Found in Toronto.
Found in Toronto.
Amid the banal repertoire of daily media aggression and the terrorism of the usual scandal cycle (the true terrorism of our day) one recent news story from Polk County Florida caught our attention as worthy of some Halloween reflection:
Two middle school girls allegedly showed up to school with butcher knives on Tuesday planning to kill “as many students as possible,” drink their blood, and scatter their bodies at the entrance to the building, a plot the cops say had something to do with being self-described “Satan worshippers,”.
The girls, aged 11 and 12, were armed with four knives, a sharpener, and a pizza-cutter. Like so many of us, they came up with their inspirational idea after a weekend of horror films.
“They told us they were Satan worshipers. They did make comments that they were willing to drink blood, and possibly eat flesh,” says an affidavit from the police department.
Folie à deux?
How sadly the adults shake their heads. How bitterly they bite their tongues as they spew out (with no small secret delight) the word they’ve been champing at the bit to mouth for so long: “Satanists”. To think what would have happened to all of those bright young things—potential lawyers, doctors, supreme court justices! Or would it have been such a crime to drain those creatures of vitality, whose lives are threatened anyway by the litany of imminent environmental disasters, war, and economic crises?
We think the state is as usual jealous; wants the flesh for itself. Inspirational?
It may be shocking to say we see something good in such bloodthirsty honesty, but as surrealists we think it is entirely justified to point out the hypocrisy in arresting these two while letting the vast majority of corporate and state official US blood drinkers run free, and to assume two probably hopeless young girls are more righteous in their satanism than most Americans in their stay at home self-satisfied turpitude and moral nonexistence.
In a world like that, like this, demonic activity is not only experimentally sound, it approaches the boundary of the morally justifiable.
Is it necessary to point out that we demand the immediate release of these two? Is it necessary to point out the hypocrisy of this bloodthirsty state power where the lives of so many women are threatened daily by the state apparatus, its misogynistic laws and culture? There is an entire superstructure dedicated to crushing women, girls, and the gender rebellious–an infrastructure whose epicenter could very well be Republican Florida. The same also pursue a sister quest of destroying the potential of youth before it even has a chance to fight back—whether through the destruction of the environment or the default impoverishment through varieties of debt (educational, medical, emotional…)
And yet they fear teenage Satanists! Rather, we declare that have much to learn from them. Let’s give them, instead of life in prison, a lecture tour, and a podcast. We would also be very interested to read their complete affidavit, and to hear more from them on the world according to their dark insights. We suspect there is much in common between us.
And finally, we wish to remind the world that there are far more nasty creatures than Satanists in our midst.
Who are really the bloodthirsty ones?
Officials, parents, churchgoers, concerned members of the community…by the power of Amtor the Unspeakable—whose true name is known only in the place which is not a place—we demand:
Release the Satanists!
Offer your throats!
For the devoration of all and sundry and the commencement of a vampiric age…
II: (As If Muttered Under The Breath)
…What are they teaching children these days if not how to engage in ritual human sacrifice? What is school if not ritual sacrifice? A sacrifice of generations of children who might otherwise have hopes, dreams, and enjoyment of freedom other than a gross desire to crush their fellow minorities under a marble statue of despair and crystallised smegma. What is a classroom, but the spiritual flaying alive? What is the essay but abusive relationship gaslighting? What is tea time to a Satanist? Is it the cup? So different than a coffee mug? And the maple syrup on my pancakes. There’s no god there either. I want to cut my penis right down the middle till I have two halves waggling around independently. That sounds like a sacrifice. I’d tie them in a pretzel for Beelzebub. Then I’d pull it back towards my ass cheeks and shit through it. And with this consecrated shit in my hand I’d storm the west coast and bury their universities. Cal Arts? What the hell is that? You call that cartoons? Redrawings of redrawings of redrawings of Disney’s angry old men till only the construction remains? Perhaps, these too will one day simplify into a pentagram with a middle finger in the center of it shoved up the asshole of simultaneously shitting god with an anus made of necrotic, gangrene flesh. Or, I could pull a wrestler’s skeleton apart and find the wimp trapped inside the rib cage to rape, for days until they beg to be let out of the clown suit and punching bag. The ring. The ring’s a fine place for a ritual. Isn’t MMA already gladiatorial combat? – the successor of some knuckle-dragging Etruscan’s funeral sport? And there you have it. Not only is it the oppressed in every society accused of witchcraft, the sacrificed are also its slaves, though we stick the knives in each other’s hands. And in the throat. And the eye. And the asshole. A hundred fucking times in the asshole till their bowels fall out their pelvic bone like it was a culvert of an abattoir. How incredibly wrong it is that we kill so many animals every day WITHOUT ritually dedicating their blood to demons.
MARK MY WORDS!!! THE FARM OF THE FUTURE WILL SACRIFICE EACH AND EVERY ANIMAL MUTILATION TO DEMONS AND ADVERTISE IT IN IT’S MARKETING. Invest now! Do it like I say! You’re the animal! You and your fucking fur coat! I want one! I want one!
-The Ottawa Surrealist Group, Halloween 2018
Questions breed questions…
What do you want your tombstone to look like?
What do you fear from the reaper?
Does a very long sickle resemble a rope?
Isn’t a noose a legitimate farm-tool in today’s farms?
Isn’t suicide a kind of organic produce?
What dangles in the produce aisle?
What do we identify as the lintels in a grocery structure?
What is the foundation of hunter-gatherer folksong?
Does physics and its laws harmonize in the cherry-picked mind?
Is there physical determinism present in the structure of a dirty, guilty, sexual fantasy?
Are there forms of fantasy which relate only to root vegetables?
Can a fattened lip be boiled in a witches cauldron?
Is a yeti-lipped vagina a socio-sexual liability?
-JA, LL, SH, October 4 2018
We’ve met some interesting people recently…
The Gentleman Thief
Without any stop of the maker’s hand
Who makes ligature from his skin
For Queen and Country.
This disrobing escort
Without fear of the consequences
For his aptitude of folding nothing.
Without constraints to its birth
Which makes good on a promise
For the great burden of existence.
–MM, JA, SH, PP, August 22 2018
Found on H.P. Lovecraft’s birthday, August 20, 2018
“Est-ce que c’est le Parlement?”
“Non, c’est Canadian Tire.”
–Snappy answers to stupid questions overheard on Parliament HillThere is a certain satisfaction in seeing the confusion on people’s faces. If this is what’s oozing out of Ottawa, just what is happening to your average mediocre city? A spontaneous and unexpected outbreak of tropical hysteria in a cold, boring, early-to-bed bureaucratic monocrop of a town. Stories of new mind-mush: it’s getting hotter every year. Perhaps we’re just some random itinerant students at the universities, passing through a radical phase? Or an infection of external rebels living here by circumstance from certain known centers of revolt (Montreal, perhaps to a lesser extent Toronto, which is at least large enough to be plausible?) What puzzles to the point of numbness is that many of our group are actually from Ottawa (and the true Ottawa, of course, its suburbs). Of those that have come here from elsewhere, it is usually from even smaller, even more boring places.*
It could be said that our critique of the city is therefore endemic.
Ottawa is one of those odd New World administrative-capital cities which are often explicitly distinct from the centres of culture (Montreal, Toronto, New York etc). Sitting stupidly on-top of sacred indigenous sites at the crossing of the rivers and the Chaudière falls, its capacity to crush its own mythic loci is astounding. And then, during its colonial existence, Bytowne was an actually pretty wild frontier spot with some interesting mythological implications (the giant Big Joe Mufferaw…Devil along the Kitchissippi in search of an onion sandwich…The Witches of Luskville… The Haunted Lake of Fairies).
But this was a separate life on the same spot, a totally different town, and has had no real impact on the present mindset of the city. This negation is the result of a series of specific, massive colonial and then Federal projects surrounding its capitalization, such as the Rideau Canal, the Copy-Pasted Parliament Buildings, or the Victoria Island paper mill, and then, a century later, the Gerber Plan. They have built indiscriminately on top of the interesting, the indigenous, and the poor, as usual. And now, for example, a massive new condo project being developed on-top of the old poisoned industrial site built on-top of a sacred Algonquin island. We must be onto our third or fourth layer of outrage, now?
And he pointed out a sort of Nuremburg toy planted on a hill top. This toy with its polychrome architecture resembled the House of Parliament in London much as the Montreal cathedral resembles St. Peter’s at Rome. But that was of no consequence; there could be no doubt it was Ottawa.
-Jules Verne, Robur the Conqueror
The blossoming of the fatberg.
It is well known that a fatberg is a congealed lump in a sewer system formed by the combination of non-biodegradable solid matter such as wet wipes with grease or cooking fat. Fatbergs may also contain other items which do not break down when flushed into a toilet, such as sanitary napkins, cotton buds, needles and condoms, as well as food waste washed down sinks. The resulting lumps of congealed fat can be as strong as concrete, and require specialist equipment to remove. Such are our problems.
In some ways the fatberg is too adorable to hate. It’s not unique in its style of mediocrity, and that’s the whole point.
Of course there is a typical banalization of life itself emanating from the most dominant presence in the city i.e. at present, boring middle aged and mostly white bureaucrats who moonlight as hockeydad paterfamiliases. And with them the standard level of racism and fascist-nurturing as expected, dog-whistle attacks on black music from our local radio stations who insist only on “real rock” and the nuanced suppression of the indigenous, immigrants, people of colour, workers, and the homeless.
What’s worse, in recent years the fatberg macro-culture has itself developed a bad-conscience. The functionaries themselves feel the need to justify themselves by deriding their own status, and pursuing the sweet “spice of life” activities on the side. Thus the rather pathetic proliferation of “Ottawa at Night” or “Ottawa Underground” documentaries, the promotion of a local pseudopoetry or pseudo-radical arts scene (Scotiabank Presents Nuit Blanche!) or other abortive attempts to make amends for its own mediocrity.
Meanwhile, out in the suburbs, a new spirit forms from the angry kids and the misfits of the fatberg ideal. They simply allowed some of us too much freedom to watch old cartoons and to play in the forest. It is from the magical lots of old quarries and abandoned factories that the sludge of the Chimera originally crawled into the gullets of a few maniacal teenagers who never blossomed as they aged.
Perhaps the one redeeming feature of how the city “looks” in its official capacity is its penchant for the neo-gothic architecture. Well then. Maybe these are our houses, and we’re the neo-goths?
We know our forebears. We know what you are on the inside. We speak from the insider’s experience of an unintentional mediocrity of life to an explicit mediocrity in the eyes of the service economy, on the trail of the phantom carriage.
At the outskirts of the utilitarian city we might recreate ourselves as:
A centre of gravity for uselessness
Sexual and gender multiplication tables
An outlet for misfits, the poor, the mad (who often join us at our park bench, and play along)
Nonconformists, absolutely, but also underconformists, sideconformists, etc.
An experimental farm for chance
A greenbelt of antagonism
A provocation for the eclectic productives and cool parents
Ignorers of initiatives
The next step for activists who are too angry
Collectors of the detritus of Old Hull
Fangirls of the Wendigo, the Loup-Garou, the ghost of the Lac des Fées
The spirit of revenge against the personality-market of that sponsorship scandal masquerading as an arts and poetry scene.
All of the above items remain as hypotheses or as temporary scaffolding to try out, in group life. We have tried on the masks we saw hanging out of reach on the walls of the museum of our childhood, but we’re not done playing with them yet.
We’re here to poison the happy families. Obliteration everywhere for all pseudotropolises.
*But after all, is it all that odd? Paris and London/SLAG, of course, but it’s Leeds that has the longest running surrealist group in the history of the UK. Chicago is also, as the Rosemonts have pointed out, an alternative reality to the more central literary culture of New York. Even Stockholm, it seems, is not exactly a radical effervescent centre (either now, or in the 80s?). And others. Perhaps there is a sweetspot of alienation, social pressure, population density and radical unimportance that favours the growth of surrealist fungi.