Building back better at Heretic TOC

Where was I when I was so rudely interrupted? Let’s think. It was back in June, I know that. Perhaps better questions would be How was Heretic TOC interrupted? and What has happened since? In a year so dominated by Covid-19 news, I could do worse than start by assuring former readers of Heretic TOC at WordPress.com that the sudden, unannounced, disappearance of the site two months ago owes nothing to the pandemic. Mercifully, despite being of an age that puts me in the “vulnerable” category, I have not yet been swept away into the mortality statistics nor even suffered so …

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Kindness looks too much like weakness

When Peter Herman has guest blogged here before, he has been introduced as a  “veteran NAMBLA activist”. After four such fanfares over the years, enough already! This description was a fine badge of honour, but for his post today, his fifth, I am upgrading him to “veteran Heretic TOC blogger” :-). The NAMBLA connection remains though: that esteemed organisation has kindly permitted me to re-publish Peter’s article following its recent appearance on their own site: a privilege indeed, and testimony to our harmonious relationship. My own commentary on Peter’s important thoughts follows directly after his piece.        WHAT DOES THE …

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Hanging in there, in Hengelo hotspot

Even radical activists are not usually called upon to be radical or active before 7AM, when all but the earliest risers are still fast asleep in these housebound times of ours. But prominent Dutch paedophile activist Norbert de Jonge suddenly found himself forced to take drastic action when he was roused early from his slumbers recently by noises far more alarming than an alarm clock. He was woken up by “really loud shouting, like a madman” coming closer and closer to his bedroom door. He grabbed a baseball bat kept by his bed for protection, with very good reason. He opened …

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Salus populi suprema lex esto

Salus populi suprema lex esto. That, we are told, is what Boris Johnson was telling his cabinet last week while recovering from his alarmingly close brush with death from Covid-19. Salus populi: “The health of the people should be the supreme law”. It’s from Cicero’s On The Laws, as I am sure you all knew. The prime minister, back at work in Downing Street this week, is clearly restored to his old self, quoting the classics in fine style. In this case the famous statesman whose words he was drawing on was a Roman. I guessed he would come out with …

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Now we are truly ‘all in it together’

At least they aren’t calling it the gay plague, the way they did with AIDS, or God forbid the paedo plague – they blame us kind folk for everything else, though, so why not the corona virus disease (Covid-19) first identified last December in China? But stigmatisation of some sort follows closely on the heels of every pathogen, as was observed recently in the authoritative New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). At first the finger was pointed, quite rightly, at Chinese “wet markets”, but this quickly morphed online into generalised anti-Asian racism. Within the last week, though, the demonization has moved …

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Now I’m a believer in Patek of Geneva!

Patek Philippe, the super-luxury, Geneva-based Swiss watch brand that makes Rolex look about as exclusive as my Casio, has been running a series of award-winning ad campaigns on its Generations theme for nearly a quarter of a century now. Perhaps because I am not in the market for these products and have little exposure to the lifestyle magazines etc. where I imagine they are promoted, I have only just noticed. Now that I have, I am bowled over by these fabulous productions – the ads, that is, not the watches, which come at crazy prices with far too many noughts on …

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Licence expires for French men of letters

What do you call a guy who can openly celebrate his sexual relations with children in books and on TV without being prosecuted? A giant of French literature. Things are different in France, or have been until recently for elite figures in the cultural establishment. One of those figures, Gabriel Matzneff, is a feted novelist, a winner of numerous literary prizes who appeared many times on France’s top cultural TV show of the 1970s and 80s, Apostrophes. Back in the day, he wrote: “Once you have held, kissed, caressed, possessed a 13-year-old boy, a girl of 15, everything else seems bland, …

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Scholar hounded over pederasty studies

No fancy philosophical focus on Foucault and his ilk this time, folks. No festive season reflections on the passing year and decade either. Christmas is usually slow for news because the politicians and the other movers and shakers who make the headlines are at home with their feet up just like the rest of us, somnolently finishing off the mince pies. There is seldom any let up in bad news for us heretics, though, and this month has seen a particularly shocking story unfolding in America. What makes it so alarming is that it is not a sex scandal. There is …

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Turning our view of power upside down

Heretic TOC’s two-part review of The Fear of Child Sexuality, by Steven Angelides, began last time with a focus on the author as himself a prisoner of fear. We noted that while he clearly acknowledges children as sexual beings and is positive towards their sexual expression and agency, he is very tentative as regards the practical implications when it comes to their freedom to choose an older partner, opting to discuss it solely in relation to the more easily defensible possibilities, notably mid-teen boys in relationships with women. In Angelides’ own country, Australia, the boy in these liaisons dangereuses has traditionally …

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Warily going where angels fear to tread

Book review: The Fear of Child Sexuality: Young People, Sex, and Agency, by Steven Angelides. University of Chicago Press, September 2019. This is an important new book. Heretic TOC has accordingly decided to give it an in-depth review in two parts. This first part will focus on Angelides’ aims in relation to his earlier track record. The second part will consider the book’s content in more detail with a particular focus on the author’s interestingly “post-Foucauldian” view of power in sexual relationships.  We might guess that someone called Angelides would be on the side of the angels. This family name is …

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