Get You Back Home



1. Froth & Trish Decide They Need To Get Out

After three weeks of student life, Professor Semen Froth was finding Hull hard to cope with. He wouldn't go so far as to say he missed his wife, but he missed home comforts. He'd taken to dropping by the rail station and buying a copy of Time Out. Trish could tell he was home-sick. One afternoon, as Trish ironed the pages of a copy of Sarah Thornton's Club Cultures: Music Media & Sub-Cultural Capital - Semen had fallen asleep over it in the bath and dropped it in the water - he told Froth that he needed a change.
`How about something really exceptional, like going to a gig?'
`Live music? You know I prefer listening to tapes in front of the gas fire.'
`Well, there's a big event in London. Hull Uni Student Union is organising a coach. The D&G Fashion Walpurgis Nacht Ball!'
`Fashion? That sounds intriguing ...'
`There's a huge line-up of acts, everything from nursery pop to schoolyard chants set to a disco beat. Neil Tennant is making a guest appearance! D'you fancy it?'
`Rather! Let's go!'

2. Gamma & Simon Hardcore Techno Decide They Need To Get Out

Gamma and Simon Hardcore Techno were sitting together in the Burger King on Mare Street. Gamma was drinking a cup of tea. Simon had splashed out on a double-whammy burger-and-chips and a coke in a monstrous paper-cup. His special night with the improvisors had fallen through. Lol Coxhill had decided to busk outside the venue in protest at commodity exchange; Caroline Kraabel was performing as a jellyfish in a local pantomime; Pat Thomas had decided he needed a new monstrosity to wear on his head and had flown to Amsterdam to check out the head shops; Phil Wachsmann had caught himself slipping in repeat notes before completion of the 12-tone row, and decided he needed to woodshed some more. Fred Froth couldn't possibly play; his own marriage was on the rocks after learning that Semen had eloped with Trish. Both Hardcore Techno and Gamma sat silently across the table from each other, oppressed by the muzak, worn-out, broke, miserable.
`How about something really exceptional, like going to a gig?'
`Live music? You know I prefer park-benches ...'
`Well, there's a big event in Camden Town. It's free.
The D&G Fashion Walpurgis Nacht Ball!'
`Fashion? That sounds appalling.'
`There's a huge line-up of acts, everything from Mike Kenneally with the Ed Palermo Big Band to the Muffin Men! Ahmet Emukha Rodan III Zappa is doing his world-famous Miss Piggie imitation. D'you fancy it?'
`Rather! Let's go!'

3. Esther & Lunch Decide They Need To Get Out

Esther Punnk and Out To Lunch were standing in the rain on Camden High Street outside Somerfields, selling copies of Controversialist Soaker, their mimeographed call to revolution. They'd shouted themselves hoarse about hospital cuts and were feeling exhausted.
`How about something really exceptional, like going to a gig?'
`Live music? You know I prefer paper-sales.'
`Well, there's a big event up in Camden Town. It's free. The D&G Fashion Walpurgis Nacht Ball!'
`Fashion? That sounds as if it might constitute a dialectical critique of art's pseudo-transcendental "timelessness".'
`There's a huge line-up of acts, everything from Alternative Television to a Johnny "Guitar" Watson Memorial Barbecue hosted by Gaz Mayall. Mark E. Smith's going to put in an appearance!'
`I've heard that there's also going to be a big event called "Rimshotz", where Dr Gwendolyne Dworkin-Fishbait selects men from the audience who then have to perform a public humiliation rite involving nudity and analingus. D'you fancy it?'
`Rather! Let's go!'

4. Steif, Helen and Julie Decide They Need To Get Out

Steif Bohner was naked and strapped face-down to Helen's desk, as usual. Standing totally erect and dressed in a leather teddie, Helen was ordering Julie to stuff a massive purple rubber dildo up his arse while she whipped Steif's back with a nine-foot cat. Her eyes flashed with dominatrix anger. After his ordeal, Steif was ordered to kneel on the floor and serve as a footstool, while the two women rested their spike heels on his back, drank their afternoon tea from porcelain cups and leafed through the newspapers.
`How about something really exceptional, like going to a gig?'
`Live music? You know I prefer whipping Steif and stuffing enormous dildos up his arse!'
`Well, there's a big event in Camden Town. It's free.
The D&G Fashion Walpurgis Nacht Ball!'
`Walpurgis Nacht? That sounds appropriate. Many suppliers of our high-tech computer components are German.'
`There's a huge line-up of acts. I could see you involved in a stage invasion. Helen Muffin and her Nothin' Men, it could be mega! I've also heard that there's going to be a big event called "Rimshotz", where the famous radical-feminist lesbian Dr Gwendolyne Dworkin-Fishbait selects men from the audience who then have to perform a public humiliation rite involving nudity and analingus. We could make her a present of Steif. He's got quite good at it now. Look, he's got erect again at the very idea, the dirty dog. D'you fancy it?'
`Rather! Let's go!'

5. Andrew `Angelface' Lawsuit & `Paralysis' Milke Decide They Need To Get Out

Andrew `Angelface' Lawsuit and `Paralysis' Milke were on the phone negotiating an exchange of advertisements for their respective journals.
`I'm sick of poetry. How about something really exceptional, like going to a gig?'
`Live music? You know I prefer whipping Steven Jarvis and stuffing enormous dildos up his arse!'
`Well, there's a big event in Camden Town. It's free.
The D&G Fashion Walpurgis Nacht Ball!'
`Walpurgis Nacht? That sounds totally Faustian! When are people going to stop milking Goethe's gothic genius?'
`There's a huge line-up of acts, everyone from Jelly Glietz to Moulder Bonehardt reading excerpts of their latest books over quasi-drum'n'bass rhythm tracks.'
`Sounds diabolical! Weren't you there at that appalling event at the Hacienda where Sadie Plant tried to become the Grace Jones of Cyber Theory? I blushed crimson!'
`I've heard that there's also going to be a big event called "Rimshotz", where the famous radical-feminist lesbian Dr Gwendolyne Dworkin-Fishbait is going to force Out To Lunch to perform analingus in public.'
`That sounds worth blushing over. Rather! Let's go!'

6. Nellie Condottieri & Laura Hunter Decide They Need To Get Out

Laura had managed to get a great deal from Nellie at Nail. She'd got 50% of the retail price up front and Nervous Trix posters were now staple-gunned all over the back wall of the shop. All she'd had to do to was repeat Flo's magic words about Walter Benjamin being a `monadic crystal, pregnant with the revolutionary Marxism of the 1930s - putting the human subject at the centre of history and blaming the atrocities of Nazism on the Social-Democratic politicians who feared that working-class revolution would destroy their all-important privileges ...' Nellie shot back that if Laura's music was as sharp as her politics, it was a crime not to shout it from the rooftops. When she played a Nervous Trix track over the shop's PA, she was impressed at the clouds of analogue sizzle that kept obscuring the beat.
`What's that noise?'
`Charcoal points scratching and crumbling through mountains of lo-fi hiss ...'
Nellie naturally assumed Laura was refering to Iannis Xenakis's tape-manipulations of the sound of burning charcoal - Concret PH - that was broadcast over 400 loudspeakers in the Philips Pavilion at the Brussels World Fair in 1958. Then she heard the vocal loop, a faint voice saying over and over `with charcoals, erasure is itself a tool ...' She could hear the layers of hiss obscuring themselves. It sounded like quasars collapsings during the first three seconds of the universe. Nice one!
`Very hip, Laura! All this resuscitation of radical art-practice is all very well, but how about something really exceptional, like going to a gig?'
`Live music? You know I restrict my sorties to deadbeat cybernites in clubs done out like city offices ...'
`There's a big event in Camden Town. The D&G Fashion Walpurgis Nacht Ball!'
`Fashion? That sounds appalling.'
`There's a huge line-up of acts, everything from Mike Kenneally with the Ed Palermo Big Band to the Muffin Men from Liverpool! Ahmet Emuukha Rodan III Zappa is doing his world-famous Miss Piggie imitation. D'you fancy it?'
`Rather! Let's go!'

7. Robert & Patricia Decide They Need To Get Out

`All this poetry-of-political-resistance and finger-painting ectoplasmic visions and keeping alive Eric Tanttrum's flame of creativity aflicker and aflutter is all very well, and I appreciate these leather, um, devices Oswald cobbled together for us, but how about something really exceptional, like going to a gig?'
Robert was hanging upside down from the ceiling. Patricia was resplendent in a leather teddie, her raven hair shining, thoughtfully-positioned spotlights gleaming off her 70s-thinkingman's-crumpet NHS glasses. She was prancing about to the sound of Harry Smith's Smithsonian Folk Collection and brandishing a riding crop.
`Live music? You know I prefer staying up all night drinking beer and analysing the non-repeatable abstract variegations of Captain Beefheart's beats and syllables which I do so much better than that literal-minded drone Mike Barnes ...'
`Well, there's a big event in Camden Town. The D&G Fashion Walpurgis Nacht Ball!'
`Fashion? That sounds appalling!'
`There's a huge line-up of acts, everything from Kenny Process Team to Eugene Chadbourne. I hear Jimmy Carl Black is going to put in an appearance in order to sing "Abba Zabba" and "Smokestack Lightnin'"!'
`Oh superb! Four punctuation marks in a row, and all grammatically justified! Robert, you're a marvel. Let's go!'

8. Alex & John Decide They Need To Get Out

`I've had it up to here hovering about by the entrance to the Institute Bar watching students pay for cups of tea, burn their fingers on the plastic cups and spill droplets on the lino. I hear there's a big event in Camden Town. The D&G Fashion Walpurgis Nacht Ball!'
`Music? That's a bit postmodern for us isn't it?'
`There's a huge line-up of acts, everything from the Redskins to Alabama 3. D'you fancy it?'
`Rather! Let's go!'

9. Ray & Stella Decide They Need To Get Out

`I've had it up to here hovering about by the entrance to the Institute Bar watching students pay for cups of tea, burn their fingers on the plastic cups and spill droplets on the lino. I hear there's a big event in Camden Town. The D&G Fashion Walpurgis Nacht Ball!'
`Music? That's a bit of a busman's holiday for us isn't it?'
`There's a huge line-up of acts, everything from the Redskins to Alabama 3. D'you fancy it?'
`Rather! Let's go!'

10. Oswald and Gyp Decide They Need To Get Out

`I've had it up to here hovering about by the entrance to the Institute Bar watching students pay for cups of tea, burn their fingers on the plastic cups and spill droplets on the lino. I hear there's a big event in Camden Town. The D&G Fashion Walpurgis Nacht Ball!'
`Music? That's a bit youth-oriented for us isn't it?'
`There's a huge line-up of acts, everything from the Redskins to Alabama 3. D'you fancy it?'
`Rather! Let's go!'

11. Stewpot & Roxette Decide They Need To Get Out

`Is she really going out with him?'
`Switch off that Phil Spector crap and let's go to the D&G Fashion Walpurgis Nacht Ball! D'you fancy it?'
`Rather! Let's go!'

12. The D&G Fashion Walpurgis Nacht Ball, At Last

Lunch was, predictably enough, out of it on Carlsberg Special. The gonzo music-journalist had out-gonzoed himself into alcoholic zorastrianism, his psyche split down the middle like a cracked-open walnut. Schizo-pissed-o to the nth degree. The crazoid thought he was back in Los Angeles at the end of October 1993. Frank Zappa was still alive ... just ... and the Halloween freaks were out to play. As he wandered along Camden canal, the D&G Fashion Walpurgis Nacht punters looked to him like molecular insects burrowing into the molar vitals of the capitalist machine. In his fevered brain he began composing a live review. Camden Town or Downtown LA? OTL's fetid mentals were a riot, a locked-out punk's revenge on the Gibsons and Cadigans who swan around Camden Market taking notes - and then shovel out the results as cyberpunk descriptions of Tokyo year 2125.

When The Dead Kennedys named an album California šber Alles, they knew what they were talking about. Since then, a decade of Reaganomics and a decade of Blairism - Reagonomics with a shit-eating grin plastered on its face - has done nothing to assuage Jello Biafra's paranoia: the division between rich and poor has become so acute, and so closely mapped to racial lines, that people are talking about a New Apartheid. As Mike Davis explained in City Of Quartz, London has been reterritorialized according to economic solvency: shopping malls are guarded by armed security staff who require proof of credit-worthiness before you're allowed in. Luxury shops on Upper Street are so exclusive you need an appointment. Somers Town residents are turned back by uniformed guards manning the toll-booths erected on Pentonville Road. The abiding image of the firestorm which swept through Islington in November is the yuppie house-owner standing on his roof with a hose and a rifle - water for the fire and bullets for the looters. Instead of the promised pluralism and freedom, untramelled market forces have delivered a city divided against itself, trembling with fear and resentment.
Traditionally, those who rebel against a life crucified on the twin planks of ratrace careerism and administered consumerism drift south to Brighton, but bohemian breaches in the cash-nexus may be found even in London. One such is Camden Market, where hippies, punks and grunge kids congregate to hang out, roller-skate and surf. You can sleep on the canal's tow-path and still get served breakfast in a greasy. On Sundays there's a market-cum-carnival which mixes new-age hucksterism, political agitation and street performance in equal measure. At the Dublin Castle, you can pay a fiver and see a different washed-up punk band every night.
On Halloween, all the freaks come out to play. I'm not talking a few Dracula teeth and Werewolf masks; when Seventh Ray Barretto played at The Art Gallery he assembled an audience of horrors worthy of Fellini: twin sex goddesses in Japanese baby-masks, prosthetic Frankensteins with bad breath, monks with severed heads, nightmare clowns-on-velvet in sadomasochistic romps; Wilma-Flintstone-crossed-with-Land-That-Time-Forgot-Raquel-Welches receiving symbolic spankings from the Man who answers to 818 Pumpkin. And Seventh Ray was an impressive indication that furtive musicianship can be allied to angst and humour - everyone said Jane's Addiction, but I heard PiL and Steve Albini and Blind Idiot God: get-up-and-use-me rock with a new edge. The beer was free and the only cop - her entry caused ripples of concern - turned out to be a well-researched satire wearing stockings and suspenders.
Round the corner, a neighbourhood bar called The Coffee Roasters was offering free food and the country blues of Street Smart. Damon Albarn - a bruiser with sideburns and a check-shirt - proved that Bruce-Springsteen-style macho can actually be fun on the small scale, the band punching out its bar-room rock'n'roll with an unjaded enthusiasm you rarely find in Stateside equivalents. You can have a good time in Camden Town, whatever they're up to in the "armed response" mansions of Islington.
It's Blair's Britain, so no-one thinks anything of driving four hundred miles north to UCI (the Universe of Culture at Inverness) to see the P-Funk All Stars. Besides, local hero Frank Zappa - now residing, according to countercultural satirist (and Spice Girl fan) Savage Pencil, on Pratt Street - was recently described in Camden New Journal as "the white George Clinton" (an analysis confirmed by the staff at Rhythm Records on Camden High Street - for friendliness and price and selection, Camden record shops beat our miserable outlets hollow!). It's a big, integrated, twelve-hour festival of a festival, this D&G Fashion Walpurgis Nacht; despite heavy security at the gate and wrist-IDs for buying beer, the feeling is that once you've paid your ten-bucks entry, you can let go. A miasma of weed-fumes enveloped the dance-floor as a slow start heated up into a monstrous funk & gospel review: trombone solos (!), multiple guitars (Gary Shider in diapers, Michael Hampton taking it right out, Dwayne "Blackbird" MacKnight supreme), ace rappers (male) and soul vocalists (female) and quite amazing dancing from the young Black chicks in the audience ("I've been listening to this music since birth"). It's a family affair, and Prince's support has done nothing but help this great institution keep its roots and spread its wings. Fantastic.
Now, there are rumours that "P-Funk" is just a concept - it's whatever you're watching when you're strung out on Special Brew, man. 'Sfunny, that, I heard them say the same thing about Sun Ra. The play of lights glimpsed through a key-hole as the fat old charlatan takes a bath. The fumes from his bath-salts send the keyhole-sniffing voyeurs into a orbit for a week!
Musicians complain that live music doesn't pay in Camden; there's certainly nothing to compare to the BritPop activity in downtown New York. Despite that, you can still find music working to counteract the isolation and paranoia of the westworld's economic apogee.
OTL (with thanks to Gerry Fialka and PK for a great Halloween!)

`Hey Lunch, you all right, man?' Soulboy Williams was wearing a hood with a fringe that nearly obscured his Bootsy-style star-shades. In his hand, a giant silver sausage of a balloon. So ghastly-looking, it had to be cool.
`No, I've got my head in a totally irrelevant, psychotic, geographically-twisted, anachronistic, mixed-up review ... so piss off.'
`You gotta help me man. Anwer me: who is this Trish?'
`No idea.'
`I've got to make contact with this girl! Her name appeared on a Post-It the very afternoon after we were drinking in the Buck that lunchtime and ran into those wild musicians! I discovered it stuck to the back of my sofa as I was reading Lenin's Materialism & Empirio-Criticism and listening to Devo ...'
`I don't want to hear about your private sicknesses, Soulboy, I've got an insane fantasy about LA and Sun Ra and fatmen in the bathtub burbling in my brainiac ...'
`Bollocks to that - just tell me what the name Trish conjures up to you?'
`Androgyny, cut-away t-shirts, slim pale shoulders ...'
`Lunch! I'm serious!'
`Hmm, let me think ... I've got it - Semen Froth! Trish is the name of the student the Godfather of the Popsicle Academy eloped with. Hull. Stewpot Hauser was there. Claims to have videoed them during the sex act, set up a camera in the house next door. Filmed straight through the net curtains by using film sensitive to gamma rays ...'
`Gamma! What are you doing here?'
`I'm here because I'm obsessed and deranged. I've existed for years but very little has changed.' Gamma quoted his mantra like he was calling out the measurements for laying the foundations of a public building. Soulboy had never heard anyone quote Zappa with such authority. He was well impressed.
`Are you prescient?' he asked him. Gamma squinted at Soulboy, swayed a little, swigged at the bottle of Anjou Ros‚ he was carrying. He handed it to Simon Hardcore Techno, attentive as a puppie-dog by his side, wiped his mouth and belched.
`Sure I'm present. Aren't you? Who isn't present! Will everyone not present please speak up! Everyone's always present, man. The world beyond your sense is an abstraction used by dead-soul schemers to fool you. Live here and now! Have some wine ...'
`All right then, if everyone's present all the time, where's Trish?' Soulboy was so anguished, so desperate, so in love ...
`They make tracks, or is that trash? Just so the trish don't stack up ... Yeah! Nervous Trish! Nellie played them in Nail on Kentish Town Road, with the vocal loop ... "with charcoals, erasure is itself a tool" - you see, eraserhead, rubber blankspots in your logic, man. Tippex clouds tipped in over the rhodadendrons, it's hallucogenic dynamite. I see what I see by looking at the details, the slippy pips everyone else is too la-dee-da to squint at. Is this a wobbler I see before me?' By now the wildman was staring up at Soulboy's silver balloon.
`You like the balloon. Here, have the balloon!'
`Potlatch!' It was Stewpot. Holding hands with Roxette, awkward as a fourteen-year-old. `Get out of my way, hippie miscreant!'
Lunch waved him down. `He's all right, Stewp. Gamma's a freak, not a hippie.' The distinction was lost on someone who re-invented himself after seeing the UK Subs at age twelve. Soulboy grabbed his chance: `Stewpot - tell us about Trish.'
`The Bitch from Hull? I fucked her, didn't I? Cuckolded the Godfather!' Lunch could tell he was lying. It didn't come naturally to Hauser. Never lie to the class! His old teacher's adage made Stewpot's ears burn every time he told a fib.
`Cuckolded? Do you still conceive sexual acts in terms of bourgeois property relations? You unreconstructed moron! Besides, your earlier story was that you'd videoed them at it. Make up your mind!'
Too drunk to argue, Stewpot staggered off, swearing and spitting. Roxette stalked by his side in fishnet stockings amd miniskirt, disdainful expression blitzing all passers-by, her hair mohican'd up into dangerous-looking cyber-spikes. The original Cleavage and her new mate clove a path through the tourists.
Suddenly a mob of women in ironic tweeds, their hair wound into still-more-ironic buns, surrounded Lunch.
`Oh no. Fishbait's monstrous regiment! I was fearing this. Can't I be let off?'
One of them was holding a clip-board. Jesus Christ! It was Helen Muffin herself.
`Just a minute. You belonged in the Steif Bohner fantasy! You're a fixture in the computer gallery, you can't walk around Walpurgis Nacht festivals threatening innocent punters!'
Helen smiled, her extraordinarily elongated nostrils flaring triumphantly. `Hold him, Gurls! We've got various points that need tidying up, Lunch, all numbered and sequenced. You wouldn't want to be part of some free-flowing arbitrary collation of events, would you - a bit of this and a bit of that, the kind of consequentless drivel sneered at by jazz pianists like Marilyn Crispell? You're about to explode the poststructuralist taboo on closure, bring down the shanty-town of Postmodernism - and you're frightened of a few formal consequences? This is a retrograde, baby, the formal recapitulation without which all art unloosens to structures it doesn't understand!'
`You mean, it's a structural consequence of my aesthetic theory that I've got to go and stick my tongue up Dr Gwendolyne Dworkin-Fishbait's arsehole?'
`That's it. Hole in one, Lunch!' The `Gurls' all shrieked with laughter at Helen's pun, a sinister sample of '40s canteen laughter. `Now we've got to the "Rimshotz" part of the programme. You can't keep readers ploughing through all your philosophical speculations and personal art-foibles without giving them the cherry at the end of the stick! You promised analingus at Rimshotz - and analingus at Rimshotz they're going to get!'
`Ah me. So soon will clatter vivid alignment to pack varnish, get shiny cutlack portables to market art fables ...'
`J.H. Prim's gibberish won't save you now, OTL. You're luncheonmeat! Gurls - arrest this man, and take him to the "Fishbait versus Rodchenko" discussion tent!'
`Hang on a moment! What else have you got on the list? Does Soulboy Williams meet up with Trish? And is Trish really a boy, or was that a mistake? If she is, is Soulboy going to sodomize her/him, or simply give him a Stewpot-style blow-job, a magical moment of homophiliac bliss in the junksick morn, salty pearls like icy dewdrops on a Camden Lock railing? What about Nellie and Laura? Are they heading for a lesbian romance, or just some kind of tawdry record deal? And Simon Hardcore Techno - surely he's going to meet up with Hession/Wilkinson/Fell and organise an improvised rave that will cause modern-music fall-out over all the globe! And what about Snodgrass and Mogg? Are they going to achieve the social revolution they're after, and will the working class hold onto power? Will they admit they need my contribution, or are they going to insist on their Popular Frontist aesthetics? Another thing - what was the reason for Stewpot Hauser's purple lipstick at the Institute of Temporary Farce?'
`Questions, questions - Jesus Lunch, anyone would have thought you're not in control of your own narrative ...'
`It's the reality principle, Helen. All those years slaving beneath your haughty command as a junior programmer, it leaves irreperable scars on the psyche!'
`Evidently. Gurls - off with him! Let is bring the Lunchworm to Fishbait!'

13. Fishbait's TV Lesson

Dr Fishbait was in her element. The debate was already underway. Viewed from without, the TV crew's arc-lights made the canvas pavilion look as if it were about to take off and launch into space. Inside, three televison camera-operators were at work, microphones dollying up and down. Frenzied documentation of Fishbait's outrageous contentions. It wasn't a debate, it was a massacre. Matt Rodchenko had given up arguing. Collar undone, tie loose, sweat gleaming on his nose, he was reduced to asking Fishbait her future scenario.
`I see sexual reductionism as the obvious way forward. Once one has established the patterns of sexual yearning that govern the unconscious, it is a small step to offering men precisely what they really really want - at the cost of their autonomy.'
`You do not have a problem, then, with the concept of second-class citizenship?'
`We're not making demands at the civic level. As I said earlier, we're merely outlining strategies women can use which can advance their sense of self-esteem.'
`And - for some reason analingus provides a central part of your strategy. Many people find this hard to swallow!'
Fishbait smiled patiently. `It's not a matter of a personal peccadillo, let me assure you. Shit remains one of the great taboos in our society, but no more so than the actuality of sex itself. Although consumer capitalism claims to have a rational attitude towards sexual pleasure, and can even seem to promote sexual awareness and activity, it's really only comfortable where sex is represented rather than really happening. There's much talk of sex, but it happens less and less. What is really happening is the purchase of magazines, the sale of cars, cinema tickets and so on. I'm proposing a more practical application of sexual facts to everyday life.'
`I'm sorry, but this thing about analingus. That's where the anus is licked by the tongue. Why is this special?'
`It breaks down the taboo of dirt. Once a man has licked your arse, he'll do anything for you - won't he Gurls?'
A cheer went up from half the audience.
`Come on, Matt, admit it - you'd like to be at it right now, wouldn't you?' Rodchenko blushed and stammered. `Of course you would, losing your face and self-respect in the proferred posterior of some commanding lady! Looks don't matter anymore when it comes to the backwards approach, you know. I'm ushering in a new era, the age of the hyphenated dere-licked! Once a man has been trained to salivate at the idea of analingus, he's your dog - but rather more useful than a dog, actually. A dog can't do the housework, can't wash up, can't take out the garbage.'
`I understand you're also in favour of nude housework?'
`Naturally. It's the twenty-first century solution. Labour-saving devices and robots have proved useless. But an aroused male never complains about the size of the pile of dishes! It's the Fourierist solution backed up by psychoanalytic research. I just say to you women out there,' Fishbait was now addressing the camera directly, `just reach out and touch your man right now, there at his crotch - I promise that most of them will have a hard-on, just from listening to the images I'm suggesting. Whisper "nude housework" in his ear! Imagine the effect if you said these things to him yourself, at dinner, when you've got a few of your friends round! If he protests and says it's not true, try the Arousal Challenge!'
`Er, the Arousal Challenge? What's that, Doctor?'
Rodchenko was sitting somewhat awkwardly in his chair. His words came slow and thick.
`If your husband or boyfriend insists that all this talk of analingus and nude housework arousing the male of the species is pure rubbish - get him to do the Arousal Challenge! Get him to stand before you and take down his trousers. Tell him that Wendy Fishbait stands no such nonsense from her husband! That every night, he's stripped and told to do the housework. After that, his reward is to be allowed to lick her arse as she bends over the kitchen table. Take some small implement - if you haven't purchased one of my copyright-pending `wendy-whips', then a 12" ruler or even a wooden-spoon will do! - and tap his arse with it. I promise you, girls, you'll see his penis stir! Yes sir! Men cannot hide their sexual responses from us - and it's about time us ladies took advantage of that.'
Fishbait made a signal to the `Gurls' who had Lunch in tow. Looking furtive, and turning himself sideways as he crossed in front of the camera, Rodchenko fled the scene.
`Okay - Matt's got a stiffie! Never mind, we'll catch up with him later. Meanwhile, here's a fellow press-ganged from my art class. Come onto the platform, OT! Now, Lunch, as we call him, is well trained. He's an ace brown-noser of the first order! First, there are certain proprieties our lawyers have advised us to observe for this, or they warn us that this won't have a chance of being broadcast!' Fishbait had even anticipated the the
modicum of realism required for a truly arousing read. She'd got everything covered, had Gwendolyne!
Fishbait moved stage-right, where special scenery had been mocked up. The backdrop was a deep blue covered with golden stars, the kind of crude party-time graphics associated with champagne cocktails and the 1950s. The same pattern was papered over the ceiling and over a table. A scroll overhead contained the word `Rimshotz' picked out in bolt-of-lightning script. Fishbait beckoned to a TV camera, and positioned it at one end of the table. Going to the opposite end, she pulled up her skirts, revealing her arse, and lay across it.
`My names's Wendy, but you could call me knicker-less,' she joked. The audience checked the monitors. All they could see was Fishbait's face. Lunch, meanwhile, was given a full view of her posterior.
`There we go. All right, Gurls, time for some Analingus Luncheon - get that tongue-meat working!'
Lunch was seized by two of the tweedy regiment and forced to his knees before Fishbait's buttocks. One of the younger tweedies, a tall thin girl, made a shout of protest.
`What's the matter, Ursa?' said Fishbait, evidently annoyed at the delay.
`Everyone was promised ritual nudity as part of the humiliation scene, Miss.'
`Oh very well, remove his clothes. But get on with it! My arse is waiting.'
The women tore off Lunch's clothes, shirt buttons popping, his legs flailing as they removed his trousers. Nude now, he was once more forced to his knees before Fishbait's proferred arse.
`First, ten kisses for each buttock, two at a time!' Fishbait gave the order. She advanced her left cheek coquettishly. Lunch obeyed. She advanced her right cheek, equally coquettishly. Lunch obeyed. Then the left again and then the right. Five times. She was keeping count; a sign of her mastery. OTL was dribbling with enthusiasm, the servile dog. Although his keepers appeared to manhandle him, he was evidently in poodle heaven.
`Now - tongue out - and in!'
Two of the `Gurls' parted Fishbait's arse cheeks while Lunch curled his tongue lengthways. It occurred to him it was automatically imitating the deep-structure of a brandysnap. Fishbait's arse was obviously to be the brandy butter. Then, before they had a chance to shove him onto her, he was at her arse, pushing his protruding lingual apparatus into the hot lividness of her widened anus.
`That's it!' Her buttocks were writhing, her face flushed. She pumped her hips, driving Lunch's tongue up her arse, all the while grinning at the camera and rolling her eyes in theatrical ecstasy. Audiences throughout the land saw Fishbait's face grow suddenly pink and puffy. She came with a great cry, a howl of rhetorical pleasure. After this demonstration, all notions of orgasm as revealed truth and subjective exposure were put into question. The sculptor of The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa turned in his grave. Linda Williams would have to write a supplement to Hard Core. Lunch was pulled aside and thrown off the platform like a used condom, like a discarded tampax. Fishbait stood up, covering herself again, smiling triumphantly.
`So you see, my friends, it is far from a difficult matter to transmute querulous, argumentative and boisterous men into convenient arse-lickers. Just make the metaphors literal and they'll come to you panting! There's nothing like making them taste the shit they spout in words all day long - it just has to be transacted in the physical flesh!'
`Excuse me, Dr Fishbait?' A question from the floor. It was Alex Snodgrass. A giant erection tented his trousers, but he was still intent on getting an answer to something that bothered him.
`I think you've made a demonstration for which we'll always be grateful, and, if I may say so, I don't think you could have chosen a more deserving subject!'
`Why, thank you sir - but where's the but that appears to prevent you from surrendering to the female butt?' Another chorus of laughter from Fishbait's troupe of `Gurls', three of whom began enacting the famous bare-bottom pose adopted by Jordan and friends in the recessses of Malcolm McLaren's Kings Road Sex shop back in 1976.
`Aha, you guessed. Most perceptive of you, Doctor! Well, it's this. If this simple - not to say simple-minded - encouragment of infantile sexual regression can solve the problem of representation, of exploitation, of alienation, sexual misery and unhappiness - what happens to the idea of revolution? Does the power of capital over us suddenly evaporate?'
Dr Fishbait clapped her hands. `Oh Alex, I'm so glad you asked me that! Well, the answer is - there are so many material factors in the way of a general surrender to the truths I've been demonstrating that the only way to alter them is social revolution! As long as power exploits sexuality for its own ends, rather than as a pleasure in itself, a rational view of the human animal is impossible to achieve except in jokes and poetry and novels. That's why I'm planning to join your Party of Leninists!'
A sharp intake of breath from Snodgrass and Moog - and from the audience. Ritualistic humiliations, sadomasochism, public analingus were all very well, but Fishbait's declaration of Leninism bordered on the scandalous - and not least for the Leninists themselves! Applause suddenly broke out from the far left, where Nellie, Stewpot and Esther Punnk were standing. Catcalls from the right, from Moulder, Froth and Bonehardt. Snodgrass, Mogg and Barretto were frozen with indecision. The Cleavage promised by Materialist Esthetix had begun!


The End


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