[ by Charles Cameron — opposite extremists at opposite extremes — for JM, if he ever gets time to read / view / hear it — with a personal note to cleanse the palate at the end ]
An essay, expressed in musics.
Indeed, a Janis Joplin-driven explanation of the bookRajneeshi and Incel passions, offered to JM Berger as he’s publishing what will no doubt be a powerfully argued and fascinating account of a wide range of extremisms, Extremism (The MIT Press Essential Knowledge series):
extremism arises from a perception of “us versus them,” intensified by the conviction that the success of “us” is inseparable from hostile acts against “them.”
Buy this book, okay?
Sexuality, pure & full-throated.
First, her voice torn raw:
“Move Over” is the only song on the 1971 album “Pearl” that Janis wrote on her own. If the lyric doesn’t strike you as particularly suggestive, just listen to the way she sings it and you’ll see what we mean.
Now multiply by this, drawn from Janis‘ letters:
She fell in love at a heartbeat; her sexual appetites are perhaps best described as ravenous (she had female as well as male lovers), her judgment frequently awry.
Sex, plenty of it — you’d think she’d move from jaggering via satisfaction to satiated.
And sex, the absence, the vacuum, the abyss,
Second, her heart torn, shredded:
This line is all I need:
Well, the fevers of the night, they burn an unloved woman:
and this brilliant comment I overheard:
she would make love to 25,000 on stage, then go home alone..
Janis is a Rajneeshi at heart and in behavior, an Incel in blues and loneliness..
Given that, that strength, that compulsive pull, that driven drive —
Zero Sex, the absence, involuntary
The Incels — those who are involuntarily celibate — can’t get none — perceiving themselves shunned by those who attract them __
final lyrics, one version:James Brown, It’s a Man’s World..:
Oh how, how man needs a woman
I sympathize with the man that don’t have a woman
He’s lost in the wilderness
He’s lost in bitterness
He’s lost in loneliness
That last stanza, with that line in it, could be an incel anthem.
I sympathize with the man that don’t have a woman.. Well, the fevers of the night, they burn an unloved woman..
The raw reality of it: a child’s wail — see how much you can bear to see —
That’s the involuntary celibate, Incel, pieced together out of Janis and James Brown, the extreme in inward-twisting, self-pitying, child’s wail version of the blues ..
This boy, this young man, a day or so after making this video, went out and killed six people in Isla Vista, Calif., in an attempt as “the prefect gentleman” to get his revenge on the hottest blondes in UC Santa Barbara. And became, for some, a hero to be emulated.. And emulated he was.
Readings follow suit:
Forbes, The Disturbing Internet Footprint Of Santa Barbara Shooter Elliot Rodger Clarion Project, What is the ‘Incel Revolution’ and Why Should I Care? NYTimes, Toronto Van Attack Suspect Expressed Anger at Women NYTimes, What Is an Incel? A Term Used by the Toronto Van Attack Suspect, Explained WaPo, Inside the online world of ‘incels,’ LRB, Does anyone have the right to sex?
It is this extreme I have greater difficuty understanding.
This most recently, btw:
The SPLC report counts Rodger among 13 alleged alt-right killers whose actions left 43 people dead and more than 60 injured since 2014.
Elliot Rodger, the 22-year-old who killed six students in the college town of Isla Vista in 2014, was the first “alt-right killer” to strike in recent years..
Sex raised hopefully to the power of the infinite:
And then I hear that howl against the backdrop of the recent documentary about the Rajneeshis, encouraged by their guru to explore their sexuality to the sacred, to satiation..:
Wide-open their hope, shut-down their finale.
And finally, JM, Something Other and more personal
A martini to cleanse the palate..
Now I want to watch, intend to binge-watch Brideshead Revisited, the Jeremy Irons version, for some very un-American, upper-class-snobbish, public-school-boy, Roman-Catholic-gay historical-throwback art-level Britishness:
Dropping you in at an odd, a very strange, indeed extreme in a dozen ways from Sunday, luncheon:
I who have been beaten — four, with a bamboo cane, at Wellington College, (a sort of military academy slash prep school) — for doing the Times crossword in place of my math moework. Ah yes, and when I came up to Christ Church, Oxford, dunked in Mercury, that college’s Tom Quad pool, after exacting the price of a glass of port from my tormentors, almost twenty years before the film from which this excerpt was taken, was filmed.
For I too am Anglo and Roman Catholic and Buddhist and Taoist and a snob — at least until I meet you or you, and humanity breaks in.
And a creature of sexuality, defeated by sickness and old age..