Originally published on November 5, 1996, as one of the first, if not the very first missives contributed to the post-situationist listserv arm of the fledgling Nothingness entity. First I struck a nerve. Then I struck oil. The oil that would lubricate finally, a conversation that was about to take place. Or at the very least, I expected something resembling a conversation.
Just wanted to go on record that of all those waking up from last night's America TODAY, there are only two kinds of people. People who vote, and those who don't.
Sam then wrote:
There are two kinds of people in the world. Those who divide everything into simple dichotomies and those who do not.
This Sam, turned out to be Sam Hutchison, from Atlanta, who later became a strong ally in the Bully Marxist wars that followed on that particular list against NYC rivals Bill Brown and Curtis Leung. But with this early exchange, I was immediately incensed by what I had to consider the familiar ring of snobbishness, and the fact that Sam had signed off his one liner with a kicker and a nickname that summed up my original assessment, sent me to the mattresses looking for my poison pen. His kicker, "Oh yeah, down here I'm considered the apotheosis of cool." signing off as "the sewer urchin." Needless to say, I found my metaphorical pen, and as to whether it was filled with poison or healing medicinal concoction, the distinction is all in the dosage. You be the judge.
Sam, have you ever crawled inside a wet sewer pipe down upon your hands and knees through a stinky brick and mortared shit-infested rat-renewal art-survival sewer "MANHOLE", a hole in hell clopped up with soggy kotex and johnny paper, root infiltration and a world of nasty whiff? Ever sat in a row boat hand-dipping test tubes into a lake of shit sludge testing the toxicity of said sludge as it's filtered and treated with chemical du jour before the big drip drip drip back through the lay of the land via some "no swimming allowed" river or some off-kilter stream of consciousness?
Go swallow an apple, or chop down a cherry tree with the excuse that it was on line (old surveyor’s joke), and then step into the shallow pond to pontificate on the differences between good and evil, dead or alive, one and zero, win or lose, voting and non-voting.W
ell, my friend, you are currently communicating with one who has not only proposed the question, but I HAVE PERFORMED these awesome uninviting tasks many times in that petty proletarian life of my younger days before I took up dividing the world into simple dichotomies. Beyond this brief but colorful description of a few of my duties as a low totem, then ranking crew chief member of a survey party hired to a civil engineering firm in Atlanta serving five SE USA states specializing in waste management systems, I dare say I have also been known to chant around certain quarters that I am indeed the anithesis of cool.
My pose as THE ANTI-COOL is not a transparent facade I must mainatain in order to spew forth the vomit I have reserved for the lukewarm chic trendy jabberwockies of the café chit chat set. No, I am not chic. I sweat. I sweat, and foam, and seethe. And more than a bit overweight, one might add. But I was not always this way. I was once a child of simple intelligence and structure. Despite the William S. Burroughs role as the Commissioner of Sewers I would point out that WSB has declared the Evil One as a freckled face kid sitting in a boat out in the middle of some woe-begotten lake. Damn. How did he manage to describe ME in one my my strongest childhood memories to a freckle? Sitting in a row boat with my Navy dad in the middle of some large body of water completely flummoxed as to what was required of me. This was no dream. I was about four. We did it. I remembered it.
So I ask you Sam, is it not the very root of situationist thought (this swindle) that simple dichotomies are the backbone of the revolution: He be rich. I be poor. Therefore he da master. I da slave. Are we not swapping verbs and nouns on a situationist listserv? Viva la revolution! Sure. But how is the business of this post-revolution world to be conducted? Magick? Hmmm...
And so I reveal my true stripes: there are no simple dichotomies outside of SELF and THE OTHER (Derruda, Pynchon...)! Go swallow an apple, or chop down a cherry tree with the excuse that it was on line (old surveyor’s joke), and then step into the shallow pond to pontificate on the differences between good and evil, dead or alive, one and zero, win or lose, voting and non-voting.
And Sam, whomever you are and wherever you ponder, thanks for contributing to the iMote way...
"I fought with my twin, that enemy within, 'til both of us fell by the side..."