William Burroughs, Excerpts from Naked Lunch

σα(ρε)μαλι

  • Hero Member
  • *****
    • Posts: 1293
    • Gender:Male
  • Σταβανγκεριανό μου έαρ
Δυστοπία, σαρκασμός, ανεξάντλητο χιούμορ και ο εφιάλτης του ελέγχου, μ' άλλα λόγια το προσωπικό σύμπαν του Γουίλιαμ Μπάροουζ.

from Naked Lunch

The Man Who Taught His Asshole to Talk


Did I ever tell you about the man who taught his ass to talk? His whole abdomen would move up and down you dig farting out the words. It was unlike anything I had ever heard.

This ass talk had sort of a gut frequency. It hit you right down there like you gotta go. You know when the old colon gives you the elbow and it feels sorta cold inside, and you know all you have to do is turn loose? Well this talking hit you right down there, a bubbly, thick stagnant sound, a sound you could smell.

This man worked for a carnival you dig, and to start with it was like a novelty ventri- liquist act. Real funny, too, at first. He had a number he called The Better Ole that was a scream, I tell you. I forget most of it but it was clever. Like, "Oh I say, are you still down there, old thing?"

"Nah I had to go relieve myself."

After a while the ass start talking on its own. He would go in without anything prepared and his ass would ad-lib and toss the gags back at him every time.

Then it developed sort of teeth-like little raspy in- curving hooks and start eating. He thought this was cute at first and built an act around it, but the asshole would eat its way through his pants and start talking on the street, shouting out it wanted equal rights. It would get drunk, too, and have crying jags nobody loved it and it wanted to be kissed same as any other mouth. Finally it talked all the time day and night, you could hear him for blocks screaming at it to shut up, and beating it with his fist, and sticking candles up it, but nothing did any good and the asshole said to him Its you who will shut up in the end. Not me. Because we dont need you around here any more. I can talk and eat AND shit.
After that he began waking up in the morning with a transparent jelly like a tadpoles tail all over his mouth. This jelly was what the scientists call un-D.T., Undifferentiated Tissue, which can grow into any kind of flesh on the human body. He would tear it off his mouth and the pieces would stick to his hands like burning gasoline jelly and grow there, grow anywhere on him a glob of it fell. So finally his mouth sealed over, and the whole head would have have amputated spontaneous- except for the EYES you dig. Thats one thing the asshole COULDNT do was see. It needed the eyes. But nerve connections were blocked and infiltrated and atrophied so the brain couldnt give orders any more. It was trapped in the skull, sealed off. For a while you could see the silent, helpless suffer- ing of the brain behind the eyes, then finally the brain must have died, because the eyes WENT OUT, and there was no more feeling in them than a crabs eyes on the end of a stalk.


     
 Dr. Benway

         
      Dr. Benway had been called in as advisor to the Freeland Republic, a place given over to free love and continual bathing. The citizens are well adjusted, co- operatives, honest, tolerant and above all clean. But the invoking of Benway indicates all is not well behind that hygienic faqade: Benway is a manipulator and coordinator of symbol systems, an expert on all phases of interrogation, brainwashing and control. I have not seen Benway since his precipitate departure from Annexia, where his assignment had been T.D.-Total Demoralization. Benway's first act was to abolish concentration camps, mass arrest and, except under certain limited and special circumstances, the use of torture.

           "I deplore brutality," he said. "It's not efficient. On the other hand, prolonged mistreatment, short of physical violence, gives rise, when skillfully applied, to anxiety and a feeling of special guilt. A few rules or rather guiding principles are to be borne in mind. The subject must not realize that the mistreatment is a deliberate attack of an anti-buman enemy on his personal identity. He must be made to feel that he deserves any treatment he receives because there is something (never specified) horribly wrong with him. The naked need of the control addicts must be decently covered by an arbitrary and intricate bureaucracy so that the subject cannot contact his enemy direct."

           Of course the Annexia police processed suspected agents, saboteurs and political deviants on an assembly basis. As regards the interrogation of suspects, Benway has this to say:

           "While in general I avoid the use of torutre-- torture locates the opponent and mobilizes resistance --the threat of torture is useful to induce in the subject the appropriate feeling of helplessness and gratitude to the interrogator for withholding it. And torture can be employed to advantage as a penalty when the subject is far enough along with the treatment to accept punishment as deserved. To this end I devised several forms of disciplinary procedure. One was known as The Switchboard. Electric drills that can be turned on at any time are clamped against the subject's teeth; and he is instructed to operate an arbitrary switchboard, to put certain connections in certain sockets in response to bells and lights. Every time he makes a mistake the drills are turned on for twenty seconds. The signals are gradually speeded up beyond his reaction time. Half an hour on the switchboard and the subject breaks down like an overloaded thinking machine.

           "The study of thinking machines teaches us more about the brain than we can learn by introspective methods. Western man is externalizing himself in the form of gadgets. Ever pop coke in the mainline? It hits you right in the brain, activating connections of pure Pleasure. The pleasure of morphine is in the viscera. You listen down into yourself after a shot. But C is electricity through the brain, and the C yen is of the brain alone a need without body and without feeling. The C-charged brain is a berserk pinball machine, flashing blue and pink lights in electric orgasm. C pleasure could be felt by a thinking machine, the first stirrings of hideous insect life. The craving for C lasts only a few hours, as long as the C channels are stimulated. Of course the effect of C could be produced by an electric current activating the C channels....

           "So after a bit the channels wear out like veins, and the addict has to find new ones. A vein will come back in time, and by adroit vein rotation a junky can piece out the odds if he don't become an oil bumer. But brain cells don't come back once they're gone, and when the addict runs out of brain cells he is in a terrible fucking position.

           "Squatting on old bones and excrement and rusty iron, in a white blaze of heat, a panorama of naked idiots stretches to the horizon. Complete silence-their speech centers are destroyed-except for the crackle of sparks and the popping of singed flesh as they apply electrodes up and down the spine. White smoke of burning flesh hangs in the motionless air. A group of children have tied an idiot to a post with barbed wire and built a fire between his legs and stand watching with bestial curiosity as the flames lick his thighs. His flesh jerks in the fire with insect agony.

           "I digress as usual. Pending more precise knowledge of brain electronics, drugs remain an essential tool of the interrogator in his assault on the subject's personal identity. The barbiturates are, of course, virtually useless. That is, anyone who can be broken down by such means would succumb to the puerile methods used in an American precinct. Scopolamine is often effective in dissolving resistance, but it impairs the memory: an agent might be prepared to reveal his secrets but quite unable to remember them, or cover story and secret life info might be inextricably garbled. Mescaline, harmaline, LSD6, bufotenine, muscarine successful in many cases. Bulbocapnine induces a state approximating schizophrenic catatonia ... instances of automatic obedience have been observed. Bulbocapnine is a backbrain depressant probably putting out of action the centers of motion in the hypothalamus. Other drugs that have produced experimental schizophrenia-mescaline, harrnahne, LSD6-are backbrain stimulants. In schizophrenia the backbrain is alternately stimulated and depressed. Catatonia is often followed by a period of excitement and motor activity during which the nut rushes through the wards giving everyone a bad time. Deteriorated schizos sometimes refuse to move at all and spend their lives in bed. A disturbance of the regulatory function of the hypothalamus is indicated as the Cause' (causal thinking never yields accurate description of metabolic process-limitations of existing language) of schizophrenia. Alternate doses of LSD6 and bulbocapnine- the bulbocapnine potientiated with curare- give the highest yield of automatic obedience.

           "There are other procedures. The subject can be reduced to deep depression by administering large doses of benzedrine for several days. Psychosis can be induced by continual large doses of cocaine or demerol or by the abrupt withdrawal of barbiturates after prolonged administration. He can be addicted by dihydro-oxy-heroin and subjected to withdrawal (this compound should be five times as addicting as heroin, and the withdrawal proportionately severe).

           "There are various 'psychological methods,' compulsory psychoanalysis, for example. The subject is requested to free-associate for one hour every day (in cases where time is not of the essence). 'Now, now. Let's not be negative, boy. Poppa call nasty man. Take baby walkabout switchboard.'

           "The case of a female agent who forgot her real identity and merged with her cover story-she is still a fricoteuse in Annexia-put me onto another gimmick. An agent is trained to deny his agent identity by asserting his cover story. So why not use psychic jiu-jitsu and go along with him? Suggest that his cover story is his identity and that he has no other. His agent identity becomes unconscious, that is, out of his control; and you can dig it with drugs and hypnosis. You can make a square heterosex citizen queer with this angle . . . that is, reinforce and second his rejection of normally latent homosexual trends-at the same time depriving him of cunt and subjecting him to homosex stimulation. Then drugs, hypnosis, and-" Benway flipped a hump wrist.

           "Many subjects are vulnerable to sexual humiliation. Nakedness, stimulation with aphrodisiacs, constant supervision to embarrass subject and prevent relief of masturbation (erections during sleep automatically turn on an enormous vibrating electric buzzer that throws the subject out of bed into cold water, thus reducing the incidence of wet dreams to a minimum). Kicks to hypnotize a priest and tell him he is about to consummate a hypostatic union with the Lamb-then steer a randy old sheep up his ass. After that the interrogator can gain complete hypnotic control-tbe subject will come at his whistle, shit on the floor if he but say Open Sesame. Needless to say, the sex humiliation angle is contraindicated for overt homosexuals. (I mean let's keep our eye on the ball here and remember the old party line ... never know who's listening in.) I recall this one kid, I condition to shit at sight of me. Then I wash his ass and screw him. It was real tasty. And he was a lovely fellah too. And some times a subject will burst into boyish tears because he can't keep from ejaculate when you screw him. Well, as you can plainly see, the possibilities are endless like meandering paths in a great big beautiful garden. I was just scratching that lovely surface when I am purged bv Party Poops. ... Well, 'son cosas de la vida."'








« Last Edit: 06 Jan, 2007, 21:51:10 by wings »
I can live everywhere in the world, but it must be near an airport -and a pharmacy, I would add.

Δεν είναι ο ύπνος της λογικής που γεννάει τέρατα, αλλά ο άγρυπνος ορθολογισμός που πάσχει από αϋπνίες.


billberg23

  • Hero Member
  • *****
    • Posts: 6006
    • Gender:Male
  • Words ail me.
My compliments to Kostas for citing one of the greatest and least-sung authors of the 20th century — right up there, in my opinion, with Nabokov, Kazantzakis, Borges, and Beckett (though all of them would have, and sometimes did, avoid each other like the plague).  Among its other qualities, Burroughs' prose is the easiest to read aloud.  His words flow so naturally and readily from the tongue that he surpasses any other author in this regard.  More addicted to writing than to any of his drugs, he remained prolific to the end of his 83 years. His last written words, composed a day or so before his death, read "Love? What is it? Most natural painkiller what there is.  LOVE," δλδ. Η αγάπη;  Τί' ν' αυτό;  Είναι η πιό φυσική ανωδύνη που υπάρχει πουθενά.  Η ΑΓΑΠΗ.  He was thinking, of course, of his cats.

His best work is, I think, the most autobiographical.  Perhaps that's true of all authors, and I suppose autobiography is the subtext of all fiction.  Anyway, here's a quick sample from "The Lemon Kid" (in the collection Exterminator!):

   As a young child Audrey Carsons wanted to be writers because writers were rich and famous.  They lounged around Singapore and Rangoon smoking opium in a yellow pongee silk suit.  They sniffed cocaine in Mayfair and they penetrated forbidden swamps with a faithful native boy and lived in the native quarter of Tangier smoking hashish and languidly caressing a pet gazelle.
    His first literary exercise was called The Autobiography of a Wolf.  People laughed and said: "You mean the biography of a wolf."  No he meant the auto biography of a wolf and here is the autobiographical wolf and his wolf mate Jerry the red-haired wolf in a cool limestone cave licking the sheep blood off each other they are covered with it from head to foot it's been a great night with the sheep and they laugh at those stupid ranchers and often carried poisoned meat for miles in their jaws and flip it into ranch yards to kill the yapping yellow-toothed wolfhounds.  As the sun rises they huddle against each other and fall asleep with contented belches.


Ευχαριστώ πολλές φορές, Κώστα!



σα(ρε)μαλι

  • Hero Member
  • *****
    • Posts: 1293
    • Gender:Male
  • Σταβανγκεριανό μου έαρ
From the Cties of the Red Night

The Cities of Red Night were six in number: Thamaghis, Ba’dan, Yass-Waddah, Waghdas, Naufana and Ghadis. These cities were located in an area roughly corresponding to the Gobi Desert, a hundred thousand years ago. At that time the desert was dotted with large oases and traversed by a river which emptied into the Caspian Sea.

The largest of these oases contained a lake ten miles long and five miles across, on the shores of which the university town of Waghdas was founded. Pilgrims came from all over the inhabited world to study in the academies of Waghdas, where the arts and sciences reached peaks of attainment that have never been equaled. Much of this ancient knowledge is now lost.

The towns of Ba’dan and Yass-Waddah were opposite each other on the river. Tamaghis, located in a desolate area to the north on a small oasis, could properly be called a desert town. Naufana and Ghadis were situated in mountainous areas to the west and south beyond the perimeter of usual trade routes between the other cities.

In addition to the six cities, there were a number of villages and nomadic tribes. Food was plentiful and for a time the population was completely stable: no one was born unless someone died.

The inhabitants were divided into and elite minority known as the Transmigrants and a majority known as the Receptacles. Within these categories were a number of occupational and specialized strata and the two classes were not in practice separate: Transmigrants acted as Receptacles and Receptacles became Transmigrants.

To show the system in operation: Here is an old Transmigrant on his deathbed. He has selected his future Receptacle parents, who are summoned to the death chamber. The parents then copulate, achieving orgasm just as the old Transmigrant dies so that his spirit enters the womb to be reborn. Every Transmigrant carries with him at all times a list of alternative parents, and in case of accident, violence or sudden illness, the nearest parents are rushed to the scene. However, there was at first little chance of random or unexpected deaths since the Council of Transmigrants in Waghdas had attained such skill in the art of prophecy that they were able to chart a life from birth to death and determine in most cases the exact time and manner of death.

Many Transmigrants preferred not to wait for the infirmities of age and the ravages of illness, lest their spirit be so weakened as to be overwhelmed and absorbed by the Receptacle child. These hardy Transmigrants, in the full vigor of maturity, after rigorous training in concentration and astral projection, would select two death guides to kill them in front of the copulating parents. The methods of death most commonly employed were hanging and strangulation, the Transmigrant dying in orgasm, which was considered the most reliable method of ensuring a successful transfer. Drugs were also developed, large doses of which occasioned death in erotic convulsions, smaller doses being used to enhance sexual pleasure. And these drugs were often used in conjunction with other forms of death.

In time, death by natural causes became a rare and rather discreditable occurrence as the age for transmigration dropped. The Eternal Youths, a Transmigrant sect, were hanged at the age of eighteen to spare themselves at the coarsening experience of middle age and the deterioration of senescence, living their youth again and again.

Two factors undermined the stability of their system, The first was perfection of techniques for artificial insemination. Whereas the traditional practice called for one death and once rebirth, now hundreds of women could be impregnated from a single sperm collection, and territorially oriented Transmigrants could populate whole areas with their progeny. There were sullen mutters of revolt from the Recepacles, especially the women. At this point, another factor totally unforeseen was introduced.

In the thinly populated desert area north of Tamaghis a portentous event occurred. Some say it was a meteor that fell to earth leaving a crater twenty miles across. Others say that the crater was caused by what modern physicists call a black hole.

After this occurrence the whole northern sky lit up red at night, like the reflection from a vast furnace. Those in the immediate vicinity of the crater were the first to be affected and various mutations were observed, the commonest being altered hair and skin color. Red and yellow hair, and white, yellow, and red skin appeared for the first time. Slowly the whole area was similarly affected until the mutants outnumbered the original inhabitants, who were as all human beings were at the time: black.

The women, led by an albino mutant known as the White Tigress, seized Yass-Waddah, reducing the male inhabitants to salves, consorts, and courtiers all under sentence of death that could be carried out at any time at the caprice of the White Tigress. The Council in Waghdas countered by developing a method of growing babies in excised wombs, the wombs being supplied by vagrant Womb Snatchers, This practice aggravated the differences between the male and female factions and war with Yass-Waddah seemed unavoidable.

In Naufana, a method was found to transfer the spirit directly into an adolescent Receptacle, thus averting the awkward and vulnerable period of infancy. This practice required a rigorous period of preparation and training to achieve a harmonious blending of the two spirits in one body. These Transmigrants, combining the freshness and vitality of youth with the wisdom of many lifetimes, were expected to form an army of liberation to free Wass-Waddah. And there were adepts who could die at will without nay need of drugs or executioners and project their spirit into a chosen Receptacle.

I have mentioned hanging, strangulation, and orgasm drugs as the commonest means of effecting the transfer. However, many other forms of death were employed. The Fire Boys were burned to death in the presence of the Receptacles, only the genitals being insulated, so that the practitioner could achieve orgasm in the moment of death. There is an interesting account by a Fire Boy who recalled his experience after transmigrating in this manner:

"As the flames closed around my body, I inhaled deeply, drawing fire into my lungs, and screamed out flames as the most horrible pain turned to the most exquisite pleasure and I was ejaculating in an adolescent Receptacle who was being sodomized by another."

Others were stabbed, decapitated disemboweled shot with arrows, or killed by a blow on the head. Some threw themselves from cliffs, landing in front of the copulating Receptacles.

The scientists at Waghdas were developing a machine that could directly transfer the electromagnetic field of one body to another. In Ghadis there were adepts who were able to leave their bodies before death and occupy a series of hosts. How far this research may have gone will never be known. It was a time of great disorder and chaos.

The effects of the Red Night on Receptacles and Transmigrants proved to be incalculable and many strange mutants arose as a series of plagues devastated the cities. It is this period of war and pestilence that is covered by the books. The Council had set out to produce a race of supermen for the exploration of space. They produced instead races of ravening idiot vampires.

Finally, the cities were abandoned and the survivors fled in all direction, carrying the plagues with them. Some of these migrants crossed the Bering Strait into the New World, taking the books with them. They settled in the area later occupied by the Mayans and the books eventually fell into the hands of the Mayan priests.

The alert student of this noble experiment will perceive that death was regarded as equivalent not to birth but to conception and go in to infer that conception is the basic trauma. In the moment of death, the dying man’s whole life may flash in front of his eyes back to conception. In the moment of conception, his future life flashes forward to his future death. To reexperience conception is fatal.

This was the basic error of the Transmigrants: you do not get beyond death and conception by reexperience any more than you get beyond heroin by ingesting larger and larger doses. The Transmigrants were white literally addicted to death and they needed more and more death to kill the pain of conception. They were buying parasitic life with a promissory death note to be paid at a prearranged time. The Transmigrants then imposed these terms on the host child to ensure his future transmigration. There was a basic conflict of interest between host child and Transmigrant. So the Transmigrants reduced the Receptacle class to a condition of virtual idiocy. Otherwise they would have reneged on a bargain from which they stood to gain nothing but death. The books are flagrant falsifications. And some of these basic lies are still current.

"Nothing is true. Everything is permitted." The last words of Hassan i Sabbah, Old Man of the Mountain. "Tamaghis ... Ba'dan ... Yass-Waddah ... Waghdas ... Naufana... Ghadis." It is said that an initiate who wishes to know the answer to any question need only repeat these words as he falls asleep and the answer will come in a dream.

Tamaghis: This is the open city of contending partisans where advantage shifts from moment to moment in a desperate biological war. Here everything is as true as you think it is and everything you can get away with is permitted.

Ba'dan: This city is given over to competitive games, and commerce. Ba'dan closely resembles present-day America with a precarious moneyed elite, a large disaffected middle class and an equally large segment of criminals and outlaws. Unstable, explosive, and swept by whirlwind riots. Everything is true and everything is permitted.

Yass-Waddah: This city is the female stronghold where the Countess de Gulpa, the Countess de Vile, and the Council of the Selected plot a final subjugation of the other cities. Every shade of sexual transition is represented: boys with girls' heads, girls with boys' heads. Here everything is true and nothing is permitted except to the permitters.

Waghdas: This is the university city, the center of learning where all questions are answered in terms of what can be expressed and understood. Complete permission derives from complete understanding.

Naufana and Ghadis are the cities of illusion where nothing is true and therefore everything is permitted.

The traveler must start in Tamaghis and make his way through the other cities in the order named. This pilgrimage may take many lifetimes.
         
         
         
 The liberal principles embodied in the French and American revolutions and later in the liberal revolutions of 1848 had already been codified and put into practice by pirate communes a hundred years earlier. Here is a quote form Under the Black Flag by Don C. Seitz:

    "Captain Mission was one of the forbears of the French Revolution. He was one hundred years in advance of his time, for his career was based upon an initial desire to better adjust the affairs of mankind, which ended as is quite usual in the more liberal adjustment of his own fortunes. It is related how Captain Mission, having led his ship to victory against an English man-of-war, called a meeting of the crew. Those who wished to follow him he would welcome and treat as brothers; those who did not would be safely set ashore. One and all embraced the New Freedom. Some were for hoisting the Black Flag at once but Mission demurred, saying that they were not pirates but liberty lovers, fighting for equal rights against all nations subject to the tyranny of government, and bespoke a white flag as the more fitting emblem. The ship’s money was put in a chest to be used as common property. Clothes were now distributed to all in need and the republic of the sea was in full operation.

    Mission bespoke them to live in strict harmony among themselves; that a misplaced society would adjudge them still as pirates. Self-preservation, therefore, and not a cruel disposition, compelled them to declare war on all nations who should close their ports to them. “I declare such war and at the same time recommend to you a humane and generous behavior towards your prisoners, which will appear by so much more the effects of a noble soul as we are satisfied we should not meet the same treatment should our ill fortune or want of courage give us up to their mercy…” The Nieustadt of Amsterdam was made prize, giving up two thousand pounds and gold dust and seventeen slaves. The slaves were added to the crew and clothed in the Dutchman’s spare garments; Mission made an address denouncing slavery, holding that men who sold others like beasts proved their religion to be no more than a grimace as no man had power of liberty over another…"

Mission explored the Madagascar coast and found a bay ten leagues north of Diego-Suarez. It was resolved to establish here the shore quarters of the Republic—erect a town, build docks, and have a place they might call their own. The colony was called Libertatia and was placed under Articles drawn up by Captain Mission. The Articles state, among other things: all decisions with regard to the colony to be submitted to vote by the colonists; the abolition of slavery for any reason including debt; the abolition of the death penalty; and freedom to follow any religious beliefs or practices without sanction or molestation.

Captain Mission’s colony, which numbered about three hundred was wiped out by a surprise attack from the natives, and Captain Mission was killed shortly afterwards in a sea battle. There were other such colonies in the West Indies and in Central and South America, but they were not able to maintain themselves since they were not sufficiently populous to withstand attack. Had they been able to do so, the history of the world could have been altered. Imagine a number of such fortified positions all through South America and the West Indies, stretching from Africa and Madagascar and Malaya and the East Indies, all offering refuge to fugitives from slavery and oppression: “Come to us and live under the Articles.”

At once we have allies in all those who are enslaved and oppressed throughout the world, from the cotton plantations of the American South to the sugar plantations of the West Indies, the whole Indian population of the American continent peonized and degraded by the Spanish into subhuman poverty and ignorance, exterminated by the Americans, infected with their vices and diseases, the natives of Africa and Asia—all these are potential allies. Fortified positions supported by and supporting guerilla hit-and-run bands; supplied with soldiers, weapons, medicines and information by the local populations … such a combination would be unbeatable. If the whole American army couldn’t beat the Viet Cong at a time when fortified positions were rendered obsolete by artillery and air strikes, certainly the armies of Europe, operating in unfamiliar territory and susceptible to all the disabling diseases of tropical countries, could not have beaten guerilla tactics plus fortified positions. Consider the difficulties which such and invading army would face: continual harassment from the guerillas, a totally hostile population always ready with poison, misdirection, snakes and spiders in the general’s bed, armadillos carrying the deadly earth-eating disease rooting under the barracks and adopted as mascots by the regiment as dysentery and malaria take their toll. The sieges could not but present a series of military disasters. There is no stopping the Articulated. The white man is retroactively relieved of his burden. Whites will be welcomed as workers, settlers, teachers, and technicians, but not as colonists or masters. No man may violate the Articles.

Imagine such a movement on a world-wide scale. Faced by the actual practice of freedom, the French and American revolutions would be forced to stand by their words. The disastrous results of uncontrolled industrialization would also be curtailed, since factory workers and slum dwellers from the cities would seek refuge in Articulated areas. Any man would have the right to settle in any area of his choosing. The land would belong to those who used it. No white-man boss, no Pukka Sahib, no Patrons, no colonists. The escalation of mass production and concentration of population in urban areas would be halted, for who would work in their factories and buy their products when he could live from the fields and sea and the lakes and rivers in areas of unbelievable plenty? And living from the land, he would be motivated to preserve its resources.

I cite this example of retroactive Utopia since it actually could have happened in terms of the techniques and human resources available at the time. Had Captain Mission lived long enough to set an example for others to follow, mankind might have stepped free from the deadly impasse of insoluble problems in which we now find ourselves.

The chance was there. The chance was missed. The principles of the French and American revolutions became windy lies in the mouths of politicians. The liberal revolutions of 1848 created the so-called republics of Central and South America, with a dreary history of dictatorship, oppression, graft and bureaucracy, thus closing this vast underpopulated continent to any possibility of communes along the lines set forth by Captain Mission. In any case South America will soon be crisscrossed by highways and motels. In England, Western Europe, and America, the overpopulation made possible by the Industrial Revolution leaves scant room for communes, which are commonly subject to state and federal law and frequently harassed by the local inhabitants. There is simply no room left for “freedom from the tyranny of government” since city dwellers depend on it for food, power, water, transportation, protection and welfare. Your right to live where you want, with companions of your choosing, under laws to which you agree, died in the eighteenth century with Captain Mission. Only a miracle or a disaster could restore it.”

—William S. Burroughs       
           
         
I can live everywhere in the world, but it must be near an airport -and a pharmacy, I would add.

Δεν είναι ο ύπνος της λογικής που γεννάει τέρατα, αλλά ο άγρυπνος ορθολογισμός που πάσχει από αϋπνίες.


elena petelos

  • Hero Member
  • *****
    • Posts: 3185
    • Gender:Female
  • Qui ne dit mot consent.


elena petelos

  • Hero Member
  • *****
    • Posts: 3185
    • Gender:Female
  • Qui ne dit mot consent.
-
« Last Edit: 22 Aug, 2006, 02:40:40 by elena petelos »


elena petelos

  • Hero Member
  • *****
    • Posts: 3185
    • Gender:Female
  • Qui ne dit mot consent.
-


elena petelos

  • Hero Member
  • *****
    • Posts: 3185
    • Gender:Female
  • Qui ne dit mot consent.

σα(ρε)μαλι

  • Hero Member
  • *****
    • Posts: 1293
    • Gender:Male
  • Σταβανγκεριανό μου έαρ
Μουτς! Είσαι γλυκύτατη, πιο πολύ και από τον παππού-Μπιλ -γιατί ο θείος είναι ένας σαν τον Άσσο σκέτο.
I can live everywhere in the world, but it must be near an airport -and a pharmacy, I would add.

Δεν είναι ο ύπνος της λογικής που γεννάει τέρατα, αλλά ο άγρυπνος ορθολογισμός που πάσχει από αϋπνίες.


elena petelos

  • Hero Member
  • *****
    • Posts: 3185
    • Gender:Female
  • Qui ne dit mot consent.
(Kώστα, μη φωνάξεις. :( :))


elena petelos

  • Hero Member
  • *****
    • Posts: 3185
    • Gender:Female
  • Qui ne dit mot consent.
*


elena petelos

  • Hero Member
  • *****
    • Posts: 3185
    • Gender:Female
  • Qui ne dit mot consent.
*


elena petelos

  • Hero Member
  • *****
    • Posts: 3185
    • Gender:Female
  • Qui ne dit mot consent.
XV

The whole secret
   is intent



In his self-appointed role as an agent provocateur Burroughs has been fascinated with masks and disguises: Clem and Jody dressed in Stetsons and red suspenders, "Happy Cloak" addicts wearing Venusian skins, Audrey Carsons in a "Charro costume", Kim Carsons selecting a disguise to return to the New World, the drug-pusher as a priest, and, of course, the hipster in a three-piece banker's suit. Disguises are used to conceal one's identity, presence, and behavior; they allow the wearer to travel stealthily and perform his operations unseen. Ultimately, however, the best disguise is none at all; Burroughs describes it as the "Walk Exercise":
Basically it consists in taking a walk with the continuity and preceptions you encounter. The original version of this exercise was taught me by an old Mafia Don in Columbus, Ohio: seeing everyone in the street before he sees you. [...] Generally speaking, if you see other people before they see you, the won't see you. I have even managed to get past a whole block of guides and shoeshine boys in Tangier this way, thus earning my Moroccan monicker: "El Hombre Invisible".
Burroughs has conducted himself in precisely the fashion of a shy and retiring surveillance agent, quielty gathering the facts, penetrating the most hardened defenses of cultural "Control", and reporting the details back from the front lines. Like the Invisible Man in the H.G. Wells novel, his invisibility allows him to approach and withdraw without anyone noticing. Like the "spy" described by Jasper Johns in 1965, he is an artist who "must be ready to move", must be aware of his entrances and exits... must remember and must remember himself and his remembering... The spy designs himself to be overlooked."
Artists and writers may function as spies of sorts, but if their reports make enough of an impact, exert enough of an influence, or change the course of affairs, they become much more akin to an agent runner who directs other spies. And, according to the fictional spy George Smiley, "it is the business of agent runners to turn themselves into legends."


Ports of Entry - Sobieszek + Burroughs afterword -- Los Angeles County Museum of Art -Thames and Hudson --1995


σα(ρε)μαλι

  • Hero Member
  • *****
    • Posts: 1293
    • Gender:Male
  • Σταβανγκεριανό μου έαρ
 The Place of Dead Roads (excerpt) 

Kim has never doubted the possibility of an afterlife or the existence of gods. In fact he intends to become a god, to shoot his way to immortality, to invent his way, to write his way. He has a number of patents: the Carsons spring knife, an extension of the spring blackjack principle; a cartridge in which the case becomes the projectile; an air gun in which air is compressed by a small powder charge; a magnetic gun
in which propulsion is effected by compressing a reversed magnetic field. "Whenever you use this bow I will be there," the Zen archery master tells his students. And he means there quite literally. He lives in his students and thus achieves a measure of immortality. And the immortality of a writer is to be taken literally. Whenever anyone reads his words the writer is there. He lives in his readers. So every time someone neatly guts his opponent with my spring knife or slices off two heads with one swipe of my spring sword I am there to drink the blood and smell the fresh entrails as they slop out with a divine squishy sound. I am there when the case bullet tbuds home-right in the stomach ... what a lovely grunt! And my saga will shine in the eyes of adolescents squinting through gunsmoke.

Kapow! Kapow! Kapow!

Kim considers that immortality is the only goal worth striving for. He knows that it isn't something you just automatically get for believing some nonsense or other like Christianity or Islam. It is something you have to work and fight for, like everything else in this life or another.

The most arbitrary, precarious, and bureaucratic immortality blueprint was drafted by the ancient Egyptians. First you had to get yourself mummified, and that was very expensive, making immortality a monopoly of the truly rich. Then your continued immortality in the Western Lands was entirely dependent on the continued existence of your mummy. That is why they had their mummies guarded by demons and hid good. Here is plain G.I. Horns.... He's got enough baraka to survive his first physical death. He won't get far. He's got no mummy, he's got no names, he's got nothing. What happens to a bum like that, a nameless, mummyless asshole? Why, demons will swarm all over him at the first checkpoint. He will be dismembered and thrown into a flaming pit, where his soul will be utterly consumed and destroyed forever. While others, with sound mummies and the right names to drop in the right places, sail through to the Western Lands.

There are of course those who just barely squeeze through. Their mummies are not in a good sound condition. These second-class souls are relegated to third-rate transient hotels just beyond the last checkpoint, where they can smell the charnel-house disposal ovens from their skimpy balconies. "You see that sign?" the bartender snarls.

MAGGOTTY MUMMIES WILL NOT BE SERVED HERE

"Might as well face facts ... mv mummy is going downhill. Cheap job to begin with ... gawd, maggots is crawling all over it ... the way that demon guard sniffed at me this morning. . . Transient hotels ... And here you are in your luxury condo, deep in the Western Lands ... you got no security. Some disgruntled former employee sneaks into your tomb and throws acid on your mummy. Or sloshes gasoline all over it and burns the shit out of it. "OH ... someone is f***ing with my mummy.. .."

Mummies are sitting ducks. No matter who you are, what can happen to your mummy is a pharaoh's nightmare: the dreaded mummy bashers and grave robbers, scavengers, floods, volcanoes, earthquakes. Perhaps a mummy's best friend is an Egyptologist: sealed in a glass case, kept at a constant tempera- ture ... but your mummy isn't even safe in a museum. Air-raid sirens, it's the blitz! "For Ra's sake, get us into the vaults," scream the mummies, without a throat, without a tongue.

Anybody buy in on a deal like that should have his mummy examined.
         
         
         
       

         
I can live everywhere in the world, but it must be near an airport -and a pharmacy, I would add.

Δεν είναι ο ύπνος της λογικής που γεννάει τέρατα, αλλά ο άγρυπνος ορθολογισμός που πάσχει από αϋπνίες.


billberg23

  • Hero Member
  • *****
    • Posts: 6006
    • Gender:Male
  • Words ail me.
From Ah Pook Is Here:

In the transitional forms of Death, Death to some extent identifies with the man he kills and shares his death.  So shared Death loses its absolute character.  Death shows himself to the dying.  All this seems very subversive to Mr. Hart, who never identifies with his victims.  To do so would put him in danger of becoming a victim himself.  Yet at some point death must take this risk.  He must become a mortal and die in order to be reborn.  Mr. Hart wants to be death but he will not know death.  Death will not serve a stranger who cannot prove his title, a gringo who fears the very word and sets up a house rule that the word 'Death' may not be pronounced in his presence.  Hart cannot read  the Mayan books.  He is reading them as one who reads Moby Dick to find out about whaling and to hell with Ahab, White Whales, Queequeg and Ishmael ... What is written there long dormant is now a virulent strain of virus waiting to escape, to leap from the pages and infect millions of human hosts, not with Mr. Hart's greedy Bible-belt 19th-century capitalistic message, but with their own messages, cruel, tender, ambiguous, shameless, slimy, virginal, capricious, immeasurably old and ravenously young ... Mr. Hart, who would be Death, does not know to whom he is aspeak....

The train stops in a desert ghost town ... empty station ... water tower.  Mr. Hart glances out the window.  The gray Vulture God leans against a wall, one knee out, his face shaded by a sombrero.  Mr. Hart begins to cough and covers his face with a handkerchief.
The train starts.  Mr. Hart recovers and resumes his study of the Mayan books as the scenery outside abruptly changes and the train winds through a river valley of meadows, fields and trees.
Like the Egyptian and Tibetan books of the dead, the Mayan books chart the area after death and the ambiguous no man's land between death and rebirth.  The Tibetan and Egyptian books stress formalized ritual;  if you say the right things to the right Gods everything will be all right.  The Mayans on the other hand mapped an admittedly dangerous and largely unexplored area where prayers and mantras and name-dropping may not serve your cause this evening.
'I happen to be a good friend of Osiris if that name means anything to you.'
The Death Cop slaps him back and forth across the face.
'Any son of a bitch tries to scare me with the people he knows ...'
'I want the American Consul ... Consul Americano ...'
Death as a Mexican cop smiles through the bars.
'No sabe Merican Consul, Meester ...'


 

Search Tools