1 RUE IN ELEGY
I spent my precocious youth reading detailed warnings about the era we are now all floating in. I read about Now while floating in the narrow lock that was Now’s mysterious antechamber. I was fascinated by locks as feats of engineering. The idea of a great ship and its crew waiting to be lifted to the level of the body of water the ship was next to enter upon brought honor and dignity to the much-maligned concept of the man-made. Worryingly, the ship of the culture I inhabited while waiting for the technology to level this ship up, to a higher plateau of waters, was largely dishonorable: pestilent with racism, sexism, pollution, plutocracy and war. Yet the Dystopian Sci Fi, featured in the pulp I favored as a boy, indicated that things were soon to be much worse. I thought: well at least we’ll have flying cars, vastly-extended Life-expectancies and hotels on the Moon…
When the ship finally leveled-up and the gates of the lock swung open and we eased out into the wider, stranger sea we immediately tumbled over the edge of the bearable world. And all we were given to accompany us in the very long fall was Snapchat.
If you have more than a passing interest in the concept of Truth, perhaps this isn’t the planet for you. If that’s unfair to the planet (because how do I know whether whales have developed a “truth” concept and are faithful to it?), I’ll restrict my critique to the surface culture. How can the human mind, capable of conceptualizing “Truth,” be so generally blind or even hostile to it? If we have such a problem with Truth, why bother inventing the concept? Why bother using the word? Why bother pretending that we have put powerful institutions in place to nurture, disseminate and amplify The Truth; to monitor its health? We are bipedal bullshit artists.
One hot bucket of bullshit I can no longer abide smelling, seeing or reading about is Blacks, Men, Women, Americans, Muslims, Jews, Germans, Gays, Rednecks, Democrats, Teens, Asians, Republicans, Communists, Christians, Brits or Atheists (et al) stomping around with their fingers in their shit-filled ears, screaming out the exceptional imaginary stats of their respective gangs and the designated heroes of said gangs. Maybe it’s because I don’t belong to any gang, never did, and maybe that’s both a more difficult and better way to be.
I was walking down the street in a Midwestern metropolis in 1995, visiting after five straight years of writers-colony-like isolation from Americans, in Europe, when who should I see but Michael-X, with his eagle-frown and furious dreadlocks. We began chatting and, for reasons now beyond my ability to recall, Michael X announced that “Toni Morrison is the greatest fucking writer in the history of the planet, hands down, bar none, end of discussion,” to which I responded, “What about James Fucking Joyce, William Fucking Shakespeare, Vladimir Fucking Nabokov, Philip Fucking Roth, Alice Fucking Munro and Kurt Fucking Vonnegut?”
Without missing a beat, Michael-X swatted the air, as if it were full of gnats bearing the faces of all the writers I’d invoked, and he said, “aw, man, I’ve read all that junk!”
The way I shrugged when Michael-X said this preposterous thing was an unforgivable lie.
3FAVORITE JOKE BY POSTMODERNISM’S HOLY GHOST
[James Joyce] went to C. Lewis Hind, the editor of the Academy, and was given a book to review to see if he would suit. He wrote an unfavorable notice, which he brought to Hind.
‘This will not do, Mr. Joyce,’ said Hind.
‘Sorry,’ said Joyce and started to leave the room, characteristically not condescending to argue the point.
‘Oh, come, Mr. Joyce,’ said Hind, ‘I am only anxious to help you. Why don’t you meet my wishes?’
‘I thought,’ replied Joyce, ‘that I was to convey to your readers what I considered to be the esthetic value of the book you gave me.’
‘Precisely. That is what I want.’
‘Well!’ Joyce went on. ‘I don’t think it has any value whatsoever, esthetic or otherwise, and I have tried to convey that to your readers.’
Hind was annoyed and said, ‘Oh well, Mr. Joyce, if that is your attitude, I can’t help you. I have only to lift the window and put my head out, and I can get a hundred critics to review it.’
‘Review what, your head?’ asked Joyce, ending the interview.
–—from Richard Ellmann’s James Joyce
4AMONG THE THINGS THAT NEVER HAPPENED: GHOST BANDS
I started a cool music project for a French Opera Starlet. She was beautiful and had a beautiful, if slightly stiff, singing voice. I wrote a dozen songs, they were good, we got good video footage, but her interest waned after she saw a singer who “sounded like Radiohead” at some club one night. Seeing this singer inspired her to “sound like Radiohead”. How she thought she’d sound like Radiohead I have no idea, but the singer who inspired her (and contributed inadvertently to my opera-singer-project’s early demise) is now a studio owner who weighs roughly ten or twelve stone more than he did back then (c. 2012). On the bright side, this man-mountain is co-producing my latest project. He’s a great musician and funny as a stained-glass running shoe. The Opera Starlet has since gotten married, retired from singing and still (probably) doesn’t sound like Radiohead. She left behind this faint trace of a ghost band…
There are figures in power who are ideologically (even satanically, I’d say) averse to (White/ Black) Integration and they have worked tirelessly to reverse the painfully-hard-won desegregating advances of the 1940s, ’50s, ’60s and ’70s in North America. Many of these powerful figures control Media and determine content and are stealthily Nazi in outlook, though perhaps not directly so in lineage… or perhaps we were never as clear about the greater (not-strictly-Germanic) definition of “Nazi” as we always complacently assumed. What if the term “Nazi” applies perfectly well to the European figures responsible for the 19th century colonial holocaust in Africa? If Adolph Hitler was a Nazi, what was Leopold II (“Men who failed to meet their ivory and gold quota even once would face mutilation, with hands and feet being the most popular sites for amputation. If the man could not be caught, or if he needed both hands to work, Forces Publique men would cut the hands off of his wife or children.”)? What are Leopold’s transnational successors? How can they be identified? As we know, Nazis need their Kapos to do their dirty work and the Kapos are easier to locate and identify, on-site, than their mentors’ controller’s controllers…
Jesse McCarthy is a Black academic. “McCarthy is currently a doctoral student at Princeton University, busy completing his dissertation. McCarthy’s academic interests include African American literature, postcolonial theory, contemporary fiction and poetry, and film studies. McCarthy will assume his joint professorship at Harvard starting in the fall of this year.”
Jesse McCarthy published a long (35-part) piece in the magazine n+1 (target audience: Liberal, bookish Whites), in the Fall of this year, titled Notes on Trap.
I just wanna get that money
I just wanna get that money — flip that money
I just wanna stack them hundreds,
I just wanna spaz out — cash out
— Kodak Black, “Spaz Out”
Q. What is the subject of trap?
A. Money, a.k.a. skrilla, paper, green, gwop, currency, stacks, bands, bundles, racks, currency, fetty (confetti), ends, dead presidents, bankrolls, $100,000 in just two days, fuck-you money, fuck up some commas, money long, run up a check, fuck up a check; a master signifier in falling bills, floating, liquid, pouring down on bitches in the proverbial rain, exploding like cold fireworks, screen-printed or projected onto surfaces human and otherwise, occasionally burned, often tossed into the impoverished streets left behind, kids trailing the whip their arms outstretched, often bricked up in bundles held in a grip, or cradled to the ear like, say, a call from the highest authority in the land, or fanned out in a masking screen, or caressed, the cold frisson of Franklin morbidly displacing the erotic potential of sexual attraction.
YOUNG THUG ENACTS a Charlie Parker theory of trap. Virtuosity, drugginess, genius, vulnerability, an impish childishness almost as a compensation for the overabundance of talent, the superfluidity of imagination. A Cocteau from East Atlanta, he teases the beat, skipping off it like a yo-yo, yodeling, crooning, blurting, squawking, purring, working his game on you, finessing, playing ad libs like Curtis Mayfield worked strings, or scatting and growling low like Louis Armstrong if he were sweating it out in a freestyle battle with James Brown, bouncing back and forth between personalities. His polymorphously perverse sexuality is so insistently graphic and deadpan that it has virtually zero erotic charge, au courant pimp talk channeled through a kind of private board game of his own imagination, a Candyland fantasia slimed in promethazine. By contrast, his persona oozes sex. In leather jackets, ultratight jeans and Janet Jackson piercing arrangements, he’s a Mick Jagger–ish rake on the make who is also shy and easily wounded, suddenly open for a hug.
The “Young Thug” mentioned above is featured in the video below. Is there a disconnect between Jesse McCarthy’s description of what “Young Thug” does and is and what is visible in the video below? How many talents are on display in the video below? Is this a High-Tech recurrence-with-a-vengeance of Antebellum Sub-Human-Negro Tropes designed to inspire subliminally Comedic Revulsion in the audience? How long will it take before the Segregationist Laws of the Old South are rendered absolutely unnecessary by American Pop Culture…?
And how amazing is this useful idiot (with a PhD), Jesse McCarthy, to not see that the “Young Thug” (et al) project does nothing to refute and destroy the institutional logic of Leopold II, when that should be one of our many ongoing tasks? We need to tower over Leopold’s heirs… not entertain them.
7HETEROSEX TABOO LOOMING
I like to keep an eye on trends in brainwashing (eg: how they tried and try to get a populist greenlight to invade/ colonize/ plunder yet another sovereign state in the domino-states of the Middle East, namely: Syria). What keeps popping up these days is a minor (but growing trend) towards trying to make bug-eating trendy (De Massas want to wean Duh Masses off of all that real-estate-consuming red meat consumption… they want more golf courses and they want increasingly-rare… pun intended… steaks for themselves)… plus a blatant, whopping and fairly sudden trend in making “gender-fluidity” a must-have accessory in your psycho-handbag. They want hetero-sex to be so uncool that pretty soon even the aspirational prole-boys (working-though-not-underclass) will be sucking each other off instead of knocking girls up. Now, I always thought it made good sense to encourage/ allow kids to experiment with same-sex crushes and non-reproductive, same-sex sex-relief (among teens) until they choose a general direction… which is not quite the same as making heterosex seem “creepy”. Heterosex is as beautiful and natural as any other kind, as long as the participants are being sweet, with the added benefit that it can perpetuate the species without expensive/ intrusive and decreasingly-natural intervention from GOV SCI. Do you honestly believe that it’s unthinkable that five generations from now, reproduction-from-natural-intercourse will be frowned on (at best), warned-against or even (possibly) illegal? The goal of every paradigm-shifting move I see being made (from “digital currency” to “consolidated data-tracking”) is control-approaching-100%. Do you really think TFIC aren’t salivating over the futuristic notion of controlling who has babies and how/ when…? But let’s get back to the brainwashing campaigns of NOW: Sexualizing grade-schoolers… whatever target-polarity the programmed sex-flavor is… is wrong. Little boys shouldn’t be trying on make-up/ piercings/ chokers/ heels and neither should little girls. Christ, what a skin-crawly planet this is becoming…
All by way of introducing the “first ever Grammy-winning K-Pop” group. Which happens to be (what a coincidence) “gender fluid”.
Pardon me while I take a moment to lose my lunch in this top-hat…