Who needs witnesses?
By The Unholy Three
To all the fans who have been overwhelmingly responsive in transmitting
us their questions for tonight's live chat-interview, enough! We have
of plenty of good material, and uh
so much evidence
of your thoughtfulness and thirst for new info. Thank you, and stop writing!
Just listen up for what you've been waiting for.
Firstly, we regret to announce there will be no live interview. Secondly
and sadly, tonight's guests, the BernadetteCORPORATION, will not be present,
due to the stranglehold of their participation in the slick research project,
"Corporate Mentality," coming to a theater near you. That this
change of heart reveals the B-Corp to be nothing but a group of glory-sniffing
opportunists should not bother us, since they claim to be matter-of-fact
economic realist bastards. No further information is available at this
time. It is a complete news blackout, and we are the first to report that
we are as confused and in the dark on this one as anyone else. Thirdly,
we will continue with the question-and-answer part of our program by passing-on
all the questions to our correspondents who have been locked in and out
of bathrooms for three months running. No pun folks, just the facts as
we get them. All answers having been postponed three months ago, we will
now go ahead.
How's it going?
Hold on, a cloud is passing overhead, I'm breaking up
better! The news comes in. American airplanes. American airplanes have
no news. Driggles about the landing, for the first time unturn it around.
Break all the windows of the car so as to get a better view. Do something.
Where will Bin Laden strike next? She wonders, tries to imagine, while
tossing her long curly blonde hair over her shoulder, surveying calm Geneva
streets with dull eyelashes and a sticky, frigid glare. Three months after
the sex-change operation and it still doesn't feel right. Lucie Ladennes,
new name, no whiskers, and still so much to do.
What have you been doing?
I am out at sea. Set sail, I'm not sure since when. I think just before
Christmas of last year, but I cannot be sure. Something tells me I was
at my mother's then. It could have been New Year's Eve, sailing from New
York Harbor, but I might have that confused with an airplane. And though
the exact date will forever remain obscure, suffice it to say that it
was somewhere around the start of 2002. Today, on March 18, I am slowly
beginning to accept what I consider to be one of the most harrowing voyages
of my life. At some point, I recall five days of an impossible lull. I
don't know the technical term sailors use, but the boat was immobile,
the sea as well, like sitting brown water in a clogged basin, all gunk
and debris suspended for hours on end. Not a breeze, no gust of wind,
the Earth had held its breath. It was a strange and choking atmosphere
under low gray skies that I could pretend to stir by holding up an oar,
and there was quite a smell as well. There, with the bottom of the boat
glued to the surface of that monotonous glass plate fabricating itself
half-way across the Atlantic, the passengers and crew passed the time
torturing themselves in the worst possible way. Mentally, introspectively,
with glances recoiling from others, a strange silence covering the ship
save for soft footfalls, turning latchkeys, sniffles and coughs, and here
and there, slow, muttering conversations between two or three, with phrases
always aimed at the horizon, that is, inward. Myself, I believe I had
the worst of it. On the first day of the lull, which by the way was like
landing solidly in a sand barrier-a jolt, a shock, glasses of gin toppled
from the waiter's tray-that evening, I volunteered for night duty. The
purpose was to escape into a different schedule and thus avoid the misery
of all the others, making room for my own misery, dressing it up in spaciously-appointed
settings, a wise little real estate move, the oldest trick in the book.
The world will never be truly over-populated until billions become nocturnal,
or unless everyone ships off to sea, no matter where they may be. It was
a welcome change, working at night, there seemed to be the relief I was
counting on. It was as if there was no lull, for if our ship was inching
along at all, it happened under the cover of darkness. Only at night did
I hear the sound of water moving, the distinct slish-slosh, thoomph-pfumph,
slapping against the hull. And although there was still no discernible
breeze, if I took a strand of hair and held it up against a light, it
would quiver and flutter with excitement. All-in-all, it was an orgy of
activity compared to the daytime, at least to my ears, the ones gradually
becoming keener to a mind let loose, alone up on deck, under night skies
and in command. And the stars above! O those rotten stars! Admittedly,
during my first night duty, I drank them in with pleasure, lapping up
their eternity. But the calming effect of the universe, indeed, I wonder.
After twenty minutes there is a dull and sandy taste in your mouth as
your mind rebounds from the platitudes with an, "is that all there
is to eat?" After two nights of this steady eternity I wore a visor
to block my vision of the above. Near dawn, on the same night, I took
to holding two cardboard tubes from toilet paper rolls, fast to my eyes,
"papal rolls" "binocular blinders", or so I thought.
But there was always a star or so hanging at the bottom of the sky, and
so back to the sandy grit of Eternity on my tongue. How people take comfort
in this pap, now that they have no God! Pap, pap, and more pap. Not even
a stale old crust leftover from the daily bread. The stomach growls. It
needs more pap.
On the night of January 16th, an ocean liner loaded with explosives
was steadily chugging its way towards New York, anxious to author Part
Two of that city's apocalyptic glamour. The ocean liner was sunk off the
coast of Nova Scotia, Halifax to be sure, all hundred-fifty hostages,
passengers, crew-members, tourists, gawkers, undercover cops, ocean cruise
aficionados, priceless guidance systems, pets, cargo rats and brats, going
down with a bang, thanks to two non-nuclear submarines of the United States
Providence fleet: the U.S.S.ers Nemesis and Estragon. Witnesses in Halifax
claimed to have been badly shaken from their beds by the blast, echoing
the Halifax Explosion from half a century earlier, the one said to have
launched a thousand copycat American garage bands, eager to turn their
local bar or lodge into a point on the map of the Second Empire of Swinging
This just in: American aircraft have dropped leaflets over four locations
in the Gardez region stating, "The partnership of nations has you
under surveillance. Cease resistance or face destruction." What exactly
is the situation?
A beautifully bright month, day after day, equal amounts of light and
shade-togetherness, plus the blue sky was making people happy. It seems
precarious, however; the only decisive thing is the land isolated from
the sky. A pressured contract, a pressed duck saying that everything is
all right as long as man is on the land and a bird is in the sky. This
is life at its most honest or deserving, it seems. No physical contacts
or ideal circumstances are going to guide me. I need fog. On the other
side, across town at night, in the general region of ideas and moods,
the forms prevailing are nervous and unasked for. Why? I don't know yet,
and I may never know. But I have decided at once to present an account
of their application at a point when there was nothing left to defend.
Now war is on everyone's lips. The same lips that flap open to say, "I
am doing something." The question is, how to take the war that is
on the lips and begin to chew on it, break it into tiny pieces that are
then swallowed or stuck to the teeth, towards a digestion of war that
reduces its stock in the meat trucks and supermarkets, an eventual scarcity
of the war supply parceled out according to season and taste. War broken
down by various acids, absorbed internally, neutralized into basic energy,
not to become second nature, but to ravage the borders and millions of
checkpoints that prop up the regime of the self.
It appears that something is happening, we are in the middle of an
event. All ears are ready. Tell us what you saw.
On the first day of the riots,
as the murderous wave was advancing, bells were ringing all over town,
and people were fleeing. Whether it was a question of a mob or a monster
mattered little, the effects were the same: corpses, heaps of corpses
made by other corpses. She-her name was Red Zora-was concerned by one
thing in the midst of this panic. She wanted to take a bath. The house
was almost deserted, the masters evacuated, only a few servants left ironing
and folding the linen, ironing and folding in a panic. It was under this
cover of distraction that Red Zora decided to begin taking her bloody
bath in the Master Bathroom.
Show us a riot, folks, and we'll tell you about a tornado. Both can
be absorbed into the category of annual disasters, which is to say that
they only become events tallied onto a greater ledger, a wider story.
The thing is, with the help of either our brains or our bodies, or a somewhat
confused combination of the two, we can begin to formulate a pagan cult
of the riot and the tornado, making them a matter of lifestyle choices
and ordinary spiritual practice. But let us continue direct from the scene
with a few eyewitness accounts
What was great was this relentless, purely symbolic, ultra-violent
force of everything that's in place. It was really bizarre, like getting
slapped in the face every day, whether it's bullshit from other people
or from the smallest things like where do you sleep, with whom are you
going to bank, how to be apart from the others, hammering away. You begin
to watch the other bodies. Or throw them at cops. Thus it was possible
to find new difficulties, like how to evolve in a medium of destruction.
Any other signs of life to report? What did you wear? Did you make
Not only were we not all in black, we weren't a block in contact with
habits, with planning. But then again there's the-head-of-a-boy-in-a-black-hood-moment,
where you inhale your new identity exactly when everyone who has arrived
to this situation is busy looting stores, eating, discussing, laughing,
even playing basketball. Are these some people you know, some tubes, some
distorted plastic-aesthetic beauty, a site of friends-in-black, or is
the fact that moments away, the real crushing of us begins to happen and
we realize that we are only operating as new encounters
from an understandable difference, one that is a little more disorganized
and a little more elastic than the usual differences we swear by.
Red Zora-dumpy lips, crossed eyes, felt fedora-have you seen Red Zora?
There was a girl with extra tubing and I asked her for it and she
gave it to me. I could see she was from a very well-to-do family and that
is why I asked her. My eye is good at those things, sizing up people,
even when they're all dressed in black and moving like a block. My role
was as a spotter, for my eye knew how to fuse observation and relaxation
along with a precise judgment of distance of how far off the cops were.
Aside from spotting the cops, I would pick out targets for destruction
and direct the rioters at them. In these moments, my eye was overtaken
by a sort of frenzy for identification-it segmented and condemned everything
that was overly familiar or completely bizarre. It was like
like walking alone. An unbearable feeling. But
at the same time my comrades who don't like social-democratic jokes would
encourage me to do it, over and over again.
For a moment, we must change hats, put on our eagle-head hats, becoming
screaming eagles, bright red ones, communist, on the horizon, spitting
out stars and dropping turds of lightning bolts all over Empire, stretching
out fully in the form of the imperial symbol we have taken for ourselves,
but only, or forever, for a moment
for tomorrow we shall be peaceful
pigs, sniffing out roots in the forest.
And then right there we got busy attacking this long moment of wandering
this extreme solitude where the intensity is lost
all the windows of a disco and then met there later for cocktails.
The Nude Novel is the latest form. It is the result of a conscious
decision to collapse testament and feeling and structure in one direction,
the wrong direction. It is a form of cure, a cure for the minute pressures
and major inertia that indicate a general disintegration that we feel
is immanent. It is unreadable, much less possible to write. It is a good-bye
for a good day. Do we even need to bother to say that all this has a 'me'
for a subject? But subject only as far as dinner conversations go, by
the way. Oh hello! Doctor! Dinner! You there! We have to do this, we're
sorry. It is not a question of saving ourselves for we are already gone,
and all the moments when we appear to be busy, taking a bath, walking
to the supermarket, boiling something on the stove, those are just events
that happen in-between, when our bodies become idling motors, taking a
break before going back to the essential work of going away. We have had
enough of editing, chasing off the fragments that sail in with a gust
over the open waters of our brains, contorting ourselves one way and another,
pretending that we have the intelligence and judgment to operate according
to structure. We must, absolutely must, enter into something unedited.
The worst display of the self, it makes one shudder to imagine the arrogance,
but before you know it this will dissolve into words and records of words.
In my backpack, structured organization doesn't have the same meaning
as objective demonstrations, and I think it's better just to put on a
cool head, the same one that flies through a window, or from a flag, the
trusty old "Ché head."
Three examples, two short and one long:
I.) We smashed the cash registers and I put them in my backpack.
I.) Omelet-a busy expressway in the countryside, two lanes in either
direction. The traffic is constant, not especially heavy, creating an
uneven yet rhythmic mixing of the sound of tires flying over the joints
in the concrete pavement, and the quick blasts of air left behind by each
speeding vehicle. After twenty seconds this sound induces a tranquilizing
effect. And is there a late afternoon, winter sun on this day? If so,
let's hope for a pale mist in the damp, near freezing, air that will soften
the light. Pastures, bordered by electrified fences that are supposed
to contain grazing livestock. Small woods, ex-forests sharply cropped,
unfold across the background. The further the highway recedes into the
distance, the less outstanding it seems. In no time, the sound of the
highway becomes absorbed by the surroundings - damp grass and whatnot.
II.) Everything and everyone around me is dead, rushing at top dead
speed, stopping only every-so-often to check the pulse of their immortal
hypocrisy. Things are so dead that the only way to give a sign of life
is by approximation, to become a mass murdering hero of the dead. But
I can't do that, it would require too strong beliefs in property, credit,
professionalism, success, social rank, publicity, holding a place for
yourself in the line. All I can do is try to escape my duty, to avoid
doing the one thing I am supposed to do-kill myself.
II.) Hamlet-pacing around the picnic pavilion, he stops once or twice
to take in the thundershower before heading back to the table. He heads
back decisively, but it seems beside the point for the sound of the falling
rain on the tin roof is much more decisive. And then a soft, muffled sound
of thunder. Already seated, he appears to be modifying the diagram he
was working on, from birth to the present, the causes and effects of a
number of years. Scribbling hard on the page, he reduces his causal chain
to a less complex, visually pleasing figure (that of a snake). Later that
night, he will stand at the edge of the pavilion and look up at the night
sky. He will wonder if he will ever see a blue planet the size of the
moon looming near the horizon. Or a vortex-like swirl of stars from a
nearby galaxy hanging directly above the crown of his head. Briefly, for
an instant, he forgets about every varied cause for every precise effect
and imagines his head spinning in a destroying circle around the nearest,
III.) I always avoided the front lines of combat. Sometimes I would
try to lose my fellow demonstrators and run away to a calm spot to smash
my head against a wall, because that is the thing I am most likely to
do; otherwise, I would just watch the others or gather stones, and end
up feeling as if I'm being ordered to watch the others and gather stones.
I prefer to smash my head in, on my own, and with the others it is not
the same intensity
how else could I measure my
freedom if not by that, a suicide attempt in middle of the riot?
III.) Ham omelet-In a clearing in the forest, fat little aliens shoot-off
they are distracted, bored
Hamlet diverts them
(with a stone?)
he runs and steals their egg-like object
aliens don't pursue him, instead they quarrel amongst themselves.
There is something that should be done that isn't being done.
I saw a girl sack a building with her tits hanging out. A pervert
protecting his car sprayed my crotch with pepper spray. My pants were
soaked, so I took them off and found I had an uncontrollable, burning
erection. As I was trying to get back to the front lines, asking people
where the action was, I was told that helicopters crashed through peaceful
activists by the beach. Someone else said there were tanks in groups surrounding
the train station. I got tired of asking, I became very passive, I wanted
to read a book, or play with the cables strewn all over the street, follow
tangled phone lines until they ended, kick up sheets of paper, collect
coffee cups-I didn't want anything, just to catch my breath and stare
at my reflection in the broken windows of a bank.
Let's say you can grab everything a protester has already (by staying
in the moment) and make him into a metal pipe to be thrown at banks or
cars (if you want) or you can have an external pressure (by speculating
on aggression) to think tactically about whether to walk alone or grouped
together. Walking alone you become an open face, slipping through lines
and formations, you can smile at anything. Staying grouped together you
can do things, and then become your own trap, but the beauty is that it's
impossible to move as a group without really starting to laugh for once.
How on earth do you meet someone today? There's no end of introductions,
of situations and circumstances where people decide to present themselves
to each other, play a clearly defined role, are judged well or poorly
in the performance of that role, automatic ways to measure up to someone
else and then say, "I know how I fit in the picture."
When they try to run, they've already lost, because they can't shift direction
as easily as the inclinations that take hold of you. In sex there are
people who prefer it from the front or from the back, and in the riots
some people prefer to become predictable in their movements
All these meetings in daylight, under spotlights, this using of others
as coordinates for navigation is one of the most extreme forms of torture
for those whose coordinates have been blown to the winds.
And that's the moment when it could be helpful to have a fire extinguisher,
as you time a coordinated peaceful march from which the hoped-for spontaneous
joy can no longer be what it means for the others as they wipe the first
rounds of tear gas from their betrayed faces. You, the immobile organizer,
are there to stretch out bodies from one end of the situation to the other.
It is life where you think you are dying, that you are a crowd, but somehow
you find an opening and count bodies in case of having to bar them in.
You feel you could have a confrontation with a cop, so you run through
a hundred of them just to know what it was like to be dressed in black
with the police.
Every meeting, every glance,
every kiss, every kick, every point of contact barely covers a wheezing
nothingness that offers nothing to hold on to, nothing to build on to,
in short a nobody's nothing. So then, how do people meet today? How can
people meet in total darkness?
You have a few stones, and a
large, open field. You turn trashbins over and roll them out.
Tomorrow we celebrate "A day without teeth" or "A day
Some of us were just into gratuitous destruction, which is to say that
we weren't there to destroy symbols but to demolish some disappearing
pleasure. At a certain point, products themselves can knock down shelves,
break whiskey bottles, open jars of jam, and launch tear gas rockets at
us. It's a type of being-together that takes on the contagiousness of
There, under the shade of our mutual affection, we could try to establish
our affection, with a kiss, a caress, furtive or daring. Even a half-hour
of silence, only for gestures which could assuage our wracked bodies,
pass directly through our bodies, an impossible healing effect when faced
with our constant communication. Why? Because it's a shame that people
who love each other so always fail to use the things that could work between
My mother raised me to be transparent ... to always say what I feel, what
I was going to do ... to talk, to always communicate if there's any problem.
We would have these quality time, mother-daughter meetings after school
on Tuesdays, where I could say anything I wanted, and then she would try
to give me advice, tell me what to do to solve my problems. The thing
is, none of this ever helped me. Actually, it made me feel worse, and
hopeless. It's as if her constant demand for communication poisoned all
communication. It felt like I was a case, a case that was her daughter
that she had to always be aware of and steer in the right direction. And
this system of advice, these fucking mother-daughter meetings, they made
it feel like I could never turn to her for help, it made me feel completely
distant from her. It's a weird thing because in all the movies I grew
up with there were always kids accusing their parents of not spending
enough time with them, saying that they were never there for them. And
I was suffering from the opposite, from being too 'there' for my parents.
Pulling ourselves together
out of scattered, useless parts. There really is no other treatment we
can think of. We put some plugs in our ears and they seem to help, reducing
at least one of the senses, like pulling a nightcap over the eyes, and
then going to sleep. Invocation of a social, psychological realistic mysticism,
the nudity of being caught without the pants on versus the nakedness of
the sexy round ass that pushes people into their cars, subways, metros,
desks, workshops - that useless ass that stopped shitting in order to
gain a set of wheels, that mobilizing ass. Nude pilgrims, we set out in
our ships, to run away from the shadow of that nakedness. But Pilgrims,
watch out! Our crows nest is only for the crows. We are not going back
to anything, to any source, and if anyone dares sight land on this voyage,
we are lost.
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