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terre thaemlitz writings
執筆

Lovebomb / Ai No Bakudan
 
- Terre Thaemlitz


Originally posted on comatonse.com in August, 2002. Accompanying text to the album of the same name first released by Mille Plateaux (Germany: 1/2003, MP117 [discontinued]), and replaced by a complete video adaptation with bonus materials and full audio CD self-released through Comatonse Recordings in both PAL and NTSC formats (Japan: Comatonse Recordings, 11/2005, D.001). (Video originally released on VHS Japan: Comatonse Recordings, 7/24/2003, V.002 [discontinued].) Click here to view original Mille Plateaux CD release artwork. Click here to view Comatonse Recordings DVD+CD release artwork.


 

Track Listing

  1. Welcome (Time Has Left Us)
  2. Between Empathy And Sympathy Is TIme (Apartheid)
    (Excerpt / 抜粋) 1:45 1.4MB MP3 128kB/s
  3. SDII
  4. SD
  5. Lovebomb
  6. Sintesi Musicale Del Linciaggio Futurista (Musical Synthesis Of Futurist Lynching)
  7. Signal Jamming Propaganda (Just Another Fucking Love Song)
    (Excerpt / 抜粋) 1:52 1.5MB MP3 128kB/s
  8. My Song Of Peace, Friendship And Solidarity
  9. Anthropological Interventionism
  10. Ai No Bakudan (Between Empathy And Sympathy Is Time)
    (Excerpt / 抜粋) 1:45 1:43 1.3MB 128kB/s
  11. Love Theme From Ai No Bakudan
    (Excerpt / 抜粋) 1:22 1.1MB MP3 128kB/s
  12. Welcome (Reprise)
  13. Main Theme From Lovebomb
  14. chng yourlove (Bonus Track)

Internet Exclusive

    Ai No Bakudan Remix by Screech (UK)
    (Internet Exclusive - Complete / 完全) 6:53 6.5MB MP3 128kB/s

 

Love of religion. Love of country. Love of family. Love of friends. Love of the team. Love of Jesus, Jehovah, Allah, Islam, Hinduism, Buddha, Jim Jones, Aum Shinri Kyo, the Pope. Love of freedom, money, commerce, way of life. Love of the hunt, the cruise, the pick-up, the kill, the score, the screams, the fists, the knives, the spit, the shoves, the tumbles down stairs. Love of the beat.

The beat. The "global dancefloor." What a senseless territorial claim. Like any other nation, the House Nation uses a barrage of "love" samples to drown out financial rip-offs, sour deals, embezzlement, exploitation, drugs and organized crime. I do not mean to imply all venue owners, promoters, organizers, performers or others are criminal minded. To the contrary, I submit myself to the generosity and thoughtfulness of many good persons motivated by their various visions of community building. But like taking a controlled substance, the pleasuring vision quest is complicit with an act of imprisoning corruption. The club scene's deafening plea to "love one another" cannot be separated from the muffled ambiance of happenings behind closed doors.

Pop, country, jazz, soul, R&B, classical... all of these musics overflow with "love," a term so abundant that we grant it the authority of meaning without inquiry. That English word appears within songs sung in other languages around the world. Similarly, Hollywood's images of American love's mannerisms, touches and kisses are visible and profitable around the world. Again, we are quick to grant all of this the authority of meaning - a seemingly unrefutable acknowledgement of (Western) love's universality. But as any uninformed American witnessing the "cold" reservation and distance between typical Japanese lovers may notice, cultural differences around love do exist. While many of Japan's youth embrace Hollywood-style love, Western Judeo-Christian models of sexual repression and liberation do little to explain their processes of sexual exchange. Despite the spreading global infection of Western Heterosexual and Homosexual behavioral models, love, intimacy, passion, touch and sex are still not as singular (or triangulated between models of Lesbian, Gay and Straight) as we tend to believe. Even within Western cultures, if love were truly universal why are individuals' expectations around partnership so specialized?

Love - no matter how inexplicably mentally consuming - is not so much an emotion as an equation of contextually specific cultural variables. Whether it is the acknowledged caress of hands between a man and woman in public, or the unacknowledged punch of fists behind closed doors, both patterns coexist in countless accepted systems of chaotic imbalances. A key element of love is the justification of violence. The simple fact is most violence comes from people we know. We internalise the flight-inspiring family relation, unable to explain the love that binds. "Surely that is not love!" you say... but look deep and consider yourself fortunate if you find no scars of emotional or physical violence associated with those you love(d), either in reception or infliction, advertent or inadvertent. Ask yourself, in what ways do the social relations of "family" or "lovers" facilitate behaviors that are unacceptable in other environments? Certain social relations presume the presence of love, and it is that love which enables us to overlook the oppressions of the pleasant neighbors who beat their spouses, the parents who beat their children, or the priests who molest their congregations. In the end, post-Industrial love is just another ideological device facilitating a division between "public" and "private" space, and is complicit with such a division's basis in inequality and exclusion. The very process of finding a partner itself is not so much a quest for the right person as an exclusion of the multitudes.

To put it in conventional historical materialist terms, the common assumption that cultures develop rituals such as marriage as expressions of humans' natural capacity for love is actually an after-the-fact inversion of love's ideological function as an expression of a culture's material social processes. Faith in that common assumption makes it almost impossible to grasp the implications of cultures, histories, worlds turned without any awareness or need for the model of love which moves the stars in one's own world. For example, in most cultures (and until most recently including much of Europe and North America) the history of marriage has been one of overt pre-arrangement or subjugation to strict social hierarchies. (In this way, the myth of Shakespearean romance's "universal appeal" does not lie in its praise of love blossoming within the storm, but the tragedy of freedoms never to be realized within love's cultural preconditions. I might add that the most "universal" response to Shakespearean romance is actually boredom.) It becomes increasingly difficult to presume family as a locus of love when considering certain Arab cultures in which a male rapist may elude punishment if he can convince his female victim to marry him - an offer which gains appeal for the woman since she would otherwise face ostracism or murder at the hands of her disgraced family. Or certain South American cultures where it is legal for a man to kill his wife if she insults him. Or in Japan, where it was only within the past few years that laws were passed allowing police to intervene in "private matters" such as domestic disputes and child abuse. Even today, partnerships in the Western World - the self-declared bastion of egalitarianism - continue to revolve around exclusions of race, class, social status, and - the most preliminary and unquestioned exclusion of all - gender. (It is disappointing that Lesbian and Gay communities, which develop in critical response to Straight culture, are typically subjected to codes of cruising even more tyrannical than those of Straight culture.)

Extending the notion of family to the nation state, one finds processes of immigration can be as emotionally draining, clumsy and convoluted as breaking and building ties with a family or lover. The immigrant jumps from one relationship into another with no time for self-recovery in between, hoping the relief of leaving the old partner will continue to outweigh what one doesn't yet know about their new partner. In the case of my moving to Japan, where I proclaim an earnest and loving (but I think not culturally idealizing) desire to remain "forever," I am (perhaps overly) aware that desire can be one of the smallest factors in sustaining a long-term relationship. Both procedurally and socially, Japan is focussed on the short-term relationship, seeing foreigners as "visitors" rather than "immigrants." In most cultures the immigrant's arrival, like that of any lover or family member, represents both a threatening destruction of self and the promising creation of a new social body. To paraphrase Salman Rushdie, it is the immigrant's seemingly impossible conquest of the forces of gravity (that is to say, "having flown") which sits at the heart of their simultaneous potential for resentment and admiration. The immigrant must juggle a slew of preconceptions and fetishizations - no matter how imbalanced they may be, and in addition to whatever personal baggage they are already carrying - so as to be welcomed into their new family.

As a Queer it may seem tangential for me to be framing notions of love with constructs of the family, but even when considering matters of sex one cannot ignore the fact that the family remains the primary sanctioned environment for "making love." From an early age we are bombarded with information naturalizing a circular chain of command: love leads to marriage, marriage leads to family, family leads to love. We later learn of the missing link, sex - a base-level impulse that must remain out of sight like bowel movements or any other "irrelevant" bodily function. Several U.S. states still have "dormant" laws criminalizing non-reproductive sex acts such as oral sex. These are not simply idle laws without need for repeal. They are legislation against sexual diversity, particularly targeting Gay men, but occasionally affecting others. It was less than ten years ago that a married husband and wife from Missouri were arrested on charges of sodomy when a concerned citizen (who later turned out to be a peeping-tom) reported to police that the woman was giving her husband a blow-job within the privacy of their own bedroom.

Of course, sexual repressions find simultaneous and corollary release through enormously profitable sex trades. In fact, it seems the more restrictive a culture is with regard to sexual expression, the more extreme it's images of sexual release become. Consider Japanese pornography, in which the censorship of genitals is overcompensated for through explicitly staged images of rape [acts of violence distinct from mutually agreed upon SM play], paedophilia [under-aged sex and high-school uniform fetishes], bondage and scatology. While such actions are not the basis of most Japanese sexual behavior, they have become the standard scenery of Japan's sexual landscape. It is also interesting to note that Gay and Lesbian pornography is still almost non-existent in Japan. This entire situation reveals how "pornography" does not introduce corruption to a society, but is a manifestation of a society's repressions. (In simple terms, the porn industry economically relies upon its appeal to a common denominator, the status quo, and not upon persuading customers toward new ideals - a time consuming process that works against the spending impulse.)

Once we accept love is not the root of all friendly cultural exchange, but that friendly exchange has and does still exist, I cannot avoid the revelation that when strategizing coexistence in a global context love is not the answer. From Helen of Troy (love of sex) to the Christian Crusades (love of religion) to Nazism (love of the fatherland) to Operation Infinite Justice (love of freedom), societies have placed love at the heart of conflict and conquest - all of which concealed larger cultural agendas in a cloak of opaque righteousness. I still cannot get over the U.S. public's outpouring of loving concern for people emotionally and physically traumatized by the terrorist events of one September morning, in contrast to that same public's disregard for the emotional and physical trauma resulting from long-term operations such as the U.S.' nightly bombings of cities in Iraq for months on end (a venture restarting as I write). The U.S., in contrasting the "evil" lying in the hearts of enemies with its own "loving goodness," continues to skirt around decades of material causation and half-assed puppeteering - including Saddam Hussein's initial military build-up having been funded by the U.S. in an attempt to contain Iran after the fall of Shah Pahlavi. The U.S. is that kind of self-assuming sexual "top" who jumps into bed with anyone, tries to dictate the entire exchange, and violently rebuffs any "bottom" attempting to incorporate one's own needs into the proceedings. It is in that moment when the actions of the "bottom" momentarily call into question the role of the "top," freeing both from the confines of expectation, that the notion of terrorism may arise. The "top's" de facto claim that such actions are unwarranted and devoid of precedent, followed by a prompt backslap, shows an inability to comprehend that not all actions are related to the negotiations of the "top." Some actions emerge out of the "bottom's" love of self, and like the actions of the top, are not necessarily rooted in a sense of reciprocity... particularly when social conventions seem to preclude a capacity for dialogue.


 

Events such as the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York, Washington D.C. and (lest we've already forgotten) Pennsylvania seem to divide the music industry into two groups. Most people claim we need music and entertainment now more than ever to bring people love and joy. But to others, including myself, such events seem to point out how unimportant and irrelevant so much music and entertainment is. Worse yet, in a wake of patriotic pandering, they show how many people fail to see the dangers of nationalist profiteering.

Rather than songs of love and unity, I long for audio of love's irreconcilable differences. Not the lovelorn elegy or torch song, but crossed strategies and layered content. Audio in which promise, expectation and momentum are merely possible byproducts rather than essential elements. Despite attempts to "get over" past loves, today's patterns collide with memories of the lost love still longed for, or the bad relationship never to be repeated. New urgent desires are fed by outdated themes, samples and techniques. At risk of invoking another over-used term, I long for songs of "diversity" - conflicted diversity devoid of unity. Such diversity does not threaten a future collapse of contemporary society. Rather, it is a reflection of the longstanding separatism and divisiveness implied in every "holy union" whereby social units break down into cultural microcosms. Empowerment, like love, is when and where you find it. A perverse mirror of the cut.

- Terre Thaemlitz

 

1. Welcome (Time Has Left Us)

    Well hello there...
    No need to explain (...I am)
    ...Time has left us

2. Between Empathy And Sympathy Is Time (Apartheid)

    ANC Radio Sign-on: This is Radio Freedom, the voice of the African National Congress, South Africa's time-tested revolutionary movement. Born of the people into the front lines to spearhead the people's struggle for the seizure of power from the oppressors. A product of the battles of the African continent for liberation.

    ANC Spokesperson: For us our course of action is very clear. We must fight back. The path of compromise that has been taken by the traitors and puppets is not open to us. The path of surrender and subservience is also not open - it is foreign to us. There is only one path, and one path only. It is the path of relentless struggle. It is the path of sacrifice. It is the path of war and glory. What is today happening has been happening throughout the years. We have been murdered in cold blood by Pretoria's police thugs. Our children have died of malnutrition while food was being destroyed to maintain high prices. The wealth of our country has gone to make a minority White population, as well as foreigners, to regard our country as one of milk and honey while we starved and died. They have murdered us in numerous ways. Not only just physically, but spiritually through their inferior education. It is a matter of the resilience of our people, their refusal to surrender, that even today the battles are raging in our country. The war of liberation continues, and it is intensifying with each passing day. The time has come for us to acquire weapons and to pay the White minority regime back in its own coin. We cannot die alone. We cannot bury alone. We must now respond to the reactionary violence of the enemy with our own revolutionary violence. The weapons are there in White houses. Each White house has a weapon or two hidden somewhere for use against us. Our mothers work in their kitchens. We work in their gardens. Let us deliberately go out to look for these weapons in these houses. It is now a matter of life and death. Let us find these weapons for use against the enemy. There are gun shops in the cities where weapons are being sold. Naturally, they have elaborate security systems, but again here some of our people are working there. Study the security system with the aim of neutralizing it for purposes of a night raid to get the weapons. The lone policeman must be made a target. He must be destroyed so that we can get his weapon. The isolated police station in the outlaying areas, these are all places where there are chances that we can get weapons. Even if we get one gun for a start, with it we shall be able to get more. We must learn the tactics of fighting, how to attack and retreat without endangering ourselves. We must learn to lay ambushes for the armoured personnel carriers and police cars that patrol our locations. We must learn to make homemade bombs which are lethal. The factories are also a target for sabotage. Forward to victory in our lifetime. All power to the people.

Love is... sympathy yet un-dissuaded, an attempted denial of our alliance's capacity for terror.

3. SDII

    Sammy Davis, Jr.: I plead, if there's ever been a Black brother or a sister that's ever heard me and felt that maybe I had something to say, I beg them to hold their emotions in check. We cannot desecrate what this man stood for....

    Charles Kuralt: The entertainer Sammy Davis, Jr. His voice was one of those appealing for calm as Negroes shocked and angered by the murder of Martin Luther King rioted and looted in cities across the land.

    SDII: Alright baby, let's hold ourselves. Yes, you're angry, you're mad, man. Let's hold it now and see if Whitey's gonna come up wid it.

    CK: But "Whitey" had not and was not coming up with it, according to a Presidential Commission which issued its findings as to what caused massive Negro rioting the previous year.

    African-American Commission Spokesperson: We found that White institutions created the ghetto, White institutions maintain the ghetto, and White society condone the ghetto. And though certainly we found evidence of Black racism and inflammatory remarks made by Black militants, the real cause of the riots primarily lead us to White racism....

Love is... brotherhood, an exchange of passwords granting access to segregated realms.

4. SD

    Sara: Hi!
    Dad: Oh my, you said it so loud. Can you say it nice?
    S: Hi....
    D: Who are you?
    S: I'm Sara
    D: You're Sara?
    S: Mm-hmm.
    D: Are you from Korea?
    S: Yup, and now I... uh... am... American.
    D: Good for you.
    S: Hey, why do you....

This brief conversation between my Dad and sister Sara (age 3 or 4) is the entire content of a 90-minute cassette tape recorded around 1976. I realize that my relation to the participants makes me likely to over-appreciate their dialogue, but I find it an interesting document of cultural identity formation at an early age. At that time Sara still spoke a combination of "baby English" and "broken English," so I tend to hear the pauses of her voice in relation to linguistic development as much as a struggle for cultural placement.

Love is... ascribing otherness (along with a request for propriety), to be rebuffed by an unsteady yet self-empowering declaration of inclusion (accompanied by a bit of rebellious ruckus).

...Or perhaps it is American "melting-pot" ideology, which always disappointingly manages to redirect recognitions of social difference back into a prideful affirmation of the hegemony of Dominant American culture.

5. Lovebomb

    They loved what they did with me, what being with someone like me allowed them to do.... Love

    ...It was warm against my skin, thick and sticky... There was always a smile on their faces... Love

    ...Around that time the media had just started talking about HIV affecting Gay men, so I somehow got the name "AIDS Bucket." They used to spit on me, usually with juice from their chewing tobacco. It was incredibly disgusting. I could see there was always a smile on their faces. They loved what they did with me, what being with someone like me allowed them to do.

    The strange thing was after I moved to New York, sometimes in the summer I would feel the stray drops of condensed water that fell from air conditioners mounted in windows. And when the drops hit my face they triggered some preconditioned response ...Love... to twitch or try to dodge them, like I was dodging the spit from these people when I was younger.

    It was like they were raining down on me like little bombs, turning me back into an AIDS Bucket to catch them.

6. Sintesi Musicale Del Linciaggio Futurista (Musical Synthesis Of Futurist Lynching)

    Southern trees bearing strange fruit
    Blood on the leaves and blood at the roots
    Black bodies swaying in the Southern breeze
    Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees

    Pastoral scene of the gallant South
    Them big bulging eyes and the twisted mouth
    Scent of magnolia clean and fresh
    Then the sudden smell of burning flesh

    Here is a fruit for the crows to pluck
    For the rain to gather
    For the wind to suck
    For the sun to rot
    For the leaves to drop
    Here is a strange and bitter crop

    - L. Allen
    Strange Fruit

    'Let's break out of the horrible shell of wisdom and throw ourselves like pride-ripened fruit into the wide, contorted mouth of the wind! Let's give ourselves utterly to the Unknown, not in desperation but only to replenish the deep wells of the Absurd!'
    - Filippo Tommaso Marinetti,
    The Founding And Manifesto Of Futurism 1909
    Le Figaro (Paris), 20 February 1909

It was on Good Friday of 1906, the Christian holiday in observation of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, when a God-fearing White mob converged in the town square of my hometown Springfield, Missouri. In their possession were three Black men whom they had dragged from suspicious holding in the local jail to the foot of the Gottfried Tower. The tower was disassembled in 1908, but accounts describe it as a metal-frame structure topped with a replica of the Statue of Liberty that was illuminated by electric light.

    With patient, loving care those people rigged a tall derrick and iron grapnels.
    - F. T. Marinetti

A group of men from the mob entered the still operational Lines Music shop located by the square. They asked, or perhaps mandated, that the proprietor allow them to remove oak piano shipping crates from behind the shop - a detail verbally passed on to my mother in the 1980s by a member of the Lines family. The crates were broken down, and a hanging platform was constructed by laying the boards across the tower's metal frame. The three Black men were lynched, after which a fire was set at the tower, their bodies burned and dismembered by the mob.


 
    Plastered with metallic waste, with senseless sweat, with celestial soot - we... declared our high intentions to all the living of the earth:

    Manifesto Of Futurism

    We intend to sing the love of danger, the habit of energy and fearlessness.
    Courage, audacity, and revolt will be essential elements of our poetry.
    ....
    We intend to exalt aggressive action, a feverish insomnia, ... the mortal leap, the punch and the slap.
    ....
    Except in struggle, there is no more beauty. No work without an aggressive character can be a masterpiece. Poetry must be conceived as a violent attack on unknown forces, to reduce and prostrate them before man.
    ....
    We will glorify war - the world's only hygiene - militarism, patriotism, the destructive gesture of freedom-bringers, beautiful ideas worth dying for, and scorn for woman.
    We will... fight moralism, feminism, every opportunistic or utilitarian cowardice.
    We will sing of great crowds excited by work, by pleasure, and by riot.
    ...
    Art, in fact, can be nothing but violence, cruelty, and injustice.

    - F. T. Marinetti

No, a relation between the events of a turn-of-the-century Southern U.S. town and the beginnings of Italian Futurism is not a joke of contrasts. It emerges from the backward provincialism of both. My intent is not to show Art imitating Life, nor vice versa... but in the realm of the music marketplace I submit to the probability of doing both.

There is a risk of reductionism in projecting a correlation between the lynching of three African-American men in America and the abstractions of Futurist composition - yet I cannot help feeling a need to shatter the neutrality of coincidence around their murder teetering on the edge of piano crates, or the sounds of slipping boards and stretching rope bringing an explosion of scale (sonic and actual) to the disproportionate events of that day. Via the piano crates' relation to music - a cultural industry of aesthetics - the boards become a link between the material conditions facilitating murder, and the reifications of death abstracted or conveniently forgotten.

While Futurism decried the tamed musical instrument, piano remained at the heart of Futurist compositions. I wonder, had Marinetti and his companions known about Springfield's ultimate piano de-composition of 1906 - that "Sintesi Musicale Del Linciaggio Futurista (Musical Synthesis of Futurist Lynching)" - would they have thought their mission of 1909 already rendered obsolete? Could they have romanticized a correlation between creative gesticulation - still today the fire of so many musicians and artists - and the irrational gesticulations of dying bodies hanging from the beams of an engineering monument, mirrored by the mob's flailing of arms in anger?

    They will come against us, our successors, will come from far away, from every quarter, dancing to the winged cadence of their first songs, flexing the hooked claws of predators, sniffing doglike at the academy doors the strong odour of our decaying minds, which will already have been promised to the literary catacombs.
    ...They'll see us crouched... in the act of warming our hands at the poor little blaze that our books of today will give out when they take fire from the flight of our images.
    They'll storm around us, panting with scorn and anguish, and all of them, exasperated by our proud daring, will hurtle to kill us, driven by a hatred the more implacable the more their hearts will be drunk with love and admiration for us.
    Injustice, strong and sane, will break out radiantly in their eyes.

    - F. T. Marinetti

It is easy to oversimplify associations between Futurism and Fascism, whether it is the Art historian's eager preservation of Futurism's gesture void of material politic, or the converse. Today, the term Fascism itself is overloaded with false moralities from the Liberal Democratic World - false in that the Democratic World feigns eternally having damned Fascism, when in fact most contemporary criticisms of Fascism originated within left-wing and Communist groups, and were long dismissed by the Democratic world. (Part of the reason for this dismissal was the fact that both the Communists and Fascists were initially vying for the support of a working class, so the bourgeois-centered Democratic World considered anti-Fascist propaganda from the Communists simply an issue of dividing the working class. Later, after the rise of Fascist states, their dangers were still overlooked by the Democratic World because they afforded both individuals and corporations tremendous opportunities for profit. Of course, given the histories of ethnic cleansing in traditionally Communist regions which continue to this day - and not to forget events in the U.S.A. such as the near successful genocide of Native Americans or the racial cleansing of Tulsa, Oklahoma on May 31, 1921 - everyone is floating in the same ocean of holocostic hypocrisy.) Futurism's relation to Fascism is often diffused by citing that Marinetti and others favored a more bourgeois and abstract play with the idea of violence, and that they had essentially cut ties from the right-wing populists by the time Futurism became the officially sanctioned Art of Italy under Mussolini. However, to perceive Futurists as mere idlers engaging in philosophical exercises void of violence is similarly misleading. For example, Marinetti was a well known supporter of Italy's invasion of Libya. Similarly, Marinetti, Boccioni, Sant'elia and Sironi had all served as military volunteers at Gallarate in 1915.

    Mythology and the Mystic Ideal are defeated at last. We're about to see... the first flight of Angels!
    - F. T. Marinetti

After the lynching, Springfield's terrorized Black community did not venture out of their houses for three days, followed by a mass exodus of Blacks from the greater Ozarks area Northward toward cities such as St. Louis and Kansas City. (An image of Black resurrection? I wonder whether this commonly recounted three-day timeframe represents an actual chronology of events, or if it reflects the poetics of a historical narrative extending the already heavy Christian overtones of martyrdom on the day commemorating crucifixion to a communal resurrection on the third day, followed by ascension unto the North. However, it is possible that the quietude after Easter Sunday created a window for exit.) The exodus was primarily about self-preservation, but it also had the effects of resistance and boycott. Prior to the lynching, Springfield had an active Black-owned business community, including the town's largest grocery market. Although the Black community was clearly subjected to bigotry symptomatic of the South in that era, it would be a mischaracterization to envision such a community as strictly subservient, impoverished or disorganized. In fact, members of both Black and White communities were involved in anti-lynching campaigns and other civil rights issues. The near disappearance of Springfield's Black community after the events of 1906 radically changed the face of the town. As one can imagine, the racial bigots sought to normalize and exploit this change in their favor. For another forty years or so, vendors at local fairs and festivals found a market for good luck charms stamped in tin, "Springfield - Hung Three Niggers In The Square - 1906." Today, despite minor influxes, Springfield's Black community remains disproportionately small and geographically isolated to the Northwest side of town.

    Death, domesticated, met me at every turn... making velvety caressing eyes at me from every puddle.... I spun my car around with the frenzy of a dog trying to bite its tail, and there, suddenly, were two cyclists... blocking my way - Damn! Ouch! ... I stopped short and to my disgust rolled over into a ditch with my wheels in the air.... O maternal ditch, almost full of muddy water!... I gulped down your nourishing sludge; and I remembered the blessed black breast of my Sudanese nurse.... When I came up - torn, filthy and stinking - from under the capsized car, I felt the white-hot iron of joy deliciously pass through my heart!
    - F. T. Marinetti

(An image of Blackfaced redemption?) While the remaining Black community remembered the lynching, the majority of Whites eventually forgot the occurrence. But on August 3, 2002, a metal plate was affixed to an existing book-shaped historical marker in the Southeast corner of the town square, reading: "On April 14, 1906, Horace B. Duncan, Fred Coker and Will Allen were lynched without a trial." The City Council's decision to amend the historic marker was quietly arranged by City Councilman Denny Whayne (a Black man), and happened without the involvement of local members of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) whose request for such an addition had been repeatedly rebuffed since the mid-1990s. The response of local press was generally positive, but discussion of the event remained framed in predictably safe terms of confession and atonement for the White community, "getting beyond the past," and "facing up to the future" (an odd appropriation of Futurist ideals?). Whayne himself strategically aided the mood of amnesiac memorium by saying, "The sooner we can put this sensitive issue to bed, the better off everyone is. We can move on to something else," (an unwittingly forthcoming assessment of the impact of most Government Art - calculating a diffusion of impact over time similar to what Marinetti described as "the poor little blaze that our books of today will give out when [those of the future] take fire from the flight of our images").

Some members of both Black and White communities disapproved of the plaque because they did not wish to re-open the scars of the past. Based on what I have seen, as well as my own experiences with violence in Springfield, I am convinced the seeds of those Strange Fruit remain scattered about. In my mind, Black concerns about re-opening the scars of the past are surely connected to a fear of salting the wounds of the present, and are in that sense justified. Other members of the Black community felt the plaque did not go far enough by not explicitly saying the three men were innocent. Still others demanded the construction of a separate monument altogether. This last option would be my preference, since I see a tremendous ideological flaw in listing such a tragedy on a monument celebrating events contributing to the town's growth. It opens the door to all kinds of perversely racist interpretations... the plaque on some level invoking the words of stamped metal charms from decades past, refined and aestheticized until one might accept the words as poetry passed through the lips of Marinetti himself, "Hung Three Niggers In The Square."

    Woe to anyone who says those infamous words to us again!
    - F. T. Marinetti

"Sintesi Musicale Del Linciaggio Futurista" uses recordings of Marinetti's voice (in Italian), taken from "Definizione Di Futurismo (Definition of Futurism)," "La Battaglia di Adrianopoli (The Battle of Adrianopoli)" and "Sintesi Musicali Futuriste (Musical Synthesis of Futurism);" as well as piano variants on Frencesco Balilla Pratella's Futurist piano composition, "Giorno Di Festa (Festival Day)" and L. Allen's "Strange Fruit." Among the various digital processes employed, piano recordings from "Giorno Di Festa" and "Strange Fruit" were merged using a process called "Codepend," developed by Christopher Penrose, in which each file contributes to the sum output audio file (as opposed to vocoding or similar processes in which there are distinct controller and target files). The output piano sounds were then edited, as well as re-Codepended with recordings of Marinetti's voice, the result appearing here mixed with his original voice recordings. After a certain point, Marinetti's voice is subjected to cut techniques, rearranging individual syllables to form the phrase, "Hung Three Niggers In The Square" (in English).

    Our fine deceitful intelligence tells us that we are the revival and extension of our ancestors - Perhaps! ... If only it were so!
    - F. T. Marinetti

The same week that they made the addition to Springfield's historical marker, in the town of Cagliari, Italy, the local federation of young Fascists operating under the cryptic names of cultural associations had organized a meeting dedicated to Futurism. Posted on the building's outer wall was Marinetti's "Manifesto of Futurism."


 

7. Signal Jamming Propaganda (Just Another Fucking Love Song)

    Czech radio announcer: You are listening to the legal, free radio station Hradec Kralove Czechoslovakia. ...Love... We appeal to all radio stations in Rumania, Yugoslavia, please inform about the situation in the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic. Please let the whole world know the truth. We the people of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic...

    Radio Moscow: ...Love... It was essential to act firmly and purposefully without losing time. The defence of socialism in Czechoslovakia is more than a concern of the Czechoslovak people. It means the defence of the entire community of socialist nations. It is for this reason that we are helping the people of Czechoslovakia to safeguard socialism. It was because of the treachery of the [divisionist?] elements in the leadership that socialism in Czechoslovakia was put in jeopardy.

    Czech announcer: ...That is not true.

Love is... a self-justified invasion of privacy from within, a self-justified respect of privacy from without. An unacknowledged cry for help leaking through the neighbors' walls.

8. My Song Of Peace, Friendship And Solidarity

    Struggle, force, war, racism, bombs, war, war, war, kill, keep score, wars, bombs.
    Long, tiring and sad, the tragedies of war throughout history.

9. Anthropological Interventionism

Every love song is a work of anthropology. It is an analysis of the physical and mental characteristics, distribution, customs, etc. of people. And, like most anthropological investigations, writing a love song typically begins where it hopes to end - with a conclusion, the parameters of difference, the difference between men and women, etc. As listeners we embrace those songs which affirm our own social patterns through their documentation and validation of our prejudices toward others... tracing the external roots of that bliss or torture in our hearts.

I encourage a more overtly interventionist approach toward writing songs for Lovers. Cast both "universality" and "individuality" to the wayside (never fear, your subjectivity will remain intact). Go into the field. Observe and document the Lovers. Observe and document yourself in that field. (Remember, even the best naturalists occasionally set "feeding stages" and other lures when documenting the sounds and images of the Wild.) Then return to the editing lab and begin sifting through your findings to construct your narrative of the heart. It is here, in the editing room, where you will likely realize there is no love song that extends beyond insulting reductionisms. Each one is a redundant construction of pacifying hysteria, a mandatory insult to appease our senses. Indeed, a love song's persuasive image of universality is its greatest act of mentally invasive violence.

10. Ai No Bakudan (Between Empathy And Sympathy Is Time)

    Woman 1: I understand...
    Woman 1: Is that so? Okay, I understand.
    Man: What I saw was a large breast, I can't forget it. She takes her breast out and...
    Woman 1: And her baby...
    Man: Her baby is... it isn't like she's holding the baby... She must have been holding the baby, but...
    Woman 1: She was cradling the baby, wasn't she?
    Man: The breast... the baby is dead, suckling the breast.
    Woman 1: Oh, really?
    Man: It's dead, clinging to it (fused from the blast), right there...
    Woman 1: Alright. Sir, it's alright. I understand, sir. Okay, it's alright. It's sad. So sad, isn't it? So sad. So very sad. So sad.
    Woman 2: There were many people. Everyone was injured. All naked. Some wore blood as clothes. They cried out in a loud voice, desperately, walking and wailing. "Look at my older brother's face! Look at my older brother's face!" someone said. He was about in the fifth grade, his face all disheveled. No eyes. No nose.
    Woman 1: I understand...

The empathy of survivors sharing their understanding of the incoherent is pitted against our sympathies. Time bent with morality - History - inscribes logic upon the events of the past. The lessons we try to learn from their experiences cannot fully crystallize until the passing of the last survivors. It is with their deaths that society's shared concerns will seem to stretch forever backward, coalescing in a timeless sense of purpose. It is with their deaths that a culture can forget subjecting the survivors to ostracization, denial, fear and neglect. We will become the true survivors, sharing the incoherency of our understanding. We will be filled with a perverse sense of eternal love for those who survived holocausts (rape, torture, slaughter, starvation, etc.), forever pleading with ourselves never to repeat that which we unwittingly ensured has been forgotten.

Love is... compassion flawed by distance.


 

11. Love Theme From Ai No Bakudan

    ...No violence...

12. Welcome (Reprise)

    Time... died yesterday.
    - F. T. Marinetti

13. Main Theme From Lovebomb

Love is... a redundant construction of pacifying hysteria, a mandatory insult to appease our senses. Its persuasive image of universality is its greatest act of culturally invasive violence. A perverse mirror of the cut.