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  Schism Matrix by Bruce Sterling

Week 28


It's an exciting ROMANCE theme in Schism Matrix this week!

If you ever doubted if medieval life was hell on earth — even for the richest and best-educated — have a look at these "Rules of Courtly Love."

20.  A man in love is always apprehensive.
21.  Real jealousy always increases the feeling of love.
22.  Jealousy, and therefore love, are increased when one suspects his beloved.
23.  He whom the thought of love vexes eats and sleeps very little.

A couple of seasons of that routine, and heading out on Crusade to be shot to pieces by Saracens would sound really attractive.



Some of these period pics of courtly love look rather sweet and fun, except for the numerous ones where guys are getting stabbed or hacked to death. A personal favorite is the one where the beloved rains kisses on the hero's brow as his favorite trained hawk eats raw gobbets of meat right out of his hand.

That seems to be a popular graphic choice among medievalist scholars and/or New Age goofballs.



This site for "Resources for Love and Spirituality, Medieval Visions East and West" makes it clear that, in the old days, everybody was bonkers. And we remain so. "It is not sexuality which haunts society, but society which haunts the body's sexuality" (Maurice Godelier)

Personal favorites: Sufi poets and Khajuraho. Imagine being a Sufi poet *at* Khajuraho.



How about that "ILOVEYOU" virus, eh? What is more at fault there: the human need for love, or Microsoft? Okay, it was Microsoft. No question.

Imagine getting an "ILOVEYOU" virus inside this computer.



Speaking of embarrassing sexual behavior in mammals, I wonder how the world ever lived before the advent of the "Naked Mole Rat Colony Cam."


Bruce Sterling, il texano caliente, may wax romantic in this week's Schism Matrix, but he had some harsh words for the feudal lords of Redmond at a conference in Milan last week. Read about it in La Repubblica. Non parla Italiano? Maybe Babel Fish can help you…

And donít miss Bruceís A Very American Movie, which deconstructs Star Wars and "the American military-entertainment complex," on the New York Timesís op-ed page for May 15.

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