Stronger Loving World

A Cultural Criticism WeblogE-Mail Murdervision

Friday, January 30, 2004

Through The Teeth

So I am browsing the internet late at night, and I encounter, like a lost friend bumping into me in the rain, Steven Shaviro's remarkable collection of essays on the cultural life of the 90's, Doom Patrols. I'm melted into the acid bath of these very 90's aproaches and topics; the obsession with dissolution, distillment, deferral, death, and delimitation of boundaries. Reading the essay on Foucalt, I come across these lines:

" 'From a biological standpoint, our sex lives are exceedingly dreary. Other organisms are far more inventive. Consider, for instance, the bedbug (Cimex lectularius). The males of this species fuck by stabbing and puncturing their conspecifics' abdomens. Every copulation is a wound. The victims of these aggressions, males and females alike, are permanently scarred; and they carry their rapists' sperm in their circulatory systems for the rest of their lives. As Howard Ensign Evans puts it: "the image of a covey of bedbugs disporting themselves in this manner while waiting for a blood meal--copulating with either sex and at the same time nourishing one another with their semen--makes Sodom seem as pure as the Vatican.' Even Sade never imagined such a scenario!"

the after-image having just burned itself backwards through my retina and into my brainstem in hot red flashes, through pigments and filaments, sets me all a flutter, and I need to unwind a bit. We sip some herbal tea, masturbate furiously to a back issue of Vampirella or Bowie's The Man Who Fell To Earth, then click away at the headline news on CNN and come across this equally poignant, equally pathos-laden statement:

"There's absolutely no way back for me, only forwards, through your teeth."

Our German friend, what parts of him are not swimming in a sewage tank in Berlin or have not been broken down into amino acids, is not alone, we are told. We are informed that he is a part of a "hitherto unacknowledged world of cannibalism and extreme fetishism." This is only one remarkably documented case of self-propelled oblivion over the net, which we can juxtapose to the fascinating trend of e-mails that spurt out automatically upon notice of our death, like hot fleshy death spasms 'extended' across electronic skin, to use a Mcluhanism.(I would prefer if, in an act of Burroughsian hyperrealism, these death spasms were posthumous eroticisms, like the ejaculation known to spurt from erect penises during old Western hangings. Imagine your loved ones treated not to a warm condolence written dryly, in emotional detachment,sitting in their inbox in visual relationships with hundreds of articles of spam and porn solicitations, but the ultimate treatment of love and regeneration and the poetic literalization of rebirth: hot milky semen flooding their computer screens, hosing them into a sopping mess of your love, your sweet goddamn love.) But forget about the technological implications;the fact that this is an internet-solicited suicide. After all, crazy people do have a way of finding eachother, internet or no internet. What is it about this particular oral fixation, the 'victim's desire for regeneration within the body of another man. This is not exactly the Freudian Death Instinct outlined in Beyond the Pleasure Principle, is it? There is no desire for latency, no rocketing towards oblivion or inactivity. "Forward", he says, "through the teeth." It is every bit as sacrosanct, and holy, and blissful, and out and out sexual as it sounds. Remember, that sex is a secondary, 'epiphenomenon'outside of reproduction, born of mitochondrial bacteria's constant, violent cannibilistic tussles:

"Sexuality first appeared in the world as a form of primordial cannibalism. In the anaerobic earth of three and a half billion years ago, terrorist bacteria preyed relentlessly on one another. Every random encounter was fraught with violence and danger. Cells continually penetrated and devoured other cells. "Everywhere poisonous mixtures seethed in the depths of bodies; abominable necromancies, incests, and feedings were elaborated" (Deleuze). But at some point, a certain aggressor cell had an attack of indigestion. Its victim's DNA resisted digestive breakdown. Instead, it continued to manufacture proteins in its new environment of alien cytoplasm. No cellular reproduction had occurred, yet a new, monstrous hybrid was born: the first sexual being, the first infection. The universal feeding frenzy was transformed into a delirious erotic intermingling: "cannibalism became fertilization, and meiosis was forced to evolve" (Margulis and Sagan)."

Sexuality is defined as a difference, but more specifically, it is a resistance. It is an apocalyptic material breakdown that resists its own Death instinct as well as the survival tactics of its predator. It is matter that, aproached with radical all-encompassing dissolution, retains its form, its only method of survival to lose the 'self' and force its predator to become part of it. Union, parasitism, look at it however you like. It is a remarkably consumptive, digestive act.

If the 90's were about pointing out lines and boundaries and erasing their distinctions, crossing borders and showing our pores and interconnections, then the post-millenial will be a nostalgic re-inscripting of the body. Not a return to old Edenic, binary distinctions of the body, but a religious, mystical appreciation for what it means to be a consciousness in a body, with limits, with ends, with skin that separates us from something 'other'. It is not so remarkable in this cultural holding pattern then that those of us who seek death would want it only 'through the teeth', re-inscripted into the body of another, fighting for our form in the wake of our own tragedy.



Post a Comment

<< Home