Friday, March 6, 2009

I love bottoms

I’ve always been an ardent ass man. Georges Bataille, in L’impossible, reflects on the anxiety the thought of his own derriere causes him. Not me. While my face may wither and wizen, my ass, from what I can see of it in my mirror, is still doing well. I well know the Freudian explanation – that imprinting I got as a tyke, looking upwards to Mom. Ah, the joys of those first infantile counter-generalities! As Herrick wrote:

WHENAS in silks my Julia goes
Then, then (methinks) how sweetly flows
That liquefaction of her clothes.
Next, when I cast mine eyes and see
That brave vibration each way free;
Oh how that glittering taketh me!

The brave vibration rocks my fucking world. Thus, having read for the past year so much discussion, every day, of seeking the bottom – the bottom of housing, the bottom of the stock market, the bottom of unemployment, the bottom of energy prices, the bottom of this and the bottom of that – I have thought that perhaps all these bottoms would ramify in the great bourgeois unconsciousness and we would begin to enjoy the bottom seeking. We would become connoisseurs of bottoms, confessors of the fesse. The very word has a brave vibration. On the bottom. The bare bottom. According to the OED, the word seems to go back, all Germanic and with a horned helmet, to boden, to ground, as though this teeming world were one bottom, and we the bottom dwellers upon it.

Unfortunately, the zona is unsexing us all. This orgy, this bonfire of all our fictions, this too too mortal slicing and dicing (and we thought it was all loaves and fishes) has become a downer. Liquidity, it turns out, is liquification, but nobody is getting hot and wet, as per all the girls in all the live cams the world over – rather, they are deflating, parking their bottom lust in anger, and thinking all that glitters is not gold.

Myself, however, I am more… sanguine, I suppose you could say. The last decade has been like breathing in some poisoned gas, day after day. What was coming out of our top seeking, our ascent, on the wings of algorithms, to the Island of LaPuta? Not much. We now call it toxic waste, and we then called it innovation, but it was always a cancer. Living closer, always closer, to the bottom myself, I have, in a sense, shrunk. Where once I looked up Mommy’s skirt, little pervert tyke, I now look up the “metaphorical” skirt of all that traffic, those big bottomed SUVs, all that glitter of equity loan wealth, gorging on overpriced Tex Mex, all the big bottomed McMansions on their miniskirt lawns – and I was not seeing good solid ass. I was not seeing the kind of behind that would make Bataille redden with lust, the voluptuous curve, the good meat. I was seeing the withered shank of the white magic of the Western World, which has clotted the seas with its plastic bags and done its best to harness the imagination to the new species, the human worker ant, chemically neutralized, quanta in search of quanta, unbottomed, tasteless, death in life and life in death. When pleasure becomes the synthetic substitute of pleasure, give me the bottom.

PS - and for those of you who want News from the Zona instead of news from the Sex Zona, go on over and look at this post. Never ever ever underestimate the mendacity and sheer legalistic evil of the kleptocratic system. The Great Fly left his eggs all over the this country. It will be years before we clean it up.


Roger Gathmann said...

I am so sad. Nobody said anything about this post.

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm pretty disappointed as well at the lack of comments to this post. Maybe it is because folks are rendered speechless by what is happening to their ass in these fun times? Which is more of a shame than exhibiting one's ass.
La fente de ses fesses éclairait la salle.
(Georges Bataille, La Mort)


Anonymous said...

Oh, wait, I just noticed that your links include one to a comic strip thing re Nathalie Arthaud.
I'm hoping you don't consider her or LO a complete joke, though god knows you would have lots of company. Maybe so, but it's a joke I would love to see explode.
Mais juin est encore loin pour la porte-parole qui s’enflamme davantage pour la mobilisation outre-mer et la grève du 19 mars. «Ce jour-là doit montrer que la combativité est aussi forte ici. La Guadeloupe l’a prouvé, la grève générale n’est pas un rêve. Il faut que la colère soit telle qu’on ne quitte pas la rue comme ça.» Nathalie Arthaud garde le cap…


northanger said...

is gematria allowed?

Ray Davis said...

Since I seem to be in a soundtracking mood, may I suggest the Harlem Hamfats' immortal version of "Garbage Man"?

Roger Gathmann said...

The NYT business page always offers up teh funny serendipitous humor - today, they had a link saying (oh, the inevitability of it) U.S. jobs data could herald approaching bottom. But inside the article had been reedited to say, Abyss not bottomless.

Roger Gathmann said...

I am gonna look up the harlem hamfats, man!