateson that Goethe was also a neglected scientist of original vision.
For reflections on sanitized porn, see Buffy: Bosom Without Breasts [once it’s resurrected].
I duplicated this piece for Valentine’s Day 2012 under the Chat section, now I delete the copy. Much of the content I thought of on first reading Desmond Morris, The Naked Ape. I thought of it yet more vividly on reading lots and lots of Jared Diamond: Why Is Sex Fun, for example.