WILLIAM BURROUGHS — THE SOFT MACHINE

1961–1966–1968

The second particularity of this book is that this gay s** is pushed to an extreme that finds its reference in a totally mythical allusion to Maya civilization and practices of human sacrifice, and even if we follow the author what he calls symbiotic cannibalism. We will discuss the Maya reference later. But the sadistic gay perspective is always defined and graphically described as rape, through the backdoor nearly exclusively, emasculation, blood sacrifice, hanging, beheading, all kinds of dismembering, domination anyway till death ensues. There is no escape for the boys that fall into the trap of this predator: they will end up used intensively, and they will probably die of it, and possibly as slow as the violence permits, meaning the violence is calculated for death to be suspended as long as possible and that does not often go beyond 24 hours. The boys are some commodity that is used, discarded and recycled into natural compost, in fact, manure pile rejects for decomposition.

The most surprising wrapping up of this tale of sadistic gay preying by a lethal human predator is the reference to Maya civilization. Even, in the 1960s we knew better than what is said here. Altogether Maya society, for William Burroughs, was a sadistic society based on human sacrifice under the authority of sacred calendars managed by priests who were nothing but extra-human beings coming from some extra-natural universe and whose carapaces were something like the merger of a lobster and a cockroach or scorpion. These priests only found satiety and satisfaction in all kinds of physical amputation, emasculation, dismemberment, or for the elected ones eternal survival locked up into some kind of glass jar in which they were glazed like a real live being within that jar to be put on a shelf and admired regularly. They were also, these glazed ones, the privileged audience of the processing of any new victim from human shape into a pile of blended bone, flesh, and blood. And it is clear that this blending is done progressively so that the subject remains alive, howling and suffering as long as possible.

Of course, the reference to all kinds of cruel animal predators, including some mythical ones is constant with stingrays whose spines are used for self-sacrifice and bloodletting, freshwater sharks, crocodiles, and the famous centipedes. The centipede is a real animal, but it is a giant centipede that is extremely aggressive, voracious and cannibalistic, meaning it devours everything that is of the flesh nature, and particularly human flesh so that the death by the centipede is constantly in the pages of this novel. A human being, generally here a boy is thrown naked, after his clothes have been ripped off, to a bunch of centipedes who devour the boy alive of course and the show is a real audio-visual spectacle for the happy few priests or future victims who can see it. You can’t imagine how far Burroughs can go in his sadistic imagination. And since it is gay and only gay, we can think the author’s mind must have been so severely repressed if not violently redressed all his life, so that now he can only find satisfaction in his gender-orientation if it is a preying episode, him being the predator and the others being the prey.

This approach to s** is typical of the 1960s and the beginning 1970s. But after Fritz the Cat, after the s**-films of Andy Warhol, after the descent of the Love Hippy Boys (and girls) into the stalemate of the Vietnam War turned defeat of Saigon, and the Post Traumatic War Stress Syndrome of the whole nation (USA) and West, Zabriskie Point could be on the horizon, if not directly on the tea table in the psychiatric clinic’s waiting room for PTWarSD patients queueing for treatment. William Burroughs reveals with power and horror how far the West was going to fall thirty years later when it engaged in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and a few other places, and when it was confronted to the real challenge coming from China and of course technical Artificial Intelligence 5G communication.

William Burroughs is the very deepest reality of western consciousness, or unconsciousness because we, in the West, live with this sadistic stowaway in our cranium without any chance of ever being liberated from its tyranny. Things have not improved really, but they have become mostly clandestine and unexpressed. They have become some kind of ghost in the opera of our life and we are haunted by it. There is no cure for this disease. So, I guess the only solution is to get rid of humanity and encourage the machines we are inventing to take over and absolutely eradicate the human species.

Dr. Jacques COULARDEAU

QUEEN — BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY — 2018

There were many other artists in those days who tried to show us the world through our own belly button windows, as Jimi Hendrix called them because our eyes only saw what we suffered and enjoyed experienced and ran after all over in our life, in this life that has no return ticket to the other side of normalcy, or fashionable normalcy, the normalcy of those who accept to be nothing but bone, flesh, and blood droppings from the nest of some god or monsters who dominates our minds so much that we cannot even go into the closest Water Closet without being accused of some onanistic crime. And if we by any chance met someone in this Water Closet we would be accused of some mental and diabolical fornication, and fornication is an understatement for these moralistic deranged people because they visualize all the things they would like to do and yet never do at all, except when they find enough courage to push the door of the local Maison Close, as they call them in French in the text, and buy from the Madame the human thing they need to do all the things they want to do that are not allowed in any ethical treatise. We all have a Marquis de Sade in our dendrites.

But what enthused us then? What in us made us love this music and these lyrics and the noise they caused all along their way, along our way, because we projected ourselves into them and we transferred our minds into their spiritual experience and we became the loving human animals that could really shock our parents, our friends, our relatives, if we dared to say it, to tell it, to publicize this transference activity of ours, being Freddie Mercury and his band, and getting into his clothes at first and then into his skin not to satisfy our hormonal desires with him but to engulf ourselves into the bliss of satisfying all our desires through, via, by sheer dint of Freddie Mercury himself and his band. We were becoming the ghost in the Opera of this Queen band of extra-real extra-social extra-cultural both geniuses and devils. And we finally could paint the city red, blood-red mind you, “Mama I’ve just killed a man,” and finally as William Burroughs would say in “The Soft Machine” in over some odd 140 pages “a young captive was tied to a stake and the priests who were translucent lobstermen with wild blue eyes and shells of flexible copper, tore his s** off with white-hot copper claws to throw the writhing remnant of the emasculated boy into the brown iridescent lagoon infested with sting-ray, freshwater shark, Arequipa, candirus, water boa, crocodile, electric eel, aquatic panther and other noxious creatures,” dreamed up by the never lying Freddie Mercury, “which infest our minds with marginal ambitions and ritualistic symbiotic human cannibalism.” We enjoyed these visions of fatal, lethal, morbid and supremely enjoyable blissful, I mean full of bliss, orgasmic realization of our deepest impulses and fears because we were both the young captive and the Mayan priest. Were we ready to perform the self-sacrifice this Mayan priest required, take the stingray spine and pierce our penile being to offer our penial blood to the climactic discharge of our souls into the eternity of cosmic life?

That was Queen for us, and the film magnificently recreates this nostalgia with the necessary softening not to frighten the younger souls who may wonder why we liked such barbaric exploration of what we had deepest in our marrow and spine. The actor is of course surprisingly able to impersonate the artist who will at the end be himself in their final concert in Wimbledon or somewhere else for Bob Geldof and Midge Ure’s Live Aid campaign.

Most of us though, would not admit that depth and brutal viciousness of our mental world that only finds its way out in a war when all is permitted on one side or the other, on all sides actually because there often are more than two, provided it is wrapped up in nationalism, patriotism, socialism or simply the revolution like today’s Artificial Intelligence revolution. As Lee Harvey Oswald would say “Have you read Karl Marx?” and he would hand us the Manifesto of the Communist Party, as a first step towards our liberation that implies that we torture and execute all those who disagree with our revolution. “Good Morning Vietnam” as another actor would say in a famous film. But it is nowadays something like “Goodbye, Lenin!” for this Freddie Mercury who sang in all the tones and colorations possible that “I was born to love you!” Would you really refuse to be loved by such a Luciferian archangel? In the time of the yellow vest turned black blocks I am afraid Freddie Mercury has wasted his love on all those who came after him. He is singing in a desolate, desertic, and empty jungle of many million wild spiders in one small pot. Then it is real body language indeed, or should I say the Mayan Centipede is back again on Les Champs Elysées for Bastille Day 2019. Can you hear them singing “What can we loot, what can we raid, what can we spoil?” I am sure it is high time to get all these Queen’s lyrics and read them as if they were a flame in the night, to follow Leonard Cohen’s testament poetry book.

Dr. Jacques COULARDEAU

MARVEL STUDIOS — BLACK PANTHER — 2018

To really have a black superhero in Marvel Studios is a good thing. I just would like to point at a few options within that choice, that make it wider than just a plain color choice. The first option is to center this superhero on a “clandestine” black state in Africa, Wakanda. So, we go back to Africa and the Blacks in the USA are African first and their roots are in the Black continent, which in fact is only two-thirds of the continent.

The second choice is to state these Wakandans have been endowed with the highest level of technology that makes them real competitors to the rest of the world. And this question is a debate among Wakandans and Black people. Should this high-tech society be reserved to Wakandans or generalized to all Blacks in the world, and in the USA first of all? That is the crucial question in the whole film with two potential crown princes who will fight to the death with first the victory of the contender and then the victory of the legitimate son of the previous king. And the final decision is that this high-tech has to be shared with everyone, including the whites.

Do not cut off the film with the final credits. There are two small scenes after the credits and these two scenes are essential on this sharing perspective, especially the last one where a white man is living in a hut in one Wakandan village and being observed by three black children and when he emerges from the hut he seems to be at home, or at least nearly at home, though one white man in a black village does not make integration a reality. It takes more than one swallow to get Spring after Winter.

That’s the next remark. Politically the Wakandan system is neither very democratic since the leader can only be the descendant of the previous king or from his family, hence the son of the king’s brother killed a long time ago by the recently deceased king. Democracy is not the reality of this system. One can only become king if challengers are called forward and then a real fight will take place between the two “contenders” or the legitimate choice and his contender, and the fight can perfectly go as far as killing the loser. That picture is shown as being typically African, and that is not acceptable. Especially when it is doubled up with another tribe which will be crucial for the end, being dominated in the same way by an absolute leader, and between the two tribes there is one main difference. The Wakandans are dominated by men but with an important position for women who are the royal army. The other tribe is entirely male-dominated. This question of democracy and gender equality is shown in their limitations as being African, but a superhero film can really be a little bit more utopian. There are a couple of important women on the side of the legitimate Wakandan king, but they remain secondary characters. As the legitimate heir to the throne says to one woman: “You are too stubborn to be a queen!” And the concerned woman answers: “I can be a queen because I am stubborn!” That’s good rhetoric but it is nothing but rhetoric.

In the USA the situation is shown as being totally different. The whites are mostly thieves who want to steal Wakandan technology to be able to organize some criminal activity with the certainty to always be dominant. Only one white CIA agent is shown as being open to collaborating with the legitimate king, which means meddling into the affairs of the Wakandan royal family. The life in the USA for black kids is shown in the 1990s as being miserable and the boys, not girls, are playing basketball but they do not have a net on the ring, nor a ring, but they have a square fruit plastic box whose bottom has been removed and that has been set in the place of the ring and the ring net. So, they play basketball with a square scoring ring. In modern times the same boys are better dressed, and they finally have a scoring ring and a ring net but what has changed? Nothing. The three dilapidated buildings around this basketball court have been bought by the newly victorious king and he is going to develop them into a national identity center. In other words, he is on a black nationalist line and that is not a great change from what the Blacks have always been confronted to in the USA: the obligation to fight for their being recognized as being equal citizens in the USA within their own differences. In other words, President Trump’s tweets are fully active here. The white nationalists would say about women of color, “if they don’t like it here, they can go back to where they came from.” And the answer is “We are here to stay, to have equal rights and to be recognized as a nation here in the USA.” That’s not so far away from what the Black nationalists of the beginning of the 20th century who used to speak about separate but really equal with a Black Star Line, a Black National Guard, a Black Nurse Order, etc., and first of all Black education with Black schools, Black teachers, Black students, and Black economic development. The national identity center could be better. Like turning a Los Angeles Prison into a Multi-Ethnic Cultural Center to remember the multi-ethnic population of such a prison.

The last thing I would like to say is that the elite in Wakanda have the hi-tech they are speaking of, but the simple urban and rural population of Wakanda is still having a traditional life raising cattle, and not even big herds really, and some agriculture, plus street traditional markets in the streets. Where is hi-tech progress for them? Tomorrow’s Africa is not that kind of archaic non-development but it is the same, or rather similar, development as in the “west” because the “rest,” and particularly the Black African (two-thirds of Africa) “rest” has the right to get the same hi-tech means adapted to their mode of living and climate or landscape. But we are not there yet, as they sing at the end of the film:

“Tell me what you gon’ do to me
Confrontation ain’t nothin’ new to me
You can bring a bullet, bring a sword
Bring a morgue, but you can’t bring the truth to me
Fuck you and all your expectations
I don’t even want your congratulations
I recognize your false confidence

and calculated promises

all in your conversation
I hate people that feel entitled
Look at me crazy ’cause I ain’t invite you”

The model of this superhero film is in fact perfectly standard for Marvel Studios and it is basically western if not white western. This makes me slightly disappointed. You will say it is the first “episode” and many others exist in comic book form. But we would like to really see the future world the way it will have to be with Artificial Intelligence and all for everyone, and everyone being active and creative within that new technology. Maybe in the future episodes but hurry up otherwise Black Africa might turn Chinese-friendly if it is not already the case.

Dr. Jacques COULARDEAU

All The Stars

Kendrick Lamar, SZA

Love, let’s talk about love
Is it anything and everything you hoped for?
Or do the feeling haunt you?
I know the feeling haunt you

This may be the night that my dreams might let me know
All the stars are closer, all the stars are closer, all the stars are closer
This may be the night that my dreams might let me know
All the stars are closer, all the stars are closer, all the stars are closer

Tell me what you gon’ do to me
Confrontation ain’t nothin’ new to me
You can bring a bullet, bring a sword
Bring a morgue, but you can’t bring the truth to me
Fuck you and all your expectations
I don’t even want your congratulations
I recognize your false confidence and calculated promises all in your conversation
I hate people that feel entitled
Look at me crazy ’cause I ain’t invite you
Oh, you important?
You the moral to the story, you endorsing?
Motherfucker, I don’t even like you
Corrupt a man’s heart with a gift
That’s how you find out who you dealin’ with
A small percentage, who I’m building with
I want the credit if I’m losing or I’m winning
On my momma that’s the realest shit

Girl, let’s talk about love
Is it anything and everything you hoped for?
Or do the feeling haunt you?
I know the feeling haunt you

This may be the night that my dreams might let me know
All the stars are closer, all the stars are closer, all the stars are closer
This may be the night that my dreams might let me know
All the stars are closer, all the stars are closer, all the stars are closer

Skin covered in ego
Get to talkin’, I get involved, like a rebound
No control, no off switch in the way that you bringing me down
It’s a turn on, get it away from me
Know you mean wrong, keep away from me
And it’s all wrong, get it away from me, yeah
I just cry for no reason, I just pray for no reason
I just thank for the life, for the day, for the hours and another life breathin’
I did it all ’cause it feels good
You could live it all if you feel bad
Better live your life
We are running out of time

Love, let’s talk about love
Is it anything and everything you hoped for?
Or do the feeling haunt you?
I know the feeling haunt you

This may be the night that my dreams might let me know
All the stars are closer, all the stars are closer, all the stars are closer
This may be the night that my dreams might let me know
All the stars are closer, all the stars are closer, all the stars are closer

Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: Alexander William Shuckburgh / Kendrick Lamar / Mark Anthony Spears / Solana I. Rowe / Anthony Tiffith

All The Stars lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, PhD in Germanic Linguistics (University Lille III) and ESP Teaching (University Bordeaux II) has been teaching all types of ESP

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