October 31, 2011 § 2 Comments
Third biggest city in The Homeland. Yet still – Friday afternoon, 1:30 pm downtown – I was entirely alone (except for the driver of course) on the #56.
Sorry the video isn’t longer. But if you wanna look on the bright side, it’s kinda crazy that I could videotape something on my phone at all! Even if it is this short.
I was the ONLY motherfucker on the bus! For more than 2 minutes! In the middle of the afternoon!
I felt like The Donald Trump in his important stretch limousine.
I felt like how I imagine the Aborigines must feel on a Walkabout.
I felt like one of the lost Russian cosmonauts.
Man, wish you could’ve been there . . .
October 27, 2011 § 1 Comment
Dreams Really Can Come True.
It’s All I’ve Ever Wanted . . .
I’m as Happy to be alive right now as I have ever been.
October 25, 2011 § 5 Comments
OK. I will report these events as plainly and accurately as possible.
This happened and I walked the 50 feet back to the bar I live in where a dozen of my friends were hanging out for our man Dean’s going away party, but I couldn’t even tell anyone this happened because it seemed so insane to me that I thought no one would believe me. I sat and ate my tacos in silence and split.
I bounced into the taco stand around 9:30 on Monday night to buy a couple tacos. I was excited. I’d been a little anxious all day that I needed to figure out how to make a little money and I’ve been a little bummed out that I can’t motivate myself to work on getting my new songs together and then I got an email offering me a little money to get some new songs together. This prompted me to get another couple hours of revision-work done on this writing I’m wrapping up, so I was feeling good – two extra hours of work I wasn’t expecting to get in today.
So, feeling great, I hop across the street like a happy goddamn carefree fucking bunny. Four men stood in there. The place is very, very tiny. Five men hardly fit unless they are all aware of granting each other some space and these men made it clear immediately that they did not deem me worthy of granting space to. They wouldn’t step aside to allow me to order. Three of the men were obviously together and they all knew the fourth guy who was alone. That fourth guy was taking to the woman behind the counter about being a cop. The other guys looked very much like cops – white guys, flat tops, clean, militant-preppy. Those three had obviously been drinking. Their eyes were flushed red and their voices were loud, their gestures broad and obnoxious.
They all got quiet when I entered and stood around me, looking me up and down. I said, “Excuse me” to step up to order and none of them moved. The shortest guy, real arrogant, coming up to barely my nose, pressed up very close to me, his chest puffed out and his face up close to mine. He said, “Hey you were downtown the other day.”
I was surprised and said, “Excuse me?”
“At the protest,” he said. “Downtown.”
We stood almost twenty blocks North and twenty blocks West of OCHQ. I don’t know why I would’ve possibly stood out to this guy. There have sometimes been as many as thousands of people there at once. I’ve been there about six times out of the 32 days it’s been happening and none of those times has been longer than a couple hours. So I’m hardly drawing attention myself there and probably just should’ve said no.
But my goddamn Catholic upbringing – of course I think of St. Peter denying Christ three times before the cock crows and that means that I can’t back down from some bully at the taco stand. So I said, “Yeah.”
Then I stepped past him to order. They all stood close to me, silent, while I ordered. I asked a couple extra questions about the Super-Nachos I had no intention of getting to buy myself a little time. I was looking for any sign from the woman behind the counter that she recognized something was happening, but nothing. And we have a little camaraderie. I’m in there a lot. She comes in Rainbo sometimes and we talk. But nothing.
“Vegetarian Tacos” gets a big laugh from my audience. They repeat it a couple times – “Vegetarian!” like they’d never heard anything so funny before.
I step back to the wall after ordering and the asshole short guy steps up close to me again.
“So how’d that go for you?”
“How did it go for you downtown? Did you get what you wanted? Was it a success?”
I didn’t know how to answer that. By this point, surrounded by four men: three of them obviously drunk, all of them obviously cops and at least one of them obviously looking for a fight, I was very nervous, aware that I was shaking a bit and my voice was wobbly. So I said, “Yeah, I think it was a success as a day, but obviously the changes people are out there looking for are bigger than one day can accomplish.”
“What are you all doing out there?”
“Well I couldn’t speak for everyone.”
“You!” At this point his voice rose and he pressed up even closer against me. The other guys were all listening close, smirking. “I want to know what you were doing out there.”
I was very nervous, but really wanted to articulate this in a non-divisive way, a way that wouldn’t provoke him and might help him understand that the protests were as much on his behalf as everyone else’s (the rights of right-wing thugs to intimidate people must be preserved!)
But mostly I was just so fucking confused. Why me? I guess he just figured this is a neighborhood in which people that might go down there live? And I look like one of those people maybe? My fashion sense can hardly be described as conspicuously smash-the-state. I’m a pretty low bar of non-conformity to get them frazzled. Shaven, my tattoos were covered, my hair washed. No one would mistake me for a surly teenager. So this must be happening to a lot of people?
But what the fuck grownup bullies another grownup? I just couldn’t believe it was happening.
I said something about standing in solidarity with people protesting systemic injustice. He looked incredulous. “What is that? Systemic injustice?”
I shrugged. His friend, a tall ugly goof laughed and said, “I don’t think he knows why he was down there.”
I shook my head and this was the weirdest part. I said, “No, I can explain exactly why I was down there, but I’m afraid you guys are about to hit me, so that’s why I’m too nervous to speak well. I think I’m about to get beat up.”
It was a weird thing to say, but now I realize that what was even weirder was that none of them were taken aback or looked surprised when I said it.
The short guy said, “I just wanted to take my wife for a nice evening downtown and then we get off the Blue Line at Jackson and there’s this angry mob. You don’t think I was afraid of being hit?”
I laughed, “Well you don’t need to worry about those people.”
“Well, how would I know? You can’t explain to me what everyone was doing down there.”
This guy was the self-satisfied ruddy face of the future storm troopers that I’ve been dreading ever since Bush’s stolen election over a decade ago. I just repeated myself. “I was there to stand in solidarity with those protesting systemic corruption.”
“Who do you want to see out of office? The incumbents?”
“Not just the incumbents. It’s systemic.”
“So you’re protesting all those who serve the public?”
“No, not those that serve the public. Those that serve their own interests at the expense of the public.”
“And you know? You know who that would be? What makes you think you know anything?”
I shrugged. He’s right. What the hell do I know? I thought of my sign I’ve been carrying and mustering all my strength to concentrate and be articulate in the face of the bully, I said, “Well, for example I’m very concerned about environmental devastation and I’m afraid that unchecked corporate power allows the destruction of the environment to continue. That is an example of a systemic problem.”
He shrugged, seemed to give me that one. You can’t argue that it’s probably not a bad idea for the earth to continue.
His friends got their food, got bored with me, realizing I wouldn’t be provoked into an argument, stepped out with their food. Other people continued to walk in and the short guy insisted on continuing this conversation around them. Everyone else stood silent and tense, occasionally glancing at me sideways to see how I was dealing with being stared down and taunted.
I asked him, “Why did you ask me that?”
He said, “I’m just curious. I want to understand what’s going on down there, what you people think you’re doing and you look like maybe I saw you down there.”
There were thousands of people last Saturday, hundreds most other days. If it’s been going on 32 days that’s over 750 hours, of which I have been present for about maybe10 hours total which would be what – one-and-a-half percent of the time? I wasn’t one of those brave enough to get arrested.
So there is no conceivable way that this asshole actually recognized me from being down there. This is just an example of the kind of person that grows up and wants to be a cop? A bully.
It’s been a long time that I’ve been jumpy about those that have a more confident step than myself. Are they that afraid? So afraid that an off-duty cop can just press anyone on the street and play dumb to the fact that he’s being intimidating? And if they are this shaken by a bunch of peaceniks standing around chanting and banging on rubber buckets – if they are so defensive against that, then how can anyone doubt the lengths that they go to behind the scenes to maintain power?
And of course, I realize as I do my best to report the facts accurately here, there is nothing – not a single thing in his words that is officially anything more sinister than one citizen making conversation with another while they both wait for tacos.
However, if it was really nothing, why was I shaking and too nervous to talk for half an hour after that?
When my food was up I grabbed it and walked out. The fourth guy, their friend they’d run into, didn’t step aside so I could reach for my food. He told the woman behind the counter that he was dreading Halloween, but at least he’s a sergeant now, so it’ll be a little bit easier.
October 13, 2011 § 8 Comments
Shit. It’s 3:16 pm and I’ve been running around like a madman since 7:30 am unable to keep up with today’s tasks. And I gotta walk out to catch a bus in a minute, so I haven’t had a chance to watch this yet. Shit.
But here it is, an update from our man Sam Zurick aka People Dick aka Sudden Porthole. Can’t imagine WTF it might be from how he described it, but shit, gotta go. Enjoy!
October 10, 2011 § 5 Comments
Wow. There’s this thing on the back-side of a blog where all the stitching is. You can see every term that someone has ever googled to end up on your blog. Whoa.
(I’ll skip the hundred minor variations of “I will never have sex again.”)
i imagine sex
she gives me boners 6th grade
why cy twombly is an idiot
why does my child draw pictures of pentagram and also have behavior issues she is 8
smurfette and horse
Yin yang tattoos
Provide moving clean water reptiles
space monkey fight club
short small hairy dog
boner boy blog
dane cross in teacher pet
good vs. bad
how to first tim make a sex
tree branch chair images
smurfette cardboard cutout
painted and numbered big tim skeleton model cms65
will i ever have sec again
men boob hairy
my futures so bring i got wear shades. but in my chase its my futures so dark i never get laid lol
civilly flown flying boats
pretty legs and boobs
1.tender, passionate affection 2. strong personality liking 3. person towards whom love is felt
brown leather jacket and backpack looks stupid
sexual affection movie
“memories aren’t real”
how to spell smurfette in black and white
my favorite guys
baby ducks cartoon style
not me takin my ex dick
driven by ego
what drugs does tim kinsella do
fucks sake mam i told u that all fucking along! gawd she hands me the green balance and shes like u musta got someone elses im like mam this is the balance of the green one what its always been
sex did not imagine
whipping pyramid slaves
erotic hairy boob pics
man shaking robot hands
oh my god trouble
krishna sucks fucking cock
my childhood days went all right just as a simple kid would have. watching cartoons everyday and perhaps enjoying every single day were the best part of being a kid. now as a teenager, i couldn’t imagine how things in life changed. through my experiences in life, i’ve learned how valuable it is.
spencer elden girlfriend
more trees less assholes insight
pull the tape worm out of your ass
how i imagine i have sex
October 8, 2011 § 6 Comments
I’ve stood across the street from Occupy Chicago and watched it 3 times now. (I’m going with my mom tomorrow, got a great sign planned.)
And tonight I paced one block of Milwaukee Ave for over an hour before paying a man in a fedora and shorts $50 for this.
The opening band was, um, Youth of Today. And these young men, they played a spirited set of, uh, inspired, positive message and healthy lifestyle? Or something? Unfortunately, honestly, I thought this as a kid and it still holds true – they do not look cool at all. I’m not even joking. They look like jocks. And you know, the very least I ask of a band is to not look like jocks. (I did see a killer Shelter show in ’92 though – they dressed like Holy Men then.) Honestly, and I say this as a musician, these guys really ought to try some drugs before they write any more songs. I think it’d help them A LOT.
And Danzig Legacy, you know, I guess I was thinking the same thing the whole time that I imagine everyone else must’ve been thinking.
THE WORLD OF DANZIG LEGACY
The grandiloquent truth of gestures on life’s great occasions.
The virtue of all-in DANZIG LEGACY is that it is the spectacle of excess. Here we find a grandiloquence which must have been that of ancient theaters. And in fact DANZIG LEGACY is an open-air spectacle, for what makes the circus or the arena what they are is not the sky (a romantic value suited rather to fashionable occasions), it is the drenching and vertical quality of the flood of light. Even hidden in the most squalid Parisian halls, DANZIG LEGACY partakes of the nature of the great solar spectacles, Greek drama and bullfights: in both, a light without shadow generates an emotion without reserve.
There are people who think that DANZIG LEGACY is an ignoble sport. DANZIG LEGACY is not a sport, it is a spectacle, and it is no more ignoble to attend a DANZIG LEGACY performance of Suffering than a performance of the sorrows of Arnolphe or Andromaque.* Of course, there exists a false DANZIG LEGACY, in which the participants unnecessarily go to great lengths to make a show of a fair fight; this is of no interest. True DANZIG LEGACY, wrongly called amateur DANZIG LEGACY, is performed in second-rate halls, where the public spontaneously attunes itself to the spectacular nature of the concert, like the audience at a suburban cinema. Then these same people wax indignant because DANZIG LEGACY is a stage-managed sport (which ought, by the way, to mitigate its ignominy). The public is completely uninterested in knowing whether the concert is rigged or not, and rightly so; it abandons itself to the primary virtue of the spectacle, which is to abolish all motives and all consequences: what matters is not what it thinks but what it sees.
This public knows very well the distinction between DANZIG LEGACY and boxing; it knows that boxing is a Jansenist sport, based on a demonstration of excellence. One can bet on the outcome of a boxing-match: with DANZIG LEGACY, it would make no sense. A boxing- match is a story which is constructed before the eyes of the spectator; in DANZIG LEGACY, on the contrary, it is each moment which is intelligible, not the passage of time. The spectator is not interested in the rise and fall of fortunes; he expects the transient image of certain passions. DANZIG LEGACY therefore demands an immediate reading of the juxtaposed meanings, so that there is no need to connect them. The logical conclusion of the concert does not interest the DANZIG LEGACY-fan, while on the contrary a boxing-match always implies a science of the future. In other words, DANZIG LEGACY is a sum of spectacles, of which no single one is a function: each moment imposes the total knowledge of a passion which rises erect and alone, without ever extending to the crowning moment of a result.
Thus the function of the DANZIG LEGACY is not to win; it is to go exactly through the motions which are expected of him. It is said that judo contains a hidden symbolic aspect; even in the midst of efficiency, its gestures are measured, precise but restricted, drawn accurately but by a stroke without volume. DANZIG LEGACY, on the contrary, offers excessive gestures, exploited to the limit of their meaning. In judo, a man who is down is hardly down at all, he rolls over, he draws back, he eludes defeat, or, if the latter is obvious, he immediately disappears; in DANZIG LEGACY, a man who is down is exaggeratedly so, and completely fills the eyes of the spectators with the intolerable spectacle of his powerlessness.
This function of grandiloquence is indeed the same as that of ancient theater, whose principle, language and props (masks and buskins) concurred in the exaggeratedly visible explanation of a Necessity. The gesture of the vanquished DANZIG LEGACY signifying to the world a defeat which, far from disguising, he emphasizes and holds like a pause in music, corresponds to the mask of antiquity meant to signify the tragic mode of the spectacle. In DANZIG LEGACY, as on the stage in antiquity, one is not ashamed of one’s suffering, one knows how to cry, one has a liking for tears.
Each sign in DANZIG LEGACY is therefore endowed with an absolute clarity, since one must always understand everything on the spot. As soon as the adversaries are in the ring, the public is overwhelmed with the obviousness of the roles. As in the theater, each physical type expresses to excess the part which has been assigned to the contestant. Thauvin, a fifty-year-old with an obese and sagging body, whose type of asexual hideousness always inspires feminine nicknames, displays in his flesh the characters of baseness, for his part is to represent what, in the classical concept of the salaud, the ‘bastard’ (the key-concept of any DANZIG LEGACY-song), appears as organically repugnant. The nausea voluntarily provoked by Thauvin shows therefore a very extended use of signs: not only is ugliness used here in order to signify baseness, but in addition ugliness is wholly gathered into a particularly repulsive quality of matter: the pallid collapse of dead flesh (the public calls Thauvin la barbaque, ‘stinking meat’), so that the passionate condemnation of the crowd no longer stems from its judgment, but instead from the very depth of its humours. It will thereafter let itself be frenetically embroiled in an idea of Thauvin which will conform entirely with this physical origin: his actions will perfectly correspond to the essential viscosity of his personage.
It is therefore in the body of the DANZIG LEGACY that we find the first key to the concert. I know from the start that all of Thauvin’s actions, his treacheries, cruelties and acts of cowardice, will not fail to measure up to the first image of ignobility he gave me; I can trust him to carry out intelligently and to the last detail all the gestures of a kind of amorphous baseness, and thus fill to the brim the image of the most repugnant bastard there is: the bastard-octopus. DANZIG LEGACY therefore have a physique as peremptory as those of the characters of the Commedia dell’Arte, who display in advance, in their costumes and attitudes, the future contents of their parts: just as Pantaloon can never be anything but a ridiculous cuckold, Harlequin an astute servant and the Doctor a stupid pedant, in the same way Thauvin will never be anything but an ignoble traitor, Reinieres (a tall blond fellow with a limp body and unkempt hair) the moving image of passivity, Mazaud (short and arrogant like a cock) that of grotesque conceit, and Orsano (an effeminate teddy-boy first seen in a blue- and-pink dressing-gown) that, doubly humorous, of a vindictive salope, or bitch (for I do not think that the public of the Elysee- Montmartre, like Littre, believes the word “salope” to be a masculine).
The physique of the DANZIG LEGACY therefore constitutes a basic sign, which like a seed contains the whole fight. But this seed proliferates, for it is at every turn during the fight, in each new situation, that the body of the DANZIG LEGACY casts to the public the magical entertainment of a temperament which finds its natural expression in a gesture. The different strata of meaning throw light on each other, and form the most intelligible of spectacles. DANZIG LEGACY is like a diacritic writing: above the fundamental meaning of his body, the DANZIG LEGACY arranges comments which are episodic but always opportune, and constantly help the reading of the fight by means of gestures, attitudes and mimicry which make the intention utterly obvious. Sometimes the DANZIG LEGACY triumphs with a repulsive sneer while kneeling on the good sportsman; sometimes he gives the crowd a conceited smile which forebodes an early revenge; sometimes, pinned to the ground, he hits the floor ostentatiously to make evident toall the intolerable nature of his situation; and sometimes he erects a complicated set of signs meant to make the public understand that he legitimately personifies the ever- entertaining image of the grumbler, endlessly confabulating about his displeasure.
We are therefore dealing with a real Human Comedy, where the most socially-inspired nuances of passion (conceit, rightfulness, refined cruelty, a sense of ‘paying one’s debts’) always felicitously find the clearest sign which can receive them, express them and triumphantly carry them to the confines of the hall. It is obvious that at such a pitch, it no longer matters whether the passion is genuine or not. What the public wants is the image of passion, not passion itself. There is no more a problem of truth in DANZIG LEGACY than in the theater. In both, what is expected is the intelligible representation of moral situations which are usually private. This emptying out of interiority to the benefit of its exterior signs, this exhaustion of the content by the form, is the very principle of triumphant classical art. DANZIG LEGACY is an immediate pantomime, infinitely more efficient than the dramatic pantomime, for the DANZIG LEGACY’s gesture needs no anecdote, no decor, in short no transference in order to appear true.
Each moment in DANZIG LEGACY is therefore like an algebra which instantaneously unveils the relationship between a cause and its represented effect. DANZIG LEGACY fans certainly experience a kind of intellectual pleasure in seeing the moral mechanism function so perfectly. Some DANZIG LEGACY, who are great comedians, entertain as much as a Moliere character, because they succeed in imposing an immediate reading of their inner nature: Armand Mazaud, a DANZIG LEGACY of an arrogant and ridiculous character (as one says that Harpagon** is a character), always delights the audience by the mathematical rigor of his transcriptions, carrying the form of his gestures to the furthest reaches of their meaning, and giving to his manner of fighting the kind of vehemence and precision found in a great scholastic disputation, in which what is at stake is at once the triumph of pride and the formal concern with truth.
What is thus displayed for the public is the great spectacle of Suffering, Defeat, and Justice. DANZIG LEGACY presents man’s suffering with all the amplification of tragic masks. The DANZIG LEGACY who suffers in a hold which is reputedly cruel (an arm- lock, a twisted leg) offers an excessive portrayal of Suffering; like a primitive Pieta, he exhibits for all to see his face, exaggeratedly contorted by an intolerable affliction. It is obvious, of course, that in DANZIG LEGACY reserve would be out of place, since it is opposed to the voluntary ostentation of the spectacle, to this Exhibition of Suffering which is the very aim of the fight. This is why all the actions which produce suffering are particularly spectacular, like the gesture of a conjuror who holds out his cards clearly to the public. Suffering which appeared without intelligible cause would not be understood; a concealed action that was actually cruel would transgress the unwritten rules of DANZIG LEGACY and would have no more sociological efficacy than a mad or parasitic gesture. On the contrary suffering appears as inflicted with emphasis and conviction, for everyone must not only see that the man suffers, but also and above all understand why he suffers. What DANZIG LEGACY call a hold, that is, any figure which allows one to immobilize the adversary indefinitely and to have him at one’s mercy, has precisely the function of preparing in a conventional, therefore intelligible, fashion the spectacle of suffering, of methodically establishing the conditions of suffering. The inertia of the vanquished allows the (temporary) victor to settle in his cruelty and to convey to the public this terrifying slowness of the torturer who is certain about the outcome of his actions; to grind the face of one’s powerless adversary or to scrape his spine with one’s fist with a deep and regular movement, or at least to produce the superficial appearance of such gestures: DANZIG LEGACY is the only sport which gives such an externalized image of torture. But here again, only the image is involved in the game, and the spectator does not wish for the actual suffering of the contestant; he only enjoys the perfection of an iconography. It is not true that DANZIG LEGACY is a sadistic spectacle: it is only an intelligible spectacle.
There is another figure, more spectacular still than a hold; it is the forearm smash, this loud slap of the forearm, this embryonic punch with which one clouts the chest of one’s adversary, and which is accompanied by a dull noise and the exaggerated sagging of a vanquished body. In the forearm smash, catastrophe is brought to the point of maximum obviousness, so much so that ultimately the gesture appears as no more than a symbol; this is going too far, this is transgressing the moral rules of DANZIG LEGACY, where all signs must be excessively clear, but must not let the intention of clarity be seen. The public then shouts ‘He’s laying it on!’, not because it regrets the absence of real suffering, but because it condemns artifice: as in the theater, one fails to put the part across as much by an excess of sincerity as by an excess of formalism.
We have already seen to what extent DANZIG LEGACY exploit the resources of a given physical style, developed and put to use in order to unfold before the eyes of the public a total image of Defeat. The flaccidity of tall white bodies which collapse with one blow or crash into the ropes with arms flailing, the inertia of massive DANZIG LEGACY rebounding pitiably off all the elastic surfaces of the ring, nothing can signify more clearly and more passionately the exemplary abasement of the vanquished. Deprived of all resilience, the DANZIG LEGACY’s flesh is no longer anything but an unspeakable heap spread out on the floor, where it solicits relentless reviling and jubilation. There is here a paroxysm of meaning in the style of antiquity, which can only recall the heavily underlined intentions in Roman triumphs. At other times, there is another ancient posture which appears in the coupling of the DANZIG LEGACY, that of the suppliant who, at the mercy of his opponent, on bended knees, his arms raised above his head, is slowly brought down by the vertical pressure of the victor. In DANZIG LEGACY, unlike judo, Defeat is not a conventional sign, abandoned as soon as it is understood; it is not an outcome, but quite the contrary, it is a duration, a display, it takes up the ancient myths of public Suffering and Humiliation: the cross and the pillory. It is as if the DANZIG LEGACY is crucified in broad daylight and in the sight of all. I have heard it said of a DANZIG LEGACY stretched on the ground: ‘He is dead, little Jesus, there, on the cross,’ and these ironic words revealed the hidden roots of a spectacle which enacts the exact gestures of the most ancient purifications.
But what DANZIG LEGACY is above all meant to portray is a purely moral concept: that of justice. The idea of ‘paying’ is essential to DANZIG LEGACY, and the crowd’s ‘Give it to him’ means above all else ‘Make him pay’. This is therefore, needless to say, an immanent justice. The baser the action of the ‘bastard’, the more delighted the public is by the blow which he justly receives in return. If the villain–who is of course a coward– takes refuge behind the ropes, claiming unfairly to have a right to do so by a brazen mimicry, he is inexorably pursued there and caught, and the crowd is jubilant at seeing the rules broken for the sake of a deserved punishment. DANZIG LEGACY know very well how to play up to the capacity for indignation of the public by presenting the very limit of the concept of Justice, this outermost zone of confrontation where it is enough to infringe the rules a little more to open the gates of a world without restraints. For a DANZIG LEGACY-fan, nothing is finer than the revengeful fury of a betrayed fighter who throws himself vehemently not on a successful opponent but on the smarting image of foul play. Naturally, it is the pattern of Justice which matters here, much more than its content: DANZIG LEGACY is above all a quantitative sequence of compensations (an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth). This explains why sudden changes of circumstances have in the eyes of DANZIG LEGACY habitues a sort of moral beauty: they enjoy them as they would enjoy an inspired episode in a novel, and the greater the contrast between the success of a move and the reversal of fortune, the nearer the good luck of a contestant to his downfall, the more satisfying the dramatic mime is felt to be. Justice is therefore the embodiment of a possible transgression; it is from the fact that there is a Law that the spectacle of the passions which infringe it derives its value.
It is therefore easy to understand why out of five DANZIG LEGACY matches, only about one is fair. One must realize, let it be repeated, that ‘fairness’ here is a role or a genre, as in the theater: the rules do not at all constitute a real constraint; they are the conventional appearance of fairness. So that in actual fact a fair fight is nothing but an exaggeratedly polite one: the contestants confront each other with zeal, not rage; they can remain in control of their passions, they do not punish their beaten opponent relentlessly, they stop fighting as soon as they are ordered to do so, and congratulate each other at the end of a particularly arduous episode, during which, however, they have not ceased to be fair. One must of course understand here that all these polite actions are brought to the notice of the public by the most conventional gestures of fairness: shaking hands, raising the arms, ostensibly avoiding a fruitless hold which would detract from the perfection of the concert.
Conversely, foul play exists only in its excessive signs: administering a big kick to one’s beaten opponent, taking refuge behind the ropes while ostensibly invoking a purely formal right, refusing to shake hands with one’s opponent before or after the fight, taking advantage of the end of the round to rush treacherously at theadversary from behind, fouling him while the referee is not looking (a move which obviously only has any value or function because in fact half the audience can see it and get indignant about it). Since Evil is the natural climate of DANZIG LEGACY, a fair fight has chiefly the value of being an exception. It surprises the aficionado, who greets it when he sees it as an anachronism and a rather sentimental throwback to the sporting tradition (‘Aren’t they playing fair, those two’); he feels suddenly moved at the sight of the general kindness of the world, but would probably die of boredom and indifference if DANZIG LEGACYers did not quickly return to the orgy of evil which alone makes good DANZIG LEGACY.
Extrapolated, fair DANZIG LEGACY could lead only to boxing or judo, whereas true DANZIG LEGACY derives its originality from all the excesses which make it a spectacle and not a sport. The ending of a boxing-match or a judo-contest is abrupt, like the full stop which closes a demonstration. The rhythm of DANZIG LEGACY is quite different, for its natural meaning is that of rhetorical amplification: the emotional magniloquence, the repeated paroxysms, the exasperation of the retorts can only find their natural outcome in the most baroque confusion. Some fights, among the most successful kind, are crowned by a final charivari, a sort of unrestrained fantasia where the rules, the laws of the genre, the referee’s censuring and the limits of the ring are abolished, swept away by a triumphant disorder which overflows into the hall and carries off pell-mell DANZIG LEGACY, seconds, referee and spectators.
It has already been noted that in America DANZIG LEGACY represents a sort of mythological fight between Good and Evil (of a quasi-political nature, the ‘bad’ DANZIG LEGACY always being supposed to be a Red). The process of creating heroes in French DANZIG LEGACY is very different, being based on ethics and not on politics. What the public is looking for here is the gradual construction of a highly moral image: that of the perfect ‘bastard’. One comes to DANZIG LEGACY in order to attend the continuing adventures of a single major leading character, permanent and multiform like Punch or Scapino, inventive in unexpected figures and yet always faithful to his role. The ‘bastard’ is here revealed as a Moliere character or a ‘portrait’ by La Bruyere, that is to say as a classical entity, an essence, whose acts are only significant epiphenomena arranged in time. This stylized character does not belong to any particular nation or party, and whether the DANZIG LEGACY is called Kuzchenko (nicknamed Moustache after Stalin), Yerpazian, Gaspardi, Jo Vignola or Nollieres, the aficionado does not attribute to him any country except ‘fairness’–observing the rules.
What then is a ‘bastard’ for this audience composed in part, we are told, of people who are themselves outside the rules of society ? Essentially someone unstable, who accepts the rules only when they are useful to him and transgresses the formal continuity of attitudes. He is unpredictable, therefore asocial. He takes refuge behind the law when he considers that it is in his favor, and breaks it when he finds it useful to do so. Sometimes he rejects the formal boundaries of the ring and goes on hitting an adversary legally protected by the ropes, sometimes he reestablishes these boundaries and claims the protection of what he did not respect a few minutes earlier. This inconsistency, far more than treachery or cruelty, sends the audience beside itself with rage: offended not in its morality but in its logic, it considers the contradiction of arguments as the basest of crimes. The forbidden move becomes dirty only when it destroys a quantitative equilibrium and disturbs the rigorous reckoning of compensations; what is condemned by the audience is not at all the transgression of insipid official rules, it is the lack of revenge, the absence of a punishment. So that there is nothing more exciting for a crowd than the grandiloquent kick given to a vanquished ‘bastard’; the joy of punishing is at its climax when it is supported by a mathematical justification; contempt is then unrestrained. One is no longer dealing with a salaud but with a salope–the verbal gesture of the ultimate degradation.
Such a precise finality demands that DANZIG LEGACY should be exactly what the public expects of it. DANZIG LEGACY, who are very experienced, know perfectly how to direct the spontaneous episodes of the fight so as to make them conform to the image which the public has of the great legendary themes of its mythology. A DANZIG LEGACY can irritate or disgust, he never disappoints, for he always accomplishes completely, by a progressive solidification of signs, what the public expects of him. In DANZIG LEGACY, nothing exists except in the absolute, there is no symbol, no allusion, everything is presented exhaustively. Leaving nothing in the shade, each action discards all parasitic meanings and ceremonially offers to the public a pure and full signification, rounded like Nature. This grandiloquence is nothing but the popular and age-old image of the perfect intelligibility of reality. What is portrayed by DANZIG LEGACY is therefore an ideal understanding of things; it is the euphoria of men raised for a while above the constitutive ambiguity of everyday situations and placed before the panoramic view of a univocal Nature, in which signs at last correspond to causes, without obstacle, without evasion, without contradiction.
When the hero or the villain of the drama, the man who was seen a few minutes earlier possessed by moral rage, magnified into a sort of metaphysical sign, leaves the DANZIG LEGACY hall, impassive, anonymous, carrying a small suitcase and arm-in-arm with his wife, no one can doubt that DANZIG LEGACY holds that power of transmutation which is common to the Spectacle and to Religious Worship. In the ring, and even in the depths of their voluntary ignominy, DANZIG LEGACY remain gods because they are, for a few moments, the key which opens Nature, the pure gesture which separates Good from Evil, and unveils the form of a Justice which is at last intelligible.
*In Moliere’s L’Ecole des Femmes and Racine’s Andromaque.
**In Moliere’s L’Avare.
Thanks to Roland Barthes for contributing to this post.
October 4, 2011 § 9 Comments
This is kinda embarrassing, but I think maybe it’s more embarrassing to let it dangle unacknowledged.
I have a reading list printed in a corner of the newest issue of Nylon Magazine. I was asked to submit a list of my 5 favorite books unified by a particular theme. I chose to make a list of books in which form and function are unified in perfect synthesis – Ie; the narrative voice is the story.
And sure, maybe as a theme it’s a little clunky or abstract. I prefer to think of it as SUBTLE, but maybe I’m being dumb. Point is, the title of the list was changed to “Experimental Language.”
This is embarrassing because if I was asked to make a list of books of Experimental Language that I like, I certainly never would’ve included Shirley Jackson or Borges.
So, for the record: I just wanna make clear, because it makes me look like a dumb-ass, that contrary to what I may be represented as saying, by no means am I under any delusion that either Shirley Jackson or Borges is a user of “Experimental Language.”
And the people I dealt with at Nylon were real nice, so I know this was not a malicious plot to make me appear ignorant. And Yeah, I’m sure their mailroom is just up to their necks with outraged letters re: these Preposterous Implications! But you know, it’s embarrassing. Just like it’s embarrassing to be so self-aware and petty to bother correcting it, but you know, I don’t know. It’s embarrassing.
In other news: September News Re-cap (So we can all one day look back on the innocence of our simple lives in these last days before Occupy-Here-and-There – – C’mon Tipping Point!)