Because I am a generic nerd as well as a sex nerd, when our lad David Mitchell did a thing on cultural references in media, accompanied by a number of visual references that I didn’t get, I went on a little electronic hunt (which is exactly what his rant predicted people would do.)
And, being a nerd, I actually tweeted Mr. Mitchell about the one result I wasn’t sure of. The lighthouse, I tweeted, must be a reference to Elizabeth Harcourt Mitchell’s 1860 novel The Lighthouse. There were a bunch of “Mitchell” references of varying levels of obscurity but this was really QUITE obscure.
He tweeted back (very nicely) that I was wrong. The lighthouse, it turns out, is part of the logo for tiny Mitchell College in New London, CT.
Indeed, further investigation revealed that the logo represents the New London lighthouse, built in 1801 on the Long Island Sound, at the mouth of the Thames (pronounced as spelled, to rhyme with “James” – I know, right?) River.
New London is about an hour and a half drive from where I live and not far from a dance I was planning to attend Saturday night, coincidentally enough. So what could I do but go there? No self-respecting nerd, given these conditions, could NOT go. I went and found the actual New London lighthouse. Here it is:
Does this have anything to do with sex? No.
(Except… Only on my way home did I even began to consider the implications of hunting down an 80′ tall sticky-up hard thing, just because I would be in the area and it was in Mr Mitchell’s thingamajig. Freud would have something to say on the subject. But Freud can suck an egg, dude.)
It’s just the sort of story you might remember, if you ever wonder how I learned all the stuff on the blog. I learned it by not stopping just because I had found the answer I was looking for. Having the answer isn’t enough; having a comfortable nest of social, historical, biological, or philosophical context in which to house the answer is much more satisfying.
So it’s just a lighthouse. But let the lighthouse stand for the obsessive over-preparation, ravenous curiosity, and urgent inner motivation (not a drive!) to understand things that got me where I am today.
And thanks to the blog, I know there are bunches of you out there who, like me, don’t stop asking questions just because you’ve got the answer. You’re who I’m writing to. I’m glad you’re there.
(I’ll write a thing about relationships or fetishes next, I promise, something sexy and/or useful.)