sage advice from john giorno: “just say no to family values, and don’t quit your day job.”

John Giorno, friend of Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs, might be best remembered for something he did in San Francisco, way back in 1968. Giorno’s performer’s instincts led him to create DIAL-A-POEM, which was based on the premise that people would pick up their phones, dial a number and listen to pre-recorded poetry. And they did! DIAL-A-POEM proved to be the catalyst for the “dial-a-something” industry: Dial-A-Joke, Dial-A-Horoscope, Dial-A-Sports-Score, Dial-A-Recipe soon emerged, and the Suicide Hotline, Off-Track Betting, and Phone Sex enterprises followed in their wake.


Here’s Giorno’s best-known poem:

Just Say No To Family Values

On a day when
you’re walking
down the street
and you see
a hearse
with a coffin,
followed by
a flower car
and limos,
you know the day
is auspicious,
your plans are going to be
but on a day when
you see a bride and groom
and wedding party,
watch out,
be careful,
it might be a bad sign.

Just say no
to family values,
and don’t quit
your day job.

are sacred
and some drugs
are very sacred substances,
please praise them
for somewhat liberating
the mind.

is a sacred substance
to some,
and even though you’ve
stopped smoking,
show a little respect.

is totally great,
let us celebrate
the glorious qualities
of booze,
and I had
a good time
being with you.

do it,
just don’t
not do it,
just do it.

and fundamentalists
in general,
are viruses,
and they’re killing us,
and mutating,
and they destroying us,
now, you know,
you got to give
strong medicine
to combat
a virus.

Who’s buying?
good acid,
I’m flying,
and sliding,
and slamming,
I’m sinking,
and dripping,
and squirting
inside you;
fast forward
a come shot;
milk, milk,
round the corner
where the chocolate’s made;
I love to see
your face
when you’re suffering.

Do it
with anybody
you want,
you want,
for as long as you want,
any place,
any place,
when it’s possible,
and try to be
in a situation where
you must abandon
beyond all concepts.

Twat throat
and cigarette dew,
that floor
would ruin
a sponge mop,
she’s the queen
of great bliss;
in your heart,
flowing up
a crystal channel
into your eyes
and out
the world
with compassion.

to family

We don’t have to say No
to family values,
cause we never
think about them;
do it,
just make
and compassion.

chapter two of stewart meyer’s the lotus crew


A high school junkie’s reading list: a “Library of the Damned. Crowley, De Quincey, Baudelaire, Cocteau, Coleridge. Getting weary of the antique, they slid into Alexander Trocchi, Leroy Street, Piri Thomas, Malcolm X. They almost gagged on Burroughs but got it down. Burroughs was good to chill out on.” 



l—Child of Nova—l 



John Jacob Pennington, age sixteen, had basic universal knowledge down to two self-evident premises. First: high school is a stone drag. Small wonder so many educated people committed suicide. Second: one thing made it toler­able. The goodness. With a little powdered cool he could calmly sit right through the most tedious pedantic fits his teachers could invoke. He didn’t have to doodle or move his legs furiously back and forth or in any way tip his mitt to the fact that he was bored beyond reason by the asinine assumptions, the condescending smuggery, of his learned instructors. JJ’s mind absorbed basic paradox gracefully. He knew that nobody really knows anything. Was that a secret? Had somebody forgotten to tell them? The teachers re­minded JJ of ex-cons in that there was a dreary institutional predictability to them. Every ex-con he knew preconceived the same things in similar ways; stock questions and stock answers. Teachers were a notch below, actually. They were so busy cross-referencing and analyzing that they missed what was happening right under their noses.


JJ scratched his crotch and flipped pages of the book he was reading. It was study-hall period, and he’d just administered a healthy bang of Dr. Nova in a deserted balcony abovethe auditorium. Now he’d be able to sit it out. Study-hall was one of the few periods JJ liked. It allowed him to read what he wanted. First he’d burned down various histories of Hannibal. Baddest warrior the world has ever seen, and dark like JJ. But history couldn’t hold him. Who really knows what happened back then? People can’t agree on what happened five minutes ago right in front of their faces.


The next phase of his reading career began with that cantankerous and kinky Englishman, the Beast. Crowley! The book was called Diary of a Drug Fiend, a title hard to resist. So, sitting in MartinLutherKing Jr.Memorial Park on the corner of Dumont Avenue and Miller in East New York, JJ exposed himself to genteel blanco bohemianisms. “Prudence, I have some lovely heroin you might enjoy.” Sheeea-zit, Jim! It boggle the mind. JJ told Furman Whittle about Crowley, and a new regime kicked in. Drug literature. Together they braved dusty bloodless corridors of those bone-dry pavilions of illiteracy: libraries, most of them on college campuses, as what they were seeking had an air of contraband. This was their discovery after asking a maternal librarian for a copy of Confessions of an English Opium-Eater by De Quincey and receiving instead a verbose lecture that she didn’t want mistaken for a verbal reprimand but, given her tact, had all the qualities of one. Evoking such passionate outpourings from so contained a creature further ignited their hungry young appetites.


Down in the coal room under JJ’s building, where they hung out like the Mighty Mezz cloistered away from all those petty Earthlings up there, they started to build their own book collection. A slumbum Library of the Damned. Crowley, De Quincey, Baudelaire, Cocteau, Coleridge. Getting weary of the antique, they slid into Alexander Trocchi, Leroy Street, Piri Thomas, Malcolm X. They almost gagged on Burroughs but got it down. Burroughs was good to chill out on. Just like Billie Holiday was good to nod out on. A thick stolen Webster’s dictionary cleared up the mysteries of words. Without the slightest effort their reading vocabularies were becoming immense. They could pull up some erudite verbiage and baffle Mr. Fob to the bone.


JJ was snapped out of his study hall dream-reading session by a sharp, obtrusive voice. A subtle bark, if there is such a thing.  



“Reading Coleridge, are you, John Jacob?”


Lazy eyes looked up into the face of none other than Mr.


Fob, a stiff disciplinarian and renowned imposer of sophomore English, JJ had recently concluded it was not the material that was dead but the delivery boy.


“Yesssa,’ JJ let out, perched over a copy of Kubla Khan, propping the lids open.


“You look very tired, John Jacob. Are you getting enough sleep these days?”  




“Well, see that you’re alert for my class. You are among my brighter students, and I expect your performance to reflect that fact. Say, are you high on something?”




Mr. Fob did not look convinced. “John Jacob, if you al-low yourself to use narcotics, you will be betraying the natural gifts God gave you. No one on drugs ever amounted to anything. You’re not sheltered. You should know that.”


“Yessssa.” Shit, good thing Mr. Fob hadn’t laid his sound on Coleridge, or there’d be no Kubla Khan.


Mr. Fob sat down, making his bulky form ridiculous by squeezing it into the undersized seat. “Please roll up your sleeves for me, John Jacob,’ he barked softly, eyes knowing and smug. He wrinkled his face like a jewel appraiser. “I’ve seen needle marks. If you have none I’ll apologize, but—”


“Yesssssa,” JJ, eyes painfully wide open, rolled up both sleeves of his cotton pastel-blue shirt. The arms were spanking clean, and he turned them over slowly so Mr. Fob could verify this. JJ never hit his arms. Like wearing a sign for the heat. As juicy as those lines were, he let them be.


“Well, they look clean to me,” Mr. Fob said astutely, eyes straining through Coke-bottle wire rims. “But that doesn’t mean you haven’t taken pills or drunk something.”


“Noooosssa. Jus’ no sleep las’ ni’. I was playin’ basketball an’ the guys aks me t’ hang out’n sing late. We was hittin’ fows an’ bows all ni’, sa. Dass all.”


“Well, all right. Your eyes say something else, but I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt. Say, are you in the glee club?”


“Ohh, noooossa. I c’n on’y sing fows an’ bows wi’ m’frien’s. I don’ likes t’be singin’ nothin’ else.”


Mr. Fob’s exasperated sigh marked the end of the conversation. He rose to his feet, shook his head, and went on to educate someone else.


scenes from secret libraries: louise welsh’s the cutting room


immoral filth by a filthy immoralist: just the sort
of reading a sex murdered would bone up on…
(atrocious pun purely accidental)

Welsh’s debut novel, The Cutting Room (2002), quickly found an enthusiastic readership who claimed it for the ranks of the literary crime genre. Some readers, however, remained uncomfortable with aspects of the book. Auctioneer Rilke comes across a set of disturbing photographs while clearing a house in his native Glasgow. The pictures appear to show a woman before and after she is murdered for the sexual gratification of, among others, the recently deceased owner of the house. Feeling compelled to seek out the truth about both parties, and what really happened, Rilke sets out on a journey which takes him via contacts in the second hand trade through to some decidedly dangerous customers operating in a much shadier criminal underworld.  (from Lousie Welsh’s British Council page) 


The ladder to the attic was folded against the ceiling, as Miss McKindless had described. I found a pole behind the door and hooked it down. I could see why the old lady would find access impossible. I hadn’t mentioned it, but despite my height, I’m not good at altitude. I put my foot on the first rung, the aluminium rattle sounding loud against the silence of the house, and climbed. The trap had a Yale and a mortise lock. I struggled for a minute or two, holding the ladder with one hand, fumbling around in my pockets for the keys with the other, changing hands, finding the keys, then searching for the right ones in the anonymous jumble. The ground started to slip away. I reeled against the ladder, realising I was about to lose balance, then a key turned smoothly in the mortise, the Yale beside it clicked home, I pushed open the trap door and hauled myself in.


I stood for a minute in the dark, half crouched, my hands on my knees, trying to catch my breath, then, unsure of the height of the ceiling, cautiously straightened and felt for the light switch. 


I was standing in a long, thin room perhaps half the length of the house. Bare floorboards, clean for an attic. The ceiling began midway up the walls, angling to a peak. Three small windows that would let in a little light during the day. Along the right-hand wall were racks of metal shelving holding tidily stacked cardboard boxes. The left wall was covered in waist-high, dark oak bookcases, books neatly arranged. In the centre were a plain office desk and chair, to their left a high-backed armchair, comfortable but scruffy, inherited from some other room, beside it a bottle of malt, Lagavulin. Dead man’s drink. I unscrewed the cap and inhaled a quick scent of iodine and peat which caught the back of my throat. It was the good stuff, right enough. There was no cup so I took the end of my shirt and rubbed it along the mouth of the bottle before taking a good slug. I was curious about the contents of the cardboard boxes but turned first to the bookcase. 


It is revealing how people arrange their books. I was once in a house where the couple, man and wife, committed collectors of first editions, had placed every book in a sealed plastic bag, then on the shelves, spine in, pages out. `That way they won’t get sun-damaged,’ they explained. Others arrange books according to height, the tallest first, top shelf, left-hand corner, tapering down to the tiniest at the very bottom. Me, I have them willy-nilly, on suitcase, shelf and floor.


Mr McKindless had employed the age-old method of alphabetical by author, with the occasional grouping of publisher. Regimented over three shelves was a large collection of Olympia Press. Little green and white paperbacks pressed together – The Sex Life of Robinson Crusoe, Stradella, White Thighs, The Chariot of Flesh, With Open Mouth … I have always admired Maurice Girodias. He founded the Olympia Press some time in the 1950s in Paris. Pornography was in the family, but before he put his profits into a hotel and lost he was a master of the art. Girodias would invent (un)suitable titles, advertise them as available for sale, and then, depending on the response to his advertisements, commission a writer to produce the book. Many a penurious writer subsisted on his cheques and not a few successful ones lost their royalties. He claimed that some tourists came to the city simply to purchase his titles. I agreed. The Olympia Press concentrated on the avant-garde, particularly sex, and people will travel further than Paris for that. Like many collectors McKindless seemed to have been compelled to own every title. I scanned through the novels. Yes, here it was, the first edition of Burroughs’s The Naked Lunch in its slip case. I had never handled one before. All the Henry Miller was here, too.


The Olympia novels were just a start. Shelves and shelves of erotic fiction. It was a library that would fetch something. I took a rough note, glad it wasn’t me who would have to manoeuvre the boxes down the ladder. Here was the private man. The personality I had missed below stairs, confined to the attic like a mad Victorian relative.


I pulled open the drawer to the desk and had a look inside. Stationery, some nice pens, nothing much. Out of habit my fingers skimmed the underside of the drawer. There was something taped there. I took out my penknife and slit it free. A simple white card. GPM camera-Z Cryptic. I replaced the drawer and slipped the card into my pocket. I considered stopping. Almost left right there. It was the whisky that drew me back. One moredrink, leave the van in the driveway till morning, last orders at the Melrose, then a walk through the park and see what gave. It was the good stuff. A reward for working so hard, being clever enough to arrange a big deal, a pat on the back from me to me. I should know myself: that bottle was too full and I was too empty. I took it with me and started on box number one, the kind of thing all good citizens leave behind, paperwork, old documents, things that really could have been thrown away and kept for why? The next two boxes were pretty much the same, old magazines, records, more paper, my progress was slowing, the bottle halfway lower in its mark than when I began. One more box I decided – leave it on an even number, while I could still negotiate the ladder. At first it looked like more of the same. The general detritus of life, bumf, short for bum fodder, bills filed then kept to no purpose, bank statements – all showing an impressive balance – insurance policies never claimed on.


To anyone watching, my investigations would have appeared haphazard, but I have the skill of the searcher. Without looking I can sort silk from cotton velvet, cashmere from angora, I can tell with my finger tips an etching from a print. And I can turn base metal into gold. I think that if there is anything good in a box I will find it. Who knows what’s passed me by?


It was an envelope. Just a buff-coloured, thick-papered, document envelope. Straight away I knew it held photographs. I could feel them, the weight, the uniform size, photos not good enough for an album. Two thick rubber bands secured the folds, one pink, one blue. Pink for a girl. Blue for a boy. I pulled the bands off, slipping them tight round my wrist, they caught in the hairs of my arm, swift visions of mad nights. I kept them there, a taut reminder, and slid the photographs into my hand.


Mr McKindless is wearing a white shirt and bow tie. His hair has lost some of its Brylcreemed bounce, it lies damp and plastered across his forehead. His attention is focused on the young girl in his arms. She is pretty, pale-faced and lipsticked. Her head thrown backwards in his embrace, her dark curls, ringlets almost, tumbling away from her face. She is naked except for suspenders and stockings, and seems almost asleep. McKindless looks as if he is talking, trying to rouse her. Still she gazes, sleepy and smiling, not at him but towards the man who is entering her…


—Louise Welsh, The Cutting Room



barthes & burroughs on writing and the demonic

How to repulse a demon (an old problem)? The demons, especially if they are demons of language (and what else could they be?) are fought by language. Hence I can hope to exorcise the demonic word which is breathed into my ears (by myself) if I substitute for it (if I have the gifts of language for doing so) another, calmer word (I yield to euphemism). Thus: I imagined I had escaped from the crisis at last, when behold — favored by a long car trip — a flood of language sweeps me away, I keep tormenting myself with the thought, desire, regret, and rage of the other; and I add to these wounds the discouragement of having to acknowledge that I am falling back, relapsing; but the French vocabulary is a veritable pharmacopoeia (poison on one side, antidote on the other): no, this is not a relapse, only a last soubresaut, a final convulsion of the previous demon. 

—from Roland Barthes, A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments


Dear Allen,

Here is my latest attempt to write something saleable. All day I had been finding pretexts to avoid work, reading magazines, making fudge, cleaning my shot-gun, washing the dishes, going to bed with Kiki, tying the garbage up in neat parcels and putting it out for the collector (if you put it out in a waste basket or any container, they will steal the container every time. I was going to chain a bucket to my doorstep but it’s like too much trouble. So I put it out in packages), buying food for dinner, picking up a junk script. So finally I say: “Now you must work,” and smoke some tea and sit down and out it comes all in one piece like a glob of spit [. . .]

This is my saleable product. Do you dig what happens? It’s almost like automatic writing produced by a hostile, independent entity who is saying in effect, “I will write what I please.” At the same time when I try to pressure myself into organizing production, to impose some form on material, or even to follow a line (like continuation of novel), the effort catapults me into a sort of madness, where only the most extreme material is available to me. What a disaster to lose my typewriter, and no possibility of buying one this month. My financial position slides inexorably.

—from The Letters of William S. Burroughs, 1945–1959



representative quotations from el hombre invisible

Out of the closets and into the museums, libraries, architectural monuments, concert halls, bookstores, recording studios and film studios of the world. Everything belongs to the inspired and dedicated thief. … Words, colors, light, sounds, stone, wood, bronze belong to the living artist. They belong to anyone who can use them. Loot the Louvre! A bas l’originalité, the sterile and assertive ego that imprisons us as it creates. Vive le sol — pure, shameless, total. We are not responsible. Steal anything in sight.

—William S. Burroughs, "Les Voleurs," in The Adding Machine (1985).




This is a war universe. War all the time. That is its nature. There may be other universes based on all sorts of other principles, but ours seems to be based on war and games.

—"The War Universe," Grand Street, no. 37 (1992); reprinted in Painting and Guns, in a slightly different form (1992). Taped conversation.



I think that Richard Nixon will go down in history as a true folk hero, who struck a vital blow to the whole diseased concept of the revered image and gave the American virtue of irreverence and skepticism back to the people.

—"A Word to the Wise Guy," in The Adding Machine.



My general theory since 1971 has been that the word is literally a virus, and that it has not been recognised as such because it has achieved a state of relatively stable symbiosis with its human host; that is to say, the word virus (the Other Half) has established itself so firmly as an accepted part of the human organism that it can now sneer at gangster viruses like smallpox and turn them in to the Pasteur Institute.

—"Ten Years and a Billion Dollars," in The Adding Machine. 

startling images, strange characters, unforgettable and unflinching: the prose of alfred chester

Alfred Chester (September 7, 1928 – August 1, 1971) was an American writer of experimental work, including the novels Jamie Is My Heart’s Desire and The Exquisite Corpse and the short story collection Behold Goliath. He also wrote a pornographic novel, Chariot of Flesh, for Olympia Press under the pseudonym Malcolm Nesbit. He was a friend of Paul and Jane Bowles, Gore Vidal, Susan Sontag and Diana Athill.

"The Exquisite Corpse is a game of "let’s pretend" with God and sex, birth and death, parents and lovers as its stakes, a game that broadens and burgeons till it opens out in every direction, an imaginary toad with an infinity of real gardens in it."
The Village Voice

Lyric and tender one moment, cruel and dizzying the next, The Exquisite Corpse neither celebrates perversity nor laments it; rather it projects it as part of man’s never-ending search for a true self and for transcendent communion with others.

In forty-nine brief, highly cinematic chapters, we meet a series of twisted but sincere searchesTomtom Jim and his naked, hungry family; Mary Poorpoor and her utterly “otherly” baby; angry John Doe and his sex slave, James Madisoneach in flight from despair. As one surreal episode morphs into the next, these searcherschange shape and their journeys change direction; names and identities come and go, storylines collide, and desires intertwine, all with the lightning-quick illogic of a dream. The result is a tragicomic tour de force, an upside-down roadmap to everyone’s inner Sodom, a perversely moral (and morally perverse) masterpiece by a modern-day Marquis de Sade.

"Chester is out to shock, to dazzle, to shake up, to offend, but at the same time he is seriously striving to record the implications of obsession, to document the tyranny and anguish of compulsive fantasy . . . Like Henry Miller and William S. Burroughs, he is a born writer with a zestful imagination and a poet’s gift for provocative images."
The New York Times Book Review



The Exquisite Corpse
a novel by Alfred Chester


chapter 1


On his way across the attic, John Anthony passed the bassinet and in a bit of looking glass that showed among the rags he saw the stranger’s face. It was so unexpected that the hair on his head stood up and the breath went out of him. He threw a hopeless look over his shoulder, but of course no one was there. His eyes felt bruised.


Gathering his courage, John Anthony bent over the bassinet and cleared away the pretty rags until the whole of the hand-mirror with its heavy gilt frame lay exposed. He stared into the born eyes, studied the unhappy face, and began whimpering.


"You will make me crazy," he said, putting his fists to his temples.


Then, as the tears streamed down his cheeks he hugged himself and moaned, "Poor baby, poor. Poor poor baby. Baby poor poor."


And then, with a burst of ferocious anger, he grabbed the mirror out of the bassinet and flung his fierce chin against it. He bellowed through the empty house: "Why? Why must I suffer your destiny?"



chapter 14


Alone except for the sharp-toothed changeling, hungry and homeless, desperate, Mary Poorpoor wandered for many months through the cold indifferent city. One bright morning she found herself outside a small park and, not knowing it was forbidden to the general public, she pushed open the iron gate and walked in.


Could this at last be fairyland, she wondered, feeling faint from the beauty of the place. It was the prettiest garden she had ever seen all laid out with narrow secret paths that wound between high buses and beds of flowers and tall gracefully trimmed trees. And the people too were pretty, though they seemed perhaps fatter than other fairies she had known.


A woman went by wheeling a baby carriage the size of a small car. Strange, thought Mary. And then it happened again. And still again.


They must have enormous babies here, Mary told herself and decide that if she passed another such carriage she would peer inside. She walked on. A few minutes later, when she had stopped to smell some roses, a middle-aged woman dressed like a nurse came down the path pushing a carriage. Mary stood on her toes as the nurse went by, and to her astonishment she saw no baby.


"Cute, isn’t he?" said the woman noticing Mary’s interest.


"Adorable," said Mary.


Nurse and carriage disappeared round a bend in the path.


While Mary stood puzzling this over, a man in uniform touched her should and asked if she had a key. Of course, Mary had no key to anywhere.


"I’m afraid, madam," the man said, "that you will have to leave the park as it is forbidden to the general public. It is only for persons who have the key."


Mary hated the man. "This is a free country," she told him. "Don’t you know that? I can go anywhere I please."


"I beg your pardon?" the man asked vaguely. He was distracted because Baby’s blanket had fallen open and his genitals were hanging down below his shirt. They were remarkably large for his age.


"I said, this is a free country," Mary repeated.


"Yes, it is," the man agreed and without further ado took Mary Poorpoor by the arm and started pulling her out of the garden. Mary burst into tears.


"Just one minute, Johnson," a lady called. "What’s going on here." She wasn’t wheeling a baby carriage.


"Nothing to worry about, Miss Emily," said the man in uniform.


"That’s for me to decide, Johnson, isn’t it?" the lady said kindly but firmly, and then turned to Mary Poorpoor. "Hello, my lovely girl, are you having trouble?"


"I don’t have the key," Marytold her.


Miss Emily smiled. "That’s a very pretty baby. I’ll bet it’s a boy, isn’t it?" she said, tickling Baby’s balls. "What’s his name?"


Mary liked the kind lady very much indeed, although she was odd. For example, her hair had been cut so short that she was practically bald, and her mustache hairs were darkened with eyebrow pencil. And she wore a severely tailored tweed suit. But Mary liked the lady, so in order to make her happy, and since the baby had no name anyhow, she said, "His name is Emilio."


Miss Emily put her hands on her hips, threw back her head and roared with laughter. "Well, that’s a coincidence! Because my name is Emily."


"Pleased to meet you. My name is Mary," said the little mother with a respectful curtsy.


"Where do you live, pretty Mary?"


"Nowhere. Just nowhere!" The tears began rolling down her cheeks again, and as they dropped off her jaw, Emilio caught them in his mouth and grinned. "I’m all alone in the world and homeless."


"You poor darling. Dry your tears. Now, now child, you’re not alone or homeless any more."


james graham ballard,15 november 1930 – 19 april 2009, RIP

the audacity of j.g. ballard

he took cues and inspiration from william s. burroughs, 1950s sci-fi pulps, joseph conrad, sigmund freud (and his grandson lucien freud), the surrealist painters and poets, medical journals… and created a body of fiction that once seemed outlandish and now seems uncannily—and unfortunately—prophetic.

Bookseller Photo   


RONALD REAGAN AND THE CONCEPTUAL AUTO DISASTER. Numerous studies have been conducted upon patients in terminal paresis (GPI), placing Reagan in a series of simulated auto crashes, e.g. multiple pileups, head-on collisions, motorcade attacks (fantasies of Presidential assassinations remained a continuing preoccupation, subject showing a marked polymorphicfixation on windshields and rear trunk assemblies). Powerful erotic fantasies of an anal-sadistic surrounded the image of the Presidential contender.

Subjects were required to construct the optimum auto disaster victim by placing a replica of Reagan’s head on the unretouched photographs of crash fatalities.

In 82% of cases massive rear-end collisions were selected with a preference for expressed fecal matter and rectal hemorrhages. Further tests were conducted to define the optimum model-year. These indicate that a three year model lapse with child victims provide the maximum audience excitation (confirmed by manufacturers’ studies of the optimum auto disaster). It is hoped to construct a rectal modulous of Reagan and the auto disaster of maximized audience arousal.

Motion picture studies of Ronald Reagan reveal characteristic patterns of facial tones and musculature associated with homoerotic behavior. The continuing tension of buccal sphincters and the recessive tongue role tally with earlier studies of facial rigidity (cf., Adolf Hitler, Nixon). Slow-motion cine films of campaign speeches exercised a marked erotic effect upon an audience of spastic children. Even with mature adults the verbal material was found to have a minimal effect, as demonstrated by substitution of an edited tape giving diametrically opposed opinions…

INCIDENCE OF ORGASMS IN FANTASIES OF SEXUAL INTERCOURSE WITH RONALD REAGAN. Patients were provided with assembly kit photographs of sexual partners during intercourse. In each case Reagan’s face was super imposed upon the original partner. Vaginal intercourse with "Reagan" proved uniformly disappointing, producing orgasm in 2% of subjects.

Axillary, buccal, navel, aural, and orbital modes produced proximal erections. The preferred mode of entry overwhelmingly proved to be the rectal. After a preliminary course in anatomy it was found that the caecum and transverse colon also provided excellent sites for excitation. In an extreme 12% of cases, the simulated anus of post-costolomy surgery generated spontaneous orgasm in 98% of penetrations. Multiple-track cine-films were constructed of "Reagan" in intercourse during (a) campaign speeches, (b) rear-end auto collisions with one and three year model changes, (c) with rear exhaust assemblies…

SEXUAL FANTASIES IN CONNECTION WITH RONALD REAGAN. The genitalia of the Presidential contender exercised a continuing fascination. A series of imaginary genitalia were constructed using (a) the mouth parts of Jacqueline Kennedy, (b) a Cadillac, (c) the assembly kid prepuce of President Johnson…In 89% of cases, the constructed genitalia generated a high incidence of self-induced orgasm. Tests indicate the masturbatory nature of the Presidential contender’s posture. Dolls consisting of plastic models of Reagan’s alternate genitalia were found to have a disturbing effect on deprived children.

REAGAN’S HAIRSTYLE. Studies were conducted on the marked fascination exercised by the Presidential contender’s hairstyle. 65% of male subjects made positive connections between the hairstyle and their own pubic hair. A series of optimum hairstyles were constructed.

THE CONCEPTUAL ROLE OF REAGAN. Fragments of Reagan’s cinetized postures were used in the construction of model psychodramas in which the Reagan-figure played the role of husband, doctor, insurance salesman, marriage counselor, etc.

The failure of these roles to express any meaning reveals the nonfunctional character of Reagan. Reagan’s success therefore indicates society’s periodic need to re-conceptualize its political leaders. Reagan thus appears as a series of posture concepts, basic equations which reformulate the roles of aggression and anality. Reagan’s personality. The profound anality of the Presidential contender may be expected to dominate the United States in the coming years. By contrast the late JFK remained the prototype of the oral subject, usually conceived in pre-pubertal terms. In further studies sadistic psychopaths were given the task of devising sex fantasies involving Reagan. Results confirm the probability of Presidential figures being perceived primarily in genital terms; the face of LB Johnson is clearly genital in significant appearance–the nasal prepuce, scrotal jaw, etc. Faces were seen as either circumcised (JFK, Khrushchev) or uncircumcised (LBJ, Adenauer). In assembly-kit tests Reagan’s face was uniformly perceived as a penile erection. Patients were encouraged to devise the optimum sex-death of Ronald Reagan.

 WHY I WANT TO FUCK RONALD REAGAN” [1967] by JG Ballard [excerpt from The Atrocity Exhibition]

[At the 1980 Republican Convention in San Francisco a copy of the Reagan text, minus its title and the running sideheads, and furnished with the seal of the Republican Party, was distributed by some puckish pro-situationists to the RNC delegates. It was accepted for what it resembled: a psychological position paper on the candidate’s subliminal appeal, commissioned by some maverick think-tank.]


Annotation & Commentary by the author, J.G. Ballard, to "Why I Want to Fuck Ronald Reagan", published in The Atrocity Exhibition, 1990:

"Why I Want to Fuck Ronald Reagan " prompted Doubleday in 1970 to pulp its first American edition of The Atrocity Exhibition. Ronald Reagan’s presidency remained a complete mystery to most Europeans, though I noticed that Americans took him far more easily in their stride. But the amiable old duffer who occupied the White House was a very different person from the often sinister figure I described in 1967, when the present piece was first published. The then-novelty of a Hollywood film star entering politics and becoming governor of California gave Reagan considerable air time on British TV. Watching his right-wing speeches, in which he castigated in sneering tones the profligate, welfare-spending, bureaucrat-infested state government, I saw a more crude and ambitious figure, far closer to the brutal crime boss he played in the 1964 movie, The Killers, his last Hollywood role. In his commercials Reagan used the smooth, teleprompter-perfect tones of the TV auto-salesman to project a political message that was absolutely the reverse of bland and reassuring. A complete discontinuity existed between Reagan’s manner and body language, on the one hand, and his scarily simplistic far-right message on the other. Above all, it struck me that Reagan was the first politician to exploit the fact that his TV audience would not be listening too closely, if at all, to what he was saying, and indeed might well assume from his manner and presentation that he was saying the exact opposite of the words actually emerging from his mouth. Though the man himself mellowed, his later presidency seems to have run the same formula."