Sorcerers And Warriors: The Initiatic Journey In Chinese Mythology

masako-natsume

Chinese mythology, folk tales and fables are mostly unknown to the West. However this indigenous folklore combines not only unique philosophical and artistic traditions, but informs much modern Chinese popular art, from movies to video games. Here we present two tales, well-known throughout the greater Orient, both having multiple variants yet all holding to a […]

Babalon In The Flesh: Jack Parsons, Marjorie Cameron, And Thelema

I remember the day the book arrived because I had been walking across reddish, chalky sand at the foot of small, yet majestic hills. It was a stunningly clear, temperate and crystalline day in Las Vegas. Close by gleamed a military or scientific installation with its ghostly white circular buildings and battered No Trespassing signs. […]

Anarchists Of Style: A Review Of Maureen Callahan’s Champagne Supernovas

Goth style by Alexander McQueen

“I hate fashion,” Yohji Yamamoto — famous for his minimalist black clothing — has said. Maureen Callahan’s latest book, Champagne Supernovas, focuses, on two other designers — Alexander McQueen and Marc Jacobs — and model Kate Moss, but the aggressive sentiment neatly sums up an attitude that runs, in a certain way, through the book […]

The Body As Spirit: Yukio Mishima, Author, Intellectual, And Warrior

Yukio Mishima, bodybuilder and author

“It is… possible for people to use the body as a metaphor for ideas,” Japanese author Yukio Mishima says in Sun and Steel. Mishima had been a weak and sickly child, doted on by his over-protective grandmother. He wasn’t allowed to play with other boys, and grew up alienated from male culture (as well as […]

We Are All Prudes Now: Why Outrage Has Replaced Outrageousness

Woman's face, Yaffa Cafe

A couple of weeks ago, New York’s Yaffa Cafe closed down after three decades. Grungy and camp, with Buddha statues, Elvis prints, damask wallpaper and leopard skin print tables, the East Village haunt was an over-the-top home to equally flamboyant misfits (wherever they’ve gone). When I first went there, in the late nineties, it was one […]

Are Muscles Useless?

Author Yukio Mishima, photographed by Eikoh Hosoe.

The “Meterosexual” has been replaced by the “Spornosexual”. You’ve seen him. He is the male that inhabits gyms, pumps his body up, and tans and grooms himself purely for show. A cynic might describe his physical body as essentially “useless.” And “useless” is not the way we want to be described. “The protestant work ethic” — so […]

Male Beauty: Fantasy, Ethics, and Transcendence

male beauty, ethics, and transcendence

“Women like ‘bad boys’.” One hears this statement fairly frequently as an explanation of why some or other relationship didn’t work out — and you hear it from women, probably more often than you do from men. Demonstrating that there may be more than a grain of truth to the assertion, a mugshot of “Hot […]