Little Deaths

We implode—

explode—

in raptures

of liquid light

that set the skin

to sizzle on the spit

like slow-cooked meat,

pulled apart

in greedy clutches,

peeling

skin from skin,

limb from limb,

sinew from bone

until all is gone,

fallen away

in shreds

and trickles.

Tongues prodding,

hungrily,

for the taste of coppery bliss

of chewed lips,

these beautiful bodies—

diminished

heartbeats and exhales

of viscera and vasculature

with eyelids, aflutter—

fade

into black, into white—

dick-teasing,

mind-fucking

strobes of abstract consciousness.

Hand-in-hand,

together,

we die

little deaths,

again…

again…

and again—

every morning, a resurrection.

Originality By Way Of Cliche: Kumo Kagyu’s Goblin Slayer, Vol. 1 (2016)

“Goblin Slayer was calm as he delivered this answer that was no answer. He daubed his gauntlets with blood, then pulled a liver out from one of the bodies.”

 

—Kumo Kagyu, Goblin Slayer, Vol. 1 (2016)

§.00 The first installment of the novel series Goblin Slayer, Vol.1 (2016), written by Kumo Kagyu (with illustrations by Noboru Kannatsuki), opens with a creation story; the gods of light, order and destiny are locked in a cosmic struggle with the gods of darkness, chaos and chance (how many gods attend each attribute, we are not told). In place of fighting each other directly, their contest is engaged by the rolling of die. After some time the gods tire of dice and create the world as their board and all the beings upon it as their pawns.

§.01 After the table-top inspired prologue, a knowing, introductory line, preempting the cliches to come: “You’ve heard this one before.” More likely than not, upon reading Chapter 1, a fantasy-versed reader will, indeed have heard the set-up before; a young, would-be adventurer known only as Priestess (no characters in the novel have names, only class-designations) joins a guild, receives “porcelain” rank (the lowest of the guild’s 10-teir hierarchy) and is met by three other, young, would-be porcelain adventurers—Warrior, Fighter and Wizard—who ask her to join their party on a quest to save kidnapped maidens from the clutches of a band of goblins (which are described as “-tall as a child, with strength and wits to match”). Priestess after some hesitation, accepts the offer. The party then tracks down the goblins to their lair in a gloomy cave. Venturing within the recess, the party is filled with confidence, save for Priestess, who urges caution, however, her chiding proves fruitless—shortly thereafter, a band of goblins blindside the adventurers.

§.02 In a more conventional tale, the brave wayfarers would have just barely defeated the goblins, rescued the maidens and received a bountiful reward for their pains. However, in Goblin Slayer, they all wind up dead, or as good as. Wizard is gutted with a poison blade. Warrior is slaughtered. Fighter is beaten and raped. Priestess is set upon and takes an arrow to the shoulder. Yet, just before Priestess meets the same fate as Fighter, a mysterious man appears who is “not very impressive” and donned in “dirty leather armor and a filthy steel helm.” The man, a silver ranked adventurer (the third highest rank within the guild hierarchy), decimates the goblins and introduces himself as Goblin Slayer. He then tells Priestess that Wizard is as good as dead, due to the workings of goblin poison that had lined the blade which skewered her. Wizard asks to be put out of her misery and Goblin Slayer swiftly obliges and slits her throat without compunction, much to Priestess’ dismay. Slayer then states that he is going to finish off the rest of the goblins; Priestess goes with him and together they destroy the nest and find a secret room filled with goblin children born from the wombs of human females the goblin horde had kidnapped. Priestess inquires whether or not Slayer will kill them. He says he will and she tries to stop him by asking if he would still be willing to slaughter them if they were good, to which the Slayer replies “The only good goblins are the ones that never come out of their holes,” before clubbing the baby goblins to death. After this grisly affair, the Priestess resolves (rather surprisingly) to become a proper adventurer by accompanying Goblin Slayer on his bloody, ceaseless missions.

§.03 The first thing that struck me about the novel was how original its execution, despite its abundant cliches. In GS, cliches are dutifully employed to be forthrightly subverted, but not merely for the sake of surprising the reader, as when, in a Hollywood horror film, convention dictates a cat or trusted friend be responsible for the first jump-scare so that the effect of the second may be heightened by causing the audience to question whether or not it will again be a harmless animal or friend, or some genuine threat. For example, Goblin Slayer, a skillful warrior and thoughtful tactician, would, in more conventional fantasy works, ladder his way up from the stock genre threats (such as bandits, goblins, trolls, etc) to ever greater challenges (such as dragons and necromancers) in tandem with a plot ever expanding in scope, from the local, to the demense, to the national, to the continental to, invariably, the world, and, perhaps, other worlds (spirit realms, etc). This, however, is not the case with the slayer, who adamantly refuses to engage in any activity not related to exterminating goblins. His idee fixe is so extreme that the co-inhabitants of the town near where he resides come to consider him eccentric, if not mad, and they might be right, for even when he is told that the world is imperiled by “an army of demons” he refuses to aid those who petition his assistance, saying only, “If it isn’t goblins, then I don’t care.” His proclivity, no matter how unhealthy, proves salubrious to those previously living in fear of the diminutive raiders, as the “military won’t move against goblins.” (p. 135)

Further, a character who is introduced in a like-manner to the slayer in a conventional genre-work would also be charged with the characteristics partial to fantasy protagonists; which are generally either sullen and given over to reverie (as in Twilight or Lord of the Rings), whimsical and optimistic (as the protagonists in the novels of Charles De Lint), or a straight-laced ‘chosen one’ (as in Harry Potter or Star Wars), however, the slayer bares no similarity to any of these archetypes, or the hero archetype in general. Rather, he is more akin to a professional shorn of all social ambition—a obsessive tradesman—than the prototypical knight-errant of romantic literature. This is demonstrated in the sedulous way in which the slayer’s tradecraft is highlight, as in the following passages, “‘Leather armor prizes ease of movement. Mail would stop a dagger in the dark… His helmet, the same. Sword and shield are small, easy to use in a tight space.'” Kagyu, p. 130… “‘Clean items reek of metal,’ Goblin Slayer said, a note of annoyance in his voice. Goblins have an excellent sense of smell.” p. 132.

Of further interest is the fact that his trade is not a vaunted one, but is, instead, looked down upon as the preoccupation of an amatuer (the consensus in the story is that real heroes should always seek greater glory). One can see parallels between the snobbery of the guild adventurers, and the differential treatment by real-life society between the man who goes to college so as to become a doctor, and the man who goes to trade-school so as to become a lineworker. In recognizing this, Goblin Slayer Vol.1, functions as a cleverly disguised social satire as much as a RPG homage or action-adventure.


The novel series had its origins in a online thread posted by Kumo Kagyu in October, 2012; the story was later re-edited into novel-form and picked up by GA Bunko. On February 15, 2016, the first installment of the novel series was published via SB Creative (in Japanese). A few months later, in December 20, 2016, Yen Press licensed the novels and released the first volume in English. Both a comic (written by Masahiro Ikeno) and an animated adaptation (written by Hideyuki Kurata and Yosuke Kuroda) have been made in the interim since the initial publication of the novel series, which is, presently, still on-going (with ten volumes released in Japan as of 2019).


 

The Silence & The Howl | Part 14

§.14


“I thought that… maybe I could come over.”

“You can’t come to the house.”

“Why not?”

“Because Rich kicked me out.”

“What? Why?”

“It doesn’t matter, he’s made up his mind. Its good to hear from you, Bluebird,” he replied flatly, unsure if he even believed his own words.

“Wait, what happened? Are you OK?”

“I am doing the same as I always am.”

“Where are you?”

“Andy’s place. For now.”

“Andy? Isn’t he that guy from work, the bald one?”

“Yeah.”

“He’s a junkie.”

“Used to be. He’s a good man.”

“Aren’t you worried?”

“No.”

“What happened, Harmon, why would he do this.”

“I wouldn’t give him a cigarette because he wanted me to admit that everyone was a liar. But I’m not. He didn’t believe me. Became prickly about it. So did I. That’s it.”

“But you were going to start a band and…”

“Nothing I can do. I tried talking to him. No use. Some people, no matter what’s done for them, will never reciprocate, will never take the full measure of their relationships until long after they’ve turned to dust.”

He was talking about her as much as Sprawls but he restrained himself from making the fact explicit. She might not come over then.

After a beat the woman responded, her voice shaking a little.

“I think you’re right about that.”

“You know where Andy lives?”

“No.”

He gave her the directions and they set a time and then she said she had to go but would call later, when she was on her way. He hung up and wondered what he would say to her. What could he say, knowing of her perfidy?

There had been too many words already.

The time had come for acts.

The Silence & The Howl | Part 12

§.12


When Harmon waved to Sprawls as he made breakfast the man only shook his head and sneered.

“What?”

“Why you still here?”

“Where were you expecting me to be?”

“Anywhere but here. I told you last night. Ain’t gonna work out.”

“Are you being serious?”

“I ain’t gonna throw you out. I know you don’t have anywhere to go right now. You find one. Then you leave.”

“What the hell are you talking about, Richard?”

Sprawls didn’t answer and kept buttering his toast over a paper plate beside the kitchen sink. Even as he did so, his bloodshot and buggy eyes swept to the side cautiously, suspiciously.

“You’re gonna throw me out because… I didn’t give you a cigarette? Have I got that right?”

Sprawls shook his head and didn’t answer.

“Stop buttering the god-damned toast. I’m talking to you.”

“I gotta leave. You just remember what I said.”

With that Sprawls turned to leave but Harmon braced him with his left hand, turning him half about as Sprawls grunted and smacked his roommate’s arm away.

“Don’t you put your fucking hands on me.”

“This is my house too, Richard. I’ve been splitting the rent with you since you got it. We’ve been playing music together for four fucking years – you want to end all of that over… what? Nothing?”

“I’m not repeating myself.”

“What is wrong with you?”

Sprawls just starred at him dumbly. Harmon knew he was high. He could smell it on his clothes. He wondered if Sprawls was on something else. He was always on something.

“Ain’t me that got the problem.”

“You disappoint me, Richard.”

“Yeah.”

And with that Sprawls turned and left the house as Harmon stood clenching his fists and fighting back a rage that compelled him to run from the house and bash his friend’s head against the pavement over and over until it splattered like an overripe mellon. Instead, he took a seat at his desk gathered up his laptop and went downstairs to begin filing all his belongings into cardboard boxes to take out to his car.

*

The Silence & The Howl | Part 10

§.10


Harmon stood within the melting hall once more. The light in the distance so bright he couldn’t bring himself to look at it. The man from which the centipede had emerged stood once more, bathed in albescent resplendence. Fear quickened Harmon’s pulse as he shaded his eyes and pressed down the hall, compelled by desires he did not understand. When he stood within ten feet of the man he realized that it was not a man at all but a statue of a androgynous human, cast of obsidian or some like substance and it seven feet tall and smooth hewn by impossible skill. The statue’s left arm was elevated, palm facing up, its right arm declined, palm facing down, as if it were pushing in equal measure against the welkin and the earth. Where the obsidian creature’s stomach would have been was a gaping black hole and from it issued forth a ominous skittering that began as a whisper and increased in volume with every step towards it Harmon took. When he stood directly before the statue, within distance of embrace, the sound blared like a war-siren and he fell to his knees with the force of it, screaming as a million voices swarmed upon him, speaking forth in dreadful unison, their words indiscernible.

Loathsome legs, insectal and countless poured from the hole as ears gushed from Harmon’s eyes.

*

“Harmon. Harmon?”

Harmon’s eyes flew open as Lyla shook him. He rolled over in his bed to face the naked woman where she lay, her supple curves blue neath the light of the moon.

“You were making noises in your sleep.”

“I hope I didn’t wake you.”

“Bad dream?”

“Yeah. Keep… having a similar one. Same thing keeps happening over and over again… there are these voices and…”

Lyla leaned against Harmon and gently caressed his still heaving chest, teasing about his nipples and the small patch of hair between them. He pressed her to his breast and kissed her crown whereupon she looked up at him and kissed him upon the lips and slid her hand slowly down his chest and stomach to his slowly swelling cock. Harmon groaned and gripped her right breast in his rough and calloused hand, prompting a little gasp to escape Lyla’s thick, red lips and her eyes to roll and her body to sway gainst his own. Shortly the duo were swept up in passionate embrace and as the woman’s body shuddered neath his own, Harmon kissed her upon her nose and pulled slightly away.

“I love you, Bluebird.”

She said nothing and looked away and drew him closer to her body, forcing him deeper inside. Moaning. Moaning. Moaning. Digging her nails into his back until he bled.

*

The Silence & The Howl | Part 9

§.09


When Harmon finally made his way back to his house the car belonging to the woman was there once more as well as Lyla’s car. Sprawls car was gone. He quickly dashed inside the house and discovered Lyla sitting on his chair in the living room, bent over his desk, his sketchbook open upon it. She looked at the drawing of selfsame visage with pursed lips and wide eyes.

“That was supposed to be a surprise.”

She gasped and dropped the notebook. To Harmon her face born a sign of shame that were as a curse upon her and a faint flame of suspicious there lit up in the corridors of his tired and tumbling mind.

“I’m sorry. I had tried calling but you didn’t answer.”

“Had went for a walk. Forgot to bring my phone,” he replied gesturing to the device where it lay at the corner of the table nearest the wall, not far from the sketchbook.

“So what brings you here, fair lady?”

Lyla rose slowly, hesitating, as if the words had been snatched from her throat. She quickly regained her composure and shrugged, “Dunno. Just wanted to see you.”

“I’m surprised.”

“Why?”

“You know why.”

“I’ve been busy.”

“I understand college is demanding but we never meet up anymore. We rarely even talk.”

“I know. I’m sorry.”

“I don’t want you to be sorry, I just want you to be with me.”

“I’m with you now.”

Harmon moved to stand before the woman. He was two inches taller than her, three with his boots on, and looked down into her large, coffee colored eyes and raised his hand to her face and leaned down towards her, gently caressing her lips with his own. Smooth and warm and delicious. She kissed back, hard and slowly wrapped her slender arms about his neck as heart beats quickened. Harmon slid his hand beneath her shirt and she shivered at the touch and smiled.

“You’re cold.”

“I’m sure you can figure out a way to warm me up.”

*

The Third Visitation | The Red Duomo

IN MY DREAM | The red duomo loomed over me, suspended between a bottomless mist that had a bizarre solidity, enough to maintain the weight of a full-grown man and the endless ambit of a shimmering and starless sky, black save for a strange-flickering of blue-lightening, threshing the skin of the void like great and arcane flails. Curiosity overwhelmed my mind upon gazing up at the high and imposing facade which looked to have been carved of ancient stone and after a moment in nervous contemplation of my circumstance I took a step forward whereupon I heard the voice of my ever-present companion, echoing throughout my mind in a hundred discordant tongues.

The tempation of curiosity leads thee down a path which thou art not prepared to tread. You know nothing of what lies beyond this portal, yet, in thy errantry, thou hurries forth without a care. Most unwise.

What therein could harm me? Some monstrosity? If you know, speak.

It is not monsters which thee should fear.

You speak in riddles! Plainly now.

If from this much thy cannot glean even the smallest morsel of wisdom then, for thy understanding, it is not. Experience is the greatest teacher. Step forth, fool, and see what awaits.

I bristled at the entities’ barbed remarks and steeled myself to ascend the portal and enter the duomo. Inside I found myself walking down a long hallway lined with mirrors and clocks, whose arms were frozen at different times. The hall let out into a grand foyer which was covered over in a thick silky carpet of a sanguine hue much akin to the chandeliers which hung in thick and odd-angling bundles from every possible surface of the ceiling. Across the red I moved, covered over in red light and there beheld two branching paths, the first was another corridor down which I could see a glistening golden mask where the eldritch light ebbed from almandine to tanzanite. The other path cut off to the north and therein was a temple and an altar and a woman upon the altar. The offering table was swathed in red cloth and the woman upon, naked; tracing the laylines of her body with slow, sensuous movements; at length she gestured to me and though I could not see her face, covered as it was by shade, it seemed as if she were smiling, eyes twinkling like fallen stars. Instantly, I began making my way to the female, my heart pounding, knocking gainst my ribs like the kettle drum of some agued madman; to touch her, to feel her warm embrace, to trace the gorgeous curves of her body and to kiss her plump and shimmering lips, red as blood, were to the working of my fevered imagination to reach a state of absolute perfection.

I could hear the rumbling of the entity within me. He was displeased but his echoing voice was drowned by the barbaric increase of my lust. Shortly I stood before the woman, her hair writhed above her, as if suspended in invisible liquid and a darkness masked her face, a darkness that seemed to have a solidity all its own. I extended my hand and she took it and pulled me close as the entity burst through the inner sanctum of my mind, wreakful and scolding.

Leave this place. She means to drain thee of thy passion. She-

Silence!

Deign to lecture me, boy? Thee might as well cut thy wrists. What passion will well once it has been exhausted in this frivolous, disgusting dance? Have thee forgotten thy purpose?

I did not answer. Did not listen and instead cupped the mysterious woman’s breasts with strong, sinewy hands, to her infinite delight. She moaned and tore at my clothes, tossing them free of my pale, tensing flesh and pulled me upon the altar and kissed me upon the lips, her loins grinding ‘gainst my own, swelling my hardness, eroding all sense of place or time or purpose. The darkness upon her faces swelled as I thrust my manhood within her warmth, spilling out upon me like some distended abyssal cephalodpod; feelings of confusion, bliss and terror mingled all and washed over the totality of the soma liken to a wave of crystal mist. As my thrusts became ever more wild and animalistic the darkness grew and as it grew the red cloth rose and grew, shifting strangely all about the room as if it were possessed of a mind of its own. It merged with the darkness, becoming as a floating river of blood and wrapt about me; first the wrists, then the torso, then the neck. I gasped. Unable to breath and, as the blood river tightened upon me, unable to move. The woman giggled and stroked my chest from where she lay below and then dragged one, long sabre’d nail down my pectorals, slicing through my flesh and drawing a ruddy, gushing line; a living art display.

I screamed and screamed and screamed until the blood river slithered about my mouth and down by throat; filling up my lungs til the grotesque liquid spilled out my nose and dripped in heavy globs upon the skin of man and woman alike.

You were right. Hear me, ᚲᚺᚨᚨᚱᛁᛉᚨᛚ and forgive my impetuousness!

Forgiveness breeds weakness. Yet, it is not my forgiveness thy utmost desires, but rather, assistance.

Both.

Will thee promise to listen when next thou art advised?

I give you my solemn promise!

Good.

The woman, still cackling maliciously, drew her claw down to my stomach, but when she attempted to pierce my flesh once more, her sword-like nail clattered ineffectively against a blackened carapace which glistened abhorrently under the temple’s rubied hue. She gave a hideous roar and slammed her claws ‘gainst my chest with all her might, yet that assault too afforded her nothing, for the entities chitin had ensconced my body. I could feel his power flowing through me and merging with my own. I gave a shout and tore free of the living blood river and spit up the remnants which resided within my lungs and grabbed the woman about the head and without expression crushed her skull between my obsidian hands.

Dionysus or Aphrodite? THE PORN/EROTICA DISTINCTION, PRT. 3

“You should get an agent! … why sit in the dark, handling yourself?” -Scott Walker, Bish Bosch.

Now there are a plethora of such opinion polls, studies and surveys investigating America’s relationship to pornography but very little committed to erotica. This is primarily because there is very little effort made by most academics to powerfully differentiate the terms. This is a shame because it is absolutely essential to have a embedded descriptor for upward moving sexual art. If the same question would have been asked but in place of “pornography” the words “contemporary romance novels” was inserted (which can be, by and large classed as erotica) instead, I guarantee the results would be far more favorable towards the medium. For one might put a adult romance novel out of sight of ones children but in familiar company one is unlikely to blush (especially woman who make up the vast market share of the romance fiction industry) given the mediums fundamentally Aphroditic qualities. Yet these very same individuals would be aghast to have a friend walk in on them watching the Dionysian displays of “hard-core” pornography; there is a very potent distinction here which bares further elaboration, a inherent impulse, instinctual and deeply rooted understanding of what constitutes a healthy and socially conducive sexual-artistic fabric, even if it is masked by hypocrisy. What hypocrisy? You might rightly ask. We’ll tackle that in part 3. – Dionysus or Aphrodite? The Porn/Erotica Distinction, Prt 2.

We last left off in our endeavor to better grasp the interplay between civilized society, porn and erotica by contemplating hypocrisy. The hypocrisy is simply this: Most sexually mature males and females watch pornography but most will either refuse to acknowledge this or declare that they do not watch pornography at all. Moreover, most individuals now, in some capacity, participate in pornography via the transmission of nude and lascivious photos and video over the internet. As of 2011, 1-in-5 teens had sent a naked picture of themselves at least once (according to studies conducted by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy). According to a 2013 Pew poll only 12 percent of Americans who utilize the internet ever watch pornographic videos which, when factoring all known website aggregations for pornography consumption during this time period, means that around 88 percent of Americans lied to Pew (with women lying more significantly than men).

Yet readers of scintillating erotic fiction are more than happy to express their interest in the medium; the phenomenal popularity of Fifty Shades of Grey well attests to this peculiar demarcation. What is the difference between, say,  Fifty Shades of Grey and the film, Riley Goes Gonzo 2?

 

Riley-Goes-Gonzo-2-Best-Porn-Movies-of-2017-441x625.jpg
Whilst the author was not able to subject himself to the entire running time of the film, he did watch a sufficient amount of the run-time as well as the trailer and can relay that it was much in-line with genre convention.

On the surface they appear to differ only in two primary areas: 1. nature of the sex-acts shown, 2. narrative complexity.

The nature of Riley Goes Gonzo (RGG) is contained in the name as “gonzo” refers to pornography which attempts to place the viewer directly into “the action.” The filming style was credited to pornographer and porn “actor,” John Stagliano and is generally characterized by close-up shots of dangly bits, wobbly lumps and a total lack of narrative trajectory. RGG emulates this genre convention as the film is essentially just 5 sex scenes spliced together without any narrative coherence, there are no characters, just performers and nothing is really said other than occasional pillow-talk. There is not much in the way of aesthetic style other than a constantly flashing neon-overlay effect which achieves nothing other than the further devastation of the eyes. The intensive focus in the film was upon the moaning of the primary actress and the grunting of the male performers and the hammering-jig-sawing of body parts and splattering effluvia. A purely Dionysian exercise of pleasure seeking and the mind-obliterating ecstasy of wild and uninhibited sex; a total collapse of subject and object into one linear process. Sex not as process itself but only a portion thereof, the act of insemination but never the insemination, the man taking the woman but never the steps leading up to it nor the consequences thereof. The purpose of the piece: arousal and nothing else besides. The lustful act – in reality but a portion of the total process – now the totality.

fifty-shades-of-grey-wallpaper-48753-50374-hd-wallpapers.jpg
The author has not seen the filmic adaptation of Fifty Shades but has read the first volume in the book series in its entirety.

Fifty Shades, though it received largely scathing literary reviews (Salman Rushdie famously said of the novel, “I’ve never read anything so badly written that got published. It made Twilight look like War and Peace.“) stands in stark contrast to the almost mechanical and orgiastic themes of RGG. Despite Fifty Shade’s sleazy, cheezy and all-around smultzy tenor, it has both a coherent narrative and fleshed-out characters (see what I did there) and the vaguest of “messages.” The story follows a young, shy college student by the name of Anastasia Steele who falls for a young, mysterious and wealthy magnate named Christian Grey who just also so happens to mentally troubled by his past relations and attempts to work through these problems through acting out BDSM fantasies (which are graphically described in the novel). The story is largely vacuous but has moments which touch upon the aberrant, yet exciting nature of sexual deviancy and the need to overcome past trauma.

It is this coherence of themes which primarily and markedly separates these two pieces of fiction. Both are sexually explicit (“hardcore”) but both are not thematically explicit, the latter attribute being intrinsically tied to the sense of the communal. It is difficult to say whether or not this point of demarcation constitutes the vector of divergence for social acceptability but it would be profoundly unlikely for it to have no bearing at all; clearly it does. For after all, both products are exceedingly concerned with explicit sexual acts, the primary difference, the central difference, is that Fifty Shades places the sex act within the context of a world where the act necessitates consequence outside of its own self-generative pleasure, whereas with the porn film, the self-generative pleasure is the measure of the world itself. It is then, within this framework, that shame builds itself, for the viewer instinctively knows that it is not “real sex” or “sex within the real world” and also understand that the shoring away of responsibility from the act itself necessitates a profound degree of narcissistic self-gratification (to say nothing of the time-spent in idle self-absorption), what we would posit as the focal source for the knee-jerk response to hardcore pornography usually expressed in the linguistic formulation of “tastelessness.” Taste, or aesthetic sensibility is a trajectory of being which originated and was further cultivated within civilized society and thus required a concern for the members of that very society; recall that our word “idiot” finds it origin in the Greek idiōtēs meaning, “private,” or “one’s own.” In Greek society those who refused or were unable to engage in public discourse were considered “idiotes” whereas the fruitful and engaged public were referred to as “polites.” The Latin arcanum, idiota, meaning, “layman” and then, later, “uneducated or ignorant person” as well as the French, idiote, are strikingly similar in their connotations. Both Latin and Greek societies looked upon the society in terms of gestalt, or the whole (more or less), with each component, working in tandem with their other component parts in order to form a more harmonious whole. One realized that one’s own well-being, standard of living, et-cetera, were all, largely, predicated upon their fellows upholding a similar vision and doing what was necessary to build upon and preserve it. With the passing of such societal and civilization norms and attitudes the sovereignty of the state gives way to the sovereignty of the individual and thus the sovereignty of discursive erotica gives way to anti-discursive pornography. The problem inherent in the hedonistic trajectory of pornographic consumption (other than its negative side-effects, which we will not here endeavor to elaborate upon) is the continuation of hermetic isolationism and further societal atomization which will, given sufficient time, render obsolete the very fabric, the very social essence, which gave rise to both the medium and the product as well as the ability to consume it.

We would thus submit that Dionysus’ dismemberment, by hands titanic,  is long overdue.


Sources

Pew Research Center, Online Video (2013), Kristen Purcell, Associate Director for Research, Pew Internet Project.

How much pornography are Americans consuming?

 


Footnotes

both filmic examples were chosen due to their popularity in their respective industries.

Reclaimer: Episode I

The heat of the newly risen sun cut like a thousand scythes across Miner 457’s arching body as he toiled in the layered soil. The strip mine was expansive. Total area of four-hundred feet by five hundred feet, sinking down with mechanical specificity some fifty-five feet below ground. It was one of fourteen which dotted the scoured, patchy landscape of the desert.

The earth-shifters surrounded him like giant steel spiders, tearing at the silt and stone and clay in dull rhythmic undulations. He was one of only three other miners who had been dispatched to the barren waste by The Unity. The mine had no name, like as it’s workers, only a formal designation: Zone 8-83.

Miner 457 moved to the edge of the newest pit, gazing down the slate walls to the basin of Zone 8-83; in the shadow of that rectangular abyss Miner 400 remained. She had taken a seat upon the ground. Breach of protocol. A dangerous one at that, the slate was unstable, it’s hissing uncertainty could be heard even over the clanging of the clockwork earth-shifters, tearing at the skin of the world as if the whole of the globe had committed some dire treachery deserving of punishment.

“Miner 400!”

Her visor-clad head snapped instantly to the ledge. Biosensors alight and swarming the visual plane of her helm-covering, affixing itself to 457, mapping bio-metrics, hers and his alike. Bio-chemical spikes, indicative of anger. The woman’s heart knocked against her ribs like the bellows of some mad-dash furnace, fear overtaking exhaustion; the whole of her form.

“Sitting down on the job – in a slag pit nonetheless – is a direct contravention of protocol. The slate-walls could collapse at any moment! You trying to get yourself killed, 400?”

“I’m sorry – I was very tired. I just… I had to sit down…”

“Don’t apologize, woman, just move! Can’t you hear the stack crumbling?”

The nearest earth-shifter turned upon Miner 457, hissing out a message. A crackling, mechanical monotone that echoed off across the vast flatness of the strip-mine and vanished across the red sands of the outer rim.

“Elevated stress levels detected. Miner 457, please remain calm. Aggression towards co-operatives is unacceptable.”

“It doesn’t matter right now – can’t you hear the stack? It’s collapsing, we mustn’t have braced it properly! You need to get down there and protect our worker!”

“A reminder, 457: These co-operatives are not ‘our’ workers. They belong to Unity. As do you. As do we all. A true Unified owns nothing.”

“We really don’t have time for this right now. Get down there and get her out of the pit! 400, you need to move – NOW!”

The walls of the slag pit were wavering, layers of dirt, silt and stone shifted down in sputtering clouds of dust upon Miner 400 who scrambled to the left-most bracewall and began climbing the ladder their affixed as fast as her arching body would carry her.

“457: Elevated aggression levels further increasing: untenable. Administering ana-gel.”

The massive drone scuttled swiftly across the shattered skein to stand before Miner 457, long, jointed legs moving out towards the young man like a crustacean preparing to pluck a husk of carrion.

“I don’t need the damned gel, you stupid hunk of junk!”

457 diverted his back-up power to the core, shoulders and arms of his exo-suit scant moments before the claws of the earth-shifter would have reached him. With a grunt of supreme exertion, Miner clasped upon the underside of the drone’s claws and shunted them aside. Muscles afire, he shifted, turning heel and dashing towards the pit as the shifter static-bellowed behind him.

“Invective will not be tolerated, you should comply with protoc-”

No time for protocol. Only time to act. Purely. Intensely. Decisively.

Miner 457 tuned out the drone’s crackling-radio static voice which continued to fizzle through the rarefied mid-morning air and rushed to the edge of the slag pit, his heart pulsing like a serpent coiled about it’s prey. Miner’s shadow evaporated into nothingness under the radiant brands of the fulminate sphere as his eyes slide left then right over the wasted plain of sand and stone. Miner 401 and 402 were nowhere to be seen.

No time to think about them; too far away to help, he mouthed to himself as he ran, feet rooted to a restless shadow.

Kneeling and grasping on to the ladder as the northern-most wall began to collapse, the miner lowered his torso down as far as possible into the chasm, extending his steel-plated hand, hoping to feel fingers shortly grasping back. The mining suit lent considerable strength and durability, the whole of the exo-skeleton grafted directly into the inhabitant’s nervous system. With an exo one man wielded the strength and speed of ten, the titanium-ceramic body plating able to withstand a heat-blast from a industrial furnace and the weight of a fully equipped earth-shifter. Yet the exos had their limits. Miner 400’s suit was fully intact, indeed, newly fitted, but no amount of external armor could save her should the rock-face of the mining pit swallow her in it’s tenebrous maw. Nothing could.

“Faster, 400! FASTER!”

Palled in darkness he could hear only her ragged breath, it’s sharp in’s and out’s and the quick collapsing brace-wall which screamed against it’s imminent dispossession like the spirit of some hideous shade.

Then all was chaos as the brace-wall gave way to 10,000 tons of rock which sundered the metal binding like gelatin and careened to the earth with all the destructive alcahest of some great and vengeful god.