DRACONIS BLACKTHORNE (dblackthorne) wrote,
DRACONIS BLACKTHORNE
dblackthorne

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The Devil’s Advocates

Article Review
City Beat: The Devil's Advocates
The Devil’s Advocates

The arrival of 6/6/06 gave the faithful and the curious an excuse to party like a beast across Los Angeles. Was it just an occult joke or a harbinger of the apocalypse?
~ By MICK FARREN ~
Source

Magister Rex Diabolus Church{Photo [right]: "~ Handsome Devil: Second-generation Church of Satan member Rex Diabolos ~"}
The blonde had an uncanny ability to remain almost totally motionless. She was already on stage, naked but for a purple drape, as the audience/congregation took their seats for the 40th Anniversary High Mass of the Church of Satan. She held a Vargas-style calendar pose, stretched out on her right side, head tilted, partially supporting herself on her arm, one leg extended, the other bent under her. She could almost have been a mannequin, except now and again the pendant pentacle that hung between her breasts flashed slightly in the stage lights. In a perfect world, she would have been a comely devotee, immobilized in an occult trance, but the truth was more prosaic. She was a model hired for the gig, and just extremely good at what she did. Which was to keep very, very still for approximately 90 minutes, and function as human scenery for the Satanic ceremony.

A most welcomed sight upon entering The Theater Chamber. Yes, she is a beauty - she did remain almost completely motionless as to resemble a doll, or articificial human companion thereupon The Altar. Even the movements that she did make from time to time were most graceful and seductive - she stayed in character, which was not that far removed from her natural alluring disposition.
The Church of Satan had also engaged a quartet of armed security guards, and the invitation-only arrivals were frisked for concealed weapons before being admitted to the Steve Allen Theater – an excellent, purpose-designed, modern performance space in the Center for Inquiry-West at the east end of Hollywood Boulevard, which was hosting the Satanists’ big night. But were these rent-a-cops merely to heighten the drama? Maybe, but in a world where a pro-choice, pro-gay Episcopalian priest – a friend of a friend – has received so many death threats he wears a Kevlar vest under his surplice, who knows what homicidal zealots might do if they knew that Lucifer was being invoked in the heart of the city?
Not that there was too much of any worry - the ladies and gentlemen therein would no doubt be more than capable of self-defense if any need arose, but the security was most appreciated - the guards were professional and amiable - we did not need any street dross, jesus freaks or other unworthy elements infiltrating the event.

In fact, on June 6, 2006 – rendered down to 6/6/06 – Lucifer was being invoked all over for a myriad of different reasons. The calendar convergence of 666 – the Mark of the Beast from the Book of Revelations, Chapter 13, Verse 18 – provided, at the very least, an extra and early Halloween. The High Mass of the Church of Satan may have been the most up-market event, but it was in no way the only celebration in town. At an opposite extreme, Fox’s film division was using the 6/6/06 configuration to promote its remake of the 1976 Antichrist classic The Omen, and, on the preceding midnight, had cosponsored the far less structured “Satan’s Rockin’ 666 Eve – the Countdown to Hell!” at the popular Zen Sushi bar and showroom on Hyperion, at which burlesque girls, porn stars, BDSM exhibitionists, and the rock band Society 1 vied for the attention of a basic punk-goth crowd and voyeuristic media. Meanwhile, over at the Henry Fonda Music Box Theater, Stanton LaVey – the grandson of Church of Satan founder Anton LaVey – solemnized “the most unholy of matrimonies” to fetish model Szandora as part of “666 – A Tribute to Evil,” with El Vez and Hank III contributing to the festivities.

Perhaps this event was responsible for attracting and filtering much of the flotsam away from us - we did not have any problems with lowlifes.

Further afield, in the town of Hell, Michigan, Mayor John Colone drummed up a onetime tourist trade by marketing “official” 666 coffee mugs and T-shirts, and offering visitors certificates proclaiming that they’d spent June 6, 2006, in Hell. On a different level of commerce, authors Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins picked June 6 to publish The Rapture, the latest novel in their epic “Left Behind” series of demented biblical science fiction, while veteran speed-metal band Slayer attempted to cash in with a “limited edition” 6/6/06 EP, Eternal Pyre, and even garnered, according to its publicist, some topical radio exposure with the track “Cult” (“The pestilence is Jesus Christ/There never was a sacrifice”) – although the airplay went away the next day when the Satanic novelty was over.

The cable news channels all ran items on the supposed significance of the date, although TV seemed confused. Was 6/6/06 an occult joke or a harbinger of the apocalypse? Most confused was CNN, which failed even to properly recognize Satan, and – as later pointed out by Stephen Colbert on The Colbert Report – ran a closeup of the Balrog from a 1996 Lord of the Rings calendar as its Lucifer graphic. Even Ann Coulter managed to insert herself into the act, with Godless: The Church of Liberalism, her latest slim volume of bile, also coming out on June 6. But, after her motormouth flailing on the 9/11 widows – “I’ve never seen people enjoying their husbands’ deaths so much” – MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann was moved to reflect that maybe Coulter, and not Satan, was the real evil.

Allow the herd to believe whatever stuporstition they will, the puppet master who pulls the strings are always more than happy to move them as we will.


~ Gore-gore girls: Faux-bloody dancers at Zen Sushi ~

~FLESH ON PARADE~

“You missed the guy nailing his scrotum to the cross.”

On the Zen Sushi smoking patio, I sat next to a young woman in a black vinyl dress trimmed with fake pink bunny fur. Her male companion had been watching Joey Strange in “a rare live appearance.” The woman took the scrotum-nailing in blasé stride. “Did he enjoy it?”

The companion shrugged. “He was pretty flaccid.”

I asked, “How big was the cross?”

The guy indicated maybe 12 inches high. Seemingly no massive Mel Gibson crucifixion crossbeam, although a mutilation motif had been fairly recurrent through the course of “Satan’s Rockin’ 666 Eve.” Earlier, a troupe of topless burlesque girls danced their way through an aimlessly choreographed Satanic production number, twirling round while throwing copious amounts of fake blood over each other. This piece of infernal theater was, however, almost totally obscured by a scrimmage of eager photographers. Later, on the patio, one still faux-bloody dancer, wearing only a skimpy bikini and boots, loudly complained she needed “a fucking shower.” Zen Sushi hardly runs to dressing rooms, let alone showers for the performers.

In the so-called VIP room, more flesh was being displayed by Gia Paloma, Paris Gables, and other contract players on the talent roster of porn producers Extreme Associates, self-described as “the dirtiest adult film company in the world.” Producers Lizzy Borden and Rob Black are currently facing federal prosecution on 10 counts of obscenity, but this did not deter them from making the most of 6/6/06, and cosponsoring the event along with Fox and The Omen. Their stars worked the room with practiced professionalism, but, once again, the performances were for the photographers rather than the paying customers. The girls moved from lens to lens, striking what were once called “saucy poses,” displaying butts and augmented breasts, smiling, pouting, extending supposedly wanton tongues, but then dropping the cartoon lasciviousness like a mask after each shutter click, moving to the next T&A photo op.

Amid the camera confusion, two dwarves, one in a leopard-print upholstered wheelchair, seemed uncertain of their role. Were they extra-bizarre players for Extreme Associates or just participants in the revelry? As I wondered, a BBC TV cameraman, backing up for a better angle, stepped on my foot. I repaired to the bar. Even simulated hell doesn’t come without pain, something I’d noticed even before entering Zen Sushi. As I’d stood on the sidewalk, watching the admission line being carded, a full-figured woman in a tightly laced S&M corset had walked barefoot from her car, carrying a pair of the highest platforms I’d witnessed since David Bowie was a Martian. At the very last minute, and with an audible sigh, she mounted the formidable footwear, checked her balance, and braced herself to join the diabolical fun.

Actually, Sintennial Eve at Zen Sushi was quite amusing for what it was - somewhat resembling what Christians may imagine a wanton 'Den of Iniquity' to be - the 'sin' flowed in many forms, and the lusts of the flesh, from a carnival-like sideshow to a hellish burlesque spectacle, was quite entertaining at times. It was all part of the 666 experience.

~ Dressed for Church: Magistra Diana Demagis and husband Robert Lang ~

~BEBOP AND BEELZEBUB~

The word fun could hardly be applied 20 hours later at the Steve Allen Theater. The High Mass was a serious business. The invitations stipulated dress was formal, and pre-ceremony cocktails were served in the foyer, where muted conversation melded with discreet piped-in bebop. It could have been a high-end art opening, except for all the pentagram pendants around the necks of the well-dressed crowd. (I was also wearing a pentagram, under my shirt on a leather thong along with an Elvis talisman, a voodoo heart, and the key to the TARDIS, but those are just my usual protective totems.) The only Satanic pop-culture reference I could apply to this select and affluent gathering was the uptown friends of Minnie and Roman Castevet congregating in Rosemary’s Baby, but even that was something of a stretch, and, anyway, where was Rosemary?

The conversations which occurred before and after the main presentation were intelligent, entertaining, imaginative, and productive. Those ladies and gentlemen gathered were "dressed to the nines", as it were, in strict contast to the previous night's revery, this Cabal convergence was our 40th birthday celebration as a formal organization. It did also sort of remind Me of the meetings from Rosemary's Baby, but this was the real thing.

After the audience was seated, I could see nothing except the dimly lit figure of Leola Jossi, but with the darkness came a half-second frisson. I didn’t really expect a demonic emanation, or that I’d fall victim to a conjured succubus, but this was my first Satanic mass, and a boy can hope. Anticipation was heightened by the music of Lustmord, an electronic fusion resembling an early and particularly depressed Pink Floyd, and a humpbacked whale familiar with Bach fugues. Finally the church hierarchy, led by Magus Peter Gilmore, filed in from the rear of the room. The hoods of their robes hid their faces, and they carried candles, but a lifetime of watching Hammer horror diminished the drama. I had seen it all before, and with Christopher Lee in the starring role.

Sad to hear of the reporter's unfortunate jaded lack-luster. The musick of Lustmord is a sonic abyss in itself, energizing the atmosphere, reverberating and permeating the Theater, enhancing the Ritual manifold. The appearence of the robed participants after the audial decompression which set the psychodramatic mood was an inspiring, pleasing, and familiar spectacle. It is understandable that those without would not be sensitive to this experience, for it seems they are somewhat less evolved to perceive.

The audience was initially instructed by Magistra Peggy Nadramia on how to respond at various points in the service, and her warmup – like telling the goys at the seder what was expected of them – put us somewhat at ease. She even threw in a gratuitous Pee-wee Herman reference that evoked the only laugh of the evening. The mass was divided into three thematic parts – Compassion, Lust, and Destruction – and at the end of each, three supplicants were led to the stage to make their requests of Satan. A Hugh Grant-looking young Englishman wanted to be “the Casanova of my neighborhood,” a corporate wannabe craved a highly paid job, a nervous young woman desired nothing more than to be happy. A guy who looked like an Eastern European car dealer wanted major hurt put on some people who had fucked him in a deal. The only altruistic request was an inarticulate plea for the environment. Cynicism set in. The High Mass was turning depressingly middle-class, a self-realization seminar with occult trappings. I figured that approaching a Mafia Don on the day of his daughter’s wedding might yield more practical results.

From this Ritual on, all one has to do now is merely witness the manifestation of the wills of the supplicants, as diabolical machinations have been set into motion and the patterns of life adjust themselves to its fulfillment. What a pleasing expectation!
The only truly human moment came when a woman, clearly suffering an emotional crisis, prayed for her husband to love her. I later saw her being helped to her car in tears. Did she gain any comfort from the Satanic mass? Maybe as much as from a therapist or a more conventional encounter group. She had come, and she had asked for help, and sometimes that’s really all solace requires. But solace and theater are not the same thing. Director Amit Itelman had done everything he could to light and stage the High Mass as effectively as possible within the formal confines of the ritual. Gongs were struck, a bell rung to the four points of the compass, a sword flourished – although more a long dagger than Excalibur – but the performance was oddly static. Where was the soul energy of the Reverend Ike, or the bible-pounding stagecraft of Jimmy Swaggart? I’ve seen Episcopalians with more juice. Itelman’s directing credits include Hollywood Hell House with Bill Maher, Richard Belzer, and Sarah Silverman, and as the Steve Allen’s artistic director he has created a daring program of events that range from a Kids in the Hall reunion, a Ray Bradbury lecture, and an upcoming drive-in-style showing of Rudy Ray Moore’s Dolemite, all the way to this Satanic mass. He even finds time to front the metal band Stigmeta. Perhaps if he’d brought some coherence to “Satan’s Rockin’ 666 Eve,” we might really have had an experience from hell.
I don't know what kind of 'human' {or perhaps sub-human} the reporter is referring to, but besides the request about the environment, all the others were also quite human - desires for Lust, justice, personal acccomplishment, are all noble human motivations. Seems that perhaps the reporter's priorities are just so skewed by artificial 'political correctness', that even he cannot be honest with himself, and acknowledge these natural traits. Quite sad, really.
My primary problem is with the text. The High Mass is based on the rituals created by Anton LaVey, who founded the Church of Satan in a flurry of notoriety in the mid-1960s, but, newly adapted by Peter Gilmore and his cohorts – Magisters Bryan Moore, Rex Diabolos, and Robert Lang – it’s little more than inverted Catholic litany with a pinch of H.P. Lovecraft, a recipe for pretentious and ponderous poetry. The ’60s also saw the rabbinical Zen grandeur of Allen Ginsberg, as well as Jim Morrison, as the Dionysian delinquent, calling down concho-belt chaos and mojo disorder with his “Celebration of the Lizard” – and this quasi-ecclesiastic mélange is minor league in comparison. Energy was only, finally, generated at the end of the Destruction phase, conducted by Magister Rex Diabolos, who actually has horns permanently implanted in his forehead. On his command, the audience/congregation rose to its feet, right arms extended, fingers in horned salute.

"Hail Satan!”

“Hail Satan!”


I have some very serious reservations about straight-arm salutes, especially en masse. Last time I found myself hemmed in by a pack of hail/heils, I had foolishly infiltrated a neo-Nazi punk gig (Skrewdriver, if I recall) and barely escaped with life and limb. I’m not, in any way, equating the Church of Satan with Nazism old or new, but this mass gesture – the salute and the call and response – generates a weird energy that just plain makes me nervous. While the believers lined up to collect some kind of souvenir tokens, I headed for the bar. If I had learned anything over the previous 24 hours, it was that the concept of Satan means a lot of different things to a lot of different people.
These sentiments expressed in the previous two paragraphs only go to further demonstrate the dullness of the senses the reporter seems to be experiencing; it is obvious that he became so intimidated by the proceedings, that, despite what actually occurred in that theater, he will cling to petty notions and exagerration to deal with his own feelings of insecurity. Which is why the ingracious type should not be trusted to conduct themselves in an impartial and professional manner. A predictable reaction amongst the herd. As Magus Gilmore observed, this article displays elements within the writer's own psyche.


~ Beauty and the Beasts: Diabolos and Gilmore with Altar Girl ~

~THE NAMES OF THE BEAST~

The choice of various Satans is a wide one. In the biblical chronology, he’s right there in Genesis, the serpent of Eden tempting Eve into a fig-leaf bikini, but also endowing humanity with self-awareness, not unlike Prometheus, who, after bringing the gift of fire, suffered horribly at the hands of the gods. From then on, the Evil One has had so many personae it’s hard to keep up. Is he the horned demon of medieval folklore? The Beast of Revelations, or Lucifer Son of Morning, the fallen favorite from Milton’s Paradise Lost? Or is he the diabolic maestro who, in the 19th century, made Niccolò Paganini the greatest violinist of all time in return for his immortal soul, and, 100 years later, the devil who met Robert Johnson at the crossroads, or scared the shit out of Jerry Lee Lewis when drunk out of his mind in Sun studios? Is he the motivating force behind Norwegian death metal, a bad-rap third-century rewriting of Mithras, or the gleefully urbane Al Pacino in The Devil’s Advocate?

Christians – especially fundamentalists – will tell you he’s all of the above. Satan employs every seductive form to ensnare his victims, and this multitude of manifestations proves the fiendishness of his infernal plan. But Christians must come under suspicion of extreme bias – or worse – where Lucifer is concerned. For centuries, the devil has been the convenient excuse to brutally torture and horribly execute hundreds of thousands of inconvenient midwives, wisewomen, freethinkers, and rebels against theocratic orthodoxy. And these witch hunts are far from being confined to distant history. The Reagan era saw the 1980s “Satanic Panic,” during which born-again Christians scoured heavy-metal albums for secret messages, and claimed (eagerly abetted by media shills like Geraldo Rivera) to have uncovered repressed memories that indicated a Satanic underground had honeycombed the entire U.S.A., with thousands of unfortunate victims, many young children, being slaughtered in Satanic rituals. Estimates of the Satanic body count ran as high as 60,000 dead, until an FBI spokesman pointed out this was close to triple the national homicide rate, and the bureau had yet to find a single plausible body.

These claims may be laughable, but a real and wholly unfunny moral panic surrounded incidents like the 1983 McMartin preschool case in Manhattan Beach, when children were manipulated to supposedly recall underground tunnels and Satanic private jets, and figures such as the West Memphis Three, a trio of Arkansas teens who, in 1994, were convicted of murder after prosecutors used Pink Floyd lyrics and Stephen King novels as evidence of Satanic conspiracy. As recently as 2004, Scott Peterson attempted but failed to convince a jury that Satanists were the “real killers” of his pregnant wife, Laci.

In an e-mail exchange, the Church of Satan’s Gilmore claims that Satan is nothing more than a convenient psychological scapegoat. “People who cannot take responsibility for themselves, for both their successes and failures, tend to require scapegoats,” he says. “They need someone or something to blame outside of themselves. The Church of Satan embraces many different cultures’ embodiments of the archetype of rebellion, of personal pride, of refusal to bow to authority – the pranksters and mockers of pomposity.”

But does everyone who might be drawn to an organization calling itself the Church of Satan fully grasp this? Gilmore is adamant, if somewhat oblique. “We don’t adopt figures who are unjust, or who promote servile behavior or meanness or cruelty. We are selective in our diabolism. As skeptical epicureans, we delight in discrimination, making all aspects of life a gourmet feast.”

I also wonder – and this may be the most important question – if Gilmore and the members of his Church of Satan are actually worshiping a supernatural supreme being, or are their ceremonies simply a ritual focusing of human energy that is an end in itself?

“Satanists begin as atheists – there is no worship or faith in our philosophy,” Gilmore explains. “The universe is indifferent, so we each place ourselves at the center of our subjective universe as our own ‘god.’ Hence we are ‘I-theists.’ Our ritual practices are a means of evoking and releasing emotional energy, self-transformational psychodrama whose end is catharsis.”

So why celebrate 6/6/06? This Number of the Beast from Revelations is the product of one of the most savagely pernicious books of the Bible, an insanely vicious piece of ancient science fiction, written by the half-starved and possibly hallucinating John of Patmos, exiled in a Roman gulag and maybe eating the fungus from the wall of his cave. It is obsessed with mass destruction, retribution, sex, and death, and, although it is currently the paranoia-inducing favorite of Rapture believers and evangelists like Pat Robertson (who also likes to play Armageddon politics), it was not always so. In the fourth century, bishops led by Saint John Chrysostom wanted Revelations excluded from the New Testament because of its potential for abuse. No less than Martin Luther loathed Revelations, considering it “neither apostolic nor prophetic.” Don’t Satanists, by accepting the 666 mystique, also put themselves in an unbreakable symbiosis with Christianity?

Gilmore totally disagrees. “Not at all. It would be foolish to ignore symbols that have potency amongst the herd – we leverage them to our advantage. It doesn’t matter what their origins might be – from sacred scriptures to pop culture. While Christians are worrying about anti-Christs, we who truly live an anti-Christian lifestyle can use their own dread to lampoon those superstitions, embracing icons they fear with impunity, demonstrating the primitiveness of their beliefs. Revelations is a scrawled acid trip which is open to many differing interpretations, and it provides fun-fear, much like a roller-coaster ride for those who believe in such drivel.”

My final question to Gilmore relates to a common concern that the “fun-fear drivel” can fester into something genuinely dangerous. Richard Ramirez, Charles Manson, Klebold and Harris – these are poster boys for the counterculture’s nihilist trailer park. In my gift bag from Michael Hunt Publishing, another sponsor of “Satan’s Rockin’ 666 Eve,” I find a packet of dirt from the grave of legendary murderer Ed Gein. The disturbed and inadequate, the self-serving energy leeches, the teenage cat mutilators, can use the same symbols and language as an excuse to indulge their deep-seated viciousness. “Hail Satan” can cover a multitude of sins.

Gilmore’s answer has a “not-my-problem” terseness. “The disturbed, the frustrated, and the insane will use whatever symbols are at hand as an excuse to seek attention through violent acts,” he says. “Should they not be lionized by the media, and instead punished severely, painfully, and most importantly sub rosa, then there would be far less incidents of this sort. If illiterate morons take a symbol or a phrase out of context and use it as a banner for actions inconsistent with our philosophy, it is on the heads of those who provided them with false definitions of Satanism as devil worship and random rebellion – and they would be the Christian evangelists. Ultimately, over the course of human history, more brutality and sadism have been wrought under the sign of the cross and in the names of Jesus and Allah than any other motivating factor.”

~A CHURCH DIVIDED~

I’m about to accept that the Church of Satan may not be my personal style or taste, but could be a liberating force for some, when I discover that all is not as solid and unified as it might appear. Through a rock ’n’ roll connection, I find myself on the phone with Karla LaVey – Anton LaVey’s eldest daughter – who is angrily disparaging of the Gilmore version of the C of S. She characterizes Gilmore as “a fringe member of Anton LaVey’s original church” who, motivated by “a need for power,” has taken her father’s work and created a watered-down version of the original. She talks about the Gilmore mass as though it were a performance by an Anton LaVey cover band, and laughs when I remark how it all seemed unimaginatively middle-class.

This honestly sounds like sour grapes to Me. What a sadly childish attitude.
After LaVey’s death in 1997, Karla LaVey and Blanche Barton – a LaVey biographer and mother of his child – agreed to run the church together as co-High Priestesses, but then Barton produced a handwritten will leaving the church, LaVey’s personal property, and his writings to Barton, and LaVey’s youngest son, Xerxes. Karla contested the will, claiming her father was heavily medicated when the Barton will was drafted, and, ultimately, a deal was struck whereby Barton had title to the “organization known as Church of Satan” and LaVey’s three children would equally divide the rest of the estate. Karla LaVey formed her own “First Satanic Church” in San Francisco in 1999, which she claims is closer to the spirit of her father’s. “I want supplicants who wish George Bush would suffer horrible afflictions,” she says.

She also paints a picture of Anton LaVey (whose books are kept in print by Feral House) as more innovative and flexible than I had imagined. “My father had a fabulous sense of humor,” she says. “He was also a great musician – a keyboard player – I still have his old Hammond C3.”
It is obvious that Dr. LaVey's literature is not only published by Feral House {the latter three: The Satanic Witch, The Devil's Notebook, and Satan Speaks, but The Satanic Bible and The Satanic Rituals have been carried by Avon Books for years. Either the reporter is embarrassingly ignorant of these facts, or is purposefully attempting misinformation.

I’m also reminded that her father founded his church at the same time that Bob Dylan was completing Blonde on Blonde, Lenny Bruce was being hounded to death by the defenders of decency, the Warlocks had changed their name to the Grateful Dead, Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters were on the bus, and Owsley Stanley III was making the best acid on the planet. Anton Szandor LaVey and his Church of Satan – at its zenith – attracted celebrities like Jayne Mansfield and Sammy Davis Jr., while an ex-con called Charlie Manson cast covetous glances at LaVey’s operation, and a hippie chick called Susan Atkins – later a knife-wielding Manson slaymate – posed nude at a LaVey ceremony. LaVey was part of this cultural explosion, and, as far as Karla LaVey is concerned, her work – her ceremonies and weekly radio show – has moved with the times, while Peter Gilmore’s is a pale reproduction of what happened 40 years ago. Certainly the promo for her 6/6/06 bash sounded far more 21st century, featuring acts like the Ethel Mermen Experience, the Floating Corpses, Mad Scientist Barney, Tallulah Bankheist, Stoo Odom, and Ginger the Stripper. She also really loved “that Al Pacino movie where he played the Devil.”

Actually, The Church of Satan still contains several members prominant in the entertainment industry, many of which prefer to remain incognito at this time for various personal and professional reasons, and we honor these requests.

Let us examine the facts. Besides being a brilliant spokesman, Magus Gilmore is very much capable of showmanship as displayed in various media representations {particularly that Messe Noir performed for the BBC}. The despicable pettiness displayed by the reporter and other erstwhile antagonists continues to demonstrate their own rotten insignificance.

~SOLIDARITY IN SATAN~

In 48 hours, I have run the gamut of 6/6/06 celebrations. Toward the end of “Satan’s Rockin’ 666 Eve,” an exhibitionist couple stages a BDSM demonstration. A skinny boy in a tall mohawk binds and flogs his submissive partner, a zombie-passive young woman. A gang of slack-jawed metal kids looks on, and the inevitable photographs are taken. Partway through, the woman seems to experience an emotional crisis. Mohawk boy comforts her, and then the beating continues and morale improves. Later I see her, still partially roped, drinking a beer on the patio as though nothing too terrible had happened. Does any of this – the porn stars, the Satanic clergy, the bloody burlesque girls, the rock bands, and the guy with nails in his scrotum – really have a commonality? And, of course, I know the answer. They are all, in their own way – squalid or pretentious – engaged in pissing off the squares by their very existence. Whether any solidarity would remain if George Bush staged some geopolitical idiocy in Iran remains to be seen, but, on June 6, 2006, I was happy they were out doing what they do, and at least believing it was a form of resistance.

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