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If Scream Minimizing Architecture Awaits Us After The End of The Law Then Why Couldn't Communist Happiness Have Started Already?


ISSUE 68 | ECSTASY OR ATTENTION | SEP 2016

Out by the firepit after the sunset I mentioned how Thomas Jefferson demonstrated his entrepreneurial genius by forcing humans aged ten to twelve to sit inside a shack he designated his “nail factory” banging out nails on a hot forge all day.

My mother did not acknowledge the nail factory and brought up the fact that there is a lawyer who is rebuilding Jefferson's weekend plantation, Poplar Forest. This lawyer is, according to my mother, “really a nice guy.” A Novelist mentions that Poplar Forest was where Jefferson could “really be himself.” Her current novella involves a 16th-century Irish slave encountering Oscar Wilde in the afterlife.

My mother went on to explain that the Nice Guy Lawyer was bringing real “post and beam craftsmen” from around the world to perfectly reproduce TJ's vision. Some even were from Sweden. I go up and go to the room I am staying in, take out the flowers from the baggie, crunch it up, put them into the bowl, light it, and blow the smoke out of the window. Warmth and light creep into me, I go outside and instead of thinking about white supremacist subtextin language, I see the moon illuminating the back of the clouds. Thank you holy plant for liberating us from present reality.

I wrote that at the train station in Staunton Virginia. The 50 train from Chicago to New York was two hours late and will run three hours late, so, by the end, it took longer to get to New York from Virginia than it takes to get to New York from Shanghai. According to the historical placard, some Confederate Nazi general set up camp in the Hotel Virginia and there's a big hotel on the hill celebrating another famous Confederate Nazi general.

The historical placards do not call these people Confederate Nazis. “This is Nazi country” I write to multiple people on the internet. If the USA can eradicate peoples, thought Hitler, why couldn't he. This was the first time that “white” people treated each other like they had treated black and red people, observes Frank B. Wilderson. White, Red and Black is one of those books that I recommend and people do not read, along with Sylvia Federici's Caliban and the Witch and Maria Mies's Patriarchy and World Accumulation: these books present world-histories that make the situation more uncomfortable than the comfortable centrist radical patriarchs: Marx, Freud.



When I walked down the station someone asked me if I was a painter I said I was and he asked if I was a room painter or an artiste painter I said both. He was a room painter and lived in a rail bunker beneath the track so he could hear the trains coming from a long way off. If you walked on the tracks you would be walking over mass graves. “Chinese. Irish. Scottish. Black. Whoever died they'd throw them in a pile, dig em ina hole and throw them in a pile.” The last time he was sitting here, a 77year-old man got off the train and asked the painter and his girlfriend if they smoked pot. “Not really” the painter said, and laughed, and then said “I don't do drugs. I don't buy drugs.” I got up then and walked down to the end of the track, past a warehouse, took out a folded flower from the plastic bag and smoked it and came back.

When they indicate the things that English indicates by the word drugs Chinese writers write the word ““毒品”“, pronounced dúpǐn in Mandarin. The second character, 品, indicates “things” and the first, 毒, poisonous: so drugs mean, literally, poisonous things. The characters for medicine, 医学, does not overlap at all with “drugs” as in our obscure English.

I did not “need” to smoke to write this but I smoked anyway because I liked the combination of the flower with the amphetamine salts, generic version, with a prescription, so legal, drugs but not 毒品, that I took about five hours before.

The only thing that I want to do in this essay is to make you feel via obscure reference what the end of the law could mean, but some deep distractability wants to digress and talk about the meaning of medical diagnoses, about medical authority and how the health of the species depends upon liberation from the prescription-leash and the reintegration (w/ sublative bonus!) of healing within the everyday, but the amphetamine salts enable the mind to focus itself around a single topic: how parents doctors principals educators dosed so many children with these amphetamine salts, to make them focus, to make them comply.

My father figured out the problem with the marriage to my mother was that my mother had ADHD. He printed out many articles that confirmed his diagnosis. The therapist did not agree with this diagnosis and instead asked my father if he wanted to talk about his own obsessive compulsive disorder. What obsessive compulsive disorder, he responded?

People who meet him usually describe my father as a nice man. He sometimes says that he lives a more traditional life than me. Apart of me that feels deep shame at being queer and strange and awkward and not being a real man or a real woman really being an alien, sort of, or a party beast, sometimes. Another part of me seethes in steampot hot redblack rage because it knows just what kind of “tradition” he claims. Back in the height of the mass caging my father took me and my brother to stand at the base of Thomas Jefferson’s statue at night. A month ago he told me that the police experience many bad guys out there and that Michael Brown was a bad guy.



I arrived at the train station at two, and now it was 4:22. I was hungry so I opened the recycled boutique yogurt plastic jar, ate one of the unpureed pieces of cow liver, then used the cucumber inside to scoop up the puree and think of how after each of the two times my mother screamed at me over this weeklong visit she came back and cooked food.

My mother started cooking food when she was 18, living off campus in Boulder, Colorado. 1970. She believes she was picked up by Ted Bundy once, because Ted Bundy was in Colorado too. I have the same birthday and double compounded Saggitarian sun as Ted Bundy.

After the first time she screamed I wrote about it in a letter:

about an hour ago i was sitting in my mother's studio working on some pieces, and she was talking about how my brother had made it clear (according to her) that he didn't want to feel pressured into financially supporting her. Then I said that I didn't understand this and she seemingly flipped out, lost her anger, and told me that I was the biggest bully she knew, stormed off, came back, told me it was breaking her heart.

The context for this is that last night at a party I corrected her about [collaborator’s painting histpry] and made her embarrassed. This was a faux pas that I realized at the time and sought to redress, perhaps successfully, later in the party, but apparently she doesn't realize that I'm an aware human being so she thought it would be a good idea to try to make it a “teachable moment” the next morning.

Some very protective parts of me want to basically shut the gates forever because I keep trying to be open and present for her and it always feels like it ends with her yelling at me about what a horrible person I am. Luckily many parts of me feel pretty happy and like I'm not a horrible person and there are people I love and who love me so I'm ok, but......

That was on Thursday. On Friday I took a secret communion with the flower on the patio on the second floor, inhaled excellently deeply, allowed that golden internal light feeling to circulate around my body, walked back inside, and heard, first, the ambient that I was playing in order to create a mood of soft focused creativity, and second, my mother asking me if I can put headphones on.

Why, why did I say this, for what purpose, what aspect of myself drove me to say that she is the only one that I know who doesn't like to listen to music. (When I ask someone if the piece seems like it’s blaming her, they say no, because I look like an asshole too, and also like I’m secretly praising her)

My mother says that this is a quiet house and that plenty of people she knows don't like to listen to music. But I have to, I say, in order, to create a mood of feeling that elevates me from the incessant sorrow of knowing what lives behind the mask of law capital and love! She says she's leaving because she doesn’t want to get into a fight and I ask her to come back and I ask her to go to therapy to deal with anger that's there as a way to protect herself against childhood events that aren't happening anymore, but apparently (she says) the only real anger that exists in her life is with me, from me, what about my brother, she has has long nice conversations and there's never anger with my brother.

You should be apologizing every day for destroying two years of work, I say, and humiliating me in front of everyone I know. “I don't think you should come here anymore. You're breaking my heart,” she screams and runs out of the room.

My grandfather starved himself to death in the year without any estate tax. I tried to use the money in a communist way, rented an apartment over 57th Street Books in Hyde Park, and started a collective educational institution there, called Home School Three. Home School One was in Cape Cod and Home School Two in West Hollywood. First there were anarchist art classes and then there was a period of yoga and intense seminars, on André Gorz, on the patriarchal international division of labor, and something Freudian that I disagreed with and didn't go to.

My thirtieth birthday weekend would be here I declared and it would be filled with seminars and conversations, fun encounters and many 毒品. It would be called EYE OF THE STORM / CUSP OF REVOLUTION. Why did I invite the mother stepfather brother father stepmother to this? Childhood fantasies of making everyone happy, playing together, obviously. “Mom, let dad know I'm a pothead now, ok.” “You know I don’t like this.” “I know, but it’s me. I need it.”

On the morning of my thirtieth birthday I sat smoking in my bedroom smoking continuous packed bowls of the flower winter light smoke books rug with my best friend and the blonde english artist who is my birthday present from them, my best friend. This is the last day that we will be best friends: that's how confused I am about the “gift” and confused too by how much of those adderralls they are taking and how little of our collaborative book they are working on (it was so fun though when we just got those books and freestyled, wasn't it!)

Your mother left, someone comes in and says, she was making the collective vegetarian frittata and she left. “Don't worry.” Best friend says “we'll take you to dinner tonight.” Mother comes back in with Stepfather, I tell her I'm going to dinner with Best Friend, and she yells in front of assembled 20-30 guests “You're surrounded by bloodsuckers and you spend your whole life smoking dope!” and then storms off screaming and sends me an email the next day saying that the way I am living my life is breaking her heart.

Some interpreters of the event argue that she was offended by the apparently overabundant ambient sex vibe, but this seems projective. Friends used to read erotic passages from her mystery novels to me. It was the drugs, I know now, the drugs and politics, the drug politics, the way that drugs are politics but seem to be about moods and preferences and smells and feelings and relationship power statuses. The night I came down in on the train we went to dinner and talked about power in relationships. My stepfather explained that nothing my mother did could make a difference to me, but one thing I did could ruin her entire day. Once my mother got so high that she thought the restaurant she was working at was being robbed so she called the police and ran out of the restaurant and never came back. Every time she tried pyschedelics she saw people's faces as if they were animals and that was horror to her, somehow. Worse things probably happened to her that she hasn't told me about but those are the stories that stand in as a screen for her experience with the substances that would eventually be called “drugs” during the lost revolution we call sixties or maybe slightly more tolerably: the new left.

Frank B. Wilderson III writes that during this period “the questions asked by radical politics and scholarship were not Should the United States be overthrown? or even Would it be overthrown? but when and how—and, for some, what would come in its wake.”

The AmericanEmpire defeated the revolution in the short term via assassination, kidnapping, tourture, the spread of false information and gossip, all disgusting, but precedented, but the medium-term strategy, that's the really really disgusting and basically unprecedented in history. The Empire's deep state flooded the neighborhoods of the oppressed classes with narcotics (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CIA_involvement_in_Contra_cocaine_trafficking), cut all social funding, and meanwhile launching a thirty-year ongoing program of racist carcereal genocide under the pretext of a “war on drugs” and “safety.”

The summer before my thirtieth birthday I told my mother on the phone that I don't have any memories of my childhood before twelve. I said it was a way of protecting myself from the pain that I felt before those years because of the toxic emotional environment created by my parents’ marriage. “How many of my friends tell their mothers that they have no memory of childhood” she asked. “I bet a lot of them don't,” I said

Between 1984 and 2005, my twenty first years of life, the prison population of the United States increased from 500,000 to 2.5 million humans: which is to say that as I created spaceships, impressed everyone with the creativity of my volcano at the science fair, read and wrote my first poems at the “café noir” hosted by my middle school, went to academic summer camp to learn about existentialism and the history of scientific revoltuions, as I hid in the basement closet from the screaming, as my brother developed more and more intricate compulsions to deal with his obsessions, as I ate more and more carbs and grew fatter and fatter, as I emerged out of the fatness into some tentative provisional gender identity, in the first two years of a ten year intense cohabitation that would define me, as all of this, two million human being got locked inside cages, many locked up directly because of this magic “drug” concept cooked up by the ruling crooks of the Empire, most of the rest locked up because of the chaos unleashed by the withdrawal of capital from the neighborhoods of the great migration, so-called “urban renewal.”

If the National Socialists had learned from the American state and developed a code language to explain and justify the extermination, maybe it would've worked and I would never have been born. Oh, and also, the National Socialists also didn’t have the most sophisticated sense of whiteness: Europeans had exterminated people since the dawn of colonial modernity, but they had now made the mistake of exterminating white peoples.

How come there aren't any movies about the middle passage or the extermination of the North Americans, I asked out at the firepit. Amistad doesn't count because it's a triumph story with white heroes. Stepfather mentioned Little Big Man, and then someone said “Dustin Hoffman.” The Novelist wondered how there could still be a Columbus Day. I got up and went inside and packed another flower into my bowl and smoked it, got a beer, went onto my computer, tried to communicate the situation, fell asleep, woke up again, walked outside to the firepit.

“Tell us about your five hundred person idea.” my mother said. “Everyone redevelops into 500 person neighborhoods.” “Like a kibbutz” said my stepfather, who had told us before about his time on a kibbutz in the 70s and about how nice Jewish grandmothers with numbers on their arms handed out cards to the young kibbutzim telling them to write letters to their mothers. “No, not like a kibbutz” I said, “bigger and without the basis in ethnic cleansing.” “There were some kibbutzes that had 500 people” said my stepfather and kept talking about it as I went out to the lawn.

Had I the courage or the energy or whatever it is to stand there and stand there and explain to them, first, that the law is a mask worn by violent elites to perpetuate their endless suicidal rule, and that the law petrifies and obscures social life, for example think about how the creation of a legal category of “drugs” enabled the preservation of white supremacy, and prevents the natural loquacity of social life and native ingenuity of human beings from rapidly cultural and technological scientific, how the law, basically, keeps my pancreas fucked up, and how the “nation” and “politics” are traps, really, and how communizing can start right now, in cities, and countrysides, and how this communizing will increase in pace, more people copying the communizing of others, until there is no more law and we live, most of us, in bolos or neighborhoods of 500 people, sharing lives, large collective kitchens, studios, projects, conversations maybe perhaps screaming matches, but maybe not.

Eight hours later as I sat in the dining car writing an extremely long email to that best friend whom I had not spoken to in the twenty months since the Eye of the Storm/Cusp of Revolution Debacle, the train shuddered, braked, and stopped. The conductor announced that there was an active investigation so all trains were running less than 15 minutes per hour. They said the train would get in at 1am, but it didn’t arrive until 2:15, when I met Sister ShortStep and Rocky Starr and walked south towards the village in search of the revolution and the party.