Consider Text/Context
Consider Text/Context. For circa 45-50,000 years of preliterate Homo sapiens time on earth,
our Human Text was the same as our Human Context: the Natural World  (once called the
Real World).  Seasons, regional weather and terrain, patterns of night sky, sun, moon, planets
and stars, animal and plant cycles, the human lunar-based fertility cycle: this contextual world -
all there was 24/7 and your dreams - was read as simultaneous pragmatic and sacred Text.
Human technology grew via reciprocal interaction with a living world: hands, sticks and rocks;
a keenly observed environment, flora and fauna, became human culture: fire, cooking, clothing,
fiber textiles, herbal medicines, hunting and habitat tools, art, music, language, ritual.  Science
began here, long before the written word; “science” was a continuous occurance, daily life.
And natural context was sacred text. World was The Book.
In CroMagnon cave art and carved bone items, we see not only a precise imaging of the
natural world, rendered with esthetic skill; we also see a tender love of this world. They were
up against the awesome beginning, our human origins, they survived the last Ice Age without
central heating or tv weather news. We know they suffered (arthritis, toothache, broken bones,
infection) and they knew death, short lifespans. But nothing in their art shows cringing Terror, 
or ontologic hostility. Rather, they were At Home on this planet: a part of it, not apart from it.
Context was Text, and these first human recorders were self-inscribed within it, not alien
Time marches on. Once Time circled now it marches. Ticktickticktick. What happened?
John Zerzan (“Why Primitivism?” in ANARCHY, Fall/Winter 03-04) quotes Guy DeBord’s
biographer Anselm Jappe, who asked why “the results of human activity are so antagonistic
to humanity”? Our definitive Angel, the human desire to Know, leads us into present Hell.
The Force of Paradox is within us, and it sucks.
A useful book is Leonard Shlain’s “The Alphabet Versus the Goddess: The Conflict Between
Word & Image (Penguin Arkana, 1998). The title mirrors your question. Neolithic abundance,
Bronze Age beginnings of “civilization,” a context increasingly designed as a human power-
space vis-a-vis Nature. Early writing (2500-3000 bce) used for both sacred texts and clerical 
accounting around the royal granaries, empowering hierarchies, etc. We know the story: Ur, 
Sumer, Babylon, all those clay tablets, the first writing, now compose the dust and rubble of 
The Abstraction of Writing, when It Became God, comes down to us as The Bible. The 
Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam), despite chronic in-fighting, are One 
Religion, monotheistic and exclusive in intent, based on a Text that purports to be the Only 
True Word of God (Torah, Old and New Testaments, Koran). Embodied in a Book, this 
Sacred Text claims a God who is abstracted from all natural context, is indeed a Word 
AGAINST the sensible World. I.e., what Nature’s World tells your senses, God’s Word 
corrects, denies, defies, forbids, punishes beyond death. In any contradiction between the 
two, God as Text prevails over World as Context. In extreme Fundamentalist readings, they 
are at eternal war. 
The taboos on Image/Image-making in Bible and Koran enforce this Turning Away from the
credibility and reciprocity of Nature’s Text/Context.  And from its primal power over our 
human consciousness. One can’t make “images” of Nature – as our CroMagnon ancestors 
so brilliantly did – without touching Nature, intimately and fondly. The iconoclastic Biblical 
mandate to “break the Images” of surrounding pagan cultures was God’s ascetic word: 
Don’t Touch. This Loving Nature was commanded to Look Away from Itself (from our 
species sensual Context), away from Nature & Nature’s Imagination into the Mental 
Abstractions of God’s (unillustrated) Word.
The portability of the Bible (a Text/Context detached from Nature) became a signature of 
Jewish endurance, continuity throughout diaspora; so for Jews the O.T. did perform both 
sacred and pragmatic functions. For other people, dissemination of the Bible was a disaster. 
Moving through Western history, it was used as a Power Tool, a weapon of conquest and 
colonization, from Imperial Rome through  European hegemony, thence into the imperialized 
globe. What purported to be The Word of God was used as a ritual whip to sever  Human 
Flesh and Spirit from its primal Context; the Human Mind thus forcibly separated from 
(con)sensual experience in the name of a disembodied Value. Generations were taught to fear 
and distrust “Nature” – redefined as a demon-inhabited, temptational Enemy. Only “The 
Word of God” could be trusted, but this Word derived from a textual context which rarely, if 
ever, applied to the supplicant. Forest people, mountain people, steppe, jungle, and sea 
people were confronted with a (fully-armed) Desert God, mandating morals and worldviews 
vastly disjunct from their pagan knowledge of their own experiential terrain. Such a disconnect 
makes people wacko, especially when it invokes Conversion by Fire, Sword and Cannon. (Or 
by Law and Money; the West’s secular tools of persuasion derive from the same disconnect.)
Freud believed that the urgency of the Western search for scientific truth derived from the
Biblical obsession with moral rules, law and justice.  Eric L. Santner, (in “Freud’s Moses,”
SEXUATION, ed. Renata Salecl, Duke U. Press, 2000) contrasts this “nomotropic
obsession” with the “pagan cosmotheism” of preBiblical human time, in which “we find direct
enjoyment of cosmic eros, of deum siva naturam”, (Spinoza, in fact). The monotheistic
abstraction of  the numinous into Legal Text over & against (human)Nature possesses, Santner
claims, an “uncanny energy” – the power to distinguish between a True and a False God, via
possession/adherence to the Right Text (or disobedience to It).  A disincarnate Law, presented
as God, becomes the Only Sacred Text negotiating between human group and the (by Biblical
definition) outcast context of Nature, now comprehended as “good” solely to the extent it is
controlled/resisted by human beings.
Freud was right in this sense: a God abstracted from Nature becomes a DeifiedText abstracted
from ReifiedContext. This set the tone for the Baconian “Interrogation of Nature” (which
occurred in uncanny coincidence with the Church’s Inquisition of Witches); even when
science defied religion in Western history, scientists wielded the same superior whip over
Dumb Matter as did the priests over Errant Flesh. I.e., Attitude is All.
Freud was wrong, however, if he assumed Western science as the only possible (or “serious”)
science. Pagan cultures worldwide practiced Science (fire, cooking, textiles, ceramics;
herbal medicine, obstetrics and surgery; mathematics, geometry, astronomy. From Anasazi
solstice/eclipse stone circles to Megalithic observatories throughout Europe, preliterate
and preBiblical people charted the sky; Mayans invented the Zero; the Chinese I Ching as a
digital computer which defines and accesses Process was cognized by Leibniz as the original
binary number system. And so forth. And did Freud forget the unTorahed Greeks?).
Science – the human acquisition of knowledge about Nature – is indigenous to our Species.
Within our Context, we construct our Text. The most “primitive” peoples, isolated in Brazilian
or Indonesian jungles, know even as children more Scientific Data re the fauna and flora of
their habitat than the average urban resident of any modern city.
How such pagan sciences would or could develop into World Science we don’t know:
They were obliterated or coopted within the colonizing Empire carrying the PowerTools of
Law and God’s Word, which rationalized the destruction/absorption of pagan knowledge
into Imperial Booty as God’s Will (a God who Conquers Nature, rather than Live With Her).
So it is not a matter of  Science: Yes or No. Science is Human Nature.  It is the attitude
with which science is pursued, and the ends it serves, which is under question.
Consider the American Indians “conquered” by Texts of the Invaders/Colonizers: Bibles and
Law, i.e. treaties with God, treaties with European royalty.  Tens of thousands of years,
mythic generations of epiphanal and practical interaction with the Context of this hemisphere
(land, seasons, plants and animals, migration and cloud patterns, water streams and bird
cries, the messages of insects and wind): suddenly and totally Denied, countermanded and
interrupted, overlaid with the surrealUnreal. An oral/aural people embodied within the World
Around, they are handed these little paper rolls, pages of skin, scored with squiggly black
marks. Which contain the Power, by any means necessary, to forever obliterate that original
relationship, Nature herself brought to her knees, the primal Text/Context erased and
replaced with a continental For Sale sign.  The natives were “ignorant,” while “Western
civilization” franchised the invaders. But which had the best Science? Is “science” Plunder,
or Reciprocity? Time will tell. Ticktickticktick.
The Bible, Koran, any such Text purporting to be The Word of God, functions as a Code, a
mind-program. Portable, indoctrinated generation by generation, it works to structure the
brain’s perception of Context before that brain has a chance to experience Context in any
other way. And as any Code, it Replicates itself. I.e., genes and memes. Just as DNA
replicates biologically, the SacredPowerText replicates culturally. Thus the natural world is
recreated, via programmed perception, in the image of a worldview, an ontological Code.
The forbiddance of Image/Image-making is a way to forbid any other program but This Text –
i.e. as a self-reinforcing system, it is a Cloning mechanism. This is what the Fundamentalist
agendas do, they Clone believers. The Meme/Code is a loop between brain and world, and in
the process both are reconfigured into an Unreality (a refusal of Nature) which yet has the
Power to subvert the Real (our existence in Nature).
Not raised in any religion, I was introduced to the I Ching at age 13; it became my Text/Code.
I turned to it for answers and advice, as people turn to Bible or Koran. It did not however
forbid other Texts upon pain of eternal damnation: rather, it inculcated observation of process,
without falling prey to Greed or Fear. Is this not a “scientific method”? Dating 1000-750 bce,
the I Ching easily inhabits the universe of quantum physics. Western science just got here.
Imagine 2 huge murals: one pictures war, bloody male wounds, mutilation and death; the other
shows a woman giving birth, bloody orifices, membranes and life. The first is common in
public spaces, the second taboo. The war scene is common in frontpage and television news;
the maternity scene isn’t. Why? Our disembodied Value is killing us, yet we continue to
worship It.  Sex is profane, war is holy.
The Abrahamic Holy Men (Judaic, Christian, Muslim) more or less literally bang their
heads, over and over, in the anguish of repetition, against their Wall of Text – monotheism’s
Idea of God’s Word and Law - while all around them the Context of the World screams
ENOUGH!  Stop the delusional babble, the compulsive mumbling of beads, your little
turdstones of sacred alphabet. Your God of Submissive Flesh is a continuous Lust for Pain,
i.e. your Text wants to murder our Context. Observe what is being done to a Real Earth
in the name and pursuit of a Dead Idea..
What brought us here is not Science, or Number, or Knowledge alone, but our ATTITUDE
toward planetary embodiment, i.e. Nature. We had a choice: hostility, or affection. The
Interrogation and Inquisition of a Witch.  Or the fond curiosity felt toward a Lover.  Our
lethal science did not want to know Earth, but to escape Earth. But it is not Earth which is
our Prison, but our Minds.  

©Barbara Mor, Feb 2, 2004

What’s Left?
What’s Left, literally, is The Sinister: the Body’s Left Side (Dark Side of the Mother,
the Flesh & the Heart): the nagual. This realm which hyperrational males, positioned along
all points of the ideological spectrum, have Dextrously (righteously) marked off as profane,
errant, forbidden; or have worked to subordinate to some auxiliary category (Index under
Politics: & Women). The patriarchal mind, from Bible to Bacon, Marx to Freud, Bookchin
to – yes, sorry – Nader, does not escape its Inquisitional fascination with strict daylight
dogmatism, which quickly collapses into anal-obsessiveness over correct practice and
procedure, ritual observance, the absolute length of beard-hair or number of whip-strokes
per minute per breath of Crime: the exact size shape & weight of stones collected
fervidly to be used to stone the radical body to its Deserved Death.
Man’s Law, that is, which is always Right, i.e. in definitive control of Pain Distribution.
The failure of the Left has always been its Fear of its own Dark Side. The ‘inchoate’
Energies, described as Freudian Id, Jungian Unconscious, just general Funk & Fate, are
the miasmic orgasms of the Female historically misnamed, misdiagnosed & bungled
by the Good Doctors of social design. Western Patriarchy enters the Dark always in a
missionary spirit, to “help” or “manage” or “cure” those parts of town assigned to crime,
sex, poverty, intoxication, all the Transgressive Neighborhoods defined as problematic
to the achievement of Paradise.
Artists & Poets know, or have known, that this DarkTurf exists primally, and exists
Necessarily as urgent Medicine for a Sick Paradisial Ideal. It is not “the Dark” that needs
help or cure, that is; rather: Doctor, Fix Yrself.
Think of a Tapestry: perfect clarity on the daylight side, as disciplined threads appear to
compose the picture. Turn it over, however, and you see what MAKES the picture: the
strings of creation as crazy Technicolor snakes squirming, twisting, intercoursing around
the terrain of the darkside. The power of Biology grows from Inside Darkness; the Seed
and the Brain express their Interior Dark; 6 billion years of Earth manifested gorgeously
before the Human Eye. This is the Mad Method which performs the Illusion of the
Composition, and it Performs on & of the Dark Side.
The Side of Light functions righteously to Control and Commodify this primal reality.
The historic “Left” has always used Female Energy to fuel its “Revolutions”: against the
Father, the Church, the State. French women started the bread riots, stormed the Bastille,
killed and were killed; victorious, however, their brothers-in-arms wrote laws to return
French women to their skirts and their kitchens, and legally took away their guns, lest
“feminine & domestic charms” be threatened by “empowerment.” It’s an old story.
E.g., today’s Left disdains a politics of “population control,” arguing correctly that it is
the Industrialized West, of low population growth, which consumes a huge majority of
earth’s resources, and exudes a huge percentage of earth’s pollution. Ignoring, or dismissing,
the fact that “population control” is a major factor and function of Female Liberation from
our traditional abuse as cultural breed cows. Without female sexual autonomy, fascism
is inevitable: the control of the female reproductive body by the male state is the Origin
of Fascism.  But “women’s issues” define, for Leftist males, subordinate issues.  Ralph
Nader tells us once again: “There is no difference between Democrats and Republicans.”
No woman in desperate need of an abortion would say that; Nader will never of course be
in this or any other desperate need; and the next time he mouths this priestly drivel I hope
a flock of grrrl crows and vultures attacks him and aborts his fetal words. I hope some
tough & fertile bitch jumps up on stage and Punches Out His Lights.
Because this is all that’s usefully Left:
                                   Bar sinister: sons of the Lawless Side
                                   Bat sinister: feral, crazy bat daughters.

Eschewing the Dark Side, the Left has no Vision. Left politics are mostly reactive,
rarely creative. In Europe, e.g., in opposition to the American-Israeli alliance of holy
contempt for the world, the Left moves to embrace the Muslim cause – the Palestinians,
yes, but also the French Muslim fundamentalist campaign to retain girls’ headscarves
in the public schools. “The enemy of my enemy is my friend,” sez the Leftie, and even
goes so far as to believe this constitutes a chic, radical position. It is not radical but
merely reactive. It establishes no principle or position, but merely a formula of alliances.
Here is the place to quote that Dissident Voice epigraph from Thoreau: “There are a
thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.”
There’s really no time left for any act but a strike at the Root, but most hackers on the
Left have no clue as to its location.
Last year I saw a frontpage newsphoto showing an Israeli teen and her brother walking
behind a Palestinian girl: the Israeli girl is reaching out to yank off the Muslim girl’s
headscarf. It’s an act of religious & political harassment, yes.  I despise Israel’s behavior;
I despise the American-Israeli collusion against the world; even so, looking at that
photo, I have the same impulse as that Israeli teen. It’s not a Jewish vs. Muslim impulse –
I’m Irish Pagan – it is the Fist of the New against the Old, the Naked Mind against the
Uniform, most of all the ShitKicking Reichian* West against the Puritanic Repressive
Religions. It is Knowledge versus Fear. Europe worked 500 years to crawl out of the
God-Pit of the Inquisition, Europeans and the colonized globally have suffered millennia
of religious, bible-based persecution and sectarian warfare, American women are still
involved in essential struggle against “God” for autonomy of our bodies & our brains:
this is the Root position. We must refuse to be dragged backward into that abyss. If
Muslim women want to enjoy the relative “freedoms” of the West, they must know these
freedoms are hard won, and always fragile. If you fear being “debauched by modernity,”
go home to the desert. Women in burqas whose men carry rocketlaunchers is more than
a surreal anachronism: it is the utmost in spiritual & intellectual hypocrisy.
(A PoMo thesis that “the Enlightenment led to Auschwitz” by undermining the Western
belief in “God” is equally fraudulent; i.e.,what then led to the preEnlightenment “God-
ordained” Inquisition, all 500 sadistic years of it?? The Enlightenment was Europe’s
attempt to overcome the Inquisition: to the extent it failed we got the 20th c. Hells-on-
Earth; to the extent it succeeded, we got us.)
The Left, long contemptuous of “religion,” ineptly confronts the giant psychophysical
social surges and erotic convulsions of Jihad & Holy War. Liberals & Leftists are afraid
to confront “God” – except with the dry disdain that characterizes believers in secular
rather than metaphysical Solutions. Turning chickenshit into formula, PC became a strategy
for avoiding Root confrontation: a way to parade as Radical while not “offending” anyone.
A generation of earnest young politicos was educated to think you can solve a problem by
correctly labeling it: That’s racist! That’s sexist! That’s religiously intolerant!
Well yeh, duh, so what else is AT THE ROOT???
Christian America, Zionist Israel and the Muslim Fundamentalist regimes together are The
4th Reich; these bulldozer bullies for “God” will happily flatten every contradiction into
rubble and upon this bloody plot build tacky Theme Parks of Pious Democrazy in the
place of indigenous sensual  global variety; these actual snuff games are being played
out before our eyes and we do not accurately name them, or holistically denounce them,
lest we Hurt Someone’s Feelings – i.e., everyone involved is a Victim of Historic Hurt,
ergo beyond Critique.  Mel Gibson’s sacred S/M flick, The Passion of the Christ, appears
right now to remind us that the biblical religions, all 3, are based on the sadistic manipulation
of guilt: You disobeyed God, You are Sinful, You killed Jesus, You are Filth & Dust Born
of Woman – yaddayaddayadda – the continuous manipulation of ONTOLOGICAL GUILT
for the Ontological FACT of Being Alive on Earth. The Left does not usefully exist unless
it denies/defies this Bizness of Guilt and embraces the Poetry of this Fact.  But to do so, the
Left must become open to the suffusion of  FemaleErotic Darkness (which is The Female
Mind) to a degree it has never accepted, insofar as the male-determined Left is in itself a
familial disciple of that same Guilt-Trip Bizness. Thus the Left has managed to turn off the
world, revealing itself systemically as the DreamKillCopTwin of the tyrant Right.
This rabid Right “frames the Big Picture.”  E.g., O’Reilly & Savage analogize 1) “The
Anarchy on Our Borders, immigrants swamping our culture & sucking off our welfare”
with 2) “Anarchy in Our Morality, gay rights, abortion, media hedonism, bastard babies
sucking on Janet’s exposed tit” – they can do this because, being breathtakingly simple-
minded, they construct without compunction simpleminded Pictures.  (I.e., blaming these
“anarchies” on Liberalism, when every issue depicted is a function of cutthroat capitalist
systems,  re employers seeking low-wage labor and media seeking profits, as mere human
beings struggle & drown in the resultant floods of dislocation.)
The Left can’t frame “a Big Picture,” or finds “a Big Picture” too Scary.  It is unable or not
willing to Challenge GOD, the BibleBoys, Yahweh Moses Jesus and Allah with their
combined global BankAccounts. Leftist discourse has never addressed Religion as a power
equal to Economics in the movement of human beings: the movement of passions as well
as massed bodies. Only a witchy few 2nd wave feminists, a few brave citizens mounting
1st Amendment law suits, have stood up on their revolutionary hindlegs to refute the tv
preachers and radio bigmouths on their own turf, i.e. Faux Holy Ground. These God Salesmen,
in the bizness of vampirizing our human energies for 2000 years, can rely on Liberal Fear &
Leftist Discomfort to join in avoidance of ontological battle over “sacred things: who defines
them?”  Liberals pander, Leftists shrug and run. Meanwhile, next time a state judge installs
his customized 10 ton version of the Biblical Ten Commandments in the middle of your
downtown courthouse, here’s the argument: The First Amendment precludes the government
from the establishment of a religion. The First Commandment is: “I am the Lord thy God,
thou shalt have no other gods before me.” And that is the establishment of a specific religion:
an exclusive monotheism. The First Commandment directly contradicts and countermands
the First Amendment. So every politician should be publicly challenged to choose between
them: your Constitution or your Bible? They can’t both rule this country.
Europe, unlike America, has been the arena of historic disembowelment over issues of Holy
War, Roman invasion and forced conversion of pagan tribes, Crusades & Inquisitions, the
Catholic-Protestant mutual massacres called sectarian war, plus WW1, WW2, Nazi death
camps and Stalinist gulags, all “secular” extensions of the original FanaticVision. Europe is
tired of it, we hope, and thereby wiser. Americans must look harder to find an authentic
political position (the Archimedean leverage point) outside the mechanical Left-Right
dualisms which decorate & twist our Tree’s dialectic branches but are not The Root. The
Root of America is that it was once pagan, wild and various.  Jefferson, Madison and Franklin,
Marx & Engels learned from American Indians, not the reverse. Despite the Holy Liars, our
Constitution is not “based on the Judeo-Christian Bible” but on the Iroquois Confederacy,
with help from pagan European tribal systems, the Magna Carta, John Locke & Voltaire.
To be reminded of this, Leftists should reread Thomas Paine, and revisit Thomas Morton
& his Maypole. (Plus check out Jim Goad’s The Redneck Manifesto.)
One European friend and intellectual comrade to Paine was Mary Wollstonecraft. Ring
any bells? The Leftist dismissal of “women’s issues” as secondary forces of change has
robbed us of a potent(ial) Holism of Energies vis-√†-vis the extant networks of  Oppression:
Church, State, Economic systems. Those feminists who attacked Patriarchy were not
simply being “women”(i.e., complainants within the system), but expressors of a bloody
Outside Position: outside Taliban and AlQaeda, outside Israel and Palestine, outside
America and Israel, Outside the Holy War,which by definition is waged by & for the glory
of the Hole-Stuffing Male, whose claims of GodHead subordinate all Nature and natural
life&death to this WhollyDelusion: MonoText&Gun. Before being brainwashed into
HandMaidens, all females are Born Rebels. Females are the Original Left, and it would’ve
been nice to acknowledge this, and  to grow upon this primal ground the alliance of Earth,
Women, Children, Animals, Air Water Seed & Imagination  AGAINST the Agony of
Abrahamic Alienation.

*Wilhelm Reich, that is.

 ©Barbara Mor, March 10, 2004

Imagine the entire Cosmos as a Gigantic Clitoris….no, seriously.
The entire Universe is the erotic imagination materialized: Her Hologram.
Orgasm is confirmation that Life Enjoys Itself.
(If the puritanic/punitive god was our actual creator, sex would be total compulsion,
but hideously painful: think about it).

Beyond the human clitoris existent sui generis “for pleasure” (and its larger pragmatic
version, the penis), the entire Universe exists for the “pleasure” of Itself: chaos, novae,
galactial bodies, stars, planets, fractals, flowers, frogs  i.e. Our Life In Art.  Why?
“After all,” said Rimbaud, “Nature can be bored.”
Given Infinite Time and Eternal Space - given capacity for Infinite and Eternal
BOREDOM!!!!!!! - what would you do? Invent! Ex nihilo, that black womb, conceiving
string by quark by electron by cell by dream, what we call Evolution, or “Passing
Time.” The Fantasizer participates in all particles of the Embodied Fantasy, its Codes &
Surprises, thus the signature of an electromagnetic erotic ecstasis appears throughout the
Spectrum, micro to macro, just as Reich observed(knew). Einstein, in his major error, denied
Quantum Theory because “God does not play dice with the Universe.”  God, as Female,
does play dice with Herself, i.e. is not a Mechanic standing outside His Machine, but
is rather a Being Imagining/Evolving More Being.  It is a Living Creation, pregnant with
Risk of the Unknown, with all points in motion(friction) magically & perilously
contingent upon all other moving points(frisson).  Beyond Pleasure, that is, it’s about
being Alive, which involves a cognizance that all else is, of the same being, Alive.

The human clitoris – never a problem before! – becomes fiendishly problematic for
Patriarchal/Biblical religion, insofar as its existence confronts that religion with all of
the above.  If the Clitoris IS, that is, Yahweh isn’t; or rather, man’s Idea of God as
defined in the Old Testicularment is confronted apriori with a better idea, the Real World,
which posits not only female sensual autonomy but Female Choice as the mechanism/
determinant of evolutionary selection. The male whose genes are reproduced is the male
who most pleases the female sensorium: her eye, her ear, her touch, her olfactory palate.
Bronze Age males who maneuvered to become Managers of Breeding (human as well as
cattle), had first to deny this Female Primacy of Selection, redefining it as a Male Choice,
“by God.” Woman was reengineered from a sensual being into a livestock commodity, bred
to reproduce male society in general, the husband’s wealth in particular. Matrimonial sex,
confined to reproduction, was understood at best as a Duty to God, at worst a Punishment
for the Sin of Flesh; all other sex condemned to death by stoning.  Needless to say, within
these terms, the Clitoris became An Outlaw. It refuted the basic premise of patriarchal
society: that Nature exists to enhance Man, and will be disciplined or forced to do so in the
Name of God. The denial and repression of clitoral knowledge that followed, i.e. Western
History, not only made Life miserable for woman, with the impreached idea that she
deserved lifelong misery as her existential definition; it also launched upon the natural
world an orgiastic reactive violence, no doubt felt as condign punishment for Life’s existence
as dumb, yet seductive, matter: Earth, just like a Woman, deserves chronic fucking over
for the crime of “objective” Being There. “She made me do it.” “She asked for it.” A thing
that exists solely to be fucked, of course, elicits contempt. A woman who comes alive to
enjoy fucking, under patriarchy, elicits death by rocks or fire (or fist or whatever). The entire
S/M enterprise is erected upon the Biblical premise: She Can’t Win.
We live – and are dying -- with the cosmologic ramifications of this premise.

It is impossible to look through microscope or telescope and conclude Life is Absurd.
Life works. The abstracted “mind” is absurd. Seasons, music, children, lizards, penguins,
dung beetles: Life is not a Mistake. The sadistic emptying out of meaningfulness is the
mistake. The Absurd is never a primal condition, but a stage of reaction: one’s encounter
with The Wall. The factory system, the prison cell, the torture chamber, the firing squad,
the monthly rent, the morning commute, the quarter you don’t have that must be dropped
in the phone slot before you can call the governor to stop your execution because you just
dropped that coin in the toilet slot so you could sit and shit. What does any of this have to
do with Life on planet Earth? Nature evolves biologic functions so it can exist in material
form, but what Punishes those functions is human Idea. Kafka doesn’t describe “Life” after
all, but the tortured creature trapped inside its mental constructs & devices, all originally
intended to put “Life” in order. As if it could not be trusted to have its own Order. Or as
if its own Order had been declared “demonic.” Hostile to God and the bottom line.
The plot to defame Matter as Dumb Mechanism, or Evil, lucrative as it has been for the
bizness of Religion (and the religion of Busyness), now boomerangs against us because –
oops! –  Life R Us. Recall the Victorian practice of fastening sharp-barbed gloves on the
hands of children & youth (& “crazy” adults) so that masturbation, if not stopped, would
really really HURT. Biblical religions invent & mandate these sadistic mittens. Capitalism
manufactures & markets them. For Life to so hate & fear Itself, to the point of commodifying
mutual mass systemic infliction of extreme pain, terror & degradation – nukes, landmines,
clusterbombs, biochemical weapons, brothels, child sex traffic, refugee camps, famine,
junk food, junk art, junk dreams - argues a powerful spasmic Interruption of Life’s own
ontological experience of Itself. We are not “cursed” by Life, Life is cursed by us.  All
Nature emptied of chthonic meaning, we now own that emptiness. And it really Hurts.

Monoism now rules the tonal (David Bohm’s Explicate Order) with its replicable formulae:
monotheism monoculture monolithic monogamy monotony.
The nagual (Implicate Order) goes on dreaming the Dark.
The variants you describe – females with multiple sex partners, “variety of genes and
ecology of population. And a species dedicated to pleasure” – exist now in scifi/fantasy
(Ursula LeGuin in particular) and some quaint anthropology texts. We can imagine the
arrangements of ancient Crete, matrifocal and pleasure-dedicated. Of course, the elites
of all cultures manage to do their things: incestual, bisexual, polymorphously fickle and
hire good nannies to raise the kids. They party every which way while keeping the plebs
in straight line: for food, for sex & shelter, for citizenship, for God.
Females are capable of vast polyrelationships. Patriarchal men are uptight, indoctrinated
with Life’s Possession (not its Enjoyment) as Proof of Manhood. But Earth is older than
Patriarchy. And men are simply our most dysfunctional sisters (all males being half female,
XY). The taboo on sexual polyforms derives from patriarchy’s desperate need to keep
everyone in Uniform, defined by gender, class, race, belief, etc. The fluid continuum of
relational behaviors of which our species is capable (think Bonobo) would, if not ritually
repressed, explode the current systems of Order and flood the planet with new (& ancient)
arrangements. Males would be liberated, as much as females, by this genital revolution.
The nagual, of course, is terrifying. Releasing people from bondage does not free them, if
their minds are still chained by bad ideas. Serial rapists, child rapists, sexual torturers and
merchandisers: a growing population. Thanks to God & Capital, in the 20th & 21st centuries,
the Bomb is bigger than the Clitoris: it gives Man the erotic power of Death, over all
the planet’s trapped bodies. Does the average civilized male get more erotic charge out of
a bomb than a clitoris? Yes. Making a woman come is no big deal. The Big Thrill is making
her body EXPLODE, literally. Making any body explode literally. Yr biggest, and last, earth
orgasm: & was it good for you? The mad bomber, like the rapist, becomes God, just like that.
What we once called “pleasure” is quite perverted in the service of Power, and what can
simply naked Nature do against mass pop PornoTech? 
The point is, Diversity is the Health of Nature. Monotony is Nature’s Death. The idea
that terrestrial plurality (the Earth’s Imagination) can be colonized and harnessed into a
puritan global factory system, denies the monstrous power of the nagual to rebut constraint.
It will explode, it will implode: it will not endure Monotony. Not for long.
When it blows, we are the slick red petals of the explosion. When it implodes, we are
the coal crushed to mad diamonds in the skull.

©Barbara Mor, March 28, 2004

Preferably Knot
Streetliving Tucson, 1987-88, I’d search out quiet weekend places to do personal
hygiene. Washed-out shirts, underwear etc. qwik-dri in desert air. The usual public
buildings were closed, and the usual BurgerKing, Carl’s Jr. tiny restrooms – one
toilet, one sink – were noisy with weekend families; little boys in womens’ bathrooms
w/their mothers tend to get down on their hands & knees to peek under the stall,
it’s a compulsion to view The Strange Other at Her Worst. And if you’re washing
your shorts in the sink, they freak. I chewed raw garlicbulbs to boost my immune
system, this created a vampyre-free-zone aura around me that was strategically
useful, but socially offputting in close quarters. So I hung out at the U of A, the
student center building had a big 2nd floor lounge with rows of sinks & stalls, coolly
uninhabited on Sunday mornings. The University, I felt, was sort of “home”- because,
duh, my book was in the U of A library, it would be used in Women’s Studies classes;
and hey, I’d applied (unsuccessfully) for work as library clerk, summer press copy
editor and, through the Maintenance Dept., as lounge matron & general toiletbowl
cleanser. On Sundays, when others were in Church, it felt luxurious to wash undies
& armpits in the big unoccupied 2nd floor lounge, real soap & hot water….a Mental
Retreat, where homeless American feminist writers might feel “at home” (“misery
hides aloof” sez Melville).
Then, one morning, spongebathing & footwashing, my shirt unbuttoned (no bra, no
shoes), the matron suddenly stuck her head around the door, I looked up to see a look
of horror on her face, whereupon she turned and ran down the empty hall squealing
“She’s bathing in there! She’s bathing in there!”
I got out quick, nothing happened. Except I never went back. The maid’s shock
notified me that, of course, UA was not “home” to my body, even though its Library
might house my book. The maid didn’t see “a writer” but “a public nuisance” – and
her perception was, of course, the operative view.
Thirteen months of this, let’s call it Bartleby’s mix of Pride & Despair. Pride, i.e.,
“I knew who I was.” But who was that, really? A street bum, using taxpayer-funded
state intellectual facilities for personal hygiene. If not illegal, shameful. Scum of the
earth. Despair, because regardless of what I might have written, or thought, or done,
it didn’t matter: I was existential Pariah. Books, poetry, radical politics, feminism,
a list of self-delusions I carried in my levi pocket. Nothing matters in America but
Money, and we all know that. Who You Are Is Yr Bank Account, Not Yr Mind.

This knowledge, this truth, this fact, is Crushing. The literal weight of it on your  
chest stops the heart, pushes air from the lungs. As if the whole megaquadrillion ton
weight of Wall St falls on you: but it doesn’t even have to fall on you, it crushes
virtually, effectively, by just Being There: the Wall of Money.  Before which all your
fellow citizens kneel, trembling, in obeisance.  If this is America, if this is Reality,
then this is Home: something you have to pay for.
Thus Bartleby: the Soul w/out a Home in America.
He is the homeless soul the West has built.
Melville, most American of writers, dreaming Kafka’s 20th c. in his shortstories, in
Bartleby creates the Dickensian doppelganger, London’s financial, legal & penal
architecture transported from Victorian England into 19th c. America (supposedly “a
new world”) – Wall St, The Tombs, the same gaunt gloomy buildings of biophobic
power shutting out light & health, mocking human happiness, rendering worklives
of multitudes – 12 hour days, 6 days a week – “deficient in what landscape painters
call ‘life.’” And these were the good jobs.  No way to catch or grow your own food.
No place to sleep or shit or piss or die or give birth w/out paying the designated fee.
The generation & preservation of absolute Law & Wealth, contingent upon the
brutal constriction & infliction of the ephemeral Human Being.
The Soul’s confrontation w/soulless Machinery: which is America.
A New World for you, Mr.Bartleby. 
He’d prefer not.  In the Dead Letter office, his previous employment, he’d heard
God’s answer to mortal hope: Silence. He’d tossed these little prayers into the fire, this
was his job. Over the edge of banal despair, he’d looked: there is Nothing. With or
without money, that is, the same vision as The American Dream, in the End. It is all
illusion, a flatline trying to escape the cosmic mobius. 
Maybe he was born a Zero Man. He’s kind of a Zen Legal Secretary.
Facing the Wall (which is the word NO) he insisted on his terms. Bartleby knew who
he was, unfortunately unbacked by money, but nonetheless. He knew his intrinsic
worth, qua human; and he knew he was not wanted unless he rendered this intangible
self USABLE - and he preferred not. He took up minimal space or air: let his sheer
existence as Life Datum be honored, allow him to simply sit or stand or sleep in that
tiny corner behind his screen, facing his wall – in India, perhaps a Holy Man; in
America, a problem of Flesh.  A body nonconforming to its designated space. But
couldn’t the Boss care enough about HIM, in all else impeccable, to allow this? But
of course not, No, we all know the Answer: Harrumph harrumph, suppose everyone
made such a request? If you allow one, you open the door to everyone. Barbarism!
Anarchy! Thus Bartleby threatens the End of Civilization as we know it.
(And no, I don’t want to share my apartment with any of the homeless people who
hang out, drinking & bullshitting, on my backporch. I’m tired of cleaning up the
cigarette butts & bottles & occasional diarrhea piles they leave behind – I would
prefer not! –and when I was homeless I knew such a request was hopeless, also.
The “hopelessness of remedying excessive & organic ill.”)
Only the Usable are Useful. Despair tells us: Be a Gear, or Die.
Maybe he was a Poet – like “the mettlesome Byron” - a Romantic w/out Byron’s
wealth or social rank, or even  talent! Doomed!
“Because he will NOT be a vagrant.” Ironically noted, Bartleby clung within the
walls of Human Culture, a Law Office at any rate; descent into the streets, he
“preferred not.” Not a genuine Bum, that is, not even the alleycat hole of the outcast
was his home. He stood aloof, elite, impassively superior; unlike us multitudes of
pliable confusion: He knew who he was.
And in The Tombs, end of the line, visited by the Boss, he stood in the small prison
yard, stared at the high wall.
             -- “Look there is the sky, and here is the grass.”
             -- “I know where I am.”

An American writer, Joe Napora, sent me some Dickens’ quotes from G.K. Chesterton’s
Charles Dickens: The Last of the Great Men. On America, Dickens said:
     “I do fear that the heaviest blow ever dealt at liberty will be dealt by this country,
       in the failure of its example on the earth.”

On NPR’s March 3 Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me quiz show, the host read from a Knight-
Ridder news release on that week’s reopening of the Statue of Liberty, closed to the
Public since 9/11; the monument was described as “a big green woman who invites
you to climb to the top of her head,” from the earth of her bare feet to her airy brain
via a spinal staircase.
Is this not breathtaking? Is this not heartbreaking?
What America was supposed to be. What Life on our Planet was supposed to be.
What happened? What have We done to Her, what have They done to Us, what went
so unbearably WRONG?
Bartleby – Melville, of course, who killed the Whale; or Coleridge, who killed the
Albatross – deep inside their eyes, the Vision of the Black Hole behind America’s
commercial optimism, our global Boosterism: the Wall of Wealth is built with the bodies
of Earth made usable, but then they die, and then they rot. Power rots, and it really
stinks. They tell us that stink is the price of our survival.
And some of us will go into the bizness of Perfume.
And some of us will prefer not.   

©Barbara Mor, April 8, 2004

Proof of Manhood 
For the female soldiers raped by fellow troops, I feel the same sympathy, and for
the same reasons, as I feel for all the soldiers, male and female, who end up killed or
badly wounded. For whatever reason – kids wanting a shot at college, access to
vocational training, a belief in the cause – they participate in the Mass Illusion of War
as the defeat of Evil, the defense of God’s Country, whatever. The more naive their
illusion, the more painful its shattering will be.
Any culture’s chronic problem is the employment of young male energy. Too much
squirmy, unemployed testosterone threatens established order; mostly it threatens the
older males in power, with outright revolt, theft of their wealth, seduction of their women,
etc. In dysfunctional Western civilization (unemployment, class and race schisms, the
necessity to maintain social control via positing of An Enemy), almost continuous war
has provided the classic employment of Young Stud Energy, to the simultaneous double
profit of Rich Older Men. Not only do the latter profit economically via war economies,
that is, but sending off young men to distant wars leaves the Castles, Banks and Harems of
the Homeland intact. (Or, in patriarchal theory, it should.)
Young female energy, freed from traditional role-restraint, is also potent; if not engaged
and patriotically directed, it can disrupt the Realm. The feminist egalitarian idea of Equal
Rites involved opening the Armed Services to women; young women today are attracted to
the same educational and vocational chances, and we offer these to low and middle income
kids via the price of risking their lives. And/or, risking rape – from their own troops,
or from the enemy. (And/or, as now with the Abu Ghraib abuses, facing court martial
and prison time via their reality show participation in the sadistic revenge process of
turning Iraqi males into rape victims.) 
Warriorhood as proof of manhood is a cliché, but it rules. Because so many poor and
ethnic males enter the armed forces to acquire the official Proof of Manhood Seal they’ve
been historically denied,  they’ve resented entry of women and gays: if females and
homosexuals can be Warriors too, there goes the social cachet power of the Military
Uniform (and bootcamp endured) as Proof of Manhood. Harassment of enlisted gays
and women, including rape, is part of this revenge syndrome.
It would be cool, and helpful, if all this was openly discussed at the beginning of training;
but it probably isn’t. The military runs on the fuel of unquestioned Ideals; straight talk
(including politically incorrect talk) subverts the gung-ho spirit.
That women can be warriors is not the issue. Ferocious female warriors are on record –
in Africa, Asia, pre-Columbian America, from the Russian steppes across Europe into
the British Isles – women warriors are not new. In the past, however, they were tribal
warriors, often leaders. And like Boudicca of the Iceni fighting against the Roman
invasion of their homeland, they fought intensely defensive wars. Blood, soil, folkways,
children: up close and personal. Fighting for “American hegemony” is relatively
abstract; I suspect some young women are gung-ho Barbies, trying to prove a patriotically-
manufactured “womanhood”.  Certainly some female soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan
believe they are fighting for women’s rights in those countries. The weird thing is, they
wouldn’t organize into an army of women to fight for female rights here in America:
they think they’re free enough, or if not, they depend on Big Daddy’s System to give
them what they need, when they’ve earned it, being Good Girls. As such, they fight for
God and Country, and sometimes get raped. The radical question is: How many would
fight for Earth and Cuntry? And we know the answer: damn few. 

©Barbara Mor, circa 2004

True Minds
My marriage skills equate my cooking skills (people who know me are laughing
hysterically in Hell at this question) – and that is Zip.

I believe in Mating, and Relationships; Western patriarchal marriage as the monolithic
norm of social organization is the problem. John Borneman and Laurie Kain Hart,
authors of the Washington Post essay, are anthropologists. Anthropology shows us that
marriage systems, like all human systems, emerge first as psychobioregional responses:
people develop what they need for maximum survival and hope of flourishment within a
given terrain, climate, economy of plant, animal and other natural resources. We are
first an extended family, or matrifocal clan; then a tribe; then several tribes. Relations
are one-on-one, and that between biological parents is rarely the most important: a stable
context for the growth & education of the young, as Borneman and Hart describe, is
primary, and it’s been achieved in many creative & wise ways throughout human history,
none of them called “the nuclear family.”
Religious & cultural Imperialism – the imposition, via guns & Bible, of One Way upon
converts and colonies, despite Variant Reality – has been a disaster, and has succeeded
because of the disaster: destroyed indigenous networks, demoralization and self-alienation
by foreign rules & ideas, enslavement or exile of the soul and body within a once native
context now redefined as occupied territory. “Marriage,” in this scenario, has functioned
among American Indians, African slaves, 3rd World colonies in the same way it functioned
among the pagan European tribes: as a tool of state regulation, thence inculcated into
self-restriction and mutual oppression.
As for the Nukular Family, I view it thru a 19th and 20th c. radical feminist lens.  Patriarchal
marriage depends on female virginity 1) to guarantee paternity of offspring, and 2) to
guarantee wifely ignorance of any sexstyle other than her  husband’s.  I.e. her ignorance
is his bliss: she has no comparative tool (so to speak). Female knowledge of sexuality,
specifically our own, is the major Judeo-Christian-Islamic taboo: the female, not Dumb by
Nature, must be made so by Law. Further, the female not helpless by Nature must be
made dependent by Law. Marriage exists via the legal, religious and economic non-existence
of women. This is why 19thc. women were so brave to defy the institution, their extramarital
choices being spinsterhood, poverty unto death, and/or prostitution. Women always
worked; medieval guilds included female artisans (until the Inquisition listed them as
heretical); but women’s entry into the late 19th  and 20th c. workforce was revolutionary:
with a paycheck, they no longer had to marry to survive. Women and men entering
marriage voluntarily, rather than by coercion, should enhance the institution; if not, some
people blame “Western freedom,” while others question the institution.  (Gay marriage
performs the same challenge as feminism: we reject patriarchy’s urge to control us via
its clutch on our genitals.)
The Cleaver/Brady suburban cartoon norm called “family life” we all know exists
to sell detergent and cereal boxes. The “nuclear family” is a 20th c. invention, really
a post-WW2 phenomenon  that came into being out of the need to build a peacetime
economy out of home appliances & automobiles; before that, 2 adults were rarely alone
inside 4 tight walls with their progeny and piles of debt; rather, they were surrounded by
extended family, many hands to help in housework and in fields, women and men engaged
in hard labor dignified by their mutual respect and respect for the earth (a respect that
had survival value). Extended families, akin to tribal life, were the basis of American
society; the modern marriage “breakdown” has not come via “female freedom”, but
via the condensation of this clan model into isolated 2 parent households, far from
built-in networks of childcare, healthcare, every kind of mutual assistance based on
kinship, not money. The major factor in the disintegration of modern family life is
not “sex” but – listen to the words – “the cost of living.” (Not to mention this nuclear
family model is the most ecologically destructive possible; every person their own
toiletbowl, washer&drier, refrigerator and computer does create 21st c. “individuality”
but this Individual as a Consumer is swallowing the Earth.)
So what was the question…?
What is Marriage. 
What we all would want, that ideal, “the Marriage of True Minds.” The hieros gamos,
good sex good conversation good intention.
Good comprehension, that is, of both Solitude and Union.
This could never be something enforced by Law, although we know Law historically
strives to forbid it. A man who listens to his Woman is not listening to his God,
hint hint.

In The Masks of God, Vol. 4, Creative Mythology, Joseph Campbell describes the
invention, in the 12-13th c. West, of Romantic Love. The groovy Troubadour and
Trouvere cultures of southern France, in their leisure and abundance, playing with
new toys brought back from the exotic Orient by the Crusaders: love poetry, incense,
hashish, the prototype of the guitar, Erotic Attraction as Art and Game. They were
highclass hippies on the edge of The Inquisition; no doubt they provoked the Fires,
the revenge of nasty celibate men against lusty Nature (echoed in today’s religious
fundamentalists & political reactionaries, people who went thru the 60s as unlaid nerds;
who won’t rest until Inquisition Redux: think Ashcroft, think Scalia, think DeLay).
Knighthood and Courtly Love are the flowering of this pagan Celtic/Gallic imaginary
culture. Because the female was typically married to someone else, she and her
lover sought a marriage of true bodies outside the marriage bed; and this remains
our literary archetype of the time. But in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, there’s a story
of a marriage of true minds between 2 people actually married to each other.  It’s
stunning: The Franklin’s Tale. A man and wife relating by mutual honor & respect,
overcoming all via “noble behavior” and “generous magnanimity” – a courageous
matrimonial trust that changes the behavior of all around them. Arveragus and his lady
Dorigen actually make marriage look cool. Notably, this is not a Christian tale; the
setting is Armorica, now Brittany in northwest France, a Bretonic Gaelic region.
The couple inherits pagan Celtic tradition, e.g. rules of marriage as recorded in the
Seancchus Mor, where upper status male and female each brings to the marriage their
horse & their sword.  A marriage of equals, that is.  Marriage lasts one year and one
day; at the end of that time, if both desire to remain together, their vows are renewed.
If either wants to end the mating, it is ended. Property reverted each to each, what she
brought into the marriage she takes with her, and he also. Small children stayed with
the mother; in fact they were raised, as all children, by the essential tribe.
A mating of true minds can only happen, that is, if each partner is true, and has a mind.

The Franklin’s Tale is interesting also in that it references pagan or “heathen”
science, both astronomy and astrology, climatology and wizardry, oceanography and
incantation. Which brings us around to Question #1: before and surrounding “Western
science” there were other modes of science. Before and surrounding Patriarchal and
Biblical marriage, human beings had other ways, just as effective and reasonable in
pursuit of social coherence, stable life for children, companionship and guidance thru
the stages of life and conversation with death.

But here we are now, in the WeirdWiredWest, where each of us is strangely a Clone
and an Alien, both at once. Uniform, and estranged.  A marriage, in this situation, can
be the only sane, humane island in a psychotic sharky sea. The spectacle of True Minds
finding &meeting each other, mating & helping each other amidst this Terminal Opera,
is  rare, but when it happens – and I’ve known of a few such True Marriages, yours
among them – well, it’s a beautiful thing. 

©Barbara Mor, April 25, 2004

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