From Hakim Bey's "T.A.Z."

Previous Next

"Intellectual S/M Is the Fascism of the Eighties--The Avant-Garde Eats Shit and Likes It"


Recently some confusion about "Chaos" has plagued the A.O.A. from certain revanchist quarters, forcing us (who despise polemics) at last to indulge in a Plenary Session devoted to denunciations ex cathedra, portentous as hell; our faces burn red with rhetoric, spit flies from our lips, neck veins bulge with pulpit fervor. We must at last descend to flying banners with angry slogans (in 1930's type faces) declaring what Ontological Anarchy is not.

Remember, only in Classical Physics does Chaos have anything to do with entropy, heat-death, or decay. In our physics (Chaos Theory), Chaos identifies with tao, beyond both yin- as-entropy & yang-as-energy, more a principle of continual creation than of any nihil, void in the sense of potentia, not exhaustion. (Chaos as the "sum of all orders.")

From this alchemy we quintessentialize an aesthetic theory. Chaote art may act terrifying, it may even act grand guignol, but it can never allow itself to be drenched in putrid negativity, thanatosis, schadenfreude (delight in the misery of others), crooning over Nazi memorabilia & serial murders. Ontological Anarchy collects no snuff films & is bored to tears with dominatrices who spout french philosophy. ("Everything is hopeless & I knew it before you did, asshole. Nyahh!")

Wilhelm Reich was driven half mad & killed by agents of the Emotional Plague; maybe half his work derived from sheer paranoia (UFO conspiracies, homophobia, even his orgasm theory), BUT on one point we agree wholeheartedly--sexpol: sexual repression breeds death obsession, which leads to bad politics. A great deal of avant-garde Art is saturated with Deadly Orgone Rays (DOR). Ontological Anarchy aims to build aesthetic cloud-busters (OR-guns) to disperse the miasma of cerebral sado-masochism which now passes for slick, hip, new, fashionable. Self-mutilating "performance" artists strike us as banal & stupid--their art makes everyone more unhappy. What kind of two-bit conniving horseshit...what kind of cockroach-brained Art creeps cooked up this apocalypse stew?

Of course the avant-garde seems "smart"--so did Marinetti & the Futurists, so did Pound & Celine. Compared to that kind of intelligence we'd choose real stupidity, bucolic New Age blissed-out inanity--we'd rather be pinheads than queer for death. But luckily we don't have to scoop out our brains to attain our own queer brand of satori. All the faculties, all the senses belong to us as our property--both heart & head, intellect & spirit, body & soul. Ours is no art of mutilation but of excess, superabundance, amazement.

The purveyors of pointless gloom are the Death Squads of contemporary aesthetics--& we are the "disappeared ones." Their make-believe ballroom of occult 3rd-Reich bric-a-brac & child murder attracts the manipulators of the Spectacle-- death looks better on TV than life--& we Chaotes, who preach an insurrectionary joy, are edged out towards silence.

Needless to say we reject all censorship by Church & State-- but "after the revolution" we would be willing to take individual & personal responsibility for burning all the Death Squad snuff-art crap & running them out of town on a rail. (Criticism becomes direct action in an anarchist context.) My space has room neither for Jesus & his lords of the flies nor for Chas. Manson & his literary admirers. I want no mundane police--I want no cosmic axe-murderers either; no TV chainsaw massacres, no sensitive poststructuralist novels about necrophilia.

As it happens, the A.O.A. can scarcely hope to sabotage the suffocating mechanisms of the State & its ghostly circuitry--but we just might happen to find ourselves in a position to do something about lesser manifestations of the DOR plague such as the Corpse-Eaters of the Lower East Side & other Art scum. We support artists who use terrifying material in some "higher cause"--who use loving/sexual material of any kind, however shocking or illegal--who use their anger & disgust & their true desires to lurch toward self-realization & beauty & adventure. "Social Nihilism," yes--but not the dead nihilism of gnostic self-disgust. Even if it's violent & abrasive, anyone with a vestigial 3rd eye can see the differences between revolutionary pro-life art & reactionary pro-death art. DOR stinks, & the chaote nose can sniff it out--just as it knows the perfume of spiritual/sexual joy, however buried or masked by other darker scents. Even the Radical Right, for all its horror of flesh & the senses, occasionally comes up with a moment of perception & consciousness-enhancement--but the Death Squads, for all their tired lip service to fashionable revolutionary abstractions, offer us about as much true libertarian energy as the FBI, FDA, or the double-dip Baptists.

We live in a society which advertises its costliest commodities with images of death & mutilation, beaming them direct to the reptilian back-brain of the millions thru alpha-wave-generating carcinogenic reality-warping devices-- while certain images of life (such as our favorite, a child masturbating) are banned & punished with incredible ferocity. It takes no guts at all to be an Art Sadist, for salacious death lies at the aesthetic center of our Consensus Paradigm. "Leftists" who like to dress up & play Police-&-Victim, people who jerk off to atrocity photos, people who like to think & intellectualize about splatter art & highfalutin hopelessness & groovy ghoulishness & other people's misery--such "artists" are nothing but police-without-power (a perfect definition for many "revolutionaries" too). We have a black bomb for these aesthetic fascists--it explodes with sperm & firecrackers, raucous weeds & piracy, weird Shiite heresies & bubbling paradise-fountains, complex rhythms, pulsations of life, all shapeless & exquisite.

Wake up! Breathe! Feel the world's breath against your skin! Seize the day! Breathe! Breathe!

(Thanx to J. Mander's Four Arguments for the Abolition of Television; Adam Exit; & the Moorish Cosmopolitan of Williamsburg)

Previous Next

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.