The Epistle of Gerry to The Connectors,
section seven.

Actually I’m not going to carry out anything so nearly cute as the title would have me do… the task is too difficult actually: to address the Body, the Group… as if I was separate yet! I’d have to include remonstrances and instructions for myself. (Last night while reading I got the idea that someone might get an amusing bit of mileage by writing “Jesus’ letter to the Connectors.” Someone, that is, not me; we have exegetes, but why not some real practical practice: pretend you’re Him.) I’ll figure out someone that I admire well enough to feel it a compliment to myself to pretend I’m that person, and write a letter as if I was him/her/it. Any takers? We were asked who our heroes were once… why not: who can we assimilate well enough to imitate? or at least caricature, parody… I can see an issue of letters from Filthy to Filthy… really you’d need two issues, so he’d reply to himself…

Torture. This morning I still have a headache and a cough from a period spent nurturing some contagious virus or other that is now known among humans as the flu. On Saturday last I woke with dry, irritated sinus passage and the kind of distraction that in retrospect is always an obvious symptom of onset (“Why didn’t I realize it and take the day off then and there?”) but which wasn’t bad enough to keep me from work. Throughout Saturday night it grew worse, the headache and pain in sinus, and large doses of aspirin didn’t help. Or was this all Friday? Yes, because Saturday afternoon I knew I was ill, feverish and dizzy, and I got some codeine-flavored cough syrup, planning with its aid to get through the night’s work since there is no one I can call on to replace me who will not be sorely inconvenienced and besides, it is an inconvenience to miss the day’s money. The drug helped me think I was able to spend ten hours awake and concentrating when earlier that afternoon I had spent in bed hallucinating fever-induced nightmares of being dead and getting behind on my work. So about three hours into it I began to notice that this thing of, “If I just rest a little I’ll be able to get through this next task,” was setting me behind by Rest, 3; Tasks, 1. And waves of nausea and intense pain in the head were getting me down, the worst misery I’ve ever experienced (aside from maybe the pulled teeth and when the analgesics wore off.) I couldn’t concentrate, and if I stood up I got dizzy and grew cold. I used no more drug since, with the nausea, I worried about getting sick. Little need to worry, I did anyway. The bartender saw me walking around, worrying about how I’d get done if I couldn’t sleep for a minute, and called my boss who came over and grouchily took my place at desk. She gave me a ride home to my place, which was cold since there is a window out in my bathroom (it snowed yesterday here), and I shivered beneath blankets for the rest of Sunday and Monday. Monday night I was back, and I realized that this sickness was such a powerful negative conditioning that I felt disoriented and had forgotten a few minor steps in the back-sections of the complex, multi-level program/ritual. Really: whatever you do, try doing it while nauseous and getting these migraine-level waves of head pain at thirty-second intervals. Keep at it, now! Concentrate! Try harder! Fuck. For instance, on one of these forms we use, you punch holes at the “r,” and at line 14 and on the space between line 31 and 32. Well, I lost my certainty and hit it between 32 and 33 last night, thinking for sure that was it. I can’t recall all the wonderful things I wanted to say about what torture means to me, except that it is good to avoid. One of my dreams of being dead was that one’s sensory apparatus doesn’t really have anything to do with the physical body, and that it sits there when life stops, see. And as the flesh decays, or is ground up and burnt, it senses all this, there is an identity experiencing pain although it now lacks a moving flesh to express the pain or move to avoid it. Hence dreams of hell: because as the flesh rots, it gives a burning sensation. I dreamed of about a hundred different manners of being shredded by cement mixers, drowned, run over by cars, eaten by dogs, cremated, buried, smothered, hung, sliced and diced, and my conclusion is that death is inhuman and ought to be prohibited by law. This has also left me somewhat of a quivering wreck.

It is now about two weeks later. I wrote a long response to all the questions and comments that I received, but it was longer than my budget. TC must move to the new terrain soon.

DAD: My nuclear policy is that we only have an illusion of control or influence over the use/non-use decisions, because men are involved. For a life free from ridiculous worries or unearned pride, it is best to regard them as equivalent to earthquakes and other natural disasters, which can be best protested after the fact. The political charade demands that its participants pretend that one policy or another will result in events that wouldn’t be produced by a random policy or no policy, but I doubt it. They operate in a sphere beyond the purview of us, or of many men, and even those directly involved may not be aware of all the motives that are tangled up within them.

In this respect when Kysor gave us this rap about a five cent argument, I raised those eyebrows. Because what we are talking about is actions that aren’t susceptible to arguments, especially cheap ones. MX missiles are expensive arguments, and if a five cent one would do what some seem to think the MX will do, then they would likely be pushing it.

Filthy: Your shark/remora metaphor needs a bit of touching up to more accurately reflect the real conditions, because the roles actually merge. That is, the remoras are acting not just to receive some tidbits, but to become sharks themselves. Lenin was a propagandist, and this was integral to his success in the bid for sharkhood. (Propaganda: advertisements for myself.) Nowadays the second-rate generator of propaganda concentrates on developing the phrases that indicate membership or endorsement of some political subgroup, and in development of the arguments to be used in campaigns, coffee houses, and cocktail parties; and in general the verbal conditioned reflexes of any group that is defined enough to have people who want to be the propagandists. So they labor away doing hack work for the people who have the personal magnetism to get votes, but there are others who always view it as more than just “Hey, I could be one of Your Advisers,” type-stuff. In the French revolution(s), didn’t many get sent to the parliament because they were famous for having published well-developed ideas? This approaches being elected to sharkhood even if it is a minor sharkhood.

Anyway, and as an address to all interested parties, if you’d like to test this out you may write me direct, and/or to Bob Black (whose project, though similar, is different) and ask for materials to help get started. The project Minitrue was conceived partially in response to the debate over the role of propagandists, a test, and involves the generation of propaganda aimed solely at disruption. We have the tools to shoot down any positive proposals or Lines, and so do others, so let us concentrate not on advancing any new verbal virus, but on using verbal genetic engineering ala the Situationists, and writing programs that make the viruses self-destruct. Right To Be Greedy (see last issue) is a good, prime example of one brand of doing this. I have lots of more examples, and want only for distributors who want to have some fun, and more creators, and of course, MONEY. (I don’t expect any contributions.) Black propaganda is useful, as is grey, but stay away from the white. If propaganda is un-influential, merely a marker, then it didn’t play any role in the May ’68 events in Paris, and I contest this. I propose conducting an experiment in an attempt to reproduce similar Things. If it is a marker of a social group, then it is a social group that will not be aiming for power; thus, it won’t be recruiting. The social group of all those two disdain membership in well-defined social groups. Says Tzara: “Every man must shout: there is great destructive, negative work to be done. To sweep, to clean. The cleanliness of the individual materializes after we’ve gone through folly: the aggressive, complete folly of a world left in the hands of bandits who have demolished and destroyed the centuries. With neither aim nor plan, without organization: uncontrollable folly, decomposition.” Avant!

* Edward Reith, Gerry’s father, was also a contributor to The Connection.

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